The subject of this post is one many would prefer to avoid, as it opens up possibilities for judgment and alienation of those who seek what we seek – the truth of God’s word. My pastor taught on this subject from the Bible Sunday, relating some of his experience with people who teach false doctrine for purposes of self-gain. One thing he said which I must hang on to and hope you will is this: Many things are said and done in the name of Jesus that are embarrassing. But I have never been embarrassed by anything Jesus Himself has said or done in the scripture or present day. But the threat of false teaching is real, as Simon Peter points out in his second letter:
1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. 2 Peter 2: 1-3 (ESV)
You would do well to act as the Bereans in Acts 17:11 did:
11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (NIV)
Whatever you read or hear, if your intuition says there’s something wrong with it, don’t ignore it. Sometimes, we hear the same lie over and over again and start to believe it. Often these lies are interwoven int he truth, causing them to be less noticeable but, nonetheless, just as false and damaging to the witness of the Gospel. Let’s not forget too that teachers of the Bible are human beings, too, and therefore subject to the ability to make mistakes — no matter how good their intentions may be.
Please, find a Bible-based church and study God’s word. His truth is there and is an invaluable resource in life’s day to day struggles with sin and quest for the truth. He speaks to us from the sacred pages.