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
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Monday, January 21, 2013

Attacking Christians?

I have received comments for articles on this blog which have violated my comment policy by being nothing more than personal attacks (anonymity allows cowards this privilege).  My wife has gotten comments by apparently the same person, which are again just personal attacks.  This is one of the reasons we began moderating comments, so that filth and personal attacks don’t get publicity.

One of the complaints made was that we are attacking Christians by exposing false teachings.  We are accused of “shooting at the Christians” in our war against false teachings.

Let me be clear - we do not attack people.  We expose false teachings by those who call themselves Christians; teachings which are public and invading the church.  Teachings which lead people astray to apostasy.  

Those people outside the Church, those who do not claim to be Christians, are a minor problem overall because they don’t have the influence over the Church as do those who claim the name of Christ.  Paul said “savage wolves” would come in among the Church (Acts 20:29).

Those who claim the name of Christ and yet continue to propagate false and dangerous teachings, especially after they have been warned that their teachings were false, must be exposed.  Because their teaching is very public, it must be exposed publicly.  Just because a teacher is popular, that doesn’t mean that everything that teacher says is the truth.  

Those who claim I am wrong in my assessments and yet give no proof or example as to why, do neither themselves, nor me, nor anyone else any favors.  If I am in error, show me biblically or by other convincing evidence and I will correct it.  But don’t call me a false teacher because I made an error in someone’s first name (as I was charged with by one of the anonymous people).  After all, we all make minor mistakes of that nature.  I have personally e-mailed fellow bloggers who have made those types of mistakes so they can fix it.  I think that is common courtesy.  But to use that as evidence of poor research, false teaching, etc, is highly unfair and extremely judgmental - especially when the commenter claims I am being judgmental!

Too many Christians think it is unfair to point out another believer’s false teachings.  But if the teaching is so bad that it leads people into the bondage of false beliefs, why should it not be exposed? Can anyone point to me in Scripture where it says we should only expose false teaching if it comes from those outside the Church? That Christians should have carte blanche to teach anything they feel like, no matter how false or apostate or heretical it may be?  What about when Paul said to Timothy, “stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer, nor devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. (1 Tim 1:3-4)?

Remember, Paul specifically stated, “Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:20).  He did NOT say to just let them teach what they wanted without being confronted, exposed, or rebuked.  He continually warned about the false teachers within the Church, and he wasn’t a bit polite about it! (Rom. 16:17-18; 2 Cor. 11:3-4; Gal. 1:8-9; 2 Thes. 2:9-12; 1 Tim. 4:1-8, 6:3-5; 2 Tim. 4:2-3; 2 Pet. 2:1-3, 3:16; Jude 18-19)

One last item: Anonymous said that apologetics is “a ministry never Biblically identified.”  Well, perhaps Anonymous needs to read his Bible more carefully to see how often it tells us to test what is taught, to avoid false teachers, and to even “make a defense” of our faith (2 Peter 3:15) and defend our faith (Jude 3).  This is apologetics, and is a ministry EVERY Christian should be active in.


Joe said...

I have read your blog often, and I appreciate its spirit and factual content.

On many occasions I have examined those to whom you have linked and found your assessments to be right on.

Keep up the good work!

Ron Livesay said...

Glenn: What you do on your blog is important, necessary, and biblical. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

`Labby said
Glenn, my life as a fellow Christian has been made SAFER because of you and others like you. I feel you are tempered and do not have a mocking or sarcastic attitude, but take your job seriously and with the proper dignity.

Thank you for helping me to steer clear of dangers, and along with me, my husband, children, parents, friends. You don't just touch one life when you affect a reader.

Kathy M. said...

My study Bible has this quote from Martin Luther: "It is a good sign when men condemn us and call us agitators. The Spirit of God is one who strives with men, reproves them, and condemns them. But men are so constituted that they want to have preached what pleases them."

Thanks for your blog.

ali said...

Glenn: As a fellow blogger, I too appreciate your research and postings that expose errors within the body.

We are called to be watchmen on the wall - and that we must continue to do. As Bereans, we must examine and expose when necessary.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.. Ephesians 3:16

Anonymous said...

Glenn, you have helped me so much in my walk with the Lord and I appreciate all that you do. I do feel better knowing that your blog is available to me to help guide me though these crazy times. Laura

Anonymous said...

very interesting, Glenn. your content is always well researched. Tho I am disappointed with your frequent references to Ken Silva (AM), as he has no real church, pastor not licensed with SBC, physical address to his NH 'church" is an empty field, phone number does not work.
Do you even know who this guy is??

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

For all you commenters above, I thank you for your support and am humbled to have such encouragement.

Anonymous, 1/25,
I refer Ken Silva and Apprising Ministries because he has some of the best research and really good information, and I have never found him to be in error (although I do disagree with him about Calvinism, but I still call Calvinists my brothers in the Lord).

I don't know anything about him, any more than people know anything about me. He says he's a pastor, and he appears to have the knowledge to go with the title.

Whether or not a pastor (i.e., "shepherd") has a church is irrelevant - I have a very good friend who every one calls pastor - but he has been retired from the pastorate for 20 years and has no church, yet he is still so very active in the ministry that huge numbers of Christians in the area know him. He works in prison ministries, defends the faith in campus ministries, does Christian counseling, etc.

How do you know Silva isn't licensed? And if he isn't, does that matter? Most pastors I have known don't have a "license" - it's not required. And perhaps you might have the wrong Ken Silva in your search? Why do you not ask him?

What about MY qualifications? If I had the time to spend researching which Ken obviously has, my blog would be more active. But I have no formal theological training; does that make me unqualified to examine and expose false teachings/teachers?

Joe said...

"I have no formal theological training; does that make me unqualified to examine and expose false teachings/teachers?"

Actually, it rids you of the agendized trappings of those "trained" in the gospel ministry.

Far too many "trained" preachers spew spiritual pablum or heresies that they don't recognize because of indoctrination by some theological group.

So many invent a topic and then go in search of scriptures to back up their point of view, when it should be the other way around.

Mr. and Mrs. White said...

We certainly appreciate your blog. Your articles are well researched and you obviously spend a lot of time compiling the information.
We are very glad we found your blog in June 2011 and we have benefitted from viewing it on a regular basis since then.Keep up the good work and continue to sound the alarm in the midst of the wolves in sheeps clothing who masquerade as Pastors/Teachers.