Tuesday, April 26, 2011
False teachers have been around for a long time. What we are seeing today is really nothing new. From the magician Bar-Jesus in Acts to the Kool-Aid serving Jim Jones to the wacky Todd Bentley and the Lakeland revivals, false teachers continue to abound and the church has the obligation to stand up to false teachers. For the sake of the sheep, pastors are obligated to weed out bad doctrine and misleading movements.
Unfortunately, most pastors don't do this because it doesn't seem loving. We live in a time where tolerance and acceptance is more important than truth. And the truth of the matter is that when false teaching is allowed, the body weakens.
But as much as I would like to rant off in that direction, I want to share where my mind has gone over the past few weeks on the topic of false teaching within the church. First of all, Satan was not an ordinary false teacher (as we know them today) because Satan purposefully twisted the truth to produce a response that would bring glory to himself - and he continues to work through lies today, fully knowing what truth is.
In contrast, I don't believe false teachers are as clear-headed as Satan. I think they believe their false teaching and believe it with gusto. If a false teacher knew he was distorting the truth, what would the be the purpose of his message? Satan was rebelling against God - false teachers are often thinking they are leading people to God, when in fact they are not. They have bought into their false doctrine and only want to help others understand what they feel is actually truth. I don't think a false teacher wakes up and says, How can I mislead people so that we can all stray further from the Lord today?
Are you tracking with me? I believe false teachers in the church today are sincere about their beliefs.
It's actually kind of scary, isn't it? I heard a statistic yesterday that said there are 38,000 different denominations in the Christian faith today, all believing different doctrines and truths that they feel is based on scripture.
Now do you see why I think this is scary? Who's to say which church actually has the right doctrine?
It is because of this very fact that the church is leaning toward letting everyone believe what he wants to believe and is frowning upon any intolerance of other beliefs. As a matter of fact, this acceptance is stretching beyond the church and into other religions. I mean, who's to say what's truth and what's a lie? Can we really know? If we are truly sinful people, then how can our minds identify truth? So let's just get along...
This is the teaching and the foundation of the emergent church, and it is this very thought that is allowing false teachers a platform to question doctrine, to make unbiblical assertions common discussion and to turn the table on doctrinal perseverance by labeling it intolerant and unloving.
I believe false teachers are the blind leading the blind. Because they believe their false doctrines, the more they can get to follow them, the more destructive their ministries will become.
So how can we know the truth? How do we know what is right?
Well, here's a start: "Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see whether these things were so." Acts 17:11
Let's be noble minded.
Let's search the scriptures.
Let's not make the question more valuable than the answer.
If God's word says it, let's believe it.
Let's commit to being Bereans and let's take a stand against false teachers.
If we don't, then Jesus just might struggle to find any faith on the earth when He returns - how scary is that?