Deceits and Doctrines…
Once a very long time ago my family faced a very hurtful period of time due to “the church.” Going through those experiences was not at all fun, and really quite challenging in almost every way (even though I was only 7, I remember it all fairly vividly). However, what did happen is our family genuinely became a unit, and while my younger brother was just a baby, my older brother and I talked and speculated about what was going on, we shared what we each heard and discussed what we had been told. We knew mom and dad were not necessarily telling us everything because of how young we were, and we were ok with that because we knew and were living the story with them, not to mention we saw and experienced the hurts with them, in our own ways, and above it all trusted them to take care of us.
One of the biggest things produced during that hard time in our family’s history is an aversion to anything resembling partial truths. I have so many memories growing up of one or both of my parents responding with righteous indignation over a partial truth, especially if it pertained to something in the Bible. Sometimes I did not understand the passion behind their response, and other times I understood crystal clearly why they were so upset. However, it has been a very long time since I have encountered the Truth taken partially and changed in a dramatic way, in fact, it has been so long that I almost forgot the feeling and emotional (and probably realistically spiritual) reaction I have when it does happen… I had forgotten to the degree that for the last month, I could not figure out why I have been so agitated and had serious aversions to specific situations. I attributed most of my internal frustrations with various other things going on in my life, lack of sleep, stress, relationship conflicts etc.. However, it was not until a roomie sent me this passage that it clicked inside of me what I was struggling with:
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.
In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.
Prescribe and teach these things. Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you willensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you”(emphasis added by the NASB version) – 1 Timothy 4
Thanks to my parents, I have a serious aversion to false doctrines and being deceived.. even if it is only in small ways due to omitting essential information. To this day, I find myself getting worked up, frustrated and passionate when people take things out of context or when they try to spin a half truth, especially as it pertains to the words of my Lord. 1 Timothy 4 is a clear reason as to why I think it is such a big deal. Today I am thankful to finally understand the emotions going on inside of me.