2012-05-29 - Lead Astray
The Epistles of John ~ Part 37 ~ 1 John 2
In what way can believers be lead astray? In what way can't they?
Believers can fall into a trap of believing they're the only ones who have their act together doctrinally. Yes, Christians can fall into this line of thinking. One pastor, clearly no scholar, has come up with a new view of the Rapture. So now after two thousand years, supposedly only he has discovered the hidden truth. I don't know about you, but as for me, I find the whole thing very suspect.
The secret knowledge approach always has appeal. Even Christians have been known to buy into it. Let's face it, there is appeal to pride to think, "I know something most people don't. I know the church age has ended. Look at all those sinful souls still attending."
And elitism is still a problem within the church. We all know that historically, some denominations have felt that only they had the truth, and therefore acted as if they were better than anyone else. This isn't to say these teachings are of the spirit of anti-christ, just that it is easy to fall into the trap of believing we have something that no one else has.
This is been a problem in certain wings of the charismatic movement, where some have taught that only those who spoke in tongues have experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit. As a result, tongues became the mark of the elite, the "upper class" Christian. This is in spite of the fact Paul clearly taught everyone isn't required to speak in tongues.
"And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts" (1 Corinthians 13:28-31).
Every cult has taught this. The basic premise is that the truth of scripture has been lost since the days of the early church, and only they have discovered it. So according to them - for some seventeen hundred, eighteen hundred or nineteen hundred years no body could be saved. But now salvation has arrived, because they have found the secret, or better yet, lost teaching.
To be continued.