There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
I've been thinking a lot about this verse lately. The general interpretation of that verse is a knee-jerk response to some Christians saying “see, this states in Christ men and women are equal in every way, same rights, same abilities, same anointing.”, so the general interpretation is “Well, that verse is talking about salvation. It's saying men and women can get saved equally.”
Ok, so say that is the only explanation of that verse. Shouldn't it also be true then, that God really does see a division between people who are slaves and those who are masters, and also divisions between nationalities? Sure, they can all get saved the same! When slavery was “acceptable”, does that mean that God really DIDN'T anoint any black people, didn't call them to be preachers, pastors, leaders or otherwise in any position of authority, simply based on the color of their skin?
Does that mean that there really are lines of division between nations? That those who are truly descendants of Abraham in the worldly sense are more able to hear from God, better equipped to spread the gospel, or the only ones able to handle a position of leadership?
Of course not, that would be ridiculous.
Yet, that is exactly what slave owners DID say. And that is exactly what the Jewish converts were saying when Paul wrote that.
Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Colossians 3:11
The Christian slave owners of not-so-long-ago were no different than the church at large today. Cherry-picking a few verses stating “slaves obey your masters”, and taking it to mean slavery is okay, God's will, even. Do those verses mean that the black people were wrong to be discontent with their life circumstances, to believe that they should be on equal standing with the white people?
If the slaves are – and should be recognized as – equal to whoever tries to master them, and if all nations are – and should be recognized as – equal to all other nations regardless of bloodline, so then should not women be recognized as equal to men, and not told to sit on the gifts that the spirit has given them simply because she's a woman and “can't preach, teach, be a missionary on her own, or be the spiritual leader of any man.”
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. - 1 Corinthians 12:13
Isn't this what Christ came to abolish, the divisions between people? We are living now in His glory, His promises, and abiding with the Holy Spirit! Shouldn't it be “on earth as it is in heaven”. In heaven, do you suppose there will be divisions there between men and women? Will men and women not be viewed as equal still to some degree, simply based on the gender God gave them on earth?
God anoints women just as He anoints men. Just look in the history of women who started ministries, became missionaries, were preachers, pastors or teachers. There is no way one could look at that and state “Oh, it's just Satan masquerading as an angel of light.” How much sense does that make? And how insulting to these great women who risked their very lives to follow their savior, and now it's said they were just deceived by Satan into doing deeds that God somehow managed to turn in His favor.
God will work through whoever is willing and able, regardless of the limitations we humans long to put on each other. God's spirit is not bound by this physical world or our limited view of His power.
The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7