LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — Church leaders must be diligent to protect God’s people from the threat of false teachers, said Nathan Finn, dean of the School of Theology and Missions at Union University, during a Sept. 15 chapel at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“Friends, we need to remember that there is absolutely nothing that is cute or innocent or amusing or whimsical about false doctrine,” Finn said. “Eternity is hanging in the balance.”
Preaching from Titus 1:10-16, Finn argued false teachers are a significant enemy of God’s people. The letter of Titus presents a full picture of the Christian gospel, Finn said, and when any teacher contradicts that message, he or she is teaching false doctrine.
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is teaching anything different than this gospel, then he or she is proclaiming a false gospel, a dangerous doctrine.
In the time of Paul, false teachers who emphasized ritual purity were themselves deeply impure. They are actually unbelievers, Finn said — wolves wearing the sheep’s clothing who peddle their ministry for material gain.
“History has been filled with a long line of false teachers who have often accumulated great wealth and material possessions by selling bad doctrine to deceived people,” said Finn, who is also professor of Christian thought and tradition at Union, a position he has held since July.
Elders are the antidote to false teaching, Finn said. Their role is to understand biblical doctrine and protect God’s people by effectively teaching it to them. While most of the qualifications for eldership in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 are true for all Christians, Finn said the one distinctive ability every elder must have is to teach the Bible faithfully. Speaking to future pastors, missionaries, and ministers, Finn encouraged them to cultivate competency in the Scripture by taking their spiritual growth seriously.
“Let me urge you to be men of prayer and the Word,” he said. “You need to spend a considerable amount of your time studying the Bible and learning sound doctrine so you can teach it to the people whom God has already entrusted to you or will one day entrust to you. And providentially, right now you’re in one of the best places in the world to spend focused time studying the Scriptures and learning sound doctrine.”
Finn contended that Scripture requires elders to confront false teachers, sometimes even calling them out by name. This requires wisdom, he said, since not all false doctrine is heresy, and not every Christian leader who is wrong is a heretic. But Christian ministers bear the responsibility of protecting their people from the wolves’ destructive teaching.
“[False teachers] are everywhere around us, and sometimes that even means in our very local churches. Be diligent men and women of the word who are striving to protect God’s sheep from all the different wolves that are out there, [who] try to infiltrate the body of Christ and lead God’s people astray.”
Prior to his position at Union, Finn was associate professor of historical theology and spiritual formation at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Finn is also an adjunct professor at Southern Seminary, where he is also a research fellow with the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies.
Audio and video of Finn’s chapel message are available at sbts.edu/resources.
A “first-ever” conference by evangelicals on the subject of transgenderism will be held Oct. 5 on the campus of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
“Transgender Confusion and Transformational Christianity” is a preconference to the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors annual conference, which is focused this year on the subject of homosexuality.
“If there is no faithful, expositional, biblical preaching of God’s Word, then there is no local church,” Fentress said. “God’s Word is central to salvation and central to the life and the ministry of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Future Christian ministers should be wary of the seductive power of pride, said Arkansas pastor Nick Floyd in a Sept. 8 chapel message at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“At every stage in your Christian ministry, pride will be your greatest enemy and humility will be your greatest friend,” said Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and a member of the Southern Seminary Board of Trustees.
Impatience reveals a deeper sin problem and selfishness than we often realize, Randy Stinson said in a Sept. 3 chapel message at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“If you are impatient, odds are, you don’t have joy, you don’t have gentleness, you don’t have kindness, you don’t have self-control, and you don’t have any peace,” said Stinson, senior vice president for academic administration and provost. “[Impatience] is the ultimate disrupter of everything.”
Christians should seek to experience the love from God that is beyond understanding, said evangelical leader Ligon Duncan in chapel at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Sept. 1.
“I want you to know beyond a shadow of a doubt a love that is beyond your capacity to even comprehend,” said Duncan, who is the chancellor at Reformed Theological Seminary. “I want you to know it down to your bones.”
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Jason K. Allen returned to The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to challenge students on finishing well. During the Aug. 27 chapel service, Allen preached from 2 Timothy 4:7 to remind students about Paul’s challenge to Timothy to keep their eyes on the finish line.
“Don’t settle for anything less than the direction God has given you, and don’t settle for anything short of completing that course,” Allen said.
The Boyce College Bulldogs soccer team will kick off its inaugural season in September. In recent weeks, the program hired an experienced head coach, finalized its roster of players, and secured a location in downtown Louisville for its home games. But the work to start the program began more than a year ago with the persistence of three students who had a vision for playing soccer to glorify God and share the gospel with others.
Cultural hostility to the gospel should compel Christian ministers to proclaim God’s message with faithfulness and urgency while there is still time for repentance, said President R. Albert Mohler Jr. during The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Aug. 25 fall convocation.
“More is hanging in the balance than the horror of human terrorism,” Mohler said after recounting the courage of the three Americans who prevented the Aug. 21 attempted mass shooting on a train in France. “The time is coming when the wrath of God will rise up and there will be no remedy. And while there’s time, act. Do. Wring everything out of every course, wring everything out of every test, do everything you do to the glory of God.”
A significant contingent of students, faculty, and staff of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary bolstered 500 pro-life protesters at Louisville’s Planned Parenthood office, Aug. 22.
The protest was part of a nationwide effort in 320 cities to bring public attention to the nation’s leading abortion provider in the wake of eight undercover videos released since July by the Center for Medical Progress. The videos, which have led to federal and state investigations of the abortion giant, show Planned Parenthood officials and others associated with the group casually discussing the selling organs of aborted children, and perhaps even babies born alive.
Dylan Harrington, a graduate of Boyce College’s Worldview Certificate Program, organized the Louisville protest under the auspices of his Ohio-based pro-life group, Created Equal.