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Is David Jeremiah a False Teacher?

HomeFalse TeachingsIs David Jeremiah a False Teacher?

Like clockwork, not a week goes by without someone writing to either ask whether David Jeremiah is a false teacher, or to recommend him as a reliable teacher of Scripture. This article will not satisfy either group, but it’s the best I can do at this moment.

David Jeremiah

Our goal should be to simply be truthful, not to attack or defend anyone. I’ve heard David Jeremiah teach, on the radio, many times in the past. I’ve never personally heard him say anything that concerned me. However: as someone who has not followed him closely, I’m uncomfortable recommending him based solely on past impressions. I’m also entirely unwilling to call anyone a false teacher without seeing, objectively, that they’re teaching falsely.

For more information on that, please read What is a False Teacher?

The trouble with other people’s websites

When I’m unfamiliar with a teacher, I begin my research by looking for the things that other people have found. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, so if someone has already done solid research, I can begin there. Unfortunately, after reviewing around a hundred different websites that call David Jeremiah a false teacher, I’m no closer to having any answers. Why? Because different people have different ideas of what makes someone a false teacher. Here’s a short list of the reasons that some call Jeremiah a false teacher:

… and so on. That’s what I find when I look for hard answers about David Jeremiah.

To be clear: Associating with non-believers, unbelievers, and false teachers is also not evidence that someone is a false teacher. There are plenty of examples of solid, Bible-believing Christians spending time with non-Christians and heretics without compromising their own faith, or teaching falsely.

To be clear: simply quoting non-believers is not evidence that someone is a false teacher. There are many quotes in the Bible that originated with non-believers.

To be clear: while some believe that the Roman Catholic church is the Babylon of Revelation, most do not. This is an interpretive question that can’t be answered at this point in history, so the charge amounts to little more than a conspiracy theory… and I see no direct connection between Jeremiah and the Vatican to begin with. This is overly dramatic at best, and certainly a kind of immature mud-slinging.

To be clear: doctrinal disagreements between Christians are not evidence that someone is a false teacher. If you believe in the rapture but your brother does not, that isn’t evidence. That’s an “in-house debate” between Christians, not evidence that your brother is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

What does make someone a false teacher? Teaching falsely. I’ve seen virtually no actual quotes from David Jeremiah on the dozens of website that proclaim that he’s a false teacher. This simply should not be.

Cause for concern

However: these things are not to simply be dismissed. When someone aligns themselves with heretics, it’s wise to consider whether they’ve joined them… or, at the very least, whether they lack the discernment needed to be a wise teacher. There’s no question that David Jeremiah spends a lot of time with people who are demonstrably false teachers. 2 John 1:10-11 points to the fact that we are not to welcome a false teacher: If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.

I’ve not seen any quotes from David Jeremiah that contradict clear Scriptures, or the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. I’ve not heard him say anything directly that I can compare with a particular Bible verse to show that he’s a false teacher. That’s why he’s not on the List of False Teachers.

That’s also why he’s not on the list of Bible Teachers I Can Recommend. I need to continue my research, which takes time. I can’t rely on any of the dozens and dozens of websites I’ve found that are essentially immature attempts at making a case against him. I have to take the time to listen to a bunch of his sermons.

I’ve seen evidence that he’s joined the TBN false teaching of the prosperity gospel… but I haven’t seen the video. I’ve seen evidence that he lacks the discernment needed to be considered trustworthy… but I haven’t heard his unwise recommendations myself. For that reason, I write this warning.

Until I know more, I’m unable to recommend David Jeremiah. Until I know more, it would be foolish and unwise and almost certainly sinful for me to suggest that he’s a false teacher. I refuse to bear false witness against my neighbor, let alone my brother in Christ.

Please pray for David Jeremiah, that he will be faithful to the Scriptures. While you’re at it, please pray for me as I work to help those who trust me learn whether they can trust others. I don’t take this lightly, and I don’t do it for myself. I simply get too many requests for this kind of information, and can’t ignore them.


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Comments

38 responses to “Is David Jeremiah a False Teacher?”

