Sometimes I log on to Twitter wondering what kind of food fight my brothers and sisters in Christ are engaging in now. I log on to Facebook wondering who will tear my latest blog post to shreds because I’ve said something Calvinistic. I log on to certain blogs that claim to be discernment blogs, only to find them anathematizing sound Christian teachers simply for treating people in false religions with respect.
Conversely, I sometimes log on to social media platforms to find people pleading with me and bloggers like me to stop calling out false teachers (especially Beth Moore). In the name of love, apparently, we should embrace anyone who says they’re Christian despite persistent doctrinal deviations and/or lifestyle choices that go against God’s Word.
As people become increasingly entrenched in either of these extremes, we inevitability fall into error. We’ve created a polarization between truth and love that is neither Scriptural nor necessary. And this polarization greatly damages our witness for the Lord.
I know some of you read this article and fear that I’ve started on the slippery slope of compromise. Will I accept Beth Moore as a sister in Christ and stop calling her out when she publicly violates Scripture? Others of you might wonder if I’ll keep hammering false teachers without mercy, secretly taking joy in the prospect of their damnation.
In response to those concerns, I want to take you to a section in Paul’s second letter to Timothy.
22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. ~~2 Timothy 2:22-26 (ESV)
Notice particularly verses 24-26. Paul advises Timothy to exercise kindness, patience and gentleness toward opponents of the Gospel. We must desire their repentance, praying earnestly that the Lord would bring them out of their deception. But he also advises Timothy to correct these opponents of the Gospel, acknowledging that they do oppose the truth and do the devil’s bidding.
Calling out Beth Moore and other false teachers shouldn’t be delightful to discernment bloggers, but neither should it be reprehensible. We must balance truth with love even as we balance love with truth. Instead of seeing truth and love as mutually exclusive, let’s remember that they work together for the Lord’s glory and honor of the Lord Jesus Christ.