“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 4:3-4
Man has that time come. It’s been around for quite a while (mainly since the birth of the church), but it seems to be getting worse and worse in the world, and particularly in Western Christianity. “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). What are these teachings of demons? They are teachings that take the truth and distort it just enough to appear as the truth to unsuspecting people, but really they are lies spawned by Satan to blind people from the truth of the Gospel and rather lead people straight to hell with him. Just as Satan lied to Eve in the garden, so also he lies to people by taking that which is true in Scripture and distoring it to lead them astray.
Liberal theology is taking hold in the church in places where the solid truth of the Word of God was once proclaimed loud and clear (PCUSA churches, many Methodist churches – though not all, Discpiles of Christ, some Episcopalian/Anglican churches, and others). Liberal theology essentially denies the inerrant authority of Scripture (believing them to be helpful but not authoritative), denies the resurrection, denies his justice against sin, as well as the omniscience of God, amongst many other things. It’s essentially an abandonment of the objective truths about God revealed in Scripture that is replaced by experiential feelings. Many people have set aside the inerrancy of the Scriptures to do this very thing: “accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and [they have turned] away from listening to the truth and [have wandered] off into myths.”
If we do not use the inerrantly authoritative Scriptures as our rule of life and faith, then we will inevitably wander off into myths, man-made intellectual thoughts, and the doctrines of demons. But we must preach the whole truth from Scripture, not just parts of it that sit well with our sinful souls. God’s truth is a hard reality, not because there is anything wrong with Him, but because everything is wrong with us. We have twisted, denied, stomped on, rejected the truth about God, and exchanged it for a lie. Yes God is love. But He is also just and righteous. We are sinners. Sin, when preached using Biblical terminology, is a hard reality. Predestination, damnation, wrath, justice; these are hard truths that don’t sit well with us sinners! But it’s truth from His Word. We must return to the Scriptures though and know them through and through, with all of their hard edges in order that we will live in the reality of who God actually is.
Many within the visible church have set aside the Scriptures as being the written revelation of God altogether, or they have twisted the Scriptures to fit what they want to believe concerning God and their human nature, living out existentialism (that what they individually perceive as reality is what is true). What we now have in many churches are unbelieving pastors teaching unbelieving people. One such church nearby is University Christian Church. Many pastors will just preach on Scriptures (or not preach from Scripture at all) that make people feel good about themselves and ignore the other half of the Scriptures chock full of harsh, hard warnings (such as in James and Hebrews and pretty much all of Jesus’ difficult statements). These same pastors are simply gutting the contents of Scripture (such as James, Romans, Hebrews) to fit a light-hearted, feel-good message that doesn’t preach the word of God in its entirety and challenge people to turn from sin and believe in Christ. They will take scripture out of context in order to fit their own agenda and it’s disgusting.
It is a lie of the world that says you find significance and worth in making much of yourself. And yet this is what many churches are resorting to, and it couldn’t be further from the truth of the Scriptures. There is no truth in us. There is no reality that we can define for ourselves. If that were so, we would be God. But God defines reality, not us. Below I’ve compiled a list of some of these modern day teachings that all of us would do well to be on our guard against. We must return to sound teaching or else forfeit the glory of God in the proclaimation of the Gospel to all people from Scripture.