False Church Traditions
Christians are warned against false traditions throughout the Old and New Testaments. The people we read about in the Old Testament were tempted to worship gods, other than their Maker, and eventually developed practices and ceremonies to bring homage to these gods. God's people, the Jewish nation, were heavily influenced by the cultural practices of the surrounding nations during these times, and they received repeated warnings against taking part in ungodly ceremonies. While the Jews had specific traditions specified by God himself, there were grave consequences for following any man-made practices that were equaled to the worship of the true and only God. The New Testament continues these teachings, supporting scripture with scripture and never contradicting itself. A thorough study of God's Word will always reveal clarity about any given matter and God has made it very clear that false church traditions are empty practices that lead to a path away from Him and not to Him. Try taking this Bible quiz and test to see if there are any false teachings or practices that might be infiltrating a pure and holy devoted worship to the living God.
Perhaps God's heart is best expressed in the Old Testament book of Hosea. "For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." (Hosea 6:6) The entire book of Hosea is a word picture of God's devotion to His own people. Hosea is used by God to demonstrate our Lord's continued mercy and forgiveness towards a people that tend to wander and let their devotions stray. Hosea is asked to marry a woman who leaves him, practices idolatry and false traditions, and is actively pursuing other men. But, Hosea gently accepts her back into the home time and again in a display of grace and mercy. Throughout this fascinating book, the Lord speaks to and through Hosea of His desire to capture the hearts of Israel. The verse above is a beautifully written expression of what God wants from us, and His desires are for a personal and intimate relationship. He is never impressed with the acts of going through the motions of ceremony or false church traditions.
In a letter to the church of Colossae, Paul the Apostle is warning the new church against false church traditions. It seems that there were faulty teachings circulating within the congregation of new believers. Staying true to God's Word, Paul explains God's truths. "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." (Colossians 3:6-8) Paul's call to the congregation was to keep a pure heart for Christ, and to not be infected with the diseased teachings that could lead to spiritual sicknesses. He begins the warning by calling those in this church to follow Christ's example. Though Christ kept God's commandments, He never once depended upon an act of sacrifice, another person, or false church traditions to demonstrate how to gain God's acceptance. To discover more about what the Word of God has to say about specific practices that are without worth, visit our Bible resources.
Christ actually spoke against the vanity associated with the methods developed by man. In the book of Matthew, Christ confronted the Pharisees, or religious leaders of that day, with their own false traditions and legalistic approach to worship. "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me, but in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:8-9) It seems that the theme throughout scripture points to a surrendered and loving heart and away from the cleverly choreographed, yet false traditions of man.
Perhaps there is a sinful nature in man that desires to depend upon what he or she can do to earn a favorable standing with God. Or, perhaps, by a character trait of vanity, man wants to do things his or her way, negating the need to follow God in all truth and continue to practice false church traditions. The sinful makeup of humanity desires to have answers, just as Eve wanted to have equal knowledge of God in a garden over six thousand years ago (Genesis 3:6). And, the sinful nature of humanity also wants to follow another human, one that can be seen, heard, and touched, as opposed to the Spirit of God - just as the people of Israel ask for a human King, rejecting God as the supreme authority. "And the Lord said to Samuel, 'Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being King over them." (1 Samuel 8:7)
Whatever the reason, mankind continues to stumble along the path of righteousness, seeking to act or accomplish the works of man through false traditions and empty ceremonies. The heart of God cries out from His Word. The love and compassion of God is so that He sent His only son to free man and woman from the chains of worthless traditions. "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." (Galatians 5:1)
False TeachersFalse teachers can be a great danger to many communities whether that involves schools or churches. Many people think that false prophets don't have an existence anymore in today's culture. To believe that is to already be led into a place of blindness. The fact is, more and more false teachers are emerging. But they are emerging as normal, everyday people. You will see them as the charismatic professor in a Christian college who speaks to everyone but has beliefs that don't quite match up with what you thought. You will be able to see them in the pastor that yells at his flock every week but then gets caught in adultery without any remorse. We must be on the lookout for these at all times. This is why it is so important to be educated in the area of these.
There are several signs that come with false prophets. One of the signs is in the form of a person who is really likeable and easily persuasive. This can be a normal person, but you will soon realize that they also think a lot of themselves almost to a point where they are cocky. Other people are not as important as they are to themselves. Why does this seem like such a problem? Because no one will be able to expect is. False prophets can easily rise out of a church. These people pray on the needy and the unsure. What better way to find acceptance than through a church? This is the only way that they are able to get what they want. In order to understand more about signs of a false teacher, take this False Teacher Quiz.
Many Christians will look at false teachers and be caught off guard. The only problem is that many think they never will be. Often, Christians do not realize that they have been fooled. Christians can get blinded by the false teachers. They can think that they will have no affect on them. But this is when they have the greatest affect on them. This is when these people are able to come from behind and find those who are the most susceptible. Most of the time; these blinded Christians are the ones who are easily fooled. Being prideful about these teachers will never help you in the long run. The only way that you can be helped is if you choose to always be aware of Biblical doctrines. Only then will you be able to see exactly what you need. You need to study all about it and know where your knowledge lies now. To take the False Prophet Tests click here.
We are in a battle against evil when it comes to evil people. We can't focus so much on them that we never focus on anything else, but we also should not ignore the fact that false prophets are out there. We must take the initiative to fight against them at all costs. Only then will we be able to know exactly what needs to be done. This is why it is necessary to know your information about them at all times. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, the battle is against the presence of darkness. These types of people are in the presence of darkness. The enemy is using them as his pawn to make a point. Only by have true knowledge of this problem are we able to make a decision that will affect everyone.
False prophets can be mostly seen in that of a pastor. You would be surprised how many pastors are actually false teachers. This is the importance of having complete knowledge on the Bible. Never take what a pastor says for granted, always study it yourself. If you are choosing to make the decision to not study it yourself, then you have already jumped into a dangerous place. The reason that these evil individuals are so highly effective is that they are able convince us otherwise. Do not be a person who is convinced into non-Biblical things.
You must always look to the Lord for guidance. He will give you the spirit that will be able to decide if the person who is talking to you is for the Lord and for themselves. It will also help you to take the false teacher quiz. When you look to the Lord for guidance ask him to change your heart so that it will be receptive to him. "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" (Ephesians 6:18.)