Faye, a sinner saved by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in accordance with the will of the Father, to the Apostle Paul who died a martyr for Christ in A.D. 66 and now a resident of Heaven, continually in the presence of God: Grace and peace in the name of our Savior on this 25th day of June in the year 2013.
Your life on earth ended 1947 years ago if my math is correct. Mine would not begin until 1898 years later, in the year 1964. So therefore, Apostle Paul, you do not know me. My name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, which is our common ground, but unless for some reason God would let you know about my life while you are in Heaven with Him you know nothing of me. I state this in what seems an obvious fact to me, for what reason would God have to bring me to your attention? None that I can see.
I live in the United States of America, a country not in existence in your day, but one you would surely want to come and evangelize if you were alive. I am blessed to live here with a freedom still to worship God in the ways taught to me by my parents and through many preachers, teachers and friends in many bodies of Believers. Though I have very specific reasons for writing this letter to you I am led to give you first an overview of how radically different our daily lives are compared to the people in your time.
What I write I realize will most likely be beyond comprehension for you. I am not even sure you can believe me as I describe for you about life on earth today. Simply put we’ve got a LOT more STUFF that is supposed to be making our lives easier than was even available for you to consider having. (However like the people of your time many are caught up in owning as much as possible, whether they need it or not, simply to feel they are better than those who do not have these things and because they find pleasure in owning and using what are indeed, unbelievable and fine possessions.)
There are over 7 billion people on the earth today in 196 countries. Some of those countries are so technologically advanced it is next door to scary and others are not that radically different from those you knew when you were here. Compared to your life of 63-64 years my life of 49 years – well you probably couldn’t even comprehend it. That’s part of the reason for this letter.
All of the issues you had in your world then we have here now. Even in the church. False gods. Idolatry. Charlatans. People in need. People pretending to be in need. Grumbling. Complaining. Lying. Stealing. Gossip. Sexual immorality. Homosexuality. Prostitution. Weak Christians. False Christians. Christians deceived by the lies of Satan who in turn lead others away from Jesus. Hunger. Poverty. Times when everything doctors know can’t keep someone alive and sometimes what they know has them anxious to pretend they are God. Our modern day medicine can heal and there are times it fails. We have this thing called technology and it is threatening to over-run our lives. More needs than we have people willing to help meet those needs. As Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
See, you wrote a lot of letters to a lot of churches when you were ministering to the Gentiles after God got your attention with being blinded by Jesus on the road to Damascus. We have this amazingly, wonderful book called the Holy Bible, or just the Bible, and it has all of the scriptures you learned from as a boy and man in the Jewish synagogue. The first five books are the Torah. This section of books, which contain the Law, prophecies and the stories of the saints from prior to Jesus being born and it is called the Old Testament.
The writings we believe are God inspired and revealed to men who wrote them down after Jesus began His ministry on earth are in the Bible in the section called the New Testament. There are 27 “books” in this section of the Bible. Matthew, Mark, James and Jude penned one apiece; Luke and Peter authored two each, John wrote 5 and you wrote 14. Over half the New Testament is written by you and most of Acts is about you and your missionary journeys, conversion to Christianity and your life before that.
It is difficult, as I am sure you can believe if you accept the truth of the numbers I’ve given you on the make-up of the New Testament, to study the scriptures within it without studying your writings. Now I know you had no idea over 1947 years ago that any of your letters would survive beyond maybe several years, certainly not for over 1947 years! Life was so different then. Life is so different now.
Which is one of the biggest reasons I have for writing you. To read your writings it can be and has been thought for man that women’s roles in church are severely limited. Honestly Apostle Paul men have used your instructions to “keep women in their place”. Both in the home, in society and in the church. And frankly, it seems to me as I read and re-read the scriptures penned by you that you have a very contradictory attitude toward women.
On one hand you worked with them in new church starts and welcomed their service. On the other you blast them and order them to be quiet. As individuals you seemed to welcome the involvement of women in your ministry but as a gender overall it seems you held us in some distain. It does make me wonder if perhaps a man by the name of John Pollock in his book, The Apostle: A Life of Paul was right when he wrote that one had to wonder if you were bitter towards women. We know from your own writings you were not married, yet we also know in order to have been a member of the Sanhedrin you had to be married and a parent. From this one concludes either you lost your wife in death or that she did not follow you into the life of a Believer of Jesus Christ. In your time Apostle Paul you kept dictating your letters until all God wanted you to say was finished. That is why your letters are referred to as books in our day. However in our day, to send a letter as lengthy as the one I foresee me writing, also led of Christ to do so, would be longer than someone would sit and read in one session. Therefore, I am closing for now, to pick up my correspondence with you again later.
Meanwhile, I hope you will consider replying to this letter to help me understand your mind-set in general towards women.
In the fellowship of our Savior,