The first passages today comes from the First Letter to Timothy:
3 As I urged you when I was going to Macedo′nia, remain at Ephesus that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, 4 nor to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies which promote speculations rather than the divine training that is in faith; 5 whereas the aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith. 6 Certain persons by swerving from these have wandered away into vain discussion, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make assertions.
(1 Timothy 1:3-7)
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
(1 Timothy 4:1-5)
Then we come to Second Timothy:
14 Remind them of this, and charge them before the Lord to avoid disputing about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16 Avoid such godless chatter, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will eat its way like gangrene. Among them are Hymenae′us and Phile′tus, 18 who have swerved from the truth by holding that the resurrection is past already. They are upsetting the faith of some.
(2 Timothy 2:14-18)
Passages like these make me ashamed to be shocked at times by various “Churchian” teachings. There has been false doctrine and teaching around since the very earliest days of the Church. Even during the Apostolic period the leaders of the Church had to put down heresy. So really, it should come as no surprise to any of us that it shows up so often. The Evil One isn’t known as “The Prince of Lies” for nothing.
Also, passages like these help remind me to be careful when I talk about scripture. I still have a lot to learn when it comes to my knowledge of the bible, but sometimes I forget this and shoot off my mouth. I need to keep in mind all those Proverbs about silence and wisdom.
This brings me to the final passage for today’s post, from the Book of Sirach:
25 Where there is no fence, the property will be plundered;
and where there is no wife, a man will wander about and sigh.
26 For who will trust a nimble robber
that skips from city to city?
So who will trust a man that has no home,
and lodges wherever night finds him?
As I’ve alluded to for a while, I have had some trouble finding, and then being accepted into, a Traditional Catholic community. While I found one fairly recently, I haven’t had much success really integrating into the community. I recognize that some of this is my own introverted nature, but I know that it isn’t all of it. Rather, those two verses from Sirach highlight the real problem- I am a single man with no family or other ties to this community. Such men are instinctively not trusted- we are outsiders, strangers. My suspicion is that this is only heightened if the man is known to be looking for a wife. On the other hand, I suspect that women don’t experience these kinds of trust issues. Communities would be much more welcoming of them, as they don’t represent the same (perceived) level of danger that a single man presents.
Unfortunately, there is no easy solution for me here. I have to slowly build up trust in the community, somehow. Good deeds and good works are probably my best bet at this point. I just hope that I can find means of carrying that out.
Also, I recently came across this chart of sorts detailing the kings of Israel and Judah, as well as the prophets who lived at the same time and the chapters of the Bible which covered each king. I found it a helpful reference, and I suspect some of you may as well. You can find it here.