Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Combating False Doctrine

Greetings again!

Jesus asks the question in Luke 6:46: “Why call you Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” He also says, “But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:9).

Many in the world profess Jesus as Lord and Master, yet do not obey Him. Servants obey their masters, yet billions of professing Christians do little or none of what their supposed “Master” tells them. Instead, they follow what men teach. Sadly, more and more of God’s people today are falling into the same trap. They profess to follow Jesus Christ, and profess to obey the Truth, but the reality is they have lost sight of many true doctrines, and are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:17). Those are the words of Christ—not mine, or any other man’s! Since true Christians of the seventh era are in this condition, Christ counsels them, “anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see” (Rev. 3:18). Again, those are Jesus Christ’s words—not any man’s! But how many today in the WCG offshoots, who profess Jesus to be “Lord” and “Master,” are obeying this most direct command?

The Restored Church of God is often accused of “attacking” other groups when we point out their errors. Such people forget that God’s Church has the very serious responsibility of warning those who have drifted from the Truth, no matter how unpopular our warning may be. Titus 1:9 says a minister must “hold fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince [convict] the gainsayers [this includes those who teach what is contrary to God’s Word].” The next verses state how God commands ministers to address such “gainsayers”: their “mouths must be stopped” (vs. 11) and they must be rebuked sharply (vs. 13).

The RCG takes these and other similar commands of God to heart, and actively works to identify unbiblical teachings, wherever they occur. Whenever we address the doctrines and standards of other organizations, it is out of genuine concern for others—and their eternal lives. (For an overview of exactly how RCG is different from the other groups, read this article.)

This task is increasingly important today. A list of end-time conditions in II Timothy 3 begins with, “in the last days perilous times shall come” (vs. 1). Verse 13 summarizes one of these trends: “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” Put simply, the Bible warns of a massive increase of false teachers and deception—today! Look around in the WCG offshoots to confirm this reality is upon us.

When we warn of doctrinal error, sometimes we use strong language intended to stir readers to action—which can, again, make some feel we are “attacking” others. Recall, however, Jesus Christ’s sharp words to the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23, where He called them “hypocrites,” “fools and blind,” “full of hypocrisy and iniquity,” “blind guides,” “serpents” and a “generation of vipers.” How many would accuse CHRIST of being “too harsh” or “unloving” in these verses? Yet God’s Church is blasted for using language that hardly approaches His choice of words.

Furthermore, Jude 1:3 states that Christians must “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” The Greek word for the phrase “earnestly contend for” is defined by Vine’s Expository Dictionary as “to contend about a thing, as a combatant.” Instead of RCG “attacking other groups and their leaders,” the Church is instead diligently “combating” the false doctrines and unbiblical teachings so rampant today—with the goal of helping some of God’s people return to the full Truth.

Internet critics continue to ridicule and mock the clear command of Jesus Christ to “anoint your eyes” (Rev. 3:18). They do so at their peril.

What will you do?