the weblog of Alan Knox

Scripture… As We Live It #15

Posted by on Aug 17, 2008 in as we live it, scripture | 7 comments

This is the fifteenth installment of “Scripture… As We Live It“:

The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works the programs of the church. These things are excellent and profitable for people. (Titus 3:8 re-mix)


7 Comments

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  1. 8-18-2008

    Keep these coming, they are great.

  2. 8-18-2008

    Alan, this comes across to me that you are saying programs in a church do not qualify as a good work? Is that your intent?

  3. 8-18-2008

    Jason,

    Don’t encourage me too much. ;)

    Joe (J.R.),

    No. We have “church programs”, although our programs are a little different than most.

    Instead, I’m saying that we should not equate “good works” with “church programs”. Among most of the churches with which I’m familiar, “church programs” = “good works” = “church programs” (if that makes sense). Many times, I have been taught and I’ve heard others teach that church programs are the only valid form of “good work” and that any “church program” by definition is a “good work”. It was intent to show that this is the way we often “live” this Scripture.

    -Alan

  4. 8-18-2008

    Okay, so if I were to rewrite your remix to reflect what I hear you saying it would say…

    “The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves EXCLUSIVELY to the programs of the church. These things are excellent and profitable for people. (Titus 3:8 re-mix)”

    Is this a fair summary?

    PS
    Sorry I had to use all CAPS, but I can’t do the strikethrough in the comments.

  5. 8-18-2008

    Joe (J.R.),

    I like the version witout the word “EXCLUSIVELY”, since I’m trying to point out that often “good works” are equated with “church programs”. But, I do agree that the way we live this verse is to encourage people to devote themselves exclusively to church programs.

    -Alan

  6. 8-18-2008

    We agree on the substance of your point. They semantics of it thought make it sound like church ministry is not a good work which, for some, might set up another false paradigm. I hope people will avoid both extremes; works only count inside the 4 walls AND works inside the 4 walls don’t count.

    Like I said, I think we agree though in substance.

  7. 8-18-2008

    Joe (J.R.),

    Yes, we are saying the same thing, but from a different point of view. In the original passage, Paul encourages believers to devote themselves to “good works”. I suggest that today we generally encourage believers to devote themselves to “church programs”. Are “church programs” good works? Maybe… maybe not. The two phrases are not synonymous.

    -Alan