In writing and sharing this, I am going against something I have been taught, something that has been making me an irksome mess in trying to follow, hoping to be obedient to the Word of God.
But after hearing what I heard at church recently, a fire was kindled and I realized I may have been taught incorrectly. Not that the word taught to me isn’t in the Bible, but the way it was presented to me was incorrect.
Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. James 3:1
Those who teach the Word of God are held accountable for every word they teach. This is because it is important to maintain the integrity of God’s love in truth. Teaching God’s word is not just reading scripture, but it includes guidance in how to apply it in your life. Good teaching will guide and direct you to love and forgive. Bad teaching will lead to you judge and hate. Bad teachers are false teachers.
Yes, unfortunately there are false teachers. False teachers prey on the weak, the weary, the suffering and the afflicted. False teachers fill their own purpose, many for financial gain. They twist the Word of God in order to give false hope and leading people to believe that in order to get more financially, they must give more financially.
The good news is that we can identify these people. There are those who feed their own appetites, and pockets (Romans 16:17-18) and there are those who are truly not of God, wanting to keep people from the truth, leading them away from the Lord. These you can tell because they can not confess Jesus as having come in the flesh (1 John 4:2-3).
But there are some who are not false teachers, they are just bad teachers. Bad teachers debase others in order to promote themselves. They say others are wrong and they are right. What this really does is it encourages people to judge and hate. It causes division and deters people from loving the way God desires them to. It also can destroy a person’s self-esteem and confidence. This is not a good and proper way to teach.
There are also many good teachers who merely error in their teaching. They have a desire to do what is right and don’t see they have done wrong until it is shown to them. These are ones who will repent. God will forgive them and they will continue their teaching, guiding people not to judge, hold grudges, or hate, but guiding them to be forgiving.
Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us. Titus 2:6-8.
God’s word should be taught with integrity and love, straight from the Bible – not comparing it with anything or anyone else’s teaching. If another teaches incorrectly, you should teach what the Bible says is correct without speaking of the other teaching. God and God alone will deal with those who are teaching wrongly. When you bring the teaching of others into your teaching you are opening the door to criticism, and judgment. You are encouraging people to compare you against the others. Some will see you as thinking you are better than others, some will see you as a liar and deceiver and still others will look at you as being better than the other teacher. None of these would be correct.
True and correct teaching would leave a person with a sense of peace and confidence that they have heard the truth, though it is different from what they were originally taught. Good teaching will also not lead them to judge the incorrect teacher, but to forgive and move forward. This kind of teaching is truly from the Lord and none other.
It is time for God’s teachers to be as roaches, cleaning up the wrong teaching and helping the truth to be seen. They need to help those they speak with to see love and not hate. God’s teachers help people to have forgiveness and not judgment. When God’s teachers follow His will and word, then God will bless them and build them up.
Be a good and true servant to the Lord and in all things, put God first and allow Him to take care of the rest.