The mother eyed her whimpering toddler with grave concern. He had stopped crying. Like he had run out of the energy to even cry. That couldn’t be good.
“I think it’s time you take him to the doctor,” her husband said worriedly. The young couple had watched their little son grow worse and worse over the past two days.
Within a short time, the mother had the feverish baby strapped into his car seat and was on her way to the doctor. Every once in a while she’d look in the rear-view mirror to check on him. She grew more worried with each passing mile. What was wrong with him?
When she got to the doctor’s office, she was ushered into a room right away. Holding the hot and limp little boy, she prayed. Soon the doctor was examining him. His expression grew concerned. He sighed, stood up, and turned to the mother.
He explained what was wrong with the baby and said he had medicine to help the baby. The effect would be immediate. But there was a big problem.
“What is it?” said the mother with trepidation.
“The medicine tastes awful,” the doctor spoke as if this mattered, “he might not like it.”
“I don’t care. Make my baby well. Give him the medicine,” urged the mother.
Good health was more important than pleasant-tasting medicine to the mother who loved her son more than she loved herself.
It was more important that he be healthy than that he be happy in that moment.
I heard this illustration on a sermon series by Dr. John Whitcomb today (I’ll include the link below). I felt compelled to share in hopes that this would help you understand why the Bible clearly commands us to expose false teachers. It isn’t about dividing the Body of Christ. It never has been. It’s about loving and protecting the Body of Christ.
A few days ago I put a post on Facebook about a false teacher. He’s much beloved and, as expected, I lost many followers. Some expressed their disgust that I would share something negative about this man. The conclusion is always the same: You are absolutely sinful and wrong to do this.
But is this what the Bible actually says? Does the Bible clearly show that it is unloving and sinful to expose a false teacher? We know it doesn’t when we compare this premise to scripture. (I have written about this in the past so I won’t repeat what I wrote but you can go here for that post.) But let’s dig a little deeper into the why. Why does God want us to expose false teachers? Why does it matter?
The truth is like that awful-tasting medicine. It doesn’t taste good and, as humans, we’d just prefer not to have it. But the truth is the only thing that can keep us spiritually healthy.
There is a spiritual pandemic going on and it’s sweeping across this land and into the utter parts of the earth. It’s a pandemic of wrong beliefs without any biblical basis. It’s a pandemic of strong opinions dominated by personal experience. It’s a pandemic of declarations and prophesies and zero doctrine. The landscape is simply littered with teachers who twist and warp scripture as they shout their opinions and ideas from well-lit stages to packed auditoriums.
This has led to many sick Christians. They are sick because they are listening to and heeding false teachers. And there are so few who are willing to speak up.
But just like that mother who loved her baby enough to give him bad-tasting medicine so that he could be well, so, too, should we love our siblings in Christ enough to tell them the truth.
For only when we know the truth can we begin to be spiritually healthy. The truth truly will set you free.
Jesus said this in John 8:31-32–
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Do you notice that the truth is only known by abiding in His Word? The Bible isn’t just an old book. It’s where we find the truth. It has been provided to give us a litmus test by which to test everything. It is the tool given to us to examine ourselves and to examine any teacher, author, or preacher that comes our way.
And so, if we truly love and care about the body of Christ we must speak up. For only this is truly love.
“Niceness” and pleasant words will never prove your love. For love is proven by actions. As we can see from the illustration above, this mother loved her son enough to frustrate his desires in the short-term because she really cared about him in the long-term. Is this any less true in the spiritual realm? What an important lesson for us all.
Look, I don’t have this down. By no means am I saying follow my example, for I have such a long way to go. The fact that it took me so long to write about Disney (which is so obviously occultic) shows me that I am certainly not immune to compromising in order to please people. Oh, that we may all (myself included) be encouraged to love people enough to speak the truth, no matter the cost.
And so I write to encourage us all. May we be loyal only to God. May we be willing to risk reputations, friendships, and whatever necessary to speak the truth for the sake of sick and hurting siblings. And may we remember that we aren’t perfect. Sometimes it is us who is sick. Let’s be willing to listen when someone speaks truth to us as well!
For only through Truth–both speaking it and listening to it— will the Body of Christ be healthy and unified in the way God intended.
Here is the excellent series by John Whitcomb that I referred to above: