Do Not Outsource Watchfulness Against Dangerous Teaching

Dealing with Danger

I didn’t grow up in the greatest neighborhood. Ex-convict neighbors and roving thugs on the daily. It wasn’t always like that—it changed over time. Place got more and more dangerous. Growing up, I got lessons on what to be mindful about.

On walks to the grocery store with my parents, I got to see by word and action, what to watch out for. “Watch out with groups gathering like that, doing nothing in the middle of the day” or “don’t stare with scared eyes”. Sometimes, just casually cross the street way in advance to not start up any issues. In today’s world, these actions might seem crude and presumptuous and, if based only on color, racist. Growing up, it was survival.

I’m reminded of Titus who was supposed to appoint elders but still needed to deal with the danger of false teachers.

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.


“Spirit” Led Leadership

Churches and denominations have a system set up that if you’re ambitious enough, and you get in the right channels, you might have an ecclesial career. So, let’s say you were willing to go to seminary, meet the qualifications, and then willing to market yourself you can probably get into a church that is willing to pay your salary. Just know the right hands to shake and answer the stuff that makes people nervous. People generally frown upon outright ambitiousness and resume career tailoring so a person would have to work things so as to not appear ambitious and even then there are no guarantees that the person will be at all successful where they’re ministering. God gives the increase after all.


Tweet Blog: False Teachers

You don’t trust the potential mugger calling you into a dark alley; don’t trust the teacher that says there are no more false teachers.