Faye, a sinner saved by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in accordance with the will of the Father, a believer seeking freedom from chains and opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ; 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 26th day of June in the year 2013.
Though I have no wish to offend you Apostle Paul, or in the least to be disrespectful, I confess I am alarmingly annoyed by the task set before me by God to ask of you answers for questions from a century and time you cannot possibly know or comprehend. How can I adequately express to you the burden the words you penned nearly 2000 years ago have caused and continue to cause for women especially? Can I hold you accountable for the actions of many men and women who have read your letters and determined courses of action that weren’t, perhaps, intended? How can I ask you to explain why you were led by God to pen what you wrote? You? The Apostle Paul?
Am I to dare to question a man who gave his life in the service of God to reach the Gentiles with the message of the Messiah’s arrival, crucifixion and triumph over death for our sins? I, a Gentile and a female to boot, who am I to ask these things? Who am I to seek you out, one who saw on earth the Lord Jesus and reside with Him now in paradise?
Since my letter of yesterday I have been unable to escape the weight of the task I have taken up. It has gnawed at my soul since I hit the publish button yesterday.
See, there in itself is difference in your world and mine that I am without words to help you understand. You, who dictated your letters to a man who wrote your words on parchment and those precious letters were then entrusted to fellow believers to carry to their intended recipient. While I am blessed to sit and use a device called a laptop computer and type my words, go back and edit them, pray my way through them and by clicking on one icon leave them for the discovery of any number of people, in a few seconds?
Forgive me Apostle Paul if what expressed to you by me is spoken so frankly it offends you yet I know no other way to say this; “Did it not ever occur to you to write your own full testimony? I am reeling from the shock of learning you were indeed a man who had been married, if not married after your decision to follow Christ. In all the times you wrote instructions for men and women who were married, single, widowed – did it not occur to you to tell us of your own marriage experience? In your first letter to the Corinthians you wrote, “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord)…” and just a sentence or so later you wrote, “To the rest I say this, (I, not the Lord)…”. So you were aware of when you were interjecting Paul’s viewpoint when you wrote, and yet it never occurred to you to tell us why you felt that it was best that if a man had a wife who was not a believer or vice versa it was best to remain married if they had no objection? Why not say, “I tell you this from personal experience?”
Instead you chose to remain silent and your bitter attitude toward the female gender as a whole comes shining through while your willingness and gratitude toward individual women you encountered is also apparent. Your choice to not share this information at some point in one of your letters or in Luke’s decision not to include it in Acts – oh the burden it has been!
And yet you never imagined your letters would comprise the majority of the New Testament portion of our Bible today. You were writing to people you had interacted personally with, who would have known your personal testimony more thoroughly. Didn’t they?
The time, the culture, the world is so different now! We are in need of an Apostle Paul among us, although, in fact, we have several though the need for more continues and to fill this need there are women who are stepping up, women who long to step up but feel strangled by your instructions to remain silent and have no authority over a man and time is ticking away! How much longer will God wait to send Jesus to earth again? How long before the antichrist rises to power? How long before more people who wander blindly through life have the scales drop from their own eyes and find themselves deceived?
The time grows short again Apostle Paul and I must close this letter. Tomorrow though I must approach you with your own words again and I pray you do not find me an annoying female stepping outside the boundaries of God’s expectations.
In the service of Christ,