Friday, February 06, 2015

1 Tim 4:1-5:2

It is always disheartening among those deeply interested in the truth of Christianity, that two things must be dealt with, having espoused it: the existence of the mundane (by comparison to the truth of Christianity), and the existence of opposition to the truth of Christianity from within the group.

Having a brand new shirt, we are stuck with having to launder it; it seems so unfair to deal with the grimy dirt, in something so brilliantly new.  But let's not complain that the task has no interest: having just read from the sublime expressions of 1 Tim 3:16, 1 Tim 4:1 is not an anti-climax, but an application: part of being in a group is dealing with "some" (4:1), although the reason for this group is hard for the Christian leader to stomach -- until we realize that one of the blessings of learning from the life of Jesus is the way he dealt with those whose disagreement was at this level, coming from "deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars" (4:1-2).  But have things really changed since Galatia?  Did not the early Paul ask them who bewitched them?

In grimy dirt example #1 in the first paragraph, there is an asceticism based on foods and the state of some sort of chaste singlehood (4:1-5).  In number 2, it is failling into "worldly fables fit for old women" -- some kind of fictional stories of idealized people and their feats could fill that bill.  Rather than fables about people, looking to ourselves -- "discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness" -- be the hero yourself!  Don't single out the Saviorhood of God, only applying it to some stylized, idolized people.  

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