Do we use the word biblically ?
We have a reputation among non-members of horrible infighting. This has not helped the cause of Christ. One of the first problems that comes to mind about infighting, is the presumed necessity of labeling as “False Teacher” anyone who disagrees with our own position on doctrine.
The “Restoration Movement” has long had a motto of “speak where the Bible speaks, be silent where the Bible is silent… call things by Bible names, and do things in Bible ways.”
We need to examine the practice of labeling, and to do that, we must examine the Bible use of the English word, false. English dictionaries usually begin the definition with; “not genuine” or “intentionally untrue,” but they also allow the modern definition of “not true.”
I suggest that the later definition, is not the way that false is used in the Bible. Here is a list of usage to check out for yourself. list of usage of false
Please go through the list and check out the 60+/- times it is used. Check the definitions of the various Greek words. I think you will come to the same understanding that I have: The Bible uses false in reference to deceit or lies! Here are some examples:
4 And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage),
These false people were brought in secretly, by stealth! Is that deliberate? Did they knowingly conspire to “sneak” in, lying about their intentions?
Matthew 7:15 (NKJV)
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
Any doubt here, that these people are intentionally misrepresenting their intentions?
Matthew 26:59 (NKJV)
59 Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death,
They were looking for liars!
In Acts 18:24-25 we read about Apollos, teaching fervently , but having an incorrect or incomplete understanding of Christ’s teaching. Did Aquila and Priscilla immediately label him as a false teacher? No… what did they do? “… they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.”
How much grief and heartache could be saved, if we would follow this example? How much fellowship of brethren could be saved, if we would not condemn one another of deceit and lying, by labeling as false!