Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Martin Lloyd-Jones on Telling the Truth

“... to express criticism is terribly wrong. If you venture to criticize or to say that certain teaching is wrong you are dismissed as a contentious person. It is said that your spirit is not Christian any longer, you have become narrow; you are claiming that you alone are right. You must not do that! Who can define truth? One person sees it in this way but another sees it in that! No matter! We are all concerned about the same thing! So you must not criticize and you must not say about any teaching that it is wrong. If a man really is doing his best and trying to uplift himself and humanity, what right have you to say that he is wrong? Truth eludes definition. So your critical faculty must be stifled and you must allow anyone to believe what he likes, as long as he aims at doing good...”

“‘...Believe not every spirit’ says the New Testament, ‘but test the spirits whether they are of God’ (1 John 4:1).

The New Testament itself is quite clear about all these things. The truth can be defined, it can be stated in propositions. That is what we find in the [pastoral] epistles. It teaches clearly that you must therefore say that any other teaching is wrong and you must condemn it. The New Testament argues; the New Testament is polemical. The Apostle Paul uses very strong language. He says that some people ‘believe a lie,’ that there are ‘false teachers,’ and he warns people to flee from them. He says, “Though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached, let him be accursed’ (Galatians 1:8). He did not write that to people in the world outside the church, he was referring to false teachers in the church. Yet if you say such things today, if you even repeat them, you are ‘contentious,’ you are ‘narrow,’ you are ‘negative,’ you think that ‘you alone are right,’ you are ‘opinionated’ and ‘intolerant.’

Is it surprising that the Christian church is as she is at the present time?”

Such wrote Dr. Lloyd-Jones in 1977.