07/17/15 – 204
2 John 2:8-11 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.
Yesterday we talked about false teachers like televangelists out for profit or for their own agendas, but I think possibly even more often today we see our false (or poor) teachers in the form of books, articles in magazines or on the internet, or in the media. These especially are often disguised as documentaries, which we usually accept as factual from the beginning. How naïve we can be, no? How easily fooled.
But because we are not infallible, we need to widen our base. Read books, use commentaries, bible dictionaries etc. Get recommendations from your reliable sources. Find books that you know are theologically sound and that you can understand at your own reading level. Keep it with your Bible! I have shelves full of books – many of which I’ve started and couldn’t finish. I figure anyone can make a mistake, or have a different view on a theological point. But when I see the Bible being ignored or twisted, and it’s happening more and more often, the red flags go up.
I’ve just been reading such a book (it was a gift!) called Killing Jesus, recently aired as a TV movie. Billed as an accurate historical account of documented events of Jesus’ life and death, almost without exception supernatural events are not even mentioned. There is a detailed account of His baptism – but no mention of the voice or dove from heaven. His arrest is described, and the fact that Peter cut off the servant’s ear was mentioned, but not the part where Jesus replaced and healed it. The authors say in the introduction that they do not address Jesus as the Messiah but only as a man, yet they use the gospels as one of their main references. Kind of like writing a biography of the Pope and forgetting to mention that he’s Catholic. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
A few years ago a preacher named Rod Bell wrote a book called Love Wins. I read it and found it very thought provoking and sound. Yet he was vilified in the media and by reviewers weeks before even the review copy was released – as a universalist (one who believes everyone will go to heaven). This scathing reviews were based on a You-Tube ad for the book in which Bell merely asked a series of questions like ‘Could it be possible….?”
I guess my point is – make your own judgments, and/or take advice from people you know you can trust. God will give you the discretion if you truly want to know Him more deeply. Let’s pray again for that today.