Beware and Be Prepared to Face False Doctrine
Parents, Adults, and Seniors
Beware and Be Prepared to Face False Doctrine
“Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.” – Blaise Pascal
Written August 13, 2012
I love books, anyone who has walked into my office knows this and that love extends to our home. In face if you were to walk into our little girl’s room there is a particular area that is overflowing with books. If you looked around you would see everything from Curious George to Cat in the Hat to books with Barbie in it Disney princes, Heidi, Black Beauty, and even the Chronicles of Narnia. One thing you would also notice is an abundance of Bible stories. We have a pretty good collection of Bible story books as well as a number of books published by Concordia Publishing House called Arch Books.
These books are small single story books that are written in a rhyming format much like Dr. Suess with each one telling a particular Bible story. You may recall that I read one of these books during the children’s sermon about the wise and foolish builder. Overall these books are very well illustrated with bright and colorful pictures and from what I have seen, accurately retell the biblical accounts of events. Now for a pastor and father I thought this was a dream come true. These books are fun to read, accurately tell what is in the Bible, and they cover nearly every major event and character in the Bible. What these books also taught me was I need to always be on the lookout because false teaching can lurk anywhere.
I had the opportunity to purchase a huge number of Arch Books at a steep discount a while back and on of the books that I bought was about God calling Abraham. It was entitled “God Calls Abraham…God Calls You!.” One night at bedtime this was the story that was pulled out and it looked to be a great story. The book retells Genesis 12:1-9 where God called Abraham from his home and told him to go to a place that He should him. The story talks about them leaving and how all the world would be blessed through Abraham and how Jesus fulfilled that promise.
Now at this point everything is great and things are fine but it is at the end that I get taken back. The last things said in the book is about infant baptism and who through the waters of baptism (there’s a picture of a little baby being held by it mother with family all around) that God’s love make you His own. At the very end the book says that we are adopted into God’s family when we are baptized. Now, I have nothing against Arch Books, in fact I read one the other night about Deborah that was wonderfully written. What I am against is false doctrine and no where in the Word of God is infant baptism taught or that when we are baptized in water we are adopted into God’s family.
This little incident brings up an important topic, guarding ourselves against false teaching and false doctrine. The Scripture states in 2 Peter that false teachers will arise among us. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 is even more explicit saying
3For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
Like it or not we live in a day where there is an abundance of false teaching and false doctrine floating around and it can be found not only in our secular bookstores or university campus but in Christian publications and even in our pulpits. When turn our televisions on hear crazy preachers saying wacky things but we also hear them well mannered experts on CNN and Good Morning America (Deepak Chopra is a good example).
Here’s the thing though. Good Morning America, CNN, Concrodia Publishing House, and even LifeWay are not called by God to keep me and my family away from false teaching. I myself and the church are called to that job. I as a parent am called to keep my children safe from false teaching and doctrine. Allison and I are the ones called to teach our little girl about Jesus Christ and that only through faith in Him and His work on the cross can she be saved from her sin. The church is that community where we grow in our faith, are taught the Scriptures, receive support, serve our Savior, and can find the answers to difficult questions.
As adults, parents and seniors then we are called to be aware and be wise towards the things of God. We are the ones that the younger generation looks to for answers to spiritual questions and to gain guidance through life. There is an abundance of bad information out there the question is whether or not we as individuals and we as the church stand ready with Bible in hand and heart to give answers that are much needed. 1 Peter 3:15 says well the call on our lives;
15but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
Simply put Peter tells his fellow Christians to be ready to answer questions about your faith. Now does this mean you will have every answer to every question, no. There are plenty of questions that I don’t know the answer to, but there are many I can answer.
Let me encourage you today to strengthen your faith and expand your knowledge of God and His Word. Memorize some Scripture, pick a book of the Bible to read through or get a good book from a real Bible believing author and read about our wonderful Lord and Savior. Increase you wisdom about the things of God and you will be amazed at how this will bless your life.
Guarding Your Faith and Your Family’s Faith
Finally let me give you some helps about guarding your faith. Here’s some things to integrate into your life that will help you defend yourself against false teaching.
Always ask “Is that in the Bible?”
Just as a good reporter will always check his sources so we should always check and see whether the Bible actually teaches something we have heard taught. It might surprise us to find the things that we have believed for many years of our lives are not taught in the Bible.
Check up on what is said
Years ago I knew a very nice lady who attended the church where I was pastor and was the best note taker I had ever seen. Every cross reference and illustration I used she wrote down. Come to find out, each afternoon after I preached she went and checked my cross references to make sure everything I was saying was true. Now that takes dedication but it also shows something we should not be afraid to do and that is to go back and check to see if what we are being taught lines up with what is in the Bible, what other good teachers believe, and what historically has been held as true.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
I appreciate it when people ask me questions about what the Bible teaches. One reason is it shows me that others truly care about what they believe and want to know the truth also it pushes me to know more about the Bible. If you have a question about something please don’t hesitate to ask a Sunday School teacher, me or another person you know is very knowledgeable about the Bible.
Don’t be afraid to reject falsehood
If you find out that a deep or long held belief of yours is un-biblical don’t be afraid to let go of that belief. Many times we are afraid of any type of change but let us not forget going from believing a lie to believing the truth brings freedom and joy.
My hope is that this article will encourage us all to recommit ourselves to a pursuit and love for the truth that God has revealed to us through His Word. There is great joy and hope to be found in the blessed truth that God has revealed to us and it is so desperately needed in our churches, homes, and world today.
97Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
98Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
for it is ever with me.
(Psalm 119:97-98 ESV)