False Hearts Produce False Teaching
False teaching is everywhere. It is easily produced and absorbed by ungodly hearts; it is easily available on the internet, TV and even in churches. You know that teaching is false if it does not agree with the teaching of Jesus and the apostles. Paul wanted Timothy to look out for false teachers and keep them away from God’s flock. He said that false hearts would exhibit false motives, which should be evident even before the person starts to teach.
Why do some people set themselves up as teachers and lead people away from God’s Word? It is a long list. Firstly, pride. Their conceit is a mask for their ignorance: question their assumptions, and they cannot give an answer which is consistent with God’s character as revealed in the Bible. Secondly, power. They seem obsessed with disagreements and tiny details; their followers demonstrate the worldly characteristics of personal hostility fuelled by lies, suspicion and argument. Thirdly, they hope to make money or make a name for themselves as they gather supporters.
There are few people who cannot be tempted to fall into some of these traps. So before examining others, it is good to watch out for those tell-tale signs which indicate that our own hearts are being led astray – lest we lead others into error. Then be alert to see who is influencing your friends, family and others in the church; are those teachers keeping to the apostles’ doctrine? If you see false teachers, warn others; if you are in spiritual authority, do not let them have a platform in the church. False teaching is cancerous: do not just smile and hope it will go away - it needs to be rooted out.
© Dr Paul Adams