Objection is often raised to the exposure of error on the grounds that it is too negative. The brethren who assume this attitude forget that a large part of the N T is made up of just that––from the correction of simple mistakes right through to the exposure of the most heinous heterodoxy.
Paul predicted that after his departure “grievous wolves” would come among the saints “not sparing the flock”, and worse still, that “of your own selves shall rise up men, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20: 29, 30). Some companies of Christians fondly imagine that they are immune from this kind of thing, but history itself teaches that their very complacency is an open invitation to the Enemy. We live in “difficult times” (2 Tim. 3: 1), in which the constant temptation is to compromise and to take the easy path. Unless we are prepared to make a stand on the rock of the Word of God, any ‘positive’ message we may have is likely to be lost in the torrent of evil teaching flowing from the father of lies. Is it really love to the brethren to turn a blind eye when souls are being led, not into the truth, but out of it? Is it really love to mankind when we pretend not to notice as the Gospel is watered down and compromised, and precious souls are led astray? Oh to have our eyes opened to see things as they really are! We must not allow ourselves to be swayed by the attractions of the ‘wide’ path of service (not really service at all), or by the perceived ‘niceness’ of our prospective companions. Of course we must hold the truth in love (see Eph. 4: 15), but if we think we can go down the road of love at the expense of truth, then in reality we have neither.
We are called upon to “contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). The faith means the whole body of revealed truth, and to contend for all of God’s truth necessitates some negative teaching. The choice is not left with us. Jude himself said that he would have preferred to write on a more pleasant theme but was obliged to do otherwise. The need is pressing, and our vigilance must be constant. Just as the tiny seed that falls into a crack in the rock may grow into a granite–splitting oak, so the smallest deviation from the truth, if ignored, may end in a destructive heresy (see 2 Peter 2: 1) with far–ranging and cataclysmic results.