2 Timothy 4:3-4, “3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
Not only is the disciple commanded to stand against false religions such as Islam and Mormonism but we are also required to stand against false doctrines in the Christian church. In other words, if Satan cannot get us to forsake the Christian religion for another one on his “buffet of spirituality” he will try to introduce false teachings into the church itself.
False doctrines (or teachings) about God were already present in the church by the time of Paul’s conversion. As a matter of fact, Paul’s first letter (and the New Testament’s earliest writing) is directed towards false teachers in the church who were introducing their unbiblical teachings to God’s people. Specifically, there were a certain group of Jewish believers that started teaching the Gentile Christians in Galatia that if they were not circumcised they were not actually saved, Galatians 6:12-15.
Paul doesn’t hesitate in writing the consequences of such beliefs as seen in his opening passage found in Galatians 1:8, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!” He even goes on to write in Galatians 3:1 that the act of believing false doctrines about Christ are like being under a spell, “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?”
Today in the church there are many false doctrines that the disciple has to be aware of. Some false teachings involve keeping the Jewish laws to be right with God. Others may teach that once you are saved you will always be saved no matter how you live- this belief becomes like a “license to sin.” Still today there are false teachers that over emphasize the blessings of God and make prayer and the Christian life all about being rich and comfortable. Therefore, no matter what the teaching is, if it doesn’t line up with the Word of God it is to be rejected.
Here are three ways to stand against false doctrines, (1) Study the Bible and know what it clearly teaches; (2) Whenever you encounter a teaching that is not plainly taught in Scripture reject it and do not believe it; and lastly, (3) Pray for those who started off their race well, but have been deceived into believing lies.
What false doctrines have you encountered in the church?
- Explain from the Bible why false doctrines are sinful.
- Pray that God will use you to reach out to those who have been deceived by unbiblical lies.
- For more information regarding standing against false doctrines read the following books, “Introduction Christian Doctrine,” by Millard Erickson and “The Kingdom of the Cults,” by Walter Martin.