Science Falsely So Called
When I was about eight years old, my older brother gave me the scare of my life. He told me on the night of a full moon that the moon was so large because it was going to crash into the earth and kill us all that night. No wonder it was so big. Being a concerned boy, I ran home to tell my parents (with tear filled eyes) that the end was only hours away!
I grew up in public schools and learned that my teachers were to be trusted above all and that they only told the truth. This mindset stayed with me all the way through college.
Needless to say, I was a confused young man by the time I finished going to school. The world taught me a lot through the years, some of it useful and some of it nothing more than baloney!
Religious friends taught me to believe in UFO’s, reincarnation, ESP, psychic phenomena, and many other things that don’t have names.
In the midst of all the confusion I dealt with, I came “face to face” with God and later became an independent Baptist. There’s a lot more to the story than that, but I learned something that changed my life.
My teachers didn’t always tell the truth! It wasn’t because they lied to me, they just didn’t know some things for themselves. Some of them didn’t know the foundation of the truth, the Lord Jesus Christ. These discoveries were made about 40 years ago. But enough about me. What about you? Are you standing in the truth?
Nearly two thousand years ago, Paul gave us a stern warning. This is what he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit;
“Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and opposition of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.” 1 Timothy 6:19-21
Did you know that we have already accepted truths that aren’t true? Let’s see how much we know today. Can you answer the following questions correctly?
Henry Ford invented the first car. True or False
Thomas Edison invented the light bulb? True or False
Leaves change color in the fall? True or False
Lead pencils contain lead? True or False
A camel stores water in its humps. True or False
I’m not going to answer those questions here. However, I’ll challenge you to find the answers for yourself.
My central point for the next several articles in this series is what Paul warned Timothy about: science falsely so called.
Lay up a good foundation….
“….Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life….” 1 Timothy 6:19
Every building needs a good foundation. I’ve seen the houses built out of cardboard and sheetrock that line some of the roads in Mexico and Honduras. It’s a miracle they aren’t blown away with every wind that blows. Yet, they withstand a little wind and a little rain. If the house blows away, get the pieces and build it again! That’s how some of the people live.
Earthquakes come and destroy some houses and other buildings. They have good foundations but not good enough to withstand certain types of disasters. Think about the house built on the sand and the one built upon the rock. The foundation is important!
Just as a foundation is important for any building, it’s also important for our faith. A good spiritual foundation is needed for our spiritual faith. Other foundation can no man lay than that which has already been laid, which is Jesus Christ.
The foundation of our faith isn’t wood, hay or stubble. Are you thankful for that? Neither do we need a foundation laid by men, foundations or groups. The presence of spiritual storms needs the presence of strong and unshakable foundation.
Timothy needed this as a young pastor 2000 years ago and we still need this today and tomorrow. Why? It’s because this strong foundation has made it possible for us to lay hold on eternal life. Jesus paid it all, didn’t He?
Paul didn’t just say something to Timothy, he pled with him. Notice how he wrote, “O, Timothy….” And it wasn’t just for his time 2000 years ago! It was also today. This was a prophetic point as well as a warning from Paul.
“…against the time to come…” 1 Timothy 6:19
People needed Christ then just as they do today. Even in those days, people were being led astray and trusting in the foundations laid only by men. Without the foundation of Christ, people couldn’t lay hold on eternal life. The truth was there and people needed to hang on to the truth in the midst of opposition. This wasn’t to maintain their salvation but because they had salvation.
Now we see part of the reason why Paul was so concerned for this young pastor. He wasn’t just talking to him but he was pleading with him, “O, Timothy….”
“…keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and opposition of science falsely so called….” 1 Timothy 6:19-21
Keep that which is committed to you…
Timothy was Paul’s on in the ministry and Paul spent untold hours personally training this young pastor of the church of Ephesus. Many people would come with lies and perversions of the gospel truths in the coming years. Paul tried to prepare Timothy for this by telling him to stay committed to the true gospel he was taught. This was a special and a sacred trust. It was the truth of God.
Words had been hidden in the heart and more words needed hiding. The truth needed sharing and preservation by all Christians in the church. No doubt, this was a big task and one worthy of deep consideration. It was serious business in the early church and it’s serious business for churches and church members today!
There has always been a need for faithfulness and we still need to keep those things (not just given to us) but committed to us.
Keep that which is committed to your trust….
Did you know that compared to the world, the church member is considered an expert in the things of God. Whether or not that person knows anything, the world still expects him or her to know. Have you noticed that? Perversions of the gospel were already around in Paul’s day!
As a church member, you know some things those outside of the church don’t understand. Christians have a hope that others simply don’t have or comprehend. Add church membership to that, and you have a “treasure house” that those outside don’t know anything about.
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to explain the peace that Jesus gives. Trying to explain what Jesus does to a person outside of Christ sometimes seems like a hopeless task. The true Christian wants others to have the hope of Christ too, but it’s a challenge to explain it to someone else!
Avoid profane and vain things….
My nature is to often find myself embroiled in the midst of spiritual controversy about many topics I find very interesting. However, not all of those things escape my personal research and break out into open areas of discussion.
