Posted in false teachers, theology

The Unspeakable Pride of False Teachers

By Elizabeth Prata

Regarding the strange video Beth Moore made of herself and posted on Instagram. She filmed herself working out in pajamas, slippers, and bed head. The point of her video was to reassure her followers just how normal she is.

She panned the camera to show her slippers working the step on her elliptical machine, took care to pan up to the lump of bed hair that wouldn’t lay down, and to note that she is still in pajamas, to which she gestured. Continue reading “The Unspeakable Pride of False Teachers”

Posted in false teachers, theology

The irreversible destruction of false teachers

By Elizabeth Prata

A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken beyond remedy. (Proverbs 29:1).

Gill’s Exposition explains the intriguing part about broken beyond remedy:

shall suddenly be destroyed; or “broken” (e); as a potter’s vessel is broken to pieces with an iron rod, and can never he put together again; so such persons shall be punished with everlasting destruction, which shall come upon them suddenly, when they are crying Peace to themselves notwithstanding the reproofs of God and men;

I understand that when Christians are developing and practicing discernment, it’s sometimes difficult to detect a false teacher, especially in the early days of the false teacher’s ministry or the early days of the Christian. Other people, though they suspect, find it hard to admit that their favorite teacher is false. “But they teach about Jesus!” they say. I know, it’s interesting to listen to some of the more crafty (Genesis 3:1) teachers who have such eloquence of tongue and then believe they are insincere. But remember that the antichrist is prophesied to gain the world by a smooth tongue and flattery. (Daniel 11:21). These present mini-antichrists (1 John 2:22) are almost as smooth as the prophesied Antichrist will be in the future, so it is no wonder that they are so slick in their speeches.

The main way to detect a false teacher of course is to compare what they say to the Bible (Acts 17:11).

Here is another way to detect a false teacher: how they react when they are corrected or challenged. Doctrine is utmost, but behavior is important. How does the true or the false teacher respond when posed a question, challenged in their interpretation, or rebuked for their teaching?

It’s the behavior when corrected that also proves the true vs false teacher. The god-honoring teacher cares about His word as primary importance. How crushing it is when we say or teach something in error or contrary to proper exposition! We hasten to correct, humbling ourselves to Him and the truth of His word.

Justin Peters is a true teacher but is often challenged and rebuked by some who are less discerning. He responds in charity and gentleness, with a teachable spirit when warranted. At the most, if a person challenging him is not teachable, he will ignore the words of that chattering crow and go his way, sharing the Gospel and ministering in truth.

The false teacher who rebels when teaching the word will continue to rebel when corrected in the word. As the Proverb says, he will harden his neck. Stiff necked is a synonym for stubborn. Instead of being teachable and gentle, the false teacher will entrench him or herself into stubbornness and double down on their position. This is because they are full of pride, and care not for the truth of God’s word. They SAY they care, but their behavior SHOWS they do not.

The second half of the Proverb is encouraging. I know it’s all the rage to claim love and kindness to and for false teachers, but I do not. If a teacher has abused the name of Christ, twisted His words, and persistently shown that they care only for themselves, money and fame, harming His sheep in the process, the second half of the Proverb is rallying to my soul. It motivates me to leave the judgment of this scourge of fiery ants to the Lord, and to take comfort in His timing. They WILL be broken beyond remedy. Good.

John Mason on Twitter said, (@LivingGodsTruth)

It would appear that the most popular names and teachers in Christian markets are either:
1. Conforming to the pressures of LGBTQ acceptance over the Word of God.
2. Not preaching sin at all & a promoting a false prosperity centered Christianity.
This is God ordained exposure.

I agree, and in my opinion these are examples of the Proverb. When challenged over these issues the false teachers stiffen themselves, they entrench into their stubbornness. This is a God-ordained exposure. Let us not ignore these exposures seen through their behavior, but heed the wisdom in Proverbs.

It’s OK to take comfort in the knowledge of the coming permanent and irreversible destruction of these wolves. It means that the name of Jesus will eternally remain spotless with no dung thrown on Him or on His people, ever again. What a day that will be!

tombstone broken

Posted in false teachers, theology

Disciples of false teachers, their anger, and what we can learn from this opportunity

By Elizabeth Prata
holiness godliness

The fiercer the reaction, the deeper the hold satan has on his false teacher and her followers. We’ve seen the rabid ferocity of those who follow Beth Moore. When their idol is touched, her people come from out of the woodwork to pile on to the person attempting to bring light to Moore’s followers.

The same recently happened with Rachel Held Evans. My obituary contained mention of the fact that RHE had lived the life an an apostate, causing vitriol to pour from the lips of her many followers.

It’s important not to simply shae our heads adn go tut-tut, and walk away. I like to process an event and try to find a positive meaning from it. So that is what this essay is. Perhaps others may find it helpful.

These are a few of the names I was directly called:

wrong
gross
unkind
unloving
disgusting
opportunist
cruel
arrogant
horrid
disgraceful
insensitive
hypocrite
nasty
judgmental
condescending
Pharisee
poisonous
heathen
unsaved
good only for compost
evil
abomination
hellspawn (my personal favorite, lol)
b**ch

I asked the angry people tweeting me to cut and paste the allegedly objectionable portions of my essay, with an earnest promise that I’d take a look at it. Not one, not one person, acceded to my request. Very few even shared a Bible verse, to my recollection. I was called to be tolerant, but by the lengthy list above, you can see that their call for loving tolerance was simply a double standard, as they were anything but.

Anahn E. Moo® @anahnemoo made the following observation:

Every post, tweet, and article I’ve read by born-again Christians who are discussing the very likely state of RHE’s soul have been loving, gentle, mournful, and prayerful.
Every response by her worshipers have been vile and hateful, often laced with profanity and blasphemy.

This was a typical tweet from a #RHE devotee. There were literally hundreds on Saturday. Mainly they went like this, if I can summarize the general vein:

“RHE taught love & grace and tolerance, you horrid, poisonous hellspawn who speaks lies! I pray that you, judgmental, nasty Pharisee that you are, will find the grace that we all have, thanks to Rachel our prophet’s teaching”. This is a compilation of actual tweets.

