A number of months ago I was on a plane flying to a large Christian ministry conference. After realizing the person sitting across from me was going to the same conference, we struck up a conversation. He asked about the church where I serve, and he told me about his ministry. Almost immediately into the conversation he said, “You probably won’t agree with my theology…” And he then continued to tell me his beliefs and how the church needs to change.
I don’t know how else to say it: I was grieved by the things he told me. Everything he said had elements of Biblical truth to them, but overall in the big picture was false and misleading. As I listened to him, I couldn’t help but think of how influential his words would seem to someone with only a very limited understanding of the Bible. Everything he said had elements of truth that even a person with very little Biblical understanding could easy embrace, but in reality, his words were laced with poison.
The Bible describes how this is the devil’s favorite mode of influence. He speaks in half-truths. It was how he convinced Adam and Eve to justify their sin in the Garden of Eden and its been the same ever since. The difference is, while the devil was intent on his deception, I’m not the sure the guy on the plane was purposefully trying to deceive others, or if he was oblivious to the lies he’d been told and thus followed.
I’m amazed how much the Bible warns us about following blind guides. “Will they not both fall into a pit” (Matthew 15:14). The reality is, there are people in leadership who intentionally seek to lead people to empty wells, and there are those who do so out of ignorance. Their intention doesn’t really matter in comparison to the outcome. Whether it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing, or as the Bible describes, “a fool,” the Bible warns that following these false teachers or blind guides will only lead to darkness and weeping and gnashing of teeth.
My perception is that today, truth is becoming more and more difficult to find. Decades ago, a person could usually feel confident about the words being told them in church services and in Christian books. Today, that seems to quickly be changing.
How can you be certain about the messages in songs being played on Christian radio stations? How can you be certain of the messages being taught in churches on radio and television? And how about the opinions, worldviews, and philosophies continually being expressed on social media? There are a couple of huge problems we need to recognize: (1) as I often say, opinions are like bellybuttons, everyone has one (2) more and more people are buying into the lie that there is no such thing as absolute truth.
Could there by a better way for the devil to try and convince people not to buy into the truth of the Bible, than to convince people there is no such thing as “truth?”
In God’s Word we find truth, light, and life. To stray from it will only bring darkness and death. Be careful to what you choose to listen to. Test it against God’s Word. And remember, the deceiver often disguises his lies within half-truths. Examine carefully the words of those you choose to listen to, for fear that the person may be a wolf or a fool with words of deception, darkness, and ultimately death. God bless us to give us eyes to see.