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:
- 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!