Some of these people I chose to engage with, and I had success with one or two. One I blocked immediately, (the curse word lady). Two or three others I engaged with a bit then muted. The rest I shared the Gospel, attempted to be gracious, and let the hateful words slide off my back while offering either verses or pleasantries. One lady I did get a huge kick out of, her comment stood out. See below.

hellspawn

With so many tweeting and commenting, how did I know which to mute, block, or engage? That is a discussion I’ll enter into below. For now, I believe I can make an axiom out of this: the deeper the false teacher is in satan, the more vitriolic her followers’ response will be to anyone claiming she is false. Alternately, the longer satan has had a ‘spy’ in his clutches, having infiltrated a body of believers, the harder satan hangs on to her. (cf Revelation 2:20). His job is to use the false teacher to make slaves and draw away the unwary from Christ.

Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— (Galatians 2:4).

These spies infiltrate the body and then promote false teachings, to which the fleshly gravitate. They accumulate these teachers for themselves, heaping them up because these false teachers suit their lusts.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, (2 Timothy 4:3).

Neither the false teacher nor their followers will want to let go. The false teacher is enjoying popularity and money, the fleshly followers enjoy having their desires indulged.

Their ferocity is always at-the-ready:

Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. (Matthew 7:6).

Their ferociousness is always bubbling just below the surface. Upon the slightest touch, it spews immediately and with a savagery that astounds the more polite and civil members of society. This is as true in real life as it is online, I’ve experienced both.

The ‘dogs’ verse evokes a mental image of stray, skinny, mangy, hungry dogs roaming in packs, but when you try to pet them, they turn snarling with foaming lips and tear you limb from limb.

We know that the world’s systems are under satan’s thumb. (2 Corinthians 4:4). Entertainment, politics, media, secular organizations all serve satan’s agenda, not Christ’s. We have seen where Christian movie makers and actors are blacklisted or whose reputations are destroyed, simply for either speaking as ambassadors of Jesus or for making movies that reflect His precepts.

We’ve seen in politics, especially in the realms of pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality, people that flood the public square with satan’s agenda and how they pile on on to those who oppose it. Even death threats and physical violence has been done against people exercising their right to freely speak their conservative beliefs in the public arenas.

We’ve seen the media taken over by the liberal journalists, who go to any lengths to preserve and present satan’s reality and publish even lies through their print or broadcast mediums.

In my past experience as a journalist I’ve experienced how the liberal media works when I opposed the lies. They decide on a target. In one case they had decided on three targets for a certain smear campaign, but decided three was too unwieldy so then they focused their attention on one person alone, funneling all their hostility onto him. Next, they decide what to say against their selected target, and lies work just as well or even better than the truth. Finally, they tag-team the target with their talking points. They do not alter it and they do not vary their talking points, knowing that if a lie is repeated enough times, it will stick. They do this with a savagery and a brutality that is relentless and breathtaking.

Events such as these are instructive, I find. Even more so is when the Christian stands against satan’s lies when opposing a false teacher. How is it instructive? The false teacher’s followers are masquerading as penitent, polite, grace filled people, therefore they are hard to spot. But when their idol is touched, that thin veneer is stripped away quickly. This is helpful. With little effort we can quickly see who the mission field is. False converts are hard to spot normally, but when they come out in full force, well, there they are.

False teachers are a problem and have been since the beginning. Their followers are often like marauding hordes intent on destruction (of character, reputation of the body itself). In fact, in John 16:2 (NAS) we read,

They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.”

They think they are doing right, protecting their false teacher so fiercely.

By the number of verses in the New Testament dealing with the fact that false teachers will exist, and that their many followers will cling to lies, we know we must be on guard and act as salt and light to their dying hearts.

Now it is the job of the Christian to determine which disciples of false teachers to engage with and which to turn away from. The Bible suggests various approaches.

For example, Jude 1:22-23 says to engage,

have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; and to still others, show mercy tempered with fear, hating even the clothing stained by the flesh.

James says to engage,

My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, (James 5:19).

Titus 3:10 says to warn a divisive man once then twice, (but then then have no more to do with him, because foolish controversies edify no one.)

In other cases we are not to engage with a follower of a false teacher or a false teacher herself. We are told to simply mark and avoid, (Romans 16:17), told to close the door to the false teacher, not even allowing him or her into our homes. (2 John 1:10).

Other times we are also told not to associate:

Take note of anyone who does not obey the instructions we have given in this letter. Do not associate with him, so that he may be ashamed. (2 Thessalonians 3:14).

By the number of verses that exhort the believer to do certain things or not to do certain things when encountering a false teacher and/or her converts, it’s obvious that care and prayer must be involved. Is this a case where I must engage? Or simply mark and avoid? Is this a case where I have mercy on those who doubt, or is it a case where the doubt is so entrenched that I must close the door to them?

The level of their anger will be a first indication of how far to go in engaging them. The list of angry words above is put in a level of order from (IMO) mild to hot. (AKA wanderers from the truth) it’s obvious that care and prayer must be involved.

Remember, the hate directed toward you is not directed toward you particularly, it’s directed toward Jesus. It is not a situation to decry, but it is in fact an opportunity. Wayward believers have just revealed themselves. What to do? Not all, but some are the mission field. The level of their anger will be a first indication of how far to go in engaging them. The list of angry words above is put in a level of order from (IMO) mild to hot.

We can engage with scripture, share the Gospel, or simply behave in ways the world does not expect (salt & light, grace & truth).

Other times we mark and avoid. Praying to the Holy Spirit will guide you as to what to do, when. Remember, His ministry is to point to Jesus and the Spirit is even more concerned than you are for Jesus’ name, your edification and growth, and the false believer’s soul (whether it demonstrates God’s justice in perdition or in His grace in heaven).

Be well and wise, soldier, and march onward.

————————————

This is a heartfelt PS. I wrote this essay because I process things by writing. I’m autistic. I’m not introspective. I find it easier to write it out of me and then see what is on the page.

I also wanted to make this an opportunity for encouraging anyone with some verses and facts, and a perspective that’s hopefully positive. I’m not writing this because I think said everything perfectly, I didn’t. There were a few cases where I regret my comment. I don’t write this because feel I have it all figured out. I don’t. Even though I’ve been through this before, the ferocity still surprised me. It left me unsettled.

I am writing this to encourage, help, or at least offer a coda to it all. For those who emailed, commented, or tweeted encouragement, thank you. I appreciate each and every one of you.

————————————————-

Further reading:

False prophets and their methods, by Adrian Rogers

Wretched: Christians must get over their fear of pointing out false teachers

Why do false teachers have so many followers?

