As Christians are our lives any different to the world around us?
Where should we as Christians draw the line about how much we are in the world? How do non believers view us? Do they really know what we believe by looking at our lives? Yes we may go to Church on Sunday but is that as much as we show of our faith to those who do not share it?
More and more I (and I include myself in this!) see Christians (not all) in the Western world failing to step out in faith and share their faith with others, doing all the "Christian things" but still leading their lives as we are of the world. Getting caught up in materialism, big homes, cars, filling our minds with rubbish and so on. Paul spoke of this in Philippians.
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things." Philippians 4:8. NIV.
I have been challenged to do this no more. To lead my life according to Biblical principles. So many say that the Bible is God inspired and if that is so should that not scare us into wanting to obey it wholeheartedly? God is our heavenly Father and we should want to obey and please Him in everything we do and how we lead our lives for Him. Like a child wants to please his or her earthly Father in an eager, keen, unquestioning way.
I have read and heard people interpret the Bible and what it says in such different ways and I honestly think that we cannot choose scripture we wish to adhere to and some that we don't. For example, it clearly states the following in the New Testament -
"A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve." 1 Timothy 2 11 - 13 NIV.
With scripture such as this ( and most know the above verses ideas are mentioned in other books of the Bible by Paul), we can't use the excuse that it is old Testament law. This is new testament and while we would whole heartedly embrace most of the letters in this section of the Bible and apply these principles to our Churches and lives, many don't.
I personally think that feminism has caused many female Christians to sit uneasily with these parts of the Bible. Because of scripture like above I do not believe we should have women leaders in Church, that women should pray aloud at public Church meetings. The reason is because of what the Bible teaches. I can't possibly agree with all that Paul sets out in his God inspired letters and yet miss out the bits that don't suit me. Even if I don't agree with them!
As a woman I know that we are emotional creatures. I suffer terribly with severe PMT each month and am very hormonal. This renders me inconsistent, moody and so on. Not at all compatible with the position many women would like to be in at Church. Even regarding prayer, I could not be confident I would be praying in the best way or asking for the right things if I participated in public prayer at Church. So as a woman, I am quite glad God has given me this role and not the burden the men have at Church. I embrace my God given role as a home maker, mother, serving the Lord in the home as well as outside but primarily with my children.