My heart breaks when I read of war heroes who gave their lives in battle to possess a hill that was given back to the enemy after peace negotiations, twenty years later. It was no doubt said that their sacrifice wasn’t in vain, but time proved otherwise.
There are certain doctrines that are hills on which the Christian should die. We may say that metaphorically, but many have had their blood shed because they upheld these biblical truths.
“There are certain doctrines that are hills on which the Christian should die.”
We dare not compromise on the reality of sin, on Judgment Day and Hell, the deity of Christ, the necessity of repentance and faith alone, on the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and the inspiration of holy Scripture.
Yet there are some who choose to die on much smaller hills, and they take down others as they do so.
I have had the privilege of preaching in over a thousand churches over the last forty years, and I’ve come to realize that every church believes that they have pure doctrine. That makes sense. Who would want to attend a church that didn’t hold to the truth? They base their beliefs on their understanding of the Scriptures.
And yet each of these sets of beliefs is different from other denominations. The obvious conclusion is that they can’t all be right. The thought that “all the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes” (Proverbs 16:2) can be applied to our own interpretation of Scripture. However, these foundational, biblical truths are not merely personal beliefs. They are hills on which we should die.
“I’ve come to realize that every church believes that they have pure doctrine.”
Many years ago, I was asked to speak on the subject of evangelism on a television program that was broadcast to millions. One popular radio talk show host believed that I had made a mistake by going on the program and therefore giving credibility to what she called a “heretical ministry.” Day after day she harped on the same tune.
I disagreed with her convictions. If I had invited the host of that ministry onto our TV program as a guest, then I would be lending credibility to that ministry. But that wasn’t the case.
A few months later, the radio host’s father called me. He told me that he was the owner of the radio station, and that he had fired his own daughter from her job because of her bitter spirit.
I think that he rightly diagnosed his daughter’s problem. There are numerous ministries that exist for the sole purpose of “friendly fire.” They are self-appointed and often vicious watchdogs, who think their interpretation of Scripture is right and everyone who disagrees is wrong.
I wish to God that they would focus their zealous sights on the real enemy, and instead reach out to those who are heading to Hell.