Posted in al mohler, bible, discernment, doctrine, don green, false teachers

Discernment cannot survive without doctrine, and where there is doctrine, we need discernment

In 2007 a novel called “The Shack” by William P. Young was published. It is a novel about a father experiencing grief over the kidnap and murder of his 7-year-old daughter. He receives a personal invitation from “God” to meet at the very place where his daughter was killed, a shack in the nearby woods.

The book swept Christianity, with near unanimous affirmation that this was a sensitive and heart-shaking book that revealed Christ as a loving Father. “It changed lives” we heard over and over. But that was wrong, it didn’t change lives. What The Shack did was change our theology.

Is this old news? Perhaps, but I find it helpful to go back sometimes and review the situation. Satan is subtle and he works incrementally. He chips a flake off the wall here and scoops a teaspoon of sand under the wall there and moves the theological touchdown line a foot and then another foot. If he can’t move it a foot satan will move it an inch. He is patient and invested for the long term.

Such incremental declines are initially hard to spot, which is why the Lord gave the Church believers with discernment. We can spot those inches and teaspoons. Therefore it is helpful to go back to already-identified discernment markers and stand on them and look ahead to where we are now and the decline becomes more obvious to those who are new in the faith or who do not possess as much discernment.

The 1963 movie The Great Escape is a good metaphor to use as an illustration of satan’s incremental work. The setting was a Luftwaffe-run prisoner-of-war camp during World War II housing imprisoned US and UK airmen. The POW camp was famous for two escapes. The prisoners dug tunnels inch by inch and subtly scattered the sand from their trouser pockets as they casually walked around the compound topside. It took a while, digging quietly, undermining the camp’s holding power, secretly scattering the sand sometimes a few teaspoons at a time. Over time though, the tunnels were built and the wall was breached. FMI here is a synopsis of the incident.

In 2009, Dr Albert Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote an essay responding directly to The Shack’s onslaught, titled, The Shack- The Missing Art of Evangelical Discernment. He first put to bed the claim of Shack-supporters that “its just a novel” and doesn’t have anything real to do with Christian theology. Of course the book does. Mohler wrote,

In evaluating the book, it must be kept in mind that The Shack is a work of fiction. But it is also a sustained theological argument, and this simply cannot be denied. Any number of notable novels and works of literature have contained aberrant theology, and even heresy. The crucial question is whether the aberrant doctrines are features of the story or the message of the work. When it comes to The Shack, the really troubling fact is that so many readers are drawn to the theological message of the book, and fail to see how it conflicts with the Bible at so many crucial points.

Dear Sisters, many novels containing a heavy theological message are merely a disguise for the author’s agenda. In author Young’s case, it was his universalism. Just because a book is a novel doesn’t necessarily mean it is theologically neutral, or even safe. Be wary.

Dr Mohler concluded his 2010 article with this devastating prediction,

The Shack is a wake-up call for evangelical Christianity. An assessment like that offered by Timothy Beal is telling. The popularity of this book among evangelicals can only be explained by a lack of basic theological knowledge among us — a failure even to understand the Gospel of Christ. The tragedy that evangelicals have lost the art of biblical discernment must be traced to a disastrous loss of biblical knowledge. Discernment cannot survive without doctrine.

EPrata photo

He turned out to be correct. Discernment as a regular practice among Christians seems to be at an all-time low, that is, until tomorrow, when it will be lower still. The onslaught didn’t begin nor did it end with The Shack, but only continued briskly apace. Discernment is not just for those having been given the Gift of Discernment, but should be practiced and sought by every Christian. It’s actually a command! (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

A diamond may look to have no flaws at first glance, but if we were to bring it to a jeweler, an appraiser someone who is trained to inspect it. He then takes out his magnifying glass to see how it was cut and find the flaws and imperfections. They have been trained to recognize what is not right. Thus a full examination is the safest course for a believer. Only those who are not teaching or practicing Christianity will object to being tested by the word. Darkness will always run from the light, never light from darkness. Source: (Let Us Reason)

Though the general situation today among the visible church seems bleak, in this sermon Pastor Don Green of Truth Community Church outlines how to develop Biblical Discernment. In this sermon, Green was preaching on the text from 1 John 4:1–6,

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Here in this recent essay Pastor Green gives us the Tests for Discernment, stating that the Bible gives us several tests for discerning true and false teachers. As for the sermon above, I took notes. Here are my notes from Pastor Green’s sermon:

There are four basic premises to understand before we begin,

1. Discernment is a command. (Romans 12:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 14:29, 1 John 4:1).
2. God has given us the means to discern. The Holy Spirit helps us, (2 Timothy 3:16–17; Ephesians 6:10–19), and we exercise our discernment muscles. (Heb 5:13-14).
3. Understand that not everyone who claims to speak for God, does.
4. The false teachers do not “mean well”. They are trying to deceive you! (1 John 2:26)

There are three discernment tests the 1 John 4 text outlines. The tests are easily understood, being on the surface of scripture, but the challenge is not so much understanding them, but applying them. The absolute key to discernment is to overcome your natural human impulse to make excuses for them and to say “No! I’m called to test the spirits and this teacher doesn’t pass the test and their teaching isn’t from God.” Any Bible teacher should welcome scrutiny in life and in their doctrine. A teacher who says touch not God’s anointed is a person attempting to escape scrutiny. If they say “Touch not God’s anointed!” then run.

So, how can one tell the true from the false? How does the Bible advise how to examine a teacher?

1. Examine their manner of life. Do they live an ungodly lifestyle, or have an unloving disposition?
2. Examine their view of Christ. Because their teaching about Christ is an acid test of whether they speak for God or not. (1 John 4:2-3).
3. Examine their view of scripture and look at their submission to apostolic teaching, and not just lip service affirmation.

False teachers are not innocent teachers who are mistaken. False teachers give voice to demonic teaching. They are a mouthpiece for satan. This is not to be underestimated. It is the spirit of antichrist, and is full opposition to Christ and His kingdom.

Of course I recommend the entire sermon.

Discernment is critical for every Christian to practice. Yes the Gift of Discernment is given to some (1 Corinthians 12:10) but those who are mature and have long practiced discernment find they wield the sword of truth pretty well, too. (Hebrews 5:14).

Our Lord Jesus Christ is worth the practice. He is unique, glorious, and His doctrines are worth protecting. You can do your part by praying for wisdom, reading the Word diligently, and worshiping under a solid pastor. We do this until Jesus comes again.

