11 November 2009

Worthless

by Frank Turk

When Paul said this to Titus:
The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.
I think he knew something about the Blogosphere.







31 comments:

lee n. field said...

"Someone is wrong on the Internet!"


(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png)

Frank Turk said...

Exactly.

Rob Peck said...

Thanks for this Mr. Turk. Short and to the point.

Barbara said...

Amen. It's one reason I was stepping away from reading this blog, among others, and felt no qualms about dumping the internet altogether. It's one thing when secular sites are filled to the brim with examples of Romans 1 in their advertising. But when we can't even come to faithful Christian sites to learn something without seeing teethmarks and smart-alecky stuff everywhere in the discussion, something is horribly wrong.

J♥Yce said...

Amen, Frank; God pegged it through Paul ~ spot on.

olan strickland said...

Amen Frank! What applies to the Christian in the church applies to the Christian in the blogosphere.

olan strickland said...

lee n. field

Thanks!

My word verification: elummule

I take that to mean - illumination mule!

Sharon said...

I've had to quote that same verse to myself many times, starting years ago in BBS days when I was the moderator in a Bible Study Conference. Well, that verse, and this one too:

"Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him" (Proverbs 26:4).

A Musician by Grace

Frank Turk said...

Olan -- I think that's pig-latin for "the preacher who slogs the word out for his people in spite of the thanklessness."

I'll add it to the theological dictionary.

Frank Turk said...

"lest thou also be like unto him" is why the KJV will never die: you cannot say that in contemporary English with the same mix of gravitas and sarcasm.

olan strickland said...

Well in that case - thank God for the elummules!

Strong Tower said...

“Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Paul used this "trustworthy" several times. It is thought that the colloquialism meant that it was commonly accepted truth. Paul contrasted that with worthless speech. The same sense is repeated elsewhere in the commission of the faithful sayings passed down then passed along. They are truths that do not change. Paul said this to the Corinthians whose divisions demonstrated that they had not yet availed themselves of the truth which they were delivered which does not change: "Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy." He applied this standard to himself that others might learn not to go beyond what was written.

Somethings are easy to understand, some not so, while still there are things which remain a mystery. Yet, the truth remains unmoved. The key to Paul was to arrive at sureness of the texts, to establish and hold to what had been attained. Perhaps the greatest error we find ourselves in is speaking before we have heard the end of the matter. The good works are found among those who speech is pure. God grant that we come to that unity and when we have arrived we can say that we have nothing but what we have received and the boasting of one tongue against another can cease. If we would learn with Paul to not go beyond what was written we would find avoiding foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law easier. The trick of course is to know what is written.

donsands said...

"..quarrels about the law"

I wonder if this would be directly referring to the religious legalists?
And how they would emphsize the "elemental spirits of the world...—“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”", and so forth.

Debates and good friction, iron sharpening iron is good, and may look like worthless arguing, but it's different.

I think the difference is this:

"Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." James 3:13-18

I like those green letters. Not that I'm into the green movement. I just like the color green. I think it's one of the Lord's favorite colors, but that's just a guess.

philness said...

Nice. Thanks Frank. God's word is so satisfying, balanced, renewing, complete and peaceful.

What more do we need.

Rachael Starke said...

Maybe Paul was in regular communication with Someone who knew the Interweb was coming?

Craig and Heather said...

I wonder if this would be directly referring to the religious legalists?
And how they would emphsize the "elemental spirits of the world...—“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”", and so forth.

Debates and good friction, iron sharpening iron is good, and may look like worthless arguing, but it's different.


It's not just "those legalists". It includes every one of us who would dare to detract from the glorious truth that we absolutely, positively need Jesus--and we were designed from the beginning to need His guidance of our intellects and hearts. Our pride gets in the way of that reality as we think we are "defending" some other teaching.

Any time we swerve off that narrow highway called Humility, we risk wrecking not only our own walk of faith but that of everyone else who is around us.

