Coco the dog…I met her before during my short one day visit to the Christian Retreat Center to meet with Tim and tour the grounds back in April of 2007. I remembered her vividly because as Tim drove me around the 100+ acres of property Coco managed to stay with us every step of the way, taking the occasional short cut through bushes and ponds to catch up with us.
But shortly after arriving for my week at the Christian Retreat Center to speak to their summer counselors I met Coco once again. However…she was not chasing me as I drove through the grounds. No…this time I met Coco as she was…well…how do I put it. She was playing with a groundhog, a very big ground hog. Now I had heard she was known for taking out the local furry misfits and the occasional buck toothed trouble makers, but I had never seen her in action.
Will someone have a fit because I stood and did nothing as this black/lab/retriever mix “played” with a groundhog to the death (literally)? Probably. Will someone have a Bambi moment and want to weep for the poor groundhog? Maybe. Let me assure you, I’m just as much an animal lover as anyone else. And unlike most of my friends and colleagues I don’t hunt. But let me ask you a question…would you be willing to step between an angry frightened groundhog and Coco the Crusher. That was one fight I was not getting involved in.
But there is a fight going on that we as believers should be getting involved in; it’s the fight for the truth. How do you respond when you know someone is twisting the truth and preaching a “different gospel?” Do you shrug it off and say it’s not your problem?
In Jude 3 we’re told to “contend for the faith.” The truth of the Bible must not be compromised, because it gives us the real facts about Jesus and our salvation. It should never be twisted or manipulated. But there are some among us that are teaching the wrong doctrine. All over the country in churches today there are “teachers” who are leading our people in the wrong direction with false teachings. Understanding basic correct doctrine is vital so that we can recognize false doctrine and prevent the truth from being twisted. And we need to be equipping our youth leaders and teens with the “truth” of the gospel, not “fluffy feel good” object lessons.
Fighting for our faith is one fight we all should be involved in, but it doesn’t mean fighting dirty. We need to stand up for what is right and correct those who are preaching a false doctrine by using the Word of God correctly. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that “all scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The Bible is our standard for testing everything else that claims to be true. It’s our shield and sword against false teaching. Our fight is not against “flesh and blood” and we’re told to “fight the good fight.”
Yes, it’s true…none of us would want to go poking our nose in the middle of Coco’s fights with groundhogs, but there is one fight that deserves a lot of nose poking…it’s the fight for our faith.