Reproductive Rights in the Church
The truths found in the Bible never become obsolete. They speak to us just as timely as they did to those who first read them. Truth simply does not change, and each of us has an obligation to ensure that our treasury of eternal truths is shared with others. This truth is so clearly stated in Paul’s epistle to Timothy, his son in the faith. “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2).
If God had intended for there to be ongoing revelation for every generation until the return of Jesus, there would have been no need for anyone to teach anything to others. The Divine plan was obvious. Truth would be revealed supernaturally as the church began, but there would be a natural continuation of truth as each generation taught the next.
Paul recognized that the end of his life was near as he wrote this second epistle to Timothy. He had finished his work, and the crown of righteousness awaited him (2 Tim. 4:6-8). Timothy’s work was not ended. Having heard the truth, he had to be committed to learning it precisely. It then became his responsibility to find faithful men and give the message to them. These men were to be faithful. They were to be trustworthy in their responsibility. Like Timothy, they had no right to add anything to what had been given to them. They had no right to remove or change the message in any way. They were simply to take the message from the first century and begin a chain of unending and unchanging truth to be given to every generation until the end of time. It is worthy to note that the word “man” used by Paul is not the word indicating males. It is the word anthropos (from which we get our word “anthropology”), indicating that all mortals, male and female, are to be faithful in transmitting God’s truths from one generation to another.
The church is reproducing itself. Older Christians are to teach younger Christians. Older women are to teach younger women. Elders are to insure that younger men are being trained to replace them. The same is true of deacons, Bible class teachers, godly husbands and godly wives. A failure to do this brings chaos and perils to the church. Those younger than us hear us teach and, perhaps equally important, they see how these truths are lived in daily situations.
We hear a lot about reproductive rights in our society. There is no area where this phrase has greater importance. We not only have reproductive rights, we have reproductive obligations. Think about this. What are you doing to reproduce the church in those around you?