Monday, October 24, 2011

If Someone Is In Christ, It's A New Creation

Adapted from a comment I made at a blogpost where a church discussed how it had concluded that women could be in church leadership:

In the incarnation God became human, and at the crucifixion Jesus died for all humans' sins as the last Αδάμ/אדם, and through the resurrection Jesus became a life-giving Spirit, the New Creation, the New Human, in Whom all who believe in Him are, whether Jew or Gentile or slave or free or male or female, and with Whom they all are clothed.

Christ is the κεφαλή of the church, which is His body and His bride. All the members of the body, regardless of gender, are to grow up into Him Who is the κεφαλή, and to help all the other members do the same, using the gifts and grace Christ has given them. It's not about gendered or gender-restricted "roles," but about χαρίσματα and χάρις. There is not "male and female" here, but Christ, Who is over all, and through all, and in all.

If someone is in Christ, it's a New Creation.

There is one body, and all its members are priests. It is inconsistent to reject the sacerdotalism that would have male priests in persona Christi stand between believers and God the Father, as is the case in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches, but retain its vestige in the guise of "male-only" pastors and elders.

We should not judge by the flesh or by appearances and restrict how God's Spirit gifts and builds His church. There is no "male" human nature that Christ exclusively took on, or "male" sin nature that Christ separately nailed to the cross. Human is human, and sin is sin, whether the human is male or female. The Jesus Who lives in male believers is not a different Jesus from the one Who lives in female believers.

Which qualities or fruits or gifts of the Spirit are male? Which are female? Which aspects of the nature of Christ can only be exercised and expressed in the church by males, or can only be exercised and expressed in the church by females? Indeed, if nurturing and caring for and giving His life to and for the church, His body, are priorities of Christ's, then an argument could be made that females are better suited to lead and pastor churches than males.

But it's not about whether it should be "males" or "females" who lead Christ's church. CHRIST leads His church, and He gives and gifts and empowers and builds as He wills.

(Also see "A Quiz For Complementarians")

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