Ephesians 4:11 (NIV) says: “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers“. Chris will discuss how this passage can reflect diverse priorities:
- Apostles (the face of the church) – Priority on image
- Pastors (protectors) – Priority on the family
- Evangelists – Priority beyond the family
- Prophets – Priority on new wisdom
- Teachers – Priority on established wisdom
Many bible commentaries claim that the diversity described in this passage decreased as the church evolved to its modern state. For example, Matthew Henry’s Commentary says:
The officers which Christ gave to his church were of two sorts—extraordinary ones advanced to a higher office in the church: such were apostles, prophets, and evangelists. …And then there are ordinary ministers, employed in a lower and narrower sphere; as pastors and teachers…how rich is the church, that had at first such a variety of officers and has still such a variety of gifts!
Chris will review evidence that Americans tend to segregate based on values without even realizing it, much as cells of the body segregate into organs, and that this evaluativism could explain the decrease of evaluative diversity in the church. A better understanding of this phenomenon (which spans sociology, neuroscience and genetics) may help us better judge whether it is possible, or desirable, to reduce such segregation.
If you want to know what recent science tells us about this kind of discrimination, you are invited to join Grace United Methodist Church for our regular Sunday service at 10:00 am on February 8 at 246 West Pearl Street in Belleville, WI.
Chris’ opinions do not necessary reflect the opinions of Grace UMC nor the United Methodist Church at large.