—————————–

Further reading

Al Mohler updated his older article on biblical illiteracy, a few weeks ago.

The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy: It’s Our Problem

MacArthur: What is biblical discernment and why is it important? 

Challies: The Discipline of Biblical Discernment

Posted in discernment, facebook, false teachers

"Be Careful Who You Post on Facebook"

I’d written recently that there were pros and cons to using social media as a Christian. It’s useful for staying in touch with distant family or friends, to learn of new pastors & ministries, or to share the Gospel. It’s not useful when we publicly sin or cause a stumbling block to a weaker brother, or in trying to tighten up time management. There are a lot of temptations on social media, that’s definitely a con.

One thing that is also a con but is part of the reality of life as a Christian anyway (i.e. there’s no escaping this) is the weak Christian who posts or repeats quotes and tidbits from ministries that are run by a false teacher. We agonize over our brethren who are embroiled in the snares of the devil and who prove it by unidscerningly following them, and by repeating the lies the ministry puts out there.

A pastor named Jordan Hall wrote a heartfelt warning about this and I re-post it here. In my opinion they are good words well stated. I use most of the discernment ministries Pastor Hall mentioned, and I’d also suggest my own The End Time blog, Sharon Lareau at Chapter 3 Ministries, Erin Benziger at Do Not Be Surprised, Sunny Shell at Abandoned to Christ, and Aimee Byrd at Mortification of Spin (The Housewife Theologian), DebbieLynne Kespert at The Outspoken Tulip, and already mentioned in the essay, Amy Spreeman at The Berean Examiner.

His warning:

———————————-

By Jordan Hall

Not too long to read: My friends, from a pastor’s heart, we must be careful who we quote on Facebook and whose material we share. Please take the time, before you do either, to spend just a single minute to research the individual or ministries you’re promoting by sharing their material. Before you quote or post a meme from Beth Moore, Proverbs 31 Ministries, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Andy Stanley, Steven Furtick or other popular ‘Christian’ leaders or organizations, please search the web with their name and the word ‘discernment.’ You’ll find the information you need in no time flat, and you’ll avoid causing your Facebook friends to stumble by introducing them to chaff and tares.

Why do that, you ask? Do that because Romans 16:17 tells us to “Mark those that cause divisions and create obstacles that are contrary to the doctrine taught [in Scripture].” That instruction is two fold (A) Mark them – that means to qualify, characterize and typify them as dangerous as a warning to others and (B) avoid them. When you post something from TD Jakes or Andy Stanley you are marking them as trustworthy. You are then exposing your friends and loved ones to their false teachings.

It is here that some say, “Well, I liked the quote. I’m not endorsing the person.” Well, I get that. Really, I do. I’m sure Charles Finney or Adolf Hitler might have said something at some point I might agree with. But, we shouldn’t go around quoting Hitler or Finney. Whether you like it or not, it IS an endorsement, and you might turn people onto ministries that are spiritually toxic.

Likewise, be careful when you “like” statuses that repeat the words of false teachers. I know you like the person who posted it. I know you liked their good intentions. But for the love of Jesus (literally), do not ‘like’ the words that proceed from the mouth of those who masquerade as shepherds but are inwardly wolves. Do not give the impression to your friend that you like it that they appreciate false teachers. Rather, you ought rather to mourn and warn them.

Here’s a tip for your convenience if you think, “Good grief, am I supposed to research every pastor or ministry I post or ‘like’ on Facebook” (the answer is YES, by the way). As stated above, google “person/ministry’s name” and “discernment.” You’ll find a wealth of resources from polemicists (those who specialize in errant teachings) like Chris Rosebrough, the late Ken Silva, Amy Spreeman, Michelle Lesley, Jeff Maples, Pulpit & Pen and more. Discernment is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and God has gifted people with discernment to edify and equip the church.

Finally, this is the information age. This does not require going to the library and looking up handwritten sermon manuscripts on the microfiche. A discerning Christian, through just a little bit of research (literally, just minutes) can determine wolf from lamb in short order. For the love of Jesus and his church, please be careful with what you post.

EPrata photo

Posted in discernment, false teachers, God in a box

"God can use it…"

“I don’t agree with everything [insert false teacher’s name here] but there are some good things he/she says.” In rebutting this notion, author Michelle Lesley phrased it best. She said in her essay titled,

Mayoral Candidate Opal Covey Rebukes Fred and Speaks in Tongues

Ladies, you want to know why I warn against false teachers? This is why. You start out with “gateway drugs” like Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer, thinking, “It’s OK. It’s only a little unbiblical teaching. I can stop any time I want,” and pretty soon you end up like this lady, strung out and face down in the gutter of blasphemy and false doctrine. This is an embarrassment to the church, an awful witness to the lost, and a black eye for Jesus. Just say no to false teaching.

There is the story of the demon-possessed slave girl in Acts which relates here.

As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. 17She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” 18And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour. (Acts 16:16-18)

Why didn’t Paul say, as so many pastors and teachers and women say today, “She is speaking truth. I don’t agree with everything she says, but God can certainly use her. I’ll let her speak for me”?

Because it isn’t about the words such a person says, it’s the source. Paul taught,

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? (2 Corinthians 6:14-15).

He made four explicit points:

Righteousness v. lawlessness
Light v. darkness
Christ v. Belial (satan)
Believer v. unbeliever

He made four implicit points. The goal among believers is to be in:
partnership
fellowship
harmony
in common

Whatever flavor your favored partly or all-false teacher demonstrates from the second column, God will not use it. The dividing line is clear. Have nothing to do with those who are lawless, or dark, or of satan, or are an unbeliever.

EPrata photo, not EPrata

For people who say, well, ‘Don’t put God in a box, He can use anything’, you’re right, God can use anything. He can turn me into a giraffe. But will He? No, He created animals after their own kind. Just because God CAN turn me into a giraffe doesn’t mean He will.

He can do anything, even use a demon-possessed girl speaking truth – but He won’t. He didn’t. The Holy Spirit inside Paul was tormented hearing the slave girl speak heavenly glories from a satan-polluted mouth! (Acts 16:18). Any false teacher is demon influenced. In Galatians 1 Paul was astonished they were deserting the Gospel so quickly. In 2 Corinthians 11 he chastised them who put up with a different Gospel so easily. In Revelation 2, Jesus threatened the Thyatirans for tolerating a false prophetess. No, God won’t use falsity. His Son is too beautiful to Him and His Gospel is too pure. Why should he?

