Those who sit under false teachers are not victims


14 comments on “Those who sit under false teachers are not victims

  1. I have seen this video before and have been overwhelmed by the biblical truth that Paul Washer so powerfully conveys. The significance of this message cannot be overstated. While I agree with his message 100%, I would also pair his message with a warning.

    Just as we do not know who the “elect” are in Christ when we preach the Gospel, we also do not know who, among these people sitting under false teachings, will one day be delivered. Many sitting under false gospels are trapped and don’t know how to get out. Some sense something wrong but haven’t the knowledge. Moreover, if God has not opened up a man’s eyes to see the truth, who are we to render a judgement against them? The transition from error to truth is indeed a deliverance!

    My concern is that we paint everyone sitting under these so called ministries with a broad brush. The temptation to think, “They deserve it” can be dangerous if not rightly tempered.

    I hope I’ve conveyed what I’m trying to say! And, just to be clear, there is nothing that Paul Washer has said here that I am in disagreement with. In fact, I’ve seen this before and it helped me to put a lot of questions in right biblical perspective. I just see a potential danger to be on guard against.

    • @ Christina: I was thinking the same thing ref:

      My concern is that we paint everyone sitting under these so called ministries with a broad brush./

      @ All:

      For the most part I do think that Paul Washer is onto something however, I’m not sure that I would put a spiritual babe in Christ into the same category as say a long time professing “christian” that truly is carnal in nature. Paul Washer alludes to the fact that the key is to proclaim the gospel (1st Corinthians 15:1-5), whenever and wherever you have an opportunity. On that point I fully agree.

      Perhaps Paul Washer believes that the LORD’s will was for him to simply “put the message out there”, letting the chips fall where they may & then trusting the Holy Spirit to convict the hearts of those non-carnal folks that do hear the voice of Jesus? (Matthew 13:24-30 Parable of the weeds)

      In closing I’d like to share 2 passages which I hope speak to us all in a way that would help us guard our hearts from becoming corrupted concerning this matter and the ensuing discussion(s)…

      Psalm 14:1-3
      1 The fool says in his heart,
      “There is no God.”
      They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
      there is no one who does good.

      2 The LORD looks down from heaven
      on the sons of men
      to see if there are any who understand,
      any who seek God.

      3 All have turned aside,
      they have together become corrupt;
      there is no one who does good,
      not even one.

      Proverbs 18:12-13
      12 Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud,
      but humility comes before honor.

      13 He who answers before listening—
      that is his folly and his shame.

      Grace and peace be with you all.

  2. As someone who has been deceived in the past…. He speaks the truth. We are led away by our wants and desires, but once we are given over to it, we are then prisoners that only God can free. Thank God He saw fit to have mercy on me and set me free. But once He did, I knew for a certainty that the only person I could blame for being deceived was myself when the truth had been so simple and readily available. I WANTED the lie to be the truth, so I made it so. I have a heart for people who are in cults and false Christian teachings to be set free, but only God can open the eyes of the blind. I know. I’ve pleaded with many of them.

    • Good comment.

      But once He did, I knew for a certainty that the only person I could blame for being deceived was myself when the truth had been so simple and readily available. I WANTED the lie to be the truth, so I made it so.

      Wise words, by one who knows first hand.

      Thanks for sharing that. I only pray its seen as a true warning to all who read it.

  3. I think Paul Washer needs to be careful with over generalizing and I’m not sure I agree with him that God is raising these men up as a judgment. Seems to me Paul Washer is very judgmental. There are many innocent victims of false teachers…. many new believers who aren’t grounded in the word yet who are sucked into these “ministries” because they don’t know any better yet.

    Discernment comes from practicing and distinguishing good and evil:
    Hebrews 5: 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

    • I’m not sure I agree with him that God is raising these men up as a judgment.

      “….. for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12

    • “There are many innocent victims of false teachers…. many new believers who aren’t grounded in the word yet who are sucked into these “ministries” because they don’t know any better yet.”

      Well, being a legitimate victim and being an INNOCENT victim are two different things. A child is an innocent victim, for instance. That is an area where Washer is wrong, because lots of children are taken to these false preachers and raised on their doctrines by their parents. However, are the true victimizers the preachers or the parents? Since parents are given the Godly responsibility for oversight and protection over their children, I say that the parents are.

      And while folks new in the faith are legitimate victims, after a point in time we have to say that they aren’t INNOCENT. Maybe they are initially, but not ultimately. Why? Because they aren’t reading the Bible and believing and doing what it says. (Incidentally, that is what that same book of Hebrews says leads to spiritual maturity.) They will watch TV, go to movies, try to earn as much money as they can in their careers, get as much sleep as possible, even attend church regularly. But how many of them read their Bibles regularly and heed what it says?

      False teachers exploit the fact that people don’t read their Bibles, or they read it without any attempt to understand it. They victimize people who make their own self-victimization possible. And it is because these people make their self-victimization possible through their own decisions to be Biblically illiterate, that is why they cannot be considered innocent.

      Remember, this isn’t about people who are initially deceived. That isn’t what “sitting under” means. Instead, “sitting under” means going back year after year. If a person year after year refuses to read the Bible or apply it to his church (or to himself) then he is not innocent. Quite the contrary, the Bible declares such people to be without excuse.

