Monday, March 4, 2013

False Teaching and Success (1 Timothy 6:3-10)

Paul relates this whole topic of false teaching to money in this passage, and it would seem fair in the current culture to include other measures of “success.” Fame, celebrity, church size, book deals; these are all things that people pursue these days. People are often drawn to ministry in the current cultural climate as the Christian equivalent of celebrity, and one way to make a name for yourself as a teacher or pastor is to be controversial. That is exactly what Paul is talking about in this text.

Sound, Biblical teaching can be seen as boring and predictable. When you stick to the basic teaching of the Bible, you are on solid ground, but you are not exactly groundbreaking. You are not telling people anything that they can’t get from other teachers. You are not tickling many ears.

But that is exactly the point. Paul is calling for pastors and teachers to be simple and godly, not flashy and famous. Ideally every community of faith around the world has sound elders that help the body to understand the simple, yet immensely profound truth of the Gospel. It may be the same message everywhere you go, but that is sort of the point when it comes to truth. You want veracity, not creativity. (Not that it is bad to present God’s truth creatively; you just don’t want to be making new stuff up.)

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