The Need to Answer Error

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.

A Message Not Worth Listening To

by Tom Wacaster

A large number of souls in India are in bondage to the Hindu religion. It is a religion of futility, fear, and foolishness. Its adherents remind me of the prophets of Baal who danced around their idol, cutting themselves, and seeking some sign from their god while praying to an idol that can neither hear, see, nor answer. It is not uncommon for Indians to broadcast their religious services over a loud speaker so that those in the village can hear the message. Such methods to spread their intended message are neither offensive, nor prohibited. Our brethren take advantage of this to broadcast the sermon and song service to the village people, giving them the opportunity to hear the truth. Last Tuesday we visited a village that had a congregation of the Lord’s people. Unfortunately the brethren did not have a loud speaker, and I am not certain that it would have been beneficial at this precise occasion. Just about the time we got ready to begin our services, the procession carrying the Hindu god moved slowly past the church building. So we very patiently waited until the procession had passed before we began. But even after the procession had passed us by and moved off some distance from the building, we could still hear the loud speaker blaring the message to faithful Hindus: “Come make your sacrifice; bring your gifts...” The volume at times was so high we could barely hear ourselves speaking to one another. Yes, the message was heard; but unfortunately, it was a message with no value.

Our world is inundated with messages that are not worth listening to. Whether it be the Hindu message that calls for worship to a false god , or the noise of materialism and hedonism, these blaring messages drown out the Gospel of Truth. Indeed, the “god of this world” has blinded the minds of the ignorant, and stopped the ears from hearing the truth. The incredible thing about this is the fact that men want it that way. They are content to hear messages that tickle the ears and sooth the conscience. They listen; but the message is not worth listening to. Thankfully God has promised us that when the message falls on good and honest hearts the result will be a soul saved to the Lord’s glory and honor. You and I have the responsibility to send forth the message (Mat. 28:18-20, Mark 16:15). What about our response? To what message do we give heed? Are we listening to the message of the world, with its allurements and promises? Or are we listening to the message that tells us to go? Brethren, the call in India is great. The call for men to turn away from idols and from the vanity of Hinduism is spreading throughout that land. Thankfully, men are listening, but the call goes forth for us to help our brethren spread that message. Will we answer? Or will we, like those whose ears have been stopped by vain messages, refuse to listen? One choice will lead to life for ourselves and those who hear us. The only other alternative is to listen to a message not worth listening to.