False teachers: the sad truth

A video clip of false teacher Victoria Osteen troubles me not so much for the lies she tells, but the number of otherwise level-headed people who believe her lies and think that because people like her toss around Christian code-speak that they must be telling the truth.

Why do so many professing, thinking Christians fall for this junk?

You don’t need to be a Bible scholar to see the lies. I’m not a Bible scholar. My understanding of the Bible teaches me that false teachers like her and her husband have been around for millenia and will continue to lead people astray until Christ returns.

Read the account of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness and the conversation Jesus had with Satan in Matthew chapter 4; if Satan can quote Bible versus to God himself it’s highly likely that false teachers like the Osteens can also convincingly quote scriptures for some of the same nefarious reasons.

“Just do good for your own self; do good because God wants you to be happy.” Victoria Osteen

Really? Jesus came for happiness? I guess the apostles missed the “eat, drink and be merry” memo.

A quick internet search found at least 100 different passages that promise quite the opposite in our journey here on Earth. For those who read and understand the Bible, our journey here on Earth is not the end but merely the beginning of an eternity spent in one of two places. The point of the Gospels is to help people understand that what Jesus did here on Earth now gives us a choice of where that eternity will be spent. It’s up to us to make that choice — the gift has been given. We only need to accept it.

The false teachers of today are nothing new. The Apostle Paul warned the Corinthian church in his second letter to them (2 Cor. 11:14) of the false teachers and prophets of his day. Moreover, those false teachers did not surprise him because “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” That’s why people like the Osteens and others don’t surprise me as much as I’m saddened by the people I know who buy his false doctrine.

The fact that someone merged a sound byte from the Cosby Show with Olsteen’s lie suggests I’m not the only one to think of Osteen: “that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life!”

My favorite teaching pastor is Alistair Begg, not merely because he teaches straight from the scripture without adding or subtracting from it, but because he often says when he’s teaching: “You’re sensible people; look it up for yourself.”

The best thing we can do for ourselves is to not merely accept what our pastors preach, but like the Bereans in Acts 17, search out the scriptures to see if what our pastors are preaching is true.

Look at the passage in versus 11-12:

And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.

Did you get that? They “listened eagerly to Paul’s message.” They looked forward to it and responded to it. But they didn’t just stop there. “They searched the scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” In other words, they used their God-given ability to reason to search and verify the truth.

I believe God requires much the same from us today.

Maybe that’s what Jesus meant when He told us (emphasis added): “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.”


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