Lawrenceville church of Christ ‘Beacon’
Is There Danger in Keeping Silent?
By Gene Plyler
Throughout the years I have heard it asked more than a few times, “Why is he preaching on that subject when we do not have a problem with it in this congregation?” Let me exclaim to you that this sentiment is what causes more problems in congregations than any other. Error has infiltrated local congregations because warnings were never given. In areas such as the Atlanta area people are constantly moving in from other parts of the United States; that have by tradition, brought in doctrines foreign to God’s word. As a result problems have arisen in some congregations because the brethren in that particular congregation have never heard teachings against such. I believe examples such as the error of “Mental Divorce”, Fellowship with False Teachers, Unity in Diversity and such like prove that point. The elders at Lawrenceville encourage brother Allen Shepherd to preach lessons to warn brethren of the false doctrines so that when these doctrines are encountered we will be able to say we have put on the whole armor of God, that you maybe able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).
To remain silent on matters that pertain to life and godliness we would be doing great harm to the work of the Lord. The apostle Paul warned the elders from Ephesus, for I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves (Acts 20:29-30). This was a warning for the elders. Where would the danger come from? Within the flock!
Peter gave a similar warning (2 Pet 2:1-3), But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
An understanding of these two passages should cause us to see the danger of false teaching and we must be warned of it—not keeping silent. Sadly, many congregations of the Lord’s people wait too long. Error has already taken hold and could have been prevented. But how? The Bible tells us—these were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so (Acts 17:11). Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1).
Brethren, we must be concerned and listen to what is being taught. We need to know who is teaching false doctrine and mark them for such so that their doctrines will not infiltrate the church. When we remain silent, we bring danger to the local congregation.
What did the Lord have against Pergamos in (Revelation 2:14-15)? But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. This church had tolerated the teaching of error! Instead of speaking out, they kept silent and allowed it to take hold and spread. They have compromised the truth of God. Why would a church tolerate such? Here are a few reasons I have heard:
“I have no problem with bringing Brother _______________ in for a gospel meeting as long as he does not preach his views on ________________. (You name the subject!) Why bring in “a smoking gun” into the local assembly? There is DANGER in that attitude. I have known those who have taken those opportunities to bring about discord among brethren.
“We don’t want to hurt feelings.” We should be more concerned with the souls that could be harmed, including the false teacher rather than hurt feelings.
“We need to be long suffering.” No doubt and that cannot be denied, but how long suffering must we be when souls are at stake?
“We cannot all agree on all points?” Wait a minute! There is a difference in “all points” and “doctrinal issues” that will cause a soul to be lost for eternity. I heard someone say one time, “someone must have not told Paul that.” Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment (1 Corinthians 1:10).
Brethren, there is danger in keeping silent. Let me urge you stand for truth. Don’t let error be taught among you. And don’t give your support, spiritually or monetarily, to false teachers. How many souls are lost because of their teaching? YES, THERE IS DANGER IN KEEPING SILENT!