Should it take us so long in our faith walk to get to the point we are making every decision based in God’s Word? I realize it does … that it’s common. But I don’t think God intended it to be that way. Scripture mentions the renewing of our mind. I think we prolong that and sometimes avoid it in some areas.
Take for instance, the following and sharing of certain Christian teachers and their words. It’s running rampant among Christians to glean learning, and then share it, from those whose Salvation theology is clearly not Biblical.
“Any theology which ignores Jesus Christ as the supreme Authority ceases to be Christian theology.” ~ Oswald Chambers
Why do people do this? I just can’t help but think they don’t really want to hear the truth. Clearly there is an avoidance issue, and it is most likely that stems from a pride issue. They don’t want to “lose” people or influence. And that concerns my soul for them. On the contrary, I have actually “lost” people for suggesting we should not live like this, that we should be more cautious about what we share and follow.
We should check everyone we follow and read and share. We can’t be lukewarm.
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. ~ 1 Corinthians 2:4-5
Oh this is heavy. What should be happening in politics and other “touchy” subjects is actually what should be happening in our spiritual lives as Christ followers. That is, we should desire to be warned, even corrected, and want to lead no one on a path trusting a false teaching. That’s not to say that every Believer is perfect, that none make a mistake in their beliefs or theology. We all grow and we should. But as we grow, we should also want to make sure that we aren’t listening, and subsequently sharing something so un-Biblical that it could cause us, and others, to go astray. We should pray to recognize falsities every single time.
While we can’t possibly see into the depths of another’s heart and soul, as only God can as His Word says, and we should never assume or judge another person’s salvation, we can judge the fruit of what comes from their mouths and lives to test it to God’s very Truth.
Some are clearly teaching and believing false doctrine. If they are preaching false doctrine and they’re not saved, that’s one thing … a sad thing… a prayer is needed. That is many times obvious, but not always.
If they say outright that Jesus is NOT the only way in some form or another… are they really saved? I submit, by that fruit, they are not. There can be only one truth by its very definition.
Maybe they’re Believers, but are backsliding or lukewarm. I’m not sure how God feels about all that ultimately.
If they are preaching a false doctrine because they have been deceived and they truly have given their life to Christ, that’s another thing.
Jesus is crystal clear in The Word when He says He is the only Way. The ONLY WAY. And we must discern before we follow or share thoughts and words. We don’t want to even accidentally sound like hypocrites.
The battle is real when we consider the world thinks Christians are hypocrites already, so the full armor of God will prepare us, discernment will prepare us, and God’s Word will prepare us. To speak Truth.
If it matters to God, it should matter to us. We must be on guard. He gives us armor for a reason… to guard. Our hearts. Our minds. Our reach.
I DO NOT believe Christ Followers should go out on a hunt for those who are not speaking Truth in Christ. However it is rampant these days all over the internet. We must not allow ourselves to be even remotely sucked into that vortex. The rabbit hole it creates can swallow people up, and judgement becomes unrighteous.
It is extraordinarily important to listen to the Holy Spirit when He warns us. If we are constantly checking ourselves, and all that we take in, to the Scriptures, then we will be aware when we need to be. It is important that we should check into those we follow through reading and Biblical teaching. Should they turn out to be teaching a false salvation theology, then they are not people we should be learning from. If they have error mixed in with Truth, then Truth still prevails, but we are held accountable for what we share and base our complete theology on.
We can not ignore the Holy Spirit. The Church is being eroded from the underside with those who call themselves Christians, but then turn around and say that Jesus is not the only way to God and eternal life. They claim Hell is not real, that your path to eternal life is fine as long as it helps you, and that “whatever” someone else believes is also a fine path. These are all untrue.
Christ Followers, watch and proceed with God’s caution.
It is not usually difficult to find quotes from each person speaking, about eternal life and spiritual things, in order to find their true beliefs. Don’t be lukewarm. Be diligent.
Here is a good question to ask ourselves: How much does this person I am following quote from God’s Word?
If they rarely or never do or if they twist it, then check to see if what they teach is their agenda instead, because it always is.
That’s why I’m so leery to share quotes and recommend anything from anyone I have not checked and rechecked, because I just don’t know ultimately where someone might end up if they follow them based on my recommendation. I do not want to lead others astray or be lead astray.
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.~ James 3:1
As I said… no witch hunts for me as it isn’t healthy. However, I do take notice when God opens my eyes to something big, to false teaching. And I am grateful to God for that. One such “popular” example is Anne Lamott. She has said in interviews and writes in her very own words that while she claims to have found God through Jesus that she believes Jesus is NOT the only way to God and eternal life. She makes claims about Who God is that are not Biblical:
“I hear His–sometimes Her–God’s presence immediately.” (found here)
I have never once cared for the way she writes (profanity and disrespecting God and His Holy name are a definite no go for me), and I can not figure out why she is popular. But set that aside, and look at HOW she writes and talks to find that she does not even care to hide her false teachings (these quotes are from her book that is discussed here):
“You’ve got to wonder what Jesus was like at seventeen. They don’t even talk about it in the Bible, he was apparently so awful.”
