Teaching truth vs. fighting error


uturnLooking out over the beautiful vista of the Gulf of Mexico with wite sand, sparkling blue water, and a distant fishing boat swaying with the waves is a perfect, calming atmosphere for hearing from God. I was just moments ago reading 2 Timothy and it is like God shook me and said “Wake up Royce!” No, I did not hear an audible voice, but I assure you God has spoken to me.

“So flee youthful passions (or, old comfortable habits) and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness, that God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:22-26)

I am guilty of flagrantly violating the teaching of this passage of scripture. I am guilty of doing exactly what this passages says not to do (“Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies”) often at the expense of not doing what I should be doing (but the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome, but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness). I am far too often glib, rude, and impatient with those I am trying to correct. I am certainly not gentle. I have even sort of secretly looked foward to the quarrel and I have become good at being quarrelsome.

My repentance includes leaving off the things mentioned above and concentrating on the Truth that sets men free. May God please grant me love for those with whom I disagree, paitence, and thick skin. I apologize to those to whom I have been less than loving, short on kindness, and for not looking out for their best interests, even when I am convinced they are wrong.

“..in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:20,21)

I pray these precious promises will be true in my life…

Desing to be used,
Royce

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8 comments on “Teaching truth vs. fighting error

  1. Royce,
    Maybe the thing I love most about you is that you are willing to think and change and even admit you are wrong….It seems that gets harder for most people as we age…I hope I never fall into the lot of those who have stopped listening and learning.

    I appreciate your kindness to me.

    Royce

  2. Royce,
    Don’t give up. Your thoughts are needed to save those who have been lost to legalism and rule keeping. God bless you my friend.

    May the words of my mouth and meditations of my heart be acceptable to God and helpful to men.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Royce

  3. These things are usually quarrelsome and nearly always cause hard feelings, but perhaps some good will come from this discussion…don’t give up just yet.

    Having once been about as legalistic as they come I made changes, especially in accepting God’s grace, and perhaps others will see something better than pushing their my-way-or-the-highway designs as well.

    God bless

    I regret that it is as you describe. Brothers of the same forever family should be able to discuss anything without the name calling, accusations, and damning that often are characteristic of coC discussions. May God help us to be more like Jesus in the way we treat each other.

    Thanks,
    Royce

  4. My morning prayer time ALWAYS includes “God, help me to fulfill my calling today–to gently teach others that you change hearts…” (Based upon the text cited in your posting) RARELY do I fulfill that calling.

    What a great way to begin a day!

    Thanks,
    Royce

  5. Royce,
    I really enjoyed this post.
    I this is an important topic as we need to point people to the truth. I strongly believe that the truth will stand on its own if it is truth. People will see it. Whether or not they accept the truth or not is a choice for all men. As believers we must remember that Jesus Christ is the way, the “truth”.

    A question I have is what is error? How would you do define error? Could what be error to some or group be truth to yet another person or group?
    What do you think?

    Preacherman,

    First, truth is not relative. Truth is absolute. With that back drop another truism is, perception is reality. In other words, what a person thinks is true at a given point in time is true to that person.

    So, in the context of the discussions at GraceConversation between “conservatives” and “progressives” (I dislike both labels) here is the situation in my view.

    Phil Sanders believes with all his heart IM is sinful and wrong in worship. To Phil it is truth. That is one side of the issue.

    The Bible makes no such claim and no person can prove using only the Bible that IM is sinful and wrong. This is also truth. So, is Phil in error? According to me he is but I am not God. So what is the answer?

    Each of us must come to an open Bible with an open heart with as little presupposition as possible (none is impossible) and earnestly seek God’s truth. There are some things in scripture more important than others so we should not make less important teachings more important than the Bible does. Above all we must be right about Jesus Christ and what he has accomplished for sinners. Each of us who claims Him as Lord must honestly but with humility, firmly but gently, and uncompromisingly yet lovingly, teach the truth God teaches us. We have a duty to not try to bind on others our preferences, our desires, and what we see as our duty. But we must preach Christ in the power and demonstration of the Holy Ghost.

    We can disagree about a host of Bible doctrines and still go to the same heaven because of our common faith in the Christ of God. There are many things about which we should agree to disagree and love each other in spite of our differing views. We MUST love each other or we prove we don’t love God.

    I know I have not answered your question but let us all agree that only by trusting Jesus Christ are we saved from our sins and given eternal life. No human effort is accepted by God as a substitute or a supplement to what Christ has already accomplished for sinners. Surely we must agree on these elementary truths. Again, this is my view, and I think the Bible’s view, and I have staked my life and eternity on these simple facts.

    God bless you as you look to Him and live,
    Royce

  6. I think I’ve said before – elsewhere – that if Jesus had answered Pilate’s question “What is truth?” with the full authority God gave Him, everyone around would have fallen on their faces as soon as He had uttered “I AM” and before He could even add, “… the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

    Royce, your humility and grace continues to be an inspiration to me. Thank you, brother.

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