  1. Kim says:

    He does believe and teach the pre trib rapture. I’ve listened to him for many years, read his books, he sticks with the Bible, you can follow along.

    • Tony says:

      Kim:

      Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. It may be that your information is more timely than mine. However: I can’t just take your word for it. Because so many read GodWords, it would be irresponsible for me to do so. Instead, as I’ve written above, I need to find out for myself. I’m sure you can understand… I wouldn’t want you to just take MY word for anything. Instead, we should be like the Bereans in Acts 17, testing what we hear with Scripture. Before I can agree with you, I need to do what they did. =)

  2. Ray says:

    Any comments about David Jerimiah calling himself “Dr.” when in fact he has no Phd or doctorate in any field? He does have an honorary doctorate from a school his daddy founded. You do not use “Dr.” with honorary doctorate degrees.

    • Tony says:

      Ray:

      Why would I care about that? Why do you care about that? Let’s say, for the sake of discussion, that Jeremiah is a tiny bit overly proud of his honorary doctorate. Would that be a character flaw? Sure. Would it indicate that he isn’t born again, or that he’s a false teacher? Of course not… that would be ridiculous.

      I don’t know whether there’s actually a formal protocol for how one refers to an honorary doctor, nor do I care. What concerns me is whether someone responsibly communicates the clear truths of Scripture. Nitpicking helps nobody, and it seems you’re doing some high-level nitpicking here. If you have something of substance to discuss, let’s!

  3. Tom says:

    This statement is comical:

    “…while some believe that the Roman Catholic church is the Babylon of Revelation, most do not. This is an interpretive question that can’t be answered at this point in history, so the charge amounts to little more than a conspiracy theory…”

    Please study up, otherwise uour efforts amount to false teachings, with statements such as the above. All the great theologians and protestant reformers knew the truth and witnessed it. May I suggest a copy of the Geneva bible? They knew, however most today don’t as they’ve been deceived.

    I suggest you start here.
    [Links removed]

    • Tony says:

      Tom:

      You’re free to come to your own conclusions, obviously. There’s nothing incorrect about the words you’ve quoted. Some believe, most do not. If it could be proved, it would be proved… there are plenty of anti-Catholic folks out there who would spend their life savings advertising the proof, if it existed. Some conspiracy theories are true, and I haven’t taken a position on whether Rome is Babylon.

      My efforts, as you call them, are generally limited to what can be clearly established in Scripture. Your theory can’t be clearly established in Scripture, so I acknowledge that you may be right. Because that’s outside the scope of this article and my website in general, this part of the conversation is over. I do hope you’ll join in on a relevant topic, as I’m sure you have much to add that people can learn from.

      Have a great day!

  4. John Gasparro Jr. says:

    The false teaching (preaching) of a “pre-tribulation rapture” is a major misinterpretation of 1st Thessalonians 4: 14-17: and it is used to quiet ignorant people’s fears of going through a living Hell on earth in the end times–in which we surely live now. Using suffering and Hell-fire to put fear into peoples hearts, has always work as a tool to gain a following and support by people who don’t read the Bible themselves and are the “sheep being led to the slaughter” by those “wolves in sheep’s clothing”: false preachers and teachers!

    It was a preacher named John Nelson Darby, who around the mid-1800s first concocted the idea of a RAPTURE. From that time onward, it has been used as a scare tactic to gain followers of which ever religious group is teaching it. Period !

    • Tony says:

      Thanks for writing, John!

      I hope you don’t mind if I push back a little bit. I think you would agree that there’s a significant difference between being wrong about something and being a false teacher. There’s no doubt I’m wrong about some things, and I’m confident that you’re wrong about some things, too. That doesn’t make us false teachers in the way we see them described in the New Testament.

      Like you, I believe that the rapture is something new, and that what’s taught about it doesn’t match Scripture. Does that mean that people who believe it are false teachers? Not really. Does that fact that some use this belief to try to comfort their brothers and sisters mean that they’re false teachers? I wouldn’t think so. You may be painting with a too-broad brush here, my friend. With respect, it seems kind of silly to suggest that everybody who teaches it is using it as a “scare tactic.”

