The apostle Paul, writing to the divided church in Corinth, had this to say:
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God (1 Cor. 1:17-18).
He later would tell Timothy to “preach the word” (2 Tim. 4:2). Furthermore, he told Timothy that there was a time coming “when they will not endure sound doctrine” (4:3). He had already written to Timothy informing him “that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Tim. 4:1).
It does not take a genius to know that for many years we have witnessed the progression of false doctrine—false teaching—false teachers. Paul gave instructions to Titus regarding elders that they should hold “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” (Tit. 1:9). There would be and there are false teachers and false doctrine even as we write some two thousand years this side of what Paul said on these matters. We must conclude from the above Scriptures that elders and preachers should have nothing to do with unsound doctrine other than reprove it (Eph. 5:11).
In the Greek, sound may mean “healthful.” Healthful teaching is that which is centered upon the Word. In fact, the ASV of 1901 lists 1 Peter 2:2 as, “as newborn babes, long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation.” Spiritual milk is the healthful Word. There is absolutely nothing that will take the place of God’s eternal Word. When men begin to add to it or diminish from it they break every law of God and attempt to make Him something that He is not (Deu. 4:2; Rev. 22:18-19). A false teacher does not get his marching order from above where Christ sits on the right hand of God. The false teacher gets his information from below from the home of Satan. False doctrine does not come from above from the Father of lights (Jam. 1:17).
It is past time that we must stand for the Word of God without fear or favor. If a person does not teach sound doctrine they are to be rebuked sharply (Tit. 1:13). Paul said that if a man would put his brethren in mind of these things he would be a “good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished in the words of the faith, and of the good doctrine which thou hast followed until now” (1 Tim. 4:6—ASV). John added one dimension to this when he said, “If any one cometh unto you, and bringeth not this teaching, receive him not into your house, and give him no greeting” (2 John 1:10—ASV).
How much unsound doctrine must one teach before we “receive him not”? How much unsound teaching does one have to agree with before it makes him a partaker of his evil works? Any unsound practice is condemned in the Word. Some will say “he only taught this once.” What about committing fornication once or murder or any other sin you wish to use? Any sinful practice taught or continued in will bring certain destruction upon the very best of us or the vilest sinner ever known.
No man who calls himself a preacher, elder, youth minister, Bible chair director, teacher or Christian, has the freedom to teach unsound doctrine. If they teach it once they are to be dealt with. An unrepentant false teacher only brings division in the church as well as the home. They should be marked and avoided (Rom. 16:17). A man that will not teach sound doctrine or the man who says “amen—give him greeting” to unsound doctrine should never be given a platform to speak on again. The result of not doing the above has resulted on one of the worst divisions that we have ever witnessed in the Lord’s church. The faithful must press on without fear or favor even if it means leaving kinfolks or close friends behind. After all, we must save ourselves and those who will hear and heed.