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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Beware of the Man Who Says He Is Telling the Truth

The time seems to be ripe for preachers who appeal to feelings rather than the truth. They tell a story that makes people identify with their feelings. They can take their hearers anywhere they want after making this connection. The hearers do not know the truth. They can easily be captured by a mesmerizing story because the errors are not evident. They are given a new reality without regard to the truth.

I am reminded of the con who went to a backwoods general store to try to get change for his twelve dollar bill. "Sure," the clerk replied calmly, "Would you like four three dollar bills or two sixes ?" I am afraid that Christians have accepted so much without verification that they no longer know what is true anymore.

The remarkable thing is that these new reality preachers are telling people that church and the Bible will not lead people to a stronger relationship with God. Their proof is found in the number of people who agree with them. In other words, "It has to be the truth because there are so many others who agree with us."

I suppose that this argument is valid in any cult or organization. The fact that you can gather a group of people who believe the same as you verifies that there must be something to what you believe. However, it only verifies that there are people feeling the same thing that you feel. It really isn't any proof that what you feel is the truth.

The time is ripe for these reality preachers because their hearers could not be more biblically illiterate than they are today. They don't know the truth so they can't know when there is error. They only know their feelings and choose a church or cause based upon their emotions. They don't want to be bothered with the truth. Their feelings overrule observations. Thus, they can still spout claims of being deeply spiritual while never attending church. They can claim to know the truth without knowing the basic teachings of the Bible. They can claim a close walk with God as they pray to nature even though God's word warns against such activity.

Maybe Christians thought that the Bible's warnings of false teachers would be so obvious that every Christian would reject it. They never thought it would come from a teacher who is telling them something that they wanted to hear. They never thought it would come because they didn't actually know the truth.

Those who follow these reality preachers have "itching" ears. They appeal to feelings rather than the truth. They tell the person that their feelings are valid and even laudable. These feelings will actually make the hearers stronger if the feelings are explored. They point to superficial improvements without pointing out the downfall of chasing the feelings.

The new feeling "converts" don't have to accept the Bible as the truth. They can stay at home, do what they want when they want and even explore other faiths because nothing is more true than their feelings. They can blend new heresies while claiming conversations with Jesus.

People would think these reality preachers are a joke if people knew the truth. They would openly laugh when these preachers spoke. Knowing the truth would have changed their feelings. They would know that verification cannot come from feelings. They would know that this "preaching" will put people under the bondage of a lie.

Beware of the person who tells you that he is telling the truth when he backs it up with feelings. He may bend scriptures to add to his proof but his premise is always based upon common feelings. Make sure that you question his use of scripture. Look at commentaries which verify the meaning of a verse by what other verses say. Let the truth of the scriptures explain the scriptures. Don't be captured merely by the preacher's denomination or those who agree with the preacher.

Set a goal that you will know the truth. Jesus said that you must remain in His word if that is to happen. Then, when the reality preacher arrives you will openly laugh, point out why this isn't the truth and help others find their way.

Most importantly, knowing the truth will set you free from the lie.

John 8:31-32 (ESV)
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

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