I’ve seen quite a few articles over the last few months about false teachers. One article even claimed a famous television evangelist I like very much, Jesse Duplantis, was a false teacher. While wondering if the articles were correct about false teachers being so prominent, I decided to ask God for help & discernment on this subject. He showed me some things..
Some claim false teachers preach about God’s blessings & prosperity. The fact is, in the Bible, God says He loves His children so naturally He wants to bless them. See Jeremiah 17:7-8 & 29:11, Numbers 6:24-6, Exodus 23:25, Psalm 34:8, & Matthew 5:6 & 9 as a few examples. If the Bible clearly spells out how God wants to bless His children, how does it make sense that someone who teaches about this topic periodically is a false teacher? Prosperity & blessings shouldn’t be the only topic one preaches about, but discussing them sometimes? What could be wrong with that?
Some claim false teachers focus on the “lighter” topics such as God’s love rather than the “heavier” topics such as the need for Salvation. There certainly are a great deal of preachers who discuss God’s love, how He supports His children & the like. I don’t believe these preachers are necessarily bad, though. I remember before I became a Christian. Hearing people tell me I was going to Hell if I didn’t accept Jesus as my Savior right at that moment certainly did nothing to make me want to accept Him. In fact, it pushed me away. What eventually did make me want to accept Him was hearing about His deep, unconditional love for me. As a new Christian, the “fluffy” teachings about God’s love & desire to bless me helped to draw me to Him. Going through narcissistic abuse, I think that was especially important to help me not to think God was just another unloving parent figure, only concerned with what I could do for Him. Getting to know God better, I moved away from wanting to hear that & wanting to hear about more heavy topics. I really believe that “fluffy” teaching doesn’t necessarily mean someone is a false teacher. In fact, I believe preachers who focus on such issues have their place in the church. Their place is to draw people to God, to help new Christians understand God’s love is the basis for Christianity & help encourage those in dark places that may be wondering if God really loves them. I believe those who don’t focus primarily on these “fluffy” topics might want to consider doing so periodically to encourage their followers.
Good teachers also can back up what they say with Scripture. That is one thing I love about Jesse Duplantis- he can back up anything he says with Scripture & does so often.
Good teachers don’t just tell you what God can do for you. They also focus on things like how to live a holy life, & being a good witness for your faith to the unbelievers.
Good teachers tell it like it is. They don’t sugarcoat things. For example, they call sin, sin, rather than “making a mistake” or “slipping up.”
A very good indicator that you are listening to or reading the teachings of a good teacher is you feel comfortable with what the person says, it feels right in your heart, even when it’s on a difficult topic such as sin. What they are saying feels right to you. Even the best of teachers may make mistakes sometimes, & no one will agree with any other person 100% of the time, but you will feel this person’s teaching makes sense most of the time.