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The diverse and the strange – a bad application

by | Sep 18, 2023 | Genuine Hope | 0 comments

Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them

Hebrews 13:9

Last week I watched a YouTube video with evangelist Ray Comfort as he talked with four young people who are part of a cult that links its ideas to Christianity but rejects much of what is found in the Bible.

Have you ever read a book or listened to a pastor or teacher and thought – now that’s a strange idea? The spiritual world we live in is full of strange ideas and interpretations of the Bible that will lead us away from the truth of the Gospel. Whether it is the prosperity gospel or a new teaching on sexual ethics, the problem is a bad interpretation and application of Scripture.

Here’s a couple of thoughts to keep in mind –

“The aim of good interpretation is not uniqueness; one is not trying to discover what no one else has ever seen before…Unique interpretations are usually wrong.” and “a text cannot mean what it could never have meant for its original readers/hearers.”  – (Gordon Fee, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth)

Diverse teachings make seemingly small misstatements about how God may actually endorse our sensuality or deny the identity of Christ. Jude wrote –

“For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Jude v.4)

In his letter to the Galatians, Paul felt so strongly about false teachers that he said, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”(Galatians 1:6-9)

From Genesis to Revelation we see constant warnings about those who mean us harm with false teaching. Space doesn’t allow for much more than this today – Can you identify a false teacher who presents diverse and strange teaching?

The best defense against clever deception is found in what the Bereans did. The Book of Acts records that the believers in Berea “received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

Have you heard something that just doesn’t add up? Examine the Scriptures and see if it is so.


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