God chose to speak thru His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2), not through satan. So why would you limit God and put Him in a box by saying He can’t follow through on what He said He will do? Trust Him. If He said He will work through the Gospel given rightly, He will.

And what if…”God can use” a false teacher’s words not to draw women to Christ but to harden them in their sin? Be careful what you say “God can use.” God DOES use sinners, wolves, and false doctrine, but not in the way most people think. God CAN use Beth Moore to harden women in their self-esteem, legalistic, selfish ways.

I’ll end with another best quote from a sister in Christ. When the TV series “The Bible” was released by Roma Downey, Sunny Shell reviewed it. She put in a Q & A to her review. She hypothetically asked,

Q. “Even though there’s a lot of error in this movie, still, don’t you think it’s a great way to show people who God really is, I mean, can’t God use anything to save someone?

A. No, I don’t think this movie is a great way to reveal the truth about God since it’s filled with lies about God. And yes, I realize God can use anything to save someone, but He only chose to use the message of the true Gospel to save all men (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). Nowhere in Scripture does God command or allow His children to use the work of Satan to proclaim His truth. And God is clear, anyone who denies Him and defiles His holy character or word, works for the devil, not for God. 

Since the beginning of time, the devil has attempted to minimize and blaspheme God’s holy character by lulling us to disregard His holiness, justice and righteousness. God has never called His children of light to partner with the works of darkness (2 Cor 6:15-16). As God’s children, we are commanded to pursue holiness, rather than try to find a way to compromise the glory of Christ in order to “reach more people”.

Well said, Mrs Shell. As for false teachers, just a little bit of poison kills. We know that satan speaks through these teachers, and satan only speaks lies. He will meld a few lies in with the truth so that the two are nearly indistinguishable, and therefore appear harmless. His lies involve the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, and the lust of the flesh.

If I hear a woman saying “I know [such and such false teacher] doesn’t teach everything according to the bible, but I like some things she teaches” then I know one thing for sure. Something in that false teacher’s doctrine appeals to her flesh and she is unwilling to give that up.

Yet we are called to slay the old man in us. Romans 8:13 says,

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Mortify the flesh, and kill off that part of you that wants to cling to a teacher others have said or shown you with the Word are not giving an authentic Gospel.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Posted in colossians, discernment, false teachers, lloyd-jones, spurgeon

Don’t let anyone disqualify you from the prize!

Puffed up in visions they have seen

Colossians is a tremendous book. Of this verse in Colossians, let’s first focus on the first five words, Paul’s warning, underline mine-

Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, (Colossians 2:18 ESV)

Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, (Colossians 2:18, NASB)

Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,” (Colossians 2:18 KJV).

The word disqualify/defraud/beguile here in context refers to an umpire. Strong’s defines it,

“to deprive” refers to discouraging (misleading) believers, diverting them from their full potential for receiving their unique glorification.

Paul uses the same metaphor with the result being the prize in Philippians 3:7-14. In the MacArthur commentary the prize is explained. Now, be assured that no one can deprive you of the ultimate prize, salvation. Of that, Jesus said “and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (John 10:28-29).

Spurgeon said in his excellent sermon on the verse titled “A Warning to Believers“,

THERE is an allusion here to the prize which was offered to the runners in the Olympic games, and at the outset it is well for us to remark how very frequently the Apostle Paul conducts us by his metaphors to the racecourse. Over and over again he is telling us so to run that we may obtain, bidding us to strive, and at other times to agonize, and speaking of wrestling and contending. Ought not this to make us feel what an intense thing the Christian life is—not a thing of sleepiness or haphazard, not a thing to be left now and then to a little superficial consideration?

Though you can’t be disqualified for the ultimate prize, an umpire can sideline you. Or, he can make calls that affect the other players in the game around you, diminishing your effectiveness. MacArthur said of the umpire metaphor,

The false teachers claimed a mystical union with God. Paul exhorts the Colossians not to allow those false teachers to keep defrauding them of their prize. It was as if the heretics assumed the role of spiritual referees and disqualified the Colossians for not abiding by their rules. ~MacArthur Commentary on Colossians & Philemon

False doctrine is not only a corruption in the church, it does damage to you individually. One way false teaching and false teachers harm you is that following them even temporarily and certainly for a long period disqualifies you for the prize. That much is clear.

What is inferred is our responsibility to our brethren who are following a false teacher. How will it be when they are judged, when told to give an account of themselves (Romans 14:12, 1 Corinthians 3:11-15). Service to Jesus and our works for him while in the flesh is examined, as well as conscience, words spoken, and how well we overcame the flesh, in addition to other things. We will cringe and cry when we hear Jesus say that a friend has lost some prizes because they followed a false teacher and thus were disobeying Jesus, while we knew all along and never said anything.

Christ’s soldiers are striving for the prize

And will that be counted as sin against us? A sin of omission is just as bad as a sin of omission. James 4:17 says,

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”

Pursuing evil is sinful (sin of commission) and avoidance of doing good is also bad. (sin of omission) What, then, as we see a sister sliding into the influence of a false teacher and we fail to warn, even as Paul warned the Colossians? We are supposed to build each other up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11, Romans 14:19). What will Jesus say to us regarding a sister we let down?

As for the rest of the verse, I listened to 4 sermons and read 4 different commentaries, just on Colossians 2:18. It’s a powerful verse and has within it portents, warnings, and explanations. It’s dense and difficult. But here is the master of logic, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who made it so clear. I enjoyed his sermon on the verse best. (Although Spurgeon’s was a close second).

In this portion of his sermon, “The Danger of Error“, Lloyd-Jones is talking about the ones who were upsetting the Colossians, the Gnostics. He said they were people who are false, and in that falsity have a striking characteristic which gives them away. It’s not the only characteristic, but it is one you’ll see often. As you read this transcribed part of the sermon, see if this doesn’t bring anyone to mind. Of course, listening to the sermon is preferred because his accent, inflections, and word emphases bring the piece to life.