      Let me ask you, since you brought it up: is “using suffering and Hell-fire to put fear into peoples hearts” – your words – anything but a scare tactic to gain followers of your religious group? Sounds like it. I see nothing wrong with using fear OR comfort to convince people to consider the gospel, depending on what the listeners need to hear. If you wouldn’t mind sharing a response, I’d like to hear your thoughts on that. Thanks!

  5. John Gasparro Jr. says:

    Revelation 22: 18 Jesus said that if anyone ADDS to these words as recorded in the Bible scriptures; that God will add to him or her, the plagues written herein…. John Nelson Darby added his interpretation of the apostle Paul’s words about a resurrection of “chosen ones” to his belief that ALL Christians -or believers- will go to Heaven at death. That’s where the RAPTURE doctrines originated in England, by this preacher in the mid-1800s.

    • Tony says:

      John:

      Here’s Revelation 22:18.

      I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll.

      What you’ve written here is false. That doesn’t make you a false teacher, of course… it only makes you wrong. That verse, obviously, only applies to the words of the prophecy in Revelation. Does that mean it’s okay to add to any Scripture? No… but it’s a mistake to take a specific passage and reapply it somewhere else and pretend that that’s how things work. I disagree with Darby. So do you. That doesn’t mean that anyone who teaches that the rapture is biblical will suffer in this way. You’re upset that Darby “added” to “the Bible scriptures,” but you’ve done exactly the same thing here. I’m not mad or anything. You and I agree that Darby was wrong… but it seems your response is, in some ways, as unbiblical as his interpretation. If you want others to be careful in how they handle Scripture, set a good example for them to follow!

      I’m sure there are people watching you, listening to you. You have influence, so please let me encourage you to commit to a serious study of Scripture. If you’re committed to learning the text, some of them will do the same.

  6. Rosalee j Strader says:

    I don’t like that he’s associated himself with TBN. And thus associates with the
    false Prosperity Gospel folks.

    • Tony says:

      I don’t either, Rosalee. It’s a potential indicator, but we should be careful to only assess a teacher by what they teach, not by what others teach. I’m sure you’d agree!

  7. John Gasparro Jr. says:

    Tony: Yes, I applied the Rev. 22:18 to the false teaching of John Darby on the so-called RAPTURE. Here is why: 2 Timothy 16 (…ALL scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching…for setting things STRAIGHT….” Naturally, what applies to anyone Adding to scripture in Revelation, would also apply to ALL other scriptures in the Bible. Common-sense and LOGIC reasoning. What you’ve done by isolating the idea of God cursing anyone who ADDS to Rev. 22:18; is to assume that it ONLY applies to the scroll of Revelation. Simple spiritual reasoning of scripture would indicate that the way God feels about anyone adding to or embellishing ANY of His word, would incur His wrath or displeasure. Period!

    • Tony says:

      John:

      With respect, this is not how we responsibly handle Scripture. It’s one thing to say that we shouldn’t add to Scripture. It’s another thing to make the theological claim that Revelation 22:18 specifically addresses all Scripture. It’s good to take a principle from one passage and extend it elsewhere, if applicable… it’s not good to pretend that a text says something it definitively does not say. Revelation 22:18 definitively does not say to not add to any other Scripture. It contains very specific information and a very specific warning. Who will experience the plagues mentioned in that scroll? Anyone who adds to the prophecy in that scroll.

      I’m not trying to bust your chops, John. I wouldn’t add to any Scripture… that’s a sound principle. Here’s the problem: when someone feels free to misread and misapply a passage of Scripture, it doesn’t usually stop there. They end up misreading and misapplying all kind of Scriptures, and then we end up with some wacky beliefs about God. Any deviation from the plain and obvious meaning of the text should be noted, and that’s all I’m trying to do: to note, and to help you see, that the text you cite doesn’t say what you say it says.

      It’s not really about your claim. It’s really – truly – about how we handle God’s Word. We’re responsible to God for how we handle it, and for what we tell others about it. That’s all. You’re my brother, and I love you… and I hope you take this small bit of advice as a help, and not a roadblock.

      Have a great day!

