Questions for Discussion

Questions for Discussion


(1) If God’s intention is that we should all work together, how do we account for the apparent masculine emphasis of the Bible?

(2) What moulds our personal attitudes?

(3) Have women changed in nature from Bible times? Have men?

(4) Is the modern emphasis on equal treatment contrary to the Bible?

(Document produced by the General Teaching Council for Scotland: Gender in Education: “The beneficiaries of an anti-sexist strategy will be all our children: sexist attitudes and assumptions constrain and limit boys as well as girls.”)

(5) These questions were recently posed for discussion:

     (a) How much is our ecclesia the creation of the World?

     (b) How much is our ecclesia the creation of Tradition?

     (c) How much is our ecclesia the creation of the Gospel?

(6) List the jobs which are done today within the category of “labouring side by side in the Gospel”. How much is there a male/female division in these jobs? How desirable is it that there should be?

(7) Are there jobs that you would like to do but aren’t allowed to?

(8) Are there jobs which you feel obliged to do but feel someone of the opposite sex could do as well or better?

(9) If jobs were distributed in our ecclesias on the basis of who can do them well, what would be the benefits, what the disadvantages?

(10) Many brothers find the work needed to prepare talks to be spiritually beneficial. They wouldn’t necessarily do it, though, without the impetus of having to give a talk. Are sisters deprived of this stimulus? What solutions can you suggest?

(11) Is our preaching impaired by not making more use of sisters to give talks?

(12) Is our preaching impaired by the traditional attitude to women? We are a lay organisation, but then we have to explain that more than half our members may not speak!

(13) Is there anything in the argument about formality? It is all right for sisters to read round in Bible Reading Discussion on a campaign, or in a Breaking of Bread held at home, but not for them to read on a Sunday?

(14) If 1 Corinthians 14:35-36 did indicate a complete ban on sisters giving talks or presiding, is it correct to continue this application today?

(15) Examine the section from 1886 in The Christadelphian. How much can one see traditional church assumptions? How much is the basic argument valid?

(16) Look at 1 Timothy 2. What does the passage say? What does it not say?

(17) What positive work in New Testament times is not done by us today? Why?

(18) The New Testament describes the husband as head of the wife. Is there any organised activity within the ecclesia which sisters could perform which would be in opposition to this? What, for example, if a capable sister writes her husband’s exhortations?

(19) Or is it that the men are head of the women? Are sisters under the control of the brothers collectively?

(20) Were women at the Last Supper or not? If not, why do you think they were left out?

(21) Why do you think Jesus did not choose at least one “representative woman” amongst the Twelve?

(22) What was the purpose of the OT purity laws if Jesus swept them away?

(23) Galatians 3:27-28, according to the male-orientated interpretation, refers only to salvation and not role. Is this a justifiable interpretation? Should we go further? How about slavery?

(24) 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12 and Ephesians 4 all see the variety of Christian work as the work of God through His Spirit. How are these passages to be applied today?

(25) Is it wrong for brothers to do jobs which are traditionally women’s, e.g. cooking meals, cleaning the house?

(26) Do you end up doing ecclesial jobs at which you are not particularly good?

(27) Do you “put other people down”? Are you “put down” by others?

(28) What advantages/disadvantages are there in having sisters do the same activities as brothers?

(29) Is it right for a Christian to argue against equal involvement of women, or is this a worldly attitude?

(30) Consider the following anomalies:

     (a)  If sisters are not allowed to teach, is it consistent to teach by writing                     booklets and magazine articles?

     (b)  If sisters are not allowed to lead, is it consistent to have a vote in                           ecclesial elections?

     (c)  If sisters exercise authority by having a vote in ecclesial elections, is it                   consistent not to have them on the Arranging Committee?

     (d) Does it make sense that a sister can teach a man until he is baptised, but                not thereafter?

     (e)  Does it make sense that sisters can serve everyone at a Fraternal                             Gathering or ecclesial meal but cannot take round the Bread and Wine?

     (f)  Does it make sense to prevent sisters being on the door when they are as               capable as the brothers of greeting visitors?

     (g)  Sisters can canvass on campaigns, together or alone. This would have                    been scandalous in the ancient world. Why do we accept it today?

     (h)  Girls can read at a Sunday School play, but sisters can’t because they                    have been baptised and “women should keep silence in the churches”.



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