[Of the cults and false religions]…don’t they always give you an impression they are much more zealous and enthusiastic than you are? Always talking about it, always advocating it, always urging you to go to their meetings. They’re tremendous in enthusiasm, and zeal, and activity. Now the scriptures teach us that it’s always a characteristic of such people. It is one of the great errors of course, that the devil always makes, he always overdoes what he’s trying to do. He produces therefore this carnal excitable zeal. The Apostle doesn’t hesitate to use the term like “delusion.” He says let no man beguile you with enticing words. Yes! It is a beguiling. It is a form of delusion. And the result of such a delusion always is that you get this…excess. This overplus, somehow always overdone.

Let’s be clear about these things. Oftentimes this very enthusiasm is the thing that that attracts innocent Christian people. “Look at their zeal, they can’t be wrong! Look at what they’re prepared to sacrifice, look at the time they give to it! They must be right’, says the innocent Christian. The NT has much to say about this. They have itching ears to start with, then they’re carried away by this false zeal.”

Here is Spurgeon on that excitable zeal the false mystics put forth to beguile you:

A notion is abroad that if you are but earnest and sincere, you will be all right. Permit me to remind you that if you travel never so earnestly to the north, you will never reach the south, and if you earnestly take prussic acid you will die, and if you earnestly cut off a limb you will be wounded. You must not only be earnest, but you must be right in it. Hence is it necessary to say, “Let no man beguile you of your reward.” “I bear them witness,” said the Apostle, “that they had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge, but went about to establish their own righteousness,

Don’t let their mystical visions beguile you!

Keep thinking about who teaches falsely with zeal and enthusiasm, so much so that many others are confounded by their energy, as Lloyd-Jones says, believing that so much zeal must stem from a Godly source.

Lloyd-Jones concluded by offering some practical tests to see if someone is false, these mystical ascetics, puffed up with visions-

Here are the tests:

1. Keep Christ and your relationship to him central
2. A way to test any teaching is this: does it make you think better of Christ? Does it magnify Him? Does it exalt Him? You’ll find with these other things, my friends, that they don’t do that. You’ll be praising their teaching

Keep thinking about those false teachers who inspire impassioned defenders, saying that he or she is great, rather than how he or she pointed them to the Great One.

Keep thinking about them that go on and on about their messages from God, their visions, dreams, personal revelations delivered to them in the bathroom or a cabin in Wyoming or half-asleep in bed, and check your mind and heart to see if you don’t think they are a little bit more mystical and theologically higher up than you are because of it. Or worse, if the false teacher himself or herself thinks they are higher up than you poor saps who don’t get the regular direct deliveries … but they’ll humbly share them with you anyway.

Let’s end where we started. Don’t let anyone defraud you of the prize. The ultimate prize is Jesus, His faith, His comfort. Spurgeon said,

Let no man deprive you of the present comfort which your faith should bring to you. … Let me just for a few minutes have your attention while I speak upon this. Dear brethren, you and I, if we are believers in Christ, are this day completely pardoned. There is no sin in God’s book against us. We are wholly and completely justified. The righteousness of Jesus Christ covers us from head to foot, and we stand before God as if we had never sinned. Now let no man rob you of this reward. Do not be tempted by anything that is said to doubt the completeness of a believer in Christ. Hold this, and, as you hold it, enjoy it. Let no man beguile you of the reward of feeling that you are complete in Christ.

Lars Justinen, Robe of Righteousness
Posted in discernment, false teachers, lucre, prosperity, root of all evil, treasure

The lure of the lucre: false religion is big business

Money brings with it the lure of the world and what it has to offer. We are from heaven, sent into the world (John 17:16) but we are not to be conformed to the pattern of it while we are here. (Rom 12:2).

Kudzu enveloping and choking a tree

But we need to live, eat, work, raise families. And for that, we need money. We need to be part of the world’s economic system in some degree.

Being part of an evil world system through employment, or pension, or financial investment, means we have to make decisions at all times to refrain from being drawn in and compromising our biblical principles. Lydia of Acts 16:14 seems to be one of the people who was involved in a business which brought much money (seller of purple, quite expensive) yet retained her fervent love of the Lord. We know she was successful at this because she had a large enough home to host gatherings and hosted a home church. It seems from the few gleanings we can read in scripture, that once Lydia found Jesus, she used her means to further the kingdom instead of having a divided heart or worse, succumbing to the world like Demas did. (2 Timothy 4:10). She was in the world, but not of the world.

The boat is supposed to be in the water, but the water isn’t supposed to be in the boat. ~Alistair Begg

Ananias and Sapphira became entangled in the world system of the love of money, briefly but eternally. In their real estate transaction, they succumbed to the lure of the lucre and kept back some for themselves, even though they had promised God to give it all to Him. God doesn’t require all, but their broken promise meant that they were like Mrs Lot, looking back and not putting Him first. They were hypocrites. (1 Tim 6:10).

The love of money and Christianity do not mix. The love of money and false religion are a perfect match. For the non-Christian, false religion can bring in big bucks, incredible bucks. False religion is a blockbusting money-maker. Let’s look at a few instances of this from the bible.

As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. 17She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” 18And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.

19But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. 20And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.” Acts 16:16-20).

First, the most literal and obvious part of the verse is that the slave owners were raking in the money by farming out this girl in fortune telling. Just as fortune-telling is lucrative now, it was then. Why does fortune telling make so much money? It plays into the emptiness of the world system and of the individual heart. People have eternity in their hearts, (Ecc 3:11) know God exists, (Romans 1:19), have a conscience (Romans 2:15) and yet suppress all that and go seek temporal to fill the vacuum things anyway. False religion is only too happy to oblige.

“Anyone that has a deep longing for true happiness is unsatisfied with any material thing, things which cannot quiet the heart.” John MacArthur

Secondly, the false religionists do not care about you. I repeat, they do not care about you. They don’t care about your well-being, your spiritual growth, your emotions, your self-esteem, or your happiness. At all. The slave owner knew their girl was possessed. How horrible to be possessed! Yet do the false religionists care about her as a person? No. They wee only angry their money-making enterprise was destroyed.

Third, false religionists are liars. They said among themselves that they were angry their hope of gain was gone. But do they say that when they go to court? No. They lie and they present a false front of caring for “the city” and its laws.

Let’s look at another instance which shows the incredible money-making potential of the false religions.

Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. (Acts 19:18-19)

This occurred in Ephesus.

