Crosswalk Ministry recently posted a story titled 20 Important Christians You Should Follow on Social Media. Crosswalk.com’s About says,
Crosswalk.com aims to offer the most compelling biblically-based content to Christians on their walk with Jesus. Crosswalk.com is your online destination for all areas of Christian Living – faith, family, fun, and community.
After seeing the list of “important” Christians you should follow, Crosswalk should not be your destination for anything. Why? Most of their list is populated by false teachers. Sadly, the author of this list states that she is a teacher/leader at her church. It is apparent that the author lacks discernment, which is terrible for a church teacher/leader. It’s clear that the publication’s editors lack discernment, too, because they allowed it to be published.
We can pair this list of who (not) to follow with a recent vlog by Challies-
If you were to scan the lists of the best selling Christian books of all time you’d see some truly amazing books there. You’d see some books that have helped us better understand who God is and books that have instructed us. and how we as Christians can live lives of obedience to Him, and like you, I’m genuinely thankful for these books. Sadly though, you’d also see some truly flat-out awful books. Today I’ve narrowed down that list to the five most ridiculous books to ever become Christian bestsellers.
Asked what the biggest problem facing the American church is, John MacArthur replied that it is a lack of biblical knowledge, a lack of biblical discernment. When you see a list like Crosswalk’s, this certainly seems to be sadly true.
And besides, didn’t the Bible tell us that no believer is more “important” than another? (Galatians 3:28, James 2). Their list is a who’s who of false teachers. The list is a slideshow, and as each page came up it got worse and worse. I couldn’t think of any worse people to put on the list if I tried. They’re all there. I thought to myself, “Surely they won’t put Joel Osteen on their list, but when he popped up at #15 my heart sank lower than the floor.
Anyway, here is Crosswalk’s list of “important” Christians you should follow in their order:
- Beth Moore
- Steven Furtick
- Toby Mac
- Lysa TerKeurst
- Franklin Graham
- Max Lucado
- Judah Smith
- Joyce Meyer
- Andy Stanley
- Rick Warren
- Jen Hatmaker
- Tim Keller
- Candace Cameron Bure
- Levi Lusko
- Joel Osteen
- Sadie Robertson
- John Piper
- Shauna Niequist
- Christine Caine
- Brian Houston
Most of these people teach a false doctrine of one kind or another. I know that no one is perfect, and we all hold to some error at one time or another before being graciously corrected. However many of these people on the list teach not immature and temporary error, but permanently damning heresy. Meyer teaches (or taught) that she isn’t a sinner, and that Jesus went to hell and allowed satan to stomp all over His back. Joel Osteen refuses to preach half the Gospel (sin and wrath). Beth Moore gets extra-biblical revelation knowledge and purports to add to the canon by the prophecies and directives Jesus supposedly gives her.
These are actions that by God’s own word, the one who teaches them are doomed. (2 Timothy 4:3-4, Acts 20:28-30, 1 John 4:6, Titus 1:16, 2 Peter 2:3, Romans 16:18…)
Others teach error (Piper, for example) but at this point he can’t said to be false.
I’ve looked at Bure’s statement of faith and her life trajectory and can’t find anything that seems to contradict a foundational tenet or is a damaging teaching. So 1 out of the 20 might be solid, and she isn’t even a Bible teacher or preacher or ministry leader but is an actress (one who albeit takes her platform seriously and promotes Christian standards through the transparency of her life).
Discernment is spiritual insight that is honed by experience and age. However, discernment isn’t by osmosis. It doesn’t just drop in one’s lap. Wisdom is accrued through careful study of God’s word, prayer, and constant application. Through study, one becomes instantly familiar with what is true and what is false, even a little false. In other words, the discerning person has nuance and a humble spirit. The person who can discern displays biblical knowledge, wisdom, and the ability to proclaim it, apply it, and use it.
Ultimately, though, discernment comes from God. David prayed for discernment. Psalm 119:125 says (NIV)
I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.
Here is my list. Top 20 people not to follow- and why
- Beth Moore (no)
- Steven Furtick (Steve Kozar says no) (Todd Friel says Furtick’s false)
- Toby Mac (Ryan Martin at Religious Affections says no)
- Lysa TerKeurst (Michelle Lesley says no)
- Franklin Graham (no)
- Max Lucado (no)
- Judah Smith (no)
- Joyce Meyer (CARM says no)
- Andy Stanley (Josh Buice says no), (no), (And just no)
- Rick Warren (Challies says no), (Warren publicly prayed to Islam’s false god), (JMac negatively reviews Purpose Driven)
- Jen Hatmaker (Christine Pack says no), (Denny Burk says no)
- Tim Keller (no)
- Candace Cameron Bure
- Levi Lusko
- Joel Osteen (nope)
- Sadie Robertson (maybe)
- John Piper (there’s issues…) (and other issues)
- Shauna Niequist (Michelle Lesley gives her a ‘not recommended‘)
- Christine Caine (Rosebrough says no)
- Brian Houston (no, with a lot of other NO’s inside)
Pray to the Spirit for wisdom and He will give it without reproach (James 1:5). Be wise as serpents regarding “Christian” publications including mine and others listed on this page. Use your eyes to see and ears to hear when reading or listening to Christian material. Compare to scripture and give no place to falsity. Jesus is too precious and His torture, death, separation from the Father too heart-rending to cover with any compromise in doctrine by accepting false teachers.
It’s too bad about Crosswalk. That list sure is ridiculous.