“Don’t play with fire or you are going to get burned.” That advice is often given when people are flirting rather than fleeing from temptation. In our area, there is a set of TV ads that make that point about drug use. It shows a girl saying that she will use meth only once. That is followed by sobering scenes of what drug addiction does to people. Although these ads don’t actually use the words, I’m sure that many who see them think of the words, “don’t play with fire”. Unfortunately, many in our society are not following that advice – and they are getting burned.
Sadly, I see the same thing happening quite often in the Christian world. More and more I see people tolerating errors in belief by thinking those errors are not serious. They see differences in beliefs as good fodder for healthy discussion but not as things that could seriously hurt or even destroy people. Unfortunately many are getting burned.
That is why the Bible speaks so strongly against false teachers and prophets. Jude surely didn’t pull any punches talking about false teachers: “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear; clouds they are without water, carried about of winds, trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame. . .” (Jude 12-13) And that is just a portion of what he wrote.
Neither did Jesus pull punches when he talked to the Pharisees. Read the 23rd chapter of Matthew and hear all his woes ring out. What is so striking about that is that the Pharisees were highly moral and religious individuals. But Jesus still pronounces woes on them.
The incident that really strikes me is the one recorded in Galatians 2. There Paul relates how he publicly confronted Peter because he was acting hypocritically by not eating with the Gentiles. Paul shows how that action was supporting the false belief that circumcision was still required – therefore he comes down hard. For even a “little” error is dangerous. “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” (Galatians 5:9) False belief – no matter how “little” we consider it – is dangerous and is not to be tolerated.
There are two applications that dovetail with the purpose of this blog. One is that Christians should not do anything that gives the impression that they are tolerating the false beliefs of Mormonism or that those beliefs are not serious. The second application is that members of the LDS Church who believe that there are errors in the LDS Church should not remain in the LDS Church. In both cases the saying is true: Don’t play with fire or you are going to get burned.