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This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Patternists: Cultural Arrogance

Patternist

Our culture can color our view of what God does and does not allow for mankind. The culture of the first century differed greatly from our own. In fact, there were numerous different cultures in the first century, and cultural views caused problems in the early church. It shouldn’t surprise us that those same influences would cause problems today.

The scriptures stand in stark contrast with changing cultural mores. Here is an example. American culture in the 21st century demands that women be given the exact same consideration regarding positions of leadership in the local church. In contrast, the scriptures teach that leadership positions such as elder and deacon are limited to men (cf. 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9) and that women are to be in submission (cf. 1 Timothy 2:11-14).

The thing to remember is that the words of Paul in these verses are the product of the Holy Spirit inspiration (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17). They are not, as commonly claimed, a function of Paul’s cultural biases.

In fact, the Holy Spirit reveals that the limitation on women is a function of creation, not culture. “For Adam was formed first, then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:13).

Let us not be so arrogant to assume that our culture knows best. While men may trumpet present day sophistication and evolved morals, we place our trust in the words of God.

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