How to Fight False Teachings
"Among you also there will be false teachers who will
struggle in pernicious heresies. They will go so far as to deny the Master
Who acquired them for His own, thereby bring on themselves swift disaster.
Their lustful ways will lure many away. Through them, the true way will be
made subject to contempt" (2 Pt 2:1-2).
"Let us, then, be children no longer, tossed here and there, carried
about by every wind of doctrine that originates in human trickery and skill
in proposing error" (Eph 4:14).
- A priest counsels an unmarried couple to fornicate "if they really love
- A priest in a diocesan chancery says that abortion and homo-sexual acts may
or may not be wrong, depending on a person's conscience.
- A seminary professor publicly denies the importance of the doctrine of
Immaculate Conception of Mary.
- All but two people in a parish's adult education group advocate giving
condoms to their teenage children. They say it is unrealistic to expect their
children to be chaste.
- A seminary professor of moral theology maintains that sometimes suicide is
- A pastor takes the authority to OK the tubal ligation of one of his
- A couple shops around for a priest who will approve the use of artificial
contraception. They don't have to shop long.
The situations listed above are much more common than we would like to believe.
We live in a time of false teaching "when people will not tolerate sound doctrine,
but, following their own desires, will surround themselves with teachers who
tickle their ears" (2 Tm 4:3). These false teachings are so destructive to people's
lives that we must "fight hard for the faith" (Jude 3), and "guard the rich
deposit of faith" (2 Tm 1:14; 1 Tm 6:20). "There are many irresponsible teachers...these
must be silenced" (Ti 1:10-11).
To fight false teaching, we must:
- pray. "Pray that we may be delivered from confused and
evil men" (2 Thes 3:2).
- repent. "Remove the plank from your own eye first; then
you will see clearly to take the speck from your brother's eye" (Mt 7:5).
- obey the Lord and His Church. God's word promises: "We are
ready to punish disobedience in anyone else once your own obedience is perfect"
(2 Cor 10:6).
- know true teachings. We must do our best to know the Bible
(see Acts 20:30- 32) and the teachings of the Church (see 1 Tm 3:15),
especially the teachings of the Pope.
- teach the truth. "I charge you to preach the word, to stay
with this pealing-- constantly teaching" (2 Tm 4:2).
- "profess the truth in love" (Eph 4:15). We must hate the
sin of false teaching, but love the sinners. Love is based on truth (2 Jn
- correct false teachers sharply (Ti 1:13) but gently "in
the hope always that God will enable them to repent and know the truth" (2 Tm
2:25). If our correction is not followed, we should pray about informing the
pastor, bishop or proper higher authority about the false teaching. We should
do this only after informing the false teacher that we are contacting his or
- "stay clear" of those who "oppose the truth" and "with
perverted minds...falsify the faith" (2 Tm 3:5, 8; see also 2 Jn 10-11). "The
influence of their talk will spread like the plague" (2 Tm 2:17). We should not
leave our church; instead we should be careful not to let ourselves be infected
with secular humanism and "blinded by the god of the present age" (2 Cor
- be willing to suffer persecution and death. "Even to the
death fight for truth, and the Lord your God will battle for you" (Sir
- rejoice in the measure that we share Christ's sufferings
(1 Pt 4:13). God's truth will win out. "His truth is marching on" ("The Battle
Hymn of the Republic").
When we receive true teaching and fight false teaching, God's divine revelation
is much clearer to us. This clarity is the basis for unity in the body of Christ,
victory over temptations, and commitment to live our lives for the Lord and
His Church. So, "fight hard for the faith" (Jude 3).
Nihil obstat: Reverend Edward Gratsch, December 22,
Imprimatur: + Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Auxiliary
Bishop and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 30, 1993.
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration
that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error.
It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur
agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com