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“The Necessity of Refuting False Teachers‏”
by Franz Pieper, 1852-1931   
October 11th, 2012

Again, only he is a fit minister of the Church who is able to refute false teachers. That is listed as one of the necessary qualifications of an elder or bishop: "Holding fast the faithful Word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers...whose mouths must be stopped" (Titus 1:9-11). The popular demand that the public teacher refrain from polemics is not supported by Scripture. Scripture admonishes pastors to "avoid foolish questions and genealogies and contentions about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain" (Titus 3:9). Nor dare we engage in polemics from carnal motives, in carnal zeal. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh" (2 Cor. 10:3). It is also to be noted that in Titus 1:9 the words "able by sound doctrine to exhort" precede "able to convince the gainsayer." That means that the clear presentation of the true doctrine must come before the refutation of the false doctrine.

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