Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Harshness Of Protecting Babies

I've been told, in no uncertain terms, that my criticisms of popular teachers like Rick Warren and Beth Moore could cause young Christians to stumble. Of course, nobody has actually given me specifics on how or why my stands against false doctrine hurts baby Christians, and I doubt that I should speculate on the reasoning behind this assertion. In answering it, I  can only offer Scripture's persistent concern that both false teaching and false teachers be  exposed publicly.

These Scriptures sometimes convey a shocking harshness that most 21st Century readers find offensive. The apostle Paul, for instance, said all too vividly that the Judaizers (who taught that Gentile Christians needed to undergo circumcision) should be castrated (Galatians 5:7-12). And the apostle Peter minced no words in his condemnation of false teachers (2 Peter 2, entire chapter). The entire epistle of Jude sharply rebukes false teachers, describing them in horrible terms (Jude 10-13).

Even the apostle John, famous for his exhortations to practice brotherly love in his first epistle, had decidedly uncharitable things to say about how Christians should handle false teachers.
And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. ~~2 John 6-11 (ESV)

We give baby Christians Bibles that contain all the passages I've presented here, as well as many others that condemn false teachers. Why don't people consider it harmful to let baby Christians read those types of passages?

I believe that God the Holy Spirit, in His loving desire to protect baby Christians from error, purposefully inspired the apostles to call out the false teachers and the heretical doctrines that had infiltrated the First Century church. Rather than "harming" new believers, the letters of the apostles corrected errors (sometimes harshly) in order to protect new Christians from teachings and teachers that could undermine their faith. Therefore, although my blog never claims to be on par with God's Word, I believe it can follow Scripture's example of instructing new believers by calling out false teachers and doctrines.

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