Answering False Accusations of Warring Spiritual Warfare
Updated: Jun 18
Answering False Accusations, Slanders, Misconceptions, and Maligning of Contending for the Faith, Reproving and Exposing Error, and Fighting Spiritual Warfare
Just like Paul wanted Timothy to "war a good warfare" (1 Tim 1:18), so the Lord desires the same for all His servants.
“These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord.” (Ze 8:16-17)
“I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer.” (Job 32:20)
If I had a dime for every false accusation charge, I’d be a rich man. This report addresses some of those. And to those that bend and twist and ignore the scriptures in their attempt to censor warnings and malign those warning of error and false teachers and falsely accuse the one obeying the Bible, I would say, “There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.” (Neh 6:8). And, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word [God’s Word], it is because there is no light in them.” (Is 8:20). “He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.” (Pr 10:18).
When someone takes a stand for the truth, actually does the work of a Christian soldier being valiant for the truth as commanded, appropriates his God-given authority (Mk 13:34; Ti 2:15), refuses to be silent over grievous and destructive error, so he deals with it and exposes it (as necessary), preaches or writes on “controversial” subjects, warns of false teachers, and such like, one will always attract critics, like a bear attracted to honey. I don’t mind the interaction as long as people refrain from punching below the belt and judging motives, and as long as its based upon truth and facts, which is the essential quality of criticism.
What isn’t acceptable however is uncivil behaviour and having your critics slandered and shamed or worse, tortured, murdered and burned at the stake like they did in Calvin’s Geneva. To lie, slander and bear false witness and personally attack, the carnal weaponry of confused, feelings-oriented carnal warriors, is simply never justifiable. These are abominations of the Lord (Pr 6:16-19; cf. 10:18; Ps 101:5) and reveal a lack of fear of God. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but if you’re a professing Christian your opinions should be grounded in the truth of God’s Word and on facts, not on personal opinions.
Some people say they want this, but then they don’t like it when someone is actually doing it. Paul was an obedient soldier and his ministry was loaded with disputing, contending, reproving, fighting, warfaring, etc, which he commanded all believers to the same (1 Cor 4:16-17). In 2 Cor 10, as Paul starts dealing with false teachers and false accusers he lays down the characteristics of spiritual warfare. The spiritual warrior won't use carnal weapons. It's clear in his language that Paul is contrasting the way he operates with those of his false accusers who were attacking him at Corinth. When you read the first seven chapters, you get some amazing, slanderous accusations that were used against Paul in order to hurt his credibility and render him useless, which are stark realities for me as well.
For the snowflakes out there, here is some cornflakes👇🏻
and at the end of the article, a "Hurt Feelings Report" you may fill out.
With that said, let’s consider now some common false accusations. If there is anything you believe here to not be right or true, please let me know. Otherwise, you should set aside your emotions and feelings and personal opinions and let facts be true and the truth of God's Word be truly your light and guide and not the philosophies of man or your own fallible opinions.
Accusation: Apparently I Can Only Look At My Own Faults and Ignore Serious Public Doctrinal Error and Sin, Otherwise I am Just Ridiculing Them.
Answer: Firstly, I don’t publicize anyones personal faults but public errors and false teachings and accepted sins that are more destructive and dangerous than genocide on a mass scale of bad. I do this because I care for the truth and for souls but most importantly because Gods Word demands and commands it (e.g. Rom 16:17; Eph 5:11; 1 Th 5:21; 2 Tim 3:5-9; 4:1-5). And love for God is only demonstrated through obedience to His Word (Jn 14:23-24; 1 Jn 2:3-5). The Apostle Paul begs believers to expose those who teach false doctrine: “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them [meaning: expose them] which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” (Rom 16:17).
So my authority is from scripture and I understand it’s serious need. “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” (Ti 2:15).
I totally understand people won’t like it when someone obeys Gods Word in this most important subject, a subject that takes up more of the NT than any other, and I also know they didn’t like it when Jesus and the Apostles did it. I understand the wrath of the natural man. Eventually they put them all to death because of it. And those men of God in Scripture did this warfarring work constantly, Paul exposing ten men by name in 1 and 2 Timothy, in some cases for much less than what neo-evangelical heretical churches like EBMC and EMC are doing. The apostle John, whom they call the apostle of love, exposed as well and he was a lot harsher than I have ever been (3 Jn 1:9-11). This is our example and we are commanded to follow it; not only by direct command but also because of what Paul says: “Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.” (1 Cor 4:16-17).
So no, what I am doing is NOT wrong. You should set aside your feelings and opinions and obey the Word of God, if you love Him.
Accusation: Even Though the Bible Commands Public Exposure of Public Sin or Error of Professing Christians and Churches, I am Only Allowed to Talk to Them Privately — To Sharply Reprove Them Publicly is to Slam and Demean Them and that Apparently is Not Christian.
Answer: Yikes, how Biblically fallacious is that philosophy! Liberal-minded neo-evangelicalism at its finest. Fighting spiritual warfare by pulling down serious strong holds and opposing accepted false teachings and error that is being publicly promoted (and very dangerous and actually reflective of unsaved people), is what Gods Word fully expects a servant of Christ to do. Period. You will see that further below as I go into further detail. The reason why people don’t do this is because they aren’t servants of Christ, though they profess and pretend to be. That’s the biggest issue with the false accusations. Unsaved charlatans. If I what I’m doing is slamming and demeaning people, than the Lord Jesus Christ was also demeaning people (such as in Matt 23 or when He whipped people out of the temple in Jn 2) and so were all the apostles (dozens of examples such as Paul exposing false believers ten times by name, and the church at Galatia, and the very terribly compromised church of Corinth). We are commanded to do what Jesus did (Matt 10:25) and the apostles did (1 Cor 4:16-17; Phil 3:17). Nothing I’m doing is any different than what we see in scripture or are commanded to do. And there are hundreds of further examples.
And, when someone personally attacks and argues logical fallacies, they need to be sharply reproved for their foolishness. “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.” (Pr 26:5).
Accusation: Who or What Gives You the Authority to Test, Examine, Warn, and Expose Error and False Teachers?
Answer: I could ask the same. Who gives you the authority to question the authority of me? You can judge me but I can’t judge according to scripture? Apparently to some, only a pastor has authority to obey the Bible, another symptom of the man-centred corruption flooding churches today. I think among Mennonites it may be worst than anywhere. Instead of searching the scriptures, it is kowtowing to the man behind the pulpit. Who gives me authority? The same God that gave the prophets of old, Paul, Jude, John, Peter and all the others authority. As a servant of Christ and not man (Gal 1:10), as a member of the royal priesthood of believers (1 Pet 2:5-9) and an ambassador for Christ (2 Cor 5:20), God gives the authority. “For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.” (Mk 13:34).
God’s Word gives me authority, it commands me to test, judge, discern and prove all things, and so I must: Lev 19:15, 35-37; Pr 21:3, 15; Ze 8:16; Ac 17:11; 1 Cor 2:15; 5:3; 6:2-5; 10:15; 14:29; 1 Th 5:21; 1 Tim 4:1-7; Matt 7:15-20; Jn 7:24; Lk 12:57; Rom 16:17; Phil 1:9-10; 2 Jn 1:9-11; 3 Jn 1:9-11.
God has commanded me to warn, expose and reprove error, false doctrine, false teachers: De 1:17; 16:19; Ps Ps 82:2; 119:128; Pr 21:3, 15; 24:11-12; 27:6; 31:8-9; Ac 20:28-31; Rom 16:17-18; Gal 1:6-9; 2:4-5; Phil 3:18-19; Col 2:8, 18-23; 1 Th 5:14; 1 Tim 1:5-7, 18-20; 6:20-21; 2 Tim 1:15; 2:16-18; 3:13; 4:14; Ti 1:9-16; 2 Pet 2:1-22; 1 Jn 2:18-23; 4:1-6; Ju 1:3-16; Rev 2-3.
Not only do all truly saved believers have this responsibility, but especially as one that holds a church office. Some years ago, the Lord led me (Pr 16:9; 2 Tim 4:1-5) to “do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” (2 Tim 4:5). An evangelist, one of three church offices, is not one as typically portrayed today as someone preaching “revivalism” heresy in churches, allegedly reviving those that ought to already be revived (i.e. saved, what the word means); but an actual Biblical evangelists, one that preaches the true gospel and does the work of a missionary. Spiritual warfare and contending for the faith are also important components of an evangelists responsibilities as noted in 2 Tim 4:1-5.
Paul the Apostle didn’t hesitate to always fulfil contending for the faith, debating, disputing, fighting for the faith, as the above Scripture references show. What was his focus when speaking to the Ephesians elders for the last time? This very subject: Ac 20:27-31. As were all the other apostles and prophets, such as Nehemiah (a nobody by todays man-centred Christiandom standards) who contended against his rulers (Neh. 13). Amos was called to contend by fire (Am 7:4). It is to bring shame to hypocrites, those that profess to believe but are actually lost (e.g. Lk 13:11-17), and to shut the mouths of false teachers by sound doctrine (Ti 1:11) and sharp reproof (Ti 1:8-13). It is exhorting and convincing the gainsayers by sound doctrine (Ti 1:9). It is in fact foolish not to argue and fight for the truth, for God’s Word commands it and we know that obedience to God’s Word is wisdom.
