Beware of False Teachers within the Church
The Church, particularly within the West, is in serious danger today. I do not say this for the sake of needlessly instilling fear in people(esp. believers), however I also cannot overemphasize the importance of what I am about to share. Within 2 Peter 2:1-3(emphases below are mine), we are plainly forewarned about the presence of false teachers within the Church:
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
What I have observed, especially within several Protestant Churches, is poor church leadership. Those who have been “voted” into positions of church authority almost always occurs as a result of those who are the most approved by their people as opposed to one who is the most approved by God. From my personal experience, research, and observations, I would even go as far as to say that the decision-making process is practically a “popularity contest”, except this time it is “christianized”. Right away a major red flag should be going up and the sirens should be sounding because of the sheer severity from the implications of what was just said. Any reasonable person knows that those who are placed within positions of power and authority in any organization, let alone a church, should undergo a rigorous decision-making process before being selected. Church leaders have an enormous responsibility over their flock after all, therefore it is essential that the criteria as prescribed within 1 Timothy 3 is met.
Church leaders are appointed to equip the Church Body with solid Biblically-Rooted teaching so that the Church may then boldly go out into the world and make disciples of all nations while being kept safe from the attacks of any “wolves” from the world. But, if those who are placed in church leadership positions are themselves wolves disguised as sheep, you can understand that we have a frighteningly concerning situation.
Possible Explanation Behind Rise of False Teachers
The way in which the leadership-selection system operates, within the Protestant Church specifically, is systemically flawed because it is almost always rooted in the approval of man as opposed to being rooted in the approval of God(diametrically opposed to one another). In turn, this makes it exceedingly easy for almost anybody to “win” the approval of those whom they desire to one day “shepherd”. Winning people’s approval is quite an easy feat to accomplish, especially when people have such itching ears. By itching ears, I mean that, nowadays, people would much rather be taught what they want to hear(hyper-grace half-truth ‘gospel’ message), instead of what they truly need t0 hear(dying to self daily through repentance). The massive popularity of the Prosperity Gospel also greatly helps facilitate leadership positions for such individuals as well.
Recommendation for Believers
Fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, please listen very carefully to what I am about to say. We are in a spiritual battleground where there are unseen forces surrounding us even as you read this blog entry. Demonic forces are continually waging war against us in and through our fleshly desires. 1 Peter 5:8 commands us as believers to, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”. Because our battle is not merely against flesh and blood, but “…against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph 6:12), the only way we can be victorious, once giving our lives to Christ, is through equipping ourselves with the full armour of God as Paul writes about in Ephesians 6.
Specifically, as believers we need to be continually sharpening our one and only effective spiritual weapon, that is the Holy Word of God. The exclusive way by which this be accomplished is through actually being in God’s Word through reading it, studying it, mediating on it, and, perhaps most importantly, actually applying it in our lives. One of the fruits yielded from intentional time spent with God in His Holy Word is known as “discernment” which enables Christians to “test the spirits” so that we will know with confidence whether the teaching offered is of God or not.
I hope and pray that this blog entry provided some helpful information. As believers, I do not think we can afford to take such a critical matter so lightly because time is very truly of the essence. I pray that more authentic, Christ-Surrendered and Spirit-Led believers would rise up as leaders within the Church because if church leaders do not practise what they preach, then how can they expect their followers to do the same?