He admitted his weaknesses freely. It is we who tend to put Paul on a level with Jesus. Paul was the first to say that he wasn’t there yet and that his determined purpose was to press onward.
Concerning the issue of women in the church, I believe Paul was most likely speaking from his humanity. He of course had his own human biases, as we all do. What he said about allowing a woman to teach men or speak inside the church may not have been a revelation from God. It is possible that Paul’s every word wasn’t revelation. It could be that he was simply speaking from the position of his upbringing in a racist, paternalistic society.
We Christians have gone over this question of women preaching and teaching again and again. Some are sincere when they ask and some aren’t. I believe we can assess the hearts of those who ask in this way: does the questioner want to do God’s will, or does he or she simply want to strip power away from women, and use Paul’s words to do so? In my opinion, if the person looks to what Jesus has said, and specifically, what He told the women to do on Resurrection Sunday, the question can be answered. If the person instead looks to what the “religious folks” — the Pharisees, Saducees and Chief Priests have said, then we may have a clue to this “christian’s” true heart. IMHO of course.
So why do some want to take the gift of God from women? It’s our fallen natures and fearful, selfish hearts. It’s our Pharisee spirits to self exaltation. We aren’t interested in waiting for God to exalt us, and truth be told, some of us don’t even want exaltation from God. Some want the things of this world–vain boastings of the things of God, and the fame and riches that follow, and don’t want to share any of that “power” with others, certainly not “lowly” women!
If we use our discernment, we can determine that Paul is merely a human being, a vessel of God carrying very precious revelations from God. He’s not equal with Jesus in any way, and was quite well aware of that. He called himself the lowest of the apostles for having persecuted the church. He did all to remain humble and even God gave him a “thorn in his flesh” to keep him humble, telling him that His Grace was sufficient for him. God had entrusted an abundance of revelations to Paul and he could have easily became vain and proud because of it. Sort of the way he was before God chose him. The Apostle Paul also lamented that his fallen human nature tended towards doing evil, even when he didn’t want to! He dealt with the war between the spirit and the flesh! This is the lament of all human beings! So Paul himself had no illusions about himself. It’s we 21st century Christians who have the illusions, and tend to exalt Paul beyond where Paul wanted to be and where God intended for him. We don’t want to use discernment concerning some of the things he said which obviously could not be revelation because they contradict the things Jesus has said and done. From my perspective.
Let’s take the time to seek after and follow Jesus! Let’s study His Words and take on His yoke! He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life! We thank God for the gift of Paul and we respect his powerful anointing– the revelations that God entrusted to him! We give thanks and honor the Apostle Paul and his strong determination to follow God. Paul overcame many brutal obstacles in his quest to be obedient to God, and in his love for the people, and God highly exalted him for it. God has given us some of the most powerful biblical teachings that the world has ever known, the greater part of our Christian New Testatment, and he used the Apostle Paul as the vessel!
But it’s worth noting that God did not stop annointing men and women with Paul, and Paul is not Jesus. Let us therefore continue to worship the one and only true and living God!
- Leaders Are Nothing Part Six (jlthomson.wordpress.com)
- Paul’s Thorn In The Flesh – Part 2 Of Healing Series (raymondjclements.wordpress.com)
- Who Is the Most Influential Writer in History? (naturalspirituality.wordpress.com)