Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: MAIL (02/18/16)
- TITLE: Tim #3
By Noel Mitaxa
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You probably weren’t expecting this letter, as I haven't written for so long.
My eyesight wasn’t too clear back then,(1) but now, you wouldn’t believe how it’s improved. Not to dwell on all that I can see―let me just say that it’s been well worth the wait.(2) More than enough compensation for all the hassles I know you’ve been going through, quite apart from what came my way.
Still, I know your family roots are strong, and I’m thrilled to see you maturing as a strong and faithful pastor―wise enough to share your ministry with other gifted people. It’s gratifying to see that they are unafraid to mentor younger leaders who are also maturing.(3) I have adopted you in the same way that Barney the Encourager did for me, because I had so much to unlearn about God’s judgements and to learn instead about his grace.(4)
Today I’m writing out of concern about those who are twisting my advice to you, particularly about the place of women in the church. Remember when I said they should be silent, and that I would never permit women to take authority over men? (5)
These twisters are perverting God’s grace; turning those comments into laws. Harsh stuff when my stress on silence referred to those women were interrupting the worship with their questions and comments from the rear of the room. You’d also know that when I had earlier urged your flock to pray for all those in authority, it was so our lives should be peaceful(6)―not silent―and I used the same word in both cases! Please bring that fact to those legalists’ attention.
As for women not taking authority, I meant taking authority―by underhanded methods(7) that throw open the back door, creating uncertainty that causes leaders to keep looking over their shoulder; instead of focusing on God’s call forward through any risks. It’s worth repeating: that the fear of men is a snare, but to trust in the Lord is to be safe. (8) You’ll have noticed my sign-off in my letter to the church at Rome, where I greet many women―by name―whose church leadership back then was clear and honoured because they recognised the trust within Jesus’ Lordship, a trust they never tried to abuse.
You have valued the input of your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, (10) and Apollos happily acknowledges how Priscilla and her husband Aquila corrected his doctrinal errors. (11)
You’ll see my recommendations for women worship leaders in my letters to my fractured friends at Corinth; how they should have some kind of head covering whenever they publicly pray or prophesy.(12) Why should I advise this if they have no place in public worship? Remember that Philip’s four daughters all prophesied(13)―publicly? Imagine if all their fresh messages from God were to be trapped within their household. How would that extend the blessing God intended for them?
There’s so much more that I’d love to share with you, but let me assure you how much more enjoyable ministry becomes when we realize that it is humanly impossible.(14)
God bless you, my son in the faith.(15)
1 An inference from Gal 6: 11 and Acts 23:5
2: 1 Cor 2:9, 2 Tim 4: 7 – 8
3: 2 Tim 2:2
4: Romans 8:3
5: 1 Tim 2: 11-12
6: 1 Tim 2: 2
7: 1 Tim 2: 12
8: Proverbs 29: 25
9: Romans 16: 1 – 15
10: 2 Tim 1: 5
11: Acts 18: 24-26
12: 1 Corinthians 11: 5-6
13: Acts 21: 9
14: Ephesians 3: 20-21
15: 1 Tim 1:2
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