We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Our Call to Judge False Teachings

While cleaning up my files I came across an article from a May-June 2006 Critical Issues Commentary, by Bob DeWaay.  The subject is the duty of the Christian to judge false teachings.  
DeWaay dismantles the various arguments which claim we are not to judge, as well as the argument which says if we have a problem with false teachings, we should to privately to the teacher.  Then he addresses the claim that “you will know them by their fruits” means “character qualities, popularity, or the ability to do supernatural signs.”  DeWaay demonstrates that in Matthew 7 the discussion is about false prophets.  
DeWaay then discusses the following points:
“Personality traits are not fruits.”
“The number of one’s followers is not fruit.”
“Signs and wonders are not fruits.
After the discussion about these points, DeWaay says, “People who call Jesus ‘Lord,’ come in His name, and do works of power are false prophets if they refused to abide within God-given boundaries.  This is an important concept.  This is lawlessness.  ... Understood in this way, false prophets are those who teach and practice lawlessness.  They do not abide within the once-for-all determined boundaries of New Testament teaching.”
As he continues in the article, DeWaay has some very pointed comments:
“Today many despise the very term doctrine and accuse those of being wrongly motivated who think it is important to correct false doctrine and espouse true doctrine. .... The duties of pastors and elders are very clear in Acts 20 and the Pastoral Epistles.  They are to teach true doctrine, correct false doctrine, and protect the flock from wolves.  Sadly, those who do so today are often accused of being divisive or sinning because they have ‘judged’ when Jesus told us not to judge.  This is a category error.  We are not to judge motives or relative degrees of righteousness, but we must judge public teaching.”
Well said, Pastor Bob!
I recommend the full article at:

3 comments:

Michael Burdick said...

Well said. The mantra these days seems to be "if you disagree with the way I interpret scripture, then you are judging me" when in fact the only issue is whether or not the interpretation of scripture is accurate to begin with.

I don't find scripture all that difficult to interpret. What I do find is those who do not want to accept what it says on face value. Most often, their reason for refusing to do so has more to do with a preconception which is rooted in a determination to justify whatever sin they happen to be trying to defend.

A thief will say "But I was only trying to feed my family!" but he fails to realize that faith in God's provision would have been the way of righteousness.

Lest anyone think I'm being self-righteous, I'll be the first to confess that I've been guilty of this very error.

goodads said...

One slight item you left out is: Who is doing the translation, when was it done and , finally, whyat was the historical perspective? Always remember, a lot of what we read was written 200 years after the fact. And, not everything made the cut. Just ask the Samaratins. Have we ever read about their temple? ;-)

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Goodads,

I don't know where you get such false information. We have manuscripts of parts of the N.T. from the first century, and many more from the 2nd century. The only thing written "200 years after the fact" were the false gnostic "gospels". We have the truth.