Guest Author - Dountonia S. Slack
"I never sent these prophets, but they ran anyway. I never spoke to them, but they preached away. If they'd have bothered to sit down and meet with me, they'd have preached my Message to my people. They'd have gotten them back on the right track, gotten them out of their evil ruts” (Jeremiah 23:21-22 MSG).
Opening the Bible during church services does not mean that fellowship is a Gospel-preaching, Bible-believing congregation. There has been an insurgence of self-elevated, false teaching, spiritually adulterous church leaders who are causing Christians to have a counterfeit faith. The Bible warns about these ferocious wolves by telling us what these deceivers are likely to say and what they are like (Matthew 7:20-23).
These bogus teachers/preachers/prophets/leaders fill the people with false hopes. They speak from their own minds reading into Scripture things that are not there. They use illustrations and experiences that have not been tested or proven by the Word. They encourage their flock that “Everything will be alright. God is going to grant you peace.” However, they preach that message without promoting the need for repentance. These liars indiscriminately follow the stubbornness of their hearts by marketing themselves to become sought after speakers and important among men. Most notably, their lives bear no fruit because everything about them is a lie.
Yet, as Christians allow themselves to “become vulnerable to whatever Satan sets before” us (Dr. Tom Elliff – Southern Baptist Voices: “Praying for the Grace to Forgive”) because we refuse to nourish our Spirit daily with the Word of God, our ability to detect these sham artists fades into tolerance. “You have such admirable tolerance for impostors who rob your freedom, rip you off, steal you blind, put you down—even slap your face! I shouldn't admit it to you, but our stomachs aren't strong enough to tolerate that kind of stuff” (2Corinthians 11:19-21 MSG). Unfortunately, in the midst of our Christian, post-modern thinking, many of us welcome the warm and fuzzy “feel good” messages that justify our sins and pretend that we are close to God.
Fraudulent teachers/preachers/prophets/leaders and their followers reject the truth. No matter how emotional or experiential the atmosphere is, “if it should be found to be contrary to the Word of revealed truth no true Christian will accept it as being from God” (A.W. Tozer – “Renewed Day By Day – A Daily Devotional” 1950). The key is knowing what the truth is so that we will have enough boldness and love of the truth to leave the presence of the enemy.