On My Mind...

I get it.  I’m tired of the experts.  Whether it is sports, politics or movies or well, you name it, I’m tired of those folks who with great confidence and authority tell everyone else just how things are.  Yet, I have to acknowledge that we do have responsibility, biblically, to confront error.  When a person claims to speak for God, that person a responsibility to defend the truth they declare.  At the same time, we have the responsibility of affirming that truth or point out those who speak contrary to the truth.  I’m not talking about a rabid, fundamentalist mindset that demands lockstep agreement on everything.  I’m not advocating that there can be do differences, no deviation within orthodoxy.  I’m not advocating rounding up all the Presbyterians and running them out of town because they are wrong on baptism.  I’m not suggesting we label as heretical those who have a different view of eschatology.  But when it comes to the core doctrines, the faith once and for all delivered to the saints, we cannot, we must not ignore unbiblical teachings.  Nor can we afford to turn a deaf ear and blind eye toward ungodly leaders.  When a teacher’s lifestyle blatantly betrays their words, it is time to speak.

I want to walk carefully here because so called “discernment ministries” are on the rise.  These are ministries that see their role as guardians of the faith.  Too often, these ministries are quick to pounce and often distort or blatantly misread the teachings of others.  I’ve read articles online and thought, “Wow, that’s really bad.  I can’t believe that he said that.”  Then I follow the link provided and listen to the message referenced and it is not at all what the writer of the article implied.  So, I want to use caution, but the Scriptures are clear when a teaching is false, we must label it as false.  When a teacher has proven himself false and his actions or his lifestyle are ungodly or unbiblical we must say so.

I also am cautious because I know my own weakness and failings.  I have changed my mind on some things over the years.  I’ve abandoned previously held position and adoptive different perspectives as I’ve been convinced, from the Scripture, that a different interpretation was more faithful to the Scripture.  I’m convinced of the infallibility of Scripture but fully aware of my ability to fail.  In Jude 8-13, the biblical writer addresses both the teaching and the character of those false teachers who have, “crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for the condemnation.  Ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (4).  What Jude makes clear is to be biblically faithful understands it is not enough to cling to that which is good, we must also abhor and expose that which is evil.  This, of course, must be done in love.  Love for the truth and love for those harmed by false teaching.  Read through Jude and you will find a model for how to hold to the truth and expose evil.  Jude uses very strong wording and vivid imagery, but he is clearly drive by love for the people of God and love for the gospel.  This matters because false teachers exist, and their teaching can be both attractive and dangerous.  Thus, we are to be ever vigilant.  May grace and truth be the hallmark of our faith.

Have a blessed week!