And so Paul instructs leaders not only to pay careful attention to their people and to their teaching, but also to their own lives (Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 4:16). Be observant and notice, identify and discern the false teachers. John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. “You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes” (2 Timothy 1:15). And for 27 years, his friend John Newton stood by his side. Did they make one blunder or are they constantly doing it? For most of church history, it took extraordinary energy and effort to influence the masses. Pastors should be with the people. Jesus and his apostles are very clear that false teachers will arise. Second Peter 2:1–3 makes it obvious that there will be false teachers, but the text also does not say we should point them out. He says, I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. Here’s today’s episode. Or should we rest in God’s ultimate knowledge? In their greed, they fleece the flock for material gain. John Piper @JohnPiper. Jesus and his apostles are very clear that false teachers will arise. How, then, does the church discern true teachers from false ones in a world like ours, where it’s easier than ever to spread false teaching? What false teachers throughout history have shared in common is not the specific nature of their doctrinal error, but the inevitability of moral compromise in one of these three general areas.
Notice that the false teachers are just the reverse of what Christian elders and leaders are supposed to be like. If we don’t have access to their personal lives, or their doctrinal compromises haven’t yet been manifest publicly in their behavior, we may find it difficult to know whether they are true. Matthew 7:15: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” And the word beware means all of us should be alert, but especially shepherds, to identify not just false teaching, but false teachers, whose ways are subtle. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. What may begin as mere whispers in a private room will soon enough be proclaimed from the housetops (Luke 12:3). It is the Lord who judges me.
“Hello, Pastor John! The Bible is full of warnings against false teachers, false prophets, false apostles, etc. This idea of identifying and avoiding shows up in 1 Corinthians 5:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14; 2 Timothy 3:5; 2 John 10. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.

No matter how twisted the teaching, no matter how publicly shamed the church may feel over the exposé of an unethical leader, no matter how dark the days become, no matter how helpless we may feel in guarding gospel doctrine and preserving gospel-worthy lives, we have this great sustaining hope: Jesus knows how to rescue the godly. In other words, Christians, and shepherds in particular, should be discerning and alert to behavior and teaching that dishonors Christ and destroys people — and not treat it in a casual or harmless way. And then in 1 Timothy 5:19–20, Paul went beyond just “avoid them” to “rebuke them publicly.” So, speaking of elders who persist in error, he said, “Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses.

The recognition that this was a problem in the early days of Christianity and is to be a continuing problem until end times should not be overlooked. "For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. False Teachers In America. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work" (Titus 1:15-16 ESV). As Jesus says, “False christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. Jesus is not only the greatest and truest teacher who ever lived, but he also is the great rescuer, who has redeemed us from sin and will keep those who are truly his from soul-destroying error. If you watch any television, listen to any radio or podcasts, keep up on the news, or interact at depth with just about anyone in modern society, you are being exposed to some form of false teaching. They are not just false in their teaching, but also in their living. And if a prominent false teacher is to be called out, who does this — where and how?”. Messages had to be copied by hand, and teachers had to travel by foot or horseback. Or in their lust, they compromise sexually (whether fornication, adultery, or homosexuality, which 2 Peter 2 suggests). . We’re on a mission to change that. When you do name a false teacher, it’s best to do it in a setting where you do more than name-drop. The question we ask is this: How can we best — in our situation, with our gifts and our responsibilities — help the most people believe and live the most truth, and how can we protect the most people from destructive beliefs and behaviors? I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the.”, Jesus used the same word again in Matthew 16:6, but he got more specific: “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Paul had the same kind of group in mind and the same kind of error in mind in Philippians 3:2 and 3:18: “Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.” And then verse 18: “For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.” Then in Romans 16:17, he warned, “Watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.”.

. Does this passage apply here in this situation? The question is not whether you ever hear the voice of false teachers. After seeing the documentary American Gospel, I was conflicted because I’m not sure if I am supposed to call out false teachers. Often, women (and sometimes pastors and elders) write to me, concerned over a particular teacher whose materials their church is using, and want to see evidence demonstrating whether or not this person is doctrinally sound and a good… Maybe it would be helpful to step back first and get the bigger picture of the New Testament response to those who live and teach in ways that lead others into error and ruin, and then zero in on 1 Corinthians 4:5 for some guidelines for how we should speak and write about such people. Our leaders need to be held accountable, and not held in such high esteem that we give them a pass on the normal Christian life.


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