On Earth…

Imagine a heaven where there are masters and slaves. In the New Testament, Paul instructs masters and slaves on how they are to treat one another. In the past, those verses have been used to justify slavery. To say that God approves of it. Now¬†we have gone beyond those scriptures to realize that one human being owning another is not Kingdom-like. It would not be found in heaven. In fact, Paul’s letter to Philemon is evidence that Paul was not , in reality, a proponent of slavery. That he was coping with the culture in which he found himself. He requested that Philemon free his slave, Onesimus. That showed what he really thought about slavery. Maybe that is the reason the tiny book of Philemon is in the scriptures.

Then, imagine a heaven where there are earthly lords and peasants. Nope. Can’t imagine such a thing.

Then, imagine a heaven where women are subject to men and not allowed to use their God-given gifts to work among God’s people. Can we imagine a heaven like that? I can’t. We are told by many that, because Paul instructs a church that women are not to teach men, they are still under that instruction. They are told that Paul said that for all churches forever. His instructions about slaves and masters were, obviously, not for all churches forever, but his teaching about women was. Is that Kingdom-like?

When we pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, we are asking God to make earth like heaven. We are committing ourselves to being the people through whom God’s will is done on earth – to make earth as heaven-like, or Kingdom-like as possible. I don’t see how we can pray that way while, at the same time, we subjugate women by barring them from exercising the gifts God gave them in the Church. How is that Kingdom-like? It isn’t.