How do we stop the spread of false teachings and those who desire to subvert the Word of God and Christians? Scripture teaches us to shut their mouths. This is not done by stuffing a rag in their mouth but answering their false teachings with sound doctrine.
—Titus 1:9 NKJV “holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.”
—Titus 1:11 NKJV “whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.”
There are so many denominations teaching unbiblical truths or watered down truths, people spreading false gospels, intentional deceivers, and heresies being taught that it is impossible to keep track of all of them. As believers we can not hope to know all the false teachings and be able to have a prepared defense for each one.
So, what strategy is the believer to employ when faced with these overwhelming false teachings and the propagators of them?
We are not to bury our head in the sand and ignore the lies instead we are encouraged to silence these false teachings and the damage they cause with sound doctrine.
A strategy and tool we are employed to use is teaching the Word of God rightly divided. When confronted by false teachers (well intentioned or not) it is of little value if we belittle or attack the teacher either physically or mentally.
While a punch in the mouth might silent them for the moment, it will not have a long lasting effect and may even give more fire to the false teachings. The best way to break the hold of false teaching is by teaching the grace of God.
Think for a moment about how you were saved. Were you saved because someone verbally assaulted you, bullied you, or attacked you is some other way? Or were you saved because someone in love presented the good news of God to you?
A solid strategy is always to confront error with truth. Sound doctrine will always provide better results than a verbal attack. Whether they are doing it knowingly or unknowingly you will always run across people expounding erroneous teachings. When you do, this is a opportunity to shine the light of God’s Word on the lie.
The best medicine for religious deceivers, misled people, and false teachings is sound doctrine. Approaching people with self righteousness and a condescending attitude will be ineffectual. Our reproofs should be directed at the false teachings not the teachers.
—2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,”
Study the Word
Scripture is key in our battle against doctrinal error. Our personal attacks against those spreading lies or errors will fall on deaf ears as only the Word of God has the power to reform man. That is why it is imperative that we make studying the Word of God a priority.
To prevent error from taking hold we need to be prepared to let others know about the truth and this is accomplished by having a solid understanding and knowledge of the Bible and its teaching. We must not only study the Word but share it. If we don’t unsheathe the Word of God, its knowledge is of little worth if we selfishly horde it.
Defend the Word
As believers we are called on to defend the Word of God to prevent the enemy from gaining a foothold in our lives. By a foundation of studying the Word rightly divided, we will not be swayed by popular opinion and can be a source of light in the world.
False teachings will weaken or destroy churches, families, and society. When confronted with a lie you need expose it to the truth. However, You can not recognize a lie if you don’t know the truth. That is why we are encouraged to continually explore and study the Word of God.
I hope you will embrace the power of God’s Word so you will be equipped to stop the mouths of those trying to weaken the body of Christ with error and lies.