Written by: Kristen Oliver
As I have been reading through the New Testament I noticed that the books towards the end have ALL been heavily focusing on warning against false teachers. Every time I would read what the next book would be about, I was like, “They are warning people against false teachers again! The people back in those days must have been slow….because they have heard this teaching a lot and still don’t get it!” I have a feeling that in our day and age we are worse off than the people in the New Testament. Every minute of the day we are inundated with information. Information that clogs our brains, distracts us and ultimately removes our focus from what God is trying to tell us.
I always thought a false teacher, as referred in the Bible, was only a person in leadership who completely opposes Christianity. However, while reading Jude he states:
“These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.” Jude 1:16
A false teacher will be hard to recognize. Honestly, the way Jude describes them it sounds like what society would consider a “normal” person.
A false teacher:
is someone who acts on impulse
reacts publicly to their emotions
shares everything they know for personal affirmation
more worried about what other people say and do instead of what God is saying and asking them to do
consumed with gossip
does what feels right in the moment
Jude’s description of a false teacher sounds like people with pride, selfishness, jealousy, greed and lust for power and disregard for God’s will. Those qualities could describe me. Do they describe you?
I believe a false teacher could be a Christian who is simply allowing themselves to get in the way of God’s agenda.
Friends, we cannot live by how we feel. We must live by what we know to be true!
There is a reality TV show called Big Brother. The entire show is about expecting the unexpected. Lying, cheating and manipulating people you call your friends is expected and anticipated. However, all will be forgiven in the end because “it’s just a game.” But Jude reminds us that we are not playing a game. We cannot speak negatively about a “friend” and expect no repercussions. That is how rumors start, rumors kill relationships, and split churches.
One of the points Jude makes about false teachers is he says they are grumblers and faultfinders. Aren’t those words synonyms for complainers and gossipers? Hear me out….I don’t think everyone that complains and gossips is a false teacher. But I think there is a fine line and we need to be careful. In order to make sure we are not spreading false beliefs we need to ask ourselves before we speak…Will this speak truth? Will this help grow the kingdom of God or hurt it? Sometimes although something may be true it is not constructive to share because it will do more damage than good. What is your motivation for sharing information you have? To make yourself look good or to make God look good?
Lets speak positivity through God’s word instead of negativity through God’s people
Through gossip and complacency. Through fear and impulsivity (I think I made this word up but it makes sense to me!). This is how Satan gains a foothold in your life. If you don’t want God’s peace and presence to transform your life, then keep doing the same thing. Don’t change, don’t improve. But when you wonder why God isn’t doing what you expect, and things are getting worse, realize its because YOU didn’t allow him to change YOU. It’s because YOU listened to people and not God.
Jude is reminding us to be on the lookout for false teachers. I’m reminding you to reevaluate yourselves. Make sure you are not being used as a false teacher to do Satan’s dirty work.