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1 Timothy 6:5 – Cross or coin?

10-07-2024 - Posted by Hans

…altercations of men of a decadent mind and deprived of the truth, inferring that devoutness is capital.

Deviating from “the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ” and teaching a “different doctrine” is not just an avenue for wrong insights. It’s worse. Anyone who deliberately takes this ’turn’ is conceited, ignorant and pathologically inclined towards controversies with associated slander and insinuation (6:4). It also leads (as we read in this verse) to “altercations of men of a decadent mind”. The doctrinal deviation therefore has mental consequences. Anyone who is not oriented to “the sound words”, to what is “written in black and white”, in short, to truth, is “affected in thinking”. This also has social consequences, because it inevitably leads to mutual bickering.

The last feature of “teaching differently” (6:3) that Paul warns about may be called illustrative. People turn “devoutness” (lit. good worship) into a business model. A way to make money. Paul was not against financial support, because he received it on occasion. It also (partially) exempted him from manual labor. But Paul never begged or asked for monetary support. Never! He preached the Gospel freely. What a difference with so much devout religiousness. People preach (supposedly) ‘cross’, but they mean ‘coin’…