Christian Church Controversy
6 Practical Precepts To Adopt
An Excerpt from the First Place Award winning book,
The legend of the Trojan Horse captivates our imagination. According to legend, the Greeks attempted to conquer the city of Troy, situated on the west coast of Asia Minor around 1200 B.C.
When the people of Troy denied them entry, the Greeks devised a scheme to enter the city by deception. They built a colossal, magnificent horse as a gift to the victorious Trojans.
Virgil described the scene in Aeneid, Book 2 as translated by John Drydan.
“By destiny compell’d, and in despair,
The Greeks grew weary of the tedious war,
And by Minerva’s aid a fabric rear’d,
Which like a steed of monstrous height appear’d:
The sides were plank’d with pine; they feign’d it made
For their return, and this the vow they paid.
Thus they pretend, but in the hollow side
Selected numbers of their soldiers hide:
With inward arms the dire machine they load,
And iron bowels stuff the dark abode.”
Notice the warning they received.
“[…] Laocoon, follow’d by a num’rous crowd,
Ran from the fort, and cried, from far, aloud:
‘O wretched countrymen! What fury reigns?
What more than madness has possess’d your brains?
Think you the Grecians from your coasts are gone?
And are Ulysses’ arts no better known?
This hollow fabric either must inclose,
Within its blind recess, our secret foes;
Or ‘t is an engine rais’d above the town,
T’ o’erlook the walls, and then to batter down.
Somewhat is sure design’d, by fraud or force:
Trust not their presents, nor admit the horse.”
(Virgil’s Aeneid, Book 2 (trans. John Dryden).
When the Trojans brought the horse into their city, they never realized that enemy troops lurked inside its hollow center. At night, the Greek troops left their hiding place in the horse and captured the City of Troy.
Similarity in the Christian Church
In similar fashion, false prophets and teachers have invaded the Christian Church of Jesus Christ today. They have deceived many and contributed to its spiritual decline.
Jesus warned believers of this danger in the Sermon on the Mount:
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:15-20)
This passage provides a very clear warning: “Beware of false prophets.” They have existed in every generation, and you can recognize them. In fact, if you examine the Scriptures, this is not a new warning.
Old Testament Prophecies
For example, in the Old Testament at least four stalwart men of God warned of the dangers of false prophets.
- In Deuteronomy 13, Moses talked about the false prophets who would come.
- Elijah made a spectacular appearance on Mount Carmel when he slew hundreds of the false prophets of Baal.
- Jeremiah warned about them and gave some clues that described them.
- Ezekiel warned of false prophets, too.
Throughout the Old Testament, the Bible issues warnings about false prophets and teachers.
New Testament Settings
Jesus did not proclaim a new message. He spoke out against the Scribes and Pharisees, His contemporaries.
Paul, the distinguished apostle, warned against them. In his letter to the Galatians, he identified their characteristics. He also wrote his friend, Timothy, and spoke against the false teachers present in the church under Timothy’s care.
The book of the Revelation contains strong warnings and identification of false prophets, teachers, and leaders. Of the 7 letters to the churches, 6 of them contain corrections about the false doctrine, errors, and treacherous teachers present in those churches.
False Prophets Today
Therefore, this message of the Lord Jesus provides a pertinent message for us. His warning not only proved true in that day, but we greatly need it today. Yes, false prophets abound in the Christian Church.
They hold prominent positions of leadership as pastors and teachers in the Church. They profess to follow Christ but preach unbiblical messages that captivate the minds of the unwary and lead them astray. They publish books and promote their counterfeit teachings over television, radio, and the Internet.
Their influence thwarts conformity to God’s word. Therefore, the Christian Church today faces great injury because of their presence and influence.
Effects of False Prophets
Their leadership has brought us to a point where the world disrespects the Church. It has no fear of it and mocks it without fear, making fun of the Lord Jesus, the Savior of sinners. They curse His name without rebuke or any kind of chastisement against them.
The spiritual decline of the Christian Church under the influence and leadership of counterfeit prophets has grieved and quenched the Holy Spirit, and contributed to its ineffectiveness.
God has withdrawn His glorious, manifest presence. We have replaced it with hype and emotionalism, pathetic replacements for the real presence of God. Multitudes fill our congregations who think they have experienced salvation, but, instead, have followed a damnable heresy.
Biblical Course Of Action
Because of the prevalence of false prophets and teachers and their detrimental influence upon the Christian Church, the followers of Christ and His Church must heed the warnings of Christ, identify the false leaders, and refuse to follow them.
I pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to this imminent danger, correct the Christian Church, and bring to it the spiritual revival it so desperately needs.
© Thomas P Hill. Website: www.masterministries.org.