The greatest danger facing Christians does not come from public education, the kingdom of the cults, or world religions. To put it another way, the greatest danger does not come from scientists, Christian Scientists, or Scientologists.
It comes from within the church!
What is this danger? It is the supplanting of the centrality of the Lord Jesus Christ and the primacy of the Word of God in worship. Rather than go to the Lord and His Word, the traditions of men are brought into the churches, taught as dogma, and forced into the Word of God as if it should have been there to begin with.
These commandments and doctrines of men sound like this, “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,”:”(Colossians 2:21.)”: but such regulations have only the appearance of wisdom. Think about that for a moment. That means that these false teachings will seem like biblical teaching, but the resemblance is only surface level. This “wisdom” will find its strength in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body,:”(Colossians 2:23.)”: but it in no way is glorying to Christ.
In Paul’s day, the problems included such things as the forbidding of marriage and abstinence from meats;:”(1 Timothy 4:3.)”: the people teaching these things — which Paul describes as “doctrines of devils”:”(1 Timothy 4:1.)”: — likely were using passages from the Old Testament to add substance to their man-made religion. This same kind of thing is still tripping of Christians today; a notable difference is that now people have twenty-seven more books of the Bible:”(The New Testament.)”: to misuse in support of their own agendas.
We certainly have such issues today; for example:
- The King-James-Only Movement, which promotes the King James Version as the only godly translation of the Bible in the English language. That this is a man-made doctrine is evident in the fact that it would have been impossible to maintain in, say, the year 1610. There are numerous arguments that adherents to this movement use and I believe Christians ought to be aware of them and how to reply to them biblically.
- The opponents of Contemporary Christian Music, Christian rock, or other forms of non-traditional Christian music would have Christians to believe that certain styles of music are inherently sinful and that adding Christian lyrics to these styles is blasphemy against God. Christians should be aware of their reasonings and know how to refute them scripturally.
- Believers in theistic evolution, the Gap Theory, and other such variations on the actual words of Genesis assume and teach that based upon what science claims we are able to arbitrarily create divisions in Genesis, denoting some chapters to be figurative while others are literal. Such an approach certainly has the appearance of wisdom, but it destroys the integrity and foundation of the entire Word of God. As with the previous two examples, something other than the Word of God is made an authority, and so it is important for Christians to know how to counter adherents to compromised teachings regarding Genesis.
Such issues permeate fundamental churches, though I’m certainly not trying to “attack” such churches. I count myself a fundamentalist in many ways. However, these teachings like all others are subject to testing.:”(1 Thessalonians 5:21.)”: This means that As the Bereans did,:”(Acts 17:10,11.)”: so must we Christians of today do.
Timothy’s Burden is all about staying true to the doctrine committed to us in the Bible. In a world where people are seeking teachers who will fulfill their own desires (for tradition, for glory, and so on), it is vitally important to remember the thrust of Paul’s advice:”(2 Timothy 4:2.)”: to Timothy concerning such a situation:
Preach the Word!