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Monthly Archives: August 2018

Lately, I have been having a short on and off discussion with someone related to Christian practices. One of us believes the need to expose false teachers, the other feels we should still show the love of Jesus by not calling them out, but still warn others of bad teachers.

How can we warn others of bad teachings, without exposing the false teaching?

The problem comes down to a false understanding of Love, Agape Love. This we won't be getting into in this article, but it is important that the Christian come to an understanding of Agape love throughout the whole scriptures, rather than this perfect "niceness" Jesus had.

It is important we challenging our own spiritual growth that we take a few things into mind.

  • 2 Timothy 4:3-4 is an important "cornerstone passage" when it comes to growth. Why? Because if even Satan is capable of masquerading around as an angel of the Light, then he too is capable of using the scriptures to confuse us and lead us down a wrong path of righteousness.
  • Jesus does not once give any exposer to the pagan religions. In the three years of ministry, we have recorded, we find that every confrontation was with the "Christians" of that time. The Pharisee - religious leaders, teachers, and sometimes even with the followers.
  • Jesus warns to be on guard of false teachers, many will come after Him and claim to be working in His name. Matthew 7:15-20 - It is also important to note, that in this passage Jesus mentioned a good or bad fruit, sour or rip. In human nature, we all have different tastes. Some like sour flavors, others prefer sweet. I don't think Jesus is trying to stress the idea of "Look out to see how good they are" but rather "Does their teachings align with My Word", "Are they leaving anything out or adding to?" - Also note that "Sheep's clothing" is not a reference to the believer, but to the teacher. During the time Jesus spoke, it was the prophets to who sleeps skin.
  • Pharisee claimed themselves to be Children of God through Abraham. But yet, Jesus calls these very people children of the Devil - John 8:44

Is it right to expose?

Is it right to expose?

There is quite a number of points I could bring up when it comes to the basic foundation of this issue, but the question still remains, should we expose false teachings in the Christian faith?

I think it is important for us to keep a grip on how to confront this issue, first, we should be willing to follow a similar practice that Jesus lays out for sin confrontation Matthew 18:15-20. But also keep in mind the spiritual dangers that could happen if we take only passive action against these false teachers.

  1. Jesus calls them blind, hypocritical serpents. Matt. 23:23-34
  2. The Bible admonishes us to expose error. 1 John 4:1, Isaiah 8:20, Romans 16:17.
  3. We are to rebuke them. Titus 1:13.
  4. We are to have no fellowship, withdraw, and turn away from them. Ephesians 5:11, 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 2 Timothy 3:5-7.

Is it right to name names?

Is it right to name names?

This is where it gets interesting. Because not only are we at the point where we should be exposing these errors. But according to the Word of God, we should also be naming the names of these false teachings. Now when we get to the point, you have already been labeled (by popular secular culture) an unloving Christian, or even a Pharisee. But again we must keep in mind, the purpose of this exposing is not to tear someone apart and see their life go down the toilet. The point it to bring them back to the narrow and righteous path God has set before us, as well as our own attempts to keep others from falling astray to whatever false teachings might be presented.

  1. Paul publically names Peter Galatians 2:11-14
  2. Paul names Demas for loving the world. 2 Timothy 4:10
  3. Paul names Alexander, the coppersmith 2 Timothy 4:14-15
  4. John names Diotrephes 3 John 9

Additional

Moses called the name of Balaam. (See Num. 22-25). Peter exposed “the way of Balaam ,  who loved the wages of unrighteousness ” (II Pet. 2:15). Balaam was a prophet that was in the work for money, just like some of the TV false prophets today. They beg for money and live like kings, while multitudes of innocent people send them their hard earned money. They are always building colleges, hospitals, TV network satellites, and amusement parks that have a water slide for Jesus. And then we are supposed to keep our mouth shut about these religious charlatans. How can we be silent and be true to God?

