That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life...
Philippians 2:15-16a

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Truth, Deception, and a Few Other Thoughts

Yesterday I spent a lot of time reading websites of various Discernment Ministries. I used to think that Independent Baptists were the only ones who warned about error and heresy in the church, but there's actually a lot of other Christians out there doing the same.  I guess the reason I thought that no one else warned about this kind of stuff, is because before going to an Independent Baptist church everything was pretty much good as long as it had the label "Christian" on it.  I do remember being warned about cults in my pre-Independent Baptist days, like the Jehovah's Witness, Mormons, and the occult.  

I certainly appreciate Christians who take a stand against false teachings.  Especially those who call it out in their own circles.  It's one thing to warn against people you disagree with on almost everything, but it's another thing to warn about a "little leaven."  Sadly, that seemingly "little" leaven will eventually leaven the whole lump.  That's why it's important to warn about it when it's still little.

No doubt there's a lot of stuff out there masquerading under the title of Christianity, and it is anything but... It saddens me to see people jumping on bandwagon after bandwagon without testing such things by Scripture.  I often wonder about the lack of discernment amongst Christians?  It can be truly astounding at times, and I found these same feelings echoed by many on the various websites I read.  

I think we put too much trust in what the men in leadership are telling us sometimes.  Of course, we are to support our pastor, and we should be able to trust that he is going to guide us in truth.  Sometimes pastors will err.  It's only human, and they are human.  The Bible gives us instruction on how to deal with that. However, I find a lot of Christians listening to people who aren't their pastor.  The guy preaching on TV and the author at the top of the Christian best seller list are not your pastor.  While they may say and write good things, the fact remains that they too are just men (or women), and they too are prone to err.  Just because a guy has sold a million books doesn't make his theology infallible!  Many seem to give unquestioning credit to these best selling authors, when the credit should be given to God's Word as the ultimate source of truth! 

Being completely immersed in the truth of the Bible is the only way to guard ourselves from the false teaching that is rampant in the church today.  False teachers don't limit themselves just to the liberals or the emerging church.  They are everywhere.  They are in the big churches. They are in the small churches.  They are subtle.  They look good.  They look like their doing things right.  They even lead people the Christ, and help further His ministry.  But in reality they are selfish.  Jude 19 ...walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.

Deception can be so tricky, so how do we know if we are being deceived?  As I already mentioned, the number one defence against deception is in the Word of God.  It's our sword.  Another great piece of advice I came across in my reading yesterday was this.  Look for a church and pastor that points you to Christ.  So many men are setting themselves up as the authority, but the are just men.  Christ is our authority, and the godly pastor points His people to Christ.  His focus is on the Lord, not on the programs, the music, or the number of people who attend the service. A true church gears every aspect of it's ministry towards God.  It's so simple, yet it is missing so much in our perspective of what church should be today.  Many times I've heard people say they attend a particular church because they like the music, or they like the programs, or they have good friends there.  But what about Christ?  What is that church teaching you?  Is it giving you the Word, or is it just providing a place for you to socialize?  Where does God fit into that picture of programs, friends, and music?  

In the midst of the deception and heresy there is encouragement.  There are still faithful Christians seeking to serve Christ with all they have. They might not have 5,000 people in their church. They probably don't have flashy websites.  They likely don't get invited to speak on the mainstream Christian radio station.  They probably won't be at the national convention/conference of whatever big-name Christian organization.  They won't be asked to guest lecture at the most popular Christian university.  They aren't writing articles for the most widely read Christian magazine. They aren't on the top 10 best seller list of Christian authors.  But, they are serving Christ.  They are faithful.  They are winning souls. They are focused on the Lord and being all HE wants them to be. Christianity is not a popularity contest.  It's not about who can have the biggest crowd, give the best sermon, or have the best music.  Christianity is all about one thing... the LORD!

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Galatians 6:14


  1. Thanks for sharing this! It's a good reminder to keep our eyes open and to make sure our defense is our sword, the Word of God. :)

  2. Amen to all of this post. Thanks for sharing it.
    We have a wonderful pastor but he knows who really is in control. He does not take the credit for anything the Lord does in our midst.
    We are indeed blessed beyond measure.

  3. Thanks for the encouraging comments everyone :). God bless!