I guess I’ve always bordered a bit on the naive. I want to see the good in others, to believe that they are wise in their beliefs and decisions – especially when they are Christians. But what happens when Christians start promoting a new Christianity? Scripture tells us that “the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Tim. 4:3, 4)
I’ve been familiar with this passage for many years but have always thought about it happening in the far-distant future – maybe even at a time when I would be with Jesus. I never thought about what it would be like to be living in the midst of the apostasy. But recently I was shocked to find out that there are well-known national leaders in the church today, whom many Christians respect and follow, who have changed their message.
Do they say, “I don’t believe in Jesus anymore”? No, it’s not that easy to see what is happening. These men and women we have lifted up – maybe not on pedestals, but certainly on stages – are condoning things like:
- Emergent church theology;
- Unbiblical teachings about sexuality;
- New Christianity (Contemplative spirituality with mantra-like prayer);
- New Age rituals with mystical origins;
- Preaching entire sermons without ever quoting Scripture;
- Questioning our faith rather than trusting in God’s Word;
- Salvation for everyone;
- And more …
It’s not always things that are totally false that we need to fear. I recently heard a speaker say that we “take things that we know are truth and twist them with a little deceit.” That’s what is truly dangerous because we – especially new believers – don’t always know what part is true and what part is false.
I’ve always checked out the background of any author or speaker before taking in what they have to say. But sometimes people change their approach…don’t announce it…just do it. And unless we stay watchful, we may not know what has happened. As our pastor said recently, “We need to resist the temptation to accept what people say without a serious examination of the Scripture.”
Lord, this is frightening. Part of me wants to ask, what is happening?
But it’s all in Your Word! “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Tim. 4:1). Please help us, Lord, to contend for the faith (Jude 3, 4), to test the spirits (1 John 4:1-3) to see if they are from You, to preach the Word in season and out of season (2 Tim. 4:2), and to continue in what we have learned (2 Tim. 3:14, 15).
Thank you, Lord, for Your precious Word. Amen.
“Continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:14-17).
Carole Pore is the mother of two grown children and grandmother to four grandsons. She has been involved in a number of ministries at Berean, currently serving on the Women’s Ministry leadership team. Carole graduated from Ashland College (now University) and was a Home Economics teacher in grades 7-12 for 24 years. In addition, she became a freelance writer in 1983 and was published in a variety of national publications, including Billy Graham’s Decision magazine. Carole spends a great deal of time reading and writing. She loves spending time with her family– especially her grandsons who range in age from 4-16. She also enjoys painting, crafting, and going for a walk in the woods (when she can walk!)