Friday, January 06, 2012

False Teachers Within the Church

This coming Sunday morning (1/8/12) I'll be preaching out of 2 Corinthians 11:1-15. Here we see Paul's protective nature and desire to present Jesus-followers as "virginal" to their Bridegroom, Jesus. Hence, beware persons from within (and without) the church who use the right words ("Jesus," "Spirit," "Gospel") but preach a false Jesus, a false Spirit, and a false Gospel.

What might that look like? Consider Deepak Chopra's false "Jesus," in this quote:

“I want to offer the possibility that Jesus was truly, as he proclaimed, a savior. Not the savior, not the one and only Son of God. Rather, Jesus embodied the highest level of enlightenment… Jesus spoke of the necessity to believe in him as the road to salvation, but those words were put into his mouth by followers writing decades later.” 

And, in a second book "about" Jesus, Chopra writes: The “pivotal Jesus… is not a person, but a state of consciousness.”

No one should look to Chopra for any wisdom about the Real Jesus. So, beware of false ideas about Jesus. Begin by turning to the 4 gospels themselves (which, amazingly, Chopra bypasses, as he writes: "This book isn't about the Jesus found in the New Testament, but the Jesus who was left out." Welcome to the world of wild speculation.

Here's Sunday's full text:

1 I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but [a]indeed you are bearing with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. 3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 4 For if [b]one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. 5 For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the [c]most eminent apostles. 6 But even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge; in fact, in every way we have made this evident to you in all things.
7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge? 8 I robbed other churches by taking wages from them to serve you; 9 and when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, [d]and will continue to do so. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
12 But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be [e]regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.