  1. Moses names Balaam Numbers 22-25
  2. Peter exposes the way of Balaam 2 Peter 2:15
  3. Jesus calls the name of Jezebel Revelation 2:20
  4. Jesus calls the name of Balaam Revelation 2:14
  5. Jude calls out Balaam Jude 11
  6. Nathan identifies a man 2 Samuel 12:7

In fact, the whole Bible abounds in examples of false prophets being named and exposed. All this modem day talk about love, used as an excuse for not exposing error and living a comfortable and passive Christian lifestyle, is not really biblical love but is really sloppy "agape".

It is important that we do expose these errors, but as mentioned, if possible, confront the person in error first, only when they do not listen should we begin to make this public. Not as a means to destroy, but to protect the faith, and build others up in Gods defining righteousness.

Christian faith, more importantly, God. Is often hated because of some misunderstandings Satan has done so well has branded the faith with. But what is really behind them? What does the Bible really say?

1. God is a genocidal maniac.

The God revealed in the Bible is not reducible to the attributes of love or mercy. God is a righteous, holy, and just God. He must punish evil. If God didn't have reasons for doing so beyond our comprehension, he would not be worthy of worship, let alone believe. We would never praise a judge who chooses to let convicted thieves, murders, and rapists return home without justice. Even if a judge did this in the name of love, we would never be satisfied with the practical realities of having these people living unpunished in our neighborhoods or teaching our children at school. A God who never gives justice is a God who should be rejected. A God who is both loving and just is a God that is not only worthy of but also demands our worship and obedience.

(See Is God a Genocidal Maniac?)

2. Jesus never existed as a real person.

While the news media often reports the proposition that belief in Jesus’ historical existence is untenable, most scholars today disagree. Jesus’ existence is one of the best-attested facts available to us. Hostile witnesses attest to his life in Palestine. His life recorded in the Gospels is the best explanation available to us about who he was and what he did. This fact is even held by hostile sources outside the Christian sources.

(See 7 Unbiased Facts about Jesus’ Death)

3. Science has disproven Christianity.

Historically, Christianity has often led the way in scientific advancement. Many leading scientists today believe in a cosmology that is much more open to intelligent design and creation than most pundits assume. Science has not found evidence precluding the belief in God, miracles, or the resurrection of Jesus. Such fields are outside the competence of science and its methodology.

(See 3 Ways Science Supports the Miracle of the Resurrection)

4. The Bible is based on myths.

History is integral to the Christian faith. The Apostle Paul, who wrote more than half of the New Testament, grounds faith in eyewitness testimony and verifiable events (1 Cor. 15). If these things are myths and fables, Christianity is not useful or good. The tone and tenor of the Scriptures are categorically different from that of Greek myths or Aesop’s Fables.

What we believe is based on reality and grounded in history. The Bible is open to investigation and scrutiny.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:1–3)

(See Our Faith is Historically Verifiable - Or It's Nothing)

5. All Religions teach the same thing.

Many people today attempt to dismantle the claims of religion before they even hear them by asserting (not arguing) that all religions teach the same thing. In truth, each religion makes very different claims and assumptions about reality. There may be superficial agreement about the Golden Rule, but the gospel of the triune God categorically separates the faith of Christianity from all religions.

(See Do All Religions Just Teach Love?)

6. Jesus never died on a cross.

According to multiple sources, Jesus was condemned to die for specific reasons. He attempted to lead Israel away from God through miraculous deeds. His enemies attributed his works to the devil as acts of sorcery. Jesus’ death was a well-known fact throughout the ancient world. Historians and politicians of the century spoke of the events that happened in Jerusalem.

(See 7 Unbiased Facts about Jesus’ Death)

7. There are no such things as miracles.

To assume miracles cannot happen because they do not do so normally is not itself an argument. Rather, most people take their personal experience as the normative basis for judging past events. This subjective view of what is possible does not allow for normal historical events to transpire, let alone miraculous ones. If we look at historical evidence, the question remains an open possibility.

