I came across Albert Mohler’s article “Hard to Believe? Biblical Authority and Evangelical Feminism” the other day, and I am providing a pointer to it because I think he makes a good point. In fact, he makes a point that goes well beyond feminism, evangelicalism or countless other –isms.
To read Galatians 3:28 the way Eggebroten reads the verse, you would have to believe that the Apostle Paul was in direct contradiction with himself, when he restricts the teaching office to men in letters such as 1 Timothy and Titus.
Or . . . you can try to deny that Paul actually wrote those latter letters. Eggebroten accuses conservative evangelicals of ignoring “evidence that the ‘pastoral epistles’ (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus) were written in honor of Paul long after he died and reflect a second-century debate over women’s roles in the church–whether to conform to social customs for the sake of winning converts, or to advocate radical social equality (and even celibacy) in the last days before the Second Coming.”
What this reveals, of course, is the argument of many evangelical feminists that we can discard the teachings of the Pastoral Epistles. We can keep the Apostle Paul we like (taking Galatians 3:28 out of context, for example) and disregard the Paul we do not like.
And yet, that is what you see by many who are religious. Even more surprisingly, I have found this pick and choose attitude infects the aggressively anti-religious. Take a verse out of context, and you can apply it to just about anything – whether you are for or against it.
On a much broader level, though, you even see this in politics. Ignore the inconvenient facts that do not fit your particular ideology. Get behind your leader even when he’s wrong.
You know, maybe that’s why David kept Joab around for so long. I’ve pondered that many times over the years, and I keep asking myself, “Why did David put up with this guy?” To say Joab had a mind of his own is a gross understatement. He was outright rebellious at times!
Yet, Joab often confronted the king when he disagreed with him, especially concerning Absalom. Ironically, though, it was Joab who ended up killing Absalom. The king was saddened after Absalom’s death, but it was Joab who scolded him and made him to look strong in front of the others. Joab in an odd way was a counterbalance to David.
Sometimes, we need to be confronted with our own misconceptions, do we not? Aren’t that what trials are all about? Facing our weaknesses? Facing our wrong attitudes? Facing the truth?
Yes, we too are vulnerable to this type of attitude towards God’s word and even our day-to-day lives. I believe that’s why we are told over and over again to be vigilant. We are to “watch” to make sure we are in the right at all times. We are to pray always for the power and strength to do this.