We are not to be doctrinally indifferent and anaemic but neither are we to match false or unloving ways of maintaining the truth (Ephesians 4:14-15). True love rejoices in the truth, but it does not rejoice in the sin of anger and bitterness (1 Corinthians 13:6). It is essential to contend for the whole truth (Acts 20:27) but if we lose love in our valiant defence we have lost too much (Revelation 2:2-4). We show our intense love for the truth and for the souls of others when we maintain what is right with compassion. We need constant reminders of this sadly and the following words by the field preacher John Blackadder show that it was even needed during times of persecution.
That holy and necessary duty of faithfully and zealously bearing testimony to the truth and ways of God, and against error and sinful courses, is such a duty as needs to be managed with as much solidity, circumspection, fear, and trembling, as any I know. For the truth is greatly concerned in this, especially when we have to contend with such (of whom several are and otherwise have been) eminent and pious. The conduct of some who are pious and well-meaning has in various things more irritated and stirred up strife than edified. The church in former times has and will have, so long as she is the church militant, many imperfections. In such times of trial she has had, and readily will have, some that, either out of ignorance, carelessness, or worse, go to extremes and excesses on the right as well as the left hand. There is great need, in our days also, to take heed that the way of God and that which is our good, is not evil spoken of.
– John Blackadder
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