Dear brother, the church flounders at putting away falsehood. How so? Well, I am not saying that the church has become an out and out liar. No, it is more insidious than that. The church has become nice.
You have been so inquisitive. Your questions demonstrate your great desire to learn more of the faith. However, allow me in this last letter to speak to you about one of the greatest dangers facing the church today. You have been so zealous and sincere in your pursuit of the truth that you may feel that this danger doesn’t touch you but indeed it does because it touches the church. In fact, it has a grip on the church much like that of a vice. What is more, no one is exempt from the temptation of which I am about to tell you. Now, if I know you at all, you are thinking, “Don’t leave me in suspense! Tell me!” And so I will.
Theophilus, you must speak the truth. The Apostle Paul says this very thing in his great letter to the Ephesians. He wrote, “[Put] away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor.” The church struggles at this very point. On the one hand, she speaks truth, yes, but she fails to speak it in love. Love becomes a masquerade for hate. How often have I watched one part of the body inflated with pride speak condescendingly about another member of the body? How often have I watched brothers use their knowledge in order to bludgeon other brothers who knew much less? In such cases, I cannot understand the cruelty of love. Yet, even these questions are met with shameless excuses by those who practice such things. Theophilus, let this not be characteristic of you. Let your love be genuine.