Judging Doctrines and Teachings

When I read through the Bible, especially the New Testament, because it deals with the Church, the body of believers in Jesus, there are a significant number of Biblical Scriptures that admonishes us to diligently study God’s Word, so that we are able to rightly divide the word of truth and discern sound doctrine and admonish those who may try to deviate from it. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Titus 1:9, and 2 Timothy 4:2 come to mind, but there are many more.

We read words like rebuke, correct, exhort, teach, admonish, or refute those who contradict sound doctrine and contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all time handed down to the saints, like we find in the Scriptures I have already identified and Jude 1:3 and 2 John 9-10, to name a couple more. Those are strong forceful words that are used. The message that the Apostle Paul and others in the New Testament give us is that these are very important matters and as Christians, we are required to take a stand on maintaining sound doctrine and teaching.

So, as an example, if you ran into someone who said that the Jesus in the New Testament and the Jesus that the Mormons follow are both exactly the same Jesus, would that catch your attention? Or if you ran into someone who said that a born again Christian, who had the Holy Spirit dwelling within them, could also at the same time have a demon residing within them, would that raise any red flags? How about the ever popular contention, that as Christians, we should never judge anyone, just love everyone and God will take care of the rest? Would any of these three examples, if you heard them, cause you to have second thoughts about what was actually being said and discern that perhaps, just perhaps, something was just not right, when we compare these beliefs or teachings against God’s Holy Word?

And if a Christian, who actually did earnestly study God’s Word, and acknowledged that in accordance with the guidance we receive within the New Testament, they did have an obligation to speak out and they decided to voice their concern about the individuals who made these statements, do you know what can happens next? I’m going to tell you now, it’s not pretty. And I am not talking about the individual that made these statements, who is being challenged, one would expect opposition from them. I am talking about some of the Christians who know these individuals and take exception to you voicing your concern. Standby for incoming because it will come.

Jesus told us that in the last days that there would be many false prophets that will deceive many (Matthew 24:11). Any idea how the Church is instructed to deal with that problem? The Apostle Paul explicitly tells us that the Holy Spirit has indicated that in the later times, many will fall away from the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons (1 Timothy 4:1). Any idea what actions the Church is instructed to take to deal with that problem? How about false christs and false prophets providing great signs and wonders, misleading many (Matthew 24:24)? And ideas how we in the Church are to identify and deal with that when it happens?

I can tell you right now, those supposedly well meaning Christians, who know and like the individuals who are teaching false doctrines, that you are challenging, are not going to be concerned about any of the questions I have just asked, all they will focus on is how you are unjustly raising issues that need not be addressed. And the reason behind that lack of discernment on their part, is that they do not take our responsibility of defending sound doctrine or teaching seriously. And you will be criticized, because now you have become someone who is bent on destroying that which they perceive as good and that calls their discernment capabilities into question and they are not going to like that.

I don’t know of any devoted Christian who does take their responsibility, to earnestly contend for the faith that was once for all time handed down to the saints, seriously, and does challenge false doctrines or prophets or signs and wonders, when they are encountered, who actually enjoys going through that challenging process. They don’t do it because they enjoy it, they do it because they take the Word of God seriously and they do step forward and they do the required work. And make no mistake, it does take a lot of dedicated work to research, crosscheck, review, examine, discern and document, so that they have done their homework, prior to voicing their concern.

And even if they take great pains to discuss the teachings being contested without exchanging personal slights, and strive to be cordial as much as possible, most times it makes little difference to those who are friends of the individual being challenged, simply because they feel obliged to defend their friend. Friendship is not the issue, adhering to sound doctrine and teachings that we have been given in God’s Holy Word is. If I am teaching and someone points out something that I have missed or misrepresented, or my teaching does not agree with the clear Word of God, and we are talking about a doctrine or teaching of prime importance that cannot entertain a different opinion, then I should admit that and correct my teaching. As Christians, we are not to mold God’s Word to our choosing, we are to seek God’s Word to mold us to God’s choosing.

I ran across a nickname that some within the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement now call Christians who appear to them, as locked into a Bible God’s Word only related revelation of God, as opposed to their alternate experimental experience preference mode, they call us “wordies”. Evidently “wordies” like us, who stand on God’s Holy Word and earnestly contend for the faith that was once for all time handed down to the saints, are getting the short end of the stick. Personally, I think not.

I often wonder how the Apostle Paul would be received in the Church today. Paul has some pretty strong and forceful words to give us, listen to what he says in Galatians 1:6-9 NASB: “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel, which is not just another account; but there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, even now I say again: if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (Emphasis is mine), You may correct me if you think I am wrong, but apparently Paul didn’t consider friendships the priority issue to be mindful of. A friend who preaches a gospel contrary to that which we have already received is not a friend. Strange how we can get that backwards, and the mere fact that we do, should tell us that our priorities need some re-aligning.

And I will share with you one more ploy that is continually used. When your Scripture and Biblical logic cannot be refuted, when the argument they give falls short in response to your challenge, like clockwork, they will switch to you. It matters not if the accusations are valid, shift the focus from the topic, to the person making the challenge. Be ready for it, because it will come.

I didn’t write this post to discourage you, I wrote it so that you know what may be coming your way, should you decide to voice your concern. There can be a fine line where bitterness can grow. Don’t allow that to happen. The tide is changing, don’t allow yourself to be swept away with the tide.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!













23 comments

  1. I’d heard of wordies used as a pejorative a while back–maybe 8-10 years or so ago? But, I’d not heard it used of late. Perhaps it’s making a comeback.

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  2. Good post brother. Another T shirt picturing a Bible and the txt “Proud 2 B A Wordie!”
    I recognise what you say about friendships with which I am cautious. We used to have good neighbours who were friendly Jehovah’s witnesses, they tried really hard to recruit me. I often got visits from their best door knockers, but after a time they stopped coming when each of them was challenged by scripture. I don’t know for certain but I suspect I did some damage there to be blacklisted. But my ex-neighbours are still friendly. Christ went to Calvary for us, at least we should stand up for Him against false teaching no matter the cost.

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  3. Another thought … When I was coming out of the “Word of Faith” movement (25 years ago), I searched for anything I could find to support my misgivings. It was hard to find, but when I found it, I was most thankful. So remember, there are people out there who are questioning these false doctrines. They need to find answers and understand. It is difficult to leave these kinds of churches because many people you love are telling you it’s the devil, etc. So, keep up the good work!

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