(See Our Faith is Historically Verifiable - Or It's Nothing)

8. Evil precludes a good God.

Only the God of Scripture allows evil to be a problem in the first place. If evil exists, it presumes an original goodness and liberty that makes such a choice evil. The problem of evil is actually an argument for Christianity. Evil, as a choice that has real consequences, cannot be accounted for without God.

Many people wrongly assume that if God is good there should no be evil in the world. And yet, this assumes that as finite creatures we could know God’s purposes. If such a God exists, there are likely reasons he allows evil that we cannot fully comprehend.

(See 4 Ways the Bible Deals with Evil)

9. Christianity is irrational and unreasonable.

Faith is often wrongly perceived as a leap in the dark, irrational, and imaginary. Yet, historically, Christianity has seen three aspects of faith: knowledge, assent, and trust.

Faith is based on actual historical events that are rational explanations of reality. Faith assents to the reliability of the speaking God. These explanations may not be seen by the naked eye, but that does not mean they are irrational. Rather, the revelation of Scripture reveals a rational, and more importantly, a good God who is saving sinners.

(See Why Does Anyone Become a Christian?)

10. There is no evidence for the resurrection.

Many people wrongly assume there is no real evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. Yet, this is incorrect. The women who found an empty tomb attested to the resurrection of Christ. Hundreds of witnesses around Jerusalem saw the resurrected Lord and could be questioned. Hostile authorities among the Jews and Romans attested to his empty tomb and miracles. According to many scholars, the Gospel accounts remain the best explanation of the empty tomb, the transformation of the apostles, and the existence of the early church.

(See Why Should I Believe that Jesus Rose From the Dead?)

11. Science and faith are incompatible.

Science cannot exist without the assumptions of a stable creation, with meaning, purpose, or the laws of nature to govern it. Without the assumptions brought about by Christianity, modern science would have no footing whatsoever. If nature were inherently self-serving and motivated merely by survival rather than to the giving of life, the stability of natural laws would be unknowable. Nature itself would be a moving deception. We would not have the ability to even perceive such a reality if it existed.

“Science is based on the assumption that the universe is thoroughly rational and logical at all levels,” writes Paul Davies. “Atheists claim that the laws [of nature] exist reasonlessly and that the universe is ultimately absurd. As a scientist, I find this hard to accept. There must be an unchanging rational ground in which the logical, orderly nature of the universe is rooted” (Russell Stannard, God for the 21st Century [Templeton Foundation Press, 2000], 12). Many scientists today see this rationality—which many people want to discount as superstition. The evidence points to something of an infinite creator and to a belief in him.

Faith in what must be (i.e., God) for the world to exist as it does is actually rational. Science has not found evidence precluding the belief in God, miracles, or the resurrection of Jesus. Such fields are outside the competency of science and its methodology. Faith is not incompatible with the evidence. Everyone has to believe in a hypothesis concerning where the compelling evidence leads them. Such basic beliefs are the building blocks of understanding the laws of nature. The laws of nature, therefore, pose a problem for both atheists and materialists but not for theists.

(See 5 Reasons Why Science and Faith Are Compatible)

 

To learn more about the Christian faith, check out Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God’s Story by Michael Horton.

We are happy to announce that the Christian Cornerstone ministry now has 2 new additions to the team.

Lisa and Brian are both students met through CLI and have felt a similar calling to present the Word of God to the world. Each one of them has their own ministry field they felt called to and are working to progress in those fields, each of them has agreed to take part in the Cornerstone project.

Lisa has agreed to come on board as our Content Manager, she will be supplying blog articles for our fans to read, as well as helping to pull content together for our weekly podcasts.

Brian has decided to join on board as a CoHost in the podcasts, connecting over Skype, we will be discussing certain issues within the scriptures and taking questions from our fans.

I am proud to welcome these tow to the team and I look forward to seeing what God can do with us, as we begin to outreach in ministry for His glory.

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