False Teachers: Tactics, Part 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 22, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

For any who are socially aware, who are able to read audiences and know what kind of reactions you will get, speaking the truth and calling out false teachings can be one of the most difficult things to do. That is an advantage and a disadvantage I have. I don’t pick up on social readings very easily, so as a result I will speak the truth even if it means being socially awkward. The downside is that can get me into trouble if I’m not watchful. Speaking truth requires tact, but not fear of how your message will be received.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve written about different false teachings and the characteristics they have. Over the new few weeks, I’ll be looking at the tactics that individual teachers use to get their doctrines across and into our circles. Now, I have purposed to avoid giving specific names in this series, but not out of fear. This series is meant to cover tactics and characteristics and I have only mentioned specific types of teachings and some examples to showcase how the tactics are being used. John Piper gives a good case for when to speak names and when not to. When addressing principles, there should not be a need to give names. But if a particular preacher is being an active threat to a given audience, then there is a time to address the name. That said, if you are going to name a name, you need to be familiar with what that name is saying by reading or listening firsthand to what is being said, so you can make direct comment on what is said.

For the next few posts, the tactics I am going to be addressing are predominately those I’ve seen being used, among a few others. Because the best deceptions are mostly true, they are going to look legit except there will be something off with them. If you are in tune with the Holy Spirit, He will let you know to be alert if something is off. It is not often the Holy Spirit will tell you exactly what is wrong with something, but He will give off that “Warning! Warning!” alarm that we know as our conscience. Whether you are listening to a sermon, reading a book, or talking with a friend, if you love the Truth and hear something that is false, you will have an alarm go off.

We are commanded to test the spirits behind every teaching that comes our way, not just the bad ones but the good ones too. We are to take every thought captive to the will of Christ Jesus, both good and bad. So, when we deal with any teaching, we must inspect it at the gate of the mind, frisk it, find out where its coming from, what its intentions are, and only allow in that which originates from God and will return back to God.

Jesus warned of wolves in sheep’s clothing coming to devour the people. We will know them by their fruit. A wolf may dress like sheep and attempt to talk like a sheep, but he can’t act like a sheep. He can’t help but drool when he sees his prey. Then he waits until the shepherd is away or distracted to pounce. As Christians, we are commanded to mark and identify who is speaking the truth and who isn’t. We are commanded not to listen to nor have anything to do with those who aren’t. We are not called to determine who is going to heaven or hell; we are only called to determine if the fruit is matching the claimed label of the tree.

We must first understand that false teachers are in our midst but they are not of us. They are not from within us. They are outsiders. When they leave us, it shows they never were of us. So, we must understand that false teachers are from an enemy camp. They are called spies. Sun-Tzu wrote a masterful book The Art of War and he devotes a whole chapter to the types and uses of spies. One type of spy is the double agent. A double agent is someone who pretends to work for one side when in actuality they are working for another. They have two primary jobs: to get information of enemy plans, positions, strengths, and weaknesses, and to plant false information amongst enemy troops so they think one thing while the enemy is plotting something else. The false teacher is a perfect fit for the double agent, someone who claims to be a Christian but works for the devil. Some of them started out from within us but were bought out with lucrative rewards. Others were sent in from the get-go. But when one works for the enemy, he has tell-tale signs giving himself away. That is part of what this series is for.

The easiest way for any spy and false teacher to get into the Christian ranks is through an open door. If a church is not being discerning and alert, letting just anyone in, a false teacher can get in undetected. If back doors are open or if there are side windows open, those make it easy for infiltration. But if there are security and guards are around, the false teacher must somehow convince the guards they are legit. How do they do this?

First, they identify themselves as Christians. They are quick to make sure we know they are among us and that we are brothers and sisters in Christ. Be watchful. This is not a game. I do not know a true, born-again Christian who has had need to announce himself as a Christian to a group of Christians. I will never meet one. Why? Because Christians can sense within each other a common spirit, bearing the fragrance of Christ. They have no need to announce to each other they are Christian. However, time and time again, I have seen false teachers declare themselves to be one of us and the tactic is to get us to lower our guard and let them in so they can start promoting their heretical teachings, poisoning and devouring the sheep.

You notice how true Christians have no need to go into non-Christian circles and declare themselves as a Muslim, or Hindu, or pagan, or drunkard, etc. While Hudson Taylor and C.T. Studd went to China and adopted the Chinese dress, they did not declare themselves to be Buddhist or atheist or Eastern mysticists to get into Chinese circles. We go into the darkness not to identify with darkness but to rescue people from the darkness. But the false teachers are hell-bent to get within our ranks to weaken the moorings and foundations so we will crumble from within. And most of the Christian church is sleeping at the watch. It’s a Trojan horse. The claim to be a Christian is a farce, a guise to get us to let them in. And as Judas did, they feign a friendship and intimacy with Christ all the while leading a mob to come crucify Him, betraying Him.

I’m out of space for now. We’ll continue this next week.

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