Guest Author - Dountonia S. Slack
Nigeria, Morocco, Myanmar, Maldives, Belarus, Cuba, Yemen, and Jordan are only a handful of countries where Christians are persecuted. All over this world, Christians are criminalized for having Bible studies in their homes; arrested for praying for others; targeted for carrying a Bible or talking about their faith; and, tortured or murdered for doing evangelism. In these countries, churches are forced underground. Women and children cry out to Jesus as the men go out proclaiming the truth of God’s Word in spite of the consequences. “Nothing will stop them but the sword and the spear,” (Internet video urging Muslims in Nigeria to rise up against Christians). But, God’s Word continues to boldly go forth and churches worldwide continue to grow even in the face of persecution.
With all of this going on in the world against our brothers and sisters in Christ, how dare we sit back on our pews accepting heresy through silent endorsement. While brethren are being slaughtered for truth, we allow false teachings to indoctrinate our churches with a gospel of a different kind. False teachers/prophets/preachers are in our churches today spiritually abusing from the pulpit and twisting/manipulating Scripture for personal gain. The Bible is clear that “many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep,” (2 Peter 2:2, 3 NASB).
A part of the problem is that not enough Christians know their Bible well enough to detect inconsistent biblical teachings. Far too often, we elevate the pastor/leader of the church to supernatural heights. As a result, we have created an environment where we wrongly believe that our spiritual leaders are exempt from admonishment with the Word of Truth. Therefore, they do not have to answer challenging questions about doctrine and we do not have to search the scriptures to ensure accuracy of their teachings because we misapply the passage “touch not my anointed” (I Chronicles 16:22).
“False teachings always lead to error and discouragement,” (Tony Evans) which is why our churches are filled with weak, confused Christians. And, it is for this reason that we cannot allow falsehood to go unchallenged in God’s house. People are thirsty for truth and willing to submit to the Will of God. However, we must understand that this eagerness can easily be taken advantage of and that we must take the responsibility to devote ourselves to sound theological study in order to discern the false from the true. Otherwise, we will not be able to stand when persecuted like so many of our faithful brothers and sisters do all over the world everyday.