Acesta este un pasaj dintr-un comentariu la 1 Timotei în care John mărturisește despre propriile lui necazuri cu cei care-l atacă și-i distorsionează mesajul:
J.B. Phillips decrying the problem of ineffective Christians said, “Your God is too small.” In other words, your life reflects a weak God. On the other hand, you show me a devoted life, an impactful life, a superior spiritual life, a life of great strength, great and effective ministry and I’ll show you a life that’s representative of a God that is very large. It is our theology proper, which is the technical category for the doctrine of God, which dictates the impact of our ministry. And so, Timothy is called to fulfill his duty based upon who God is.
Now you might ask the question, well, given the fact that Timothy was called by God, that he heard prophetically out of heaven that this call was valid,in other words, he wasn’t just going along on some whimsical feeling, he was confirmed by prophecy to have been called by God, given that he was gifted, given that he was trained by Lois and Eunice, his mother and grandmother who were godly, given that he was the disciple and protege of the Apostle Paul, given that he had a strong desire for ministry, given that he was now maturing, given that the elders had confirmed this calling and sent him out, why did he need any further motivation? Wasn’t that enough? Wasn’t all of that surrounding his life, ministry and calling enough to compel him to do what God had given him to do?
Well perhaps initially it was. But as is the case, inevitably, in someone who has an impactful ministry, there will be opposition. Timothy had already begun to face that. He was alone in this church as the one Paul had assigned to get it straightened out. It was a very difficult and a very lonely responsibility that Timothy had. And then he was to right the ship in terms of purity and every time he confronted sin he would get opposition from the sinner, and every time he confronted false doctrine he would get opposition from the believer and the purveyor of that false doctrine. He was left there all alone. He was young. And they were despising his youth for that. He was young and therefore he wasn’t as gentle and meek and peacemaking as he ought to have been, intended to argue too much as 2 Timothy 2 indicates. He was young and battled youthful lusts which tends really to drain your selfconfidence away. He was young and therefore didn’t have a welldefined polemic and articulated apologetic for every error that was floating around and found it difficult perhaps to be able to answer every argument on a philosophical theological level and the task was very difficult. He was making enemies without making friends, and that’s very difficult when you’re all alone and perhaps was tempted to compromise.
Some indications are that he may well have been thinking about just backing off from ministry all together. And in 2 Timothy Paul says, “Stir up the gift of God.” Paul says, “Don’t be ashamed of Christ.” Paul says, “Hold on to sound doctrine.” Paul says, “Don’t crumble under persecution,” 2 Timothy 3. Sothe idea here is that Paul was having….Timothy rather was having a tremendous amount of opposition and he was alone as the special legate, or representative of the Apostle Paul who had gone on west for other duties. It was a tough place. And Timothy, frankly, needed encouragement and he needed courage. He needed courage. He needed fortitude. He needed strength of character to hang on and do his spiritual duty.
I think it’s that way for anyone who does their spiritual duty, there’s going to be a degree of opposition. It’s curious to me, I don’t know why so much so lately but it seems as though there’s an awful lot of criticism and opposition and even in a verbal sense persecution coming against me in these recent days. I had occasion over the last couple of weeks to listen to three tapes that were given on the heresy of MacArthurism. And they…the people giving them were ranting and raving and so loud at sometimes that it distorted the tape recorder and screaming about all of the error and so forth and so on, and of course, none of them had ever spoken to me and everything they were saying was a misrepresentation of what I believe. And then I found out that this morning at a church here in the San Fernando Valley there is the beginning of a threepart series, one this morning, one this afternoon, and one tonight, on the heresy of MacArthurism. And they have flown in a speaker from the east coast who is an expert on my heresy and will be speaking all day there. That’s really not an uncommon thing. I have been accused of all kinds of things and believing all kinds of things which I do not believe.
And sometimes it gets a little distressing. I came home the other day after listening to those three tapes and I know Patricia thought I had been shot in the leg or something because I came dragging into the house. But when you spend your life trying so hard to be a right representative of Jesus Christ and someone tears your reputation to shreds over something that is a lie and not a truth, it’s a little discouraging and you get a little bit distressed and you’re sort of looking around for somebody who is on your team. I kind of understand that. I read 120page book on me which was quite interesting…it was self published and probably that was the only copy in existence, I don’t know. But you know, you read articles and letters about yourself and people accusing you of all kinds of unimaginable things, discrediting your ministry, calling you a heretic, accusing you of all things. In fact, the thing I think that overwhelmed me more than anything was I was told recently about a group of men in a certain place who met together for prayer, this man was there and said, “The major prayer request they were seeking the Lord for was a way to discredit the ministry of John MacArthur.”And they spent an afternoon in prayer on that behalf.
That kind of opposition you might expect from the world, you don’t always expect that from those who say they name the name of Jesus Christ. But when you take a firm stand on some biblical issues, some people take great issue with that. And they seek to discredit.
And I think Timothy was in that situation, but I’m not speaking to you just out of the experience of Timothy here, I confess that I’m speaking to you out of my own experience, an experience which is going on even today. When you take a firm stand and when you say this is what God says in His Word, it’s sometimes tough to stand up under the pressure that comes at you. And there’s something in you that says I think I’ll just clam up and be a nice guy so everybody will like me. But for me that passes rather rapidly, I am much more concerned with truth than popularity.