This week’s sermon focused on a tricky passage: one of those sections in the Epistles which seems to command women to behave in a way that sits uncomfortably with our culture today. Here is a guide to help us wrestle with these kind of passages.

How to tackle a controversial passage:

  1. PRAY! Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and accompany you on this journey. It’s not meant to be done alone.
  • LOOK AT THE CONTEXT: who was writing, to whom, and why? If your Bible doesn’t have introductory notes, look it up. Get a commentary. Ask others.
  • CHECK WHAT IT REALLY SAYS: not what we assume it says from a quick glance and a focus on trigger words or phrases that fit with our narrative. 
  • EXAMINE OUR CULTURAL BIAS: observe and acknowledge the red flags and emotions it raises in us. Consider whether those responses are relevant here. Note your unanswered questions and concerns.
  • PERSEVERE with what you don’t / can’t know – yet? Who could I talk to? What could I read or look up? Keep going with it or come back to it later. Consider what you know of God and what other passages confirm/ challenge this one. Don’t give up on God, or the Bible.   Keep wrestling!