An evangelist is one that preaches the gospel to lost people, which includes to religious and false professing believers, and one that earnestly contends for the faith (Ju 1:3), like Paul the missionary Apostle persistently did (e.g. Ac 13:9-12; 15:1-2,7; etc), whose teachings and ways we are commanded to follow (1 Cor 4:16-17; 11:1; Phil 3:17). Spiritual warfare (true warfare according to Scripture) is furthering the truth and fighting against sin and error, and it goes hand-in-hand with preaching the gospel. Evangelist is indeed a church office and it’s a charge the Lord has laid upon me (2 Tim 4:1-5). I, with my family, have laboured throughout the world, from the Middle East to Asia to Australia to Canada and I pray by God’s grace that will continue. It’s been wonderful to labour in God’s will, and to fight the good fight of faith and to preach the gospel. Truth and error is antithetical. You can’t love truth without hating error. And you don’t hate error if you don’t do something about it. Silence or tolerating error is approving of it (e.g. Am 3:3; Ps 38:13-14; 39:3; Pr 24:23-25; 2 Jn 1:9-11).
I must reprove heresy and compromise and earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, and to do so is not contrary to what Christ forbade. To not do so is contrary to what God commands. If you are a pastor or evangelist reading here and you are not doing this, you are blatantly disobeying the Word of God and have no business being behind a pulpit and leading people.
Practically nothing I do in this aspect of ministry benefits me personally but just the opposite, it comes often at a great cost, humanly and temporally speaking. But God has commanded me to obedience, and I am thankful He approves (Ju 1:3; Rom 16:17; Ti 2:15; 2 Tim 4:2-5; Eph 5:6-11; Pr 24:11-12, 23-25) and He blesses so abundantly with spiritual blessings, and my motive is to only please God and do His will, “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Gal 1:10). There needs to be no further purpose for ones warnings and expose then simple obedience to the written Word of God. Our
We are commanded to have the attitude of the Psalmist: “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.” (Ps 119:127-128). We are to prove ALL things (1 Th 5:21), to test everything by the Word of God (Ac 17:11), to preach with rebuke and reproof (2 Tim 3:16-17; 4:1-4), to earnestly contend for the faith (Ju 1:3). Without judging and reproof, there is no mechanism of correction and error can grow apace. We are to be as the Berean’s, who “received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (A. 17:11) and then “mark them . . . and avoid them” that teach false doctrine (Rom. 16:17-18).
Accusation: You Reprove or Expose People You Shouldn’t, Such as Those Outside of Your Church.
Answer: Church service is never private unless it’s truly private where no one is allowed entrance except for certain people. I have been in an environment such as that, not as a parishioner mind you but rather providing medical support for the Plymouth brethren in Australia, and that is the type of environment they maintain. I couldn’t even enter the round building without windows in it. A service doesn’t have to be live streamed for it to be public. Every church service is considered public that is open to the public. Thats what makes it public. People use the “private” card as a straw man, because they don’t like it when they or someone they know, are reproved publicly for sin or error. If you warn someone about another person's false teaching or repudiate his behaviour, that isn't gossip either. That is required in scripture out of love. Calling it gossip is wrong. It isn't gossip. Gossip reveals secrets, doesn't expose public and many times, add to that, unrepentant behaviour or teaching.
On the other hand, there is public sinning (that includes teaching error, whether wittingly or unwittingly) about which someone is not repentant. He does it in public. When confronted, he doesn't change. Matt 18 doesn't apply to that person. Someone can still go to him one-on-one, to take the most charitable approach, but it isn't required. If someone promotes his sin or behaviour or his false teaching in public, it is appropriate to deal with it in public. It isn't gossip, it isn't talebearing, if it isn't secret. Secret is kept secret with going one-on-one and not talebearing or gossiping. Public is already public. This isn't that difficult, but it seems to be, especially when it is convenient.
Error must always be exposed. None left unexposed. Error is very serious. The Bible commands its exposure, without the need to approach the offender first. So when I don’t name names or if I do first approach the person about it, that is purely an act of mercy and grace that the Bible doesn’t even require of me. On occasion a public sin would be better to treat in a private manner. It could save embarrassment. Sometimes someone needs public exposure. Both the Apostle Paul and John deal with people in public even in the church. Both name names, Paul ten times in 1 and Timothy. It's needed even more now with the growth of apostasy in these last days of the last days.
Accusation: You Reprove Publicly — What About Matthew 18?
Answer: Public ministry must be publicly critiqued and criticized. I do not address private or personal matters, what Matt 18:15-17 and Lk 17:2-3 speak of. Matt 18:15-17 is about private affairs between brothers of a local church. I have never publicly reproved or exposed a matter that isn’t committed in a public forum of some sort.
Matt 18 provides instructions on dealing with private or personal sin and issues between brethren or professing Christians of a local church. That is obvious when we read verse 17. It does not deal with public teachings and actions by Christian leaders. Public error and sin should always be dealt with publicly, not privately. Unrepentant public error and sinning is done in public, before a public audience. Matt 18 doesn't apply to that person. Someone can still go to him one-on-one, to take the most charitable approach, but it isn't required. One could also leave out names, another charitable option, but it isn't required and rather in most cases necessary. Public exposure is also not talebearing; it is dealing with error like the Bible states we should (Rom 16:17; Eph 5:11; Gal 2:11-14; cf. Ac 17:11; 1 Th 5:21; Ju 1:3-16). If someone promotes his sin or behaviour or false teaching in public, it is appropriate and loving to deal with it in public. It isn't gossip, it isn't talebearing, if it isn't secret. Secret is kept secret with going one-on-one (Lk 17:3) and not talebearing or gossiping. Public is already public. If you warn people about an error, or someone's false teaching that he puts out in public, or repudiate his behaviour, that isn't gossip. That is required in scripture out of love. The apostle Paul mentioned the names of false teachers 10 times in 1 and 2 Timothy (1 Tim 1:19-20; 2 Tim 1:18-20; 2:15-18; 4:10, 14-15) and these letters were not intended merely for Timothy. They are part of the canon of Scripture and public record and millions of times they have been read by people the world over. This is the example and command throughout Scripture, including by Moses, Jeremiah, Peter, John, John the Baptist, Jude, the Lord Himself, and others. This isn't that difficult, but it seems to be, especially when it’s convenient.
Accusation: Your warnings are about taking personal vendettas.
Answer: Some might think I am writing and protesting serious unbiblical errors because I don’t like those individuals or that I am envious or have some personal vendetta against them. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Lord does know that I love even those men that I warn about and also the people that are under their influence. What then is my motivation or purpose in warning?
The following reasons are some of why I must warn against sin, error, and heresy:
1. Because I love God and His Word more than these individuals. That means I will obey God’s Word and will to earnestly contend for the faith concerning the exposure of these terrible and eternal life-altering errors and to judge all things (see Ezk. 3:17; 33:6-7; Matt. 7:15-17; Mk. 13:34 [parallel passage to Ezk. 3 & 33]; Ac. 13:8-12; 20:28-31; Rom. 16:17-18; Gal. 1:6-9; 2:4-5; Eph. 5:6-11; Phil. 3:17-19; Col. 2:8, 18-23; 1 Tim. 1:5-7, 19-20; 4:1-3; 6:3-5, 20-21; 2 Tim. 1:15; 2:16-18; 3:13; 4:14; Ti. 1:9-16; 2 Pet. 2:1-22; 1 Jn. 2:18-23; 4:1-3; Ju. 1:3-16; Rev. 2-3). This is part of the responsibilities of the priesthood of believers. Obedience to God’s Word very importantly includes contending for the faith, warning of error and sins (especially those that are pubic and will impact other lives) and standing for the truth (Dan 11:32b; Ju. 1:3; Pr. 28:1, 4-5). Thus to love my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Jn. 1:6; Jn. 14:15-24; 1 Jn. 2:3-5) means that I will obey God’s words, judgements, decrees and commands in these areas, as represented by all those scriptures.
2. Because I love my neighbour as myself (Lev. 19:17; Pr. 27:6; 23:11-12; Jn. 15:13; Lk. 17:3-4; Rom. 12:19-21; Jam. 2:1-9; 1 Jn. 5:1-3) and would have been most grateful if someone had told me as a false professing Christian that my life and loves reflected a false profession (1 Jn 2:3-5; Jn 14:23-24; 8:31-36). Ze 8:16 declares: “These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:” The idea is to see repentance and true conversion; “He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.” (Pr 28:23).
3. Because God loves and blesses the obedience of reproving and rebuking error, false doctrine or sin tremendously (Ps. 50:21-23; 58:1; Pr. 12:1; 13:1; 24: 15:5, 31; 17:10; 24:23-25; 2 Tim 4:2-4). Out of all things in scripture, this is the most difficult to obey due to the cost that comes with it. Thus God’s love for it as noted throughout scripture, and in those who did obey like Paul the Apostle and Jehu and Stephen the Deacon, and many others. These were valiant men of God, who “endure[d] hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2 Tim 2:3).
4. Because it is required to stop error from continuing and dispersing, and destruction from occurring (Pr. 31:8-9; 27:6; 1 Cor. 4:16-17; 11:1; 2 Cor. 11:4, 12-15; Phil. 3:17-19; Ac. 21:28-30), for many will follow their “strange and diverse doctrines” (Heb 13:9) which will cause them to be “tossed to and fro” (Eph 4:14). The mouths of false teachers must be stopped (Ti. 1:9-16).