Acts 19:19, Ephesian Book Burning. Artist unknown

The total of the books burned from just this one segment of the population of the city, not even the whole of the city, toted up to 50,000 pieces of silver! This is a staggering amount of money. Judas was paid 30 pieces of silver. According to Thucydides, a drachma or silver piece was approximately a day’s pay for a skilled laborer. So 30 pieces of silver would be comparable to 120 day’s wages. The people in Ephesus spent roughly 200,000 day’s wages on false religion materials!

Fifty thousand pieces of silver is a monumental amount of money to be investing in false religion materials! People are financially supported by false religion to a degree that not only is seen then, but is seen now. The false religionists deeply care about their money, very deeply. Remember, the love of money is the root of all evil.

One more. Also from Acts 19 verses 24-25,

About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way. 24For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen. 25These he gathered together, with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. (Acts 19:24-25)

Once again, we see that their first concern is that they have obtained wealth. In the Greek it’s “Our prosperity depends upon this business.” Their first thought is always money.

Second, notice that the verse mentions with the workmen in similar trades. In Greek it’s ‘of similar kind.’ There are the idol makers like Demetrius, shrine makers, amulet makers, magic arts bookbinders and scribes, potion purveyors…the list goes on. If you walked into any Christian bookstore looking for a bible, think of all the OTHER stuff that goes along with it. Bible covers, bookmarks, highlighters, CDs, etc. In  any religion there is always the main stuff to buy and then all the extra stuff to buy. False religion was a huge business in Ephesus.

Third, if you read in the next few verses, Demetrius said that these men from The Way are putting a dent in our pocketbooks, and plus, oh yeah, they are besmirching the name of Artemis. Since their first thought is always gain, the caring about Artemis is secondary and a cover. We know it’s a cover because of the example above. The aggrieved slave girl owners first stated they lost a lot of money but when they went to the court, they put on a show of mourning over the upset city inhabitants and the civil law. The Artemis lovers cared first about their money and secondarily about the goddess- only then as a means to an end. The end being their pocketbook.

Fourth, after Demetrius did his damage, the city was riled up. The rabble eventually made their way to the amphitheater, but get this,

Now some cried out one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together. (Acts 19:32).

They didn’t know why they were mad or against who! They didn’t even know why they were there! They were truly a rabid dog, mindless crowd, not caring one bit about Artemis until they were told to. (Acts 19:33-34).

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. (1 Timothy 6:10)

One note before I close. There is nothing wrong with being rich. Sometimes God blesses us with means so that we can further His kingdom like He did with Abraham, Job, Solomon, Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, and Lydia.

However, the love of wealth is:

tempting (1 Tim 6:9)
a snare (1 Tim 6:10)
deceitful (Matthew 13:22)
ruinous to households (Proverbs 15:27)
disqualifying men for leadership (1 Timothy 3:3)
unrighteous (Luke 16:22)
A false god (Matthew 6:24- Mammon!)

If money is the root of all kinds of evil, then money and false religion are made for each other because false religion is a high evil and money will be the root of it.

The lesson is, never underestimate the tentacles of money in false religion’s purveyors and how committed to money they are to it, how sneaky they are to maintain it, and the depths they will descend to in order to keep it.

Make your decisions wisely, don’t get caught in a money trap. Heed the many admonitions in the Bible. Loving money too much will cause you to make unrighteous decisions, as it did for Ananias and Sapphira. As for those who purvey a false version of Christianity, they do not love you. They do not care for you. They put on a false front, a big ole Texas smile, sisterly jokes about big hair, intimate  confessions of past trauma, but at the root of it, all they want is money.

Smaug the dragon protecting his treasure in The Hobbit movie. LOTR wiki.

But for us,

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;
(Matthew 6:19-20)

And where the most precious treasure of all abides: Jesus

Posted in discernment, doctrine, false prophets, false teachers, love

Should we love false teachers?

It’s always nice to talk about love and tolerance. We know that God loved the world. He loves His Son. We are told to love each other, that is how they will know us (John 13:35). But sometimes love is not appropriate or warranted. Do I mean this, really? Well, we know we are supposed to hate sin. We know there are six things, no, seven, that the Lord hates. (Proverbs 6:16-19). We hate sin so much we’re supposed to kill the old man in us. (Colossians 3:5). We don’t endlessly give the Gospel to those who hurl it back, those hurlers are called swine. So when it comes to love, we know we don’t ‘love’ everyone or everything, at least not according to the romantic or secular definition of love. So here is the question: are we supposed to love false teachers?

At The Berean Call, the question is posed:

To the world it might appear that all is well in the Christian realm. Much-beloved speakers hold forth from the pulpits of some of the largest churches in the world. Believers and nonbelievers alike buy their books, avail themselves of their programs, and utilize their methodologies. One might come to the conclusion that Peter must not have been referring to the church in our day regarding false teachers. Tolerance is the word of the day. We hear admonitions on a regular basis to “just get along” with those of opposing faiths. “Love” reigns supreme.

But what is this “love” of which they speak? What about those who identify a false gospel or a false teacher among some of the popular speakers these days? Does this “love” still apply to those who expose the ones who are actually deceivers among the flock?

A dear sister in the faith posed the question to me. To love those who are deluded and cannot understand the Word and care for them and not be critical. I thought about it for a long time, because I love poorly and I’m always appealing to the Lord to teach me love better.

So I began to think hard, should we love false teachers? Are they to be pitied? I decided, no. Though I value the opinions offered and they DO make me think, I don’t necessarily always agree. I’d like to offer an alternate view about how far not to go in pursuing love, and to offer a different perspective of what love actually is.

If we read Jeremiah 14:16, there is not even a hapless non-believer who accidentally can’t understand God’s truth and accidentally follows false prophets because they don’t know better. They DO know better. God said He will pour out their evil upon them because they knew better but followed false prophets anyway. 2 Timothy 4:3 also puts the blame on those who choose to follow false teachers because they wanted their ears tickled, so they went out and accumulated for themselves false teachers who told them what they wanted to hear.

But back to the false teachers themselves. I reserve my highest caring in this situation- for Jesus. We do care for the state of our neighbor’s souls, and we do care for brethren, but in all this let us not forget caring about Jesus.

I care about His name and what people do in His name. The harshest criticism in the Bible from everyone, (Jesus, Paul, Peter, John the Baptist, John, James, Jude, etc) was aimed at those who pervert God’s word. It is not a situation where we say “poor, poor false teachers. Let’s understand them and open our hearts to them and care.” I do hope they are saved someday, but beyond that they get no caring from me. I am highly CRITICAL of them in righteous indignation. Here is why-

The Bible tells us they do it on purpose. They disguise themselves- that isn’t an accident. (2 Cor 1:13). They do it for greed. (1 Timothy 6:5). They do it to put us in bondage again. (Gal 2:4). They do it because they hate Jesus and love themselves. (1 Tim 6:4). They do it because they enjoy lying. (2 Peter 2:1).

