In the little one chapter book of Second John, we learn that we must not bid God's blessings upon those who fail to teach the doctrine of Christ. When we do, we become partakers of their evil deeds and find ourselves devoid of the Lord. The doctrines of demons (2 Timothy 4:1,20) need no encouragement from the followers of the Saviour. Jesus, meek and gentle, pointedly rebuked the servants of Satan for all hellish mandates (Matthew 23; Mark 12:24). When precious souls are in the balance, we dare not compromise truth under the guise of "being polite." False teachers must always find sharp conflict with the soldiers of Christ who wield not the sword of the Spirit in vain (Ephesians 6:17). When the emissaries of Hell feel comfortable in our presence, we have "bowed the knee to Baal" (I Kings 18:21).

There seems to be a growing movement to criticize criticism! That old ecumenical cry of "let's agree to disagree" passes over Ephesians 5:11; 2 Timothy 4:2 and I Thessalonians 5:21. These passages clearly demand that we not only "prove all things," but that we rebuke untruth and have "no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness." There seems to be many now who pick up the old cry-baby tactic: "Just look for the good in everyone and then you won't have time to be critical." And, if one is critical, he is weak, paranoiac and to be pitied.

What a convenient way to build a system of error! Ahab never liked Elijah and Micah because they were always condemning his evil plans. Jewish leaders never did become ardent friends of Christ for the same reason. I also seem to recall that Peter and John and other apostles spent many days in prison because they had not read "The Power of Positive Thinking." Poor Stephen got himself stoned to death. Unfortunately, he lived long before some of our brilliant (?) thinkers came out with this "don't be critical" advice. More than anything else, I would recommend to every Christian a careful study of Acts, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus and much less of Peale, Graham, Carnegie and Wilkerson. The psychology of the Bible, if used, is often just the opposite of what the world calls compromise.

One of the clearest and best ways to bid Godspeed to error is to rebuke those who are rebuking error. May fervent evangelists and dedicated elders of Christ never be persuaded to sheath the sword of Truth.

by Johnny Ramsey

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