False Teachings: Introduction

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 25, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Today we live in a post-Christian society. What is that? A post-Christian society is one where the culture was at one point predominately Christian, but over time adherence to the Christian principles and ethics waned to the point where they are mere remnants of a long-lost age. The United States was founded upon the Judeo-Christian ethic as being vital to make the nation run as intended. The Founding Fathers themselves were predominately active members of their church (52 of 55 signers of the Declaration of Independence for example), coming off the heels of the preaching of Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield during the Great Awakening during in which these Founding Fathers were young men.

However, today, that has all changed. The mere fact that our country was founded with Christianity and the Bible as the guide is relegated to myth and actively denied in most education circles today. Now, some states are demanding that instead of looking at the influences of the Christians upon our country, they require that students learn about the LGBT history of the country, of which no good thing can come.

What happened? What made the nation lose respect for the preacher and pulpit? When my pastor was part of revivals taking place in the panhandle of Texas in the 1970s, schools were calling the churches to find out if they were having meetings. Why? Because if the church had an event, no one would be coming to the school football games. Today, if church is going on, no one cares. What happened? One answer is because the church has fallen asleep and allowed false teachings to enter in. If you have followed me for a length of time, you will know that I deal with false teachings from time to time. I have named some specific false teachings including Old Earth Creation, the Prosperity Gospel, and the “Emergent Church” (now known as Progressive Christianity) in the past. But I am going to take a different approach this time and expose the tactics that false teachers use and the characteristics of false teachings, so if you are diligent and alert, you can spot them anywhere, not just in a few circles.

One of the greatest sins that a Christian can do, according to modern society or even from the church today, is to make a judgment call on anything. If anyone were to make a stand and say, “That is not true,” watch out for teeth and claws, including from other Christians. Matthew 7:1 has become one of the most abused verses to cite. I love Paul Washer’s response to this: “When someone tells me ‘Do not judge lest you be judged,’ I say back, ‘Twist not Scripture lest you be like Satan.’” We have become a society where we are supposed to ‘tolerate’ anything and everything, except the truth. Yet notice that the ones demanding tolerance for their own models, ideas, and sins are the least tolerant of all.

A couple of years ago, Todd Friel, host of Wretched Radio wrote a book called Judge Not. It is a rather snarky exposé of the utter ridiculousness that is taking places in modern American churches, claiming to be “Christianity.” Here is one thing he brings up: A popular youth group activity is for the youth pastor to put peanut butter in his armpits while kids dare to lick it off. Not joking. And because those are hits, other youth pastors just trying to figure out what they are supposed to do, lacking any form of discernment, taking these games and activities and incorporating them into their own groups. I’ve seen it happen firsthand. When I saw it, I didn’t have the discernment to really know what was going on then. But now, I realize just how little this youth pastor knew about what he was supposed to do. Overall, he was a godly man and I would not challenge his standing with Christ by any means, but this massive trend of church youth groups ultimately becoming little more than “clean hangout centers” with only a vague resemblance to teaching and instructing youth in how to walk in the ways of God is merely a fruit of what is happening in the pulpits and the seminaries as a whole.

False teachings have crept in, and today they are so integrated into our church culture that very few of us are able to recognize it. And those who do, those who have studied church history enough to see that what is going on in the modern church looks absolutely nothing like what it did in decades or centuries past, are frequently called out for being divisive, “holy-rollers,” “fundamentalists,” and anything but “Let me examine what we are doing and check to see if it is right.”

When foreign preachers tell us Americans that “our theology is 3000 miles wide and one inch deep,” they aren’t off the mark. When they say, “When I see a Buddhist monk and his dedication, I think holy man. When I see an American preacher, I think businessman,” that should make us worry. When they say, “The most amazing thing about Americans is what they can accomplish without God,” it shows. When they say, “Stop sending us your missionaries. You’re doing more harm than good,” is not the writing on the wall? I have heard reports that the average American “Christian” would be ex-communicated from many churches in the 3rd world because of false teachings and immorality.

We’ve lost sight of real Christianity. I haven’t grasped it yet. I often feel like I am a giant compared to some around me, but I’m no giant in Christianity. When I read the biographies of the last century and listen to those who have grasped what it should be, I know I have a LONG way to go. But I have an idea of where to head for and I strive to aim at it, even though I don’t know how to get there. To get there, I must know this: I must know what the truth is, and I must be alert for any false teaching and false suggestions that can lead me away from it, even if they come from those who seem to be Christian.

In this series, I want to instill a love for the Truth but also make you aware of tactics of deception to pull us away from them. Paul said we are not to be ignorant of the enemy’s devices. So, I am going to showcase some of the tactics I have seen of what false teachings do and what they look like, while also exposing some of the tactics false teachers use to get their teachings into our midst. Be alert because these tactics have been working quite well, but the false teachers get really mad when they become exposed. If you are going to make a stance for truth, expect similar responses. But if we love Truth more than we love the approval of men, then nothing they say will move us. Let us be such Christians that when the world sees us unflinching and unmoving in our faith in Christ, they reply with, “Whatever they have, I must have it.” We must have the truth, the courage to stand upon it no matter the cost, and we must not be distracted by the counterfeits seeks to lead us astray. Stay tuned. This series should open your eyes.

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