Hello there, happy Friday. Students and teachers have a long weekend upcoming up...my wife is very happy about this...as are her students. Let's continue our talk on 1st Timothy Ch. 1. My last few blog entries have been about the series I am starting on Sunday (Oct. 9th). This series covers the Pastoral Epistles: 1st & 2nd Timothy, as well as Titus. I would encourage you to go back and read those before you get into this one. For today, let's take a gander at vs. 6 & 7
1st Timothy 1: 6-7
6 For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, 7 wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.
As I mentioned in my last entry, everything we do must be with a motive of love-including how we deal with people who are being led astray or are leading other's astray. Sometimes I feel as though there are two camps out there: those who go overboard and begin to teach things that are displeasing to God, and those who tend to be hyper-critical and very negative. It is difficult to find someone who is balanced. This is not to say these people do not exist, they do-but like every area of life, the "loud" people always get the attention (enough soap box).
In vs. 6 and 7 Paul is addressing men who cause much dissention in the body of Christ. They are distractions that give pastor's many headaches. I've found that most people who want to weigh down the Good News with needless, silly, and (as Paul says) fruitless discussions have become so hyper-focused on one aspect of God's character or one particular tenet or teaching, they loose focus on the big picture. Often these "discussions" have to do with the words that we say or the activities we are involved in. For example, let's look at the "prosperity gospel." This terrible theology says that if you are a follower of Christ, then you should never get sick or have a lack of money. If someone does get sick or lack a material resource (like money), it's probably because they lack faith. For many that teach this insidious doctrine, giving money to "God" can get you out of your problems. How can a person become so off in their beliefs? In my view, these people become hyper-focused on the verses that talk about provision and abundance.
18 But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be [p]food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until [q]it overflows.
2 Corinthians 8:9
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. (despite this verse, the prosperity gospel teaches that Jesus was wealthy)
2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
Paul says that the men who teach these terrible doctrines act like they know the Word, but they really do not...and the prosperity gospel is a great example of vs. 7. Not only are most of the verses that the teachers of the prosperity message use taken WAY out of context, but they choose to ignore the OVERALL message of scripture. Here is just one example:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. . . . No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
People put on blinders all of the time, in order to get scripture to say what they want it to say. People like this do not REALLY know God's Word.
Sorry, I know this entry was a bit longer. God Bless.