Discernment and False Teachings

Good day to you all! It’s another beautiful summer day here. We’ve gotten some rain here and there, but it’s been mostly dry. Also, July is quickly coming to a close, which means I’m getting closer to finishing work (Yay!). So, how have you all been doing? Have you done any fun activities lately? Read any good books? I love a good book, and if you’ve got some suggestions, I’d be happy to hear about them!

As you’d probably guess, I look up verses for my blog posts. Recently, I was searching for some and I clicked on a website, hoping to find what I was looking for. I didn’t, and stumbled across a website for a “new” kind of Christianity.

Alterations and “New” Religions

Let’s be honest, all through the ages there have been people coming up with new ideas about Christianity. There are many differing beliefs out there and unfortunately there are many that don’t line up with the Bible. Specifically, the “new churches” that claim that they’ve got it and end up whitewashing the truths that they don’t like.

When I read the title of the site, I was already suspicious. The fact that it had “new” in it, made me raise an eyebrow. However, I was curious and read more into it. There were five words that instantly turned me off. In their page about the church, they mentioned that they looked at God as a Being “who neither judges nor condemns”. Additionally, words such as “authentic religion”, and “clear path of happiness” had all been a bit questionable.

From what I’ve observed, the common denominator among these “new” so-called Christian “religions” seems to be the removal of truths that are uncomfortable or disagree with their beliefs. It completely ignores the fact that God, Jesus, and the truths of the Bible aren’t supposed to be changed or omitted to fit our lives; they’re supposed to transform us. Neither is Christianity supposed to be merely a “religion”. Being a disciple of the Lord transcends so much more than a “practice”.

Discernment

There are many uncomfortable subjects in the Bible, and many people don’t like to accept them, so they scribble it out and change Christianity to be something that fits their beliefs. Unfortunately, some go as far as to create new denominations that lead others astray. Some are more subtle about their alterations than others, and that’s why we need discernment.

In a time where information can be spread in seconds, we are exposed to a lot of beliefs and false teachings. As Christians, we need to be alert and discerning of what we read, watch, and listen. Not only do people sometimes alter truth, but we are also vulnerable to error. Hence, that’s why we need to test questionable teachings and “new” beliefs against the Bible. We need to be asking ourselves whether this agrees with the Bible, and is supported by appropriate scripture.

Not long ago, when my mom and I were working on the house for moving, she fell into conversation with a man who was doing some work on our house. They ended up talking about a controversial movie that was theologically wrong. My mom pointed this out, but the fellow replied that their pastor recommended it to the congregation and that “they shouldn’t worry about theology”. The man said that “they shouldn’t think about theology and that it was just a movie”.

Theology and scripture do matter though. We can’t ignore things like this, even if it is “just a movie”.

Developing Discernment

For us to be active in discernment means we also need to be in the Word. In order for us to be able to recognize false teachings, we need to know what is correct and true. The only reason I have been able to recognize false teachings, is because of scripture. There is no other authority that we can test “other” teachings against.

Conclusion

The Bible warns against false teachers and prophets (2 Timothy 4:3-4, Mathew 7:15-20). We are instructed to be discerning and to test questionable teachings (1 Thessalonians 5:21, Colossians 2:8, 1 John 4:1). In a world full of “new” beliefs, denominations, and teachings, we have a responsibility to look out for false doctrine in what we read, watch, and listen.  We can’t depend on others to tell us what is right and what is wrong, but to look to God’s Word as the authority (2 Timothy 3:16).

What are your thoughts? Do you agree? How discerning have you been? What have false teachings have you identified? Is there teachings that you believe that don’t align with scripture?  What have your experiences been discernment? How has being in the Word helped you to recognize false doctrine? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

2 thoughts on “Discernment and False Teachings

  1. Discernment is the focus of my ministry! It’s very important!

    Like

    1. Hope E. Dougherty July 25, 2019 — 3:00 pm

      Yes! Discernment is!

      Like

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