7 Sure Marks of a False Teacher

Today we’re looking at seven sure marks of a false teacher. And here is the first one. False teachers are man pleasers. At heart, these false teachers, they’re not interested in looking good in the eyes of God. They’re really only interested at looking good in the eyes of men. They’re what the apostle Paul referred to as ear ticklers. Teachers whose great skill is learning what other people want to hear and then just giving it to them, just regurgitating what people already want to hear. Instead of challenging them, they flatter them. Instead of exposing sin, they affirm sin and they coddle sin. Listen to what the Bible says about a true teacher. “ But just as we had been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.” False teachers speak to please man.
Second, false teachers bring their harshest criticism against God’s most faithful servants…Religious teachers continue today to rebuke and to belittle God’s most faithful servants.

Third, false teachers teach their own wisdom rather than God’s wisdom. False teachers always teach their own foolishness instead of divine wisdom. This means then, that the ultimate source of their teaching is their own minds. It’s their own hearts, it’s their own sinful desires. Listen to what God said through the prophet Jeremiah. He said, “ The prophets are prophesying lies in my name . I did not send them, nor did I commend them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.” That was true in Jeremiah’s day, it’s just as true in our day.

Fourth mark of a false teacher. False teachers ignore what is of greatest importance to focus instead on what’s of lesser importance. False teachers, they always place great emphasis on small commandments, while they blatantly ignore the great ones, the important ones. They skip over what the Bible emphasizes the most, to focus instead on these little verses and these minor characters. Think again of Jesus when he spoke against the religious authorities, the religious leaders of his day. He said, “ Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.” That’s from Matthew 23. You can tell a false teacher when he governs godliness by keeping the smallest rules even while he gladly and blatantly breaks the big ones.

The fifth mark of a false teacher. False teachers mask their false doctrine with eloquent speech and impressive logic. You see, a false teacher can’t bring a consistent interpretation of the Bible. So what does he do? He hides blasphemy and he hides dangerous doctrine behind what seems to be a powerful argument. Behind this eloquent use of the language, he offers to his listeners the spiritual equivalent of this beautiful attractive piece of candy that’s laced with deadly poison. It appears scrumptious, valuable, delicious but it will still kill you dead. Paul had to remind the church in Corinth. He said, “when I came to you brothers, I did not come to you proclaiming the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.” Paul came with a simple message that had all the power of God behind it.

Sixth mark of a false teacher. False teachers are far more concerned with winning others to their own opinions than in actually helping people and bettering people…They’re ultimately in the business of winning followers and then gaining power, gaining authority for themselves.

How do we know a teacher is teaching falsely?

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They deny the truth that comes from the reality of God’s creation?

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Indeed. As we are seeing here.

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YECists want us to follow them into denying the truth that comes from creation.

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And here they are from the Tim Challies website…

And here is the first one. False teachers are man pleasers. At heart, these false teachers, they’re not interested in looking good in the eyes of God.

Second, false teachers bring their harshest criticism against God’s most faithful servants.

Third, false teachers teach their own wisdom rather than God’s wisdom.

Fourth mark of a false teacher. False teachers ignore what is of greatest importance to focus instead on what’s of lesser importance.

The fifth mark of a false teacher. False teachers mask their false doctrine with eloquent speech and impressive logic.

Sixth mark of a false teacher. False teachers are far more concerned with winning others to their own opinions than in actually helping people and bettering people.

The seventh, the final mark of a false teacher. False teachers exploit their followers. False teachers, they take advantage of people. They take advantage of their ignorance, advantage of their greed, advantage of their lust or immaturity or anything, something so that they can exploit them.

So creationists?

  1. Man pleasers? Yep. They ignore the evidence to teach what people want to hear.
  2. Against God most faithful servants? Yep. Scientists are the greatest example of faith in modern times, serving all by discovering more that can help people… heal them in every way.
  3. Teach their own rather than God’s wisdom? Creationists? Yep. They close their eyes, ears, and minds to all God sends us in the earth and sky to believe what THEY want to believe.
  4. Ignore what is important to focus on things of lesser importance? Yep. What is more important? The gospel or how God created? The gospel. Why distract us from this by turning the Bible into a false science text book? Maybe so we don’t see how they have changed Jesus’ gospel of salvation by the grace of God into a Gnostic gospel of salvation by their teachings.
  5. Do creationists hide their false teaching with false rhetoric? The fanciest rhetoric turns illogic into pretend logic, irrationality into pretend rationality, your attention to fabricated evidence and pseudo-science, all to get you to believe lies rather than the truth.
  6. Since creationists turn people away from what can help them this is another mark that they are false teachers.
  7. And who are exploiting people taking advantage of ignorance and immaturity? That is pretty obvious. It is not the scientists who are busy doing real work.

