As the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, he said: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (II Tim. 4:3-4).
The time Paul spoke of is here, and it is my belief that people are following after false teachers simply because of a lack of knowledge of the truth.
It seems that people would rather let someone else do the studying and then be deceived by a misconception of what someone else thinks. I personally know a man one who says, (concerning the Church doing work which God has not authorized it to do) "I like the wrong way I do these things better than the way others are not doing them at all." But as Paul said, they shall proceed no further, or they will never come to a knowledge of the truth, though they are always learning. God will not accept error.
So then the question is asked: Whose fight is it? Some say it is the preacher's job to derail error, while others say, it is everyone's job, and others say, elders are to do the job, and then others say just forget it and it will go away. What do you say? Preacher, everyone, elders, or just forget it?
It seems to me that everyone has a job to do, but as far as derailing error, most think it is a fight between preachers, but let us examine God's truth: (1) PreachersPaul to Timothy in II Tim. 4:1-2 says "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine." Preach what? The word! Is there error in the word? His word is truth. So preacher, preach the word (or truth) and it will outshine any error. (2) EveryoneI Peter 3:15-16 "But sanctify the Lord in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ" (I Thess.5: 21): "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good." If everyone will abide by these two passages of truth then there will be no error. (Including preachers and elders). (3) EldersTitus l: 9 "Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers." This passage is a specific charge or qualification to the elders, who are supposed to feed the flock (Acts 20:28). One man said to a group of people "It is sure nice that the time has come that elders can hire a preacher to do their arguing for them" (how contrary to the scriptures). (4) Just forget it, it will go awayJust a word to you if this is your answer. You need to get right with God and do your part in the Church. If you are a preacher, then preach the truth. The truth will always outshine error, and you don't even have to mention error. Just a thus saith the Lord, and if you can't show a thus saith the Lord, don't preach it. If you are an "everyone," let your light shine by having a knowledge of God's word and be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in you. If you are an elder, then get in there and fight. See that the flock is fed wholesome food and receive a reward of everlasting life.
TRUTH MAGAZINE X: 11, p. 20 August 1966