Throughout Christian history there have been stories of great heroes of the faith. These heroes ranged from those who conquered social and systemic injustice and oppression, those who preached the Gospel courageously, those who taught children, and those who wrote theological tomes. But what truly made these individuals heroes? Aside from the fact that God greatly blessed these women and men and allowed them the opportunity to shine, the main reason these people changed the world, is because they lived into the calling and giftings that God assigned for them.
There are two main lists in the Bible looking at Spiritual gifts. These are Romans 12:1-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. Although there may be many additional gifts that didn’t exist in Biblical times (such as an uncanny use of social media and promotions for church work), the basics have stayed the same millenia later. To give an idea of the various gifts which one can possess, there are gifts of EDIFICATION (including: prophesy, teaching, exhortation, and encouragement), COMPASSION AND SERVICE (practical service, generosity, hospitality, mercy), and LEADERSHIP (apostleship, teaching, preaching, and evangelism).
Now in the church, the majority of gifts are not debated. For example, both men and women can be able administrators, both can be encourage, and both can be generous with time, talents and treasures. Yet, the issue arises when it comes to matters of leadership. In some churches both men and women are able to accept roles such as deacon, elder, pastor or bishop, but in many others these roles belong solely to men. Does that mean then that women were somehow bypassed when it came to giving out the spiritual gifts or does it mean that women are somehow inferior and therefore not eligible for these roles? Continue reading Is the Spirit Gender-Blind?