  8. John Gasparro Jr. says:

    Tony:

    You are “busting my chops” as you say. You’re going through this whole tirade about the way in which I APPLIED the wording in Revelation 22:18 to the negative consequences of anyone who would add their non-scriptural interpretation of ANY scripture–which is just what John N. Darby did…

    [EDITED}

    • Tony says:

      John:

      Tirade? Sounds like you think I’m upset or something. I’m not. Here’s the point:

      1. People write to me every day to ask questions.
      2. Most of the questions have simple answers, found in the Bible.
      3. There are reasons they don’t know the answers already. Sometimes they just haven’t heard everything yet. Most of them have heard the wrong things.
      4. Where do these wrong things come from? They come from people who don’t handle Scripture properly.
      5. What’s the most common way people handle Scripture poorly? Taking a passage out of context.

      My response to you is based solely in the fact that you took Revelation 22:18 out of context. These are your words:

      Revelation 22: 18 Jesus said that if anyone ADDS to these words as recorded in the Bible scriptures; that God will add to him or her, the plagues written herein.

      That’s not what Jesus said, as we see in the text. Clearly, you took this verse out of context. That is all. With respect (not the first time I’ve said it, and nothing has changed): you’re making a mountain out of a molehill. I don’t know why you seem angry with me, except that while I agree with you about the principles, I cautioned you to not take passages from the Bible out of context. Do you really have a problem with that?

  9. John Gasparro Jr. says:

    Tony:

    Yes, you are right, by quoting Rev.22:18 as to what would happen to anyone who ADDS anything to the scriptures meaning; I did take it out of “context” by applying it to preachers like John Darby who add their personal interpretation to key scriptures, like the one about the “chosen” (anointed ones) being taken up as the “bride class” to meet with Jesus upon he return to rule earth with them. However, my intent was not to suggest that the “plagues” etc. that are mentioned in Rev. 22:18 would be the fate of those who add to scripture, but that I intended to use that example of God’s wrath and anger towards anyone who does misrepresent his word. I used the wrong scripture to get my point across. I can understand how that might confuse those who are not familiar with scripture.

    In that regard; I am grateful to you for your correction and patience with me in our communications. I will try to avoid such context conflict from now on.

    Sincerely…..John

  10. John Gasparro Jr. says:

    Tony:

    Context is very important when quoting scripture. I say: Let the Bible interpret itself. It will! And it does! There are sooooo many versions of the Bible on the shelves of Barnes and Noble and other religious book stores around. No wonder why the average person just gives up on trying to understand scripture with so many different translations–they’re just too overwhelmed and so they just leave it up to the local preacher or evangelist or televangelist to get their spiritual guidance from–like David Jeremiah and the hundreds of other HWP preachers. The only one that I have any respect for now, is Jonathan Cahn–and I’m beginning to have some doubts about him lately. At least he is proclaiming the reality of the times we now live in and the prophesies of the end-time. And, that doesn’t set well with the (health,wealth, and prosperity) preachers of today. Here they are preaching HWP at a time when any future for this world is fast running out. And I mean fast my friend!

    • Tony says:

      John:

      Yes, context is almost everything… in every communication. The more important the message, the more important is the context. The Bible does interpret itself… you’re right. You’re also right that many are confused at the vast number of different Bibles and different churches. I see that as a symptom, not a cause. The cause is that too few Christians are involved in the lives of their neighbors. Too few are known as people of peace, people of The Way. Most people would never go to a Christian and ask them for advice, as most Christians seem to have nothing to offer. Their lives are seldom very different from those who are lost. If pastors and teachers handled Scripture better, focused less on “Bible study” and more on making disciples, the world would see Christianity in a different way. Instead of being on their own when it comes to knowing God, they would be able to say, “I know a Christian… I should ask them for help.”

      I share your urgency, my friend. I get emails virtually every day from someone, somewhere in the world, who needs help. I don’t have enough hours in the day to make all the difference I want to make, and I’m frustrated that so many – like David Jeremiah – have a gigantic following but seem to lack the urgency found in the New Testament. May God help us.

