Hey Diddle Diddle

  • Tuesday, February 8, 2011
  • When you first glance at this photo, it might bring back memories of that nursery rhyme about the cow jumping over the moon. But, look again. It’s a hot air balloon. That’s right, it’s a balloon made to look like a cow. Things aren’t always as they might first appear.

    There’s a message here about the false prophets among us. There are empty talkers and deceivers, teaching things they should not teach, they’re full of myths and commandments . . . hot air if you will.

    Paul wrote to Titus urging him to seek good leaders for the churches on Crete. The churches had been taken over by leaders who were upsetting whole families, teaching them things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain. As our study has shown, Paul’s guidance was to seek first men of good character and equip them with the Word of God to put the churches back on the right track. Edward M. Bounds, a pastor in the late 1800’s and into the early 1900’s echoed Paul’s words when he noted, “While the church looks for better methods, God looks for better men!”

    “Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels.” 2 Timothy 2:22,23

    A false teacher can be much more deceptive than the balloon image of the cow. Today’s church can be challenged by people who may quote Scripture and seek to debate over seemingly important issues. And yet, those debates are often over matters that aren’t core to the Gospel. In his message to us on Sunday, Pastor Tom pointed out that there is a pure Gospel of saving grace provided by the finished and sufficient work of Christ. Then there are those “doctrines” which, while important, are not at the core of the message of saving grace. Perhaps it’s baptism, or the role of communion. While these are addressed in His Word, they are not core to the Gospel of Christ’s death for our sins. Finally, there are personal preferences that are not near the core. But some will argue that the style of music or even which version of the Bible you use for your study might impact your salvation. Truth or hot air?

    Leadership in His church is no nursery rhyme. When elders and deacons fail to feed, to lead and to protect, God’s flock is placed jeopardy. That’s why it’s so vital to have strong and committed leaders in the church. It was true for the churches of Crete and it’s true of the churches today. When men add works to grace they destroy the gospel, nullify grace and make impotent the saving power of the cross.


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