In our modern day of sissified christianity, those who preach an unbalanced message of love and tolerance would rebuke even the Apostle Paul for how he spoke to the false prophet, Elymas, who sought to snatch the seeds of truth out of the heart of one who had ears to hear God’s Word:
When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a magician, a Jewish false prophet whose name was Bar-Jesus, who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the magician (for so his name is translated) was opposing them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord? – Acts 13:6-10
Similar rebukes are sometimes necessary in open-air preaching to ward off the enemy seeking to devour those listening to the Gospel. It is often necessary to protect the sheep in the Church from wolves and their false teaching. Such rebuke is not popular in our day, but at root it is love that warns and protects.
A recent example of necessary rebuke was seen at the Strange Fire Conference, where a hard line was drawn on the doctrine of cessationism in order to warn of the egregious offenses against the Holy Spirit in much of the charismatic world.
There is a way to rebuke in righteousness; we might even call that righteous anger. Let God’s men be bold and faithful to care for the sheep and defend sound doctrine in humble obedience to our Good Shepherd Christ Jesus.