The church of Jesus Christ celebrates its own birthday on two occasions. The first is collective and embraces all Christians of all times. It is the day of Pentecost. The second is individual and concerns each person at the moment of his or her inclusion into the body of Christ through confession of faith and baptism. Every time a believer is formally inducted into the church through baptism, the body of Christ celebrates a new birth into the kingdom of God.
The two inaugural statements
Pentecost - Acts 2:17-18 (birth of church)
“I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh”
.... Lesson: Racial distinctions are irrelevant in the church.
“And your sons and daughters shall prophecy”
....Lesson: The sex difference is irrelevant in the church.
“Your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”
...Lesson: Differences of rank are irrelevant in the church.
“And on my menservants and my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy”
..Lesson: Class differences are irrelevant in the church.
Baptism - Gal 3:26-29 (birth of Christian)
“There is neither Jew nor Greek [or Gentile]”
... Lesson: Racial distinctions are irrelevant in the church
“There is neither slave nor free.”
...Lesson: Class distinctions are irrelevant in the church.
“There is neither male nor female.”
..Lesson: Sex distinctions are irrelevant in the church.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Non-Distinctions in the Church
A friend of mine has just finished reading the book "Beyond Sex Roles" by Gilbert Bilezikian, and some notes she shared with me struck me as being noteworthy. Here they are: