“Having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” 2 Timothy 3:4-6
Sounds like a harsh word, huh? Well let me give you another verse that might help digest the first one; “Let God be true, and every human being a liar…” Romans 3:3-5 And if you still can’t swallow it, well this should be a cincher; “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:15-17
Let me tell you another story that seems unfair. Not too long ago, the officials in this city were jubilating about a successful crackdown of peddlers that hawked imitation goods. Every one reasoned that it was not fair because theirs were cheaper, only a ‘knockoff’ and they did not seem to affect anyone. Anyone; unless you were the original designer who was losing business because someone else was feeding of your identity and trademark. Even worse, was the fact that former, current and would be customers settled for the less-valued and cheaper version because it was right there and easier to get. All you needed, was loose change and it was yours for the asking. Or better still, the sellers chased you down the street and offered you the option of a bargain and lower price.
“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
After the crack down, a law was passed that both the buyer and peddler would be persecuted if caught. The buyer? Why should a bunch of us that temporarily strayed (I know I did), or those of us that just never partook of the real thing be punished for taking advantage of a very easy situation. Well it should be a ‘no-brainer’ that our very indulgent and lazy purchases were promoting and fueling a situation that defrauded and hurt an otherwise innocent and hard-working business, franchise and trademark owner. Not to talk of the fact that the ‘knockoffs‘ were never what they were touted and expected to be. Needless to say just because it kind of looked like the real thing, did not mean you would get the same quality that the real thing bore, offered and insured.
“One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Acts 19:14-16
The bible talks about the seven sons of Sceva, that took on a role because they felt they were the same as the true disciples of Jesus Christ. They probably figured, we look just like they do why not us? Well the presence of the Holy Spirit made all the difference. Just because they were all men did not mean they were all chosen. In the sad end, we know what happened. The evil spirits turned and beat hypocrisy right out of them. I do not think they ever again ventured to be a ‘knockoff’ of any person or concept. As I write this piece, my Canal Street (knockoff-town) bought tote bag is falling apart at the seams. It took a couple of books and a laptop one week to retire it. But I don’t mind, since ‘you do get what you pay for’. And besides, I can always get another one (fake stuff and people are ‘a dime a dozen’). They are just right there and cheaper too…
“Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” 2 Timothy 2:18-20