  4. Joanne,

    There is no such thing as innocent victims. I got involved with the word/faith movement when I was a young believer. I didn’t know much but there were warning signs which I ignored. When the Lord eventually opened my eyes and brought me out he showed me that it was my own wicked heart that drew me into that deception. I wanted all those things promised my the word/faith message. I had to accept responsibility for my own role in that deception

    Now I agree that we need to be careful and not simply give up on those who are still trapped in false belief systems. We cannot simply condemn them because we have all be deceived to some degree. God had great mercy on me and I know He still has many He that He will bring out.

  5. Surely the Lord is faithful to keep His word, that, “‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 People can be in deception, as I sure was and perhaps still am to some degree, but if we really desire Truth, He will lead us into it and deliver us from deception and from false teachers.

    I believe surely it is the condition of one’s heart, that the Lord alone knows and sees, which will ultimately cause us to be in one camp or the other. This is the point of the earlier post on deception.

    Following Truth is costly. It may cost us our friends, our relationships, our churches, our religious ambitions, our reputations, our comfort at going along with the pack, and perhaps our very lives. Some will remain in deception, becoming complicit with it, and entering into its judgments, because they are unwilling to pay the cost when confronted with the choice. At the heart level, they actually love something else more than the Lord Who is Truth, however they may employ biblical language. I think Washer is talking about this group, for whom those false leaders are judgment.

    For many in these camps, their final chapter is not yet written, and where there is life, there is hope, that when the Holy Spirit reveals Truth, many will love Him above loving the approval of men or their position in an organization or their carnal lusts or whatever.

    And while I agree biblical illiteracy is a huge problem, I also contend that many who are quite scripturally erudite are also quite deceived. This was the case in Jesus’ day with the scribes and Pharisees and it exists today. It is not in merely reading the Bible wherein is safety, but in DOING it in childlike trust and humility, as James expounds.

    With those who have already posted, I likewise thank my Lord that He has led us all these years and corrected us and chastened us and delivered us, and I pray that our hearts will continue to be soft and teachable so that we may continually be led in Truth by His Spirit, Who dwells with the contrite and lowly of heart.

  6. I agree their is no innocent victims. There are always 2 ways we can go. One involves pray, study of Bible, praying for and using discernment, fellowship with other Christians. The other involves following a teaching that feels right, or makes us feel good, to trust peoples word even when we know something is wrong. To be simply too lazy to find the truth out for our selves. God send them strong delusion, not because they didn’t know the truth but because they didn’t love the truth.

  7. Innocent? at times I think we want to believe this. for some they really do believe this.

    I can honestly say there were times in my life when I did something that was wrong and believed I was righted for it. God has shown me… I was not innocent, I was ignorant. We perish over our ignorance.

    Judgment? a certain Pharaoh was raised up that God’s Glory may be made known. He was famous in the Word of God. The ‘church’ is, and has been on a broad road in this area called Judgment. Who speaks it any longer? Who stands up and actually pinpoints the ongoing blatant sins? We continue to tell people ” do not Judge”, yet you can tell a child not to stick his finger into a flame can’t you? Did you not Judge that Fire and see that is can melt your skin? Can you honestly say to the child “Sorry, I cannot judge the flame Justifiably, so therefore you will just have to trust God that you won’t get burned”.

    We ourselves use excuses to pacify, because we ourselves do not want to hear it. We do not warrant others telling us what we can or cannot do. We don’t really want to believe that a loving God rebukes those He loves, or comes down hard on those who just do not want to grow. If He wasn’t using anyone to Judge Righteously then He would have never sent prophets. Yes, mere men who were spokespersons for God.

    Pastors and professing christians make it harder on other professing christians; due to their ignorance by saying: Judge not lest ye be judged. First, one needs to read past that statement and read the whole; not in part. Secondly, it really is a poor excuse, and very unwise not to listen to one who has made a statement which may sound like he/she is Judging. We have made that word (Judge) into a bad word, when actually we should be embracing it. Nothing wrong with taking what is said and going to God and asking questions: Lord, I have heard the warning today and I would like to know if I Understand correctly. Search my heart and help me to see if what was said was aimed at me? He will show you. Yet if you stiffen your neck and become stubborn about it then you really don’t care to hear. Wisdom tells us: take it into consideration. Third, I would rather take it into consideration now, then to find out while standing in Judgment before God.

    • The same scripture that admonishes us not to judge also admonishes us to test the spirits. People confuse the two, sometimes conveniently. I am simply amazed at the frequency which people use the “don’t judge” line to avoid having to answer for their spiritual deviancy. I find it even more remarkable the frequency with which this ruse works. Just one area of “testing the spirits” would be fruitful for people in most of these organizations. “Is this about building a kingdom in this world or about searching for a heavenly kingdom?” The answer to that question alone would often reveal volumes. But a large part of the problem is that most “victims” are more “in sync” with their victimizers than we usually assume. This is where Paul Washer is right on the mark. There are a lot of *seemingly* innocent “seekers” out there who are not seeking the God who is there. They are rather seeking a god who meets their needs (requirements) and they are all to happy to be deceived since the deception itself is pretty much just what they were looking for.

  8. I agree with Paul, but I disagree too. I got saved in a Charismatic church and was a victim of the false teaching for a long time. God got me out when I seriously studied the word. I was a babe in Christ led away by false teaching. So for some it is a judgment but for others they are victims. Babes in Christ are victims.

  9. I am not sure if the issue here is that of whether what Paul said is judgmental or not, he has raised an alarm as he knows best and what we ought to do is lift up a wailing to the Almighty to break the shackles of deception holding these souls captive. What is also very clear is that the agenda of deceit of the enemy which started ages ago is now gaining momentum and that our ONLY defense is the Holy Spirit.

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