There is a weight on the shoulders of those who make the choice to teach God’s Word.
There are verses, stories, parables, and truths in the Bible that elicit a wide range of emotions from its readers. There is the love chapter of 1 Cor. 13 that offers insight into God’s love for us and what our love toward our neighbor should be. There is the book of Revelation that offers a scary vision of what is to come, especially for unbelievers. There is Genesis 1 that opens the door to God’s power of creation, and Genesis 3, the fall of man, which has put us in the state we are in today. The list goes on and on as one walks through Scripture. For me, there is a set of verses that I take very seriously, having to do with the responsibility of teachers of God’s word. Like it or not, when you hold yourself out as more than a student of God’s Word, the stakes are higher. I know my theology is flawed, and I regularly ask God to forgive, clarify, and correct those errors. Further, I remain a sinner held in the hands of Christ, His crucifixion, and resurrection.
I would like to offer the following caution to others (and myself) because I see so much twisting of Biblical Christian theology in the world. In doing so, I know there will be those who rightfully point out the plank in my eye as I endeavor to address the speck in theirs (Matt. 7:3).
So many are offering theology not based on sound, Biblical Christian doctrine. When we go to church every Sunday or even watch our favorite TV preacher, our view of systematic theology is limited to a very small subset of “teachers”. As Christians, we sigh when we listen to the news media degrading our worldview, and when we hear of those being persecuted in other countries. We worry a bit when certain freedoms seem to be eroding in front of us (in schools, in the workplace, etc.), but again, most never really hit our own lives directly.
What I have discovered over the last year, by investing a great deal of time with my head above the Christian sand, is a major movement in this country away from traditional Biblical Christian values and beliefs. It’s more than the news media, the politicians, the riots, insurrections, social media, Boy Scouts, lawlessness, fentanyl, illegals, gun violence, drop in church attendance, ecumenicism, lack of public prayer, etc.
These are just the tip of the iceberg that has risen above the deeper waters of darkness.
Where is it Coming From?
What once seemed radical and limited to only a few, has become widespread and openly antagonistic toward Christ. This undercurrent is led by atheists and agnostics of course but, more importantly, it is being accelerated by those who hold themselves out as Christian but are actually anti-Christian. Many call themselves “deconstructionists” who have left the institutions of our faith (the inerrancy of the Bible and the Church). They have been released from the shackles of a righteous, holy God and have allowed themselves the freedom to invent their own “religion”. What is worse, they are taking many former marginal Christians, still sipping spiritual milk, with them.
1 Tim. 4:1-2 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared.
2 Timothy 4:3 For 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,
Where is it Going?
To be succinct, I know God is in charge and His timing is perfect. But I worry about the impact these false teachers are having on this country and the world in general. I believe underlying all our problems is the deterioration of morality and ethics that come from a breakdown in the underpinnings of a Biblical Christian Worldview. Clearly, those who teach false doctrine will be judged under higher standards. From that standpoint, I offer the following verses as a caution for those willing to listen.
Titus 2:7-8 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
James 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
Matthew 5:18-19 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
The last verse, from Matthew, is reserved for those who escape through the flames (1 Cor. 3:15) into Heaven. Recognizing that only God knows the heart, I fear that many of these false teachers are not offering a true path to salvation to their readers. As such, I fear they will not be so fortunate.
BCWorldview.org: Jeff Hilles