Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thought of the Day !!

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.  They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them-bringing swift destruction on themselves.  Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 
                                                              2 Peter 2:1-2 (NIV)

As I've read over 2 Peter again I've seen a theme established.  Peter is telling the people of that day, as well as the people today, to be on guard and be ready as the Day of the Lord nears when Jesus will be returning.  One of the things that he tells us to be on the lookout for is the abundance of false teachers.  They have been around since well before Peter's day, leading people away from God through teachings contrary to God's will.

When the emphasis of the Gospel is turned into a way to make you happy instead of obedient and loving then someone is leading us astray.  When the emphasis of the message of Jesus Christ is turned in to a way that we are led to believe will make us prosper in this life then we must be on guard against false teaching.  Also, when leaders of Christianity use the religion to bring about harm or division then false teachers have taken hold of the Gospel and twisted it to fit their own evil desires.

I learned a term the other day from Prof. Brent Strawn from Candler School of Theology.  He called them "Happiologists".  Many have followed these teachers that are more motivational speakers than anything else only to come away empty.  Many have followed prosperity gospel preachers only to come out poor and confused.

Then there are those who follow teachers who twist and turn Christianity into a set of rules and punishments to condemn others.  People who come to mind are the leaders of the Westboro Baptist Church (a cult more than a Baptist Church) who teach their followers that picketing funerals of deceased gay people is God's will.  Another such example of this kind of false teaching was brought to my mind when I read an article yesterday about so-called Christian rehab centers in Guatemala who are snatching up addicts by force and doing horrific things to them to try to cure their addictions.  And let us not forget that the Nazis in Germany and the KKK here in the U.S. both considered themselves to be Christians doing the will of God and leading others astray to their will.

At the end of the day we can be assured that there are good solid teachers out there that listen to God's Calling, are being led by the Holy Spirit and are obedient to Christ.  These are the ones who faithfully, but not always perfectly, seek to lead others in Christ's ways.  These are the ones who seek to bring eternal joy and peace to people instead of a temporary personal satisfaction.  And there are those who are out there perverting God's will and Christ's teaching and either getting rich in worldly ways for it or are receiving power over those whom follow them.

Be alert.  Choose carefully.  Know that God has called people to guide you spiritually.  And make sure that you use your connection with God and His Word to show you the way to them. 

In the love of Christ,


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