Matthew Henry on Ministering Questions
There is a tendency in the church today to question everything, even the very foundations of our faith – the deity and lordship of Christ, the sovereignty of God, the inerrance of the scriptures.
But these things are indeed nothing new under the sun. Phil Johnson at Pyromaniacs regularly posts selections from Charles Spurgeon about how he, too, fought the same fights against the encroachment of the liberal theologies of his day. Spurgeon understood his place as a minister of the word enough to know that he could not question or reformulate those basics, as shown in today’s dose of Spurgeon:
The old truth that Calvin preached, that Chrysostom preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be a liar to my conscience and my God. I can not shape the truth.
Spurgeon wrote those words in 1858, but they still apply to the church today. I was reminded of the timelessness of these ideas this evening, while reading Matthew Henry’s commentary on 1 Timothy, from the early 1700′s:
As among the Jews there were some who brought Judaism into Christianity; so among the Gentiles there were some who brought paganism into Christianity. ‘Take heed of these,’ says he, ‘watch against them, or they will be the corrupting and ruining of religion among you, for they minister questions rather than edifying.’ That which ministers questions is not for edifying; that which gives occasion for doubtful disputes pulls down the church rather than builds it up.
Do not minister questions. Do not shape the truth. Preach the truth of the gospel, in season and out of season.