“I wanted to express calmly and eloquently, that people who are pro-choice understand that there are two lives involved in an abortion–one born (the pregnant woman) and one not (the fetus)–and that the born person must be allowed to decide what is right: whether or not to bring a pregnancy to term and launch another life into circulation.” “Then I said that a woman’s right to choose was nobody else’s goddamn business. That got their attention.” “We must not inflict life on children who will be resented; we must not inflict unwanted children on society.”
I can’t even paste anymore quotes here, because it isn’t worth more space on the web and it cringes my spirit. I’ve read interviews and her very own words on the web, and it is clear she lacks truth and love. I pray for her AND those who follow her and soak up her words.
She is not the only writer/speaker out there who believes these things. This should be obviously identified as a false salvation theology and falsehoods regarding God… and my heart is shattered over all the sharings and “amens” of these falsehoods by Christians. Why, oh why, are we not checking into a person’s full beliefs before sharing on social media, with our friends, and on our sites?
God warns in His Word. ONLY God knows the heart and salvation of someone, and just as I can’t determine that state of their soul, neither can these who say they “know” that ALL people go to be with God in Heaven at their death regardless of their beliefs – as these people claim in their new age mixed-up views, their Unitarian views, and Universalist views.
Troubling. Deeply troubling.
I’ve been very troubled since I’ve seen a storm of quotes over the last decade shared by Christians from people such as Henri Nouwen, Marianne Williamson, Rob Bell, Anne Lamott and other Universalists/New Agers.
These things are not Scriptural. A person is free to believe that Christ is not the only way to eternal life, but a Christian can not say “it can be found either through Christ or another way”.
That questions their salvation in and of itself. I do not claim to know a person’s salvation nor the salvation of these which I listed, but by their theological “fruit” I can discern with caution how to proceed.
“Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.” — From Sabbatical Journey, Henri Nouwen’s book (page 51, 1998)
That clearly shows what Nouwen believes… universalist views simply are not Biblical, friends.
I’ve heard this said:
“I use these quotes just because they are good and I hope people reading what I share understand that I may not agree totally with that teacher.”
But aren’t WE responsible for what we teach? God says “yes”.
A quote from someone that is Truth in and about Christ is always Truth, yes. And God can and has and will work through anyone. It’s just troubling to think how many Christians might be deceived into following the whole of a person’s theology, instead of a Truthful quote, just because a person has lots of good quotes.
And to those seeking God while reading them: might it be a bad direction for us to share these teachers words just to send our readers “good words” with no context? That’s why I’m so very careful who I quote. Should I find out later that which should be retracted… I’d do so and explain why.
For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.
~ 2 Corinthians 11:4
These past few years, I’ve been taken aback and the Holy Spirit has maintained my heart conviction that Christians are following *seemingly* Godly people. I sink inside.
What they say sometimes might be truth in context to Jesus because Truth is always Truth, but PLEASE check their salvation beliefs. If what they claim ultimately about salvation is opposite of what Jesus says, then run. Do not walk. Run. Do not let yourselves be deceived even a little… if even the elect should be deceived.
They are many false teachers out there, friends. And it’s much easier to be fooled by the enemy when the person we are listening to looks and sounds like us *most* of the time.
My daughter, Emerson, wrote beautiful words about this:
“And the fact that so many Christians are accepting that which should be obviously opposite of biblical truth is incredibly appalling and leaves me questioning who can even be trusted anymore. How can one claim to follow Christ, but ignore and negate His very teachings? If one verse of the Bible is false, is the entire Book not compromised in its integrity? If we believe it is divinely inspired by God Himself, but we do not take every word of it as true or correct, then how can we claim the rest of it to be true? If God were to allow errors in His truths and principles, how could we trust any of what He says? Would the only other option not be that He lied to us? If we read the Word in this way, we undermine its very authority and we lay a shaky foundation for our beliefs. We also inadvertently deny God’s holiness, righteousness, sovereignty, and trustworthiness, and we claim to know better than He does.”
And a heartfelt warning:
If you are in the “crowd”, you might consider that they have it wrong. Jesus didn’t follow the crowd… He led it.
It’s not always easy to speak out for what is right in the eyes of God. It’s always easy to follow a crowd. But is the crowd checking with Him?
How to discern:
Check with God’s Word.
It truly is that simple.