II Tim. 3:1-5
I can't get this passage off my mind. :)
I went through and looked up each of the words in Strong's. Some of the interesting definitions that I think we (at least I do) as conservative Christians need to be aware of are:
Lovers of their own selves (fond of self-i.e. selfish)
Proud (appearing above others)
Unholy (don't have a definition here, but what is "unholiness? It is more than just dressing immodestly, going to the wrong places, listening to the wrong things, etc. It is a matter of the heart.)
Would love to hear YOUR definition of "holiness" and "unholiness". :)
Without natural affection (hard-hearted toward kindred)
False accusers (slanderers)
Incontinent (without self-control...thinking of fellowship dinners and sweets here)
Highminded (...inflate with self-conceit - be lifted up with pride)
Any of us could be guilty of some of these things in this list and could be easily shunned by others. I think we always need to remember that even if a brother or sister is caught in one of these sins...even if it is a besetting one, that if their attitude is one of true sorrow and repentance and desire to overcome, that we need to be patient and help them along with prayer and encouragement.
The whole list, including the things I didn't mention, though, seem to be very characteristic of many of the worldly churches of our day....with no understanding of truth or repentance for these sins. If a whole church or denomination tends to carry these characteristics, should we be a part of a church like this?
The most interesting part of the passage, I think, is "lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God". I think this is IT in a nutshell.
When I looked up the word "pleasure", it said, "a spurious brother, i.e. pretended associate:- false brethren".
I wanted to elaborate a little more on this "lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God". I think we can be so concerned about our work, our families, etc. that even THIS sometimes becomes our pleasure...and something that we put ahead of God. We must be careful.