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Why address false teaching?

Jesus came to give us the truth. First about our condition, being separated from God by sin. And He gave himself as the solution, becoming the lamb of God for our sins.

Throughout his ministry He spoke of what is the truth and what is false, pointing out the differences between what the religious leaders taught (their own traditions) and what the law-Moses and the prophets and the writings wrote. Mark 8:15 “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees…”

False teaching separates one from the truth. It is the most serious matters for a Christian, especially a new believer who is to be building a foundation on the truth. Heresy is often defined as any departure from Scripture that changes its meaning and application. It is a teaching, doctrine or practice that goes beyond the apostles’ teachings, (what is written) or introduces something totally new or contrary to the Scripture by a different method of interpretation

The only way one can distinguish the true from the false is to discern; by using the Word which is truth.

Throughout the Scripture God is called the “God of truth” (Deut.32:4; Ps.31:5; Isa.65:16) Truth is mentioned over 200 times throughout the Scripture (old and New Testament). ‘Truth’ is mentioned 31 times in the gospels. John who mentions the truth more than any gospel writer introduces Jesus in this way; as having the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

John later says in 3:21 “But he who does the truth comes to the light,” in other words those who desire truth over lies, how they want to live their lives will respond. the world is said to be in darkness, symbolizing a fallen state, where the light has come into the world to deliver us from this darkness.

Jesus responded to Thomas’ question stating a phrase that has become the identifying confession of Christians throughout history, "I am the way, the truth , and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) No prophet, no other religious leader can claim this.

John also records Jesus pronouncing to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth , and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-33). Truth accompanies Jesus’ teachings, lies accompanying the devils teachings that challenge Gods truth.

The church has seen the influence of false teachings rise in the last 30-40 years like no other time in history. Word faith teaching, Latter Rain (3rd wave) were the biggest offenders. Now the church is under heightened attack from false teachers, those who are plainly Gnostics, who practice mysticism and have New Age / Occult views that they merge with Scripture.

John wrote (2:21) “no lie is of the truth.” Which means it is not its source nor connected to it in any way. a lie is not just the opposite of truth but void of it.

Biblical heresy is often identified as a denial of one or more of the core beliefs found in the Bible. Such as the Triunity of God, the deity of Christ or salvation comes by grace alone through faith in Christ alone. Heresy, which means division, is done by introducing other religious spiritual teachings to interpret, to practice or add to what the Scripture says.

1 Cor. 4:6 Paul instructing the church used himself and another powerful teacher of the Word, Apollos “… that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written.”

John warns about going beyond the Scripture 2 Jn. 1:9 “ Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God.” Those teachings are what is written. Which means those who receive a new revelation unspoken before does not have its source in God.

Today’s heresies are introduced into the Church mostly through new “revelation” or “prophesy,” which are often the most dangerous source of all. It should be obvious that a divisive teaching or practice from inside the Church is more destructive to our genuine faith than one from the outside and should not be allowed to continue to be spoken from the pulpit.

If one knowingly opposes orthodox teaching it makes them a heretic.  The Greek word for divisive is hairetikos, it means a schismatic: someone that is a promoter or follower of a false doctrine, or is intentionally dividing the church for their particular teaching. Paul instructs us to “Reject a divisive (heretic) man after the first and second admonition ” (Titus 3:10) This means we tell them where they are wrong by the Word if they are not responsive, the
person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. We do not fellowship with them but stay away from them.

Those who promote false teachings often are not asked, nor, are they willing to leave the church. They stay inside to convince others and make disciples after themselves. In this way the division occurs. this is why they must be addressed.

When a teaching or practice affects the core doctrines or goes beyond what is written we should not keep silent. If one stays silent with a known heresy being taught openly that makes them complicit to it. A true shepherd’s first concern is to protect the sheep and minister to the individual who needs the correction. But it is not just up to the pastor but those who are mature in the Word.

Jude 3 writes, exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints meaning that false teaching is among you and that you are to speak the truth to counter it.

This is why we must address false teaching. Young lambs are like a young child who are still learning and do not understand the differences. They need to be protected or they can be shipwrecked. This is why we are to identify certain people who are expounding false teachings, preventing the lambs from immediate harm.

We are to keep unity (Eph.4:3), which includes our contending for “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). As Jude warns some have snuck in; today many leave the door open, those who care for the truth will shut the door and guard its entry.

The Lord commends those who test teaching to see if it is according to his Word. Two examples, Paul with the Berean's in Acts 17:10
They were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
Rv. 3:8 To the church of Philadelphia John writes, "I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.  (Rv.6:9)

The warnings throughout the Bible on changing God’s Word (p.2 )

See -Finding The Truth in the age of lies


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