10/24/19: 2 Timothy 2:22 – 3:17; Psalm 94:1-23; Proverbs 26:6-8
When I was pretty young up I remember my grandmother Hiatt taking me to some fundamentalist Pentecostal church meetings. I also remember being “yelled at” by preachers who spoke incessantly and almost without taking a breath. It was not uncommon for them to leave the pulpit and shout into the face of attendees, particularly if they were not members of what they referred to as “my” church. There was certainly no mention of God’s love and grace, only the condemnation of sinners and the threat of eternal damnation and burning in hell. It was the memory of their technique, not the message in scripture I still remember.
It was years later when, lead by Liz’s example, I began to study on my own and was taught by Godly men that I came to know Christ. And in today’s reading we see Paul instructing Timothy on how to evangelize. It is a pattern we all need to follow:
2 Timothy 2: 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
When traveling I often search for a Christian radio station (usually located on the “low numbers” of FM stations.) I have occasionally tuned into a “fire and brimstone” preacher who is speaking loudly almost without taking a breath and thumbing the table or pulpit he is behind. He is often