Many churches still have a tradition of giving people a Bible when they become Christians. How about also giving them a copy of A Layman’s Guide to False Preachers and Teachers?
You didn’t know there was such a guide? There is and you can get your own copy for free!
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15
Wait a minute! Isn’t that in the Bible?
Yes, it is! Welcome to A Layman’s Guide to False Preachers and Teachers – a wonderful guide inside The Book.
If you have a Bible, you already have A Layman’s Guide to False Preachers and Teachers.
I recommend that when we hand a Bible to a new Christian we also introduce them to the Layman’s Guide to False Preachers and Teachers. Why? Because new Christians and Christians who are still ‘babes in Christ’ (no matter how long they’ve been saved) are prime targets for false preachers and teachers.
False preachers and teachers are ‘wolves in sheep clothing’ and ‘parasites.’ They live off the lives of others in ways that are similar to parasites. Parasites live on or in a ‘host’ organism. Parasites feed off their host to the host’s expense. Parasites (e.g. hookworms, roundworms, flatworms, pinworms, tapeworms, threadworms, fleas, ticks, mites, lice) can cause serious diseases in humans (e.g. seizures, blindness, heart failure). They take your health and leave disease in its place. Parasites ravage bodies. They are dangerous and can even lead to the death of their host (an estimated one million people die every year globally). Millions of people in the United States and millions more around the globe have parasites and many of them are not even aware they are in danger – until it’s too late.
False preachers and teachers do the same thing. They target new, young or unsuspecting Christians and feed off of them – at the Christian’s (host’s) expense. They do the same thing to people spiritually that parasites do to people physically. They feed off the health of others until they’ve stolen it and left the person in a weakened condition – vulnerable to many types of diseases. Millions of people in the United States and millions more around the globe are influenced and even dominated by false preachers and teachers and many of them are not even aware they are in danger – until it’s too late.
What does the medical community do when they discover a person has parasites? Doctors begin treating them immediately. For what purpose? To help the body rid itself of the parasites.
Doctors and others in the health and medical communities do not want parasites to continue to live in a person’s body. That’s why they begin immediate and often aggressive treatments to help people get rid of these terrible creatures.
False preachers and teachers are spiritual parasites and ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’.
Let me repeat that –
False preachers and teachers are spiritual parasites and ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’.
What should the Christian community do when they discover a person or a church is being influenced and ‘infected’ by false preachers and teachers? Christians who know what they’re doing should begin treating people and churches for parasitic false preachers and teachers ‘immediately’. For what purpose? To help people rid themselves of these terrible ‘creatures’.
Christian leaders, parents and others in ‘church’ communities should not want these false preachers and teachers to continue to ‘feed’ on their members and children. That’s why they must begin immediate and aggressive treatments to help people and churches rid themselves of these spiritual parasites and ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’.
Spiritual Parasite and Wolves List
Here’s a Spiritual Parasite and Wolves List to help identify false preachers and teachers who may be targeting you or others in your family, church family or sphere of influence’. We are using information available in A Layman’s Guide to False Preachers and Teachers for this list.
- false preachers and teachers are ungodly and dangerous to your spiritual health
- false preachers and teachers are everywhere and into everything ‘Christian’
- false preachers and teachers claim to speak for God, but are really spokespeople for the enemy of Christ (Satan)
- false preachers and teachers have one purpose and that is to promote themselves and dominate people
- false preachers and teachers accomplish that by raising (read praising) themselves and lowering (read diminishing, demoting, denigrating) God
- false preachers and teachers cause divisions between Christians and within churches
- false preachers and teachers claim God ‘speaks’ or ‘appears’ directly to them, so they know things others cannot know by simply reading the Bible
- false preachers and teachers claim to see ‘visions,’ but their visions are false and deceptive
- false preachers and teachers manipulate people for their (false preachers and teachers) benefit rather than ‘minister’ to people for their (people’s) benefit
- false preachers and teachers present a message that is different than Jesus Christ and His apostles
- false preachers and teachers are depraved and doomed
- false preachers and teachers will be known by their fruit
- false preachers and teachers are able to disguise themselves and appear as sheep — but are in fact wolves who feed off unsuspecting people
Identifying the Problem
You may be thinking – no way! No way this could be going on in our churches, in our youth groups, in our children’s ministries, in our small group ministries, at Christian conferences and concerts. Don’t we have pastors and teachers, elders and deacons to protect us from bad people trying to do bad things to God’s people?
Aaaha! You have identified an important part of the problem. Many church leaders who are supposed to feed and protect (e.g. shepherd) the people of God are either not aware of the problem, don’t know how to identify the problem, don’t care about the problem or ARE the problem.
Repeating for emphasis and memory –
Many church leaders who are supposed to feed and protect (e.g. shepherd) the people of God are either –
- not aware of the problem
- don’t know how to identify the problem
- don’t care about the problem
- ARE the problem.
If our shepherds did what Jesus told the Apostle Peter to do (John 21:15-17 .. feed and protect), warning sirens would be going off continually in our churches.
Do you hear warning sirens going off in your church? In your youth group? In your children’s ministry? In your small group? At Christian conferences and concerts? If so, that’s great, but it seems the majority of churches and church leaders today are silent on the problem of false preachers and teachers. It’s rare you ever hear a pastor or teacher even mention it as an issue about which Christians should be concerned.
What may be even worse is that many pastors and teachers who know, or should know, the truth about false preachers and teachers are actually sharing pulpits and platforms with known false preachers and teachers. What does that communicate to the Christians under their care? It communicates that they (the Christians) can trust what the false preachers and teachers say because their pastor/shepherd allowed them to preach or teach or shared the stage with ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’. If it was otherwise, you would think our pastors would warn us if there was anything about which we should be alarmed. Right?
Unfortunately, when we do hear someone sound the alarm it’s often the wrong alarm. Many church leaders often end up warning people not to believe people who sound the false preacher/teacher alarm in their churches, conferences or denominations.
Repeating for emphasis –
Many church leaders often end up warning people not to believe people who sound the false preacher/teacher alarm in their churches, conferences or denominations.
It makes no sense! It truly is ‘senseless.’
Is There A Way Out?
Is there any way out of this mess? There is, but the way out will be VERY difficult. Why?
Because much of the church leadership in the 19th and 20th centuries, and so far into the 21st century, has allowed false preachers and teachers to go basically unchallenged. It is very hard to be heard or taken seriously about the problem.
The abandonment of God’s ‘sheep’ by God’s ‘shepherds’ has allowed the number and impact of these spiritual parasites, these wolves in sheep’s clothing, to grow exponentially. We are surrounded within and without by false preachers and teachers.
That’s what happens when parasites are not treated in a human body. They grow and infect great harm on the body. Adult tapeworms can grow to be longer than 80 feet and live in a human for decades (Mayo Clinic). That very large tapeworm (along with other parasites) is feeding off the host (usually living in a person’s digestive tract). The tapeworm actually lives and grows because it robs its human host of nourishment for physical life.
As bad as that sounds – as terrible as parasites are in a human body – think about the damage inflicted on churches, Christians and people who think they are Christians by parasitic false preachers and teachers? They have affected tens of millions of people in hundreds of thousands of churches in the United States and around the globe. Their devastating impact can last for generations! These false preachers and teachers attach themselves to the inside of churches and feed off the membership. They are robbing churches and their members of spiritual life.
We will look deeper into this spiritually dangerous problem when our special series continues.
Layman’s Guide Series
We are currently adding more parts to this series, so here are links to the articles available so far. We’ll continue to update the links as new parts are added –
We have been publishing articles and eBooks about false preachers and teachers for many years. Here are some you may find helpful:
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.