Filter for False Teaching
False teaching is all around us. We are constantly bombarded with different belief systems, values, and cultural norms. So how can we identify what if false teaching, and what is not? Below are 4 questions you can use to determine if any teaching is false, no matter the source.
But before I give you the questions, I want to challenge you to use these questions to filter all teaching you receive, particularly when it is teaching about the Bible, or Christian teaching. It might be easier to spot false teachers, but as Christians we should constantly be evaluating anything we hear against the truths of Scripture. Instead of trying to label some teachers as false (which is helpful, and necessary at times), we should strive to have discerning ears that immediately recognize false teaching, and seek to disregard it in the lack of a personal relationship, or correct it in the context of your local church. My hope is that Christians would be a people that seek the truth and disregard false teaching, and hopefully these questions will help you do that.
- Does the teaching come from and line up with Scripture?
- Is their authority the Bible, or is it their opinion?
- This doesn't mean is it Scripture, because Scripture can be twisted, but is it consistent with the message of Scripture?
- Is what they are saying clearly connected to what Scripture says?
- Does the teaching elevate the gospel, or something else?
- Is there an emphasis on God and his saving grace, or on man made things (blessings, political agendas, judgment)?
- Does the teaching lead people to be more like Jesus or less?
- Read one of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) and learn how Jesus responds to certain situations. Are the actions the teaching is calling for consistent with how Jesus would have responded?
- Is the teaching consistently accurate?
- Is what they are saying true and clear from Scripture?
- Do the things the teacher says will happen actually happen?
If we all seek to evaluate what we hear by these questions, it will help us develop discerning ears that seek the truth and recognize anything that is false.