(1) Don’t be distracted from your ministry to submerse yourself in bad doctrine and theology. Remember that bad theological company corrupts good theology.

(2) Don’t forget that those who do not know Christ are sons of the devil. They do the work of their father the devil (John 8:44). They are held captive by Satan to do his will (2 Tim 2:26). Satan works in the sons of disobedience (Eph 2:1-2). They are devoid of the Spirit, spiritually dead, un able to appraise the things of the Spirit of God, and they cannot please God (Rom 8:5-8; 1 Cor 2:14; Col 2:13; Jude 19). Unbelievers do not make acceptable theological mentors. Sitting at the feet of the children of Satan to learn doctrine is both foolish and dangerous.

Though all have to read a certain amount of false doctrine so we can warn, guard, and obey the Lord’s command to protect the flock and refute those who contradict, if we major in false doctrine, we are playing with anthrax. To think someone can go to school with the spiritually dead and not end up smelling like a corpse is a serious mistake. Puritan Thomas Watson put it this way: “Suppose that you had a friend in the hospital with a deadly and contagious disease. If you spent many hours next to your friend, what do you suppose is more likely to occur, that you would infect him with your health, or that he would infect you with his disease?”

(3) Any pastor quickly discovers that many people in the local church need salvation. If they are saved, they need help with the basic Christian disciplines like Bible reading, prayer, giving, and serving. They want to know how to honor Christ in their marriage, in their parenting, in their jobs. It is the shepherd’s primary responsibility to tend to his flock. Be warned. A never-ending stream of theological distractions waits to derail the pastor from his primary responsibilities. When the next “new doctrine” comes along, everyone starts talking about it. Emails start flying, and journal articles get written, then lots of books are published. Don’t be distracted from your calling by those who reject what you hold to be fundamentally essential. Paul in warning Timothy of false teachers said, “For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions” (1 Tim. 1:6-7).

(4) Remember that we are called to “earnestly contend for the faith once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3). This means we are proclaimers of old doctrines, not new ones.

Jack Hughes, The Master’s Seminary Journal (Online source)