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Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 2:22-26
Tactics of Diversion
1. When a dispute occurs, two basic principles of truth must guide us:
a. Right heart (motives): Love, Matt. 22:37-39; 2 Tim. 2:23-26.
b. Right standard (Scripture): God’s word, 1 Cor. 14:37; 2 Tim. 4:2.
2. We are under command to “contend earnestly for the faith”, Jude 3-4.
a. Remember: The devil does not play fair! Jno. 8:44
b. We should not expect his children to play fair, either.
3. So, we must not be ignorant of his devices, 2 Cor. 2:11.
4. Examine some of the devil’s tactics used to deflect the force of truth and its obligations, to divert attention and to discourage and even destroy the faith and lives of the faithful.
5. If you cannot answer the word of God and/or do not want to follow it, do one of the following and you will be sure to continue on the course of error, sin and death.
I. KILL THE MESSENGER.
A. Error Cannot Withstand the Light of Truth, Jno. 3:19-21.
1. So, it attacks the messenger.
2. Sometimes subtlety, sometimes directly, but always to deflect the truth in order to delay it or defeat it; Lk. 11:53-54.
a. Jesus attacked and killed for the truth’s sake, Matt. 26:59-65.
b. Stephen attacked and killed for the truth’s sake, Acts 6:8-14.
B. When the Message is Unacceptable, Turn Attention to the Messenger and Away from Self, Jer. 43:1-4.
1. Charge preacher with being harsh and unloving, 2 Cor. 10:1, 10.
2. Charge the elders with not caring/not understanding, Heb. 13:17.
3. Charge brethren with meddling insensitivity when they try to discuss your problem with you, Gal. 6:1.
4. Charge you with violating autonomy when you inquire and/or challenge a church’s teachings and practices, 2 Tim. 2:9.
II. BUILD A STRAW MAN AND BEAT IT UP!
A. Debater Tactic to Incite Prejudice and Garner Sympathy for an Unscriptural Teaching and/or Practice.
1. “Water Salvationist”: “If you command baptism for salvation then you believe the water saves you!” “You don’t believe in grace!” Rom. 6:3-4; 1 Pet. 3:21.
2. “Anti”: “You’re against helping poor little orphans.” Jas. 1:27
3. “You forbid marriage and command divorce”: Used to generate sympathy for the divorced and remarriage who are in sin, 1 Cor. 7:10-11.
4. “Creedalist” / “Traditionalist” / “Legalist”: Disparage how to establish and apply Bible authority (CENI), Col. 3:17.
III. USE CRITICAL NAMES DESIGNED TO RIDICULE AND ISOLATE THE FAITHFUL.
A. “You have Sin, too, So You’re a Hypocrite if you Say I’m Sinning!” Gal. 6:1
1. First, that is not the definition of hypocrisy. If it were, then nobody could every speak to anybody about their sin! Rom. 3:23; Lk. 17:3; Gal. 6:1
2. This reaction implies nobody can sincerely reprove and rebuke sin! 2 Tim. 4:2
B. “You are Unloving!” Gal. 4:16; Heb. 12:6; Rev. 3:19
-By tempting us to accept a false definition of love, this tactic plays on our emotions and desire to love others.
C. “Extremists!” (fringe, phone booth brethren) 1 Ths. 5:21-22; 2 Jno. 9-11
D. “Pharisees!” (self-righteous) Matt. 5:19-20
-Careful obedience is not Pharisaical, 1 Tim. 4:6; 2 Tim. 3:10.
E. “You’re Finger-Pointing (judging)!” Matt. 7:1; Jno. 7:24; 5:30
-We live in such an accommodating age, that those who refuse to obey 1 Ths. 5:21 cannot conceive of anyone having a studied conviction that holds to / practices the truth!
1. The devil (his servants) will try to devour us by making us feel bad for our sincere faith and our earnest pleas to the faltering and falling to return to the right path of God.
2. Be “harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:16); keep exhorting, reproving and rebuking with longsuffering and truth (2 Tim. 4:2); Rom. 16:19-20.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: July 31, 2014