Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
Matthew 7:15 ESV
In today’s church culture, it often seems that anything that is labeled “Christian” is immediately accepted and celebrated. The problem is that a lot of what is labeled as “Christian” isn’t. Whether it’s a tv show or movie that takes liberties with the biblical narrative and puts words into the mouth of Christ, or a song that uses catchy blasphemous phrases like “Reckless love,” these so called “Christian” avenues of entertainment often hurt more than they help. False teaching doesn't bring us to God but away from Him!
But it’s not just the “Christian” entertainment industry. False teachers in false churches are also celebrated by Christians. I run across clips of false teachers all the time on social media. Typically, the clips of these false teachers that I find sound really good. It’ll be something encouraging that makes you feel better about yourself and if you go and listen to more from these “preachers” you’ll never hear about sin. You’ll never hear that you’re a sinner in need of a savior. You’ll never hear that you need to repent. I remember years ago being told that I shouldn’t talk bad about Joel Osteen because people may hear his positive message and come to Christ. No, they won’t! They may come to A christ, but that is not THE Christ of the Bible. For the Christ of the Bible calls us to repent (Luke 13:3).
We also don't want to forget that its not just the cheesy prosperity guys you have to look out for! Liberal theologians are out there as well. People who will champion the LGBTQ+ agenda. People who will advocate for abortion. People who will twist scripture to approve of almost anything the Bible calls sin. People who say that there was no world wide flood. People who will say that the Bible is not inerrant. People who will say "unhitch yourself from the Old Testament because it's not relavent to today." People who constantly say "Did God really say...?" These guys are just as dangerous as the prosperity teachers, teaching a false gospel with the same damning implications.
The main issue I have is not that there is false teachers, for there will always be false teachers, and judgement from the Lord is coming for them (2 Peter 2:1-3). The problem is that Christians are not recognizing false teaching, whether it comes from a movie, tv show, song, or a preacher. And if they do recognize it, it is only after they have already promoted the source. When people at the US Treasury train to spot counterfeit money they study the intricate details of genuine bills. The reason they do this is because if you know exactly what the real thing is you can spot the fakes. The same thing applies to our Christian walk. We are to study God’s word and know it, so that when people present, sing or teach things that are false, we can easily see it (Romans 12:2, Philippians 1:9-10, Hebrews 5:11-14).
So first READ YOUR BIBLE! Read your Bible and study it daily! Spend time in prayer daily asking the Lord for wisdom! Secondly, next time you see something “Christian” check out the source first before promoting it! There are good Christian movies, tv shows, songs, and preachers out there! But before you promote them check them out fully! Like holding a twenty dollar bill up to the light to see if you can see that watermark of Andrew Jackson, hold these, movies, songs and preachers up to the Scriptures and check for the true gospel!
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1 John 4:1 ESV
But test everything; hold fast what is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 ESV
Trevor Williams is the Lead Pastor at Ector Baptist Church in Ector, TX.