False Teachers: Tactics, Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 29, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

I left off last week describing how a false teacher is going to insert himself into a Christian circle by declaring himself a Christian and doing everything he can to look the part. I’ve noticed that this tactic is sometimes used when the false teacher is challenged on what they are teaching. They start out by presenting their teachings by seeking a discussion and open floor session. But when called out when checked out with Scripture, they will be quick to say, “We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. This is just another way of looking at this secondary doctrine. Can’t we all just get along?”

Whenever you hear that type of thinking, you can be assured it is attached to a false teaching. It is extremely likely said person is not saved at all. I have seen this several times by the same person and then I have seen the tactic change. While in the same circle I am in, without realizing I am there, he starts out by first identifying himself as a Christian. It occurred to me the other day: How is it that people can blast me if I question the validity of someone’s claim to be a Christian when the teaching and fruit show anything but, but also expect me to believe without question their claim to be a Christian? A false teacher will seek to have it both ways. They MUST have their double-standards and they need us to be asleep so we don’t catch them on it.

These false teachers will demand open tolerance of differing opinions but will not let theirs be challenged. I had someone tell me she was open to hear differing opinions on her Facebook wall but to expect to be challenge on them. I asked if she was willing to have her opinions challenged and was met with total resistance. The door of tolerance is one way: their way. These people are just as dogmatic as they accuse us of being. But there is a difference between us and them: our dogmatism is based on a standard outside of us.

False teachers use a sneaky tactic by targeting “secondary doctrines.” The intended target is still Christ, but by attacking a secondary doctrine, it allows them to get in and then go after Christ. That is why the origins issue is so critical. In terms of salvation it is secondary, but as the tactic is to use a “less important” teaching to “allow grace in” all it takes is a little yeast to infiltrate the whole loaf. Cold air doesn’t need the front door to be open to chill a house, when an open bathroom window can do the same. Likewise, a false teaching doesn’t have to directly oppose Christ to be false and still deny Christ. It can come in through a secondary issue and affect how the whole thing works.

John Bevere in his book The Bait of Satan caught my attention on Jesus’ statement on being watchful for wolves in sheep’s clothing. It’s one thing to watch out for false teachers in the pulpit, but the far more dangerous ones are the wolves pretending not to be shepherds, but to be sheep. That is, in and among the laymen, among the congregation. The reason these wolves are more dangerous is because they are harder to detect and harder for the sound Christians to locate.

Because Biblical knowledge and discernment is rare to find in many churches today, these laymen wolves can infiltrate committees, small groups, and general discussions and slip in their false teachings while meeting little resistance. Frank Peretti showcased how this might show itself through his book Piercing the Darkness. A woman in the church was part of the prayer chain, so as the phone calls went through, this woman would start gossiping, all in the name of prayer, and got the church into a massive internal fight. This woman in the story was part of a Satanic group seeking to destroy this small church which was being used to establish a legal precedent against Christian schools. But this is an illustration of how this works. The false teacher will sneak in, plant themselves among a small group, and little by little work in false teachings through the small group, hoping it will spread like cancer. Once an unsuspecting member latches on to the false teaching, they began to spread it too. And without divine intervention, which comes when there is an intercessor on his/her knees in prayer, there will be little that can stop it once it gets going. Many church fights and splits take place because someone listened to a false teaching and it spread. And often the true culprit walks away without detection, only to repeat the process.

These false teachers, whether leaders or congregants, often will know Scripture, usually more than the average congregant in the church. But they will not use that knowledge properly. Some time ago, Worldview Warriors president Jason DeZurik was promoting the ministry on Facebook and showing people following how they could donate to the ministry. It wasn’t because we were in desperate need of funds per se but simply to show where to go to donate. We weren’t asking for money. But a woman approached us on Facebook and condemned us for our greed for doing that. She cited Acts 8 where Simon the Sorcerer asked to buy the Holy Spirit from the Apostles so he could do his show with more pizazz and power. Not joking. She seriously equated us presenting a method to donate to the ministry as asking to buy the Holy Spirit for our own selfish desires. Both Jason and I engaged her, and we didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Twisting Scripture is a staple tactic for false teachers. They will challenge the direct clear meaning, while inserting their own opinions about what the text should say. Among the clearest examples of this is in the Genesis “debate.” The Deep Time believers will always question the clear meaning of the word “day” and the clear genre of history of Genesis so they can insert their opinions about what the text says, when it says nothing of the sort. But they expect us to believe them without question because they have studied the topic.

That’s what a false teacher will do. They will come up with some kind of Scripture they twisted to use against us, when nothing of what we were doing as anything to do with the charges. One of my favorite uses of such Scriptures I’ve seen was when I read the book The Grand Canyon: Monument to an Ancient Earth. It’s written by eleven geologists, and a number of them claim to be Christian and in the endorsement page is the full quotation of Proverbs 18:17. They made the declaration that Young Earth models will sound good until someone else comes up and gives another testimony. I laughed HARD because when I read the book, I could not tell if they even had a remote understanding of what they were critiquing. In my opinion, it was terrible. And anyone who had any knowledge of Biblical truth and basic scientific knowledge would be able to read that book, apply that verse to these very authors and discover virtually none of it holds any water (pun intended). One of the authors confronted me on my Facebook page when I posted a not-so-pleasant ‘rapid-reaction’ to it and actually did more to make my case for me than refute me. This is another tactic by false teachers: they will demand one standard for you and not apply that standard to themselves. They are not willing to be held to their own expectations of us.

When we stand up to speak the truth, if we are going to preach it, we had best be living it. It’s hard for me to do that, because I know the theory so well, but it doesn’t mean I always know how to live it. I do not want to be a parrot of the true preachers, leeching off of them. I have to be pursuing God myself. If I am not, then I will be susceptible to a false teaching myself, because no person alive has 100% correct doctrine except Jesus Christ. Even the good preachers have something wrong with their teachings. But it will be clear if they are pursuing Christ or pursuing something else. This series is about how to discern between them. I’ll continue this more next week.

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