There are some naysayers in the Christian community who have come out against online discernment ministries (ODM’s) as they feel the work “discerners” do is, in their view, unbiblical. Amy Spreeman of Berean Research, a popular discernment blog, disagrees. In this piece, Amy explains the purpose of ODM’s and why pointing discouraged and confused believers in the right direction has helped them discover Truth. Because of ODM’s, many people who were once caught up in a cult, false teaching, and idolatry say they’ve been set free.
“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, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” — 2 Timothy 4:3-4
I recently heard someone lament that discernment reporters always trot out the same tired old Scripture verses to defend why they report all the negative things that today’s Bible teachers teach and do that aren’t lining up with Scripture. I thought it a strange thing, to tell Christians that using the Word of God as a basis for following His commands to be discerning and defend the true faith as being a bad thing.
When Jesus’ disciples asked Him what would be the signs they could look to as the end of the age, the first thing Jesus did was to warn them not to be deceived. (You can read about that here.) His words were to the believers and true followers. Yes, it seems that true Christians CAN be deceived, or Jesus wouldn’t have warned us to take care not to be.
Why do reporters write about those in our times who are twisting Scripture? Is it because we are hateful, or singularly focused on negative things? No. I believe that discerning Christians need to be Bereans to continually search Scriptures to make sure they are following the truth rather than what sounds almost true. But here’s the problem: They are not being taught how to do that by their leaders. Instead, their leaders are giving a nod of approval to false teachings and teachers.