Navigating the Battleground of Words (1 Timothy 6:2-4)Nov 19, 2023
- Teach these things. If anyone does not agree with your Godly teaching, they are
2. Understand nothing
3. Have an unhealthy interest in
a. controversies and
b. Quarrels about words.
i. That result in
3) Malicious talk
4) Evil suspicions
5) Constant friction between people of
a) Corrupt mind
b) Who have been robbed of the truth
c) Who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
I can't imagine standing before a group or people, or writing a public letter for that matter, which says, "If you don't agree with what I'm saying, you are conceited - you think you're better than everybody else - and you actually understand nothing.
Sounds conceited, arrogant, and audacious, doesn't it?
But that's not actually what Paul is saying. He says, "If you don't agree with this Godly teaching that comes from Jesus himself…" You think you’re so wise, but actually, you don't understand a thing! Ah, that's different. And to ramp that up a little, if you believe these words come from Paul alone, you would be right to say, "Who does he think he is?" But if these words are inspired by God himself, as they flow through his servant Paul, that's a different matter. See what a difference perspective makes?
There is more than enough friction in our world - always has been, and always will be. Our responsibility as believers is to not get caught up in it.
What do you think of this? A conversation between Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock.
So, what do you do when someone is teaching other than the truth?
And, as in most things, it depends.
There are doctrines that have been discerned from Scripture that I would put into the category of "Essentials." This would include truths such as God is Triune - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus is the one and only son of God. Jesus was crucified, died, was buried, and was raised from death on the third day. He appeared to over 500 people before ascending to heaven, with the promise that someday, he would return, and that we would spend eternity with him. The primary way in which we learn the truth about God is through Scripture.
There are also truths what could be described as non-essentials, or perhaps debatable or disputable. God created the world and everything in it. Is the process described in Genesis 1-2 a literal account of what happened? Seven days and all? 24 hour days? Or is it a narrative to teach us that God created, and not how? In a seven-day creation, did he speed up time, so millions or billions of years of geological and fossil discoveries all came into being in a week? Do we need to be as dogmatic about creation as we are about who Jesus is?
You don't have to spend much time online to realize that many people are so completely dogmatic about some teaching that there's just no point in talking with them. To be honest, I feel this way when say things like, "You're not really a Christian if you let your kids go out on Halloween," or if you have a tattoo, or heaven forbid, if you read anything other than the KJV.
So Paul says, "These are the things you are to teach and insist on. If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching..." So listen and understand what Jesus has taught, and what His apostles have taught.
And remember that the Bible is the final authority when it comes to Christian faith and practice.
Read it. Explain it. Apply it.
And thank the Lord for it.