How Not to Be a False Teacher

Our Christian churches, bookstores, and blogs are full of people who believe they have an unique, direct-from-God message that everyone needs to hear.

A word or revelation from God.

Adding to scripture or making claims of absolutes where scripture does not make absolutes, these people make prophecies, predictions or bring teachings that can not be solidly backed up by scripture.

Then, they judge or mistreat those who do not agree with and follow their instructions or opinions.

Ecclesiastes says there’s nothing new under the sun.

None of us are going to come up with a truly new and unique idea. Every idea we can come up with someone has thought of before.

It is quite simply a form of self worship to believe that God has revealed extra information specifically to you and you alone, information not given to others in scripture, and that if others are truly Christian, they will either also receive that same revealed information from God or believe you when you say “God told me this.”

If you believe something is coming from God, you’d better be able to solidly, clearly back it up by scripture.

Those who cannot are walking a dangerous path of self-idolization, self-worship.

Remember that Paul said that even if an angel from heaven came and told you something new not to listen, because the devil masquerades as an angel.

Therefore, if you come to me with something new and different than what the New Testament teaches, I’m going to call you what you are: a false teacher.

The Bereans were praised for constantly checking what they were taught against scripture to see that it was true and accurate.

We ought to be very careful not to put words in God’s mouth.

If you can’t clearly, solidly, and absolutely back your opinion up with scripture, the topic is not as black-and-white as you think it is.

There are somethings that are not black-and-white.

Topics that are not black-and-white in scripture are not sin issues.

We should not mistreat anyone –even those who are sinning, but it especially unreasonable to accuse someone of sin on an issue you can’t absolutely backup biblically.

Yet, this happens regularly.

God does not make us guess how to obey Him by withholding His clear expectations from us.

If you think He does, you have another problem: a basic misunderstanding of the very nature of God.

God makes His expectations clear to us.

He is a just God.

Sins are clearly explained as such in the New Testament. There are extensive lists in the bible. The New Testament is the part of scripture that specifically applies to us today.

All we need for life and godliness is given to us in scripture.

Don’t try to make yourself into a little god.

Don’t attempt to add to God’s words.

We already have an intermediary, the only One we will every need: Jesus Christ. He has told us everything we need to know through His revealed word: the Bible.

We don’t need another go-between.

We don’t need someone new telling us what God wants.

Jesus is enough.

The written Word is enough.

The next time you feel the need to accuse someone else of sin, you ought to be doubly, triply sure the accusation is solidly founded in scripture and not in your own opinion, feelings, or what you think God has told you.

Otherwise, you’re simply guilty of the same sin as Satan: thinking you are better than God.

Let’s not self-aggrandize.

Anything you cannot solidly back up with chapter and verse in the bible falls under Christian freedom. It is what many believers call “Christian stewardship,” meaning that these things are not sin issues, and not something you can judge someone else about.

Examples include, but are not limited to: women wearing pants, drinking alcohol, having a hysterectomy, sending your child to public school.

If everything was black and white why would James tell us to pray for wisdom?

We are still expected to behave wisely regarding these non-sin issues like a steward of a house when the master is away. See this parable.

Just like the steward of a house should make wise choices knowing he answers to his master, we should make wise choices knowing we will answer to our Lord and Master one day.  

Two stewards of two different houses may disagree on what a wise choice looks like. That’s okay. Because, each answers to his master and not the other steward. Just as it would be unreasonable to accuse a steward of a crime when it isn’t simply because you disagree with his choices, it is unreasonable to accuse another Christian of sin when it isn’t sin simply because you disagree with his choices.

Romans says to his own master he will rise or fall.

On non-sin issues, we will answer each one to his master alone. Not each other. See more about proper judgements here. It is a flowchart that makes it easy to understand. 

We’re called to be humble servants, not self-proclaimed prophets. We certainly should not let our opinions which are not solidly founded on scripture divide us.

We all have strongly held opinions. Very few of those strongly held opinions can actually be backed up with chapter and verse by black-and-white scripture passages.

Many of these issues are very debated even among serious, honest, God-fearing, scripture-searching people.

Imagine how much easier it would be to get along with other Christians if we admitted that the non-specific stuff isn’t actually a sin issue.

This understanding has been monumental in my relationships and in my walk with Christ.

I pray it will help you.

Blessings,

Sarah

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