Is Giftedness or A "Calling To Ministry" A Valid Reason To Lay Aside 1 Timothy 2:11,12?
We ought always to be thankful and grateful to God for allowing us to have and develop our abilities and skills to be used in the glorious kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians 1:13). Jesus taught us about using our “talents” wisely and effectively (the original context refers to a weight of currency used in the ancient times for investments, but the principle can be applied to abilities as well, Matthew 25:14-29). A simple application of this parable can be made: if we do not use it (our skills), we may lose it.
Women and men have important God-given roles to fulfill in the kingdom of God. Some women claim that they have been given a direct gift from God for speaking/teaching in an authoritative position and that this so-called direct “calling” from God must be utilized in Jesus’ church. [For more information, please consult our question: "Why Is The Direct Operation of the Holy Spirit A False Doctrine?"]. Are they to be denied for what is held so strongly in their hearts?
First, we must recognize that our sole source of authority is the word of God (Colossians 3:17). We must have a “thus says the Lord.” We can so easily deceive ourselves by appealing to our emotions rather than listening to the word of God (Jeremiah 10:23). Proverbs 14:12 states, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” When Eve was tempted, she placed the focus on herself instead of the word of God (Genesis 3:1-6). She drew herself away from what God said and listened to the deception of the serpent. Such tragic missteps have taken place ever since the Garden of Eden.
Second, we must use our gifts in the right function and in accordance to God's will (Matthew 6:33). We do not have the right to use our talents in whatever way we please. If we want to please our heavenly Father, we will only allow our talents to be used to His glory as He wills and not for shame and dishonor (John 6:38). Women who decide to lay aside the commandment of 1 Timothy 2:11,12 (that has been in place since creation) and seek to assume authoritative positions in the spiritual realm that would circumvent the authority of men are in actuality circumventing the authority of Jesus Christ. They would no longer be considered friends of Jesus nor would Jesus regard them as genuinely loving Him (John 14:15; 15:14; 2 John 1:9-11).
Making such emotional and unbiblical decisions does not apply solely to the role of women who wish to assume an authoritative, religious position. For example, a Christian man may have all the qualifications that would lead him to obtain a work in the eldership (1 Timothy 3:1-7). Let us assume in this example that he lacks only one qualification: he does not have any faithful children. Yet he and the congregation decide to appoint him because he and the church believe they would be better off if they had elders. Is this right? Absolutely not. Just because a man is qualified in every way, with only one exception, does not permit him to assume the role of an elder nor does is permit the church to appoint him as such.
God designed the roles of men and women through His glorious wisdom and we ought to honor God’s wisdom in faith - even if we do not fully understand His determination or reasoning. We must accept it because it is based on His love, will, word and law (Romans 10:17; 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; 14:34,35; 1 Timothy 2:8-15). God desires a loyal and honest heart that is willing to place himself under His reign so that He will be glorified in all things. Let us keep on using our talents in the right manner to spread the borders of the kingdom. If we are faithful to Him in all things, He will reward us.
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