The other day I came across this text in my readings and thought it might be worth sharing. In 1 Timothy 2:1-2 the Apostle commands his Son in the Faith to teach the Church to pray for those in Authority so that they may live quiet, godly and dignified lives. At first, this seems to fly in the face of the current Christian Counterculture Movement which is all about rejecting the American Dream of a quiet and peaceful life to “take up the Cross” and radically follow Jesus. However, upon closer inspection, one finds that what is really taking place here is that the Apostle is defining what real discipleship is in accordance with God’s original intent (Genesis 1:26-28). Additionally, this is in many ways a page taken straight out of the commands to those in Diaspora, to accept their exile for what it was and to respect the authority that had been placed over them (Jeremiah 29:1-7).
Are we called to be a Prophetic voice crying out against injustice and oppression, against immorality and deviance? Certainly… but, judgment always begins in God’s Household first (1 Peter 4:17).
So if you are apart of a local Ekklesia, you need to turn your attention there and get that house in order before you worry about the rest of the world. And if you are not apart of a local Ekklesia then you don’t even have the right to complain about them; put down roots and connect with your community (1 Corinthians 13:2). For according to the Apostle all true Ministry flows out of the Local Community of Faith as each disciple loves and sacrifices themselves for others, first in the home and then in the workplace and finally with all men (Ephesians 5-6). You see, for a Follower of the way of the Cross, the most radical thing you can do is choose to put others before yourself.
So in this day and age of highly pressurized dialogue, when people seem more interested in hyperbole and propaganda than they are in an honest debate of the issues, it becomes very important for the Follower of the Way of the Cross to remember who the enemy actually is. We have three – world systems, our own egos & the host of the Fallen – none of which are made of flesh and bone.
So let us stop grappling with Men and start grappling with Ideas. Let us stop Condemning and start speaking the Truth in Love.