"What Is needed to-day is a Scriptural setting forth of the character of God-His absolute sovereignty, His ineffable holiness, His Inflexible justice, His unchanging veracity. What Is needed to-day Is a Scriptural setting forth of the condition of the natural man-his total depravity, his spiritual insensibility, his inveterate hostility to God, the fact that he is "condemned already" and that the wrath of a sin-hating God is even now abiding upon him. What is needed to-day is a Scriptural setting forth of the alarming danger in which sinners are-the Indescribably awful doom which awaits them, the fact that if they follow only a little further their present course they shall most certainly suffer the due reward of their iniquities. What is needed to-day is a Scriptural setting forth of the nature of that punishment which awaits the lost-the awfulness of it, the hopelessness of it, the unendurableness of it, the endlessness of it. It is because of these convictions that by pen as well as by voice we are seeking to raise the alarm." -A.W. PINK
There is a double-edged sword in ministry: instructing in sound doctrine and refuting error that contradicts (Titus 1:9). It is serous work to handle God's Word accurately. The Apostle Paul compares it to being a skilled workman: "do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15). Rightly handling means to "cut it straight." It is a seamstress term used to depict one who cuts the fabric accurately so that all the pieces used fit perfectly to make a beautiful garment to wear. In like manner, the true exegete and/or expositor of God's Word cuts the fabric of Scripture so that the pieces fit perfectly together so that the truth of the Word can be clearly seen; beautifully adorned.
We are also under a biblical mandate as well to "contend for the once for all delivered to the saints faith" (Jude 3). We are to champion the truth of God's Word as one who is in an arena battling for what is right and just according to the Scriptures to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Error concerning the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ should also be treated biblically with the utmost of doctrinal concern and theological sobriety. Consider again the words of the Apostle Paul when he says this of those who are defecting from Christ and His gospel:
"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed." -Galatians 1:6-9 (emphasis mine)Notice that twice Paul pronounces a severe judgment on those who defect from Christ, distort the true gospel, and embrace a different one - let him be accursed; anathema; damned. This is powerful language and we will not water it down. Error of this sort should not be treated lightly or in a slovenly manner.
Notice also what is missing from Paul's words above: biting humor; sarcasm; cutting jibs, and pompous puns. He treated the eternal state of those trying to pollute the gospel with the utmost dignity as possible; for their eternal soul was at stake. No wonder my friend John MacArthur has developed this saying for The Masters Seminary: "we train men as if lives depended on it."
I say the above to address a concern with you today.
There has been a trend lately within certain blogs of the Christian blogging community to treat doctrinal error with a kind of cavalier attitude manifesting itself in humor and sarcasm against the very ones who are promoting the error. This should not be happening beloved. This reveals a heart that is calloused against another and their eternal plight. I'm not talking about giving unvarnished candor; I am for that and try to present that on this blog. AND, I am not saying that we need to reduce this exchange to the level of "being-nice" to those who are the angels of light spreading false doctrine. On the contrary; speaking the truth in love demands strong, direct language in dealing with false teachers and their assertions.
But what we don't need are Christians trying to make fun of; sport of; by humor that is designed to only degrade another person or just make fun of ones beliefs so that we can appear as being more righteous ourselves.
If any of us really believe that the doctrinal error of say a Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, or Doug Pagitt, for example, has eternal, damnable consequences, why would anyone want to just poke fun at them and their teachings? Why not confront their error with the gravity that it demands than just to play cute with it?
The Commentary and Combox
Here is to what I am referring: when you confront doctrinal error today don't do it like this (the Bullwhip Guy). Instead, operate according to God's Word and confront the false teachings of others infiltrating evangelicalism like this; or like this. To refer to the Lord Jesus Christ (as was done in one of these videos) as "Bullwhip Guy" is very disrespectful to the Lord, not at all funny, and unprofitable for the kingdom. The one that this video is designed to mimic doesn't need to be sarcastically poked at. What he (Rob Bell) or anyone else deceived by the doctrines of demons and disseminating dire doctrinal error really needs is to be challenged with the truth of the genuine gospel, confronted with the Word of God, and publicly called to repentance. Making fun of him by some cheap-shod-dish childish video parody that at face value is an embarrassment to biblical Christianity is not the way beloved and will not produce the corrective in doctrine we all are praying for...
The issue of the gospel is one of eternal life and death beloved; let's treat it with the reverence and gravity that it deserves; and those who are in severe error about essential matters of the faith, let's approach with boldness, with charity, and with truth compelling them to be reconciled to God through the Lord Jesus Christ; warning them of the wrath to come; and that those who proclaim another gospel that what they face is nothing less than eternal damnation.
Now, let me ask you: does anyone reading this blog think this is still funny? Does anyone here think this plight is worthy of sarcasm? Does anyone one want to simply poke fun at those who do such things or believe such things as if their lost souls meant nothing?
How should a godly man or pastor respond to anyone blinded by this kind of doctrinal darkness?
"And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will." -2 Timothy 2:24-26
"If the professed convert distinctly and deliberately declares that he knows the Lord's will but does not mean to attend to it, you are not to pamper his presumption, but it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved. Do not suppose that the Gospel is magnified or God glorified by going to the worldlings and telling them that they may be saved at this moment by simply accepting Christ as their Savior, while they are wedded to their idols, and their hearts are still in love with sin. If I do so I tell them a lie, pervert the Gospel , insult Christ, and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness." -C.H. SPURGEON
"Grace is a provision for men who are so fallen that they cannot lift the ax of justice; so corrupt that they cannot change their own natures; so adverse to God that they cannot turn to Him; so blind that they cannot see Him; so deaf that they cannot hear Him; and so dead that He Himself must open their graves." -G.S. BISHOP