Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Why Expose False Teachers?

Occasionally I've found an argument against exposing false teachers, but most of these arguments I've found are based on the misunderstanding (or misuse) of Matthew 7:1, the misapplication of Galatians 6:1 (confusing sin among believers with blatant false teaching), and those that believe Church discipline stops at Matthew 18:15, ignoring Matthew 18:16-17.

Then again, there's false teachers that just want to defend their teaching regardless of where it originated. But I've also heard Christians attempt to make the point that it appears to be "unchristian" to point out false teachers and the target of their anger is Christians and Christian web sites that are pointing out false teachers. A good example is Goodfight.org.

Should we as Christians expose false teachers? Should we be naming them publicly? Shouldn't we just love them and pray they'll see the error of their ways? Shouldn't we live like Jesus? 

Yes, we should live like Jesus, and personally I don't know a lot of Christians that have the guts to treat false teachers like He did. Jesus loudly and publicly denounced them. Read Matthew 23:23-33. and you'll see that Jesus was very bold in confronting the Pharisees, the #1 all time false teachers. Jesus called them hypocrites, blind guides, white washed tombs, lawless sons of murders, and not just serpents but a brood of vipers. Look at John 2:13-16, there Jesus backed up His words with action. These are not isolated incidents either, the Bible tells us how to deal with false teachers

We first need to identify them. 1 John 4:1 tells us to test every spirit, which is why I love my little church. We love our pastor and trust his spirit, but when he stands to speak we open our bibles and verify that his words are from God.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
Once we have identified them, of course we face them as in Matthew 18:15-17, but if they fail to repent we are to turn away from them. They cause distention in the church, their words cause people to stumble. We are to identify them and avoid them because they are not serving Jesus Christ but themselves.
17 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. (Romans 16:17-18)
We are to rebuke (reprove) them, their deeds show us that they are not of God, and their minds have turned from God
13 This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed. (Titus 1:13-16)
A simple search through the New Testament showed that the biggest threat that the Apostles faced was not persecution for their faith but overcoming the false doctrine being spread by false teachers. Just a few years after Jesus rose from the dead, Satan had his agents out among the new followers corrupting the word of God. The problem is that they are very good at what they do as Paul explains:
13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
Is it right then to name names? Biblically it is, as long as you judge with righteous judgement. Paul named Peter in public - Galatians 2:11-14, he also named  Demas, Crescens, and Titus for loving this present world - 2 Timothy 4:10. Paul named Alexander the copper smith 2 Timothy 4:14-15, while John called out Diotrephes - 3 John 1:9-10. The ancient prophet Nathan found that a very highly placed man was a secret adulterer while that man judged Israel. Nathan pointed out to David that it was him. 2 Samuel 12:7

I am not saying that we should be running around pointing fingers, but then to not point out false teachers is doing not only our brothers and sisters a disservice but we are failing to obey the commands of God. Yeah, sometimes Pastor Joe Schimmel's words are a bit tough, but he always prays for the redemption of the lost, the false teachers, the 'artists' dragging our children down. As we should also be doing.

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