Posted in theology

Defenders of false teachers lay guilt trips and accusations

By Elizabeth Prata

Whenever I make a comment that a certain person is a false teacher, I do not do it lightly. It is based on years of observation, comparison to many teachings of that person over time to the Bible, and a heavy heart.

What we are supposed to do in discernment, is ask. If someone says my favorite teacher is false, let’s ask why they believe that. Spiritual conversations are, at root, about Jesus. We are either impugning His honor, or promoting His honor. We need to be sure we are in the latter camp, not the former. Therefore, we can either educate that person as to why my favorite teacher is not false or we can listen to her and be educated as to why he or she is fact, false.

Spiritual conversations are supposed to edify. If Jesus is the reason we’re having the conversation, then we should be sure we are in truth, and if it is done properly, we are spiritually energized and more knowledgeable than we were before we began.

Sadly, most people who reply to discernment comments or engage with discerners in discussions rarely ask questions. They rarely use scripture to back up what they are claiming. What they DO do, is, make moral judgments and slanderous accusations under a guise of “sadness” and pietistic babble. Here is one example I received in an email.

“As a former atheist and now a devout follower of Christ and not people or denominations of men who believes the Bible to be the inspired Word of God, I have to say that it’s people like yourself that drove me away from Christianity for so many years. Where is your love for your brother? Where is your forgiveness? Where is the unity of fellowship? Where is your humility? Do you really think you have it all figured out with regard to the book of Revelation? Rather, I see jealousy, envy and strife. See 1Chorinthians and what Paul had to say about it. Or is Paul also a false prophet according to you?”

Let’s unpack this.

This person is using the same talking points that most every other defender of other false teachers use. Probably unwittingly. But comments like these are remarkably similar. Weirdly similar.

People like you drove me away from Christianity“. People who leave Christianity don’t leave because some old woman like me on the internet said something about some other woman on the internet. No. They ‘leave Christianity’ because of their sin. They do not want to hear messages calling out their sin, or they want to continue to be in sin, or they desire to protect their sin. They leave because they sin and they want to stay in sin.

Remember, no one leaves Christianity. If they leave they were never in it. Their leaving proves that. All the commenter is doing is trying to make you feel guilty. Don’t fall for it.

They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be evident that they all are not of us. (1 John 2:19)

I’m a devout follower of Christ, and you…” No they aren’t. They most assuredly aren’t a devout follower, maybe not even a follower at all. People who are devout followers of Christ seek His glory and stand on scripture. They don’t use fake names or anonymous accounts to email or post judgmental, slanderous insinuations, and otherwise misuse the name of Christ in order to feel better about following their favorite (false) teacher. They seek to educate, edify, learn, or ignore. They give grace and charity. They don’t make claims of being “devout” then destroy that claim with mocking and sarcastic behavior.

Why don’t you love them?” Another guilt trip, this time misusing the word love. First, the word love gets thrown around too much without a proper context. Jesus called his religious educators the priests, Pharisees, and scribes, vipers. Did He not love them? Jesus mourned them! He cried over Jerusalem and its lost people. Yes He loved them. Correction or rebukes or warnings to someone does not mean an absence of love. In fact, it often means the opposite- we DO love them.

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Hebrews 12:6).

My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD, and do not loathe His rebuke; (Proverbs 3:11).

We must let our Christian family know that the false teacher is hurting them with their lies and opposition to Jesus. Most of us indeed do it in love and for love.

I’m disappointed in your tone” – Talking about a false teacher usually calls down the Tone Police. They’ll come into a thread to voice their disappointment in the “tone” of your comments. They won’t address any scripture you’ve shared, they won’t use any scripture themselves, they won’t reply on a biblical stance, but instead will try to guilt you into not making comments about a false teacher. They’ll try to convince you that you sound like a harridan. And heaven forbid you’ve actually named that false teacher, which makes them even more “disappointed”. They will simply camp on an emotion. ‘I’m disappointed you’ve…I’m sad that you…’ “What people are saying doesn’t seem to matter [to the Tone Police] half as much as how people are saying it.” said Mike Riccardi in his article “A Sanctified Rant about the ‘Tone Police”.

If you went to a potluck dinner, and I said I knew one of the dishes had poison in it, but since I don’t want to name names, and we want to only focus on the poison-free dishes, I wasn’t going to tell you which dish could kill you? Does that make sense? No. False teaching is poison. We must point it out. Unashamedly.

Staying in the word of God is the best way to remain unswayed by opposers of the truth – either the false teachers themselves or their defenders. Stay strong in the Lord.

EPrata photo


Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

6 thoughts on “Defenders of false teachers lay guilt trips and accusations

  1. LOVE THIS!!!! You are absolutely correct. We are told to speak God’s truth and we as Christians realize that we will come up against people like the one you encountered but we need to stay solid in our conviction and love for God.

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