Monday 12 April 2021


1 Timothy 2.

In the first chapter Paul stressed the danger of false teachers, and the danger of straying from sound doctrine. In this chapter he wants to help Timothy control public worship, and to give guidance on praying care for all, and relating to women in the Church.

Regularly people leaving the Church, some through death or illness, or other necessities, but it is an irrefutable fact that the Church is forcing them to leave.

Only in this morning’s news it is announced that the Archbishop of Canterbury compared the Church of England to the Nazis in Germany in their attitude to minorities and in future ethnic representatives will be able to vote on senior appointments. Cathedrals are to remove any statue which may offend.  This is in response to Black lives matter representation (How did we get this man, does he not know BLM is a left wing political force.)  There is no comparison to those wonderful Christians in the black Pentecostal Churches.

Where the Church does fail mightily is in its response to losing a member.  So often the lost person is not contacted, and a reason sought, and then rectified.  Ministers spend far too much time wasting in committees and meetings.

The Church consists of a worshipping people in words taken from the Ten Commandments, and should be a force for evangelism, leading more people to follow Jesus. The Church must reach out across the world to offer salvation to all, for God wants all people to be saved, for no one is beyond redemption.  This means we must pray for people.

Paul mentions prayers, intercessions, requests, which in fact mean the same, but then there is thanksgiving.  It is so easy to find God, but so often people do not look to thank God for answering.

Paul states we must pray for Kings, Queens and all in authority. I find this a hard task to ask when I see even members of the royal family and Prime Ministers following a course of life which leads people astray. I think also there should be a caveat that evil men like Hitler, Stalin, etc, can order and carry out such brutality as they did. Clement of Rome added, regarding prayer, ‘grant them O Lord health peace and stability that they may cause no offence in administering the gift you have given’.  This enables us to pray for those in authority to  be able to maintain peace and stability and protect the citizens.

God wants all to be saved and Jesus went to the Cross to support this, he gave his life for this to be achieved. John 3, v16, ‘for God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son in order to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through him’.  Jesus  acted as a ransom for us, that is purchasing our release, a substitution dying for sinners.

Paul wants men to pray in the biblical manner, which is lifting arms up to God begging for an answer to that which is being prayed for.

Women are asked to dress with modesty, but that does not mean as if in mourning or dowdy style. I have seen women being criticized for their dress, (usually by other women) for wearing bright dresses in church. 

What Paul is trying to convey, is that women should not dress ostentatiously or seductively, as some ladies know they are physically attractive and are often anxious to reveal the gifts they have been blessed with,  in order to draw attention to themselves. Jewelry is acceptable but not to excess

Paul refers to the one true God. The God of the Bible and one mediator Jesus Christ.  There is no need to have a priest to whom you must confess and receive absolution; Jesus does this.

Other faiths may have their own gods, but it shows lack of knowledge when people say we all worship the one God, we certainly od not. In fairness, Islam would never accept worship of a God of Israel, with a Jewish Savior and 12 Jewish Apostles. They do not believe any God had a Son. Hindus and Buddhists do not accept the Cross and what it  means. People must accept their id a difference and respect the right of people to worship as they believe without friction between faiths.

False teachers were speaking genealogies which was a waste of time which should have been given to preaching doctrine in accordance with the teaching of the Apostles which would produce a pure heart rather than one filled with sin, and a good conscience rather than one filled with guilt, and a sincere faith and not hypocrisy.

Paul talks of himself as an herald, one who goes out and proclaims to the people that which his King has told him to do, and not to add his own opinion or comment. Paul is a witness, one who was present at an event and can give a first-hand account of what took place. He is also an envoy, one who represents his King in another country, and finally he is a teacher, one who explains facts and explains meaning.

We come to a controversial verse which is not a popular one for preachers anxious to avoid trouble. I have notice commentators do not give much space to an explanation, but here I go.

A favorite answer is, it was written under the influence of a Jewish culture and referred  specifically to women in churches. I am not sure it is as simple as that, for Paul knew his Letters would be seen long after he was with his Lord in heaven. He states  ‘I do not permit women to teach or exercise authority over a man’.   Here he is speaking as an Apostle not as just giving an opinion.

Paul goes on to refer to the order of creation to support his statement, but I fear that if women were barred from holding any Office in the Church, it would collapse..

There are some cults within the Church who go to excess, such as a Brethren meeting I attended as a guest years ago and I noticed a lady was present and never spoke a word when I knew she was a very intelligent woman.  When I asked why this was, I was told a woman must not speak when a man is present. Such is pure discourtesy and discrimination.

Four explanations have been offered to suggest what Paul might have meant. One the time of the culture; only women who were wives were meant; could not challenge a man’s decision; and a woman could hold office if under leadership of a man.

Humanity of people means this question will never be resolved this side of heaven, for neither opinion will be able to give way. In the Church of England and the Roman Church, there are bishops leading dioceses, surely if a woman is holding Office in the Church she will be as qualified as a man for she is, like the male Minister, under the leadership of the bishop.

When the big campaign to ordinate women took place in the 1980s all women wanted it was said, was to become priests, they were not seeking to be bishops.  Some people actually believed that. Of course within weeks that was on its way out and some fierce competition began, and we have had women instituted as bishops.  From remarks some have made on appointment (oh dear).

If we turn to the most appropriate source for guidance, our Lord himself, it will be seen he never appointed a woman Apostle, yet he was not one to be influenced by culture of the day.  As a man and rabbi, he did the unthinkable in helping a woman by a well.  He cleansed another woman who was devoted to him. Yet although he could have done, he never took the opportunity of making a woman Apostle.

We should not overlook other factors regarding women, especially the indirect support given. The cleaning, after service refreshments, flower arrangements.  Ministers wives often make an impact. My wife was very popular with each congregation and was invaluable to the people who wanted me to know something which they didn’t want to tell me themselves. She was also an ear for those looking to tell their troubles.

Let me quote a more relevant example. Some few years ago I met a lady who originally came from Africa to live in this country.  In over 40 years in the Church ministry, I never met any man or woman with such a capacity for praying. In addition, she has been most supportive and inspirational for me personally, my regret is that I have not known her longer. Is she less worthy of holding Church Office than a man who is living in a way which Scripture condemns, or even a bishop who wants the Bible teaching on marriage to be abandoned, or an Archbishop who told a clergyman that if he wished to teach sexuality in accordance with the Bible, there was no place for him in the Church.  I think not.

I think the greatest need we have in the Church is for our leaders to be just that, leading. An ideal leader is one wo does so by example and by exercising discipline over themselves. If one is to lead in the Church, such discipline will be to follow the commands of the supreme commander who told his Apostles to go out into the world and make disciples by following and keeping to the words of the King

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