I went to my home church for the first time in several Sundays yesterday. I enjoyed seeing faces I hadn’t seen in a while. There was a lot of hugging and “so good to see you’s”. The people there are warm and friendly. They love me and I know it. I love them, too. That’s what makes all of this so hard. Because when they realize I don’t believe like them anymore I’ll be an outsider. Not because they don’t love me, but because they’ll think I’m destined for hell and try to save me from myself. Many will be disappointed. How do I handle this? I’m not certain.
I’m thinking maybe it was a mistake to go yesterday. Their worldview and mine don’t match at all anymore. For lack of a better analogy, I felt like a whore on the front pew. It almost felt like everybody there could hear what I was thinking. Could they tell I was thinking heretical thoughts?
It’s spring break here so there were only two of us in Sunday School in our normal class of ten to twelve. I found myself at odds with the very first scripture and the very first question asked. Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write to you again about this is no trouble for me and is a protection for you. Phil. 3:1
The teacher starts out, “For the believer God’s commands are a protection from self-destruction. How do non-believers view God’s commands?”
Other attendee: “Unbelievers reject God’s commands because they don’t want to be accountable. Men want to go out and party and have adulterous affairs and not feel they have to answer for it. Women want to drink and have one-night stands and not feel guilty.”
Me: “That’s assuming the unbeliever behaves that way. Just because someone is an unbeliever doesn’t automatically make them immoral. Is it fair to assume because someone doesn’t believe that they also are lying, stealing, adulterous heathens? I don’t think so. I know many unbelievers who behave more Christ-like than believers I know.”
Other attendee: “Okay, maybe they aren’t doing anything really bad. But they want to just sleep in on Sunday morning instead of go to church. They just don’t want accountability.”
Me: “Do you really think that they really know there’s a God and they just reject his rules? Closing their eyes and pretending He can’t see them won’t make God go away. Do you think they’re that small-minded?”
Teacher: “As believers we know we should accept God’s rules as protection for our lives. The black and white ones are easy, it’s the gray areas we have trouble with. Now to our next scripture.”
Just like that she reigned it back in and changed direction. I made them very uncomfortable I could tell so I dropped it and stayed fairly quiet for the rest of the hour. I wasn’t there to hijack the teacher’s lesson.
Then I decided I’d stay for worship service. I hadn’t been to that since sometime in February. Then I looked at the preacher’s sermon text. First Timothy 2:9-15, A Godly Woman. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. I listened intently because I thought maybe there was something in this I was supposed to learn. Pastor Mike had prepared an outline and I took notes.
I. The Style of a Godly woman – vs. 9-10
A. Her appearance – vs 9a
Should be one of order. People should not be shocked by a woman’s appearance. It should be one of modesty with humility and a soundness of mind. Women are emotional by nature so they should be in control of their passions and emotions. She should attract attention to Christ and not to herself. A woman should strive to please God first in her attire and then she should be concerned with pleasing her husband with her clothing and attire. This does not mean that she isn’t to wear makeup or jewelry or to dress attractively, just that it shouldn’t be her first priority and it should never be done to bring attention to herself.
B. Her attractiveness – vs 9b-10
The emphasis ought to be on attitude, not appearance.
II. The Silence of a Godly Woman
A. Her Attitude – vs 11-12
These verses speak to the attitude of a woman. She should not usurp male authority. Males are designed to be in a leadership position. Women should subject themselves to that authority willingly and not try to take positions that do not belong to them. Men should be willing to lead. The main reason women are in leadership positions is because men are not leading. They have relinquished their authority and if things are going to get done the women step up. They do the praying, they do the teaching, they do the leading. It is a failure on the men’s part. If the men would lead with their God-given authority women would and should subject themselves readily to that.
B. Her Assignment – vs 13-14
This does not mean that women are to sit silently and never speak up in church. The context of this passage was that Timothy was having a problem with improper use of gifts. Women being the emotional creatures they are were disrupting church speaking in tongues. This means that worship is to be orderly and reverently. It does not mean that women aren’t to teach Sunday School. They aren’t to take leadership roles in worship. This does not mean that Adam is less sinful than Eve, but this is a matter of priority. God created man first to be the protector and teacher of woman. What a sorry excuse Adam was for a man that he let the serpent tempt Eve right in front of him and didn’t say a word.
III The Security of a Godly Woman – v 15
The only way a woman can feel secure is to be what God called her to be – a wife and a mother.
I should have stayed in bed. *sigh*