I am so full of blog ideas that I don't know where to begin right now. I have had very little time for the internet and blogging, but, I will pick an idea and see where that one goes.
One idea I have was already started in my mind, but it was formulated by an email I received this week. Unfortunately, the person who wrote it does not want the email shared at this time. It put into words, everything I am thinking on this subject, which I will tell you about in a minute.
Ever since I came to Christ as a teenager, I have seen something very distressful in the body of Christ. I was raised in a loving home with moral parents who taught me very well when it came to manners and how to treat other people. We did not go to a Bible believing church, nor had any of us heard the Gospel yet. In spite of that, we knew the difference between right and wrong, and love and hate. We knew that we needed to treat people with respect, no matter who they were.
Fast-forward to the time when I am 18, and newly married. I used to order tracts from different companies and I guess my name got on a mailing list. Somehow, somebody got my name and started sending me a weekly paper called, 'The Sword of the Lord'. Sounds exciting doesn't it? Well, it was disappointing because in it these 'men of God' were tearing down everyone who was a well known Christian who they considered to be a 'false teacher'. That is what the whole paper was about. It was like a gossip paper about the other Christians they didn't like. Both my husband and I knew something was wrong with this paper, but didn't quite know what it was. Were they really trying to help people to detect false teachers or were they having a heyday with opportunities they took advantage of when flaws came up in other people who were more well known than they were?
I honestly thought that with maturity, as people grow in humility and sanctification, this kind of thing would diminish over time. Well, sadly, it didn't.
Today, I have gotten involved in many ministries as well as listening to Bible teachers and listening to radio programs and watching videos. I am sad to say that today, as well as many years ago, this same spirit is in the church. I see the mocking of people who they don't agree with. I see the focus on what other Christians are doing or not doing, or doing wrong (in their eyes), yet, I do not see much in the way of focusing on the Lord and His majesty.
Doesn't the Bible say that we should not rejoice when a brother falls? Oh yeah, that's right. We've decided who is in and who isn't. We have decided who is truly saved and who isn't, and those who we've decided who aren't in, we have also assigned motives to them.
I think of the recent movie, The War Room, which has a small part where Beth Moore plays in. I can't tell you how many people were reluctant to go to this movie because they deem Beth Moore as a false teacher because she is supposedly into something called, 'Contemplative prayer'. Contemplative prayer is also tied in with meditation, and those are supposed to be practices from some of the Eastern religions. We know that using mantras that are useless (like 'Say over and over to yourself 'I am awesome') are dangerous. When we use those kinds of mantras to try to convince ourselves of something false or opposed to Scripture, that is dangerous. I have actually heard teachings like this in one of the businesses that I am in. I have to admit though, that, even though I do not know a ton of stuff about Beth Moore, I seriously doubt that she is into Transcendental Meditation or anything of that sort. Those who oppose her on the Internet never really give examples of what she is accused of doing. All they say is that she is a false teacher because she does contemplative praying.
Friends, when we accuse people of something and we really don't have the backing for what we say, we are seriously sinning against someone in the body of Christ. We are picking people apart because we basically are arrogant and don't see our own sin. We use the term, 'exposing false teaching' when all we are doing is finding someone we disagree with and calling him or her a false teacher. Do you realize what kind of damage this does to the body of Christ?
Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another:
just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all
people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34, 35 ESV
Will others see God's love in us for them and for those in the body of Christ, or will they see a group of people who are filled with jealousy and rivalry, which is no different than what the world has to offer?
Why do we pick on immature Christians or those who have fallen? Shouldn't we be praying for them? Is the God we profess to believe in big enough to change these people? If you had a son or daughter who was a 'false teacher' would you boot him or her out of your life or would you be praying for your child to come to his or her senses? How much more should we love one another in the body of Christ, and how much more should we be serving one another in weakness and in strengths?
One last word about false teachers or converts: Yes, they will be there. They will be in pulpits around the world. They will be in our church buildings whenever they are open. When do we warn others about them? Let me give you 2 quick examples from our own experiences in church.
My husband and I were leading a home group in someone else's house, years ago. I was sitting next to a new lady who seemed nice to me. I suspected nothing. The next week, we were having home group at our house. I got a call from one of our pastors. He told me to watch out for this woman. He asked if she ever came to our home group. She was planning on coming to home group that night. Our pastor told us that she would go from home group to home group and slander people wherever she went. He told me to be careful around her.
Another time, there was a man in our area who was starting a home church and it was flourishing. Many from the church I am in started going to this man's house. Some even left our church and joined this man's home church or whatever it was. We were listening to the tapes of this man's messages. He basically was a universalist. He taught free grace and no repentance. Our pastors became alarmed, and rightly so. On one Sunday morning, our pastor addressed the church on this issue and told the people that this man was teaching false doctrine. This had to be done to protect the church, not because we didn't want to lose members, but because people were being swept into a false belief system that would ultimately end up destroying them if they continued on that path.
So, if you have to expose a false teacher or heretic, please, make it clear (and give examples) of what he or she is doing that is heretical. Don't try to make a case out of suspicious activity that you don't have enough information about. Please be careful how this is handled. The world is watching, and they will not see an attractive Gospel when we are stabbing one another in the back.