1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Almost all children (especially boys) are told at an early age “don’t fight!” There is a good reason for this of course, because they need to learn how to deal with their anger in productive ways.
However eventually that rule becomes “don’t fight…unless you have too.”
There are indeed some situations where fighting is necessary:
- When a family member of close friend is being attacked for no reason
- When someone abuses (bully’s) those who are weaker than them
- When someone continually attacks you, and won’t listen to reason
In the same way as Christians we don’t go around looking for a fight. But there are times when it is necessary for us to do so (in a spiritual sense through Biblical confrontation not physical).
without a doubt false doctrine counts as a situation where we “have to fight
Paul in 1 Timothy gives three reasons why false doctrine is something we must passionately fight against
- Because it Ignores God’s Truth (1:3-4); they ignore the primary truth of Scripture (literal interpretation, doctrine) and read their own interpretations (ideas) into it
- Because it Replaces God’s Truth (1:5 -7, 4:1-5); They place their personal interpretation or opinions on the level of Scripture
- Because it Rejects God’s Truth (1:18-20, 6:3-5); They become completely hardened to God’s Truth, and make it their goal spread false doctrine
I don’t think any of us would have a problem fighting against someone who has completely hardened themselves to God’s truth, but confronting someone who asks “what does this passage mean to me?” Instead of “what is God saying in this passage?” Should be dealt with as well.
In my humble opinion one of the reasons so much false doctrine is found within Churches is we (Christians) wait till someone begins teaching others personal opinion or completely rejects God’s truth before confronting them. It’s much wiser to come with a spirit of love when they are misinterpreting Scripture and show with an open Bible where they are wrong.
A deeper problem is many Christians refuse to fight for the faith at all! This can be from lack of courage, wanting to be accepted (loved) by everyone, or perhaps encountering a Believer who wanted to fight over everything.
Whatever the reason, there is absolutely no excuse for standing idly by…
It’s time for us to fight