“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. (I Timothy 2:1 – 3)
Quiet and peaceful lives, godliness and dignity, accomplished through . . . politicians? It seems foreign to me to think that politicians can offer and accomplish this. In Paul’s time that is exactly what kings and those in high positions were expected to do – to keep the public order and to allow all people to live quiet, peaceful, and dignified life. It is what the prophets of the Old Testament and expected, and why they criticized the kings and religious leaders for. It is what the forebearers of our modern government sought to do when they set up constitutions and laws. But as time has passed the opinions and positions of what comprises a quiet, peaceful, and dignified life – much less a godly life – have changed so much that the there is little consensus as to how such a life would look like and be administrated. And from the politicians themselves, there is little quiet, peace, and dignity – I will remain neutral on the godliness, because I am not in the position to judge anyone’s soul. Paul continues . . .
“This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (Verse 4)
Again, the question, a philosopher’s question – what is truth? Or more accurately, what is God’s truth? As defined by the “kings” and those in “high position” may define it? I know what is God’s truth. And you, beloved reader, know what is God’s truth. But the hard fact is that there is no true consensus as to what is God’s truth. And I would scratch my head and rub my face in dismay and distress, but then I read what else Paul wrote.
“For there is one God;
there is also one mediator between God and humankind,
Christ Jesus, himself human,
who gave himself a ransom for all
—this was attested at the right time.” (Verse 6)
Can we, as sincere, authentic, and called believers agree to this truth? And having agreed to this truth, can we live in harmony with other believers and not let divisiveness and dissension split us? We all have our opinions and beliefs that spring from this basic truth. But can this basic truth unite us, and can we unite under it?
“For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.” (Verse 7)
Paul says/writes many things, to many people, under many circumstances. It seems that the people Paul writes to are as diverse as this modern generation, and perhaps this generation is even more diverse. But if we can unite under some basic truths, and let that unify us under God, we may yet survive. Selah!