In his second letter to Timothy, Paul addresses the problem of false teachers coming into the church. Paul has a lot to say about these false teachers and those who follow them, none of it pretty.
He writes that the false teachings will spread like gangrene, destroy the faith of some, worm their way into homes , and oppose the truth. Those who follow will not put up with sound doctrine and will gather around them many teachers to say what they want to hear and will turn away from truth and turn to lies and myths.
Most of us know someone, or perhaps many, who are decieved and follow a teacher who does not acknowledge the truth and promotes lies and myths. When talking with these folks about spiritual things it seems they often prefer an argument to discussion. They want to talk all about their beliefs and teacher but will not listen to what you have to say about bible truths or Jesus and what you believe.
If their beliefs are questioned, the one asking the questions is sometimes thought to be unintelligent or unenlightened, living with outdated principles and views, having radical or impossible convictions that deny personal rights and freedoms.
How we are to respond to those who believe and worship false gods? Paul says we are not to quarrel because it has no value and to avoid godless chatter. What we are to do is be kind, teach, and not be resentful. When opposed we are to gently instruct, “in the hope that God will grant them…a knowledge of the truth”.
Did you notice? Paul says “in the hope God will…”. It is not up to us to convince anyone of anything. Some will not listen, some will argue, some will ridicule, some will feel threatened and become angry. Do not take it personally. Their salvation is between them and God. We just offer the message and rejoice with those who respond to God, turning from the lies and myths, and worship in light and truth.
Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because they produce quarrels. And the servant of God must not quarrel…
2 Timothy 2:23-24
In this scripture, Paul is talking about false teachers and those who follow what they teach. But do you not think the advise is worthy of all conversation? It would be a much more peaceful world if everyone learned to exchange ideas and thoughts in a careful and caring way.
But you, keep your head in all situations…
2 Timothy 4:5a
I wonder why I am sometimes drawn into arguments?
I wonder why I think my arguments are so wise?