Tag Archives: False Doctrine

“Witnessing” for Christ

June 3, 2014

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“… and you will be my witnesses…” – Acts 1:8

Christ Taking Leave of the Apostles - ~1310 - Duccio (1260–1318)

Christ Taking Leave of the Apostles – ~1310 – Duccio (1260–1318)

Acts 1:8 is one of the verses that have been turned into something more than was intended. Even among those that misuse it, they are inconsistent with what it means.

“Witnessing” in the worldly sense is an act of telling others what Christ has done for the “witness.” Through this testimonial, one is supposed to hear it and come to believe in Christ. Stories of single mothers surviving poverty or an alcoholic overcoming the drink move others emotionally. Who doesn’t love a good story?

This is not building faith. This is attracting followers with a carrot.

“If you just believe, good things will happen like they did for me!” – Witness

The problem is the Scriptures do not teach this!

Faith comes from hearing the word of God – Romans 10:17

Those who are out “witnessing” presume to put themselves in place of God’s word. Why would we be told to go “witness” when the Spirit says that faith comes from His word?

A properly grounded Christian is one that comes to believe in Christ through God’s word. This is also the only way he can know what to do next!

We are sent to teach the Gospel

Our responsibility is to teach the Gospel to others. (Mark 16:15, 2 Timothy 2:2 etc.) Nowhere does it tell us to go out witnessing.

The noise level and emotional pitch of the “witnessing” approach covers up the Gospel as it was taught by the Apostles. It is dishonest to build people up with emotional responses and then fail to teach them what the Bible says.

It is not about us

Okay, well it is a little bit, but the Gospel is about how we get to participate in the salvation of Christ. It is not about our physical fortunes.

While God does offer blessings and strength to get through our earthly lives, these things are not the focus of the Gospel. When those witnesses have people “coming to Christ” to cure their ills, they have set them up with false hope and not a properly sustaining faith in Christ.

They have set them up to believe something other than what the Scriptures teach.

They have become false teachers

Search the Scriptures

Acts 1:8 is the recorded instructions to the Apostles. They were the actual witnesses of Christ. We should read that as “they saw his life, death, burial, and resurrection.” They were now to take their eye-witness accounts and the things Christ taught them directly to the world.

Just like the Bereans, (Acts 17:11) our task is to find out what the Scriptures say on a matter. False ideas leak into the church when we forget to do that. When we hear a “new” idea, we should apply due diligence to test it (1 Thessalonians 5:21) before we accept it…

…and most importantly before we teach it!

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How to Slow Down the Leaven

January 24, 2014

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Woe unto You, Scribes and Pharisees - between 1886 and 1894 - James Tissot (1836–1902)

Woe unto You, Scribes and Pharisees – between 1886 and 1894 – James Tissot (1836–1902)

The idea of “leaven” is used in both good and bad ways in the New Testament, but it is most often used like it is in Matthew 16:5-12 where Jesus discusses the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

The two groups had formed a powerful and loud opposition to Jesus. Despite his miracles, teachings and the fulfilled, they were failing to recognize (or at least acknowledge) that Christ could possibly be the Messiah. They were making sure they kept doubt and denials fresh in the people’s minds. They attempted to discredit him by saying things like:

  • Elijah had not come
  • His signs were of the devil
  • He sinned against Jewish traditions
  • He violated the Sabbath
  • He ate with sinners
  • He was a glutton and drunk

This campaign against Jesus is a lot like what is still going on. People have placed themselves above following Christ’s simple gospel and are working overtime to get the masses to accept sin. They even approach it as if there is some moral imperative to be tolerant of even sinful behavior.

The points we can make from this event are a lot like what I posted in the No Longer Silent article – We have to be aware of those that are undermining the gospel. Just like the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, the leaven of the liberal and sinful world will slowly consume “the whole lump”. We cannot remain silent or fail to take action when we see it in action.

Here is how we defend Christ against this so called leaven entering into the attitudes of Christians:

  • Know why certain behaviors are sinful
  • Know how to properly reference the Bible context that make an action sinful
  • Know the tricks they use to wrest the Scriptures’ meaning

What are some current issues for which you need to be better informed? (Both in scripture and the dissenting viewpoints)


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Lie Detectors

May 25, 2013

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Guarding against false teaching is a challenge now just like it was when Paul sent Timothy out to preach. (1 Timothy 1:3)

The first line of defense in protecting the gospel is your ears. Whether you are studying with a person you know well or someone new, listen to what they teach:

  • It should harmonize with what you already know.
  • If it doesn’t, then either you are wrong or they are.
  • This becomes a study point and an opportunity for growth and correction.
  • Ideas that are new to you aren’t necessarily wrong, but are also study points.

Of course to recognize new, false, different or wrong ideas, you have to be well grounded in the scriptures. This takes some work and commitment, but it is a part of loving God. (John 14:15)

How do we get that grounding?

  • Study
  • Attending church AND the Bible study sessions.
  • Daily Bible reading
  • Daily Bible study

If we were all like the Bereans, (Acts 17:11-12) we would all be quick to pick out false teaching and there would be just one church that looks like the church in the Bible.

Daily Bible reading for May 25

Psalm 144
Numbers 30
Obadiah 1-14
1 Timothy 1

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