Wisdom shouts in the street #11. “Wolves among us!”

Wisdom shouts in the street #11. “Wolves among us!”

There is not a false teacher alive who doesn’t know that he is a conman. With the Holy Spirit speaking from within and truth-tellers speaking from without, false teachers are well aware of the lies and deceptions that they propagate.

However, through much practice they artfully disguise their anger and disdain for their critics by manipulating anyone who comes near. Until, of course, they are confronted—then the fangs come out!

False teachers come in many shapes and sizes. Some are pulpit thumpers, and others are teachers speaking in hushed tones in the farthest reaches of our church buildings. But wherever and however they present their falsehoods, they all have this in common: They all believe themselves to be modern day apostles—even the apostle Paul must move aside when they misquote the words of Jesus.

Though our preachers and teachers are told to refute false teachings—lest they take hold in our churches—it is incumbent upon all of us to know a false teaching when we hear one.

Congregations of the Lord’s church gift themselves to the devil when they stop questioning the words, attitudes, and behaviours of those who speak for Jesus. The next time you are told, “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” I would suggest you reply with, “James says that teachers must expect stricter judgement—this side and the next!”

Do not think that all false teachers lead with their twisted doctrines out before them. Some will present themselves as the “Last hope for a dying church,” and others will bide their time until they “have drawn enough influential brethren into their web.” The goal is always the same: To feed their lusts for power and control over the weak.

So, it is no wonder that Paul expects the Elders in our churches to be ever “holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (Titus 1:9).

John Staiger

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