2 Timothy 2:23

Sunday, 8 April 2018

But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 2 Timothy 2:23

What a verse for modern times! How easy it is to get into inane, ignorant disputes with others on social media. How many people have been eviscerated, and who return the evisceration, by the use of a keyboard and mere words! This is true in almost every subject possible. Whether the earth is flat or not has brought people to ridiculous arguments as posts fly back and forth. Whether this person is suitable to hold office or not is argued to the point of nausea.

Paul is certainly referring to any such argument – be it religion, politics, or whether chicken tastes better than beef. However, this verse can be kept to religion alone, and that will suffice as an example for all other areas. Paul might say, “There are a million points which one could squabble over which will turn into foolish and ignorant arguments. Just don’t go there, Timothy.” He has already mentioned “fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes” in his first letter.

There are some things which might be inferred from Scripture that are debatable. There are some things which are completely unknown, such as the day of the rapture. There are things which are so complicated that we will never fully grasp them (such as the complete nature of God – it being an infinite subject). To endlessly argue over such things can be, and usually is, foolish. Those who do the arguing are normally ignorant.

The Greek word for “foolish” gives the sense of being dull (insipid) or flat (without an edge). It is móros, the root of our modern “moron.” It is a person who is mentally inert – a dolt – who speaks that which is moronic or insensible. We might call him “brainless.” The word translated as “ignorant” is found only here. It means “uninstructed.” Thus it is a person who shows a complete lack of proper training or education. Paul’s choice of these descriptive words is careful and purposeful.

With the coming of modern printing, the Bible has gone forth in a marvelous way. The word of God is opened up to millions, and there is true freedom in being able to pick it up, read it, and cherish it. And yet, at the same time, there are those who stick to one particular subject of doctrine, pulling it out of context, and then claim to be specialists in it. This is especially true with sensational subjects like angelology, demonology, or prophecy. They have no real training in proper theology, and they come to completely unfounded conclusions about these matters. And yet, they will argue their stand until blue in the face, constantly playing Scripture tennis in an attempt to look smart.

Such people are ignorant, and they are fools. He exhorts Timothy to stay away from them, “knowing that they generate strife.” This is what they live for, the argument for the argument’s sake. They have no desire to build anyone up, and they have no desire to be truly edified in the word of God. Instead, they perversely want to be proven right at all costs, and to the harm of any who would dare challenge them. Watch for them on Facebook or other social media. They are there, waiting to pounce. Paul has special words for dividers like this –

“Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.” Titus 3:10, 11

They are the special type for which the BLOCK option is particularly designed for on social media. Let them argue with themselves. You should choose the better path and use your time building others up, edifying them in their walk with the Lord, and showing the love of Christ to those who are in need of His loving care.

Life application: It is so very easy to get sucked into tit for tat challenges about matters which don’t matter. Be wise and cautious to not go beyond what is written. Make your case, state your view, and then warn the divisive person up to a second time, and then POW! Ignore him, or even hit the block button, lest you argue yourself into the same state of foolishness that he has done.

Lord God, help us to not get into divisive arguments with fools. Your word specifically advises against this. If we give our view, and another wants to argue, we are advised to warn them once, warn them a second time, and then have nothing to do with them. How good it would be if we would follow this advice! We would save ourselves much grief in this world of easy-to-slay-one-another on social media and elsewhere. Help us in this, O God. Amen.

4 thoughts on “2 Timothy 2:23

  • Sunday, April 8th, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    BLESS GOD PRAISE JESUS! Catching up after a couple days of feeling under the weather, new meds to suppress my immune system due to thyroid 🙁 listening to the update while I read this and it was just a few days I ran across a sermon from a baptist church in Canada that had me reeling with disgust because of the hateful attack against the late billy graham, but not only that but the comments they made in their comments were just gahstly . After listening I could tell that anything redeeming I might mention from the gospel such as in mark 9 38-40 would fall on deaf ears as comment after comment they were very insistent that no one could sway them. I’m glad that I was not moved to contend with them , though the premise for their Assertations was sound , the grievous way that they drug a dead man through the mud for an hour was very hateful. But that’s why I like your presentations of doctrine. To the point what is wrong and what is right letting thereafter the lime light be on THE WORD. Instead of an hour long character assassination.

    • Monday, April 9th, 2018 at 6:55 pm

      Shane, I don’t even know where to begin.. But I guess it should be with “I hope and pray your Thyroid issues will be ok.” I’m truly sorry about that. The Billy Graham thing really bothers me. I have disagreements with other pastors, and I usually don’t mention their name, but only their doctrine. However, I will mention RC Sproul a lot. I love the guy and hate some of his doctrines. We have to be able to not tear people apart unless they are truly heretics. RC was a great theologian, and I applaud him often. He was totally wrong about the Jews and election and I can’t wait to step on his toe and give him a Three Stooges nose pull over it. We can love folks without agreeing with them. I’m glad you can see this. Please be blessed and uplifted in Christ. If you ever need extra prayer, just email me so I can do so.

  • Monday, April 9th, 2018 at 8:17 am

    Wow Paul totally nailed this generation with this observation! As I said before we are assaulted 24/7 365 now with mindless uninformed drivial that frankly is becoming a health hazard to us believers! I do not push for in depth conversation on salvation anymore, I just plant a seed and put it in Gods hands. If meaningful conversation is going to come out of it then great I am there but if they start with the book of fairy tails junk I am out of there with the challange to read the bible not listen to what others say about it and then show me why you think it’s a book of fairy tails. FYI Unicorns are mentioned 9 times in the bible, always as powerful creature not as mystical creatures which leads me to believe they were at one time living breathing creatures of God!.
    S Lewis is right the mud slinging coming out of churches today is almost as if a septic tank exploded. I myself have mixed feelings for Graham ( his message was good but I could never warm Up to him for some reason?), I am sure he brought many to the lord but there are questions in my mind because of many things I have read and heard that I will just say have me wondering! Maybe I am over decerning but I would rather be over than under and get sucked into deception and start stumbling get down the wrong path. Jesus can’t get us out of this mad house soon enough!!
    Grace, Mercy and Peace on you and yours
    God bless my friend

    • Monday, April 9th, 2018 at 6:57 pm

      Gordon, I am with you on the fairy tales and junk. People believe nonsense, but they dismiss the Bible. How can we be so blinded? But I was for so much of my life. I wish people could see. They so desperately need to see now. Time is short and our lives are like a vapor.


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