What to Avoid and What to Confront in the Fight For Unity Part 4


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“In Essentials, Unity; In Nonessentials, Liberty; In All Things, Love.”

http://www.moravian.org/the-moravian-church/the-moravian-church/history.html

        These powerful words bring me straight to the Scriptures as we begin to discuss what the Body of Christ, must avoid,

But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. Titus 3:9 (NKJV)

The Bible is telling us to avoid the following foolish disputes. These foolish disputes are:

  1. Genealogies

  2. Contentions

  3. Strivings about the law

Lets look together at some definitions:

  1. Foolish: Is the Greek Word mōrós meaning, silly, stupid, foolish, from which the Eng. word “moron” is derived.[1]

  2. Disputes: A word used by the Greeks to indicate philosophical inquiry. In the NT, it indicates an exchange of words rather than a true search.[2]

   The Bible is talking about avoiding Foolish Disputes. Base on these Greek definitions we can conclude that we ought to avoid exchanging words for the sake of words and not in search of the true. When we just use words, without any desire to find the truth we become morons.

Lets look at other key definitions to expand on this verse,

  1. Genealogies: γενεαλογία genealogía; to make a genealogical register. Genealogy. The expression in 1 Tim. 1:4 denotes busying oneself about traditions of the past based upon the slightest historical hints which diverted the heart from God’s truth. This, as it appears from Titus 1:10, was a practice of Jewish false teachers though this is not implied in the expression itself (see also Titus 3:9). These Jews were turning the entire historical substance into mere myth. The genealogies were not treated primarily as historical documents but instead were subjected to a highly symbolic interpretive scheme. Names, dates and places supposedly contained hidden meanings which became the basis for esoteric doctrines.[3]

  2. Contentions: Strife, contention, wrangling [4]

  3. Strivings: To fight. Fighting, battle (2 Cor. 7:5; 2 Tim. 2:23, controversies respecting the Mosaic laws; [5]

   As we look closer at the things we must reject, we see first Genealogy. What genealogy in this verse is focusing on is on traditions of men. This is when we focus on man-made traditions rather than on God’s word. The enemy has done a great job in keeping us focusing on the wrong things. I am not saying that all traditions are wrong, but we must understand that nothing should be taking our focus away from the Lord and His Word.

   We should also avoid contentions, that means strives. The Bible also used the word striving, but this time it is strives caused by arguments over the Law of Moses. Perhaps we all need to be reminded that according to First Corinthian 13, we know in part.

   It is almost comical that people have jumped out of churches because they disagree with one point, but as we are able to look back through the eyes of history, we can clearly see that they, who left, missed something else. I guess that is the reason why Paul called these issues of genealogy, contentions and strives, foolish disputes.

   So then, the question is, what is it that we are supposed to confront?

TO BE CONTINUED…


[1] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[2] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[3] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[4] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[5] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

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