Is there such a thing as a “less wrong” false teacher? Or have you ever said something like, “Well, he’s not as bad as this person.”?
I caught myself thinking that last night. First, we all know what a false teacher is… one who does not preach the gospel. One who is, as some put it, gospel light. Or any number of movements out there – the Health, Wealth & Prosperity Gospel, the Word of Faith movement, the Emergent Movement. All of these are false belief systems, and the people who proclaim them are false teachers and heretics, and blasphemers.
There are a number of others, but you get my point.
As far as the people teaching, you have people like Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Brian McLaren, Doug Padgitt, Rob Bell, Kenneth Copeland, Paul Crouch (Head of TBN), Robert Tilton, Kenneth Hagin, Todd Bentley, and a host of others.
So, is it fair to say, for example, that Joel Osteen isn’t as bad a Todd Bentley? Or maybe, how can you classify Brian McLaren and Benny Hinn together? Is one of them less wrong?
I caught myself last night reflecting on Franklin Graham, and I remember thinking, “Well, he does the so called sinner’s prayer, but I would rather listen to him than Joel Osteen. I guess he is just ‘less wrong.’”
Well, no that doesn’t matter. Wrong is wrong. Now, let me clarify. Franklin Graham may not be a false teacher per say, but he does believe in the sinner’s prayer, which is not Biblical and may (not always) lead to a false assurance of salvation, and that is the same in the end as wrongly believing in a false gospel.
Do you ever catch yourself thinking as I did about a “less wrong” teacher?
The gospel is truth. We don’t need to add to it by speaking a word of faith; we don’t need to doubt God’s word in telling us that we are saved and justified by faith. Everything that we have on this earth has been given to us by the grace of God and it should be our desire to use all that we have to bring glory and honor to Him. He is our peace; nothing else do we need.
May we worship God and our Lord Jesus Christ with the echo of Revelation 5:13: “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
I will leave you with the words of some Godly men about preaching the one and only gospel and not backing down:
“Let this be to you the mark of true gospel preaching – where Christ is everything, and the creature is nothing; where it is salvation all of grace, through the work of the Holy Spirit applying to the soul the precious blood of Jesus.”
– Charles Spurgeon
“There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the Gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the Gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the Gospel.”
– R.C. Sproul
“If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.”
– Leonard Ravenhill
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. – 2 Timothy 4:2-4
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. – Romans 1:16