Frank. Your on the right track--don't lose sight of it!! May God bless you guys as you diligently seek His face.

Heather

Denis said...

Definitely something I need to take into greater account when getting involved in discussions ... just 'cause someones most likely wrong doesn't mean I need to allow my self to get wrapped up in debunking every wonky theory out there. At a certain point I guess I just have to say enough (or have the wisdom to not go down that path to start with).

I can't help but think I've wasted many hours debating things that are utterly foolish.

That said, what is the right response when someone you know and care about becomes convinced about the truth of the latest conspiracy theory or other wonky idea out there (i.e., not an important theological issue)?

donsands said...

"It's not just "those legalists"." -Heather

I agree.

Contending for the faith can sometimes look like worthless arguing though. And there are those who will say, "I don't see the love and joy in you brother", when we are debating the truth of Scripture.

I suppose there's a bit more than a fine line when it comes to contending for the faith, and "..quarrels about the law", but it can be tricky to know. That's why James 3:13-18 lays down some good truth and walls for us, so that we know the difference.

I admit I have argued way too many times, and hopefully I will continue to be sanctified by our Lord's grace and Spirit.

Craig and Heather said...

Denis,

As a former "conspiracy theorist", I would point to

Do not say, A conspiracy! to everything of which this people says, A conspiracy! And do not fear their fear, nor be afraid.
Sanctify Jehovah of Hosts Himself, and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.
And He shall be a sanctuary for you,
Isaiah 8:12-14

Faith in the Lord is literally our protection. Spiritually and often times physically as well.

If we continually look around at the "roaring lions" we will eventually be devoured by them.

Don't look around. Look UP. Stand still. And let Him fight for you. That is what God instructs all of us to do.

H

Craig and Heather said...

donsands

So long as the contenders are heeding the Galatians admonishment watch the heart motives while attempting to restore others with a spirit of gentleness...I'm right with you!

H

round.tuit said...

I am an issue oriented person who plays with numbers for a living. Thanks for the concise post.

Denis said...

Heather,

Thank you for those wise words ... I am certain they will be passed on, probably sooner than later :)

Thanks again.

Craig and Heather said...

Denis,

Thank the Lord that He graciously broke my kneecaps when I nearly went crazy after the last presidential election.

God Bless.
H

The Bible Christian said...

I seldom comment for this very reason. Thanks Frank

The Doulos said...

Wow. I was thinking this same thing Frank, after a frustrating exchange on Facebook yesterday with a younger brother in Christ, regarding Islam, Christianity, Ft Hood, political correctness, etc. I realized that the web (or any technological variation thereof) is an impossible medium to discuss and communicate even relatively simple subjects, much less complex and nuanced ones. Too much is lost in communication, and too much emotional baggage can get packed into too few words.

HSAT, I will continue to do my part to redeem the Christian blogosphere, and do so in a sanctified manner.

Stupid Al Gore, it's all his fault...

YnottonY said...

"I realized that the web (or any technological variation thereof) is an impossible medium to discuss and communicate even relatively simple subjects, much less complex and nuanced ones."

What are you saying? lol ;-)

Rick Frueh said...

"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself (or the internet) more highly than he ought to think..."

Placing a great deal of spiritual weight upon the internet is not wise.

And as bloggers we need to be aware of the insidious nature of allowing supporters and enjoyers of our writings to make us feel more highly of ourselves that we ought.

What we are away from the internet is actually who we are.

Strong Tower said...

If the mind could plume as the man it penned, no Christ would God have to send.

Rick Potter said...

Closer still to his heart, he knew something of the church.

Frank Turk said...

Rick --

Aha.

Reformed and Renewed said...

The internet has een a blessing and a curse. While we would not mix with certain people offline, we mix with them online? There seems to be a contradiction. We need to exercise the same discernment online as we do offline. What has light to do with darkness? Greats stuff Frank!