The third promise of my ministry duties is to work against false teaching in the church.
Will you be ready to drive away all false and strange doctrines that are contrary to God’s word; and to this end both publicly and privately to warn and encourage all within your care, both the sick and the well, as often as the occasion demands? (AAPB)
Just recently bishops in the Church of England presented a paper on marriage, which largely affirmed Biblical and historical Christian teaching on marriage. To some this was a great thing, for despite much wavering, marriage as a lifelong union between a man and woman was being affirmed. To others who desire for the church to be more like the British culture however, this was met with outrage.
Surprisingly (to some), shortly afterwards, many bishops began to communicate their sadness at the letter which they had been a part of drafting and signing off from! The problem occurs when a Christian leader (1) wants to be seen to affirm Christian teaching, while their real agenda is against it, or (2) they are truly for correct teaching but have no desire to confront false teaching within the church.
3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. 4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. (Jude 3-4)
We always want to talk first and foremost about the salvation we share. But to keep that clear and secure, we must also be willing to contend against false teaching and teachers in all situations.
– SAM PURSELL