In my post on Saturday, I mentioned that part of the problem in the publishing of books by the Christian book industry is a lack conviction on the part of those in leadership of the church. Far too many men who are pastors love to preach, as long as they don’t have to confront anyone.
The problem with this is that the qualifications for elders doesn’t allow such a passive approach in the pulpit or the leadership of the church. Listen again to Paul’s words: For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick tempered, not given to win, not violent, not greed for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught that he may be able, by sound doctrine, to exhort and convict those who contradict (Titus 1:7-9).
Paul writes that those who are elders have a responsibility to exhort and convict those who contradict. This means that those who are contradicting the gospel, who are putting forth a false gospel, who are misleading the body, who are out for dishonest gain under the guise of the gospel, need to be confronted by our pastors. We cannot remain silent. We must speak the truth. To remain silent and not speak about those who are false teachers is to be disobedient to God’s word, and it shows a lack of love and care for the flock of God.
It is this last reason that I think would shock most pastors who try to be less than controversial. You know these preachers. They speak about things that are true and in general, draw moral principles from the Bible. But they never come out and say something is right or wrong or dangerous. They think they are doing their flock a great favor, but in reality, they are like the parents that let their children play with scorpions.
Pastors should not be so. They need to confront false teaching and false teachers in public because so much of what false teachers do is in public. Many in our congregations want to know the truth. They want to know whether the newest teaching taking the church by storm is biblical or not. They need to know that people channeling Jesus are not biblical, that people who say they have gone to heaven, have not, and those who promise more holiness by returning to Judaism is another gospel all together.
The business of the gospel is serious and those in the pulpits need to treat it as serious. To ignore the reality of false teachers, by never bringing up their falsehoods for the church to know and understand, is a dereliction of duty.