Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Recognizing Truth from Error

It is always very interesting to me to find posts where people claim to recognize false teachers of the Gospel. (5)


It's true that there are false teachers out there, but the question is how does one recognize truth (9) from error?

The Bible is filled with verses instructing us about this issue. And, it is the absolute truth of Scripture, which comes from God (1) himself (9), that gives us the ability to recognize truth from falsehood.

It can be difficult to summarize what a true, Bible-believing Christ centered (4) church should look like, act like, and work like. Denominational differences can come into play here. However, all churches should have the indisputable Gospel of Jesus Christ (5) as their focal point. (* See numbered items below for a summary that can help you recognize truth from error)

I have mentioned many times in the past that Christians must beware of the crossless gospel. The heresy going on within the Emergent Church movement (and their spin-offs) can usually be easily identified because they tend to ignore the need for repentance at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ at Calvary (5), and express only the grace, mercy and love of Jesus Christ.

Of course, the grace, mercy, love and forgiveness of Christ are all important to the true gospel! (5) Go to the link above to recognize why "the crossless gospel" heresy is such a huge and prominent error today, and is one that was prophesied in the book of Jude to occur in a greater capacity the closer we get to the end times. (3)

Case in point.

Deb, who self-identifies as a lesbian Christian, has a post called "False Teaching" at her blog. She identifies certain Christians as being guilty of false teaching. My question is, on what does she base her personal opinion? (2)

She writes:

Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will go on deceiving others, and they themselves will be deceived. ~2 Timothy 3:12-13

You cannot tell a “Christian”, who believes in teaching harshly, that their beliefs are wrong. They claim it’s “truth”, when in fact, they themselves, are convinced that teaching with hatred and anger is the right thing to do. I’ve been experiencing this for years, and it’s time for me to step back and let them be, yet I still have many questions. I can’t convince anyone that my way is the true way. I can say, that my way is how I want to live and how I believe God wants me to live. I have peace with God, and I know that I’m right with God. How can anyone argue with what I believe?

And the peace of God, that transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. ~Php 4:7

My mind is at peace. My heart is at peace, because my relationship with God is mine. I own it. No one can tell me differently. If I get my messages from God, why should I believe other people?

First, notice that the verse she quoted discusses deception, not what is "right or wrong."

Deb could learn a lot from that verse. (9) Deception is often so subtle, that one could pass over it's influence and not even recognize or realize it!

So, how do we keep ourselves from falling into the trap of deception? The answer is to study God's Word and glean from what the Scripture writers said and meant at that time. (9)

The Holy Spirit of God (7) indwells the born-again believer and helps the reader to learn from the Bible. Know also, that there are certain passages that need to be taken literally, while others can be recognized as allegorical. How do we find this out? By using all the tools of proper scholarship, as well as spiritual gifts (8). What are these tools?
Sola Scriptura.
Scripture interprets Scripture.
New Testament Revelation.
The Law and the Prophets.

And, the fact that Jesus said:

Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

The NLT version of the same verse:

Mat 5:18 (NLT) - I assure you, until heaven and earth disappear, even the smallest detail of God's law will remain until its purpose is achieved.

I have often heard those who are currently steeped in error claim that the "Law no longer applies" since Jesus Christ (4) was sacrificed for sin at the cross. The truth is, the punishment for breaking the Law (which all mankind has done) is no longer affecting the souls of believers because Jesus became the propitiation for our sins, when he died on the cross, and rose again to victory over evil, sin and death. (4) (5)

No one can snatch believers out of the hand of God, (1) no matter what happens on this earth. Jesus conquered the power of evil, sin, physical death and thus saved us from spiritual death (3) which is what we all would have experienced without the sacrificial death of our Lord and Savior, at the cross, for us!

Notice, also, that the verse in Matthew 5:18 begins with two qualifying statements:

1. "I assure you." (NLT) "For verily I say unto you." (KJV)

Whenever Jesus begins a statment with such verbiage, it's both an admonition to pay attention as well as a fact that it is true! (9)

2. "Until heaven and earth disappear." (NLT) "Till heaven and earth pass." (KJV)

We must ask ourselves, when will "heaven and earth disappear or pass?"

The Bible tells us!! (9)

Revelation 21:1 (KJV) And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Revelation 21: 1 (NLT) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone.

So, what was Jesus telling us in Matthew 5:18? He was telling us that the Law and the Prophets are still in effect until his second coming to earth!

It is so clear as day that no one should miss this!!

It is extremely important to keep in mind that the guidance of the Holy Spirit within the believer will NEVER go against what is written in Scripture! (7) (9)

Now, look at this next verse which reiterates what I have been telling Deb:

Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

In James 2:8, we see that the commandments given by Jesus Christ are GIVEN TO US FOR THE PURPOSE OF BEING fulfilled by us, not abolished!

Jam 2:8 (KJV) If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

James 2:8 (NLT) - Yes indeed, it is good when you truly obey our Lord's royal command found in the Scriptures: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

What is the best way to love our neighbor as ourselves? It is to tell them the truth of God's Word! (9) That is the best way.

Jesus gave us the Great Commission (4) (5):

Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

What are we to do when we find a Christian brother or sister in error (3) while sharing the Gospel?

