Scarier to me than the liberal “Christians”, Christians that like the idea of Jesus but not the reality, are the Christians that are “wolves in sheep’s clothing” These are the pastors, speakers and authors that pervert God’s Biblical truth for their own gain. There are many examples of this I could easily point to…and I’m not talking about a disagreement over music styles or the color of the carpet…I mean men who are either intentionally (or sometimes, though rarely, unintentionally) leading sheep astray with empty rhetoric, lies and twisted scripture. (side note: Does anyone else think “Twisted Scripture” would be a cool band name? Just me…okay then)
“It’s God’s will for you to live in prosperity instead of poverty.” ~ Joel Osteen
“You may make some mistakes-but that doesn’t make you a sinner. See yourself as God sees you” ~ Joel Osteen
“In my ministry, I teach my disciples, “Power first, then the Word. Go in and prophesy first, or demonstrate the power of God first in some way.” ~ Todd Bentley
“He readily reveals it to those who show themselves obedient to do it. If you do not hear God’s voice, could it be your heart is not ready to respond to what he says?” ~ Henry Blackaby
“Redeeming culture is the never ending mission of the church.” ~ Chuck Colson
“For me, the beginning of sharing my faith with people began by throwing out Christianity and embracing Christian spirituality, a nonpolitical mysterious system that can be experienced but not explained.” ~ Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz, p. 115
“Everything in the service needs to preach–architecture, lighting, songs, prayers, fellowship, the smell–it all preaches. All five senses must be engaged to experience God.” ~ Mark Driscoll
“How many of you heard the voice of God speak specifically, clearly, directly, and personally, to you? Can you just put a hand up? I’d like you to share it. Can you put a hand up for a minute? Just want you to look around; that’s people saying, “God Almighty, the Maker of heaven, the one Who’s sitting on the only throne that’s not under threat – He spoke to me. He spoke to me.” “God spoke to me.” Don’t let the voice of the darkness tell you that you are not worth that God would not speak to you. Don’t let him tell you, you don’t matter. God spoke to you.” ~ Louie Giglio
“God accepts us unconditionally, and in his view we are all precious and priceless. Focus on this and you will not waste any time and effort trying to be someone you’re not.” ~ Rick Warren
This biggest problem with this list is that I could go on and on with names from pastors and evangelists you know and some you probably haven’t heard of…and some you’d be shocked at I imagine.
Of course the scriptures speaks frequently of these false teachers..
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15
“I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;” Acts 20:29
And it speaks of those who listen to their lies.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 2:3-4
The Bible is clear that anyone who adds to scripture or takes away from it is bringing God’s wrath on them.
“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” Revelation 22:18
These wolves are called “blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions” in 2 Peter. Peter is literally calling these false preachers acne on the face of the church, they display the very opposite of the character of Christ who was “without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:19b)
So what are we to do as Christians, scripture is quite clear on this as well.
“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” 2 Timothy 2:1
“For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:12
The great Charles Spurgeon said this:
“He who does not hate the false does not love the true; and he to whom it is all the same whether it be God’s word or man’s, is himself unrenewed at heart”
And I join Spurgeon in his plea:
“I beg the Lord to give back to the churches such a love to his truth that they may discern the spirits, and cast out those which are not of God”