These false teachers are already cursed and destined for hell. In the essay “The Pathology of False Teachers” we read,

Unfortunately, their prognosis is not hopeful. Their spiritual condition is terminal. Those who are deprived of the truth are headed for judgment. Hebrews 6:6 solemnly warns of such men that “it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.” Peter says that they bring “swift destruction upon themselves” (2 Peter 2:1). The severest hell will be reserved for those who, having been exposed to the truth, turned away from it (cf. Hebrews 10:26–31).

The goal of the false teacher is not to create an environment of love, but to feed his ego and fill his pockets.
~John MacArthur

You notice they don’t pervert Buddha’s words. They don’t pervert Allah’s words. They don’t pervert Shiva’s words. They choose to pervert Jesus’ swords for gain, for fame, for an audience, and all the other reasons. I am critical of that because I care about Jesus.

The Berean Call again:

Every epistle in the New Testament was written to correct error in the church. Did Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude not understand that to correct those who were in error was in truth a failure to love them? Did they believe that it was none of their business to bring correction to the false teaching? Do we consider them divisive for confronting error and holding fast to the truth? No! They boldly addressed the error and at times even named the offenders.

No, I do not love false teachers. I do not care about false teachers. I care about Jesus. I love His followers. Tim Challies said in his essay 7 Marks of a False Teacher,

False teachers are concerned with your goods, not your good; they want to serve themselves more than save the lost; they are content for Satan to have your soul as long as they can have your stuff.

Jesus called false teachers broods of vipers and hypocrites. (Mt 23:33)
So did John the Baptist in Mt 3:7
Paul said they were cursed. Twice in 2 sentences. (Gal 1:8,9)
Paul said their talk is gangrenous. (2 Tim 2:17)
Jesus called them ravenous wolves (Mt 7:15)
John called them deceivers (2 John 1:7)
Jude calls them ungodly perverters (Jude 1:4)
Peter called them depraved, disobedient, and destined for hell (1 Peter 2:8, 2 Peter 2:1,2)
John called them antichrists (1 John 2:22)
Never mind the harsh language from God in the OT against false prophets.

So. Were they wrong not to “love” the false teachers?

Indeed, we are told repeatedly we are to mark them, avoid them, not listen to them, close the hospitable door on them, put them out, warn them, keep away from them, give them to satan, but nowhere does it say to love them, care for them, or pity them.

Indeed, John advises the elder lady and her children not to even allow false teachers into their house NOR give them a greeting! If we do, God considers that we are participating in their evil deeds. (2 John 1:10). The John MacArthur Commentary on 2 John 1:10 says this-

Irenaeus relates that the church father Polycarp, when asked by the notorious heretic Marcion, “Do you know me?” replied, “I do know you, the firstborn of satan.” (Against Heresies, 3.3.4)

John himself once encountered Cerinthus (another notorious heretic) in a public bathhouse in Ephesus. Instead of greeting him, however, John turned and fled, exclaiming to those with him, “Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of truth, is within.” (Against Heresies, 3.3.4)

Charein, (greeting) means ‘Rejoice’ It was a common Christian greeting, conveying the joy believers had in one another’s presence. But it is an affirmation of solidarity that is totally inappropriate for false teachers, who have no part in the truth of genuine Christian fellowship.Such emissaries of satan must be exposed and shunned, not affirmed and welcomed.

False teachers like to decry such treatment as harsh, intolerant, or unloving. But love forbids dangerous spiritual deception to gain a foothold among Christians. John’s pastoral admonition is perfectly consistent with Jesus’ denunciation of false teachers as ravenous wolves, thieves and robbers, whose only purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy. The church cannot aid or abet such spiritual outlaws by doing anything that would acknowledge them as Christians. The one who does so, even by doing something as seemingly innocuous as greeting them, participates in their evil deeds by helping them to further their deception.

I reserve all my criticism, judgment, and righteous indignation for the false teachers, and all my love for Jesus the Man-God, His people, and His revealed word. During the few times I’ve had opportunity to engage directly with a few of the false teachers I’ve written about, I hope I was lovingly showing them the error of their ways. THAT also is love, though the world doesn’t call it love. Love is to admonish and correct so hopefully they do not persist in their tragic path, or worse, taking others with them.

Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)
Source

Here are two resources on the subject:

How to Treat False Teachers

The Danger Facing the Church
Love also comes out of sincere faith, not the hypocritical faith manifested by false teachers. Faith that has no pretense creates love. A false teacher has a dirty heart because it’s never been cleansed by the true gospel of faith in Christ. A false teacher has a guilty conscience because his impure heart triggers it. But his conscience may have reached the point where it’s so scarred that it’s lost its sensitivity. And a false teacher has hypocritical faith. He’s a phony–he wears a mask. That kind of life will never produce the love of God. The goal of the false teacher is not to create an environment of love, but to feed his ego and fill his pockets.

A Final Warning: Beware of False Teachers

Lesson 107: A Final Warning: Beware of False Teachers! (Romans 16:17-20)
Years ago, a seminary professor told his class at the beginning of the semester that they would work together on one major project during that semester. They would move systematically through the New Testament to categorize every area of truth and determine how many times each area is addressed. Their goal was to find what one thing is emphasized more than any other in the New Testament. When they completed the project, they were amazed to see that warning against false doctrine is emphasized more than any other thing, even more than love, unity, and experience (Renald Showers, in “Israel My Glory,” [April/May, 1995], pp. 24-25). I have not verified their conclusion, but they’re probably right. …

J. C. Ryle was a champion for the truth in the Church of England during the 19th century. I’d recommend that you read him. In Warnings to the Churches ([Banner of Truth], p. 110), he wrote about how difficult yet necessary controversy in the church is. Then he added, “But there is one thing which is even worse than controversy, and that is false doctrine tolerated, allowed, and permitted without protest or molestation.” After acknowledging that many would view what he writes as exceedingly distasteful, he states (p. 111), “Three things there are which men never ought to trifle with—a little poison, a little false doctrine, and a little sin.”