1 Timothy 2
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.
8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
When Paul asks us to pray for leaders, he doesn’t ask us to pray that totalitarian ruffians will have long lives. Rather we are to pray for peace to do our work. This part of the chapter we mostly agree on. But next comes gender-oriented instruction.
Now I have written and spoken on the issue of jewelry as addressed in 1 Timothy 2:9-10. But when I do venture to tell a mixed audience what God expects of Adventist women, I always start (as Paul did) with what God expects of Adventist men: more public piety (“pray everywhere”), freedom from addictions to porn and masturbation (“holy hands”), control over anger issues (“without wrath”), and repudiation of skepticism (“without…doubting”).
God knows us. And His gender-oriented instructions match the gender-related issues in our church. Men have anger issues and doubting issues and frequently stop attending church mid-life. Ladies frequently have adornment issues.
And our world church has a gender-related ordination issue partially rooted in this chapter.
Of this I am certain: If members should pray for government leaders to prevent unrest that would hinder our work, then we certainly should pray that God would prevent unrest in church that would do the same.
Director, Institute of East Asia Training, Malaysia