An Imperious Insistence

Christian: Please allow me to quote some Scripture.

Tolerant Religionist: Fine. Whatever.

Christian: Okay. Here goes:

“Give diligence to present yourself approved to God, a workman unashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. But shun profane, empty babblings, for they will go on to more ungodliness, and their word will have growth like gangrene, of whom are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who missed the mark concerning the truth, saying the resurrection already has come, and overturn the faith of some. However, the foundation of God stands firm, having this seal, The Lord knew the ones being His; also, Let everyone naming the name of Christ depart from unrighteousness” (2 Timothy 2:15-19).

Tolerant Religionist: Oh, wow. This is really sick. And by “sick” I don’t mean, “cool.” I mean an absolutely disgusting disgrace.

Christian: Well, please don’t hold back on my account.

Tolerant Religionist: It appears that Paul is advocating some form of “doctrinal perfectionism” here. It is apparently insufficient to believe in the resurrection. A person must articulate the proper words in the proper order to Paul’s idiosyncratic and perverse satisfaction.

Christian: Clearly Hymenaeus and Philetus defined “resurrection” in such a different and aberrant sense from the apostles, that to maintain it was belief in a damnable falsehood. This damnable heresy concerning the resurrection was said to overthrow the faith of some.

Tolerant Religionist: Paul is clearly experiencing delusions of Diotrephesian grandeur with his imperious insistence that God the Holy Spirit only births mature adults rather than babes in Christ. Paul is engaged in theological intimidation and bullying by demanding perfect, complete, exact understanding of every last scintilla of doctrine, a perfect mental grasp of all theology, an infallible understanding of all the verses in the Bible, and absolute doctrinal purity and mental clarity. Wow. What a nefarious and noxious atmosphere this Paul is creating, where it must be quite terrifying to show even the slightest bit of deviation.

Christian: Do you know what a non sequitur is?