“Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.” (1 Timothy 3:8–10, NIV84)
Today’s text addresses the spiritual leaders of the church. Paul says in the verse above that it is vital that the deacon “keep hold of the deep truths of faith with a clear conscience.” There are deep, important and absolute truths that the spiritual heads of the church must maintain and never give up. This is tough to do in today’s society. The prevalent worldview is that truths are relative and self-defined. The current thought is that absolute truths are stodgy and impractical, that no truth could be good for all people for all time. This worldview puts current spiritual leaders in a tough position. Some find that it is very difficult to reach today’s society with yesterday’s truths. So they redefine and repackage their truths to try to make them more palatable to today’s society. The progression of thought seems pragmatic, but there is one problem — their repackaged truths are no longer true. God’s truths are absolute because our salvation is wrapped up in them. Change those truths and we could negatively change the message of salvation.
The real challenge before the spiritual leaders of the Church is to stay true to yesterday’s absolute truths and to share them in a convincing and persuasive way to today’s relativistic society. We may need to repackage, but we can never redefine. We must reverently submit ourselves to the authority of God’s Word. We must let it be our master. We are the ones with the problem, so it’s probably best that we don’t turn to ourselves for the answers. God sent Jesus into the world so that we might know His truth and experience His love. It is God’s truth and love that we must hold before those who adhere to today’s worldview.
May we all, but especially those in leadership in the Church, “keep hold of the deep truths of the faith.”