Summary: Some theological arguments are only a distraction from the core of Faith, which is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
1 Timothy 1:3-7 August 9, 2009
Adventures in Missing the Point
3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain persons not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.
Paul is asking Timothy to stay in Ephesus to straighten things out
The Problem – false doctrine
Gnosticism mixed with Judaism? - myths and endless genealogies
Leads to endless speculations
What they seemed to be doing is having long arguments about meaningless topics of theology, instead of getting out there and doing what God said to do.
Today – adventures in missing the point
When ever we get into “theological” discussions, we have to ask, “so what?” “how does this advance the work of God?”
Today – eschatology… we can get into charts and diagrams and work out things that even Jesus says he doesn’t know.
Nicky Gumbel’s Two men on the Golden Gate Bridge illustration “What about the Church” 18:20-20:04
And we can use these theologies of end times to avoid obeying God’s commands – especially the commands to care for his creation.
Arguing away God’s commands about caring for the poor – holding conservative politics higher than Biblical commands into
Tom Harper, daVinci Code – weird myths and genealogies, which lead to nothing but arguments and no real change.
Theology is not a bad word – it mean “the study of God” In many ways we are all theologians – we are interested in knowing God and knowing about God.
Theology is not bad, discussions of theology are not bad, but if we spend our time arguing about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin rather than serving God, we’ve missed the point!
If your theology is keeping you from obey God’s commands, either through disagreement, or distraction, change your theology.
What it’s all about?
5-7The whole point of what we’re urging is simply love—love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God. Those who fail to keep to this point soon wander off into cul-de-sacs of gossip. They set themselves up as experts on religious issues, but haven’t the remotest idea of what they’re holding forth with such imposing eloquence. - MSG
Love to God (and his creation) and to people.
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: ’Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ’Love your neighbour as yourself. ’There is no commandment greater than these."
– not some hippie nice feeling for all of humanity, but self-sacrificing acts to God and real people.
To love God is also to love his creation and his people.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Isaiah 58:10 if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
From a pure heart
Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 Those who have clean hands and a pure heart,
who do not put their trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.
5 They will receive blessing from the LORD
and vindication from God their Savior.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
From a good conscience
On the canoe trip we were trying to figure out why the young guys slept so well, but us old guys: not so much. I said – it comes from a clear conscience.