Thursday, September 23, 2010
forward position: fighting the war on error
They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
1 John 4:5-6
John is very clear that not everyone who claims to be speaking for God is doing so. The defining doctrine that keeps the orthodoxy of the church is the relationship of Jesus to the purity of the gospel. I believe that a clear Christology is vital to Christianity. Jesus must be confessed as God in the flesh, Savior of the world (1 John 4:2-3) only as the scriptures present Him. Anything that adds to or subtracts from this understanding is false doctrine and such heresy must be rejected.
Doctrinal discernment is becoming a practice that is deliberately neglected in these days. Any Christian retailer knows that theology and doctrine is a bit of a niche market in the back of the store. The displays up front are often filled with best-sellers from teachers with swarmy smiles, more fluff than tough, who say what people like to hear, even as they stray from biblical Christianity. They focus on the self rather than the Savior.
Let's heed the call of the apostle John to test the truth of the teaching (1 John 4:1). Jesus Christ has changed our lives. The power of the gospel is propagated in its purity. To diminish Jesus in any category, to mix truth and error, to stray from the teaching of the Word of God, is to risk too much. Ultimately, false doctrine enslaves us back into the world system again (1 John 4:4). Winning the war on error involves knowing the truth of the scripture, explaining it to ourselves and to others, and defending it against its detractors and attackers. The potential losses are worth the costs of knowing and defending the truth!
- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13