False Teaching and Money

These are the things you are to teach and insist on. If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

1 Timothy 6:2b-5

We have reached the part of this letter where Paul is wrapping things up and bringing it to a close. He has given Timothy a charge, and instruction in how to proceed and what he should teach the people to repair the damage that false teachers have caused, and now he is making a few final things very clear.

What Timothy has been told to teach, he must teach, and if anyone teaches otherwise, they have problems, and Paul is going to tell us what those problems are. They are “conceited” and “understand nothing”. In other words, they are lovers of themselves. They are interested in creating problems, arguments, quarrels: they are simply troublemakers.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

1 Timothy 6:6-10

This is an interesting little paragraph; notice how choppy the sentences are. Paul is a guy who can write sentences that are almost a chapter long, but here his style is quite different. He is making a point, but what point is he making?

Talking about money all of the sudden is quite fascinating, but we must resist the temptation to do what most people do with this paragraph and forget its context. Has anything been written here that would suggest to you that the context has changed from the previous paragraph to this one? No, this is a continuation of the same thought, the problems of the false teachers. Paul first tells Timothy that we should be content with what we have and not be lovers of money seeking to get rich. He goes on to make the point that people who seek great amounts of money are led into all sorts of bad things: Could he be implying that false teachers are motivated by money?

I’d be interested in your thoughts…

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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8 Responses to False Teaching and Money

  1. Tom says:

    I believe that he is implying that money can be found at the center of false teachings. Most false teachings are about self gratification rather than self humbling. It is also about the speaker and not about God. Both of these are filled with greed. The number one greed is for money and things. This is even in the good sense of getting God’s blessings.
    Keep up the great work!

  2. etaxwiz says:

    As a CPA, I am called upon to counsel people about money on a daily basis. To counsel biblical principles in humility with the end result that our use of the resources God provides might bring him glory as we are co-laborers with Christ in this life and seek the bringing of the kingdom into the here and now. Warnings about greed are foundational. Money is a tool we use. I pray for wisdom. I consider my job my ministry. In this, like Paul, I warn against the ways of this world with regards to making money the goal.

  3. I’m probably in the minority, but so many church worship periods these days are made up more of the music with a tiny tidbit worked in for prayer and Bible reading. People say, “I like to go to so-and-so church because of its music,” so the leaders give them what they want to build up their congregation (includinng higher contributions). We’ve developed a me-centered worship service instead of God centered. Why don’t we spend more time letting God talk to us by getting up and reading an entire book of the Bible (minor prophets or short epistles), and talking to God? Prayer isn’t entertaining! Bible reading isn’t entertaining. I would never stand before the throne of the Queen of England, for example, and dance around and act giddy. So why would I approach the throne of God that way? We’ve lost our respect for God. As I said, I’m probably in the minority. But I think one of the reasons the church is disappearing in America is because we’re sugar-coating everything and there is such little bit of time left for the meat. So, now I will get off my soap box.

  4. Denine Taylor says:

    I have never heard any big money preacher preach this verse, “my house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making into a den of thieves.” I also have noticed that at during that time in the temple Jesus didn’t say, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.” They know.

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