False teachers are a reality of the Christian church. Jesus Christ himself warned of their coming, as did the apostles throughout the New Testament epistles. False teachers and prophets have plagued the church since its inception. Scripture shows us that they will endure until the end of this present world system. False teachers are not simply a New Testament phenomenon. They plagued Israel throughout her troubled history.
The fact remains, false teachers walk among us, very likely within our own congregations. False professors, teachers and prophets will leach themselves to Christ’s visible church until the day he comes to gather his elect from every corner of the earth. If this is incontrovertible truth why do so many Christians pretend all is well in Zion? Why do we refuse to discern every message purporting to be gospel truth to determine if it is of God or not? Why are we not acting as good Bereans, searching out the scriptures to discern if that charismatic guest teacher flying through town this week is injecting poison into our spirits? Why do we not question his doctrine and theology before we ever grant him audience to our congregations? No, he usually gets a free pass, because he’s so likable and popular. Next thing you know he grabs a thick wad of greenbacks he just collected for a sermon well preached and bails for the next church down the road gullible enough to swing open its gates to the sheepfold.
I have determined to no longer remain quiet when false teachers expose their fangs and reveal their ravenous intentions. I will not be silenced when the flesh of my fellow brothers and sisters is being rent from their bones and limbs are ripped from their bodies by these merciless servants of self, sin and Satan. These waterless springs have the audacity to boldly proclaim their falsehoods and half-truths with great gusto wherever they may go. They don’t hesitate, they never tire, they refuse to stop their mouths despite the dire threats issued from the mouth of God Almighty in his holy word. They continue on, motivated by their insatiable appetites of pride and greed.
How can any of us who have been redeemed by the blood of our precious Savior, Jesus Christ then refuse to engage the battle when the enemy marches relentlessly forward leaving countless casualties along the roadside? We must answer the trumpet of war with our own battle cry. We must entrench ourselves on the front lines of the cosmic confrontation between truth and falsehood. We must stand firm and speak loudly when false teachers introduce error in the church in the very name of the God they are mocking.
Christians cannot afford to be silent. We must shake off the distractions of this world and engage the wolves at their own game: Their words vs. THE word. They may at times look and sound similar but a slight twist of the truth here and subtle turn of the scriptures there can be detected by those who love God and cherish his word. If you have had your discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil (Heb 5:14) then participation in the battle is not optional.
Don’t be afraid of criticism. You’ll be called judgmental, a legalist, a Pharisee and other choice terms I cannot post on a Christian blog – but it shouldn’t matter. We haven’t been called and redeemed so that we might speak smooth things and please carnal men. No, we are called to proclaim and defend the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Any alteration of the gospel message is effectively to cutoff the sinner’s only path to salvation. False teachers are emissaries of Satan to turn people away from that obscure narrow road of repentance and faith in Christ. They seek to make the broad road appealing and confidently assures it will take people to the destination they all desire. Christian, we cannot stand idly by and allow these wolves in sheep’s clothing to lead the herd down the path of eternal destruction without a fight.
I write all this to encourage my brethren to not shy away from controversy or from issues that may cause division and strife among respected friends and family members. We must join the fight and let the gospel shine through the pitch black veil falling upon the world.
The other reason I bring this topic up is because of experience. This is a preface for an upcoming article detailing an encounter I recently had with a blasphemous false teaching taught in a local church I’m familiar with. It springs from the odious Word-Faith movement and I’ve actually heard variations of it before – just not expressed quite like this man presented it. In my next post I will endeavor to expose this lie in light of scripture and common sense reasoning.
Look for the post sometime later this week.