Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Offensive Nature of Error (Part 1)

As one who lives in a very postmodern stricken part of the world I have been giving thought to the offensive nature of error. Those with a postmodern mindset claim to be tolerant, but it is clear they are tolerant of everything except for truth claims, especially from the Bible. And unfortunately many Christians share this postmodern philosophy. Any time you seek to proclaim truth from the Bible you are immediately characterized as one who is arrogant, intolerant of other viewpoints, offensive, and cannot possibly know that “your interpretation” is the correct one.

But I believe that is a rather offensive and intolerant way to characterize those with a differing “opinion.” After all, according to their thinking it is only your opinion. So if that is the case, then why not tolerate it and just forget about it?

Error is very offensive and cannot tolerate truth in any form no matter how it is packaged. And that is why it calls those making a truth claim arrogant and hostile. It seeks to put the one making the truth claim on the defense and serves as a diversion from what the one making the truth claim wants to do…proclaim truth. It is an offensive mechanism, an offensive attack on the one making the truth claim.

I would like to think a little about the offensive nature of error and how it is manifest in more than one way:

1. Error is aggressively offensive

Error often reigns because of an ignorance of the truth or because of a rebellion to the truth. Either way it is offensive. It does not and cannot sit idle, and is against its very nature to do so. The serpent in Genesis 3 was not able to sit and watch Eve without challenging her to accept his lie and participate in his evil. Error can’t stand to be alone and is intolerant of solitude. Just as when Satan was thrown out of heaven, he wasn't thrown out alone. He was thrown out with a 1/3 of the angels. Those in error today seek to gather people to join with them in their error against the truth. Their teachings and philosophies spread like a cancer, like gangrene, and are aggressive, because that is the very nature of error. It most often comes in a subtle form and is attractive, because it is often more comfortable and less confrontive, but it is always on the offense.

It is propagated by Hell itself. The Father of Lies, the Great Serpent of old, the Dragon of Hell packages it in different wrappings to offer it as something acceptable. It is not shy and always on the offense, always being offered, and is often distributed in ways and by people we would least expect (Acts 20:29-30; Romans 16:17-18).

In the Scriptures those associated with error are depicted as vicious and deadly animals such as snakes, dragons, wolves, and lions (Gen. 3:4; Rev. 20:2; Matt. 7:15; 1 Pet. 5:8). Whereas those associated with truth are depicted as sheep and doves (Jn. 10; Matt. 3:16).

The point is that error is aggressive; it is aggressively offensive and on the prowl though it often doesn't appear that way, because it comes so subtly and disguised as truth. When we put our guards down and think we have won the battle and that truth has finally prevailed, it is then that we should be most watchful. So, don’t forget that you can never be passive in the truth war. It is a war in which we have an aggressive enemy we cannot see (Eph. 6:12), and that never sleeps or slumbers.