“There will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of the truth will be slandered.” 2 Peter 2: 1b-2 NLT
Reading a devotional the other day with my son, he read the phrase: “The boy was trying to pass to the next level of Minecraft- the video game”. My son laughed when I asked him what was so funny. He said, “There aren’t levels on Minecraft”. He quickly realized that the person who wrote this devotional didn’t have much knowledge on the subject. I, on the other hand, could’ve believed anything they’d say about the game because, as a good mom, I know nothing about it.
I noticed how easy it is for someone with little or no knowledge about a topic to agree or be part of wrong beliefs. Isn’t that what happened with Eve and the serpent in the garden of Eden? The serpent craftily convinced Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit. He used the formula 80/20 – 80% of the truth mixed with 20% of deceitfulness. Even though it seems too little, a person doesn’t need much to dilute the truth, just as a drink doesn’t need much to get ruined. Can you imagine mixing 80% of your coffee with 20% of orange juice? Any coffee drinker would tell you it’d taste awful!
When talking about doctrine it’s not any different. If you allow your doctrine to be diluted, even a little bit, the result could be very harmful to you and others. That’s why Peter warns people about false teachers, but he also mentioned about those who followed them. As Christians, we need to be watchful not to follow the wrong teachers.
It makes sense when unbelievers don’t understand or stand for the truth, after all, they don’t know Jesus – who is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). However, it doesn’t make sense when believers are being seduced by unhealthy doctrines. I love the story of the Berean people in Acts 17:11. Paul said that this group of people didn’t just sit down to listen, they would do it to listen with the Scriptures on hand to compare it with what was being taught to them. They weren’t passive about learning, instead, they were intentional about taking strong action regarding what they’d believe.
It’s easy to be PULLED away from the truth, to be seduced by an “almost the same” doctrine. The truth is hard, and most of the time we don’t want to hear it. I’ve been there; when I struggle with overeating I don’t want to hear it’s a sin, and my body is the temple of God. I’d rather listen to someone say that I don’t need self-control, that God only cares about the spiritual. But that’s a lie, the Bible says self-control is part of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:23).
Even though the truth is hard, it also frees us from our wickedness and equips us to walk the Christian life and guide others through it as well. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free”. John 8:32.
About the author: Anyeline is a mom to one, lover of Jesus, and enjoys a great cup of coffee. She is originally from the Dominican Republic, but is now a proud U.S. citizen. When visiting our church, you can find her teaching our young adult women or helping out in children’s ministry. She always has a smile and a warm greeting for friends and strangers alike.