How Should the Christian Contender of the Faith Speak and Behave?

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By the Editors at Lighthouse Trails

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged 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)

Lighthouse Trails has always made great efforts to speak the truth in love. We attempt to never be vitriolic or judge one’s motives, not even the “worst” of them. We leave that part up to God. We also attempt to make sure any article we link to by a fellow researcher is of the same caliber. While we do occasionally link to an article that might not fall perfectly into that criteria, our regular authors and writers are of the same mindset as us. So how does a believer rightfully and in a godly manner (following the example of Jesus, Paul, and the disciples) deal with those who are bringing false teachings into the church.

In thinking about following the example of Jesus, the disciples, and Paul, below are some Scripture verses that might help us outline some thoughts, for while we can show verses that talk about showing love and respect to others, we can also show many verses that talk about how to deal properly with those bringing heretical doctrines into the church.

While we don’t believe the New Testament condones cruel or hateful behavior to anyone, we do see a consistent pattern in Scripture that does not look lightly upon those who are teaching heretical doctrines or practices. Let us heed the whole counsel of God, which we believe tells us to remain humble and in an attitude of grace (knowing that we are no better than anyone else in that it is only by the grace of God that we can see these spiritual things), but also tells us to speak courageously, with confidence, honesty, and strength.

We are in a battle for the continuance of the Gospel message—souls are perishing—and words must be said. While we do care for the souls of the men and women who are bringing in dangerous false doctrine and practices, we cannot, in good conscience, take it lightly or have congenial “conversations” and futile private discussions.

The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. (Romans 13:12)

The Bible says that the message of the Cross is the power of God unto salvation (i.e., the doctrine of Christ—2 John 1:9-11). That is because it is the only way of salvation. When teachings such as contemplative spirituality, Spiritual Formation, and emerging/New Age ideology (which all have roots in panentheism, occultism, and interspirituality) threaten to diminish the “doctrine of Christ,” it creates a very serious situation that cannot be handled “sitting down.”

What Does Scripture Say About How the Christian Contender of the Faith Should Speak and Behave?

[B]e thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)

. . . that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. (Ephesians 4:14-15)

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor. (Ephesians 4:25)

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29)

I . . . beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love. (Ephesians 4:1-2)

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matthew 7:15)

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (Galatians 6:1)

But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. (Jude 1:17-23)

A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject, knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. (Titus 3:10-11)

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (2 Peter 2:1-2)

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2 John 1: 9-11)

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not . . . (Jude 1:3-5)

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 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. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:6-10)

I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. (Revelation 2: 2-3)

. . . and that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. (Galatians 2: 4-5)

[Instructions to the disciples from Jesus before his death and resurrection]: Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. (Luke 10:3-12)


(This is an extract of our booklet by Ironside, Proctor, and editors titled Three Ways to Navigate Discernment. Photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission.)

9 Comments

  1. Sandie Grantham

    Thank you for your wonderful work and faithful witness to our Lord.
    I have to say that I too am afraid that the days we are witnessing are making my heart cold and hard. Apostasy in the church feels like the last discouragement for me, so I hold on to Lighthouse Trials as a light in the darkness, and I pray often that God will give me a “heart of flesh” and not a heart of stone.
    These verses are a perfect, gentle reminder of where my mind and heart should be. Thank you!
    Sandie

  2. T.T.

    Dear Lighthouse Trails,
    Thank you for these Scripture verses to help guide us in speaking the truth in love!
    In contending for the faith, we need to also be very much aware of the antibiblical teachings of Psychology in the church? The roots are very evil and it is a very BIG area of much deception for Pastors and Christians! God bless you!

  3. GJ

    With all the corruption going on, I won’t keep silent… but I’m also trying to remember this to simmer my heart down and rest in the Lord as He… moves the “chess pieces” into place for His “checkmate” on evil. Israel murmured in the desert preventing them from entering into God’s rest.

    Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

  4. Lisa

    I find that no matter how kind and or loving you try to be with the truth..it still sounds like hate to the hearer, even with family members and even sometimes with Christian family members.

    Jesus is that stumbling block no matter what. If they hated Him they will hate you. Even family members…He came to bring a sword not peace.
    Matthew‬ ‭10:34-36‬ ‭
    Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.

    Our response…
    Matthew‬ ‭10:37-39‬ ‭
    He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

    I often wonder if this is the reason He will be wiping the tears from our eyes. Revelation‬ ‭7:17‬ ‭
    For the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.

  5. James

    Someone said “We are to submit to those in authority over us”

    That’s not true when the authorities are engaging in that which is unlawful before the Lord because, they are in opposition to the Lord that established the authority they operate in.

    Plenty of examples in God’s Word of times when His people disobeyed unlawful authority.

    We live in times where evil is called good… you can submit to evil if you want to, but I’m not.

  6. jamie in Illinois

    I am about as meek as a hand grenade…I just want to whack people over the head with a plank (the one in my own eye). I have found it very hard, the more I learn, the more upset I get, and how to deal with it all. I worry about throwing my hands up in the air and growing cold, like my dad did. Our pastor brought in a “christian” magician, and his wife, a ventriloquist, to entertain the children last summer. I almost blew a gasket. He often asks God in prayer to draw a circle around us, getting amens from some in the pews. There went another gasket. And recently, telling us we are not right with God if we don’t give 10 percent of our income. That was a big gasket. Oh how I love the book of Galatians, has he not read it? I don’t think it is healthy to come home from church with my knickers in a bunch so often. With that being said, this is one of the best churches I have been in in my area!! Come quickly Lord Jesus!

  7. T. I. Miller

    ” The truth sounds like hate to those who hate the truth “.
    We are to submit to those in authority over us.
    Having said that never forget that Jesus is above church elders.
    The Apostles via the epistles also rank above the elders.
    In several churches mentioned in scripture it was the elders that allowed the churches to go wildly astray. Before the birth of the church the Levites and the Sanhedren that led Israel astray.
    Dont blindly assume that serving your local church is always synonymous with serving Jesus. Seeker friendly pastors seem to be more concerned about offending people than offending God. Furthermore the vast majority of Jews desired Jesus to become a ruling king not their savior.
    Even now from the political dominion movement to Amillinialists also desire Jesus to be the vehicle to political power more than practicing evangelicalism to save the lost.
    I say again the great apostasy is not on the distant horizon, rather we are already hip deep in it.

  8. Isobel

    I concur with MS (first comment) having being saved out of the RCC. The lies that abound made me angry at first but now I just feel sad and know we need to pray for those wrapped up in deception! There I once was! Thank God for his merciful grace,
    Isobel

  9. GJ

    What I’ve been thinking about in context of the Saints are called to be kings and priests of God. God removed a king that valued sacrifice over obedience (the Word of God).

    1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

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