Truth is being attacked every day and on every level. When one defends the truth against compromisers and their sympathizers, it is charged that, “He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof comes envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness” (1 Tim. 6:3-5). In effect, those who seek to expose the errors of the day are called egotistical fools who do nothing but stir up stink and strife and surmisings and suspicions. They know nothing. Their minds are perverted and corrupt; so, “from such withdraw yourself.” These things are all mouthed and mumbled against gospel preachers who seek to terminate errors of denominationalism before they can germinate any further in the Lord’s church. In truth, anyone who fights any false doctrine at any time will be so accused and accursed.
But did you notice who Paul was describing in the text quoted above? He was not painting a picture of those who “fight the good fight of faith.” Whose portrait is it then? Who is the one that “is proud, knowing nothing?” Who is the man who generates “questions and strifes of words, whereof comes envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings?” Paul answers that it is the man who dares to “teach otherwise, and consents not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness” (1 Tim. 6:3). He is the guilty party. The one who will “teach otherwise;” the man who will “consent not to wholesome (sound) words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ;” the man who will not submit “to the doctrine which is according to godliness,” that man is your troublemaker!
Brethren have often unwittingly denounced faithful Christians who were standing in the ranks for the cause of truth. However, if you are one who does it, from now on it will not be because you do not know better. You will be doing it because of hatred and bitterness against the faithful who stand and fight while you lie down and gripe, or you will be doing it because of your sympathy for the errors that are being broadcast. Either way, some one has your license and pedigree, for it is the one who teaches “otherwise” who is the cause of strife, surmising, and slander.
Paul so eloquently asked, “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” (Gal 4:16). Liars and false teachers often accuse truth tellers of the exact same thing of which they are being accused. Even so, the Word of God (the truth) endures forever, while lies die with the ones who use them to falsely accuse (1 Pet 1:23-25). The prophet Elijah so profoundly confronted King Ahab, who had accused him of being the troublemaker of Israel, by saying, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals” (1 Kin 18:18).
Therefore, if you want to know the truth of God, it is contained within the pages of the Word of God (Jn 17:17). If a gospel preacher is telling you the truth, the Word of God will confirm it. This is the way the Bereans determined who was telling them the truth. “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). A gospel preacher will give you book, chapter, and verse to prove what he says is truth (Col 3:17 f; 1 Thess 5:21). A false teacher will give you his opinion and assumption based upon his or other’s human experience. Beware of them! (Col 2:8). “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 Jn 4:1). A true teacher of God’s Word welcomes scrutiny, while a false teacher will throw false accusations. “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (Jn 3:20,21).