Defending the Truth

In these days of boasted liberality, it may appear critical and contentious to oppose with zeal the errors of men who have acquired a name in the Christian world. The mantle of charity, it will be said, ought to be thrown over mistakes that have resulted from a free and impartial investigation of truth, and if not wholly overlooked, they should be noticed only with a slight expression of disapproval. Such, however, was not the conduct of the Apostle Paul.

He spared neither churches nor individuals, when the doctrines they maintained tended to the subversion of the Gospel; and the zeal with which he resisted their errors was not inferior to that with which he encountered the open enemies of Christianity. He affirms that the doctrine introduced into the Galatian churches was “another gospel,” and twice pronounced a curse against all by whom it was preached.

Instead of complimenting the authors of this corruption of the Gospel as only abusing in a slight degree the liberty of free examination, he decides that they should be cut off as troublers of the churches. Let not believers be more courteous in expressing their views of the guilt and danger of corrupting the Gospel, than faithful and compassionate to the people of Christ who may be injured by false doctrine. It is highly sinful to exchange compliments at the expense of truth.

The awful responsibility of being accessory to the promotion of error is strongly expressed by the Apostle John also. “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God-speed; for he that biddeth him God-speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”

By Robert Haldane

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