#WeAreEmmanuel Values / 08. #WeAreEmmanuel 8 Play As Team Pt2

08. #WeAreEmmanuel 8 Play As Team Pt2

Originally recorded on Sunday 25th February 2018. Visit http://weareemmanuel.com for more content. Speaker: Joel Virgo.

This preach is based on the model of leadership at Emmanuel church, more specifically Eldership. As Emmanuel church, we have committed ourselves to complementarianism which can be summarised by the statement 'men and women are equal as well as different'. Different cultures throughout history have tended to emphasis either the former or latter of this statement, yet they are both biblical and need to be held and guarded at the same time. As a church, we have made this our target.

Emmanuel has a certain office of leadership called 'elders'. In the Bible, all the appointed elders are male and we as a church have kept to that principle. What that looks like practically, for example, is that all Sunday preaching is done by men and it would be exceptional if that was not the case. It must be noted that we are not talking about leadership as such. Leadership is something that men and women practice together at Emmanuel in different contexts and something we are glad for and encourage. However, when talking about eldership, the metaphor of 'fatherhood' is what we refer to. It is a kind of leadership that has something to do with the way God has made us biologically.

Why do we value this teaching of complementarianism?

1. Because Of Scripture- One of the ways Jesus leads his church is through scripture. He has given us every reason to be confident in the authority of his word. Genesis 1 tells of how the male was created and given a responsibility and woman created as his equal (Genesis 1:27). Genesis 2: 15-17 shows the process of how the man was alone in the garden before the woman and that he was given responsibility. The woman was then created to be alongside him as his helper. God is also gladly referred to as 'helper' in the Bible, so it's not something we should take as too beneath us. The concept of man leading in a marriage and woman bringing her wisdom and gifts complementarily is extremely important. Jesus seems to be consistent with this as He honours and liberates women, which would have been surprising in the culture of his time. For example, women being the first to witness Jesus' resurrection and different woman having important roles in the Bible. Simultaneously, there's a certain kind of responsibility in leadership that seems to be limited to men. This threads back to The Fall in Genesis 3. When the man and woman fall in the garden, it's the woman who takes the fruit first and leads the man to the act of disobedience. However, when God confronts them, he calls the man to account for something they both did, if anything the women took the lead in it, but the man carries a certain kind of responsibility and authority in the situation. Furthermore, when appointing apostles in the Bible, it is men who are called to these positions, which can be seen through Jesus' 12 apostles and the appointing of elders in the church after Christ's resserrection. In the first few verses of 1 Timothy 3, it seems the qualification of eldership has much to do with fathering. There's a link between the uniquely male calling and responsibility of fatherhood and the way churches need to be governed. When Jesus is amongst his church, one of the results will be a genuine desire to put others first. That's a healthy church and a healthy marriage as Ephesians 5:24-25 reads 'Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her'. This is not women submit to men but limited to the context of marriage. A husband submits to his wife by using his masculinity and exercising his strength for his wife to lay his life down. Christ was crucified for his church and this echoes through elders being called to be men and guide, govern and sometimes even guard the church.

2. Because of Culture- We care about, in this context, Brighton culture, where there's a huge blurring between the distinction of males and females and increased shaming of those who believe their female or maleness is part of their identity and destiny. This can be controversial. However, it's important we lovingly stick to our values.

3. Because Its Good - God's will is pleasing for you (Romans 12:2). The representation of complementarianism is to result in deep satisfaction, where men feel honoured as men and women feel cherished and cared for. This should always mean we're pushing for both women and men to flourish.

4. Because It Shows Us Jesus - The whole story the Bible teaches is of a heroic husband who rescues his bride by laying his life down for her. We must remember this is all about Christ and his church. We need to trust that Jesus is for us and therefore follow his word. The end of the story is liberty and freedom.

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