Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gender and Heaven Part 2

One reason why I do not believe in the eternal subordination of women to men is the parable of the minas (Luke 19:11-28). Jesus indicated that when He returns, He will reward His faithful servants by giving them authority and responsibility that correspond to how faithful they were. In the parable, the king said to the first servant whose mina earned ten more, "Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities." (Luke 19:17). To the servant whose mina earned five more, the king said, "You take charge of five cities." (Luke 19:19). Thus, it is apparent that the number of cities the servants were given directly corresponds to their faithfulness in earning more minas. Nowhere in this parable is race or gender mentioned as the king's criteria. The only criterion mentioned is trustworthiness.

We know that God does not look at race, socioeconomic status or gender as criteria to decide who enters heaven. For anyone that satisfies the condition of accountability (also known as "the age of accountability"), God's criterion of whether a person enters heaven is whether they have put their trust in Him. Jesus said "whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16), and that "whoever" does not exclude any race, class, or gender. Jesus also said that "if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward." (Matthew 10:42). In this verse, "anyone" does not exclude any race, class, or gender.

The reward of authority is unmerited just like salvation is unmerited, but in both cases God has revealed His reward criteria in the Bible. If the eternal subordination of women to men were true, then God would be rewarding His servants not only on the basis of faithfulness, but also on the basis of gender. But since God rewards the faithfulness of both men and women, and authority is given as a reward, then it follows that faithful men and women will both be rewarded with authority when Jesus returns. God grants this authority not on the basis of race, class, or gender, but on the basis of faithfulness.

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