What did the Lord Jesus do to expose the deadly doctrine and unrighteous actions of the false teachers of His day? Well, for one thing, He exposed their error publicly and then taught them the truth! What are God’s people to do about all the deadly doctrines the Church visible is awash in? We’re to “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed … ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 1:3
Blogger, author and book reviewer Tim Challies examines the way in which our Lord dealt with those He referred to as “ravenous wolves” in Matthew 7:15. Challies reminds us that in Matthew 23, Jesus rebuked the scribes and Pharisees and called them “hypocrites,” “blind guides,” “blind fools” … even worse, “you brood of vipers.” So, while God’s people are contending/defending with false teachers who are spreading their manure all over the globe, is it appropriate to call them out, rebuke them, and do some name calling ourselves?
Let’s listen to Tim Challies’ advice on how to handle a wolf. He writes:
It’s a good time to be a false teacher and to espouse deadly doctrine. It seems that today’s most brazen heretic will be granted a hearing and, in all likelihood, a book deal. Novelty is appealing, orthodoxy boring. It’s the ones who sound the warning and issue the challenge that bear the risk—the risk of being labelled “haters.” There’s more patience for those who smilingly subvert the truth than for those who boldly defend it. Conviction is a sign of arrogance, while humility is expressed in uncertainty. Love, it seems, requires us to bear patiently with any amount of error. And this kind of love, we are told, is modeled after Jesus. Jesus did not judge, Jesus welcomed all opinions, Jesus would have accepted different kinds of teachings—so long as those teachings contained love and hints of truth.