A Woman’s Conduct – 1 Timothy 2:9-15 (Part 1)

There are many things misunderstand by the world when they glance at the Scriptures. 1 Timothy 2:9-15 is no different. Even followers of Christ have been known to misinterpret such a passage. This face emphasizes all the more the need for careful study of any text – especially every inch of the Bible!

In verse 9-15 we see a call for women to not make themselves a distraction in the church. To be clear, we are talking about within church gatherings and functions – especially worship times.

“I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments,” (v. 9)

When we look into the original Greek it was written and the context, we see a few things:

  1. This is a command. Not a suggestion or opinion. The command goes to each individual woman and not some sort of external “fashion police”.
  2. “adorn” comes from the Greek word kosmeo. It is the same word cosmetics comes from. It encompasses not only clothing but the entire person – the whole look as well as demeanor.
  3. “modestly and discreetly”. Modest specifically has sexual overtones. The idea is to avoid dressing in seductive or suggestive ways in the worship of God. This includes how she carries herself. “discreet” is aimed at being self-controlled such that she isn’t flaunting her sexuality.
  4. The overall idea here is not to institute a bunch of external rules but that a woman in public worship would cultivate a heart that exemplifies a personal intent to not draw others away from the true point of being at the public worship – to glorify God in worship.
  5. The remaining points about hair and jewelry has a cultural element. We must not forget that the original Greek letter was written to a particular audience. In those times, elaborately braided hair was a way to show off to people that a woman could afford what was commonly considered an extravagant luxury. Even in our own culture today, there would be counterparts to such a practice as you think about it. The same goes for the costly garments and jewelry. It was common then to dress up in such things when you wanted to flaunt your wealth in those times – not something that is beneficial in a worship time. Committing to such elaborate actions would be a clear sign of vanity.
  6. The passage also speaks to the practices of prostitutes who would also deliberately dress and decorate themselves in ways to draw attention to themselves. Not a manner one should emulate when the point is to gather to worship God.

Following on the heels is verse 10:

but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.

Intent of the heart flows out into one’s actions. A woman following after God will make clear such intent in her actions resulting in good works that ultimately point back to the God that has influenced their heart to act so.

No where is this passage saying women cannot wear nice things to church, have nice hair, or wear jewelry. The core, the chief point is the intent of the heart and the actions that flow out of this. This will naturally include a cultural sensitivity to the norms the people of the gathering are most accustomed in the surrounding culture to gauge what would be excessive. In my mind, what would be considered typically great to look like at prom wouldn’t be a good idea for church worship (as an example).

On the points of culture, no where do I intend to suggest that culture should trump Scripture. In what has been said so far, the point was to bring attention and understanding to the context of the audience Paul was writing to in 1 Timothy. This context helps us to understand the reason for why the particular words were stated in this letter as they were. It would be no different today. We see politicians deliberately ripping what opponents have said out of the original context in order to twist the original meaning to their own ends. Considering the context of any particular passage in Scripture helps us to ensure we avoid twisting the original meaning of the text as it was written and reading the Greek helps all the more with this.


Continue onto Part 2.


A Woman’s Conduct – 1 Timothy 2:9-15 (Part 1)

A Hiatus & Updates

I’m taking a “hiatus” away from the many things that have been monopolizing my time and from those things taking away my focus.

I’m narrowing my focus to the following:

  • Web Design
  • School work for seminary
  • Blogging

This new focus scheme means more of my time will be narrowed in which includes this blog. This will include additional posts – as has occurred this week – on other items outside the series that posts on Sundays.

I also mentioned before that everything will be funneling through this site now which includes a new page under About called News & Updates. This will be the one-stop place to see previous posts from the early days of the blog on such a topic to more recent entries that will be directly written on the page. It will follow a journal format with the most recent entry listed at the top.

That’s all for now!

God bless!

Torn & Seduction

A pastor friend of my father’s once stated upon his impending return to his own country in part of Africa that he actually couldn’t wait to get back. Why?

While it isn’t just an American problem, the seduction of idols is rampant in the United States today. Materialism, in particular, has created a wealth of items that people daily prostrate themselves before. The seduction is made all the more complete by the fact that most cannot even see that they’ve been seduced by the things around them.

While my Dad’s friend had to face persecutions in his country, he would rather take on that than the seduction of the idols that are so rampant today in the West.

Yes, many of these these things we tie ourselves to are fine in and of themselves. In fact, many such items bring much joy to our lives. As always, the failure is in us. We are all too easily seduced by the ease, the entertainment, and the pleasure to the point that we look to what is around us as our reason for living.

I work to pay for my games.

