“Those who sit under false teachings are not interested in death to self, but in elevating self. They want to satisfy their passions; they want to appease self. And so they listen to those teachers who commend themselves in this regard. These teachers boast of their exploits.”
(Rick Becker – Famine In The Land) “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.“ Acts 20: 29-31.
If the apostle Paul were alive today he would have been accused of being a heresy hunter, judgemental, divisive, unloving, and would have been rejected by certain well known churches and teachers that are adored by millions. Paul was however judging righteously when he warned of false teachers. He was dividing correctly by making a distinction between truth and error, and he was loving in that he presented the truth in order to save those being tossed about by the various winds of doctrine. It is these winds of doctrine that are systematically poisoning millions within the Evangelical Industrial Complex. It may take some time for false teachings to have an effect, but when they do, they are destructive. In this article we explore seven effects of false teachings.
1. SENSUALITY that leads to destruction.
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” 2 Peter 2:1-3
I don’t think I even need to list the church scandals of the past few decades. Pulpits have become a platform for predators of the worst kind. Sexual abuse, affairs, abuse of power and the lust for money in the visible church have made it difficult for unbelievers to make a distinction between the immorality of the world and what takes place in the church. This is how the way of truth is blasphemed.
The word that translates as “sensuality” is ἀσελγείαις – which means lascivious, and is used in the majority of manuscripts as opposed to the word ἀπωλείαις – meaning destructive or pernicious. The lasciviousness of these false teachers meant that they satisfied the lusts of their flesh, particularly sexual pleasures. I found Mark Dunagan’s commentary on these verses above helpful:
“The ethics and morality of such men have become a matter of private choice or personal opinion. The key words they use are ‘self-expression’, ‘fulfillment’, rather than purity and obedience. ‘If there is no longer a master to please, then there will only be ourselves to please; and if someone starts speaking a message that flatters people rather than calling them to repentance and faith, and that encourages them to enjoy their darkest and most secret wishes rather than hard discipleship and learning, it will not be surprising that many will follow. Such a message makes no demands other than the ones we want to make on ourselves”
These false teachers avoid the message of the cross and justify the lusts of the flesh. They avoid messages on sin, God’s wrath, eternal judgement, and death to self. Their ear tickling messages will satisfy the souls who want to fulfill their dreams and appease their carnal appetites. They don’t preach tithing because they want you to prosper – they need your tithe to pay for their new building and opulent lifestyle. They won’t tell you that they got rich from exploiting biblically illiterate people due to their own greed; instead they will tell you that tithing worked for them. They justify their divorces by blaming their spouse, and within months marry that other woman from their own congregation. They are admired and revered as influential voices in the visible church while secretly abusing women in their own congregation. They teach on accountability yet they are accountable to no one. These are sensual and greedy people whose version of god is merely an expression of themselves. And here’s the effect – “many will follow their sensuality.”
CRN has a list of professing Christians to mark and avoid (Rom 16:17-18). Scroll down to WARNING