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Editors Note: The following short exchange consists of three articles

Rebuttal to Jesse Jenkins' Response
Bobby R. Holmes

I will address points of brother Jenkins response to my article appearing in Watchman Magazine.

In paragraph one Jesse states I had charged him with believing " must have a flawed character like is described in 2 Peter 2:1-3 before he can be labeled as such," i.e. ..., a false teacher." Jesse says that I know that is not so unless I have a "good forgetter." It seems that Jesse is forgetting what he himself has stated on the subject. I spent almost three hours discussing this very point with Jesse in December of 1998 and that was his position then.

He refused to accept the definition offered as to the phrase "false teacher" from Liddell and Scott; Oxford. They tell us, "...the verb pseudo can (and does -- they quote it from ancient texts)! mean" mistaken in or about a thing," "mistaken in opinion"," "deceived in notion or estimation. "An alternate form of the verb was used this way in another text: "..which I do not speak falsely about him." (Note 1 John 2:21 in connection with this.)

In an email post dated 2/16/99 Jesse finally answered a question I had asked of him three times as to whether he would call a Baptist preacher a false teacher if the preacher's character was unflawed. In paragraph one Jesse states, "...I do call a Baptist preacher a teacher of false doctrine. I expose his false doctrine and if I think a need will be served, I identify the preacher. But I DO NOT (emp. Mine brh) call a Baptist preacher a false teacher unless I am convinced he is false in character also...." That should answer the assertion from Jesse that I had not stated his position correctly.

Also in paragraph one Jesse says he has "never said one sins if he uses the word (false teacher) as an adjective..." Jesse again forgets. In a meeting that took place in Austin Texas with several preachers present (tapes were made) I asked Jesse specifically (I had heard he stated it) if he thought those of us who call those who teach false doctrine false teachers were sinning. Jesse answered, "...I wish you had not asked me that question but, yes I do."

Though Jesse said later he would not make that charge if we agreed to include in our calling false teachers by name a qualifying statement to the effect we were not assaulting their character, I refused to agree with this by saying I would not insult the intelligence of the audience. Anyone listening to a lesson that addresses false doctrine will have no problem understanding it is the doctrine being condemned and not the character of the person.

To further note the position that Jesse held regarding "sin" in calling a false teacher a false teacher, in an email post to me from Jesse dated 1/29/99 (no paragraphs but middle of the page) Jesse says, "....When you call Homer Hailey a false teacher, you are saying to many that he is dishonest. That misrepresents him and that is what I think is sin. I know you do not. And no, I am not going to sever "fellowship: with you because I think you unknowingly sin in this....." His own words testify of his feelings regarding one who calls a false teacher a false teacher and identifies him by name.

Paragraph two Jesse says, "....I cannot understand why when I name and expose the error, say on MDR, identify the one teaching the false doctrine, and refuse to extend to him the right hand of fellowship, Bobby demands that I also label the man a false teacher." While I believe with all my heart that patience and long-suffering must be extended to one in error, the time for no longer extending fellowship reaches an end when one refuses to accept the Truth. Jesse told me he continued to fellowship brother Hailey "until he wrote his book." That he continued to fellowship W.L. Wharton "until he moderated for Jerry Bassett in the debate in San Antonio with Jack Holt." Yet, the false doctrine of both of these brethren had been known for years. Both had advocated their doctrine publicly. I asked Jesse if the false doctrine was any more damnable after the book and debate than it was before. No answer was given me.

Questions in closing for our readers and Jesse included.

  1. Can one be called a "true teacher" who teaches Truth?

  2. Can one be called a "true teacher" who teachers false doctrine with a sincere heart and flawless character?

  3. Can one be called a "false teacher" who teaches false doctrine either with intent or honestly?

  4. Were Hymenaeus and Philetus "false teachers"when they taught the resurrection was already past? (2 Tim.2:16-18).

Brethren and friends, it is "nonsense" and a play on words to refuse to acknowledge and name one as being a false teacher who teaches false doctrine with a good heart. One might ask, "What difference does it make as long as the false doctrine is exposed?" The "sting" is taken out of the identity of one who is marked as such. It is a "softening" toward the one who needs to be noted and avoided! One is made to wonder why one would insist the character must be flawed before he can be labeled as a false teacher! We must stand firm in "Guarding The Guardian." I am not the only one who stands against this "softening" toward those who would destroy the purity among God's people. I thank God for each who have raised their voices against this evil.

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