5. Because it is required to protect the vulnerable and recover the simple (naive and gullible false professors) from the snare of the devil (Pr. 31:8-9; Rom. 16:17-18; 2 Tim. 2:24-26).
6. Because it divides truth from error (Ex. 8:23; Ezk. 44:23; Lk. 12:51; 1 Cor. 11:18-19; 2 Tim. 2:15-26; 1 Jn. 4:1-2; 2 Jn. 1:9-11; 3 Jn. 1:9-11).
7. Because it may be a serious gospel/salvation issue (1 Th. 1:6, 9; Pr. 21:11; De. 13:3-4; Jn. 10:1-5; 1 Jn. 2:20-21; 2 Jn. 1:9-11) and I am set for the defence of the gospel (Phil 1:17).
8. Because when you study, love and obey the truth of God’s Word, counterfeits are spotted immediately. When one becomes so familiar with sound and good doctrine, wrong and unsound doctrine becomes as a strange and unknown sound. Lest you get the wrong idea, my confidence is not in myself or in “intellectualism” but in the Scriptures, and in my position in Christ and standing in grace. God the Spirit does produce boldness and confidence, and diligent and Biblical learning does ground one in the sound doctrine of God’s Word as commanded (Heb 6:1-2; Eph 4:14; Col 1:23) which results in loving God’s Word (Ps 119:127) and “hating every false way.” (Ps 119:128) since God does hate false doctrine and misuse of His Word (Ps 119:104; 127-128; Rom 12:9).
9. Because silence is not an option. Being grounded in the truth with discernment and moving unto perfection (Heb 6:1-2) isn’t enough on its own — it demands a response. Spiritual discernment is predicated upon obedience (1 Cor 2:15-16; Pr 21:15; Lk 12:57), and silence is seen as consent (e.g. Lev 5:1; Ps 39:4; 116:10). Abraham Lincoln once said, “To sin by silence when they should speak in protest, makes cowards of men.” Amen to that. I must give heed to Jer. 1:17, “Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.”
Paul commanded the wise (saved) to judge what he said (1 Cor 10:15). The true humble heart who is subject to the Lord Jesus doesn’t mind being judged and examined (Ac 17:11; 1 Cor 10:15; Jam 3:17), as long of course its according to Scripture (Jn 7:24) rightly divided (2 Tim 2:14-18) and not according to personal attacks (ad hominem) or other logical fallacies such as straw man and red herring arguments. What I would warn you dear reader as you receive this warning that I have been commanded to sound (“These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:” Ze 8:16), is the passage that follows: “And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.” (Ze 8:17).
I understand; people notoriously hate those that speak the truth (Jer 38:4; Am 5:10). Amos knew this all to well, and he was a fiery man for the Lord: “They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.” (Am. 5:10). What compromised man-centred professing “believers” want to do more than anything is to silence the mouth of the watchman, of the contender for the faith, of the one who will warn of evil, of sin, of doctrinal error. Of course this is instigated by the devil for he has the most to lose and he does hate God and God’s desire for people to be saved and being Him glory. But this is a great evil and God will reward it in due time. And alas, it is nothing new. This was happening in the days of Israel, where they would kill the prophets or torture them and throw them into prison. It happened in the days of Christ, Him being the supreme example of this. He reproved sharply, aggressively (e.g. Matt 23; Jn 8:31-59; ; 13-17; etc) and they ultimately killed Him for it. The great denunciation by Christ was against His earthly superiors in the temple by the way, the chief priests and elders and religious leaders. The apostles fared no better. The examples we have in the NT churches the same pattern is noted, especially in the epistles to the Corinthians and Galatians, both contain rampant attacks on Paul.
So do feel free to judge what I have written here, but do so according to “righteous judgment” (Jn 7:24)—which is judging according to God’s Word. If you have solid facts to disprove something I have written, feel free to send it through and I will certainly reconsider my words, and then if deemed something was incorrect, I will change it. Facts though, not opinions. In the mean time, you must set aside your personal opinions and feelings and submit to the truth of God’s Word and I earnestly pray that it’ll change you.
God has commanded me to obedience, and I am thankful He approves (Ju 1:3; Rom 16:17; Ti 2:15; 2 Tim 4:2-5; Eph 5:6-11; Pr 24:11-12, 23-25), for my motive is to please God and do His will:
“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Gal 1:10).
“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Gal. 4:16).
Accusation: You are taking potshots at pastors who are actually in the battle.
Answer: I actually heard this one recently. I was taking “potshots” says the guy who just took potshots at me. The irony is bewildering but reflective of what we shall see in these last days, of those who “resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.” (2 Tim 3:8). What I’m writing is not difficult. It’s actually very easy to discern and understand. People weaponize the term “potshots” to use it against the biblical practice of warning about error, sin, ungodly living and false teaching. When I name names, I do it only with people who have made something public and most often are unrepentant of their public actions and beliefs. People uncharitably call this, “taking potshots.”
The dictionary defines “potshot” as “a shot taken from ambush or at a random or easy target” and “a critical remark made in a random or sporadic manner.” Furthermore, “random” means “made, done, happening, or chosen without method or conscious decision.” A careful exposure, using scripture, of something that is public and unrepentant, which is heretical, ungodly and could easily damage other people, isn’t “random” or a “potshot.” It also isn’t easy-potshotism. The word “potshot” ironically is a potshot. On occasion a public sin would be better to treat in a private manner. It could save embarrassment. Both the Apostle Paul and the Apostle John deal with people in public even in the church. It’s needed even more now with the growth of apostasy in these last days.
The same man-centred fellow claimed I was not “in the battle” because I was not a pastor and because I was taking pot shots. Only “pastors” that “pastor” IFB churches are “in the battle”? Even though they are mostly heretics—so easily provable that it makes one's head spin—but they are “in the battle”? Where does the Bible say the battle is only fought by pastors?! Absolutely nowhere! Like this people are corrupting God’s Word and wresting it to their own liking, which is the heretical eisegesis form of interpretation, a form utilized by unsaved heretics because they are Spirit-less.
Accusation: Since you are in the minority, you must be wrong and the majority right.
Answer: Just because those that embrace error or sin are in the majority, doesn’t mean they are right. You’re not. We see the pattern every where in scripture. Jesus, God the Son and the Son of God, the very Creator of all mankind and the world, was way, way in the minority. He just had “a little flock.” Jesus, like most of the apostles, was maligned, ostracized, hated, slandered, persecuted and eventually killed. No prophet has any honour in his own country, Jesus said. The pattern in scripture from Genesis to Revelation is those of the truth are the very very small minority. In Jeremiah’s day, he alone stood against the nation of Israel, a people professing to believe but all lost in their sin. Eventually when put in prison, we find there is another true believer, a Gentile, Ebed–melech the Ethiopian (Jer 38).
There is a reason why those that embrace error will not debate issues and why Gods Word is left unopened before them. Pr 25:8-9 declares, “Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame. Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:” They are proud and arrogant when it comes the truth, while professing to be of the truth. They must get the majority on their side. Which is why they prefer to slander and talebear. It has a purpose besides the attempt to sear their conscience. It’s to make a majority which then obviously implies the one guy or the few guys, the minority, are wrong. It always amazes me that this same strategy exists among professing Christians as among unsaved and duplicitous politicians. I wonder why! But hear ye what God says about such evil behaviour: “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.” (Pr 16:5). “Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.” (Pr 11:21). They don’t actually want to hear Gods Word, while Gods Word says, “He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” (John 8:47).
Accusation: Warning and exposing error and naming names is gossiping, talebearing and taking potshots at people I disagree with, and contradicts Matt 18.
Answer: Of course people are entitled and free to their own opinions, but problems arise when they manipulate and misuse scripture to arrive at their misconceptions. Naturally those that are committing error or living unfaithfully and in sin would always consider it to be potshots and gossip, but Gods Word tells a different story. Warning about error and “earnestly contending for the faith” (Jude 1:3) is not gossip or taking some cheap pot shot at anyone. It’s being faithful and obedient to God’s Word (Ju 1:3; Rom 16:17; Eph 5:11; Ac 17:11; 1 Th 5:21), which is loving God (Jn 14:23-24; 15:10-14; 1 Jn 2:3-5). Warning and exposing could well be life to those under the snare of error and the devil (2 Tim 2:25-26).
There is also a difference between gossip and revealing a matter. Public error and sin must be dealt with publicly, not privately. Public exposure is not talebearing, it is dealing with error like the Bible states we should (Ac 17:11; 1 Th 5:21; Rom 16:17; Eph 5:11; Gal 2:11-14). Some abuse Matt 18:15-17 in this regard, but they manipulate this passage to support their unscriptural philosophy about discernment and warning. Col 2:8 warns about people like this: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
Unrepentant public error and sinning is done in public, before a public audience. Matt 18 doesn't apply to that person. Someone can still go to him one-on-one, to take the most charitable approach, but it isn't required. One could also leave out names, another charitable option, but it isn't required and in most cases necessary. Paul named ten men by name in 1 and 2 Timothy for teaching error (read 1 Tim 1:19-20; 2 Tim 1:18-20; 2:15-18; 4:10, 14-15). John publicly called out the lost pastor Diotrephes for speaking maliciously against him and not receiving him (3 Jn 1:9-11). John called him an evil and lost man. Moses, Peter and Jude all called out the hypocrite false believer/teacher Balaam (Num 22-25; 2 Pet 2:15; Ju 1:11). Many other examples could be given, all done by men of God without apology. Millions of people have read about these false teachers and their errors ever since.
