by Tom Wacaster
Every child of God has the sacred obligation to "be ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear" (1 Pet. 3:15). We are to "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3). Our Lord told us to "beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves" (Matt. 7:15). Our responsibility is no less than those Christians of the first century who were told, "believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 Jno. 4:1). The past twenty years have seen an ever increasing defection of once-faithful, stalwart soldiers of the cross. Men who once stood in the gap and wielded the sword of the Spirit with skill and effectiveness have gone over to the enemy.
A once faithful brother wrote: "It is not possible to overemphasize the damage done by perverse preceptors. They not only cause division (a thing God hates), but the ultimate outcome of their treachery, whether that treachery be witting or unwitting, is eternal loss to all who are led astray by their influence." With regard to our Lord's admonition, "beware" is a forceful word. It is a warning. It says to us, "Look out, danger, peril, jeopardy, risk, hazard." It screams at us, "Pay attention. Be on guard."
We are locked in a battle with error. Truth will prevail, of that we are certain. But we must do our part to uphold that truth, moving neither to the left nor to the right. There is always the danger that a little compromise will eventually lead to wholesale apostasy. Hence the need to answer false doctrines forcefully, faithfully, and forthrightly. Time is of the essence; souls are at stake; the cause of Christ must not suffer! Unfortunately the ranks of those who will address the issues continue to diminish. But if we are to pass the torch to the next generation we dare not waver in our sacred duty to uphold the truth at all costs. The late F.B. Srygley was right on target:
"Fighting for the Truth is almost a lost art. Men who are enjoying the benefits of the Gospel unmixed with human error, are enjoying these benefits because our fathers fought for the Truth. Every inch of ground from that mysterious way of being saved, which was better felt than told, to the plain conditions of pardon as taught in the New Testament, was fought out for us by our fathers. If someone before us had not fought for the Truth, most of us might yet be in the fog of denominational teaching. This is not the time to temporize or make friends with error (F.B. Syrgley (Madisonville, KY: In Word and Doctrine, Oct-Dec, 1992), page 19; originally appeared in the Gospel Advocate, 1928) False teachers have been tolerated, ignored, and in some instances embraced by unfaithful elders, preachers and members. Far too little has been done in answer to the false teachers presently assailing the walls of Zion. We only pray that it is not too late to take our stand and defend the truth.