Hello my friends! I hope your life has been rich in grace and faith, but then again, even during the times we assume that we are dirt-poor in Christ, he is still busily working behind the scenes in preparation of something yet to be revealed. Not too long ago, I was having a facebook chat with a dear brother about Paul’s letter of 2 Timothy. That led me to write a short piece on the well-know Christian admonition about studying the Bible. Well, a short piece turned into a ridiculously long one. So long that I had to remove portions from it to send it out as my much longer newsletter, The Shoveletter. Anyhow, a dear lady added a comment to my post, including a quote from what I wrote:
I’m afraid many Christians have grown so hide-bound that their very thoughts of God and of salvation in Christ are word-oriented rather than life-oriented. Could that be why we think in terms of intellectual-based learning when it comes to the Bible?
Hide-bound may be a term somewhat unfamiliar to some, but I can tell you that most of us have been very familiar with the kind of bondage it expresses, which is the strict adherence to a collection of writings that has kept us from seeing their reality. I suspect that many of us became ensnared to a hide-bound mentality from the verse attributed to Paul, 2 Timothy 2:15. This is Bible knowledge gone bad.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV
The thing I had written in the aforementioned dialog was this:
The whole idea that Paul was promoting an intellectual concept of Christianity that is built upon study misses the point to Timothy, doesn’t it?
The word is closer to “diligent” and suggests more of mindset as in not being swayed by doctrines that would have us constantly questioning whether or not we’re approved.
The NASB actually states: Be diligent to present yourself approved
That’s the same basic truth he wrote to the Colossians
And to the Galatians: Stand firm in the freedom by which you have been set free.
If you’d like to read the ridiculously-long article that was stirred by this short interaction, you can find that here: 2 Timothy 2:15
By the way, I am planning another trip to Uganda sometime near the beginning of 2015. Please keep my brothers and sisters, as well as yours, in your hearts and minds. Thanks.