A dear friend of mine who preachers was sharing with me a while back that an individual got upset at him and left because he was too closed minded and did too much preaching against embracing other religious ideas. What a shame. I am hearing it more and more that members of Christ's body are wanting more lenience toward other teachings. "Let's not be so strict!" or "We need to be more accepting and stop being so closed minded!" seems to be the battle cry from many today. Pay real close attention to statements like the above and see if you can hear it...listen carefully and honestly. You can almost hear the whisper of the devil!
Paul commanded Timothy to "retain the standard of sound words which you have heard in me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus." (II Tim. 1:13) "The standard of sound words" are what the apostle Paul urged Timothy toward. "The standard" not "a standard" as in one among many. There is the standard of sound words that must be retained! Sound words are words that give solid, spiritual health.
The elders that are selected in the church are men that "holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching..." (Titus 1:9) "The faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching" speaks loudly that there is a true standard of faithfulness to God and His word, lining up with the teaching.
Jude writes to the "kept for Jesus Christ" (is that you/us?) they were "to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints." (Jude 3) The true beloved saints of Jesus Christ have a standard that they were to contend (strive/reach out) for. The rest of the book of Jude is how there are ungodly people (who think of themselves as godly) among God's people who turn the teachings and the faith into things never intended. People follow their personal desires and wants which makes the true things of God fall into the background. They revile against sound doctrine, grumble and are fault finders (Jude 16).
Over the years I have learned one thing: the majority that get upset or complain about holding to the faithful word or retaining the standard of sound words or contending for the faith are generally those who have little conviction in their own lives. If they admit to such, it condemns their personal behavior and they would have to change which they are unwilling to do. To them, the teachings of God are whatever they want to pick and choose. If you listen really carefully to their words and reasons, who is really talking?