If someone promotes his sin or behaviour or false teaching in public, it is appropriate and loving to deal with it in public. It isn't gossip, it isn't talebearing, if it isn't secret. Secret is kept secret with going one-on-one (Lk 17:3) and not talebearing or gossiping. Public is already public. This isn't that difficult, but it seems to be, especially when it’s convenient. If you warn people about an error, or someones false teaching or repudiate his behaviour, that he puts out in public, that isn't gossip. That is required in scripture out of love. Calling it gossip is wrong. It isn't gossip. Gossip reveals secrets, doesn't expose public and many times, unrepentant behaviour or teaching. (Ironically, the very ones that make this false accusation are almost always guilty of talebearing, gossiping, and personal attacks instead of dealing with the issue at hand. That is called ad hominem and it’s also evil.)
On the other hand, consider the following scenario. You warn in private to someone about public wrong behaviour or erroneous teaching, and the warned person then runs to the one of the wrong behaviour or erroneous teaching and says, ‘He talked about you or he talks about you’ — that is revealing a secret. That was said in secret as a warning. This is someone being unfaithful, not of a faithful or loyal spirit to someone who cared and is caring about someone else by warning him.
What I'm writing is not difficult. People weaponize the term "gossip” and “talebearing” (and other terms such as “divisive”) to use it against the Biblical practice of warning about ungodly living and/or false teachings. This is typically done by confused and feelings-oriented people, who don’t understand the Bible, or they love man above Gods Word (and thus above God) and hold allegiance to man over God. When I warn and name names, I do it with people who have made something public and unrepentant of their public actions-beliefs-teachings.
Some uncharitably call this, taking potshots. A "potshot” is defined as a shot taken from ambush or at a random or easy target; a critical remark made in a random manner. “Random" means chosen without method or conscious decision. A careful exposure, using scripture, of something that is public and unrepentant that could damage and destroy people isn't "random" or a "potshot.” The label "potshot" ironically is a potshot.
On occasion a public sin would be better to treat in a private manner. It could save embarrassment. Sometimes someone needs public exposure, especially erroneous and false teachings that are contagious. Both the Apostle Paul and the Apostle John deal with people in public even in the church. Quite often at that (note the personal situations that occur for instance in 1 Cor 5 and 2 Jn 1). It's needed even more now than ever with the profound growth of apostasy in these last days of the last days.
The language of the truly regenerate is to “speak; not as pleasing men, but God which trieth our hearts.” (1 Th 2:4). They will say with Paul, “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Gal 1:10).
Accusation: You are unloving and not nice in exposing error, people, groups, and naming names.
Answer: Warning of error and false teachers and contending for the faith is actually very loving. It’s loving because it stems out of obedience to Gods Word (Ju 1:3; Rom 16:17; Ju. 1:3; Eph 5:11) and from a testing mindset (Ac 17:11; 1 Th 5:21), which puts God and His Word above mere man and his word. All born again believers are to give themselves to the continual study of God's Word (2 Tim. 2:15; Pr. 15:28a; 16:21, 23), to study to answer (Pr. 15:28) and have a testing mindset (Ps 1:1-3; Matt 7:15; Ac 17:11; 2 Cor 10:5; Eph 5:6-17; 1 Th 5:21-22; Heb 5:14; 1 Jn 4:1) which in truth is actually a mark of a true convert (cf. 1 Jn. 2:20-21, 27; Pr. 22:20-21; 14:15, 18; 16:21; 1 Cor. 2:14; Ps. 19:7; 119:130; Rom. 16:17-18).
The renunciation of separatism, which is at the heart of modern evangelicalism, is a renunciation of a testing mindset. It picks up when the teaching from the pulpit doesn't align with the Word of God. The prudent mind is the mind of the saved. He "looketh well to His going" (Pr. 14:15b) and is "crowned with knowledge" (Pr. 14:18b). But the "simple believeth every word" (Pr. 14:15a) and "inherit folly" (Pr. 14:18a). The prudent are described by Paul in Ac. 17:11 and 1 Th. 5:21, as are the simple, in that they follow false teachers (Rom. 16:18) and their false teachings (Rom. 16:17). But the simple can be saved: "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." (Ps. 119:130). "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple." (Ps. 19:7). See also Pr 1:20-32.
God’s people today, which are born again believers, mostly Gentiles (we live in the time of the Gentiles but its soon coming to an end), are tasked with many things, such as being ambassadors for Christ (1 Cor. 5:20), preaching the gospel to every creature (Mk. 16:15), earnestly contending for the faith (Ju. 1:3), reproving sin and error (Eph. 5:11), shining as lights in a dark world (Phil. 2:14-16), being skillful with and teaching God’s Word (Heb. 5:12-14), to suffer for Him (1 Pet 1-3; 1 Th 3:1-4; Phil 1:28). There is a battle raging between truth and error, God and the devil, and those who neglect God’s will and live selfish lives and try to avoid trouble and persecution for Christ’s sake, who do not serve Him enthusiastically, who do not bear His reproach, cannot avoid the judgment seat of Christ (if they are actually saved that is), where every man’s work will be revealed by fire (1 Cor. 3:13-15).
Deborah praised Jael as “blessed above women in the tent” (Jud. 5:24-30). Deborah knew how to appreciate a fellow warrior for God. Such are greatly honored everywhere in Scripture. Consider Phinehas (Num. 25:7-13), Samson (Jud. 13-16; Heb. 11:32), David (1 Sam. 17), and David’s mighty men (2 Sam. 23:8-39). The apostle Paul was one of God’s mighty men. He summarized his Christian life and ministry in fighting terms. He said, “I have fought a good fight” (2 Tim. 4:7). He taught Timothy to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 2:3). These are not soft-peddling neo- evangelicals! These are not softees and cowards who refuse to plainly reprove, rebuke, exhort, who let the people draw the lines and set the standards, who tickle the ears of lukewarms (lost, false pretenders) and apostates (wolves), who encourage and comfort people in their sin instead of preaching them out of their sin (Jer. 23:17, 22). May the Lord give His true blood-bought grace-saved saints more backbone today to take a real stand for Him and His Word. We need Deborahs and Jaels in the churches. We especially need preachers and pastors who will be as courageous as Deborah and Jael of old.
Those who live in error and sin and are in fact unsaved will always say its unloving and unkind. Am. 5:10 declares: “They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.” People accused Jesus of the same (see Matt. 13:57; 15:12) and He certainly wasn’t afraid to create conflict (see Lk. 6:6-11; 12:51; 13:10-17; 20:45-47). A persons response to reproof exposes their actual spiritual condition. “Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.” (Pr. 12:1). Being unkind is never the intention at all, just like it wasn’t the Lord’s. Speaking the truth can be and will be offensive to those that are corrupting it, but it’s not unkind and rather loving—loving God first and foremost (De. 6:5; 30:6; Matt. 22:37) which produces obedience to His Word (Jn. 14:21-25; Rom 16:17; I Jn. 2:3-5). God’s Word commands to not exercise respect of persons, which produces false and impartial judgment, for God is no respecter of persons (e.g. De. 1:17; 16:19; Pr. 24:23; 28:21; Jam. 2:1-10). “These things also belong to the wise [the saved]. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.” (Pr. 24:23).
When someone teaches error and heresy concerning salvation and any other doctrine or twists and manipulates the Scriptures eisegetically or allegorically, that is the greatest of offences, and were I in your shoes my greatest concern and fear would not be about someone offending me but about my great offence towards God and His truth and what He says about such that do these things (e.g. II Cor. 2:17a; 4:2; II Pet. 3:16; Rev. 22:18-19). That ought to make you tremble before God’s Word, for it condemns you as a false teacher. This could be summed up well by Ti. 1:9-16. I would encourage you to read it. There is no “superior tone” — boldness and confidence comes from the indwelling Spirit of God and it is Biblical. “And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by [Paul’s] bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” (Phil. 1:14). Like Paul, “I am set for the defence of the gospel” (Phil. 1:17).
Accusation: The Bible says we are to submit to authority and be quiet.
Answer: I would be guilty of transgressing the ninth commandment (“thou shalt not bear false witness”) if I concealed the truth or held undue silence in such a just cause as this (Rom. 16:17; Ju. 1:3; Lev. 5:1; Ac. 5:3, 8-9; 2 Tim. 4:6), and held my peace when iniquity and error calleth for reproof (Pr. 24:25; 28:23; Ti. 2:15; Lev 19:17), since “do[ing] justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice,” and “It is joy to the just to do judgment:“ (Pr. 21:3, 15a). “Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?” (I Cor. 9:8). Yes Gods law (Word) says the same. I don’t do these things to please and tickle and flatter the ears of man, to make someone a nice fluffy pillow, but to please my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Gal. 1:10). “These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment” (Pr. 24:23), “for for a piece of bread that man will transgress.” (Pr. 28:21). Abraham Lincoln once said, “To sin by silence when they should speak in protest, makes cowards of men.”
Speaking the truth and contending for the faith and fighting spiritual warfare has nothing to do with not obeying authority. In so doing, one is obeying the highest Authority. "These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them." (Pr 24:23-25).
Accusations: I have Ill and Nefarious Intentions.
