"But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life." (1 Timothy 6:11, 12 NKJV)
Flee! Follow! Fight! This exhortation likely begs the questions, "Flee what? Follow whom? Fight what?"
In these current times, it is not a hard thing to realize, that we need to guard our hearts carefully, that we need to turn from evil things, and cast down our idols (even, if these idols are ourselves, as previously discussed). When Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, he was warning him about the troubles of a church, and culture, that struggles with very much the same things as we do today. Mind-numbing moral pragmatism has greatly disabled us from being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. Sadly, this has crept into the church (largely) from the very leadership, and has shot through the veins of the congregation as effectively as Novocain.
Paul's warnings to Timothy include "avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge -- by professing it, some have strayed concerning the faith" (1 Timothy 6:20, 21 NKJV). What was going on in Ephesus? Spiritual teachers were claiming that Christ had already come, and we were in the eternal already, that Christ was not actually God, and that hell did not exist (among many other ludicrous claims irrelevant to our topic). This town sounds familiar to me. The struggles that young Timothy encountered sound familiar to me as well.
Flee these things! In his letter to Timothy, Paul (who evidently regarded Timothy as a son) tells him, flat-out, to reject these things. Flee from even the appearance of evil. Paul is very comfortable even naming some of these people who are teaching these false teachings, and leading people astray. Much as a father needs to tell other parents the things that he has become aware of, that are dangerous for their children, so that the other parents can also protect their children.
[Read the rest of the article at Reasons for Hope.]