Now, Contending for the Faith. In this regular feature Dave and Tom respond to questions from listeners and readers of The Berean Call, here is this week’s question:
“Dear Dave and Tom, I’m getting a little weary in my attempts to bring biblical light to the things many of my Christians friends are buying into. All I want them to do is check out what teachers or teachings they are following, not for my sake, but for their own. But you should hear the litany of the responses I get! ‘Yes, but God is using this.’
‘Think of the greater good that’s taking place.’
‘God’s doing a new thing.’
‘You are touching God’s anointed.’
‘Don’t be messing with what God’s blessing.’
I imagine you get the same thing, so maybe you’ve got a word of encouragement for those of us who love our friends enough to speak the truth in love to them.”
Tom: Well, one thing I can think of is Galatians:6:9: “We are not to be weary in well-doing.” But, Dave, what about these things, let’s take them one at a time: “Yes, but God is using this.” What do you think?
Dave: Well, Tom, we hear that all the time, “Don’t criticize what God is blessing.” I’m not sure that God is blessing. God is very gracious and merciful, but when you are not even giving them the gospel and all they’re aiming for is a change in life, that’s almost New Age stuff. And they can say words about Jesus - I’m not saying some may not really come to Christ, but to get a blessing from God, we ought to be faithful to Him and to His Word. And if you’re not faithful to Him and to His Word but it’s growing by leaps and bounds, that does not mean that this is God’s blessing. The Mormon Church is growing, and of course Islam is growing. So it’s a little bit problematic, Tom.
Tom: “Think of the greater good that’s taking place.” In other words, we see people…in our view - and what’s our view? We’re just trying to hold up what we see taking place to the Bible, to what the Word of God says. And we see such a mixture - a polluted pool, as it were - and we see such a mixed bag of false ideas, false teachings, looking to this and looking to that, yet people seem to be responding, so they would say, “Well, think of the greater good here.” Can you give me chapter and verse for that one, Dave?
Dave: No, no, I can’t, Tom. What the greater good be? I mean, that’s the end justifies the means. “Well, there may be some people who are offended by false doctrine, or some people who are not going to get to heaven because of false doctrine, but so many are crowding our church now - think of the greater good, you know, and then we can hopefully get them involved in real Bible study or whatever.”
Tom, this person grows weary. I must say I grow weary myself. We live in a day when “they will not endure sound doctrine.” It's that simple. And you feel like you’re hitting your head against the wall trying to say, “But wait a minute! This is not what the Bible teaches.”
“Well, yeah, but we don’t go just by the Bible. All truth is God’s truth. And there’s other truths, you know, and Buddha had some and Confucius, and so forth and so on…” It’s like positive mental attitude and success motivation - I mean, aren’t they helping people?
Look, if it isn’t biblical, then we don’t adopt it. This is what Isaiah said: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word there is no light in them,” no matter what great good seems to be coming of it.
Tom: What about, “Touch not God’s anointed”? Somebody seems to be doing a fantastic work, just heads over everybody else and people are just flocking to follow them, and all of a sudden you say, “Well, wait a minute, what about this?”
And they tell you, “Touch not God’s anointed here.”
Dave: Yeah, that was never used as an excuse for error, to justify a false prophet.
Tom: Wasn’t it David that said that?
Dave: David said that in regard to Saul, and he said, “God forbid that I should touch the Lord’s anointed.” What he meant by that was “that I should kill him,” because Saul had gone to sleep in the cave where David and his men were hiding, and they want him to kill Saul. [David] said, “God forbid that I should touch the Lord’s anointed.”
On another occasion, David and Abishai, his nephew, went into the camp of Israel because God had put a deep sleep upon them, and they took the water canteen and they took the spear of Saul, and Abishai said, “I’ll only strike him once. He’s dead. I’ll pin him right to the ground through his heart.”
David said, “I would not touch the Lord’s anointed.” But now when he got in a safe place, beyond the valley and up on a cliff overlooking the army, then he yelled at them and he woke them up, and he rebuked Saul for chasing him: “What have I done, Saul? Why are you hounding me, and why are you seeking to kill me?”
So when you say, “Touch not the Lord’s anointed,” today they mean, “Don’t correct him.”
Tom: So Nathan should not have gone in to David to correct him for his sin with Bathsheba.
Dave: Well, but this illustration of David, he corrected Saul in front of everybody: his own troops, Saul’s troops, so it simply is a false application of a scripture. It’s a cop-out; it’s an attempt to shelter those who ought to be corrected from correction.
Tom: So the last thing: “Don’t be messing with what God is blessing.” They have some discernments there.
Dave: That’s a nice little ditty. Well, it’s pretty much the same thing we’re talking about, Tom. Depends on what you mean by blessing. The Lord said, “Many that are first shall be last, and the last first.” And what is God blessing? Because there are large numbers? Because you can point to some changed lives? Well, there have been a number of organizations that have specialized in changing lives, even have used the name of Jesus, and they are not even Christians, Tom. They deny much that’s in the Scriptures. They do not go strictly by the Bible alone, so that’s a little bit questionable.
What do you mean, “God is blessing?” Because it’s growing? There’s a lot of people? Well, I guess the Mormons, again, could say that. Jehovah’s Witnesses have grown a great deal. The Muslims, of course, are the outstanding example. The largest and oldest church in the world, so-called, is the Catholic Church. Does that mean God’s blessing is upon them? I don’t think so. We document that for you in A Woman Rides the Beast, the video, DVD, and the book. So, Tom, “Don’t be messing with what God is blessing…” It sounds nice, but I think they ought to look a little more closely at that.
Tom: Yeah, God wants things done His way, not man’s way. That’s the criteria.
Dave: But man’s way could bring what seems to be success, or at least men think it’s success.
Tom: Well, Proverbs:14:12: “There’s a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”