Answer: What are my intentions and motives for reproving error, fighting and contending for the faith, warring a good warfare, exposing error and false teachers, and the like? Obedience to Gods Word — That’s my motive and intention. Really, that’s it. Obedience to the hundreds of verses that speak to this and highlight Paul’s epistles. Such as these: Pr 24:23-25; Ze. 8:6; Matt 7:15-20, 21; 10:25; Lk 12:57; Rom 15:14; 16:17; 2 Cor 11:4, 12-15; Gal 1:6-9; 2:4-5; 5:1-10; 1 Tim 1:20-23?; 4:1; 6:3-5; 2 Tim 3:1-9; 4:3-4; 1 Jn 4:1; 2 Jn 1:9-11; 3 Jn 1:9-11; Rev 2 & 3; etc. I try to make these things clear when I write, but that doesn’t stop people from judging motives, even though the motives are clearly documented. Maybe now that sort of evil judging (as so stated in Jam 2) will stop. I won’t hold my breath. Facts and truths are the essential and quality elements of criticism but people love to follow the lusts of their corrupted flesh. That on its own speaks volumes.
It is a battle against spiritual wickedness in high places that presents itself through man, false teachers, hence the command to sharply reproof false teachers to silence their mouths (Ti. 1:9-16). I am simply contending for the faith and exposing his “damnable heresies” (2 Pet. 2:1), which is commanded in Scripture (Rom. 16:17) since the one public exposed has made his ministry public and is misleading people to error and potential damnation. Me thinks people that call themselves Christians would desire to be warned about dangerous error (Pr. 24:23-25), which is what the Bible tells of the obedient ear, but maybe I thought wrong of many.
Accusation: I am Not Gentle and Meek like Jesus Was, but Appropriate a Wrong Spirit.
Answer: If exposing error by sharp reproof and if contending for the faith is not gentle and meek but a wrong spirit, then you shouldn’t read the Bible, since God’s Word is full of that, both by commandment and illustration (at least in the inspired and preserved Word of God of the KJV), throughout the Old and New Testament.
How did Jesus deal with error and false teachers? Consider a brief analysis. He exposed and warned of the Pharisees and scribes to the multitudes, and that right before the Pharisees and scribes (Matt 23; Lk. 20:45-47). Jesus intentionally created conflict with these false teachers (read Lk. 6:6-11; 12:51; 13:10-17), by healing people in the temple on the Sabbath, knowing very well what the religious leaders thought about it. He did it intentionally, which you will read as you go through those passages and there are more. He called lost religious hypocrites "blind guides," "fools and blind," "full of extortion," "whited sepulchres," and "generation of vipers." (Matt. 23). Rampant name-calling. Harsh speech. “Bigotry” and “discrimination”! And He just wouldn't stop. He even called Gentiles "dogs" (Mk. 7:27-28).
And there is much more from the lips of Paul, Peter, Jude, John, etc. Sharp reproof. Harsh name calling such as "liars, evil beasts, slow bellies" (Ti. 1:12) where Paul communicates much about false believers/teachers in few words. Paul the Apostle was always disputing (Ac. 15:1-2, 7; 17:17; 19:8-9; 24:12), even creating dissension (Ac. 15:1-2). Is that gentle and meek? How about the example of Apostle Peter? Peter's "brute beast" slur in 2 Pet. 2:12 and his implication that all false teachers are "adulterers," "cursed," "mad," "dogs," and "pigs" (2 Pet. 2:14-22)? Isn’t that meek?
Wasn't Jesus meek and gentle? He said He was and we see that He was by his actions. What about when He collected together some solid leather strips, threw over the tables of the money exchangers in the temple and then whipped some of the false teachers out of the temple (Jn 2)? People have a serious misunderstanding on the seriousness of this subject of doctrinal error and how God deals with it and how crucial it is to deal with it sharply, boldly, abruptly, quickly and continually. No lie or error left unexposed. Paul said, he didn’t subject himself to such for even an hour (Gal 2:5).
Does God’s Word say we must remain gentle and meek when we handle willful and intentional doctrinal error and damnable heresies? We don’t read that anywhere and what we see occurring in Christs and the apostles dealing with error and sin, is anything but. To judge, expose, warn, sharply reprove and separate from doctrinal error is actually very loving. Loving God because its obedience to Him and not fearing man. "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." (Gal. 1:10). And loving man, knowing “Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (pr 27:6) and “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (Jn 15:13).
Concerning sin, I do not neglect to see the importance of humbleness and covering a transgression, but the Bible also commands rebuking the transgression (Lk 17:3). Many things are at stake when error gets to run free course, sin is not dealt with or ignored, such as church unity and purity and inevitable leavening of the whole lump (1 Cor 5:6; Gal 5:9).
Let me be very plain. What I am doing is precisely inline with Scripture. I would encourage you to get your thinking in line with Scripture and not according to a corrupted methodology of eisegesis or some teaching someone has brainwashed you with. It’s not okay. It’s not okay to have a wrong view of God and His Word. I find it true that if neo-evangelicals aren't slandering and degrading obedience to God's Word about testing, judging, warning, exposing, separating, then they are doing the same about the method concerning these truths.
People that love God and know God, obey God. It’s a litmus test of true conversion. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.” (1 Jn. 2:3-5).
Accusation: You are Not Loving like Jesus and the Apostles in Speaking Out Against Sin, Worldliness, and Doctrinal Error.
Answer: Let’s see how the Word of God handles this accusation, if reproving and dealing with sin and error is unloving:
1. God Himself confronted Adam and Eve in the garden when they sinned (Gen. 3:9-24) condemning them to death and telling the woman that her husband would rule over her. Is that unloving?
2. The Lord Jesus reproved Peter for obstructing the purposes of God in the crucifixion of His Son, calling him Satan (Matt. 16:21-28).
3. The Lord Jesus said things that greatly offended man (Matt. 15:12; 23:3-39). When He was told, in these passages, that He had offend the Pharisees, Jesus' response was "Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." (Matt. 15:13-14). He wasn’t apologizing.
4. The risen and glorified Son of God rebukes and chastens all those He loves in His churches. (Rev. 3:19). And He uses man for much of that (Rom 16:17; Eph 5:11; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 4:1-4; 2 Jn 1:9-11; etc).
5. The Holy Spirit's work as Comforter includes Him reproving the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (Jn. 16:7-11). He is mostly negative and when someone is filled with the Spirit, he will exhibit the Spirit.
6. John the Baptist reproved Herod for his adulterous marriage and other sin (Matt. 14:3-4). Herodias, his unlawful wife, hated him and had him killed for it.
7. The apostles reproved and rebuked error and sin wherever they found it (Acts). Sharply. Publicly. They named names (Paul named ten individuals by name in 1 and 2 Timothy). Is that unloving?
8. Peter very sharply reproved the Jews for their crucifixion of their Messiah, holding each one accountable for the murder of the God of glory, their Messiah, and called on them to repent of their wickedness and be saved (Ac. 2:36-38). Is that unloving?
9. Peter reproved Ananias and Saphira for lying to God, with death (Ac. 5:1-10). Is that unloving?
10. Stephen very sharply reproved the Jews for rejecting Christ and resisting the Holy Ghost just like their forefathers, using the most offensive words that a Jew could hear, “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” (Ac. 7:51-53). Is that unloving?
11. Peter very sharply rebuked Simon Magos publicly for supposing that the gift of God could be bought with money and plainly told him that his heart was wicked and unsaved (Ac. 8:20-24). God then put it in His Word. Is that unloving?
12. Paul, filled with the Spirit of God, very sharply rebuked Elymas the sorcerer, calling him names such as “O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?” and then struck him blind (Ac. 13:9-12). Is that unloving?
13. Paul and Barnabas sharply rebuked the people and priests for their idolatry when they attempted to worship the apostles (Ac. 14:11-18). Is that unloving?
14. Paul and Barnabas sharply rebuked the Judaisers for preaching a false gospel (Ac. 15:1-2). Is that unloving?
15. Paul rebuked the spirit of divination in the damsel, and commanded it to come out of her (Ac. 16:16-18).
16. Paul reproved Peter before the entire church at Antioch and the entire world for his hypocrisy and fear of man, even saying his transgression was a gospel issue (Gal. 2:11-17). Is that unloving?
17. Love speaks out against the works of darkness (Pr. 24:23-25; Eph 5:11; etc). "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." (Eph. 5:11). Is that unloving?
18. Love speaks out against false teachers (Rom. 16:17-18; Lev. 19:15; 2 Jn. 1:9-11; 3 Jn 1:9-11). "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." (Rom 16:17-18). Any teacher that causes offense or division contrary to the doctrine which I learned, must be "marked". "Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour." (Lev. 19:15).
19. Love speaks out against sin or error in a persons life and separates. "I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person." (1 Cor. 5:9-13).
20. Love speaks out against doctrinal error by judging the error. God has commanded all believers to judge the teaching and ministries of men in order to protect the truth and the people of God (Ac. 17:11). It is considered noble to do so: "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Ac. 17:11). The believers in the church at Corinth were instructed to judge one another (1 Cor. 14:29). That principle applies also to ministries outside of one’s own church, especially to very "public ministries" which influence vast numbers of people.
21. Love speaks our against heresies by contending for the faith. "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Ju. 1:3). "They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them." (Pr. 28:4).
