Did You Know Series...

Negative Teaching

by Dick Ward

Did you know most people and many, many preachers frown upon teaching that opposes and disagrees. We hear, "Don't criticize!". Folks say, "Be positive!". Well, us this a Bible approach to teaching? Does the Word of God exclude negative preaching?

The Ten Commandments

The Decalogue given by God through Moses to the children of Israel (Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 5) is 80% negative teaching. If we examine the ten commandments closely, only two (Remember the Sabbath and obey parents) are positive commands. So, one of the great command lists in the Bible shows negative teaching. Although Christians are not living under the law of Moses (Colosians 2:14-16), we are able to learn that God does approve of negative teaching.

The Sermon on the Mount

If we carefully examine the teaching of Jesus, we are obviously going to find negative preaching. Consider what many call the masterpiece of Biblical preaching, called the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Listen to Jesus' words: Do not be angry (5:22); Do not look to lust (5:28); Do not swear (5:34); Do not your religious acts to be seen of men (6:1-6); Do not judge improperly (7:1-5); Do not case pearls before swine (7:6); etc. The Greatest Teacher Who ever lived, preached the negative side of various scriptural issues and we need to follow His example.

Tear Down to Build Up

Before we can build up, we many times must first - throw down. As in the case of Gideon (Judges 6:25-31) the Lord instructed this Judge to "throw down" his father's altar to Baal and THEN build an altar to God. When Gideon destroyed the false altar the people who used it did not like what he did one bit. They called for the death of God's chosen servant. Today, when a preacher of the gospel of Christ exposes false worship and false religion, he often is not appreciated for his work, but rather, becomes an enemy. Well, Paul asked a good question, "Am I become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" (Galatians 4:16). It is error and not truth which fears investigation. If false teachers had the truth, you better believe they would publicly defend their doctrine. When a preacher does not have scripture for his practice, he certainly does not intend to have his error exposed before the community. We all need to learn to love negative teaching! - Dick Ward

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Dick Ward for the article! He can be reached at 18 El Dorado East, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405; (205) 556-2407).

Email the Editor at markjward@yahoo.com