This Sunday Pastor Scott started off a new series on1st Timothy. As someone who has grown up in the church, I was able to relate with it. To this day I know people in all kinds of ministries have used the idea of “holiness” as a competition.
Representing Jesus is a big deal to me. In my walk (and I feel everyone can probably relate to this sometime in their life), I have wanted to look the part. “Dress to impress”, right?!?! I’ve wanted to help out at church, talk “Christianese”, start a ministry, etc. In doing so, my faith has been hindered so many times because I feel the person across from me is getting a “higher score” in whatever Jesus wants to call his video-game.
1st Timothy is a letter from Paul to Timothy in Ephesus, what I remember from Pastors Scott’s words on Sunday was how much he highlighted the fact that Paul was telling Timothy straight up that people were going to “twist God’s words to meet their agenda”. Today, people twist God’s words to meet their agenda all the time!
Can I confess something? In the past, even I myself have twist God’s words to meet my agenda. It doesn’t mean God is going to love me any less for it. I feel this letter and the message Pastor Scott spoke on Sunday was an opportunity to remember who the Holy One is in our walk with Christ. If we live in a state of law, constantly trying to one-up each other, we aren’t going to do anything but get exhausted and hurt one another. But, if we live in a state of grace, having the law there for us to look at and remember how much we “can’t”, we seat God on the throne. We take His righteousness for our own. This means we don’t have to worry about anyone else because everyone is equal. Jesus did what he did for a reason, and it starts with us remembering God’s words as His own and reminding ourselves each day where we stand with Him.
If you ask me? We stand in a pretty good place.
When I was growing up my parents taught me a lot of things. However, the most important thing I remember learning from them was that everyone was created equal. This meant that I grew up believing specifically that both men and women were equal. I was raised to believe that being a woman didn’t disqualify me from anything; as long as I set my mind on something I could achieve it. My brother was also raised to believe that he could achieve anything he set his mind on.
My church had a very heavy hand in this belief as well ~
The church I was raised in was a Foursquare Church, so obviously I grew up believing that women in ministry wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. When I began attending Life Pacific College I was surprised to learn that our denomination is one of the few denominations that actually believe in women in ministry. Who knew? Let’s just say that it was a huge change to attend LIFE where “women in ministry” was mentioned in every class since I came from a church where it was just “ministry”. It was hard to grasp that people actually believed that women shouldn’t be leading in the church, let alone talking—with the exception of women’s ministry of course because only women can lead women!
This Sunday, Pastor Scott busted the myth that women shouldn’t speak up in church. He did this by taking one of the most commonly misinterpreted passages where people find the fuel for their arguments against women in ministry, and tearing it apart. Pastor Scott read 1 Timothy 2:8-15 and he shared the background and context of the letter as a whole. In doing so, we see that Paul wasn’t telling Timothy that women couldn’t be involved in ministry or speak up in the church. Actually, Paul was encouraging the women to learn in quietness and submission (to their teachers). In order to avoid the spreading of false teachings, Paul wanted the women to learn the truth first before speaking up in the church.
Ironically, I never argued with people on this issue~
In the past I believed that women should not simply be allowed in ministry, but encouraged in it. However, I never knew the facts. I never took the time to actually read and discover the truth about what the Bible said concerning this controversial subject. Not fully understanding the truth behind the text, I never put myself in a position to debate it.
I think this is what Paul was trying to avoid~
Paul didn’t want to silence the women in the church; he wanted to make sure that what the women were speaking was the truth.