O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you. 1 Timothy 6:20-21
Don’t misread this verse, Paul is not against knowledge not is he anti intellectual. Anyone who thinks so needs to read Acts in order to see how Paul responded to the Athenians at Mars Hill. Unfortunately many Christians have taken a decidedly anti intellectual stance. Seeing what passes for intellectual discourse these days one can almost see how one could take that stance. Still Jesus commanded us to love God with our minds. He did not command us to check our brains at the church door. When Christians put their brains in idle they are missing some amazing aspects of our faith. Christianity is the only religion that I have encountered that stands up to rigorous intellectual argument.
When we interpret the Bible we also need to be aware of what was going on at the time it was written. While the Bible speaks to all ages it was written during a specific period is history. When we ignore the times then we miss some of the meaning. Such as in today’s verse.
Paul is against knowledge but false knowledge parading as truth. The early church was fighting the heresy of Gnosticism. Gnostics believed that there was secret knowledge only available to the chosen few. They used this exclusivism to attract people away from the true message of Christ. We love to be part of something exclusive. Put limited edition on a product and people can’t wait to buy it. How many times have you received a mailing with limit two per order? So, what do we do? We order two even though we only can use one.
We need to be on our guard against false teaching, false knowledge. These teaching lead people away from the true Word of God. And when they are led away from God’s word they are led away from salvation. It is not that other religions are devoid of truth; the problem is that they contain just enough truth to lead people astray. And once led astray the real truth of Christ is lost to them and along with it their chance at salvation.
We need to always be on guard to separate truth from lie. I remember telling my kids that just because it is on the internet doesn’t make it true. Just because someone has written a book or made a speech or talks louder than the rest doesn’t make what they say true. Real truth stands up to investigation. In closing I would like to quote one of my favorite teachers and authors, Norman Geisler, when he said “Plato wrote an unexamined life is not worth living.” Geisler said “an unexamined faith is not worth believing.” Fortunately for Christians, that is not a problem.
Have a blessed day,