Paul warns Timothy that there will be a falling away from the faith as people pay attention to doctrines of demons and turn away from God’s instruction. We do well to hold tight to the written instructions of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and the Brit Hadasha (New Testament). Let us study them and seek the Spirit to have understanding. Let us take caution not to accept teaching from those who change their meaning, even if the teaching is commonly accepted by churches that identify as Christian.
1But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.
One could take the specifics of this passage to mean many different things. Examples could include our focus today as a culture on abortion, homosexuality, transgender. It could include many things.
Some will claim this means we are to eat whatever we want, but ironically we all still cling to some dietary code we have learned, whether it was devised by man or by God. Some eat crawfish, some eat cat. Some abstain from pig, some from cow, some from meat altogether, some from red meat on Fridays in lent. None of us consider everything we could eat to be “food”. We should reflect not on what we or our local culture identify as food, but what the Lord calls food. This would have been the context in which Paul was writing.
As a silly example, we are not to accept poison or something that would do us harm! So clearly he is not meaning everything but rather all food… and it should be God’s definition of what is food.
Seek the Lord and study the word. Ask him to increase your knowledge and wisdom in these things. Be patient with other followers of Christ, even in the midst of some disagreement.
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