THE FIGHT FOR THE TRUE FAITH
Some read my soliloquies about the state of the Christian Church and go, “Akin, let these pastors be. It is God that called them, and it is God they are answerable to. Just leave them to God to deal with. All that is required of you is to pray for them. It is more important to pray for them.”
These feedbacks often come from a good place and are greatly appreciated. I get it. People don't like to rock the boat. Challenging leaders, especially faith leaders, is sacrilegious and culturally a no-go area for many, even though lobbying criticisms at, and attacking, political leaders for their indiscretions is considered fair game.
However, these are not sentiments to which I subscribe. This live and let live attitude is a gross trivialization of the fierce battle in which the Church of God finds itself. Such a thinking vastly underestimates the seriousness of the situation that confronts the Ecclesia. Having such a mindset about the precarious condition of the Church is, in my opinion, outright reckless. The “don’t rattle the cage” and "let’s go along to get along" philosophy of some is totally untenable for me as an end time Believer. And it should be so for all Christians.
I derive no joy in calling out someone who is much older than me in biological years and I do not get my kicks from confronting someone far advanced than me in the number of years in the Christian faith. I value affording respect to elders and appreciate giving honor to whom it is due. Nevertheless, I’m compelled to stand up against the falsehood that is decimating the Christian faith and I cannot help but speak out against the siege against the foundation of my belief. In fact, it is a Christian duty to denounce wrong and we’ve all been called to take a stand against deception.
It is no disrespect or an egregious sin to point out the erroneous doctrine of a Christian leader. The LORD will not rain thunder, hail, and fire down from heaven on anyone who rebukes a man of God who corrupts Scripture. In Galatians 2:11-21, Paul, a relatively new convert to Christianity, and who by all accounts was much younger biologically, confronted Peter to his face. This was the biggest man of God of the time – the supreme leader of the nascent faith, someone who walked and talked with Jesus Himself – being called a hypocrite and a pretender by a Johnny-come-lately proselyte. Yet, the outcome of that encounter – which, from the Greek word “Antisthemi” used to describe it, was a rather serious clash – was an admonished leader who accepted his shortcomings and turned from his crooked ways.
To let error have a free rein is to be complicit in evil and to allow corruption to run wild is to partake in other men’s sins. While I’d like nothing more than to stay quietly in my own little corner and mind my own freaking business, doing so will be a violation of my confession of faith and a disservice to the cause of my fellow Christians. The Church is festooned with a robe of heretic doctrines, I cannot afford to stay silent. I will not be a partaker of other men’s sins. I choose to join the resistance against error.
You cannot pray error away or cast it out by laying on of hands. Falsehood cannot be overcome by wishing it to end. Truth is the only antidote for duplicity and the medicine for mendacity is veracity. The potent serum that can neutralize the venom of lies is an abundance of truth. Unvarnished truth that is told is the only remedy that can cure a multitude of falsehoods. It is the knowledge of the truth that sets men free. And in order to know, one must be told.
Error is like aggressive metastatic cancer. You don’t cuddle it, smooch it, or treat it with kid gloves. When it comes to neoplastic diseases, gentility is not an option. The rule of engagement for cancers is mano a mano aggression. It is medical malpractice for a doctor – any doctor at all – to turn blind eyes on a fast-spreading cancerous disease. According to standard medical practice, an advanced cancer is met with aggressive therapy. If it is cancer of the breast, it may require radical mastectomy involving the removal of the breasts and the associated surrounding lymph nodes. Sometimes, the solution might be radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy. At other times, a kitchen sink approach may be used, and a toxic brew of radical mastectomy, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy deployed.
A little leaven leavens the whole batch of dough. All it takes is a slight inclination to error – or a few false teachers – to pervert the concept of faith and mislead the church. The truth is like a tender flower that gradually withers away when exposed to unsuitable conditions. There can be no accommodation given to error. Heretic doctrines must be radically mastectomized like a cancerous breast.
The truth must be spoken boldly and loudly above the din and confusion. And the truth is, Jesus did not come down to earth, take on flesh, and assume the appearance of lowly man just to bring an end to all your temporal problems. The King of Glory did not allow Himself to be mocked, whipped, tortured, spat on, hanged on the Cross, and cut off from His heavenly Father, just so your bank account overflows with limitless cash. The blood of Jesus was not shed on Calvary so that you can have good health or enjoy abundance of wealth. Jesus did not endure the humiliation of the Cross to provide you designer clothing, luxurious vehicles, or expensive mansions.
The true Gospel is simple. It is the preaching of eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. The reason you were saved is so that you don’t rot in hell and spend eternity in Hades. Any Gospel other than that is heresy.
Your material well-being is not a measure of the wellness of your soul. There are many who are wealthy in this world who'll end up in hell. On the other hand, poverty is not a ticket to eternal life. The material does not determine the eternal. Heaven and hell will each have its fair share of the rich and poor.
No one will be judged on the account of their poverty. God is not going to find anyone guilty for being sick. Being jobless, homeless, childless, husbandless, wifeless, or friendless are not the parameters upon which anyone will be condemned to hell. The lack of influence, power, fame and fortune are not grounds for God's disfavor. The judgement of God will be handed down on all workers of iniquity, for the wages of sin is death. Your sin is what will earn you a permanent bedspace in Sheol. Living in unrighteousness is what will condemn you to the lake of fire.
The "name it and claim it" doctrine is not anchored in Scripture; they are the deceptive babblings of idle men. Assertions of guaranteed endless happiness, exponential success, and extraordinary blessings are nothing but syncretic teachings that originate from Gnosticism, Epicureanism and Stoicism. As long as you are in the mortal flesh, you’ll face the afflictions of a fallen world. The only assurance you’ve been given is that the Savior of your soul has overcome the world and has reserved a place for you in His kingdom. Those who tell you otherwise are peddlers of false hope and purveyors of foolish expectations. If that's not enough to make you want to fear and serve the Almighty God, you can take your chances at what awaits you on the other side when you stand before the Bema Seat.
And as Paul enjoined us all in his letter to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:12:
“Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.”
The truth is worth fighting for. God is looking for faithful men who, not counting the cost, will sign up for the cause and courageously join the fray.