2Ti 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

It is not "mean," "ugly," "intolerant," or "hateful" to tell someone the truth in God's Word. Those are deceptive devices that Satan uses to keep the unsuspecting in the bondage of sin!! (2)

In Deb's concluding paragraph from the excerpt above, Deb stated:

"My mind is at peace. My heart is at peace, because my relationship with God is mine. I own it. No one can tell me differently. If I get my messages from God, why should I believe other people?" (bold mine)

God (1) wants us to be completely submitted to Him and His Will for our lives. (2) In that order, everything works. Out of that order, we fall for deception.

Two of my favorite verses that emphasize avoiding deceptive philosophy and reiterate the need to be fully committed to Christ:

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
Colossians 2:8

The eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth to show Himself strong to those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
2 Chronicles 16:9


*What We Believe...

(1) About God:
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.

Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 3:22; Psalms 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14

(2) About Humankind:

We are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like him in character. We are the supreme object of God's creation. Although humankind has tremendous potential for good, we are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God, called "sin." This attitude separates us from God.

Genesis 1:27; Psalms 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1,2

(3) About Eternity:

We all were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally in union with God through forgiveness and salvation or separated from God by sin. Heaven is the place of eternal union and eternal life with God. The eternal separation from God is called Hell.

John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; (Hell)
Matthew 25:41; Revelation 21:27 (Heaven)

(4) About Jesus Christ:
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heavens glory and will return again, to earth, to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; John 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14, 15; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13

(5) About Salvation:
Salvation is a gift from God to mankind. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God's offer of forgiveness can we be saved from sin's penalty. Eternal life begins the moment we receive Jesus Christ into our life by faith.

Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6; John 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1

(7) About The Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make mankind aware of our need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual gifts, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian's responsibility is to seek and to live under His will daily.

2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13; John 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:1

(8) About Spiritual Gifts:
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are available to each believer in Jesus Christ, allowing for greater intimacy with God and power for accomplishing His work in our world today. We believe that God, the giver of gifts, gives severally as he wills, and with emphasis on growing maturity in Jesus Christ. These gifts are revealed and then can be used for His purposes and powerfully influence and affect our world for Christ.
1Corinthians 12:4-7, 11, 17, 29, 30

(9) About The Bible:
The Bible is God's Word to all mankind. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error.
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalms 12:6; 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5


Christinewjc said...

While reading some posts over at GCMW, I found an interesting one called Examining the Gay Christian Movement which contained an important point and excerpt that was copied from the CARM website. It speaks directly about the harm being done by gay Christian teachers like Deb and the heresy that is evident in her error.

GCMW quote:
Since the church’s inception, controversies involving sexual issues have challenged the resolve of the church’s spiritual policies. Such sexual dissonance has arguably prompted a wide range of resulting compromises of biblical morality. With the advent of instant, accessible information, these controversies have increasingly affected and impacted the church’s abilities to conduct a balanced outreach. Yesteryear’s heretical teachings and practices have redesigned themselves under such benign vernacular as “inclusion” and “social justice ministry”, yet the meanings and implications prove destructive to all who embrace them.

CARM, the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, lays out with frightening accuracy the self destructive fate of the political homosexual movement and its offspring the gay christian movement:

“Unlike other sins, this sexual sin has a judgment administered by God Himself: “He [God] gives them over to their passions (Rom. 1:26-28). This means that their hearts are allowed to be hardened by their sins. As a result, they can no longer see the error of what they are doing. Without an awareness of their sinfulness, there will be no repentance. Without repentance, there will be no forgiveness. Without forgiveness, there is no salvation.”

By extension, those who partner with homosexuals in the promotion and agreement against God’s creative intent and order, stand in danger of the same fate (Romans 1:32). Thus, our mission and purpose become critical. We must warn, educate and equip the contemporary church as the early apostles did.

This is no minor issue people!! The salvation of homosexuals and those who condone their sin are at stake!

Christinewjc said...

Here's the link to CARM and specifically, the discussion about Christianity and homosexuality.

Another good point that can be found several paragraphs down:

Finally, with their hardened hearts, they seek to promote their lifestyle in society. This is become more real since homosexuals are gaining strength and forcing those with opposing views into confinement and penalty. So much for fairness. It is okay to demand it for themselves, but they balk at allowing it for those who disagree.

See that?

Confinement and penalty for those who disagree! That is the crux of the matter concerning banning the Bible verses that call homosexual behavior sin and an abomination to God! It's also the little secret behind the "hate crimes" law.

Speaking of hate crimes, I didn't think that I could be surprised by anything that homosexual groups do, or would do. But I wasn't prepared for this tidbit of info!

I found a link via Hot Air yesterday to a blogpost that contained an article about "gay gangs." The link isn't there anymore, so I just googled "gay gangs."

YIKES! There are over 2 million "gay gang" links!

I am shocked and horrified! I never even knew such gangs existed. I admit it...in some ways I am so naive...

But this brings up another question regarding "hate crimes" legislation. What will keep rivalry homosexual groups from hating and doing crimes against each other??


Christinewjc said...

Mark over at Chester Street has posted a link to the article about rival gay gang fights that I saw yesterday.

Has anyone seen anything about this on the MSM TV stations?