Many so-called “pastors” or teachers don’t exactly proclaim what the Bible does. Some add, some deny, some change meanings. How should a Christian handle those who claim to follow the Bible, yet really don’t?
And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth. (Zechariah 13:3)
First, let’s be very clear: this is not advocating swords today, as it’s applies for Israel in a different time. Do NOT think you need to get a sword and start running people through. Clear?
In a broad sense however, how do we handle people who say “Thus saith the Lord”, and yet speak falsely? It’s easy to claim to speak for the Lord, but many people (i.e. pastors) get it wrong. Do we tolerate false prophets and teachers? What should we do?
For example, a debate was held recently on the definition of the gospel. Why? This is one area such a word is explicitly defined by Paul:
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you … Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15)
Thus, anybody unclear on the gospel definition either hasn’t found 1 Corinthians 15, believes Paul was wrong, or is peddling an alternate unBiblical “gospel”. In view of Paul’s next warning, that last option isn’t a very good one:
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8)
So why debate? It’s abundantly clear. When progressive “Christians” claim social justice is integral to the gospel, is that what Paul said? “For I declare to you the gospel: lobby for social justice from the government”. Oops, that’s not what Paul said, is it?
Thus, it’s abundantly obvious they’re wrong — social justice has nothing to do with the gospel.
The debate should have been short — here’s what Paul said, we’re done defining the gospel. And therein lies the clue about how we should handle such false and deceptive ideas.
For the word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
You don’t need to engage in debates, just read the Word. Many of those peddling false ideas either have no idea their bizarre ideas conflict with clear and obvious teaching in the Bible, or hope you won’t do your homework for yourself and discover just how wrong they are.
When heretics claim “the Bible must be modernized for today”, or “Paul didn’t really mean what he wrote”, or “Paul really meant an allegory for…”, or other nonsense, you’ll immediately identify such as tactics of rebellion.
Let the Word of God handle it, those promoting alternate gospels of social justice, common good, wrong ideas about sin, post-modern this, emerging-that are not only wrong, but un Biblical and using tactics of rebellion.
Let others argue, stand firm on the Rock of God’s Word. You don’t need to watch debates, simply proclaim God’s truth and ask — do you accept that or not, and watch as they try and claim to accept the Bible, all while denying it.