Sound doctrine - 2 Timothy 3 and 4 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / Sunday October 16th, 2022 / Mount Olive Lutheran Church
Text: Luke 18:1-8
Theme: Sound doctrine
Intr – It is not pastor’s snack time during the service, I just thought of using a donut I’ve made as illustration for the Service today. (It’s actually a sandwich).
Is this not a donut? Don’t you believe me? But why? Look, it is round, it has dough and it has filling. Where is it written how a donut should be? You should just respect the way I made my donut and that’s the end of it.
Well, if that would help you to give credibility to it, let me put here a Canadian flag (actually it is a Brazilian one).
Hum, okay. For a donut there's no rule, so one might still argue about my version of this Canadian treat. For the Canadian flag though the rules are clear and precise, and this one here definitely doesn’t fit them.
We are talking about concepts, definition and how precise or not they are. Our world is full of them. How do you sift through right and wrong, sound and wobbly teachings, ideas, ideologies and doctrines of our world? Do your ears itch for these thesis here so that they would change your mind?
_The Earth if flat.
-Coffee is bad for your eyes
-If you eat a carrot a day, you keep cancer away
-They say it is not safe to stay outside for over 10 minutes when winter is below -40, but a new scientific study shows that you can even swimm when is -50 and nothing bad will happen to your body.
Do you ears itch hearing this news, making you feel tempted to believe them following the good reasoning and the science they carry? I would guess you don’t because they seem pretty odd to say the least. There are good established scientific research that teaches you otherwise.
The same does not always hold true though in the spiritual field. Paul talks about “sound doctrine” in the epistle today, which means that is already been established by the word of God. However he admonishes Timothy to keep preaching in and out of seasons, whether it is opportune, welcome, or not. Even since Paul’s time we see our human proclivity to perk our ears to teachings that might confirm desires we have our give us permission to believe things our way. After all, it doesn’t matter what I did, good or bad, right tor wrong, the most important thing is that I did it may way. Oops, here’s already one gets our attentions and itches in our ears, for it confirms our inner desire of being “truth to ourselves” and being judged for what we felt was the best for us, and not by objective standards from the sound doctrine.
But there are other examples. Nothing is wrong if it makes you and people around you happy. Every person goes to a better place after death. Keep your faith inside your church; we don’t need it in the public square. Jesus was a good master who taught love. There is only one God, so no matter your faith, it leads to him. If your religion is not engaged in a social cause, it is not necessary at all. If it is not measurable, it doesn’t exist. Love is love. And the list keeps growing. Sometimes you can’t even use the same words anymore, or use the same symbols, you are expected to change it to a pre determined vocabulary or social norm in order to have voice in the public square. (Ill: thumbs up is considered rude by some people of newer generations. If that is for a thumbs up, imagine if the Church starts to talk about Trinity, Only Christ is the way to God, there is salvation and condemnation,…)
Now, here we are not talking about practice, adiaphora, preferences. There is certainly lots of wiggle room for different ways of teaching and confessing our faith. The History of the Church itself is a 2000 journey of adapting to different circumstances, preferences, cultures and costumes. However when it comes to sound doctrine, every time an attempt was made to shift a major teaching of the Church, She had to deal with it and eventually excommunicate people if needed, as the Bible itself recommends in case of false teaching (Romans 16)
Paul invites Timothy to be a faithful pastor teaching sound doctrine because “the sacred writings are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” All Scripture; not parts of it, not sections of it. The entire Book of God is fully God’s Word.
Paul asks Timothy, and us, to teach sound doctrine. He points us to teach things as they are from the Word of Good. He is not supposed to avoid themes, change meanings or seek not to offend. He certainly is expected to be loving, moderate and pacifier. But always sound.
Ill: If you walk into a donut store and as for a donut filled with ground beef and covered in gravy, what are the chances you’ll get it? The clerk will be calm, moderate and attentions (hopefully) and decline your order. No matter how much pleasing the client is a goal of a business, they have set the rules, the doctrine by which they go.
No matter how much the world would press the Church the change her menu, to be more "tolerant" and "open-minded", to change the filling or the topping of its teaching, we will politely, pacifically, but steadfastly decline the order. We will continue to preach sound doctrine.
How hard is it for us to stay faithful? Very much so.
Then we turn our eyes to Jesus’ parables told to his disciples with a very specific purpose: “to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Pray. Do not lose heart. Where does your help come from? Psalm 121 answers. Look above the hills. Don’t look to them(as pagan religious used to do) or down on them as if you’d have everything figured out already and it is just a matter of telling God the how to’s. Life in this world is one of blessings and struggles, of joys and disappointments in this fallen word. He is the one that maintains us faithful till the end.
Cc – Now in case you didn’t know it, there are places where you can go to fin a precise definition. The Merriam-Webster dictionary for example” a small usually ring-shaped piece of sweet fried dough”. You may not like it, you may not agree with it, You may challenge it, but that wouldn’t change the doughnut. The description corresponds to reality
Sound doctrine. With steadfastness, respect and love. This is our business, this is what we do as Christians, and as a Church. This is why we will be open 24/7 seven offering this delicious taste of God’s word, so many people may drive through Christ into the arms of the Loving Father