Dangers to Teaching
Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly James 3:1 NIV
It has been observed that our human nature runs at variance to what God desires; in another way put, we often rush for things God would wish that we avoid.
I have watched in dismay as preachers try to pass on what they consider to be truth; some of these teachers say with much emphasis some things I am very convinced to be false. The above scripture seem to warn genuine believers, not false teachers, about the danger of teaching things that we don’t really understand or have not crosschecked with other scriptures. It states that the matter is not over after the teaching but there is imminent judgment for presumed teachers. Below is an example of this kind of teaching and teachers.
Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved. Acts 15:1 NIV
Observe that these brethren that came from Judea paid their airfare and sacrificed their precious time to do what they believe was God’s work. I believe that if they died in the process, their families and friends will think they died in service to God. They felt there were things going on in the churches that needed to be checked. It is also interesting that they were ready to stand up for their beliefs and argue to logical conclusion to persuade others to see reason with them. But below is the effect and result of their efforts.
We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said Acts 15:24 NIV
1. They disturbed the peace of a thriving church – Barnabas and Paul were taking time to establish this young church, they were making sacrifices and in the words of Apostle James, they were risking their lives. but these zealous brothers came in and disturbed the peace of the church and turned attention from the central gospel and building up of the saints to arguments about rituals and methods
2. Troubled their minds – The minds of these brethren in Antioch was at peace as they celebrated their salvation and sat down to learn more about Christ and His ways, but these zealous teachers troubled their minds. In today’s modern English, they confused them. The believers were no longer sure about their salvation or whether God has really forgiven and accepted them in His Kingdom. They were no longer sure whether the Blood of Jesus was enough for the debt of their sins
3. They also interrupted what God had started in the lives of the new converts through Barnabas and Paul. They interrupted a process of progress
4. They distracted Paul and Barnabas because we read in the account that they had to leave their duty post to go and tidy up issues about their teachings
Today, there are a lot of zealous people who don’t want believers to go to hellfire from the church. As good as that intention is but I personally discovered that a lot of lies are told about death, visit to hellfire and resurrection. One of such men pirated my book and manipulated some things in it just to pass his message.
Must we lie to help God? Must we add to His word to assist Him get souls saved? Must we deceive people with false experiences to scare people to accept Christ? When did the simple message of the gospel of the Cross lose its power, so that we need falsehood to assist it?
There are also those who would warn us about the danger of use of earrings, necklaces and wearing of trousers by women. Like the above group, this group also manipulates scriptures, twist a little here and a little there just to get to their point. This group also target new converts that are trying to get stabilized and teach them that those who labor daily to establish them are only leading them to hellfire.
There are also the GRACE group that target new converts in Holiness churches and advice them to stop listening to those who teach them to avoid sin. They encourage them to retain their old ways of life as God is too merciful to punish a sinner.
There is this other group that attacks other believers who exercise their spiritual gifts in helping believers; they major in attacking the concept of deliverance and healing. One of such in this group is Andrew Wommack, he must be very rich because he has managed to spread his books in Nigeria bookstores and at very cheap prices. I can feel the fire in his bones but honestly I feel sorry for this brother. Like those brethren from Judea he has been making a lot of sacrifices but only ends up confusing new converts who are trying to find their footing in the Christian faith
All these zealous people rarely go to unbelievers to make their converts and then teach their “great revelation”; NO, they target those whom others have won over
Like the people in our text, these people mean no harm but they cause harm all the same. It is now understandable why we are warned that we should not rush to become teachers. I was in a church in Bamenda in Cameroon while a young man was teaching a group of youths what he claimed he got by revelation from the Holy Spirit. At a point, I am sorry to confess, I interrupted him openly and made him to understand that what he was teaching was not scripture. I wounded his ego but I saved the Body of Christ
That brings us to an important issue; do we train those we send to train others? Somebody would argue, “They won’t sit down to be taught.”
Ok. But is there an ordered program for those who would want to be taught? Do we teach the whole bible or do we just pick from the scriptures what we want them to hear? In our center in Port Harcourt, we don’t piece up the bible books. We take the bible, book after book. We don’t skip any verse or discussion. In this way we are able to encounter every area of scripture’
(to be continued)
Emma your brother @PNUR