(August 13, 2015)
There were a couple of thoughts that came to my mind as I read through these chapters. The first of those thoughts focused on the idea that gain is godliness. This isn’t just limited to material wealth, of course. We may think that popularity is godliness (if everyone thinks I am righteous, then I am – I am living through the reverse of that currently). Or if I think I am godly, I am (pride).
We may even be guilty of idolatry in the way that we approach our Priesthood leaders. We must respect the office of their calling, but so many times it seems like we assume that our leaders are always godly (and the greater the leadership position, the greater the godliness). We forget that we are infallible people trying to run a perfect organization, and there is nothing that would indicate that the Bishop by definition would be more godly than the Nursery Leader (or any other two callings for comparison). I assume that the same could be true for leaders believing themselves godly because of their calling, but having never truly been in a leadership position, I would only be speculating.
Ultimately there is only one qualification for godliness – are you repenting and are you forgiving. Everything else is sophistry meant to distract us from the truth.
The second thought was on the oppositions of science falsely called. We living in an age where scientism is a religion, and its high priests openly advocate poor or false science to push forward political, moral, or social agendas. It is tempting to think that this is a unique situation (or a worse situation) than any time before, but Paul’s words here seem to indicate that isn’t true. And, in fact, that is a common temptation (to believe our time is particularly bad, or particularly good), but very rarely to we ever live in the best of times or the worst of times.