Hey, watch out for spiritual “snake oil salesmen!” Instead get connected to a good Bible-believing local church!

Snake oil salesman

Just a word of caution today to sincere, devoted followers of Jesus… Don’t fall prey to esoteric, exotic, edgy, eccentric teaching or doctrine! I always feel deep concern when I hear a Bible teacher say, “What I’m going to share with you today is different than you’ve ever heard before!” Listen, it may have a ring of excitement to it and the aura of adventure, but it may be as goofy as a five headed cat or as damaging as strychnine. Don’t buy into it! Test it against “orthodox doctrine” and “plain ol’ vanilla” Gospel truth! Don’t give your eternal welfare to someone’s “pipe dream!”

I was reminded of the concern of mine when I read what Apostle Paul urged Timothy to warn the believers in Ephesus about…

He said, “Charge certain people not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith [i.e. the plain ol’ “vanilla Gospel”]. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart, and a good conscience, and a sincere faith! Certain people, by swerving from these have wandered away into vain discussions… without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.” (From 1 Timothy 1:3-11)

Note the concerns Paul highlighted about these teachers…

Their doctrine was “different” (i.e. it did not conform to “apostolic doctrine”)

It was highly speculative – in fact, it promoted empty conjecture.

I led to “vain discussions” (that perhaps fed curiosity and entertained a desire for novelty – but it led nowhere and did not produce godliness)

Those who taught this stuff, although acting very confident and assertive, did not understand what they were talking about.

The result of their teaching did not produce a righteous life, rather it encouraged unholy living.

Hey this stuff is everywhere! It’s on “Christian television,” you’ll hear it on the radio, there’s a bunch of it available online or at the bookstore, and you can find gobs of it on “YouTube.” Here’s one voice urging you to read the Bible for yourself every day, become a part of a good, solid, Bible-believing church, and pay attention to your pastor (he may not be the most exciting person to listen to, but you’ll be able to evaluate the outcome of his life, and examine it against the clear teaching of Scripture!)

Hey, I think Apostle Paul had it right…Just say’n!

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