I’m in the preparation stages for the “Iron Sharpens Iron” conference at Emmaus Bible College. I’ve been asked to give two workshops. The theme this year is ‘Training for Godliness” and the plenary sessions will be focusing on I Timothy 4-6. My two topics are: “Guarding and Discarding: The Keys to Sound Theology (1 Timothy 6:20-21)” and “Sanctified Hedonism: The Case for “Worldly Saints” (1 Timothy 4:1-5).”
These false teachers, these faith-abandoners, will be inspired by demons to teach their heresies. Personally, they are characterized as being “hypocritical liars” with seared consciences!
In terms of their teaching, two categories of error are specified by Paul: (1) they will forbid God’s gift of marriage, and (2) they will order their followers to follow certain dietary restrictions.
Specifically, their commands about diet focus on abstention, not thanksgiving. “Don’t eat that!” is their command. Not, “Wow! Isn’t God good to give us such delicacies!” Refusing God’s good gifts is as bad a sin as gluttony. It expresses a lack of thankfulness for what “God created to be received.” Finding a balance between restriction and liberty is a challenge at times, isn’t it? We can fall into the trap of being gift-denyers and think that we have somehow become more spiritual. (to be continued)