How Much Do We Pay For Peace?
This week at Thrive we’ll be talking about the Role of Elders in opposing false teachers. Throughout my lifetime I’ve heard the term “false teachers” used to refer to those outside the church, but rarely within it. In contrast, Scripture tends to use it more often for those who are supposedly within the Body of Christ.
This is disturbing on at least 2 levels. First, it is disturbing on a cultural level in that our current worldview, which is so enamored with the idea of peace that it will take that peace at any price, has infiltrated the Church to such an extent that we too desire peace at any cost; even at the cost of the Gospel. Secondly, it is disturbing on a spiritual level. The question being, do we even recognize false teachers within our churches, or in the church at large? Do we recognize the cost we are paying for peace? My greatest fear is that the answer to both questions is, “No.” We are spiritually deadened, or spiritually ignorant, or both. One could argue that the evidence of false teacher’s infiltration in the church is the presence of this pernicious idea of peace at any cost. What a subtle and dangerous ploy on the part of the Enemy to instill false teaching that by its very nature teaches the acceptance of more false teaching.
The world, for its part, would never allow teaching that was antithetical to its worldview in their institutions. This is evidenced by the increased removal of all religious references from public spaces. So who has the greater conviction for their beliefs, the Church, or the World? Calvin, in 1548, had similar inclinations. “For, if the children of this world, when dangers arise, increase their solicitude and watchfulness, it would be disgraceful for us, when Satan is using his utmost efforts, to remain careless and inactive, as if we were in a state of peace.” (Commentary on Titus. 207) The question remains, “How much do we pay for peace?”