Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Avoiding Myths

As Christians we are told to avoid falling for cleverly devised fables that turn us away from our real obligation to follow Christ (Titus 1:10; 1 Timothy 4:3-7; 2 Peter 1:16).  How then do recognize error and avoid it? The basic test is whether it stacks up to what is taught in the Word of God (Isaiah 8:20; Acts 17:11; John 17:17). Not only should a view not directly conflict with Scripture, but if it is a fundamentally new idea, not grounded in Scripture, it is suspect (Jude 3, 2 Timothy 3:16,17, Hebrews 1:1,2). If someone is unwilling to let their views be tested by Scripture or claims the Scriptures have been corrupted, this in itself is a clear red flag (Matthew 24:35; 5:18; Psalms 12:6,7). But what specific things should we look for as danger signs?

Those who follow Christ will have the right idea of God (Deuteronomy 13:1-4; Isaiah 43:10-13; Romans 1:22,23). This involves not just naming the name of God, but having a correct idea of His nature. Further, Christian truth should center around Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5). If it exalts some other person or some organization before Christ, it is wrong. Also, Scriptural truth will give central place to the gospel (Galatians 1:8,9; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Romans 1:16). That Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins (1 Peter 2:24,25; Colossians 2:13,14; 2 Corinthians 5:21) and that we are saved by faith in Him and not our own works (Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 4:4,5; Philippians 3:9). 

But on the practical side we should beware of those who deny that God’s salvation should result in an inner transformation (Titus 2:11-14; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:1-5). For our response to God’s love for us should be to want to serve Him (1 John 4:19; 2 Corinthians 5:14,15; Romans 12:1,2). And a clear sign of a false teacher is telling people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear (2 Timothy 4:3,4; Galatians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:4). But we also should beware of those who want to add things to Scripture that God never commanded (Titus 1:14,15; 1 Timothy 4:3-5; Colossians 2:16-23). Now there have always been disputes in the Christian church over various commands, and there is a place for being sensitive to the scruples of others (Romans 14, 1 Corinthians 8, 9:19-23). But multiplying commandments is a bad sign. However, perhaps the clearest sign of a false teacher is that they do things only for their own personal gain (Titus 1:11; 1 Timothy 6:5-10; 1 Thessalonians 2:5). Now some can be suspicious on this subject, even to the point of rejecting legitimate Scriptural teaching on giving. But we should be careful of those who are using God’s ministry as a way to obtain money. This is a short list of things to look for, but we need to be careful of what teaching we believe and follow, that we may not be diverted from following Christ.

No comments:

Post a Comment