Posts Tagged ‘Titus 1:9’

Guarding the Wall

December 31, 2008

Recently one of our pastors found himself engaged in a theological discussion in a public forum. It all started after he had written a letter to local pastors encouraging them to attend an event that our church was hosting. The letter soon appeared in a local online publication with a response from another pastor. What came next was a heated online discussion of the fundamentals of the faith.

It has caused me to think about the importance of actively defending the faith. One of the qualifications for an elder is that he is able to recognize and refute false doctrine, “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it,” (Titus 1:9).

The teaching of false doctrine is deserving of being cast into hell: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed,” (Galatians 1:8) Let him be accursed (eternally condemned NIV) (condemned to hell NET). The gravity of teaching what is false can be sensed on this passage. It is not something that can be dealt with lightly. It is cause to stand on the wall and warn the teacher of the danger he is putting himself in. It is cause to also warn those who are under his care and teaching.

A false teacher should not be welcomed into your home: “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works,” (2 John 10-11). They are teachers of myths and factions. To invite them into your home to have tea and cookies is endorsing what they are doing.

We need pastors to be willing to stand in the face of adversity and defend the faith. We need good men that aren’t afraid of being called a fundamentalist, or intolerant, or arrogant. Seems to me it is better than being called a backslider, or a heretic, or a wolf.

Some have raised the question of whether or not our pastor was justified in engaging others in the arena that he did. But we can’t always choose the arena. Sometimes we can hold forums and public discussions and address theological error. But sometimes the fight comes right to us and we have to decide whether we are going to flee or fight. I would argue that it is the place of the elder to fight, to call false teaching what it is and to protect the sanctity of the faith.

I am thankful for my pastor who is willing be on the wall guarding the flock.