22. Love is obeying God’s Word — all of it, not just picking and choosing what suits you fancy. "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." (Jn. 15:9-11). “Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf." (2 Cor. 8:24).
The issue lies with your false definition of love and lack of understanding of the Bible.
Accusation: You Are Nit Picky Over Doctrine.
Answer: Sound doctrine is to be the teaching and preaching of the ministers of God, and nothing less expected (1 Tim 1:3; Ti 1:9-16; 2:1). Doctrinal error plants destructive seeds of false doctrine and must always be urgently dealt with and can never be left unchecked or unexposed. It must never be ignored or tolerated or swept under the rug. Scripture is clear that no lie must be left unexposed. It is a command and obligation for unsound doctrine to be treated speedily and sharply (Rom 16:17; Gal 5:9; 1 Tim 6:3-5; 2 Tim 4:2-4; 2 Jn 1:9-11; etc). It would be unloving to God to not stand up and contend for and defend His truth. And this truth is flooded throughout Scripture.
Sound doctrine ALONE is the expectation of preachers. This is a very critical subject. I understand that human reasoning can come into the fray but Scripture, Gods truth, is very clear on the matter. No unsound doctrine should ever be tolerated or ignored. It must be exposed. Every regenerate person knows the truth and grows in the truth unto perfection (Heb 5:12-6:2; Jn 8:31-32). Of course there is growth in every true believers life at varying degrees, yet the Bible establishes what that growth intensity is and it’s not all that different between different people. All people that are saved have opened eyes, know the truth and have the same Holy Spirit (1 Jn 2:20-21, 27; Ac 20:18) and fall under Heb. 5:12-6:2. Every born again believer grows and moves onto perfection. From milk to meat. Those that have been born again for some time, should be “leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ,” and “go[ing] on unto perfection;” (Heb 6:1).
The right interpretation and sound doctrine of God’s Word is what feeds the minds and hearts of the saved (Jn. 7:16-17; Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim 1:13-14; 3:16–17; 4:2) and saves sinners (Matt 28:19; Rom. 6:17; 1 Jn. 5:20). It’s the only means whereby the “Spirit of truth” teaches His truth (Jn 14:17; 15:26; 16:13; 1 Jn 2:20-21, 27). All true believers must know and will know the sound doctrine of God’s Word (1 Jn 2:20-21, 27), since God’s truth “dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever“ (2 Jn 1:2), and they have an unction from the Holy One, and know all things, they know the truth, and that no lie is of the truth (1 Jn 2:20-21). Every truly born again believer knows the truth and continues in the truth (Jn 8:31-32) and therefore teaches and preaches the truth from the pulpit when given that opportunity.
Personally I would never preach a word from the pulpit or pen if I wasn’t grounded in the truth of Gods Word, something that can take some time (years) of diligent reading and study of Scripture, and certainly if I wasn’t very sure and confident of soundness of doctrine. Paul instructed Timothy to “charge some that they teach no other doctrine,” (1 Tim 1:3). No other doctrine means literally no other doctrine. No false doctrine is ever to be allowed, which is a very narrow view of doctrinal purity (1 Tim. 1:3). If a a young man is to be doctrinally uncorrupt (Ti. 2:7), how much the more the preacher? The preacher indeed must “Hold fast the form of sound words” (2 Tim 1:13) and MUST “speak thou the things which become sound doctrine” (Ti 2:1). The preacher must be able to use sound doctrine to edify and protect the church (Ti. 1:9). Preachers are to faithfully teach men sound doctrine (2 Tim. 2:2). So if they‘re not grounded in sound doctrine, how can they teach others who are to teach others? It’s just a cascade of unsound doctrine and heresy that’s evolves, which is what we see on every hand today in practically all churches and preaching.
Sound doctrine = truth and truth = sound doctrine. They mean the same thing. We can only worship God the Father in "spirit and in truth" (Jn. 4:23), and truth again is sound doctrine. "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (Jn. 4:24). You can’t even love God or people outside of sound doctrine, which again is just truth (1 Jn 5:1-3; 2 Jn. 1:5-6; 3 Jn. 1). A saved person is not sanctified by anything but truth/sound doctrine (Jn 17:17, 19; 1 Tim 4:6). Fellowship is firstly and foremostly based around sound doctrine (1 Tim 6:3-5; 2 Tim 4:1-4; Ac 2:42; 1 Jn 1:1-3). All error must be rejected wholesale, for error regardless of how “minor” it may seem is unsound and leaven, and “A little leaven leaventh the whole lump.” (Gal 5:9; 1 Cor 5:6). The Bible warns us to not be blown about by winds of false doctrine (Eph. 4:14) and “not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.” (Heb 13:9). It was only a "minor" twisting of God's truth, that led to Eve believing Satan's lie and the fall of all mankind (Gen. 3:1-3). There is zero tolerance and zero exceptions for unsound doctrine and misuse of Gods Word and someone that teaches error or twists Gods Word resulting in error, false doctrine or other doctrine not found in Scripture is to be “rebuk[ed] . . . sharply, that they may be sound in the faith" (Ti. 1:13) and then rejected if they don’t repent (Ti 3:10-11; 1 Tim 6:3-5; 2 Jn 1:9-11). Such is not fit to be behind the pulpit. They are very dangerous (Matt 7:15; Ac 20:28-30). This is what the Bible so clearly teaches everywhere. We are to have no fellowship with those who teach and promote false doctrine but rather mark (expose) them and avoid (separate from) them (Rom. 16:17). Those who abide not in the sound doctrine of Jesus Christ are not of God and are not be to received (2 Jn. 1:9-11). The following list of scripture, amongst many more, clarifies the importance of sound doctrine and the case with those teaching unsound doctrine: De 13:3-4; Matt 7:15-20; Ac 20:28-31; 2 Cor 11:4, 12-15; 1 Tim 1:3-7, 19-20; 4:1-3; 6:3-5, 20-21; 2 Tim 1:15; 2:16-18; 3:1-13; 4:3-4, 14; 1 Jn 2:18-23; 4:1-3; 2 Jn 1:9-11; 3 Jn 1:9-11; Gal 1:6-9; 2:3-4; 3:1; 5:7-12; Eph 5:6-11; Phil 3:2,17-21; Col. 2:4, 8, 18-23; Rom 16:17-18; Phil 3:18-19; Ti 1:9-16; 2 Pet 2:1-3, 15-22; 3:1-3, 17; Ju 1:3-16; Rev 2:1-3:22.
Accusation: You Are So Negative.
Answer: Is that wrong? The Bible happens to be a very negative book, maybe something you don’t know if you side with these false accusations. The Holy Spirit inspired scripture, which is much more negative than positive. In fact, greater than 75% is negative. According to 2 Tim 4:1-2, 2/3 of preaching and teaching should be negative, if we look at it proportionately.
Negativity happens to also be a trait of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit manifests Himself in and through a believer, the believer will be negative too. Very often, people who are often negative are assumed to be unspiritual, but that’s not what we see in Scripture at all. Almost everything Jesus says about the seven churches in Revelation is negative. It was necessary. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb (Lk 1:15) and how positive was he? Not very. He was very often as negative as someone could be. That manifested the Holy Spirit in Him. I'm not saying that you should go out of your way to be negative because now you see the Holy Spirit to be negative. It will however just occur in your life if you are regenerated by the Spirit and walking in the Spirit. You will see sin or scorning or foolishness or error (all of which are so common today, it’s accepted as the new norm) and you will say something negative about it. It's what the Holy Spirit does.
Accusation: You Are So Judgmental.
Answer: Is it wrong to be judgmental? Be careful in how quickly you answer that question, considering saved people have been commanded to be “judgemental” (Lk 12:57; 1 Cor 2:15-16; Phil 1:9; 1 Th. 5:21; Eph 5:11; Pr 21:6, 15; etc). The one that is truly saved, will judge. Not as a matter of opinion or choice, but will judge because he is commanded to and will judge by the Word of God. “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things,” (1 Cor 2:15a). The Lord Jesus Christ commanded, "Judge righteous judgment" (Jn 7:24). He told a man, "Thou hast rightly judged" (Lk 7:43). To others, our Lord asked, "Why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?" (Lk 12:57). Mal. 3:18 says, “Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not." Judging is absolutely critical for the saved: “And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.” (Ezk. 44:23). How could we discern between good and evil, between sound and unsound doctrine, between saved and lost, between true teachers and false teachers, etc, if we didn’t judge?
It’s actually disobedient to God to not judge. Judging is based upon the whole counsel of God and is only righteous if it’s done with the Word of God rightly divided and interpreted (Jn 7:24). Yes Jn 7:24 doesn’t say all that, but others do (e.g. 2 Tim 2:15; 2 Pet 1:21; 3:16-17; etc).
We are commanded to judge preaching (1 Cor. 14:29), sin in ones church (1 Cor 5:3; Rom 15:14), issues in the church (1 Cor. 6:5), sin in our own lives (1 Cor. 11:31), false teachers (Mat. 7:15-17; Rom. 16:17); spirits (1 Jn 4:1), salvation and doctrine (Is. 8:20; Ezk. 44:23; Mal 3:18; Matt 7:15-20; Rom 16:17; 1 Cor 14:29; Gal 1:6-9; 2:4-5; 1 Tim 6:3; 2 Jn 1:9-11; 2 Tim 4:3-4); etc.
