Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Seven Characteristics of False Teachers

Paraphrased from Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices by Thomas Brooks, maybe my favorite Puritan.

1. They are men-pleasers. They preach more to flatter and say things they know folks will like, than to convict or admonish.

2. They seem to have a special hatred for the best and holiest of God's ambassadors. Whether speaking of holy men of the past or the present, these pestilent irritants love to heap on the scorn and dirt.

3. They pronounce, as the oracles of God, upon the various notions and innovations in their own heads and hearts. They'd rather go on about what they think than about what God has said.

4. Not only do they strain out the gnats, so to speak, passing over lightly all the weighty matters of both law and gospel; but they focus on those little gnats which are really of no or little value to anyone. How long are your shirt sleeves? How short is your hair? When will the Rapture be?

5. In the same way that a harlot paints her face and perfumes her bed, the better to cover her filth, false teachers very often cover the rot in their teaching with flowery speech, and the lofty articulation of arguments resting on purely human wisdom. Or, I can think of one particular guy who tries to hide it behind a blurring, blazing-fast litany of Scripture references which he sprinkles into the middle of every sentence so quickly that no one could possibly keep track. (My, how Biblical he is!)

6. They are happier to win men to their own opinions than to win souls to Christ. Always remember, when you're counting your converts and notching your guns, there is no more prolific evangelist than the devil. However well you're doing, the devil makes even more proselytes than you do. False teachers are like the guy who glories in winning the High School Chess Tournament, and then fails to realize that, despite the praises all around him, he's still a geek. (It ought to be about changing lives, and not proving how correct you are.)

7. In Brooks's own words here: "False teachers make merchandise of their followers." Send in your seed gift. You have to sow to reap a harvest. As soon as the coin clinks in the chest, a soul flies up to heavenly rest. (You've heard 'em all.)

7 comments:

Mike Y said...

G,

So true. It's a sad thing. But I wouldn't hang too much on the anti soul-winning point. Such men are very performance driven so that they can get their praises from others.

Deviant Monk said...

4. Not only do they strain out the gnats, so to speak, passing over lightly all the weighty matters of both law and gospel; but they focus on those little gnats which are really of no or little value to anyone. How long are your shirt sleeves? How short is your hair? When will the Rapture be?

Be sure to add to the list-

How manly are you? What kind of exercises do you do?

gordan said...

This is the third place now where you guys have harped on manliness. Methinks thou dost protest too much. I would agree it would be bad to focus on the issue, as was the point of the post, especially to the exclusion of more weighty matters. But it's really beginning to look like we've gotten on your nerves with that whole manliness thing.

Rhett said...

Methinks our manly man manliness hath become a stumbling block to the heathens. Perhaps we should tone it down some...

Maybe set up a music player with some Culture Club tunes playing while people are browsing the blog?

It might mask our obscene manliness so our more sissified visitors will not be offended!

Deviant Monk said...

I would agree it would be bad to focus on the issue, as was the point of the post, especially to the exclusion of more weighty matters.

Then why does the mafia seem to place such an importance on 'manliness'?

But it's really beginning to look like we've gotten on your nerves with that whole manliness thing.

It takes a lot to get on my nerves, and no, it hasn't gotten on my nerves.

Scribe said...

Maybe set up a music player with some Culture Club tunes playing while people are browsing the blog?

It might mask our obscene manliness so our more sissified visitors will not be offended!


Do you really want to hurt me,
Do you really want to make me cry?


Ouch! That hurt!

Rhett said...

"Then why does the mafia seem to place such an importance on 'manliness'?"

We can't help ourselves!

"It takes a lot to get on my nerves, and no, it hasn't gotten on my nerves."

Darn Gordan! We need to try harder!!!

Hahahaha!!! ;)