Categories
apologetics church personal

How People Are Allured By False Teaching

Here is an old joke that I vaguely remember my Father using: People tell me that on every public bus there is always one nut-job. A complete wacko. An absolute loon. Look around, they’d say, and you’ll always find one. So I keep riding the bus to find out, constantly looking for the one nut-job. I could never find him.

I’m going to be honest here. Just like the joke about being the one nut-job, I’m afraid of being the false teacher Scripture warns about. It is a creeping fear crowding behind me right up until I walk towards the pulpit.  Then, even when I open my mouth, I can feel the fear behind me whispering a warning: don’t fall into the false teacher’s trap.

Now, don’t start telling everyone “Rey says he’s a false teacher.” Hear me out.

The reason for my fear is that false teaching has an attractive pull in (at least) two directions. It not only draws hearers but it’s attractive to those who are handling the truth. And because it’s strong allure, I think it’s more pervasive than we think.

Categories
acts church human

The Fact of False Teachers

For years, Christian writers forced pens to bleed ink on the subject of false teachers. They warned, they begged people to be ready, they called out the false teachers, and they repeated the whole thing. We often nod, hum a hymn, and don’t give it much thought.

Let me put some meat on those bones.

At church, we are rightly warned about those wool-wearing wolves but we never think of them as already here, among us, teeth bared. We mention them in a nebulous sort of way, waving our arms in that direction over yonder, but most of us never stop and wonder if they’re sitting next to us, smiling and saying “amen” during the sermon. Or maybe, arms raised, leading the singing. Or possibly, speaking, behind the pulpit.

For most of us Christians, false teachers are a distant threat reserved for tele-evangelists.

Categories
church history human israel religion

When Our Situations Trump God

Theology is the study of God. By definition, we expand it to a package of beliefs.

This means you can get your package of beliefs from different places. Studying the stars, looking at how people act with each other, the metal rock that fell out of the sky, or the situation you’re.

Sort of like the Biblical authors but much different.

Categories
church human

What Is God’s Will For My Life (and Yours)

For years I was told to seek God’s will for my life. What career God wants for me. What school God wants me to go to. What woman God wants me to marry. That if I don’t do these things I am acting outside of the will of God and at best missing out on blessings or at worse sinning.

I was told that if I made right choices, I’d feel the peace of God that passes all understand. But if the wrong choices I’d have nothing but problems.

For me, these sorts of words led to worry. “What if God wanted me to be a missionary?”, I thought with fear as I picked my college. Quickly followed by “what if by going to that school I had missed out on the girl God wanted me to marry?”

Let me break down my thinking which I think accords more with Scripture.

Categories
christ church scripture

Corinth: Thought Model For Dealing With Church Problems

I’ve noticed when a church has problems (or more often before problems) they try to figure out what to do to make things better. Mind you, that might be fine. If a church has money issues, it might be a good idea to examine spending habits and prepare for the future.

Thing is, some of the problems are specifically spiritual but folk try to contrive a fix using the flesh. Now, what I mean by that isn’t what the modern ear would hear. I’m not saying “things that have to do with our internal faith have to be dealt with by praying or other faith-things instead of using our physical selves to deal with it.”

I mean that we can’t deal with these situations, whatever they may be, using the methodology and empowerment of the old system we’ve been rescued from. Church gossip might be addressed by saying “stop doing this” or “gossip hurts people” and then maybe having get-to-know-one-another-parties: but this is based more on what the world values in the Flesh System than what God has revealed as valuable to deal with these issues.

I suggest examining the thought model offered by Paul’s letter to the Church at Corinth.