The Church is of God and will stand forever -- and the forces of Hell shall not prevail against it. But that doesn't keep Satan from trying. Since the beginning, Satan has been recruiting false prophets to deceive people into believing half-truths, false leaders who teach people lies about the Church.
So, how are we to deal with all the falsehood going around today?
1) by seeking God's Holy Spirit to aid us in discerning truth from falsehood;
2) by recognizing the falsehood that is making its rounds in our current society, and in our church;
3) or by using the United Methodist Quadrilateral -- Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience -- to determine what's true.
FALSEHOOD #1 -- "All gods are equal; all religions are the same. So choose whichever god suits you best."
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1:1 states, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth...." Exodus 20:3: "You shall have no other gods except Me..."
TRADITION: "We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things -- seen and unseen..." (Nicene Creed).
REASON and EXPERIENCE: None of the other gods created anything; none of them breathed life into every human being. None of the other gods desire a love-relationship with their followers; none ever became a human being, lived among us, died for our sins, and rose again to live forever. My reason and experience tell me that what the Bible and Church Tradition teach us is true!
FALSEHOOD #2 -- Much of the Bible does not apply to us today because it was written in ancient times, for ancient peoples, and to solve ancient problems.
SCRIPTURE: "All scripture is inspired by God ..." II Timothy 3:16. And "All of us have sinned and stand in need of God's salvation...."
TRADITION: "For us and for our salvation Jesus Christ came down from Heaven... (Nicene Creed).
REASON and EXPERIENCE: Bear out what the Bible clearly says ... "We have all sinned/rebelled against God." All we have to do is see the effects of human rebellion/sin all around us today, 24/7. Human nature has not changed since those ancient times!
FALSEHOOD #3 -- One does not have to believe in the Virgin Birth, the Incarnation, or the Resurrection to be a Christian.
SCRIPTURE: "The Word became flesh and lived among us -- and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father..." John 1:14.
TRADITION: (Apostle's Creed) -- "We believe in Jesus Christ, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died and was buried ... and on the third day rose from the grave...."
REASON and EXPERIENCE: Scripture is based on the eye-witness accounts of hundreds of people. I'll go with the facts! Personally, I've experienced the risen Christ in my daily living -- I know he lives!
False teachers and leaders abound within the Church, agents-of-Satan trying to deceive the faithful and to undermine the Church. Beware of those who foster falsehoods!
Don Kuehle is a retired United Methodist minister who lives in Jackson. Opinions expressed are those of the author.Religion on 03/07/2019
Print Headline: False Prophets