Why does the New Testament speak so strongly against teaching false doctrines?

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I think the world we live in is one which has a pretty strong practical emphasis these days. We're concerned with getting things done and maybe we're not as concerned about the truth behind what we do. I think this has affected the church to some degree as well. We say, "Oh, let's just go out and do the work, do the work of Christ for his sake, but let's not worry about what we believe or fight about those things anymore." And yet, when we look at the NT, while it is very deeply concerned about how we live, about the practice of the faith, it's also deeply concerned about holding onto to the truth of the faith. God has done certain things in certain ways. He reveals himself as a certain kind of God. And these truths are fundamentally important for the life of the Christian. We can't separate truth and practice. I think the NT ultimately says, in fact, that we are not going to practice the faith well unless we believe the right things about the faith. So, again and again, in the NT, we see authors combatting various false ideas that very quickly arose in the early church, because the authors are concerned to help Christians with their understanding of these things as fundamental to their life in the faith.

Answer by Dr. Douglas Moo

Dr. Douglas Moo is the Kenneth T. Wessner of New Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School.