Those that hate judgment are some of the easiest people to fool. The reason for that is because most of them are simple minded and the simple minded are never saved (Ps. 19:7; Pr 14:15, 18; Rom 16:18).
Accusation: You Create Conflict and Contention, and Are Divisive.
Answer: That is certainly not my intentions, at least not in a bad way. I find this is typical rhetoric from those who hate having their error or sin pointed out, or that of their heroes that they have exalted on a pedestal. You are “divisive” and so “offensive” and “creating conflict” and “throwing rocks,” etc, ad nauseam infinitum. How about the Lord when He intentionally created conflict (Mk 3:1-6; Lk. 6; 13)? Or in Matt. 23 and Lk. 20:45-47? What about the apostle Paul, whose entire ministry caused conflict through continual debating and contending and fighting the good fight of faith (e.g. Ac. 9:29; 13:8-12; 15:1-2, 7; 17:2-3, 17; 19:8-9; 24:12)? Even some of the churches he started were constantly slandering him as we note in 2 Corinthian and Galatians. By making these accusations you are denying the Word of God and thereby corrupting the Word of God but “we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.” (2 Cor. 2:17).
Is creating conflict wrong? Or division? There is a bad division and a good division in Gods Word. Division is either from the truth or for the truth. If you have an established truth and someone corrupts it, that’s a faction or a heresy. It's division, from the truth. Bad division in other words. When the truth goes into the minority number, it's still the truth. False doctrine creates division, bad division. The Bible mostly uses division in that manner; not truth causing division in a church, but false teachings and false believers creating bad division. Not necessarily always doctrinally, but mostly.
The division that is good, which is not how the word is typically used, is the type of division that Christ said He came to bring (Lk. 12:51-53), dividing truth from error and bad doctrine and sin with a sword, so truth creates good division (e.g. Ac. 15:1-2)—e.g. those who preach the truth and reprove error will be divided from those who preach error (Eph. 5:11). A good divisiveness in other words. It separates the heretics from those of the truth (1 Cor. 11:19). We are commanded to earnestly contend (meaning to argue and dispute earnestly; to reprove sharply; to chide and strive to convince and reclaim; to strive against and in opposition; to quarrel and to dispute fiercely, to wrangle) for the faith once delivered to the saints (Ju. 1:3); therefore contention can and will cause division, a good division. Of the kind we see Paul creating in 1 Th. 2:9, “we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.” He said “with much contention” (“agon” is also translated into “conflict” and “fight” and “race”, e.g. “fight the good fight of faith”, “let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” “I have fought a good fight” — 1 Tim. 6:12; Heb. 12:1; 2 Tim. 4:7). Contending is fighting which will bring contention and salvation (as we see here in Thessalonica and Ac. 13 and many other places). Even “much contention”. The Thessalonians were saved through and in the midst of much conflict created by Paul (1 Th. 1:6; cf. Ac. 17:1-5; 1 Th. 2:1-16). Contention and division is good when its for the truth, seen many times throughout Scripture. I create good division, dividing from heresy, from false doctrine. In that sense I am contentious, good contentiousness (Ju. 1:3). Many godly men since the days of the apostles have made divisions among Christians because of the truth and have been charged with divisiveness. I am happy to be put in their class, for I am indeed in the company of great men, great men like the Apostle Paul and the Greatest Man, the Son of man, the Lord Jesus Christ. Men that stood uncompromisingly for the truth of the Word of God and who, as a result, caused division and trouble. The man born blind is another good example. And he did that while yet lost! If it were the case that divisiveness in this sense was bad, it would be criticizing the Apostle Paul himself—yea, even the Lord Jesus Christ! The Lord Jesus caused division everywhere He was going (e.g. Jn. 7:43; 9:16; 10:19) even intentionally creating conflict (read Lk. 13:10-17 and Matt. 23) because He came not to bring peace but a sword (Matt. 10:34), “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:” (Lk. 12:51-53). God wants separation from false doctrine and sinful practice. If there was ever a time for division, this would be the day, especially among the independent baptists, among whom are of the only bastions of light in our dark world, but shamefully harbour too many heretics and heresies. So I am happy to create godly division.
There is no true unity without conflict or without separating those of the truth from the heretics. 1 Cor 11:18-19 speaks to this: “For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” You might not like conflict, but Jesus wasn’t afraid to create it (Lk 4:16-30; 12:51; 13:10-17) which resulted in division (Matt 23). He said He came to bring both (Matt 10:32-39).
A pastor wants capitulation to what he says. That's fine if it's the truth. Heresy or schism is about error, not the truth. Someone is not causing disunity by bringing the truth. Disunity comes from error. The reason there are heresies among true churches is so that “they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” (I Cor. 11:19). “Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” (De. 13:1-3). In other words, God proves whether you are truly saved to begin with through your response to a false teacher, and whether you will love him or God (De. 30:6; De. 6:5-7; 30:12-14; cf. Rom. 10:1-10). False teaching and carnal divisions test men’s hearts, whether they will cling to the truth (saved) or whether they will follow error (false pretenders). Who will they fear: man or God? Who will they love: man or God? Your response will reflect whether you actually “love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
But that was Jesus goes the argument. Jesus said, “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.” (Matt 10:25a). Paul said the same, “Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.” (1 Cor 4:16-17). When Jesus saves someone, He will work out His will in their life which will bring about much conflict and persecution, from both the religious and the non-religious.
Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” (Matt 10:34). He puts “a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.” (vv 35-36). Those that love their parents or children more than Christ, are not worthy of Christ and will not be saved (v 37). This is in part what it means to repent — i.e., to take up your cross and follow Christ (v 38), to lose your life for Christ sake thereby finding it (v 39). If you are a stranger to these things, then salvation is what you require (Matt 10:32-39; 16:24-26; Mk 8:34-38; 10:17-31; Lk 14:25-15:32; 19:1-10; cf. 2 Cor 13:5).
Accusation: You Are More Interested in Tearing Down than Building Up.
Answer: If there is anyone interested in true unity, that would be me. Was Jesus not interested in unity? How about the apostles? There is no true unity without true conversions and sound doctrine. Unsaved people, unsound doctrine, sin, and other things are the causes of disunity or fake unity. See here for more on True Biblical Unity, What the Bible Requires Versus Fake Unity, the Most Common Today.
If fighting and contending for the truth and opposing error, sin and all forms of evil (like we note throughout Scripture, e.g. Ju 1:3; Rom 16:17; Eph 5:11; 1 Th 5:21; 3 Jn 1:9-11; etc), is tearing down rather than building up, then the same would apply to the apostles and even God the son Himself. Nevertheless, “There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.” (Neh 6:8). People that make this slanderous claim, often have no issue with tearing down the Bible, since the Bible commands us to do these things, and of course much more.
What about Jesus and all the apostles and the prophets? What about the apostle Paul, a staunch fighter and contender for the truth? His bodily presence might have been weak, as his enemies claimed (2 Cor 10:10), but he was a great warrior for truth. On the very first stop of his first historic missionary journey, he called out a prominent member of Salamis, a false believer and teacher, with these “shocking” words, “O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord,” and struck him with blindness for good measure (Ac. 13:10-11)! What a fireball for God’s truth! As for two false preachers of that day, Hymenaeus and Alexander, Paul turned them over to the devil “that they may learn not to blaspheme” (1 Tim 1:20). In an epistle meant to be read by all of the churches, Paul called out two other preachers by name, Hymenaeus and Philetus, labeling their teaching “profane and vain babblings” (2 Tim 2:16-18). In the same epistle, Paul publicly exposed Alexander the coppersmith’s evil (2 Tim 4:14-15) and called out the false preacher Demas in that same context, a former coworker, for “having loved this present world,” and forsaken Paul—which is tantamount to forsaking God since Paul was the penman for much of the apostolic doctrine—holding him up as a bad example and false teacher and a warning to all the churches. Paul even rebuked Peter publicly for his hypocrisy (Gal 2:11-14). The apostle to the Gentiles taught a vast amount of truly deep, “positive truth,” but he was never content with that. He fought against Galatian Judaizers and Corinthian spiritualizers and Colossian gnostics and other false professing believers. He stood against false christs and false gospels and false spirits of any and every sort, but he didn’t stop there. He stood against carnality, worldliness, man-centeredness, pride of scholarship, unqualified pastors, dishonesty, laziness, every type of sin in the churches. He was an unwavering disciplinarian (1 Cor 5; 1 Tim 20). He was huge on rebuking (2 Ti. 4:2; Tit. 1:13; 2:15). Unlike many preachers since then, Paul never backed down, never softened his stance, never regretted or repented of fighting for truth’s sake. At the very end, Paul summarized his Christian life with these words, “I have fought a good fight” (2 Ti. 4:7). Indeed! Any preacher who is not a fighter is not walking in the footsteps of Paul. And he, like Paul, is definitely not tearing down but building up. The true believer and preacher is more interested in the truth than the tickling of the ears of heretical Christians!
Accusation: You Name Call and Belittle People.
Answer: This false accusation is revealing. The Bible is literally loaded with labelling inscriptions, and then examples of saints using them, even the Lord Jesus Christ, but all is that ignored or maybe foolishly unknown. Let’s consider this.