  11. Ray says:

    Has anyone ever listened to Carrie Ann Horn on YT, “ASoulUnited” If so, any comments about what she says? She is very anti-Catholic and anti-Protestant, claims David Jerimiah is false, along with quite a few others.

    • Tony says:

      Ray:

      I wasn’t very familiar with her, so I spend some time listening. I would NOT recommend her. While I heard her say a number of good and meaningful things, they weren’t any different than what I would hear from any decent teacher. At the same time, she appears to be something of a conspiracy-minded teacher, and overly broad in her criticisms. For example, she says that Christians should not call themselves Catholics or Orthodox or Protestant, but only Christian… because we are to only follow Christ. That’s good. She then claims that this group and that group are inherently bad, using the genetic fallacy.

      The genetic fallacy is when someone claims that something is good or bad based on its origin. For example, she and I agree that the Catholic church’s teaching includes many unbiblical ideas. She then claims that Luther was wrong about pretty much everything because he was once Catholic. She cites Scripture to make the assessment: a good tree bears good fruit and a bad tree bears bad fruit… so because (in her mind) Catholicism is all bad, then Lutheranism is all bad as well. Theological arguments aside, this isn’t a wise or logical way to handle anything. She uses this argument to rail against celebrating Christmas and Easter, claiming that because some pagans do so, Christians would never.

      I did find it interesting to hear her talk, from one moment to the next, using terms that are common to groups like Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh-Day Adventists… and then condemn those groups as antichrist. I was looking for clues to her point of view, and thought “there’s something from JWs” and “I wonder if she’s Adventist,” and then she blasted Ellen G. White and the Watchtower. She’s apparently a self-styled teacher, which isn’t necessarily bad at all… but I would suggest that she may lack discernment.

      Finally, she has a video about finding your “real birthday” based on “God’s calendar.” This is part of the odd conspiracy stuff I mentioned. Our calendar is apparently bad, and we should be counting days from sunset to sunset, and calling the months by their Hebrew names, and so on. I don’t guess she’s part of the false Hebrew Roots movement, but there are similarities. I can’t find any online assessments by anyone else, so I have only these brief thoughts to share. I would avoid her as a teacher, since there are so many available who don’t raise any big red flags.

      Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

  12. Ray says:

    Tony, thanks for your response and viewpoints! I came away with you should not be involved with ANY organized religion and focus only on the Bible (which one?) She certainly is passionate about what she believes and can be quite critical of others. I agree with you about comments that sound like JW and Adventists. Thanks again!

  13. Chris says:

    Hi Tony,
    I appreciate your wise comments & feedback on this post.
    Couple things:
    1) I’ve been listening to David Jeremiah for years. It seems his teachings have always been consistent & theologically sound. I’ve recently become a supporter of his ministry and want to make sure I’m in the ‘right’ lane.
    I look forward to your future comments about David Jeremiah after you complete your evaluation.
    (Lots of opinions online abt Christian pastors & it’s hard to discern who’s telling the truth…. especially these days!)

    2). Yes, there’s a lot of versions of the Bible. Along time ago & many times since, Ive been advised to read/study the King James Version (mainly because of its sound bloodline).
    What are your thoughts?

    Thank you,
    Chris

    • Tony says:

      Chris:

      Thanks for your encouragement! I’ll definitely be updating my info on David Jeremiah as more data comes in. As for the KJV, it’s important to simply recognize the historical reality. The King James is wonderful, amazing, beautiful, and good. I grew up on it, and find myself unable to memorize certain verses because I can’t undo the memorizing I did as a child.

      That said, there are a lot of people out there with some wild ideas about the King James. Here are a few that I’ve run into over the years:

      • It’s the only true Bible (it’s not).
      • It’s more inspired than the originals (ridiculous)
      • The translators were more inspired than the authors (wow)
      • It comes from the Textus Receptus, the only valid set of manuscripts (not even close)
      • Modern Bibles are the result of a satanic conspiracy to change the word of God

      That last one deserves some scrutiny. KJ advocates claim that other Bibles remove verses from God’s word. They use the King James as the standard, and anything that deviates from the King James is automatically wrong, deceptive, and part of a New Age plot to trick people into believing in other gods. The problem is that when we look at modern Bibles, almost all of them have footnotes… and those footnotes explain some of the variations in the ancient manuscripts. The verses haven’t been removed. It’s the opposite: they’ve been explained in more detail.

