Tag Archives: Paul

The Blessing of Being Insubordinate (Thanks Jesus!)


Women insubordination

One Word 365



One Word 2014: Blessing

Over the last few weeks I’ve had more than one negative encounter with a man who left New York to come to Alberta to be a missionary. Something was hinky about this guy. I was suspicious of him because; who would leave the tri-state area to come to a city like Edmonton to be a missionary in the inner city? No one, and I mean no one leaves the United States to come to Edmonton to learn about inner city ministry. Our city is not at the forefront of urban ministry. We are not leaders in this area, we are not even close to being followers.

My first conversation with the missionary involved the hot topic of women’s role in society and the church. The missionary quoted Paul and when I told him I do not adhere to Paul’s teaching that women be silent, he challenged me by asking, “Don’t you believe the bible?” I explained to him that, yes, I believe the bible, but I don’t believe people who misinterpret the bible and/or use various verses to discriminate or hurt others. He then challenged me about authority in the church. He asked me if I followed the authority of my male pastors. I had to stop, and think clearly, and then set him straight.

I had to draw the line with the missionary because we were both serving in a shelter together. This is a shelter where he is in a semi-leadership position. He has daily encounters with male clients who grew up in violent homes where men asserted their domestic authority over the women and children. These are men who have learned to continue the cycle of domestic and social violence.

These are not Christian men who understand what it means to lead a loving and healthy home. These are men in the midst of struggling with addictions, criminal acts, and violence. Some of these men have records for sexual assault and other acts of violence against women. Some of these men are under house arrest, others are on parole. He is a missionary who is working with a population of men who had to suffer abuse at the hands of Christian run schools which we refer to in Canada as Indian Residential Schools.

I told him and his peers that in order to help bring the most effective healing to the people at this particular shelter and addictions recovery program, they as Christian leaders needed to listen and learn the truth about Indian Residential Schools and listen to first had accounts by those whose lives were torn apart by Christian run school systems that were designed to force our Native Canadian population into becoming Christians. The system did not bring them closer to Christ, instead, it brought them closer to poverty, death, abuse, and lifelong trauma.  It taught an entire people group that being under Christian male authority was abusive and racist.

Don’t just preach Jesus, practice Jesus!

preach jesus

Using scripture within the wrong environment or in the wrong context can do serious damage. We can’t take missionary work or outreach ministry lightly; we are dealing with people’s lives. If you believe that scripture says women are to be subordinate to men, that is fine, but it’s important that you keep that practice within your own home. If you and your wife agree to such an arrangement, then that is fine for you and your spouse only, but that arrangement is never to be applied to women outside of your home.

I don’t want to engage in the heated argument about the role of women in society, my only goal in writing this blog post was to encourage Christians to be more aware of how they use scripture and with who they are using it with. Let us not be followers of Christ who damage others with scriptural verses that were originally intended to bring us closer to God and community.


Are there any verses that you quote often? Do you sometimes use these verses out of context or incorrectly apply them to various situations?


Think about the verses you quote most often. Ask God’s Holy Spirit to help you keep his words pure by not using them incorrectly.

Fun Learning Challenge:

When time or interest permits, try to do some further study on quotes from scripture that you frequently use. See what the context and background of that verse, chapter or book is about. This is one of the best ways to help prevent us from unintentionally taking verses out of context or incorrectly applying them.



Advent Day 11: The Love Dare

Love 3

Love is…

1 Corinthians 13 is a chapter written by Paul. In it he tells us what love is to look like in our interactions and behaviours with each other. God doesn’t reduce love to marriages, and immediate family; He wants us as believers to act in love towards all of humanity. This love that Paul speaks of is known as ‘agape’ love. Agape love is a spiritual love that is given to others without expecting anything in return; it is unconditional. It is love that is given even to our worst enemy and those we deem undeserving of our love.

Application: a.k.a “The Dare”. (Dare: to do something that is difficult or that people are usually afraid to do.)

Below is the scripture reading for today and I encourage you to read it aloud. Now for the dare! Once you are finished reading, I dare you to replace the word ‘love’ and ‘it’ with your own name for verses 4-6 and read the passage again aloud. (e.g. If your name is Stephen, then you would say, Stephen is patient, Stephen is kind. Stephen does not envy…)

And now for dare part 2! Type or hand write either all of 1 Corinthians 13 or only verses 4-6,  which ever one you choose, write/type it with your name inserted into verses 4-6 and post it to a place where you will see it everyday as a reminder (e.g. fridge, bathroom mirror, on your bedroom wall, as a screen saver, maybe even on your mobile phone).  During advent, feel free to refer to it as often as you need to as a reminder of what love is. God bless!

1 Corinthians 13

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.