The Lord Jesus Christ, in Matt 23, calls the religious hypocrites who were pretending to be of God many “names,” yes even “belittling them” according to what you would label that. Jesus called Peter the Devil, for saying something contrary to Gods Word (Mt 16:23) — is that “name calling,” or “belittling them”? What about His fiery and “hateful” indictment on the false believers in Matt 23? He called them “vipers,” “children of the devil,” “fools,” “whited sepulchres,” “hypocrites,” etc, all of which would be “name calling,” and “belittling” indictments to some. In Jn 8:30-31 Jesus sharply reproved Jews who falsely professed to be “believers” in Him but were in fact unsaved, whom He said, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (Jn 8:44). How “name calling,” and “belittling” is that? In Matt 19 Jesus refers to an unforgiving man as a ”wicked servant” (v. 32) who was inciting God’s wrath and judgment (vv. 34-35). He called Gentiles “dogs” (Matt 15:26), saying it’s not Gods will to take the Word of God “and cast it to dogs.” In Matt 7 he speaks of false believers/teachers as “dogs” and “swine” (v. 6) and later warned of “wolves . . . in sheep’s clothing” (v 15), of “corrupt trees” whose fruit isn’t good but “corrupt” (vv 15-20). In Matt 16 He called false believers/teachers “wicked and adulterous” (v. 4) and warned His disciples to “beware of [their] leaven” (v 11). But that was only for Jesus? He said, “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord” (Mt 10:25a). That means, do as the Master and Lord.
Paul did the same continually, always in the face of error, debating, fighting, exposing, contending with dissension (e.g. Ac. 15:1-2) and he also said, “Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.” (1 Cor. 4:16-17). Earnestly contending for the faith (which means to argue and dispute earnestly; to reprove sharply; to chide and strive to convince and reclaim; to strive against and in opposition; to quarrel and to dispute fiercely, to wrangle, to do it eagerly, zealously, intently, fervently) for the faith once delivered to the saints, fighting the good fight of faith, debating, testing, warning, exposing, etc, is very loving because it’s obedience to Gods Word (e.g. Ac. 13:8-12; 20:28-31; Rom. 16:17-18; Gal. 2:4-5; Eph. 5:6-11; Phil. 3:17-19; Col. 2:8, 18-23; 1 Tim. 1:5-11, 19-20; 4:1-3; 6:3-5, 20-21; 2 Tim. 1:15; 2:16-18; 3:13; 4:14; Ti. 1:9-16; 2 Pet. 2:1-22; 1 Jn. 2:18-23; 4:1-3; Ju. 1:3-16; Rev. 2-3).
None of the above are “name calling” or “belittling” obviously, and me thinks I’m a bit soft in comparison to these stalwart warriors! It’s just reproof but people that hate reproof will always find fault in the methods and manners of the messenger. Thats where they target, just like the ungodly and diabolical left-winged, liberals. “Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.” (Ps. 119:128). Those that love righteousness will hate iniquity, just like their Lord and Saviour (Heb. 1:9).
But as Scripture foretells, the unjust will hate the just, when error and sin is exposed. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Tim. 3:12). Obedience to Gods Word will bring persecution. That is to be expected, and hatred is received for ones love. “He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord.” (Pr. 17:15). These things always go hand in hand.
God’s Word is so manipulated and falsely divided bad today, it makes me wonder if professing Christians actually like what the Bible says. All of the Bible is the truth and all of it is good. It comes as a package. You don't accept the Bible and then not accept all of it. You accept all of it or none of it. It is like the truth in that way. There is one truth. It is the truth whether you like it or not. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean that you get to choose your own truth. The Bible is not a buffet restaurant intended for choosing what you like and discarding the rest. None of it reads that way.
Accusation: You Reprove People You Shouldn’t, Such as Pastors and Christian Leaders.
Answer: This one hits the grandstand of man-centredness. It’s a perversion of truth. Where in God’s Word are certain people immune to judgment, reproof, and admonishment? I, like all saved people, have received the God-given ministry of correction, of reproof and instruction in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16-17; 4:2-4; Rom 15:14; 16:17; 2 Cor 5:18-20; 6:1; Ju 1:3; etc) which is to be exercised without any respect of persons (Jam 2; Pr 24:23-25; etc) and I have no intentions of disobeying my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I am His servant, not a servant of man (Gal 1:10; 1 Cor 7:10-11). No man is above reproof, but reproof should always be according to facts and truth, “judge righteous judgment” (Jn 7:24). Reproof is not divvied out like cheese and crackers, but when there is sin, error, scorn, or foolishness. If someone is teaching error, false doctrine, or a false gospel, or harbouring false teachers, or wilfully wresting scripture, it is certainly a born again believers responsibility to expose that error and try to correct it. The very reason why there is so much apostasy today everywhere and people blown about by all winds of doctrine, is because this isn’t happening. Compromisers and false teachers have not been held accountable, when they preach and embrace error. EVERY single true born again believer in the entire world —bar none— has the responsibility, “to admonish one another” (Rom 15:14b), unless you’re not “full of goodness, filled with all knowledge” (Rom 15:14a). To “admonish” means to warn or notify of a fault, to reprove, to counsel against wrong practices, to caution or advise, to instruct or direct. Titus 1:9-16 is extremely clear that the mouths of false teachers need to be stopped. That happens in a large way by sound doctrine and earnestly contending for the faith, warring and fighting against the error, debating, etc. Entire books of the Bible are written for this purpose (Jude; 2 John).
The man-centredness is so bad today that people will defend their pastor (or someone else they highly esteem) over the truth. They will do so even if the person is teaching blatant and easily provable error. That is evil. It is judging with a respect of persons, with partiality, which is not only behaviour of a fool (Pr 24:23) but also sin inline with the lost, someone still under the law (Jam 2:9).
Accusation: You Write as if Everyone is Lost But You.
Answer: Alright then. That is certainly not my intentions, and just because I am quoting scripture that reflects the truth of very few being truly saved and vast majority of "believers" being actually false "believers," I am not implying I am the only one saved. Far from it. Nor have I ever directly stated that. This is often used as a slander and a straw man pulled out of thin air, many times the thought process of a Biblically illiterate and feelings-orientated person. I am extremely grateful that I’m not the only one saved. But the Word of God says what it does. It’s black and white but people want grey. The practical truth of this matter is, as we look around us today, the majority are unsaved. By far. If you can’t see that, then you may well be one of them. The Bible reflects this repeatedly, declaring majority (by far) are lost, and that’s speaking to those professing to believe (see Jn 2:23-25; 6:60-66; 8:30-59; Lk. 13:23-24; Matt 7:13-14) and the Bible says this only gets worst as the years go on.
Many “have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof” (2 Tim 3:5). To have form comes from the Greek “morphosis,” meaning a prescribed appearance and external conformity, while their lives deny the power thereof. It’s the Bible that tells us whether someone is saved, not just taking it at face value. That is what the simple-minded do, the naive and gullible, but neither are these regenerate according to scripture (Pr 1:22; 9:4-6; Ps 119:130; Rom 16:18). People can claim what they like but the Bible tells us whether it’s true or not (e.g. Is 8:20; Ti 2:11-14; 3:3-7; Jam 2:14-26). “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Is 8:20).
True conversion comes with a lot of evidence, real substance and fruit, a conversion that dramatically and permanently changes the sinner’s life immediately and forever. They have understanding and fruit immediately and ongoing (Matt 13:23; Col 1:4-6). It is not temporal, nor do they fall away (such as the stony soil), or go back into the world (like the thorny soil, or like the dog to his vomit and the pig to his mire), but endure and persevere (Jn 8:31-36). I won’t treat someone that I scripturally discern to be lost, as saved. That would be doing the greatest disservice to that person possible, worst than committing mass genocide. Eternal hellfire is the end result of that “love.” God’s Word never even hints at such a false conclusion. Quite the contrary.
Accusation: My Motives are Sinister or Something else UnBiblical.
Answer: First of all, judging motives is unscriptural and evil (Jam 4:11-12) while the Bible commands righteous judgment which stems from and commanded by Scripture (Jn 7:24)—testing, examining, discerning.
Saved people are commanded to judge (Lk 12:57; 1 Cor 2:15; Phil 1:9; 1 Th. 5:21; Eph 5:11). Because they are truly saved, they will judge. Its terribly disobedient to God to not judge. We are to judge preaching (1 Cor. 14:29), sin in ones church (1 Cor. 5:3; Rom 15:14), issues in the churches (1 Cor. 6:5), sin in our own lives (1 Cor. 11:31), false teachers (Mat. 7:15-17; Rom. 16:17); spirits (1 John 4:1), salvation and doctrine (Is. 8:20; Ezk. 44:23; Mal 3:18; Matt 7:15-20; Rom 16:17; 1 Cor 14:29; Gal 1:6-9; 2:4-5; 1 Tim 6:3; 2 Jn 1:9-11; 2 Tim 4:3-4); etc. Jesus commanded, "Judge righteous judgment" (Jn 7:24), which is judging by scripture. He told a man, "Thou hast rightly judged" (Lk 7:43). To others, our Lord asked, "Why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?" (Lk 12:57). The Apostle Paul asked his speech to be judged by saved people: "I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say" (1 Cor 10:15). He wrote that all saved people judge all things: “He that is spiritual judgeth ALL things" (1 Cor 2:15) and “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Th 5:21).
I preach only the truth, and by all appearances those that don’t like it have an issue with the Word of God. People need to give their allegiance to it alone and to its study. It will make you wise and stop you from judging motives, which is evil (Jam 4:11-12).
More to come ........