      I recommend the King James. As my pastor once said, “the best Bible is the one you’ll read.” That doesn’t mean that it’s perfect, of course. The KJV mentions unicorns six times, as but one example. It’s not the last Bible that should be published, either… as anyone reading the original Preface to the KJV can see. The translators were building on the good foundation of previous Bibles, and hoped that others would do the same with their work. There’s nothing particularly special about the King James, in a spiritual sense. It’s a human translation, subject to critical analysis, that presents the gospel with enough clarity for readers to understand.

      Finally, the arguments over the KJV take on a completely different flavor when you personally know people who have worked on Bible translations. I have friends who do translation work now. I’ve met and visited with people who worked on multiple modern Bibles. One of my clients (I’m a web guy) worked on the NIV, the ESV, the NAB, the HSCB, and the CEB. When you look into the details, it’s clear that most of the claims by the KJV-preferring crowd aren’t based in history or linguistics or archaeology. The suspicion surrounding other manuscript families is entirely unfounded.

      I hope I’m making sense. I use the KJV regularly. It’s good… but so are most of the other Bibles in existence. Is that your conclusion as well?

  14. Phil Henry says:

    DISCERNMENT,DISCERNMENT, DISCERNMENT

    CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT

    Every True Believer needs to read the Word using the above disciplines

  15. Jackie Fry says:

    He looks like he is a Freemason as his church has symbology all over it. The altar, the huge window has an All seeing eye, the scripture mentions light and not Jesus, he as two twin poles with globes on top out the front. He has the acacia leaves on the pulpit and he uses all the hand signs.

    • Tony says:

      Jackie:

      Let’s say, for the sake of the discussion, that David Jeremiah is actually a Freemason. Let’s say that you’re right about all of these things. I’m no fan of Freemasonry, but we still have to answer these questions:

      Is David Jeremiah a reliable preacher of the gospel, or not?
      Does what David Jeremiah teaches contradict clear Scriptures about primary doctrines?

      When it comes to assessing whether someone is a false teacher, we need to examine what they teach… not whether they have twin poles with globes on top. Does that make sense?

  16. Lynn says:

    Could you explain why the pre-trib rapture is not correct? It is still unclear to me after reading the scripture. Thanks!

    • Tony says:

      Lynn:

      Thanks for asking! No, I can’t explain why the pre-trib rapture is not correct. The reason is simple: we don’t actually know, with certainty, how end-times events will unfold. There’s no question that many will say otherwise, and with great emotion and confidence… but I would suggest that that’s not evidence. There are lots of disagreements about these things between serious, knowledgeable, devoted born-again and spirit-filled believers.

      This is, of course, a secondary issue. It’s secondary, precisely because it’s unclear. We have no doubts about whether we’re saved by faith or by works, right? We have no doubts about whether Jesus is God, or whether everyone goes to Heaven, or whether we’re supposed to love our enemies. These things are abundantly clear in Scripture, so we can say with certainty that they’re not up for debate. When it comes to the fulfillment of prophecy and how things will turn out in the future, we have no such certainty. For that reason, we should hold our opinions about them somewhat loosely, and we should never divide from brothers and sisters over it.

      When we read about secondary issues, we should be skeptics. It’s wise to avoid being persuaded by only one side of the argument, as I’m sure you would agree. When we’re willing to listen to more than one side of the debate, we can see why people believe what they believe… and accept that their reasons for believing as they do may be valid. It’s okay to not be an expert on Revelation, by the way.

      Will you share your thoughts with me?

  17. Jill says:

    I found the conversation between John and Tony stimulating. It’s good to see people humble themselves enough to be able to disagree and accept others opinions without animosity. Ahh,if only the whole world could follow that example.Thank you- God bless you both.

