[今日經文 Today’s Reading: 提多書, 腓利門書 Titus, Philemon]
保羅指示教會領袖”將健全的教導(sound doctrine)勸勉人，又能駁倒爭辯的人。” 能夠教導是教會領袖除了具有良好品格之外的一項重要資格。 “健全Sound”一詞在希臘語 hugianio 中的意思是健康和完全，指的是保護和保存生命的事物。 牧師的講道應該教導基督徒純正的教義，以保護和維護他們的屬靈健康，而不是教導ㄧ半的真理，以使會眾感到舒適和快樂。 他們的講道也必須“駁倒爭辯的人”。
幾十年前，神學家梅欽 J. Gresham Machen 警告神學院的學生：
如果你願意，你可以避免辯論[關於有爭議的信仰問題]。 你只需要隨波逐流。每個星期天宣講你在神學院學習的課程，像你在大學裡學習的那樣學習——這些問題可能永遠不會困擾你。 重大的問題很容易避免。 許多傳道人正在這麽做。 許多傳道人正在對著空氣講道。
Paul instructed the church leaders to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. To be able to teach is one important qualification of church leaders besides being of good character. The word “sound” in Greek, hugianio, means being healthy and wholesome, referring to that which protects and preserves life. A pastor’s preaching should teach Christians sound doctrine to protect and preserve their spiritual health rather than to teach half-truths to make congregants feel comfortable and happy. Their preaching must also “rebuke those who contradict it.”
Decades ago, theologian J. Gresham Machen warned seminary students:
You can avoid the debate [over contested issues of the faith] if you choose. You need only drift with the current. Preach every Sunday during your seminary course, study as you studied in college—and these questions will probably never trouble you. The great questions may be easily avoided. Many preachers are avoiding them. And many preachers are preaching to the air.
Prayer: Dear Lord, may You raise more church leaders to teach sound doctrine and have the courage and wisdom to rebuke those who contradict it, so as to protect and preserve believers’ spiritual health! In Jesus’ name, Amen.