1Timothy and my Daughter

The other evening, my daughter told me she read something in the Bible that really shook her. It was this passage from 1Timothy:
Women should learn quietly and submissively. I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly. For God made Adam first, and afterward he made Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result. But women will be saved through childbearing, assuming they continue to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty.
As you can imagine, this was really upsetting to her. She has recently had a very profound experience with Jesus and is seeking to serve God with all she can. And then she reads that passage and is really shaken by it.

I reminded her about a recent conversation we had about studying and doing the work of a historian. At the time, she said that she really didn't see the need for such an in-depth study. As I explained it again, I emphasized the importance of just that type of work when reading a passage, especially one that doesn't really seem to fit with the rest of the story as she understands it. I stressed once more the need to understand the context -- to whom the letter was written, when it was written, what was the socio-economical culture, etc. -- to help understand a passage and to see if God is leading you to make something within it applicable.

'So I'm just supposed to pick and choose what to follow?' 'Yes...In a way.' I then gave an example of the Old Testament laws for the Jewish people, the 'sacrificial laws' of the old covenant system, and how they don't apply today. 'That is a passage that has nothing to do with us. Why is that? Because the context has changed.'

We then had a rather lengthy discussion about 'modern' scholars and how a lot of them don't even think Paul wrote that letter, that it was written way after his death. 'Well, if Paul didn't write it, who did? Why is it in the Bible? Who decided what was in and what wasn't and why?' Boy! Talk about major lessons for one conversation!

I did my best to explain how we got the New Testament, and how even after the writings were 'canonized' there was still some discussions as to what should be included (Reformation). 'That's why the Protestant Bible doesn't have some books that the Catholic Bible does'.

The following day, I loaned her Borg's book The Heart of Christianity. I briefly explained how it was helpful to me in understanding the two major views of Christianity and how the 'emerging' way may really help her on her journey.

I posted this to show how much we need to mentor the new followers of Jesus! How much of the pain and suffering I have gone through would have been avoided if only someone was there to be a soul-friend. Someone to talk to me about these types of things before I just blindly started following what I was told. If I had been shown how to study and critically think for myself, a lot of years would not have to be undone. Of course, those years of learning help me to help others, so, I guess it wasn't all for naught.

In the Love of the Three in One,



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