New Testing Phase

Monday, 13 June 2011

Featured Blog: The Cripplegate

My pastor, along with several others have decided to a start a blog to run alongside and to mirror the model of http://teampyro.blogspot.com.

Their blog is called the Cripplegate. The Cripplegate was apparently a place in London where various puritan pastors, unable to preach in church, would meet for prayer and preaching (read the history here)

Either way, welcome to the Cripplegate:

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Characteristics Of A False Teacher

In studying this text, I have made a focused study on a number of texts, including 2 Peter 2 and 2 Timothy 4. I have made some interesting discoveries observations. I will be telling you of some of them now and some later, my focus today will be on “what is a false teacher like?”

The list below (which is not exhaustive) is primarily on the texts of 2 Peter 2, and when I reference a verse it will be from that chapter, unless otherwise stated.

  1. False teachers teach destructive heresy (vs 1)
  2. They deny Jesus Christ even as they claim to follow Him, usually from within the church (vs 1)
  3. They are usually are involved in unrepentant and ongoing sin, usually of a sexual or a covetous (i.e greed) nature. (vs 2; 10; 14 et. al)
  4. They lie and deceive for gain, or to put it another way, they deceive people into giving them money (vs 3)
  5. They despise authority. This applies primarily in the Church context, where there is no elders to keep them accountable – they do what they like (vs 10)
  6. They are arrogant and reckless with demons* (vs 10; Jude 8-9)
  7. They blaspheme and cause others, both believers and unbelievers to do the same (vs 2, 11)
  8. They go on instinct rather that on scripture (vs 11, 12)

Ultimately, what a wolf will do to the flock is to tear a sheep away from the shepherd and devour it. This is the objective of a false teacher, sometime unwittingly. He or she will lead a person away from the real Jesus, often preventing a person from coming to genuine faith in Christ, their latter end becomes worse than their first and it would have been better if they had never heard. (2 Peter 2: 20 – 22)

Every false teacher has one other thing in common: God will squash them. (vs 1,3,4-8,17 et al) In these passages and others, God makes absolutely no bones about this. But can’t a false teacher repent? I hear you cry, short answer “yes.” I’ll be looking at that issue in a later post.

Soli Dei Gloria

 

 

 

 

*will go into much more depth with this one later

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Repost: Don’t follow A Bad Leader

As I was looking through past posts, I noticed an error on one of the labels on this one, from February, so I tried to correct it, but blogger is bugging out stating that the time is all wrong. I don’t know why, but whatever, here is a repost with the corrected labels:

The following article is quoted verbatim from teampyro.blogspot.com, a blog which I highly commend to you. The article in question can be seen on their website here. It is a quote from CH Spurgeon.

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When a man chooses a bad leader for his soul, at the end of all bad leadership there is a ditch.

A man teaches error which he declares he has drawn from Scripture, and he backs it up with texts perverted and abused. If you follow that error, and take its teacher for a leader, you may for a time be very pleased with yourself for knowing more than the poor plain people who keep to the good old way, but, mark my word, there is a ditch at the end of the error. You do not see it yet, but there it is, and into it you will fall if you continue to follow your leader.

At the end of error there is often a moral ditch, and men go down, down down, they scarce know why, till presently, having imbibed doctrinal error, their moral principles are poisoned, and like drunken men they find themselves rolling in the mire of sin.

At other times the ditch beyond a lesser error may be an altogether damnable doctrine. The first mistake was comparatively trifling, but, as it placed the mind on an inclined plane, the man descended almost as a matter of course, and almost before he knew it, found himself given over to a strong delusion to believe a lie.

The blind man and his guide, whatever else they miss, will be sure to find the ditch, they need no sight to obtain an abundant entrance into that. Alas! to fall into the ditch is easy, but how shall they be recovered? I would earnestly entreat especially professing Christians, when novelties of doctrine come up, to be very cautious how they give heed to them. I bid you remember the ditch.

A small turn of the switch on the railway is the means of taking the train to the far east or to the far west: the first turn is very little indeed, but the points arrived at are remote.

There are new errors which have lately come up which your fathers knew not, with which some are mightily busy, and I have noticed when men have fallen into them their usefulness ceased. I have seen ministers go only a little way in speculative theories, and gradually glide from latitudinarianism into Socinianism or Atheism. Into these ditches thousands fall. Others are precipitated into an equally horrible pit, namely, the holding nominally of all the doctrines in theory and none of them in fact.

Men hold truths nowadays with the bowels taken out of them, and the very life and meaning torn away. There are members and ministers of evangelical denominations who do not believe evangelical doctrine, or if they do believe it they attach but little importance to it; their sermons are essays on philosophy, tinged with the gospel. They put a quarter of a grain of gospel into an Atlantic of talk, and poor souls are drenched with words to no profit.

God save us from ever leaving the old gospel, or losing its spirit.

Note: emphasis mine

Introduction: A look at False Teaching & Heresy

False teachers have been a plague on the church. They have been around since the days of the apostles, indeed, the writers of the New Testament mentions at least one by name. In 3 John verse 9, John writes: I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. Verse 10 goes on to describe how this false teacher slanders the apostles, and excommunicates anyone who disagrees with him. This description of a false teacher, is only one of many thousands who would come up against the church. In this post, and in further posts, I hope to show some common false teachings and heresies as well as draw up profiles of some historical as well as current false teachers and heretics. I will be naming some names which will not appeal to everyone, but considering what scripture has to say on the subject, I consider this very necessary.

But before we go on any further, there is a few things that need to be said. The first is that: naming names gives me no pleasure and my desire in doing so is twofold – 1. to warn people who may be deceived by false teachers, and 2. to, if possible, call these men and women to repentance, we love them and don’t want them harming the church any more, and in some cases, going to hell themselves.

The second thing that needs to be said is that in order to prevent myself from sinning or being snarky at such people, I will limit my descriptions of them to three terms, two biblical and one theological.

These terms are:

Mat 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

1. False teacher/ prophet – this phrase is used a large number of times in the bible, including by Jesus

2. Wolf. Bit of a strange term in today’s thinking but as any shepherd from most generations in the past will tell you (if you could talk to one) that wolves were not the “semi-friendly practically-a-dog” that we think of them as today. They were the sheep’s primary enemy, and thus the shepherd’s primary enemy. The wolf hunted the sheep to kill and consume it. This, is what Jesus is saying about the false prophets in our verse (Mat 7:15), as well as several others. Jesus would often use the analogy of Christians being sheep, and the wolves were out to get the sheep. Paul also makes use of this phrase in Acts 20:29.

Those are the two biblical terms, and I need to separate them from the theological term because the former is not the same as the latter.

3. Heretic. Heresy is a doctrine that, if believed, will demonstrate that you are not a believer in the true Christ, and thus can’t be saved, until the heresy is repented of. Heresy is different to false teaching in that (some) false teachers are still true believers, brothers and sisters in Christ, whereas no formal heretic is. I will illustrate the difference in the next post

That’s enough for now, in the next few posts I will expand on the concepts, bring in more scripture then begin building profiles on some false teachers and heretics.

God bless

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