The Role of Men and Women in the Church : -- By: Daniel L. Akin
JBMW 9:1 (Spring 2004) p. 85
The Role of Men and Women in the Church1 :
A Sermon on Titus 2:1–8
President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Wake Forest, North Carolina
We live in a culture that is drowning in gender confusion. The lines have become blurred and we are groping about trying to understand what it means for a man to be a man and a woman a woman, what it means for a man to be masculine and a woman feminine.
A recent presidential candidate referred to himself as “metrosexual,” a word that refers to a heterosexual male who is in touch with his feminine side. The candidate went on to say, “I’ve heard the term, but I don’t know what it means” (Newsweek, Nov. 19, 2003, p. 23).
It is transparently clear that the cultural engineers that dominate the media, our educational system (from the preschools to the universities) and other strategic places of influence want to neutralize, if not eliminate, the gender distinctions and differences that God has hardwired into human beings (Gen 1:26–27). This is the consistent drumbeat heard again and again and unfortunately, the church has not been immune to the sound.
Practicing homosexuals are now ordained as bishops. Divorced ministers continue in places of service as if nothing significant occurred when their marriage covenant was broken. Women (married, divorced, single, heterosexual and lesbian) now flock to seminaries and fill pulpits across the land declaring their liberation from the “oppressive” writings of the Bible. Even within evangelical fellowships women aspire to teaching positions that place them over men in Sunday Schools, Bible studies and local church worship services. The secular culture is shaping the Church more than sacred Scripture.
Never has the church needed more desperately to hear the words of Titus 2:1–8, a text that makes plain and clear God’s plan, God’s assignment, God’s role for men and women in the Church. In this passage of Scripture Paul outlines God’s expectations for each of the 4 major groups in the Church in terms of gender and age. Though the word itself does not appear, the driving concept in these verses can be summed up in one important word: “mentoring.” Older men need to mentor younger men and older women need to mentor younger women. In that context, and for teaching purposes, verses 1–8 can be viewed as something of a semantic chiasm, an ABBA structure (older men-older women-younger women-younger men...
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