What is False Teaching?

Our weekday Bible study has been discussing various false teaching– but what is that? How can it be defined? Well, we started out by reviewing the things that are essential to the Christian faith. You might say these are core values, and the basics are found in the Creeds– the Apostle’s Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed.

  1. Revelation, both general (things everyone can see and be aware of, as the complexity of nature) and specific (the Bible).
  2. God is the starting place for truth–everything must be tested against His Word.
  3. Man was created in God’s image, to relate to God.
  4. Sin. Man sinned and that sin became part of us.
  5. Christ is the perfect teacher and our atoning sacrifice.
  6. Salvation is by grace alone, faith alone, scripture alone, through Christ alone, for the glory of God.
  7. Eternity. Christ will redeem us, there will be judgement and God’s chosen people will live with Him forever.

False teaching always says Scripture can’t be trusted, at least not alone. However, God’s Word is a clear and sufficient guide. It has three functions: as a curb (keeping us in the right path), a mirror (revealing our sin) and a ruler (a guide with which to compare ourselves).

All of us, and all denominations are sometimes guilty of false teaching. That is why the apostle John advises us:

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1

In order to do this, we must know the Scriptures well and be ready to contend for the faith by describing our beliefs.

… in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15

For more about false teaching see:

False Teaching

False Piety

False Piety #2