“Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to His Holy people. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” Jude 1:3-4
As long as there have been churches, there have been people who have been "false teachers". When I was a little girl, I remember seeing Jim and Tammy Faye Baker on television. All that makeup on her face and all that crying and there was never a single tear or mascara smudge. Good grief!
That first introduction to "false teachers" made me very aware of those around me. It made me very conscious of what people are teaching, what they are basing it on and what they're motivations are.
I have mentioned before that if something or someone becomes extremely popular in today's culture then I am very wary about it. Books like "The Shack" and "The Purpose Driven Life" have risen to the top of the best selling charts among Christians and non-Christians alike. "The Shack" is a fiction book but people are using it in churches are supplements for Sunday Schools. I am astounded by that fact considering the amount of heresy in the book. This book actually states: 1. There is no such thing as judgement or torment in hell. Hmmm. Ever read Luke 12:5? 2. Everyone will make it to heaven. And we spent all that time learning John 3:15-16 in Sunday School. 3. Jesus is constantly being changed right along with us. I beg to differ. The Bible says He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
It isn't just books. There are preachers too. Joel Osteen, Brian McLaren, Rick Warren, Doug Pagitt and so many others. They are part of the emergent church movement. These pastors are wildly successful preaching a prosperity gospel. However, more than that they are preaching that Christianity needs to be reinvented to make it more relevant to this generation. These preachers are also promoting a trend of preaching "world peace" through claiming other religions as valid and there being many ways to God. They know that today's culture doesn't like to be uncomfortable so they do not preach on hell, the cross or anything that prick their congregations conscious. During a radio interview, Doug Pagitt was recently quoted as saying, "there is no place of eternal conscious torment for persons who die apart from faith in Jesus Christ."
It isn't just the big publicized churches that are leading people astray. Our local churches are just as at fault. The Bible says we are not to be conformed to this world. Some churches have tried to make their "doors" so welcoming that they are not set apart at all. What does it mean when your church offers things to your children that you won't let them do at home? What does it mean when evening services are cancelled and football games are shown in the sanctuary?
I have always been told that nothing worth having comes easy. I know that is true with the Christian walk. How do I know that is true? Because Jesus died on the cross to make it possible. He didn't die on the cross to promise me prosperity, an easy life, or any of the other things being promoted in these false doctrines we are surrounded with today. He died on the cross so that if I believe in Him, and Him alone, I can have eternal life.