I’ve discovered some fantastic WordPress blog sites over the last week or so and I’m really enjoying reading them. There are so many talented writers and Biblically sound Christians. I am especially interested in the blogs that expose false teachers and teachings, as it raises awareness for those people deceived by them.
Despite the great blogs I’ve found, I feel such deep sadness. The majority of Christians writing these blogs write them in a manner that is so loving and informative. They base their writing on fact, and always back it up with Scripture. However, the response to these articles by those who are caught up in the false movements is so hateful. These people, who would claim to be Christian, spew filth in defence of their ‘church’ or teacher. They scoff at the Scriptures and make a mockery of those they believe to be their Christian brothers. They cry unity, but are so divisive. They shake their fists at the Lord whilst proudly defending false teachers. I don’t understand it.
What I do understand is the need for people to defend a good, solid Biblical preacher or teacher, who is unfairly charged. I also understand the need to defend good Christian churches that faithfully preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. But to defend false teachers or movements is beyond my thinking. Those who claim to be Christian are bound by the Scriptures. The Scriptures are our highest authority; not the teacher or preacher, not the church we attend, and not a movement or denomination. I would understand it if Christians were defending the Scriptures, but those involved in the false movements, place the authority of their Pastor or his/her teachings over Scripture. If someone feels the need to defend their Pastor or church in spite of the Scriptures revealing that what he/she is teaching being false, then that person needs to examine themselves and their salvation. James White writes, ‘Sola scriptura means that Scripture alone is authoritative for the faith and practice of the Christian. The Bible is complete, authoritative, and true. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). If what is being taught does not line up with Scripture, then we are to disregard it. The Bible is the very word of God to us and is our standard of truth in all things. The writers of the Old Testament claim to be speaking the very words of God over two thousand times. I think that every Christian, or every person who claims to be a Christian would happily admit that God is our final authority, so it only makes sense that the very word He has given us is also our authority.
Wayne Grudem, the well known Charismatic theologian writes ‘The authority of Scripture means that all the words in Scripture are God’s words in such a way that to disbelieve or disobey any word of Scripture is to disbelieve or disobey God.’ So using the definition given by Charismatic Grudem, a Christian pastor or teacher, is bound by Scripture. So maybe some who are reading this article will claim that they are not putting their preacher or church above Scripture, but when they defend false teachers over the truth and authority of Scripture, then they are. When they refuse to search the Scriptures that will confirm their teachers are false, then they are. When they refuse to listen to sound Biblical teachers rebuking their false teachers, then again they are in the wrong.
When a supposed Christian decides that the Bible is not enough, and seeks divine revelation outside of God’s word, that person is on very dangerous ground. We are called to examine all things (1 Thess 5:21), and the Scriptures are our yardstick. Everything is to be measured against the Scriptures. If something does not line up with Scripture, we don’t have any other option but to change our thinking. There is nothing besides Scripture, and nothing to be added to it. This is so important that the Lord warns us in the very last book and chapter of the Bible, ‘I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.’ Revelation 22:18-19. It doesn’t get much clearer than that. There is no revelation outside of the Bible, so it is not good enough for a false teacher to say when challenged, ‘The Lord told me.’ The canon of Scripture is closed, and there is nothing to add to it.
There is one gospel, one Bible, and there is ultimate truth. The only thing we should ever be defending is truth. No one man on earth has that truth, but we are to seek it by searching and studying the Scriptures. There are many fundamentals of Christianity which are not negotiable, and when a teacher/preacher operates outside of those parameters, we ought to run from those teachings as fast as we can. Our very lives depend on it. I beg of you today, and every day; if you feel a need to defend your teachers/pastors who are being accused of being false teachers and deceivers, by godly men of the faith, don’t defend them. Be like the Bereans and search the Scriptures to find the truth. Examine the claims, compare them to Scripture and then make a decision based on that. Your heart cannot be trusted, your feelings cannot be trusted, and your experiences especially can’t be trusted. You can trust the Bible, and the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth. If you sincerely want to know the truth, ask God for it and be prepared to do the hard work. It’s worth it.