I Matthew Grayson Scott being of sound mine and spirit do hereby approve these guidelines for all churches to follow for I am a wise man and have an opinion better than everyone else’s. Furthermore, I believe that I am the authority on what is right and wrong and only use the name (Bible) in hopes that it will give some validity to what I say and that young or unaware Christians will be fooled by my beautiful and positive words. I may mention a verse in the Bible given from a translation that is as watered down as a day old glass of ice tea but again it will only be for the sake of giving you the false security that I am actually speaking doctrinal truth. So please follow these guidelines, it will likely bring many people to your church, but I cannot promise it will keep them there.
Hopefully, you are laughing right now. If not, and if the above paragraph did not strike you as wrong, you should be very concerned because you are easy pray for false teachers and false doctrines. Even though the paragraph you just read was comical in nature, it has a scary truth. There are people who believe, teach and run a church in this way. This is a very real problem in the church as we know it today. This article is actually about guidelines for having a NT Church in the year 2008 but we will go to the only source for truth that we have “God’s Word” and not our ideas, opinions, personal conviction, feelings, experience, etc. The things that you may read might bother, anger, sadden and I hope, convict you but just remember to read the Scripture and know that you are not hearing my thoughts, but God’s! I would hope that if there is an area of your life that you need to change or maybe a belief you need to change, that you will let God’s Word be the sword it is and to shape you into the Christian you should be.
Timothy: A young man on a mission
We will look at Paul’s guidelines he gives to Timothy on how a church should be. Paul visited and wrote many letters to Churches but not he is training young Timothy to go and do the same thing. Timothy could be comparable to an evangelist in today’s time however Timothy would get much more actively involved with church leadership in making sure things were done as God would have them to be done. I am not yet 30 years old and see myself as a young man, so I feel a connection with Timothy and I was blessed to read this book of the Bible because I felt like God told Paul what to tell me. Really it is true of any Christian male or female of any age. We all must know how Church should be. As you study these passages, don’t forget that even though a church service may be an organized gathering of believers, the church itself is not about a building, a denomination, or anything else but people.
I will give the text, number the guidelines found in the text, and write the verse where you will find the guideline. This way you can get in your Bible and read it yourself. Hey, there’s an idea!
Text: 1Timothy 1:3-11
1. FALSE DOCTRINE:
You should hear no other doctrine in Church besides that which is straight from the Word of God. V.3
2. FAIRY TALES, FALSE TEACHINS, LEGALISTIC RAMBLINGS:
Liberal fairytales and warm fuzzy false teachings along with legalistic ramblings should not be something you hear in Church. Sadly it seems there is a tendency for a church to go to either extreme as if simply following God is not enough. The “Emergent Church” movement that claims to be bringing the NT church into the 21st century seems to lean too liberal slowly fading out the Gospel and quickly eliminating the purpose of the Church (Discipleing Believers). On the other hand “Fundamentalist” Churches lean towards legalism where the pastor barks out personal convictions from the pulpit like a rabid dog and the faithful church members seem more like Pharisees instead of humble slaves to our King Jesus. Fundamental churches are dying out because the power of God is not on them, and liberal churches grow like weeds (weeds is a good word for them) because they make people feel good and don’t preach the convicting Word of God. Both the death of legalistic churches and the growth of liberal ones is not Gods plan. We must meet in the middle with a true NT church as given to us here in Timothy.
We must examine our hearts and see if our motivation for what we do or say in church is from love and no other motivation. We must be able to do it with a clear conscience knowing that we love God and others as well as live what we say knowing that our faith in God is what we act out of. If we truly are repentant of our sins, love Jesus, and believe in Jesus Christ for our salvation, we will understand that it is our love for Christ that makes us serve, trust, and obey Him. In the same way, we only say and do things to others because of love. The motivation for everything we do in church is love. If it cannot be done with love (IT CANNOT BE DONE)!
Legalistic ramblings are useless except they do a great job of wasting everyone’s time. The OT laws have a purpose, but not after someone has accepted Christ.
5. OLD TESTAMENT LAWS:
OT laws are a great way to show someone who does not have Jesus that they are a lawbreaker and that living a sinless life to earn Heaven is impossible. The law is designed to bring people to the Gospel of Christ!
V. 8- 11