I live to play basketball.

If I didn’t have (insert item), I don’t know what I’d do with myself.

I myself am not immune to such error. Seduction is embedded into our culture to the point it impacts our very thinking. I have found myself even saying, “well there’s nothing really wrong with watching this or playing that” and that thought or the item referenced wasn’t wrong for me to think or say, but there’s a pattern.

There’s a pattern here in which I know I should be spending my time more wisely on eternal things. That I should be spending my time on other people. That I should be spending my time doing what I already know I should be doing before God – instead I return to what has seduced me away. “Like the dog to his vomit.”

To be clear, seduction isn’t about sex. It is anything that turns your attention away. It is enticing. It is tempting. So many today who would call themselves Christian do not even spend regular time seeking out God, the one they claim to be devoted to with the title Christian. Why? Because they’ve been lead away. They’ve been seduced and a seduction allowed to complete ultimately brings destruction though it may seem pleasant and even fulfilling in the interim.

What are you seduced by? Seriously consider it.

I may regularly write this blog but I must struggle against this same seductive element of my culture just as you should if you mean to be a Christian. Seriously consider and routinely re-evaluate how you spend your time.

Set priorities with God at the top and stick to them!

I am praying for you. Please pray for me too!


 

Father’s Day and more

It is now after 5:30pm where I’m at in the US.

Today is Father’s Day around here and I wanted to say a

Happy Father’s Day!

to all you father’s out there! Being a father is an awesome job and one that is sorely lacking in multiple countries today (some are better off than others).

There won’t be a definition post today, just this one, but I wanted to take the time to thank especially father’s but also anyone who fulfills a parenting role. You all do so much for the next generation and it is what you do that sets the stage for the next chapter in the societies of our world.

Always remember to be patient and bearing and above all -> direct the family to look to God for their guidance!


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Baptism

What exactly is baptism?

Dictionary.com

noun
  1. Ecclesiasticala ceremonial immersion in water, or application of water, as an initiatory rite or sacrament of the Christian church.
  2. any similar ceremony or action of initiation, dedication, etc.
  3. a trying or purifying experience or initiation.

Etymonline.com

“initiatory sacrament of the Christian faith, consisting in immersion in or application of water by an authorized administrator,” c. 1300, bapteme, from Old French batesme, bapteme “baptism” (11c., Modern French baptême), from Latin baptismus, from Greek baptismos, noun of action from baptizein (see baptize). The -s- was restored in late 14c.

The signification, qualifications, and methods of administration have been much debated. Figurative sense “any ceremonial ablution as a sign of purification, dedication, etc.” is from late 14c. Old English used fulluht in this sense (John the Baptist was Iohannes se Fulluhtere).

Phrase baptism of fire “a soldier’s first experience of battle” (1857) translates French baptême de feu; the phrase originally was ecclesiastical Greek baptisma pyros and meant “the grace of the Holy Spirit as imparted through baptism;” later it was used of martyrdom, especially by burning.


Discussion/Explanation

As you can see, the term has had some variant use. Even so, the focus here is on what you see in definition #1 from dictionary.com.

Baptism, while it has initiate qualities, more specifically display death to one’s old self and rising anew as a believer in Jesus Christ. Practices surrounding this sacrament have varied throughout church history.

Of the various baptism varitions, each can be easily placed into one of two categories of baptism:

  1. Credobaptism
  2. Paedobaptism

Credotbaptism is the baptism of professing believers. It involves the public profession of faith from the believer accompanied with entire-body immersion in water. [cred- (latin) refers to a creed or profession; often called “believer’s baptism”]

  • The Baptists (hence the name) are some of the most well-known connected to this practice.
  • The water immersion could take place in a river, lake, pool, etc. Some Christian traditions will only baptize in running water (usually a river).

Paedobaptism is the baptism done upon infants or young children. This could include immersion, dunking, or sprinkling with water. [paed- comes from Greek pais which means “child”]

  • Entire households are considered to be part of the Covenant of Grace if the parents are believers. Therefore, it is the parent’s belief that is looked to instead of the Child’s belief.
  • Baptism is considered the sign of the covenant just as circumcision was the sign of covenant found in the Old Testament.
  • For variations on paedobaptism (current & historical), see the list within the Paedobaptist post.

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Bearing

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” NIV Luke 14:26-27

To “bear our cross” as His disciples means to value Christ above all else, even family. Many can find this idea shocking. Let me unpack it.

Christ is not saying that we should not care for our family or our own lives. However, he is saying that we should not put them in the same place as Him. Christ should be first, everything (and everyone) comes second. This may sound cold but it is only through closely following Christ that we can learn to be the people we ought to be. This includes loving rightly.

