Speak Truth In Love To False Religion

by Kevin Burton

   We’re talking about the Christian response to false religion today with the help of Alistair Begg, speaker on the Truth For Life radio ministry.

   He calls on us to do our part. But before we get into his message, I want to emphasize one phrase from it.

   His phrase is “judicious boldness.”

   A phrase from the Apostle Paul that gets to the same point is “truth in love.”

   “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:,” Eph. 4:14-15 KJV.

   When the walls of Jericho came down in Joshua 6 it wasn’t only, or even primarily, some building material that was being brought down, it was false religion. 

   You need to know that when you hear Joshua 6:26: “And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, ‘Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it.’”

   “If the man who rebuilt Jericho was cursed, how much more does the man who works to restore false religion among us deserve the same?” Begg writes.  

   “In our fathers’ days the gigantic walls of false religion fell by the power of their faith, the perseverance of their efforts, and the blast of their gospel trumpets; and now there are some who would like to rebuild those false systems upon their old foundations.”

   “Lord, we pray, be pleased to thwart these unrighteous endeavors, and pull down every stone that they build,” Begg writes. “It should be a serious business with us to be thoroughly purged of every error that tends to foster the spirit of falsehood, and when we have made a clean sweep at home we should seek in every way to oppose its all too rapid spread abroad in the church and in the world.”    “This we may accomplish only in secret by fervent prayer and in public by faithful witness. We must warn with judicious boldness those who are inclined toward the errors of false religion,” Begg writes, “we must instruct the young in gospel truth and tell them of the dark doings of falsehood in earlier times. We must assist in spreading the light more thoroughly through the land, for false teachers, like owls, hate daylight.”    Right now we live on two plains, the spiritual and the physical.  At the human, physical level it would be wrong to discriminate against people based on religion or any other of the characteristics that divide us.     That’s why correcting false religion is such a touchy subject. Temperatures rise quickly in such discussions. So there is a big understandable tendency to avoid the subject.    But as Christians we can’t do that, for at the point of death we are no longer on two plains. We are in the spiritual only. And after death it’s not about, ‘oh, now I see what you Christians were talking about, now I accept Jesus.”    If it were that easy, I would never risk those touchy conversations. But the stakes are so high. So use judicious boldness, truth in love for sure. But make sure it’s all bathed in prayer.    And let’s not make this into some silly Facebook Face-off. My side, your side, send out a meme.     Christian, think of the Twila Paris song “Rescue the Prisoner.” As Paris sings, that is what Jesus came to earth to do.    In Paris’ words, “See the insolent man standing on the street. Hear the thundering sound of rebellious feet. Demanding rights, defending wrong. It can bring the righteous blood to boil and we ask, ‘Oh Lord, how long? Oh, Lord, how long?’”    “This is not the enemy. Flesh and blood have been deceived. When we move beyond the anger, we will see. We’ve got to rescue the prisoner, rescue the prisoner. Prisoner of war. That’s what He came here for. Rescue the prisoner.”

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