Paul didn’t want Timothy finding himself drowning in the controversy of the times about who was right and who was wrong. He didn’t charge his son in the ministry to ignore hot topics either. Nor was he to avoid them altogether and run from them. The charge was to turn away from them and not get involved in some of the countless side issues every pastor sooner or later deals with. Whenever possible, Paul warned, Timothy was to stay away from these areas.
Some church members of the time were already swerving away from their faith as a result of controversy. The same is true today, pastor.
Contrary to what some people think, no one has all the answers. Nobody knows everything. I believe the Bible is a great answer book, but nobody knows where to find the answers to all of the questions asked today…not even in the Bible.
Believe it nor not, not everything we discuss makes a difference in the first place.
In some cases, erring pastors cause good church members to leave churches. Part of this is because the erring pastor didn’t heed the words of Paul to Timothy in this portion of scripture. They become focused on circumstances and don’t remain focused on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many years ago, I went to a church in California. Across the platform of this church were the words, “It does make a difference what you believe.”
Paul’s advice to Timothy today would be those same words. Every pastor needs those words in his own personal battle cry for service to the Lord.
Avoid profane and vain babblings….
Topics of discussion in the church foyer or outside the auditorium range from boxing matches to recipes, sports teams, the weather, pets, family members, to nearly anything under the sun. There are countless things talked about around the church that are outside the gospel. That’s just human nature. I do it and so do you. Even though we know we’re there to learn more about the Lord, we talk about other things. Sometimes these things are even wicked.
How are they wicked? They become wicked because they oppose the truths of the gospel itself. On occasion, they oppose the propagation of the gospel and they stand against and fight the gospel. When closely examined, these same things often reveal themselves as vain and empty. More than a few of these topics transform themselves into fruitless issues that make no difference. They become discourses on useless subjects that manifest as profane and vain babblings if the pastor lets them get out of control.
Avoid science falsely so called…
Science falsely so called can’t be avoided if we don’t know what real science involves. At its basis is the desire to know something. This involves an investigation of facts in order to come to a valid decision about matters. Observations only include facts or events or things that can be proven again and again in their own rights. As you’ll see in a moment, I’m not opposed to science, real science, in any way. However, not everything that either claims to be science or is called science by others is really science. It’s called by the wrong name.
The word “science” only appears in Daniel 1:4 and 1 Timothy 6:20, but science isn’t limited to only those two places. Why? Because science is also translated as “knowledge” throughout the Bible.
In Timothy’s time, so called science (or certain knowledge ) was opposed to the Word of God. Not everything known to man was opposed to God, only parts of it. Nothing has changed in the last 2000 years. Much of today’s so called science is clearly opposed to the Bible and those who choose to believe the Bible over what calls itself science are considered backwards and uneducated relics of the past. We’ll examine that notion in much more detail in the future. Yes, science still opposes the Bible today.
In a very real sense, Paul wrote prophetically about science falsely so called. The meaning of the word itself has changed through the years. People today not only follow science, but some people worship it and boldly claim every word of it is true. Certain things that were once taught in public school classrooms as theories have somehow transformed themselves into teaching as the facts of reality. This is in spite of false or missing information and volumes of evidence to the contrary.
Sooner or later, each Christian must make a decision about who to believe. Do we trust the Bible or do we trust science? Can we trust both?
Thank God for science…
Thank the Lord for real science in Paul’s day and in ours. Cultures of the past used science to do things that we still can’t duplicate today! Maybe we aren’t as smart as we think we are. All we can do in some cases is scratch our head and wonder how they did it.
Science was a great tool of the Romans. They invented ways to mine silver, gold and lead. Water mills to grind grain came from Rome. Concrete for domes also came from them. The invention of aqueducts, sewage systems, blown glass jars, medicine and mathematics also came from that great culture.
Throughout the years, knowledge has increased and true science has been a great benefit for us all.
Somewhere along the line though, people became proud of themselves and they began to worship knowledge. Questions about knowledge found themselves answered when people claimed this knowledge was actually science. To them, anything that was science made it fact.
The claim, “Science says…..,” has a way of removing any doubts about something’s validity. Have you noticed that? We have all been so influenced by this on television, radio, printed matter and even in churches that some of us don’t know where we really stand in vital areas of God’s Word. That’s exactly what Paul warned Timothy about.
In Timothy’s day, it was called science but it was falsely so called. Others considered it true knowledge but it wasn’t really knowledge. It was a disguise, a mask, a smokescreen for millions of well meaning people. Some of this knowledge opposed the Bible and some of it really scorned God’s Word when it was closely examined. Its authors wanted people to enjoy extra-biblical knowledge or something that God never said.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools and changed the glory of God into something else described in Romans 1. Some of the knowledge they possessed was without understanding. Do you see the dangers here?
The result of this was the fact that some erred concerning the faith. Perhaps we have listened too long to science falsely so called.
So called science had many adherents that claimed the world would end on December 21, 2012. However, I want you to notice an article that just appeared on the Yahoo home website page. It was titled "Oldest Mayan Calendar Found". The main point of the article was that a recent discovery unearthed the oldest Mayan calendar in the world, older than the one used to predict the "coming doomsday". The Bible, however, disputes both calendars. Beware of science that is falsely so called.
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