|Good Morning Everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Think for yourself”
Our Bible verse for today: “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. But as for you, exercise self-control in everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:2-5 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Stick to the script”
I’m tempted to think Paul must have written 2 Timothy 4:2-5 with our society in mind. I know he didn’t; I know the words he wrote apply to all people in all places at all times and that such a situation exists to some extent in every culture, but still, his words sure do describe us. “For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine …” Sound doctrine often makes people mad – and not just among unbelievers. For instance, the Bible says that Jesus is the only way to salvation. That statement makes unbelievers mad. But some surveys show that perhaps 30-40% of professing Christians also aren’t sure John 3:16 is actually true and they’re therefore uncomfortable with it.
The Bible also says that homosexuality is a sin, but for many people those are fighting words. Yes, even many Christians who agree that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God still take the position that homosexuality is no different from heterosexual love in the eyes of God.
What that leads to is: “… but according to their own desires, (they) will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths.” It’s an easy thing to find a teacher, preacher, church, or denomination that will tell you what you want to hear. They have cleverly devised explanations to explain-away the hard and inconvenient parts of the Bible (or they just ignore those parts), and they will teach you lessons to support whatever it is you’ve already decided you want to believe.
Paul’s answer for us? “Stick to the script” (the Bible). Just preach the word. Do it in season and out of season (when it’s easy and when it isn’t). Correct wrong beliefs, challenge the myths, preach and teach the truth. But do it with patience and self-control. In other words, as we have been learning all this month, speak the truth but do it with love and kindness, with grace and with respect.
A couple of years ago I published a book on this subject called, “Getting Along without Going Along: Biblical sexual ethics in an age of conflict and controversy.” It’s all about how to discuss the Biblical truth about sexual ethics, but in a respectful way that treats others with dignity and grace. The specific topic of that book is Biblical sexual ethics, but the practice of communicating it boldly but with grace applies to all issues. If you would like to purchase a copy of it let me know and I would be happy to send you one.
Paul’s advice for us in these difficult days in which we live is “Just stick to the script”.
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