With the above in mind, if we do not follow Christ and His example first and foremost, everything else suffers, including our love and care for family and self. Matthew 6:33 points to what is also a popular Christian song: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

We cannot truly know and act out love without first following His example and the kingdom He represents. This goes for more than simply love. Even the desires of our hearts are met by first seeking after Christ. Through walking this path, we come to know the will of God for us and grow closer to Him and even like Him. As this happens, what we want in life may change as we come more in line with the mind of Christ. In this we truly “bear our cross”, to be more like Him in everything.


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Paedobaptist

This is a simple definition of terms article.

Paedobaptist = child baptizer, these are those who baptize their children in the Christian faith.

This is different from credobaptist which quite literally means “I believe baptist”. In other words, credobaptists are those Christians who believe only those who profess faith in Christ is to be baptized.


For further study:

The following are varying views, theologically (the study of God wise), among the paedobaptists. Feel free to look them up for your own studies.

Fides Aliena

Fides Infusa

Fides Infantium

Sacramental Symbolism

Pre-credobaptism

Presumptive Regeneration

Baptismal Regeneration

Paedofaith


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Prayer

Prayer is an activity that many Christians, including myself, seem to struggle to do consistently today. We often either allow ourselves to become too distracted and/or we fail to be intentional in setting aside time to do it. Of course, we have no real excuse as prayer can be done anytime anywhere. Much of mine occurs (outside of church times) before bed or while in the car – you don’t have to close your eyes to pray.

Even so, this is not what I want to talk about here today. Instead, I want to emphasize some of the things prayer does for us.

  1. It humbles us. As we pray, we recognize that it is God who is in control ultimately and not us as we take our concerns, desires, and even calls for mercy to Him.
  2. We find strength in it. Heb. 4:14-16 speaks of the fact that we have Jesus Christ as our mediator to God the Father who has experienced every struggle in life. In other words, He can perfectly sympathize and so we can approach God with confidence and find grace.
  3. It helps us to cast away anxiety. Anxiety comes as we pridefully try to shoulder all things ourselves rather than take them to God. When we humble ourselves in prayer, we are given the opportunity to cast all concerns on Him (see 1 Peter 5:6-7). He also promises His peace when we do this (Phil. 4:6-7).
  4. As we thank God for the blessings we do receive, despite whatever negative situations we find ourselves in, we learn and reinforce a state of contentment from our thanksgiving that helps us to push away anxieties in this world.
  5. We can take confidence in God that He answers prayer. Not only do we know that we have a perfect mediator in Christ, but we also have numerous examples in Scripture of God answering prayer. Yes, it may not be in the way we desire at times, but He does answer in His time and I can speak from my own experiences as well that He does answer.
  6. Through it, we find comfort in times of trouble. Ps. 50:15
  7. …and on

There are many things written on prayer and I do not intend this to be exhaustive. Even so, I do think these points are good reminders of what we gain from prayer as it puts us into the right mind we are called to as followers of Christ. Ultimately, prayer brings God glory which in turn works to bring us joy in Him as it is in that state of bringing God glory that we find our greatest fulfillment.


For further reading on prayer:

https://www.monergism.com/search?keywords=prayer&format=All


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Agape

As stated in the previous post, agape love is the sort that is emphasized in Scripture. It can be described as self-sacrificial love and others outside of the Bible often refer to it as willful or mindful love (as it requires an act of the will). Just as before, it doesn’t matter what we ultimately call it. The point is that it is the sort of love God emphasizes and models throughout the Scriptures.

Even in the various “forms” or “types” love can come in or be expressed, the Scriptures point toward the Agape form of love. Christ did this on the cross, giving up His own life to pay the penalty for our sins that we rightfully deserved. He calls all those who would follow Him to “take up their cross” and follow His example in every element of their lives. In other words, Christians are to live out Agape love in all that they do.

This includes in marriage. From the Greek, we often think of the word Eros for the erotic and intimate love expressed by a couple. However, this type in itself is deficient without Agape. Why? Because Eros alone, despite it finding joy in the beauty of the body, all too easily leads to an idolatry of the body as well as a self-seeking for one’s own pleasure derived therein. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the intimacy that comes with the married bed. In fact, God wants us to enjoy it. Even so, we must remember to be self-sacrificial in our love in marriage (whether in the bedroom or in daily activities).

A specific example of this is aimed particularly at husbands in Ephesians 5:28

“In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”

And to give a little more context: (v 25-30)

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of His body.”

It is mindful, it does require work, and (most importantly) it is what we are called to bring to our actions as Christians.


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