For years now, we as Christian women have lended more favorable ears to superstar “Christian” speakers, entertainers, and elites (like Oprah, Beth Moore, Beyoncé, & Gwenth Paltrow) than our Bibles. However, this must stop. They are just dressed up serpents trying to get us to take home a poison apple to our families. Stop it, Eve. Just stop it.
Whether we realize it or not, everything is a matter of theology and its derivative, worldview. Everything—even recycled toilet paper—comes with a worldview. And what we allow to influence our worldviews is no light matter. We are the primary gatekeepers for our families (Our busy husbands are really the fail safe, like Adam.). For this reason, we must start listening with our theology hats constantly on and stop allowing entertainers & the like to subtly slip us “alternative truths” (formerly known as “lies”).
But how can we discern whether someone is disciplining us in the Way or feeding us poison apples?
Our basic premise must be: All true truth is God’s truth. So any “truth” that conflicts with God’s revealed word in scripture cannot actually be true at all.
With this premise in mind, let’s use the Bible can help us to navigate this space 🙂
One of the primary signs of a false teacher, is that he/she subtlety denies key biblical truths (also known as committing heresy):
“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and will bring swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their unrestrained ways, and the way of truth will be blasphemed because of them. They will exploit you in their greed with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep. (2 Peter 2:1-3)
Notice how Peter describes the false teacher strategy. Their plan of attack is: to slip in among us; make us think that they are biblically faithful believers like us; and then at opportune moments, they will slip us terrible lies. To combat these wily types, we need to constantly vet “our favorite teachers” lists. Even teachers who once proclaimed the truth may deviate from it. And when they do, we need to be disciplined enough to stop listening to them. For instance, when a teacher begins to subvert the Bible’s teaching on human relationships, this is a good time to tune him/her out. They are no longer walking in submission to our Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnate word of God.
Now, the second tell-tale sign of a false teacher is subtlety unbiblical teaching. This is where someone may invoke Bible verses out of context and/or totally misinterpret them. To check for this error, we need to double check every one’s work like the Bereans:
“As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas off to Berea. On arrival, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Consequently, many of them believed, including a number of the prominent Greek women as well as men.” (Acts 17:11-12)
It doesn’t hurt to listen with your theology hat on. However, we must then check the scriptures for ourselves to vet others’ truth claims–e
ven if especially if the teaching makes us “feel good” (aka tickles our ears (2 Tim. 4:3-4)). For instance, when a mommy podcast tells us that is okay to be wine-o after bedtime, we would say “Shenanigans!” because the Bible tells us:
“Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:19-26)
These tests seem simple enough, right? Though they may be simple, the critical step is really just remembering to run EVERYTHING through them—from talk shows to Bible study books. All of these influences shape our minds and alter our abilities to discern what is good, right, and true. So we must stay on guard (Luke 21:34-36) and fluent in God’s word. Remember: Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)
What are your thoughts/reactions? Share your feedback in the comments section below!