Friday, September 5, 2008

"Leave Them!"

Then his disciples approached him and said,
"Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard that saying?"
But he answered and said,
"Every plant which my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted.
Leave them! They are blind guides of blind people.
And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit."
Jesus, in Matthew 15:12-14

It seems difficult for God’s sheep to do as Jesus said for us to do when we perceive that a man is not speaking from God; that is, "Leave them!" Is it that the sheep have such tender hearts that they cannot bear to hurt a man’s feelings by leaving him? Is it that they fear gaining a bad reputation among men? Whatever reasons there may be, disobedience is still disobedience, and Jesus said for his sheep to "Leave them!"

Solomon gave the same wise counsel to his son: "Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the words of knowledge" (Prov. 14:7). Leaving ministers who do not teach the truth, and joining oneself to a true servant of God, is a principal part of righteousness because "he who walks with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools will be destroyed." Our souls’ eternal destination is too important for us to be paralyzed by fear of hurting the feelings of fools who would teach us about God, or fear of their displeasure. That is why David encouraged young Solomon to "forsake the foolish, and live! Go in the way of understanding" (Prov. 9:6). There is nothing wrong, and everything right, about forsaking the foolish.

It serves as a good warning for us to be taught that one who refuses to depart from false teachers, refuses to depart because he has already gone astray. Solomon said it this way, "The man who wanders out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead" (Prov. 21:16). Solomon is warning his son that a person is already outside the will of God who stays with a minister whose teaching is not the truth.

What these wise words of Jesus and other servants of God boil down to is this: sometimes, the fastest way to go astray is to go nowhere at all, but just to sit still at the feet of a man who does not know God.

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