But how about adding an 8th one which was left out.
8. False prophecy. Creationism is founded on the teachings of 7th day Adventist prophetess Ellen White whose prophecies of Christ’s return did not come to pass.

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It seems to me that the prescribed Rule #1 (that it must come from God, or be pleasing to God) may not end up being of any practical benefit (except as self-congratulatory [long-historical] hindsight) while someone is in the middle of needing to discern between two groups.

Because any tribe will claim the righteous mantle, whether explicitly (as the religious right does) or implicitly (as the left might with social justice ideologies), but in either case, when a party claims or even implies: “Thus saith the Lord…”; that has one and only one effect on the debate process. It’s the party’s way of declaring “As far as we’re concerned, this conversation is over.” And of course, as such, it becomes 100% useless to the discernment process.

The subsequent rules, however, do start to get into more observeable effects.

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Looks like a good list. I can’t disagree with any of them. I might add they glorify themselves rather than God. That might be financially, or just from a fame and adoration standpoint. If their website is more about them and what they do rather than leading others to serve the kingdom and glorify God, it is a problem.

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Good description.
 

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Sometimes the best learning is simply to observe others. :wink:

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I haven’t been there (Products - Despair, Inc.) for several years. They’re a hoot. XD

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FWIW, I’ve seen YEC exclaim about how wonderful it was that God could even use an SDA to proclaim his word. There’s no arguing with people who believe false is true.

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Just gotta comment on some of these …

I’ve seen a lot of opinions to the effect that the only people YEC hate more than atheists are Christians willing to accept science (those damned compromisers!).

Like emphasizing Genesis over The Resurrection.

You seem to be applying definitions of “eloquent” and “logic” with which I was previously unfamiliar. :wink:

Nailed it!

Donate Now!

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I also don’t particularly disagree with any of those things in the list. But just like with scripture, it’s not the verses themselves I disagree with but how they are often misused and aimed in the wrong directions.

The main thing with false teachers is that they lead others away from god. False teacher means way more than something I disagree with. I don’t think YECist teachers are false teachers or heretics. I simply think they are wrong. Just like I think futuristic interpretations of revelation such as carried out by the left behind series is wrong but they are not heretics.

So there is a big difference between thinking someone’s interpretation is wrong versus thinking they are false teachers teachings lies leading souls to destruction through hell.

The next thing to understand is that all biblical doctrine is interpretation. We all must interpret the Bible in order to understand it and we must all find out how that that work with our world views and so on. Evolutionary creationist and young earth creationists and intelligent designist ( or whatever they are called ) must all interpret the word of God. So it’s not like yecist are just applying straight scripture when they read genesis 1 as literal anymore than evolutionary creationist. Both are looking at those verses and interpreting them and applying them using a multitude of tools. Evolutionary creationist just simply interpret it in a way that does not undermine basic science.

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Just to clarify…

Those words and that list did not come from me but from the Tim Challies website linked in the OP.

Apologies. My error! :dizzy_face:

Small world: it’s run by some of my uncle’s friends from when he was in college, which is how I am familiar with it.

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Again, I’m disappointed to see that the article in the OP says nothing whatsoever about the vitally important issue of making sure that your facts are straight.

There is a very good reason why James 3:1 tells us that teachers will be judged more strictly. Teachers in the Church are in a position of trust. It is a position of trust certifying that they know what they are talking about and that they are performing due diligence in making sure that what they are teaching is factually accurate and honest. If teachers in the Church are found to be teaching things that are untrue or misleading, they are in breach of that trust. This is a very serious matter because it undermines their authority when they teach about anything else.

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And false shepherds are condemned.

The “it” for having a connection to the owners is Despair, Inc., not other groups mentioned in this thread.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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