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“Holding forth the Word of Life” Philippians 2:16
“Holding fast the Faithful Word” Titus 1:9
The writer has repeatedly written to repudiate the wrong teachings of liberals and modernists and warn believers to guard against these seducing, false teachers and their false teachings. In recent years, it is indeed most heartening to see many believers being gradually able to differentiate between Biblical truths and fabricated, false doctrines. It is also most heartening to see many Bible-believing Christians in many places having already separated themselves from these seducing, false teachers and from the churches or associations under their control.
On the other hand, we have seen a most deplorable phenomenon: some Bible-believing Christians, though having discerned between truth and error, are still associating with these false teachers who preach false doctrines and with the churches and associations dominated by them. If these believers had not been able to discern the error of false teachings, I would not have blamed them in the least. But now, despite having clearly seen how wrong and how dangerous the false teachings of these false teachers are, they still associate themselves with these false teachers and the groups under their control. This is indeed most unpardonable.
Are these believers the only ones who do such a thing? Are not many workers for God and many leaders of so-called doctrinally sound churches also doing the same? Have we not often seen many preachers and church leaders, who profess to be doctrinally sound, go to participate in one mass meeting or another convened by the liberals? Have not many fundamental preachers joined hands with so-called “social gospel” leaders in promoting all kinds of joint ventures? Have not many conservative churches often invited liberal leaders as lecturers and counsellors? Have we not often seen many believers and preachers, who profess to be evangelical, rally to the support of the liberal leaders as soon as the latter initiate some sort of movement? And have we not often seen so-called doctrinally sound churches sending students to theological seminaries to receive “modernist” education at the hands of liberal teaching staff?
All these are unfaithful acts in the sight of God. For the false teachings of the liberals confuse the Word of God and are at enmity with God. To unite with liberals is tantamount to rebellion against God. It is also very harmful to man. Uniting with the liberals may enhance their prestige and status, but it directly or indirectly has evil effects on many doctrinally weak and uninformed believers.
If the leaders of a church, though doctrinally sound, God-fearing and God-loving, nevertheless fail to completely separate themselves from the liberals, that church will never reach the stage of very fervent spirituality. “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (1 Corinthians 5:6). For the leaders of a good church to participate in a mass meeting called by liberals, or to join hands with liberals in promoting joint ventures, or to invite liberals to lecture, or to introduce into the church all kinds of movements and techniques initiated by liberals, is tantamount to mixing a new lump with old yeast. The result will never be good.
Nothing is more welcome by the Devil than sending young men and women, who fervently love the Lord and desire to serve Him, to theological seminaries dominated by liberals. Many such young men and women have been completely ruined in the hands of such liberal theological professors. Several years ago, the writer, on the last day of a series of preaching engagements in a big city, personally heard the testimony of a theological student at a testimony session. He said that before admission to the seminary, he firmly believed in all the fundamental doctrines of the Bible. He was at that time on fire for the Lord. Later, he entered the seminary, and within two years, he doubted and put a question mark on almost every fundamental doctrine he had believed before! At the same time, his fervent spirit became completely cold. He praised the Lord and thanked Him for having now led him out of darkness into light. This is only one of many similar instances. How sad and how deplorable!
God wants us to make a definite decision. Are we willing to stand on His side? If so, we should completely separate ourselves from liberal churches and associations and their leaders who resist the truth. If we cannot do so, then let us not tell others that we are Bible-believing and that our churches are doctrinally sound. God does not want to use those who sit on the wall with both hands holding people on both sides of the wall. God wants us to declare very clearly where we stand. What He said through His servant Elijah in the days of old to those vacillating Israelites, He is still saying to these double-minded believers and their leaders today. “How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him” (1 Kings 18:21). God hates those who worship Him and yet burn incense before the altar of Baal. God's servants cannot compromise with the prophets of Baal, let alone join hands with them.
Similarly, believers who faithfully serve God cannot compromise with liberals, let alone join hands with them. When these leaders who profess to be doctrinally sound and Bible-believing co-operates with the liberals, many believers are greatly deceived by the liberals and suffer great harm. Heavy indeed is the responsibility of these church leaders who worship the Lord and Baal at the same time because of the sins thus committed.
Some will certainly argue: “If we do exactly and so thoroughly as you have said, don't we offend many people and meet with much difficulty?” You are perfectly right. If we really want to have a clean break from the liberals, we are certain to face ridicule, contempt, attack and persecution from many people. For this we shall be ridiculed for being superstitious, depraved, retrogressive, narrow-minded, and not magnanimous enough. We may even be accused of being malicious and deliberately creating trouble. But what does it matter? As long as God is pleased with us, it is enough. What is the use of our being welcomed by the whole world if God is displeased with us? Ought the servants of God be unfaithful to Him and disobey His commandments because of the fear of offending men? If you fear offending men, you may offend God. If you fear offending God, then do not fear offending men. In this respect, the Apostle Paul has given us an excellent example. Hear what he said: “Do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
There is in the Bible a very serious teaching, telling us how we should keep away from those who forsake the truth and preach false doctrines. 2 John 9–11 tells us: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 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.”
You see, to bid these seducing, false teachers God speed is to become a partaker of their evil deeds. Is it not worse to unite with them? Having read this passage of the Scripture and learnt its teaching, we know that it is indeed great wickedness for God's people to unite with liberals who preach false doctrines, or to join their assemblies, or to invite them to preach, or to send students to be taught by them.
The forces of sin are increasing with the passage of time, so is Satan intensifying his activities. The call of God to His Church is becoming clearer and clearer. O men of God, rise up quickly and obey His command: “Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” and “fight the good fight of faith.”
Wang Ming Tao (1900 – 1991) was known as China’s “Man of Iron,” who suffered 23 years of imprisonment by the Communist government for his uncompromising defence of the Gospel.
– Published in Bible Witness, Vol 3 Issue 3 (July – September 2003)