What Do We Do with False Teaching?

false-teachers

From Kenny: Yet another guest post from Tim Price.

My last post was about an experience that got me riled up. It had to do with the harm false teaching can do to people. Someone posed a great question in response,

“What do we as Christians do about it?”

Is it really our job to “fix” everyones false beliefs about God’s word, and if so with what authority do we do it? We all know that person who thinks they need to go around challenging everything you say. We know him and don’t want to be him. So we retreat into ourselves and say nothing when we are face to face with false teaching.

Inside ourselves it’s easier to think loftily that “Our theology is superior to those blaspheming idiots.” We may not always be so blunt, but if we’re honest enough with ourselves… we often do.

When talking about people inside and outside the church, Peter says, “Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones.” (2 Peter 2:10) Throughout second Peter he warns against false teaching, yet never tells us much more than about how they destroy themselves. In regards to us, he mentions protecting ourselves by supplementing faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, and so on. . . Essentially saying be wise and remember the gospel. (2 Peter 1:5,6)

It seems to me we have a lot of advice in the bible about keeping our side of the street clean and letting the others destroy themselves. That or letting God do it on the day of judgement.

On the other hand, many (well most) of Paul’s letters are letters rebuking, arguing, and essentially “fixing” theology, always reminding them of Christ and Him crucified.

I know I don’t have the authority of Paul. But I do have what he has written as an authority to my brothers and sisters and I. I do believe we are called to love each other in the truth. Sometimes that might look like having a tough conversation with someone you don’t even know. Not always, and always in love not arrogance.

But what’s it worth to just sit in your head anyway? It seems more often the bold ones are shouting lies disguised as Christianity while we know the truth and get upset, yet hold on to the safety of silence. I think it’s worth talking through weirdness. I think it’s worth getting hurt or even yelled at by a potential maniac. It’s even worth looking like a fool.

It is great news and comfort to know that God works through our foolishness (1 Corinth 1:21).