Thursday, September 10, 2009

God's Controversy with False Teachers: The Feel-Good Gospel of American Evangelicalism

"'In the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his evil; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.' Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets: 'Behold, I will feed them with bitter food and give them poisoned water to drink, for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has gone out into all the land.'

"Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, "It shall be well with you"; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart they say, "No disaster shall come upon you."'"
- Jeremiah 23:14-17

Telling anyone of his sin has become passe in today's spiritual world. Whether we are talking about liberal theologians who simply dismiss the very concept of sin, or about feel-good evangelicals like Joel Osteen, it just isn't good form to tell a man that he is a sinner under the judgment of God.

The prophet Isaiah also spoke about these ecclesiastical quislings (Is 5:20): "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter."

Jeremiah warns these teachers (verses 26-29): "How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal? Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord. Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?"

The true word of God breaks the sinner's heart like a rock, because his heart must be broken before he will turn to Jesus for salvation. A false teacher will massage the sinner's self-esteem all the way to Hell. Which one is actually helping the sinner? Your eternity may depend on how you answer that question.

No comments: