It’s gotten me all riled up more than a few times now. This ugly fad that seems to be ever so popular these days among believers and most often among pastors. It is just plain despicable and has to stop!
It’s the fad of naming off “false prophets” or “false teachers”.
For some reason some pastors (and non-pastors) seem to think this is not only ok, but good. I have to be honest, it is making me sick.
I am not talking about pastors/teachers warning their flock about wrong teaching – teaching that is contrary to the gospel – but about pastors (and bloggers and Facebook/twitter members and many others) calling off lists of people and claiming they are false teachers based on “grey areas” or different interpretations of about “minor things”.
Let me be clear, there are some black and white issues worth standing firm for such as:
- One God – three persons
- Jesus being fully God and fully man
- Jesus died and rose
- Jesus is the only way to heaven and it is through faith not works
Grey areas are things like:
- When the rapture will happen (pre-trib, post-trib, mid-trig, etc) and how the end times will play out
- Styles of music to play in church
- Interpretation of sign gifts (healing, tongues, etc) and if they are for today or not
- Whether God chose who would be saved or just knew ahead because he is God
- Styles of preaching for churches
- What translation of the Bible we should use
Don’t get me wrong here, it is completely fine to have opinions about these things – opinions that you may hold very strongly to. I have opinions about each of these things and many other grey areas based on my own study and things I have been taught. The problem here is when we decide to let these differences of opinion divide us.
Do you think God is glorified when we do this? Is He glorified when a well known pastor stands before hundreds or even thousands both in person and via video/simulcast and lists off brothers and sisters in Christ calling them “frauds” or “false prophets” or “heretics”?
I am not talking about people who have “gone off the deep end and are teaching things like “everyone goes to heaven in the end” “love wins” “there is no hell” or “obey God to make yourself happy” etc. I am talking about brothers and sisters who believe the same as we do on all but the smallest issues that in the end really don’t matter.
Do I have an opinion on end times doctrine? Yes. Is it possible that I am wrong? Uh, Yes!Int eh end will it matter? NO! When Christ comes back i won’t care if I was correct or someone else was all that will matter is that we are with Christ and everything is finally clear.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Romans 12:18
With all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3
And over all these virtues put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:14
I appeal to you brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and there be no devisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgement, For I have been informed that there are quarrels among you… 1Corinthians 18:10
Unity guys! Unity doesn’t mean that we agree on everything, but that we agree on the crucial things and walk together encouraging each other as we all seek to grow closer the Lord.
Does calling my brother in Christ a false teacher promote unity? Um…no … it doesn’t.
I gotta call it like it is for a second here. It is immature, prideful, stupid, unacceptable and is gossip. Plain old filthy gossip which is one of the few things God actually says that He hates. (Proverbs 6:16 “…a person who stirs up conflict in the community” )
So please, lets put and end to this despicable trend! Let’s strive for unity. Let’s set an example to the world instead of giving them another reason to call us hypocrites. The world is doing a good enough job of hating us and trying to tear us down without us helping by doing it to each other.
PS I have been writing and re-writing this post in my head for a few months now so hopefully it came out clear enough in the end. Just ask my family, it is something I have ranted about in person more than a few times too.