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

Saturday, January 16, 2016

False Teaching Is To Be Hated and Opposed

Finally we are taught here [Eph.4:14], as elsewhere, that all false teaching is to be hated and opposed.  We are told in the New Testament that it was hated by our Lord and all the apostles, and that they opposed it and warned the people against it.  But I ask again; is that being done today?  What about your personal attitude towards this?  Are you one of those people who says that there is no need for those negatives, and that we should be content with a positive presentation of truth?  Do we subscribe to the prevailing teaching which dislikes warnings and the criticizing of false teachings?  Do you agree wit those who say that a spirit of love is incompatible with the negative and critical denunciation of blatant error, and that we must always be positive?  The simple answer to such an attitude is that the Lord Jesus Christ denounced evil and denounced false teachers.  I repeat that he denounced them as “ravening wolves” and “whited sepulchres,” and as “blind guides.”   The Apostle Paul said of some of them, “whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame.”   That is the language of the Scriptures.  There can be little doubt but that the Church is as she is today because we do not follow New Testament teaching and its exhortations, and confine ourselves to the positive and the so-called “simple Gospel,” and fail to stress the negatives and the criticisms.  The result is that people do not recognize error when they meet it.  They accept what appears to be nice, and are impressed by those who come to their doors speaking about the Bible and offering books about the Bible and prophecy and so on.  In their ignorant child-like condition they often help to propagate the false teaching because they see nothing wrong in it.  Moreover they do not realize that error is to be hated and to be denounced.  Imagining themselves to be full of a spirit of love, they are beguiled by Satan, the predatory beast who was on their track, and who has suddenly caught them and pounced upon them in his cleverness and subtlety.

it is not pleasant to be negative; it is not enjoyable to have to denounce and to expose error.  But any pastor who feels in a little measure, and with humility, the responsibility which the Apostle Paul knew in an infinitely greater degree, for the souls and the wellbeing spiritually of his people is compelled to utter these warnings.  It is not liked and appreciated in this modern flabby generation, but if it is not done the people will be beguiled by false teachers “as the serpent beguiled Eve.”

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Christian Unity: An Exposition of Ephesians 4:1-16,” pg.239-240


Anonymous said...

The Roman Catholic church has gone through periods where it was motivated to root out false teachings--or at least what it thought were false teachings. As an example, I just read this at a web page:

"The first person we know of to suggest that the Sun is a star up close (or, conversely, that stars are Suns far away) was Anaxagoras, around 450 BC. It was again suggested by Aristarchus of Samos, but this idea did not catch on. About 1800 years later, around AD 1590, Giordano Bruno suggested the same thing, and was burnt at the stake for it."

When time permits, blog some thoughts on what you think the RCC has gotten right, and what it has gotten wrong. For instance, how well did early Fathers do in determining which books to canonize in Scripture?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


The early church fathers were not Roman Catholics. Rome had nothing to do with the canonization of Scripture.

The early church fathers selected the N.T. canon mostly by the end of the 1st century. Pretty much the book had to be written by an apostle or other first-hand witness of the apostles such as Luke.

I don't bother with seeking what Rome has correct: essentially they are correct wherever they agree with Scripture and wrong where they don't agree with - or add to - Scripture.

Anonymous said...

In the 1500s the reformer Martin Luther made an attempt to remove the books of Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation from the canon, since he thought they were contrary to sola gratia and sola fide. 2 Peter was also under suspicion.

Mr. Chatfield, can you get a word from the Lord on the degree of dependability of those books? Are they absolutely inerrant?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Neither I nor anyone else gets a "word from the Lord" except what we read in the Bible. Anyone who claims otherwise is a liar and not to be trusted.

Martin Luther didn't leave much Romanism behind, and there were things he just didn't like in these books. But whether or not one likes them should never be the determinant as to whether they should be canon.

James bothered Luther because he though James was teach works saves you in chapter 2, but all James is saying is that if you have the faith, you will have the works, because without works there is nothing to prove your faith.

These books were all accepted by the churches by the end of the first century. Theses were the churches among which the apostles walked and taught. If they accepted them, then there is no reason for us to reject them,