Sometimes people like to say, “Tell me where in the Bible it says…”. What they are asking is for you to pull a line of Scripture out of the Bible to support, defend, or vilify something. The problem with this is that people are constantly pulling out bits to support their position and using a single sentence. Instead of reading the Bible and letting the Bible inform/decide our position, we take a position and then go to the Bible to support it.
For example, if we want to “put women in their place”, we can go to Scripture and in 1 Timothy 2:12, Paul writes, “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.” People will argue about what that means. It sure sounds to me like Paul is saying women should be quiet and he does not allow them to teach or exercise authority over a man. People will use Scripture such as this to discredit women and mock Christianity. At that time, Jewish wisdom said men are not to talk to women, and by no means were they to teach women. Yet what did Jesus do? He approached women (sinners at that), spoke to them, taught them, and invited them to Himself. He also raised the status of children! His disciples had to be wondering why Jesus was doing this when it went against Jewish teaching.
It’s difficult to know which things were cultural instructions for the times and what is God’s eternal will and hence His will for today. (The pork issue ALWAYS comes up.) Issues such as this can be debated, but what cannot be debated is whether Jesus raised the status of women. Jesus certainly lifted the status of women. And personally, I always say I’d rather have a good female pastor than a bad male pastor any day.
I didn’t set out to make this a blog about women, and we don’t even have to agree on this, so don’t get bogged down with that issue. I just want you to remember that an individual verse of Scripture from the Bible can be and certainly has been used to defend a position that God would surely disagree with (slavery comes to mind). Sometimes we have to look at the bigger picture, the overarching theme.