  18. Tanya Lawson says:

    I appreciated the conflict resolution between John and Tony as well. It could have gotten worse, but God be praised. Humility and a willingness to be corrected is what came from it. So many people defend pastors, they are human and they have their own set of warnings and protocols in the bible. Their responsibility for shepherding the flock is overwhelming , which is why , like us, they need to allow the Word via the Holy Spirit to speak through them, after MUCH prayer.

  19. Wade L Heaton says:

    Perhaps you should spend your time teaching and helping others.

    We live in a Godless society, and what we dont need is people tearing down those teaching and doing best they can.

    Who are you to judge your brother…sound familiar..

    It is not your responsiblity to save and change and correct people from following false doctrine it is there own responsibility.. not yours..

    These teachers you slander and say are not believers or Christians they are doing more than you are by actually having a following and doing something to that which others have something to hold on to… if it is incorrect that is on the heads of those who follow them not yours….not your responsiblity.

    So why do you find it your responsibility to judge another? and slander them for their works?

    This is not appropriate..

    The slander in the church is great, as is the apostasy, as well as bad teaching, and your not any better as I have read some of what you say as well..

    Stop burning the churches, what few we have left, and try to build back that which needs building rather than tearing down.

    If you think can do better do so, but dont tear down the few that are trying….even if they are misguided….let God be their judge not you..

    • Tony says:

      Wade:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I hope you don’t mind if I respond.

      First, I do spend my time teaching and helping others. That’s generally good advice… but James warns that not many should be teachers, as we will be judged more strictly. If one is to teach, he or she should be careful to teach well. You probably didn’t read What is a False Teacher, where I explain why – after 20 years of writing online – I finally decided to write about them. I asked you to please read it, but it seems clear you haven’t. Maybe it would help.

      Second, why do you assume that everyone is “doing best they can”? That’s a big assumption. Do you really believe there are NO false teachers out there? Do you really believe there are no wolves in the church? If that’s right, we don’t need to read the parts in the New Testament about false teachers. If that’s wrong, pretending that everyone who teaches in Jesus’ name should be trusted is a recipe for spiritual disaster.

      Third, who am I to judge my brother? Who are YOU to judge ME, your brother? Let’s not pretend that that’s not EXACTLY what you’re doing right now. You’re judging me, telling me I shouldn’t judge others. That’s pretty much the textbook definition of hypocrisy, isn’t it? Relax, Wade… I’m not busting your chops. I’m really trying to clear up some misconceptions. For example: you cite Romans 14:4 to say that I shouldn’t judge other believers. Maybe you haven’t read it carefully, or maybe you’re just writing about that from memory without double-checking it… but the verse doesn’t tell us to never judge a brother. Here’s verse 1, which comes only a few verses ahead of verse 4, giving us the context for Paul’s command:

      Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.

      I have two points to make on this:

      1. Paul writes about judging over disputable matters. Not everything is disputable, and those who teach falsely about the essentials of the faith should be disputed. The New Testament instructs us to do exactly that.
      2. The same Paul who wrote that also wrote this: What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.

      I’ll ask you, Wade: are you not to judge those inside the church? You are. I am. If you actually read what I’ve actually written, you’ll see that we should make a clear distinction between those who may be wrong about a secondary matter and those who teach contrary to Scripture on essential matters. If you don’t know how to assess essential and secondary matters, you’re not really in a position to judge me when I do. I say this as your brother and, hopefully, a friend. If you don’t know what the Bible says, don’t run around criticizing those who do… learn what the Bible says, and then you’ll be in a good position to correct others. If I’m wrong, I want your correction.

      Fourth, it actually IS my responsibility to correct people from following false doctrine… and it’s your responsibility as well. I understand that you may not have been taught that this is the case, but it’s actually the biblical position. Pretending that what people teach doesn’t matter is certainly not the biblical position.

      Fifth, I haven’t slandered anyone. Slander is making false statements to damage someone’s reputation. If I’ve written anything that’s false, point it out. I’ll double-check it, and remove it if I’m wrong. Telling people what a teacher has actually said, in their own words, can’t be slander.

      Sixth, you’re 100% wrong: I have never said that anyone is not a believer or a Christian, unless I’m repeating what they have said about themselves. Never, in my entire life… and certainly not here on my website. I have no idea whether you or anyone else has been born again, and it would be stupid and wrong to pretend I do. Your judgement of me on this is awful, Wade. That’s closer to slander than anything I’ve written, to be sure.

