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May 11 Reject foolish and ignorant controversies

2 Tim 2:23 “But reject~~ foolish and ignorant controversies, because you know they breed infighting.”

Timothy evidently needed exhorting to not be argumentative or to not take personally every question that arose in a new church.

His task was previously stated to “pursue . . . peace along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Tim 2:22).

False teachers have always been a problem in the churches. Some of their false teachings were more dangerous (heretical) than others (e.g., mistaken misinterpretations or erroneous teaching).

Paul commanded Timothy to reject, or to “excuse oneself or avoid,” such foolish (“silly, stupid”) and ignorant (“untrained or undisciplined”) types of controversies, or “speculations or themes highly disputed, with no certain basis of truth.”Paul was not demanding that Timothy have no contact with the false teachers who were influencing the church, since he had told him to rebuke them.

Great maturity is required to maintain the rule of “the peace of God” (Col 3:15) in the midst of the congregation. Controversies only breed division.

Earlier, Paul advised, “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine, which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling [abusive language], evil suspicions, useless wranglings [constant friction] of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth” (1 Tim 6:3–-4).

Once someone is convinced of a false doctrine, there is little hope of changing his mind, unless there is an openness to believe everything revealed in the written word of God.

Paul was quick to discuss and to prove the gospel, but he wasted no time discussing extrabiblical revelations. Anything that distracts from the authority and value of the written word is man’s imagination and has no healthy benefit. Avoid it.

“Dear God, I pray for insight and understanding of Your word so that I may avoid needless contentions in my relationship within the body of Christ. I know You want Your children to live in peace with each other as much as is possible.”

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