Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Who Wouldn't Have A Tummy Ache?

1 Timothy 5:21-23

 21 I solemnly command you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus and the holy angels to obey these instructions without taking sides or showing favoritism to anyone.
 22 Never be in a hurry about appointing a church leader. Do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
 23 Don’t drink only water. You ought to drink a little wine for the sake of your stomach because you are sick so often.

Oh, and by the way, you should also be faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, says Paul the Apostle to Timothy the youngster. Sometimes the Christian life seems like an attempt to be Superman. But it isn't. 

It's even harder.

It's an attempt to be like Jesus Christ.

Paul charges Timothy in the very presence of God, Jesus and the holy angels to obey. And not only to obey, but to obey impartially--no playing favorites. Impartiality in Church leadership is certainly ideal. It ensures that everyone gets equal say in things. It ensures that nobody's toes get crunched. It also ensures that the best possible ideas are evaluated and put into place. However, this ideal is far from reality. 

Favoritism is a sad reality in human life. There is no way around it. Some people look, smell, speak, behave...(etc.) better than others in objective categories. Now add to this the fact that favoritism takes subjective factors into account (your idea of beauty may not be his) and off we go into more fleshly issues. Add to that familiarity; I grew up in my assembly, others just came out a few months ago.

Paul says, You are a cold, hard decision maker. Do what God says with no regard to opinion. Granted, that thought is fraught with holes. How do we interpret the Bible? What is right and wrong? But remember to stay pure. How do I lead a Church that doesn't belong to me? Appoint Elders and Deacons, but don't appoint them too fast. Wait... Timothy had no Bible, he just had a letter from Paul on a piece of parchment. 

No wonder Timothy got stomach aches. No wonder administrators are valuable in the Church. A good admin is worth a whole lot, double honor according to verse 17. Double honor is a statement of value that may imply a wage. Whether or not Pastors should be paid is not the thrust (positive or negative), what Paul is saying is that Pastors (Elders/Deacons) deal with a lot of crap from the people of God and deserve some respect for all the pressures they are put under. Think Moses back in the day with Israel. You know, those people who you look at an think, Man, those people are rotten lazy bums. God shoulda dumped them and started over. That's a mirror. The reflection is you. Was Moses perfect? Nope. That's why he mirrors present day Under-Shepherds.

Perfection is the ideal. Like C. S. Lewis argues in Mere Christianity; it is an ideal that has been established by a Standard that resides outside this world (God), and it is an ideal that is beneficial for all men to strive for.

For more information on 1 Timothy 5, read my previous entry!
Christopher M. Jimenez. Powered by Blogger.

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