How many of you like receiving presents?
Big. Small. Shiny. Wrapped nicely in a box and topped with a bow.
Today my reflection was based on a discussion I had awhile back with a young gentleman who was leaving our church because the pastor was a woman and he suddenly realized that we were all living in sin.
I had to dig deeper to understand what brought this on, after all, he had been raised in the church and during his lifetime of 20 years the church had only one male pastor (when he was a baby) and the other 3 were female pastors. I knew he had started to hang around a new set of male friends at another church but didn’t realize the vastness of how things were changing in his life.
He went on to state that Paul noted in the bible that women should be silent. He didn’t remember where in the bible and I quietly said to him 1 Timothy 2:12 and started to read it to him. He was very excited that I knew the verse and I asked him, “do you know the context of why Paul wrote this?” He didn’t really know so I went on to explain that in those days, women by law were not allowed to study. Paul did not want Ephesian women to teach because they didn’t yet have enough knowledge or experience. At the time, the Ephesians had a huge problem with false teachers, and these women were especially vulnerable to those teachings (1 Timothy 3:1-9) because they didn’t have sufficient bible knowledge for discernment of the truth.
Unfortunately this young man remained adamant in his belief that all women should remain silent. As he spoke I prayed and asked God for wisdom and to use my mouth as his vessel. What came out of my mouth next awed me…
“Who are you to put God in a box? Why do you feel you have the right to tell God who he should breathe the Holy Spirit in to teach his word?”
The young man fell silent. So did I. My eyes were filled with tears running down my face. My heart was full of love and compassion for this young man. Everything within me wanted to argue more for the Lord but I heard his next words to me very clearly. “Be silent now my child”.
Are you also putting God in a box?
There are many debates on this topic (women teaching) and in all things my Lord reminds me to go to scripture and read what he says. The bible clearly teaches us of women who prophesied, testified and witnessed. Some examples of these leading women included:
* Priscilla who taught Apollos, the greatest preacher (Acts 18:24-26)
* Mary Magdalene testimony of Jesus’ resurrection (Mark 16:10-11, John 20:17-18)
* Elizabeth who was filled by the Holy Spirit and prophesied (Luke 1:41-45)
* The Samaritan woman at the well who after meeting Jesus witnessed to the townspeople (John 4:28)
We are ALL called to spread the good news: “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.” 2 Corinthians 2:14
We are reminded that we need to obey and take that first step in Romans 10:15-15 “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!””
Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from spreading the good news. Pray and ask God to guide you.
There are too many people trying to put our God in a box!
Go. Take those beautiful feet and obey HIS commands.