Manage episode 323460304 series 2872890
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1 Corinthians 11 introduces a perplexing question. If the chapter seems to instruct women to cover their heads, why do so few Christians practice this today? Furthermore, the passage says that women should keep silent in church (1 Corinthians 14:34). How should this be applied to today’s world? These questions can be confusing to today’s generation of Christians. Are Paul's words intended for a specific time and situation, or are they general principles of God for the entire Church? In other words, are Paul's words meant to be God’s unchanging principles, or are they flexible guidance for specific contexts? Different churches have different understandings of this. Some people regard Paul’s words as a universal principle given by the Holy Spirit. They require women to cover their heads and to avoid preaching. But other churches believe Paul’s commands addressed specific social circumstances of the time, and there’s no need to enforce it rigidly today. The church's position on this issue has split into two camps, conservative and liberal. Conservative churches often do not allow women to serve as pastors. But there are many female pastors in liberal churches. Some liberal churches even allow homosexuals to serve as pastors. How should Christians understand Paul's controversial words? When we study the Bible, we must understand the difference between God’s unchanging principles and his specific guidance for individual circumstances. God’s principles apply to all times and places, whereas his leading does not. We must always keep this difference in mind.