“Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; rather, it is telling the difference between right and almost right.” – Charles Spurgeon

We live in a politically correct society where we are taught to be mindful of how we use our speech. While I agree that we should be mindful of how we speak, I disagree with the notion that we must censor the truth in order not to offend. The political correctness engulfing the church has managed to sweep discernment out of the way. We are told by politically correct Christians that we are not to judge. We are told only to pray for those with whom we disagree. We are told not to call out names. We are told that lost people might be watching us; therefore, we cannot be the cause of division.

I find it odd how the people claiming that we should only show unity are generally the first to step outside of this unity and criticize those of us practicing biblical discernment. It’s amazing how some of these crusaders of unity openly criticize people who simply follow the Bible’s command to discern, but when it comes to openly criticizing preachers who teach errors they are silent as a church mouse. Since they are outspoken against those of us who discern errors, why are they silent when it comes to those who teach errors? Which is more dangerous to the church: those who discern or those who blindly follow what is being taught?

The real danger facing the church today is not truly manifested in false prophets/teachers like Benny Hinn, Todd Bentley,Kim Clement, Rob Bell, Jay Bakker, Joel Osteen, etc. The real danger is coming from the false teachers who are so close to the truth but yet so far away. False prophets and false teachers like Hinn, Bell, Bakker, etc. are blatantly deadly, so I do not want to belittle their power to deceive and lead people astray. What I want to do is point to the ones who are hardest to spot because they are so close to the truth. These are the ones who plant the seeds of sin that will utterly destroy the church from within, slowly working to remove the authority of the Scriptures by their actions and lifestyles. One example is the number of divorced preachers who are still pastoring churches. The Bible clearly lists the qualifications for both pastors 1 Timothy 3:1-3 and deacons 1 Timothy 3:11-13, but these lists are often ignored. Although this seems an insignificant oversight, it usurps the authority of the Scriptures. This type of change moves the church gradually away from sola scriptura toward prima scriptura. In order to spot these wolves, we must study the Word of God, pray for discernment, and ask the Lord to open our hearts to the truths found in His Word. We must seek God and depend on the Holy Spirit to guide us so that we can spot these dangerous wolves. However, it’s not enough just to spot them; we must openly ask questions. When necessary we must call them out by name, and confront their errors with the Scriptures so that others will not fall into their wicked snares.

The crusade against discernment has produced a church that is ripe for the picking. Wolves can rest easy at night when a congregation only focuses on love and unity. It’s no surprise how so many Christians openly embrace preachers like Rick Warren, Charles Stanley, and Mark Driscoll.  If we practice discernment, we can easily see that Rick Warren is a false teacher, and both Charles Stanley and Mark Driscoll have some major problems that should draw red flags of caution. When we see things that draw a red flag, we must be careful and evaluate the problem in the light of the Scriptures.

As for me, I welcome criticism because it forces me to evaluate myself and what I believe. It makes me look at my methods and my messages when I examine myself along side of the Holy Scriptures. We should not fear discernment, but we should welcome it because it helps us grow as Christians. We should always be ready to back up our beliefs with the rightly divided Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15). When we as Christians practice discernment it only makes the body of Christ stronger.

I’m thankful that when I was an emergent church guy, a brother in the Lord took the time to drop me a message on YouTube. Sometimes the Lord uses a fellow Christian to open our eyes to the truth. If we follow Christ’s example and contend for the faith in truth and love, then we will be able to help our fellow Christians see some things they may be overlooking.

2 Timothy 3:1-7 (NASB)
3:1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,
3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,
4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses,
7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2 Timothy 4:1-4 (NASB)
4:1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

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Comments
  1. drgregb says:

    This is so good. I have always said it isn’t what Joel says that makes him a false teacher, but what he doesn’t say. keep up the good work, and the good writing.

  2. MRWBBIII says:

    JOHN PIPER ON MARK DRISCOLL SERMON JAM

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