Monday, January 13, 2014

The Subtle, Sweet Words of a False Teacher

False teachers never come out and tell you they are false teachers. They are clever and subtle and their words are smooth and comforting to the ear. They start out slowly, staying close to the Word so as not to arouse suspicion, but also to gain their listeners' confidence. Once lured in by their initial offerings, people reach a place of comfort and stop questioning the source. They will then read and follow anything that person says, without question.

This is how cults start.
This is how deception gains a foothold in your life.
This is how a false teacher lures you in.

I remember once attending a ladies Sunday School class for a few weeks when my husband wasn't pastoring, and the ladies were studying a "Bible study book" by a popular author. I questioned something in the book and one of the ladies said, "Oh, I can't imagine her saying anything like that! I trust what she says implicitly! I read everything she writes." The statement in question was right before her eyes, yet she still denied that this beloved author could say anything like that. But, she did say it. That poor woman was in denial. She had turned from student to worshiper, and didn't even realize it. Instead of a teacher, the author had become an idol. She dismissed any question about her as though we had no right to question anything she said. I didn't stay in the class.

The Scriptures tell us to watch. There are so very many warnings against false teachers throughout Scripture that if there were literal warning signs posted, there would be so many signs you'd have to watch carefully so as not to hit them! You would have your eyes wide open because they would be so plentiful you'd risk hitting one if you got distracted for even a moment. Why do you suppose God gave us so many warnings? Let's not kid ourselves by thinking false teachers are few and far between. I highly suspect one might be on your book shelf right now.

Here are some words from a false teacher's latest book. This woman is very popular even in conservative Baptist circles. Because I don't buy or use Bible study books, I'd never read anything she's written, though, so I had to seek out her work. I sought her out because some friends had recently had a heated debate about this woman and I wanted to find out about her myself. Fortunately, Amazon gives us 20% of a book to preview. I previewed this woman's latest book and found the following statement:

"I am being as honest as I know how to be when I say that I did not write these words by simple preference. I wrote them because had I not, the rock in my yard would have cried out. What God does with what He's required is His business. I entrust this message entirely to the One Who delivered it while I sat bug-eyed."

In her next paragraph, she went on to say, "Certainly I'm not audaciously implying that this book was written under the same divine guidance as the Holy Scriptures! What I'm saying is that I wrote this message to the best of my ability under the guidance of the Holy Spirit...."

This woman, despite her argument to the contrary, is aligning herself with God, giving her words as much credibility as the very Word of God. To her, I would say, "No, Beth Moore, the rocks in your yard would not cry out if you had not written your latest book." I would also say, "Your empty denial of equating your words with God's is not luring me in." And finally, I would say, "Get behind me, Satan!"

Beth Moore is a false teacher. I did not reach that conclusion by reading all her books, studying her associations or by talking to others about her. I reached that conclusion based on her very own words. As soon as any teacher, male or female, begins to equate their words with God's, they have crossed a line. She may have crossed a line sooner, I don't know but this one crosses the line and in doing so, she's disqualified every book she's ever written as being even remotely about or from God!

Her disclaimer of "not audaciously implying that this book was written under the same divine guidance as the Holy Scriptures" is akin to someone holding a gun to your head and claiming, "I am not a murderer!" as they blow your head off. (This was my husband's example.) Beth Moore is fully aware of how she has exalted herself. She has to publicly deny this, however, because if she didn't say the words of denial, she might face accusation. So, she says the words, but in the same paragraph, she, again exalts herself to God's level.

Her books are best used for kindling, should you have any in your house.

This is why I do not buy or use Bible study books. I have been asked more than once to write some Bible study books and I refuse. The only book you need in order to study your Bible is your Bible.

You do not have to be a Bible scholar to study your Bible effectively. You do not have to have a degree from a seminary. You have all the tools you need to study your Bible and know the Word of God. Colossians 2:8-10 assures you of your completeness in Christ, "Beware lest any man spoil (plunder) you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the basic principles of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.And you are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power."

I challenge you to stop buying and reading Bible study books and recommit yourself to the pure Word of God.


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