Philippians 2:1-11

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Philippians 2:1-11

Dear Christian friend,

I base my remarks on Philippians 2:1-11 where we read that Jesus Christ, although in his very nature God, humbled himself taking on human form and eventually offering himself for crucifixion to heal broken relationships between man and God and man and man. While hanging on the Cross, Jesus could easily have reviled against humanity but he did not. He prayed for those who persecuted and hurled insults at him. What amazing love Jesus has for fallen mankind. It therefore saddens me that we still promote divisions within the church.

I know that Jesus himself said on one occasion that he did not come to bring peace on earth but to turn family members against each other. Matthew 10:34-39 However this division is between people who have either accepted or rejected Christ as Saviour. It still does not stop a Christian from loving an unbeliever.

I also am aware that St Paul admonished women to remain silent in the Church and not have authority over men. However I do not consider that a pastor has authority over me. Jesus is the ultimate authority. We give thanks to Martin Luther (and others) who made God’s written word available to people in their native tongue so that each may take responsibility for their own actions unless unable to do so because of young age or incapacity due to illness and the like.

Both pastors and laypeople are players on the same team and we, like parts of the body, have different functions and roles to play. Women, I believe, have a unique contribution that can be made to this team ministry.

In view of these observations is it right that women should be excluded from the ordained ministry? It seems to me that rather than being a decision made in love in order to heal, denying their right to do so is one that has the opposite effect, as it divides male and female.


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