      Seventh, you’re wrong again: what I’m doing here is entirely appropriate. Why do I say that? Because it is. The New Testament tells us a whole bunch of things about false teachers: how to spot them, what to think about them, and what to do about them. You’re clearly unfamiliar with these parts of the New Testament, which is why every false teacher page has a link to that thing you didn’t bother to read: What is a False Teacher?

      Eighth: I have to admit I’m a little surprised at this part. You say that apostasy and bad teaching are a ‘great’ problem in the church… but you object to me pointing any of it out. This seems inconsistent, Wade. If apostasy and bad teaching are a problem, what do you suggest we do about it? From what you’ve written here, you seem to think the answer is to do nothing at all. Why is that?

      Finally – and I don’t fault you for being wrong about this – your suggestion that I try to build back what needs building is a good one. What you’re wrong about is that you assume I’m not doing exactly that. I wrote on this website for 20 years before writing a single thing about false teachers. I get more emails from readers than comments, and I reply personally to virtually every one of them. I offer my time and my efforts to serve them in any way I can. For a website with millions of readers, you might be able to imagine that that’s a lot of investment… and I’m married, have a family, run a business, have a social life, and am active in my local congregation. Yes, I should be building. That’s been my life, Wade. Maybe you only read one or two pages here, which is why I can’t fault you for not knowing there are hundreds of articles that have nothing to do with false teachers. I write a weekly newsletter that’s all about building. The only reason I’ve written about false teachers is that people are asking about false teachers.

      I’ll ask you this in the most friendly, brother-to-brother way I can: what are you building? I’m not asking you to compare with me… I’m asking whether you’re building anything at all, and telling you that I’d love to hear about your personal ministry to those God has brought near to you. Don’t consider our disagreement here to be a problem. I’m okay with you disagreeing, and you should be okay with me disagreeing. The goal is for you and I to get to know each other, and to serve one another. I really DO appreciate you writing, as it gives us the opportunity to get to know each other. If there’s anything I can do to help you, let me know.

      Have a great day!

  20. Kurt says:

    All U people, Enough!! U All Sound like Little Children…..It’s my Candy… No, its my Candy!!!,Really….I will Solve the Problem Right Now….Read the “Bible” on your Own..to Learn all about Our Lord, Jesus Christ…Do Not watch “ANY” Tv. Preachers at all!! Ask God’s Help for U to Understand what U R reading…Believe..in the Word…..And you shall Overcome!! Problem Solved!!! Grow-up People….

    • Tony says:

      Kurt:

      I understand why you might be exasperated at certain online discussions. Maybe you should add ‘stay off the web’ to your not watching TV. Here are a few verses that will help you, should you want to handle these things more effectively. I get that you’re trying to help people, but that’s not how we do it. Here’s how we do it:

      • Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)
      • And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)
      • And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. (2 Timothy 2:24)

      In your zeal to help others “grow up,” let me encourage you to consider whether you’re leading the way, or only pointing out the way. Let me know if I can do more to be helpful to you.

  21. Liza says:

    Nicky Gumbel often quotes Joyce Meyer when I listen to The Bible in One Year. I am bothered. Because Joyce Meyer is associated with the prosperity gospels and Nicky is the author of Alpha. Is there a reason I should be concerned?

    • Tony says:

      Liza:

      Yes, you should be concerned about anyone quoting Joyce Meyer. There’s no question that Joyce Meyer says many true things. This is the case for any false teacher… nobody says only untrue things. The problem with quoting her is that it looks like a recommendation. Nobody who is interested in learning the gospel should be listening to Joyce Meyer. I’m surprised that Gumbel quotes her.

      Having led the Alpha course, I recognize that it doesn’t promote a deep understanding of the gospel. It’s not designed for that. It’s a conversation starter, led by local people… but it’s very popular, and very powerful. If they’re actually recommending Joyce Meyer or any other false teacher, I would never again recommend Alpha. Can you point me to something specific?

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