Pearls of the Word

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Doctrinal hygiene

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound [hugiano] doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers" (2 Timothy 4:3).

The Greek word hugiano means 'to be healthy', 'to be well' and figuratively 'to have a healthy mind'. He gave the English word 'hygiene', which is a set of rules and practices necessary to maintain and improve health. Thus the apostle John wishes his beloved Gaius to prosper and to be in good health [hugiano] in his body as in his soul (3 John 1:2).

Speaking of sinners, Jesus said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick" (Luke 5:31). A time is coming when Christians will no longer tolerate doctrinal hygiene, which means sound teachings that rebuke and urge to have a good spiritual health, instead they will prefer to hear pleasant teachings not asking them to put their spiritual life in order before God.