Why is the pull of false doctrine so potent? Here are four reasons.
I’m a blessed man.
I’ve got a godly, merciful and hard-working wife.
Kind, creative and compassionate children.
A beautiful, supportive band of brothers.
And a pastor who is not afraid to draw the line between true and false teaching.
The Gritty Gift of Preaching
Granted, he’s not always PC. He doesn’t shoot to be all-inclusive.
Yes, he loves people to death. But he loves the gospel even more.
And that quite often divides.
It divides truth from error. Authentic teachers from the false. Genuine doctrine from the fake.
This is tough to take, no doubt. But the gospel aims to shoot the wolves to protect the sheep. A role that’s not easy for a pastor to play.
But one he must.
So, over the last couple of months my pastor has used 1 John as his text–a text close to my heart.
And this past Sunday, while exhorting us to abide in Christ for the sake of spiritual maturity, he paused to clarify the following about false doctrine, namely why it’s pull on us is so potent.
1. False doctrine offers us short cuts.
And we like shortcuts. If we can avoid pain or discomfort and get immediate gratification in any measure, bring it on. Authentic doctrine, on the other hand, says we must reject self and walk the narrow–often difficult–path. Think Bunyan’s Wicket Gate.
2. False doctrine appeals to our base nature.
Gnosticism gave us liberty to indulge in sexual promiscuity. The abundant life gospel pushes our greed button. Miracle-rich doctrines feed our sensual gene.
3. False doctrine feels so intuitive.
Of course I deserve a big house. A big car. The second house. Promotion. Trophy wife. Naturally God would want my limbs restored. My child cured of leukemia. My deliberate, premeditated sins forgiven.
Authentic doctrine, on the other hand, is counter-intuitive. For example, God said, “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.”
Not typically what we think when we think of a “loving” God.
4. False doctrine puts us on the throne.
After reading the preceding three reasons, is this any surprise? The word “you” looms large in false doctrine. It’s what John Piper described in God Is the Gospel as the gospel that “makes much of us” instead of making much of God. And it’s why some pastors strive to create churches to amuse us rather than instruct, correct, train and discipline.
In the end, if you want true spiritual alignment, don’t lean on false doctrine.
So, tell me: What other ways does false doctrine seduce us? Am I missing anything? Do you agree? Disagree? Leave your thoughts, brutal and all.