Wednesday, May 23, 2007

ITCHING EARS---HOW TO SCRATCH THAT ITCH

No, the answer is not a q-tip.

Sometimes, we find ourselves caught off balance. What we expected to hear is not what we actually heard. We ask questions with preconceived notions and based upon our prior knowledge, we expect the questions to be answered in a particular way. If you ask enough questions with such notions, eventually, you can expect to find yourself answered in a way other than what was expected. Preconceived ideas and notions can contribute greatly to poor reception in the exchange of ideas and thoughts. There is one concept, however, that is actually worse than just having preconceived ideas. That concept is: asking a question from someone who will tell you what you want to hear, in spite of what the truth really is.

This concept sounds tempting. Surround yourself with "yes-men". Imagine always hearing what you want to hear. Yes, you have more money in your bank account than what your ledger shows. Yes, you can eat the whole gallon of ice cream without unhealthy side effects. Yes, you can drive as fast as you want. Yes, you can skip any bills you want to this month. Yes, you can hit that person for making you angry. Yes, you can cheat on your spouse without any consequences. By now, your imagination can take you beyond even what I have mentioned here. Yes, you can be saved without repentance. Yes, you can be saved without going through the cross. Yes, you can be saved without faith alone in Christ alone. Yes, there are many paths to heaven. Yes, all men will eventually be in heaven. And if you look long enough and hard enough, you can find someone who would willingly tell you any or all of these things. You could even find, based upon recent article links, Southern Baptist Sunday School Teachers that would agree with you on some of these ideas. However, this post is not about them, but about those of us who would turn to them for answers.

Paul warns Timothy, in chapter 4 of his second epistle to the same, that there would come a time when people would not want to hear sound doctrine and as a result, would raise up teachers that would tell them what they want to hear. Why do they want to leave sound doctrine? What is it that could drive a man to pursue something false? What is it that could drive a man to seek out "yes men"? Paul says plainly in II Timothy 4:3 that it a man's own lust. Since his own lust wars against the truth, man seeks a different truth. Since his own desires war against the desires of God, man seeks a different god. So the question that is appropriate for us to examine is this: To whom are you listening and why? Is it because they make you feel good about yourself? Is it because that what they say does not confront you? Is it because that what they say is convenient for you at the moment and even politically/religiously expedient for you and others? Paul did not tell Timothy to see what tier the doctrine was on. Paul did not say that if it is lower than first tier that there is room for yoking together even though they would be unequally yoked. No, instead he told Timothy to:

1. Preach the word
2. Be instant in season, out of season
3. Reprove
4. Rebuke
5. Exhort with
a. longsuffering
b. doctrine

How do I avoid the sin of listening to my itching ears and lusts? Stay in the word of God. Why the word? It is ready at any moment to reprove, to rebuke and to exhort and that is just the medicine that itching ears need.

Luke

2 comments:

selahV said...

Luke: this is the reason I avoid certain blogs. what might titilate the senses most often desensitizes the spiritual person within. The outward man of flesh takes control and less is edified, encouraged or comforted. Lately my ears can only be satisfied with the Words of Christ. All else is like clanging cymbals and buzzing cicadas. good post. selahV

Luke said...

ahh, the buzzing of cicadas. I love to listen to them especially during the daytime.

Anyways, discretion is always wise. I think that all to often we put the weight upon the false teachers to quit teaching rather than the listeners to exercise Godly listening.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope Bob is doing better.

Luke