Faye, a Christian in the year 2013, send greetings to the Apostle Paul current resident with all those gone before in service to the Lord Jesus Christ and live with Him already in Heaven. So much I have to write to you!
Fearing I fail to explain as clearly as possible how diverse the church of the 21st century is, especially in the United States, let me try again. In your day there were religions devoted to every god imaginable, as you well know from your time in mission work among the City of Athens for example. We are even more diverse in our religious beliefs and ties now.
Before you would find temples and shrines built to gods of fertility, war, and other things besides the Jewish synagogues and the establishing groups of believers forming churches to worship the I Am. Churches such as you and your partners established in Philippi. Now our temples and churches are devoted to gods we name such as Allah and Buddha but also, our temples are arenas built to worship games, mankind’s strengths and skills. If a winner and losers can be determined then we’ve managed to turn it into a sporting event and those events, those sports and those who are skilled in competition in them are gods to us whether the majority agrees with me or not.
While many would argue with me that last statement saying that the sports and games are not “gods”, but in reality man’s devotion to them speaks for itself. For these events often take the place of the worship of God for people are sitting cheering in the stands instead of lifting their hands and voices in praise to God. And some develop for particular teams or sports an obsession. Lives are arranged around game dates and some rivalries are so intense that it is not unusual for someone to get hurt or worse over opinions and outcomes. Not everyone who enjoys these sporting events have their priorities misaligned, but let me just say that if the number of people who fill these stadiums filled our churches to learn how to follow God our world would be a much better place.
Aside from the on-going issue of false gods and humanity’s blindness to Satan’s tactics to keep them from the Truth, there is the issue of how the diverseness of our churches and the doctrines and theologies these church are formed upon are massive. They are not just differences they are complex and difficult to describe. To give you an overview of just what are considered the major religions of the 21st century would take weeks. Let me just say Athens had nothing on us if compared.
Some of this diverseness is due to how man has come to understand your letters to the churches and to your partners and young men you mentored in Christ. It seems sometimes you contradict yourself. Men who take your letters literally apply them to all churches and believers. Other men come to understand your letters to be written to specific churches and must be applied to current congregations with that in mind.
This now brings us to the major bone of contention I have to write to you about Apostle Paul. Women in ministry. As time and space allowance presses I will take up from this point in my next letter. Until then I remain a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ,