Last week I put a post out there about Women in Ministry dealing with I Timothy 2. Click Here to view, Is The Bible Sexist? – Women in Ministry Part 1.
This is a very controversial and interesting topic. The reason I write about it is because how we view this passage and other passages in particular effect much of how we approach the most important thing in life. The most important thing in life is the building of the Kingdom of God in our families, communities and our world.
It is sad and interesting at the same time when a young girl grows up in the church and falls in love with the Word of God. Pastors, Youth Pastors and committed laity all look on as this young girl begins to teach children, this turns into speaking to the church after a convention or a mission trip, which then can sometimes turn into preaching or teaching adults.
Sometimes you see leadership gifts showing up in a young girl, and so how churches and their leaders process these verses in I Timothy 2 guides how that plays out. I have met girls who have been called to preach, but hindered by their parents or pastor, because girls just can’t do that. Imagine feeling like you need to obey God, but your pastor or Christian parents are telling you God is not telling you that, because girls don’t do that. What a mess? We have a responsibility to thoroughly work through this important issue. The wrong position hinders the Kingdom.
Now there are some important things to consider. You must read the Bible, it is not to read you. A friend of mine recently told me, “Objectivity is a force that doesn’t exist in nature.” It is true. No one has the capacity to be 100% objective.
Most people know this so what we do to make us feel comfortable is we hide behind certain buzz words. After last weeks post I had a few interactions with people talking about my application of culture to scripture. A common response is; “If you believe in the inerrancy of scripture you can’t just change the meaning of something to fit your idea.” I respect that.
So when I apply the Artemis Cult knowledge to the application to the is text, we must approach the Word of God with respect. We are looking for accuracy and not for the safe bet. The work of a true theological thinker is the search for truth.
There is a scene in the movie Armageddon where A.J. (Ben Affleck) is doing an underwater exercise with a simulator to the machine Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis) desigined. This machine is designed to land on an asteroid headed towards earth and drill a hole deep enough to put explosives in the hole and blow it up from the inside. A.J. with mixed motives who wants to win the approval of Harry, is running the drill team and goes against the advice of the advisors speaking into the headset. The simulation fails.
When A.J. gets out of the tank. Harry is asked, “Do we want to get rid of this guy?” There is pressure to replace him. A.J. and Harry have words. When A.J. is told to stop showing off and doing his own thing, he tells him, “the simulator is just playing it safe. The machine you built would have worked.”
In Christianity we hide behind Biblical inerrancy sometimes. Two people were talking. Paul was talking to Timothy. The main problem he was addressing in I Timothy 2 is due to the theology of the Artemis cult. The Artemis Cult got Paul thrown out of Ephesus. It brought no small business to the blacksmiths. It influenced the local economy. But the thinking of Artemis stood in sharp contrast to the Christianity that was breaking into the culture in Ephesus (Acts 20-21).
It is important to not use culture as an excuse to make something mean something it doesn’t, but we can’t make safe assumptions that are not accurate either. On social media I posted a Meme that was poking fun at Athiest. I talked about believing there was nothing and nothing deciding to do something, and now there is something that is everywhere, that sort of idea. A young guy I know, commented and said F&*()&*)& That!
That is all he said. In my mind the first thought is he is opposing my view point. Now, knowing this guy from being his chaplain I knew that wasn’t the case. He is a believer, he is young, culturally he was supporting my Christian idea by saying that word. Now in church your pastor wouldn’t say it. It will not get you far in the church board meeting or in most work settings, it isn’t the word I would use. But, in context I knew that he said that in support of what I was talking about.
In the first century a conversation was going on between Paul and Timothy. The elders and other people of the church would have had access to Paul’s words as well, but there was a problem that needed solved. Paul needed to address it and he did. He addressed it by telling Timothy don’t let the Artemis Theology influence you. These women who have come out of that have influenced the entire culture. Men need to be teaching and leading here. Order in the church in this region starts here. Paul gives other instructions for other churches that seem to compete with this idea. How can that be? Because our simulator is just playing it safe, the machine God built can take it. So if your view point is to be obedient to the word of God women can’t be pastors, don’t disqualify them so fast. When it comes to preaching men have taught me about how to treat the text, but women preachers seem to have a natural advantage when it comes to learning how to connect with an audience.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment. I ain’t mad at ya!