Here I simply list false teachings which I embraced for many years until I recognized and rejected them. In upcoming posts I expect in the will of the Lord to address each of the following in detail because every one of these doctrines which I embraced divided me from other brothers and sisters to which God had united me in Christ and who simply believed what the Bible stated about these things!
Baptism Fables which I embraced:
“Baptismal Membership”: the teaching that water baptism is required to be a member of a local church. Problems with this teaching include the fact that scripture never mentions membership in connection with a local church nor does scripture ever teach that water baptism is required to be a member of the church which is Christ’s Body! My teaching of baptismal membership only served to exercise control over a congregation and divided us from other believers to which God had united us (baptized or not!)
“Baptismal Adding”: This teaching is similar to the above. I held this teaching after I rejected the idea of “local church membership. I held it because I believed that men were responsible to add believers to a local church and we would not attempt such an action until one had been baptized following their own confession of faith in Christ. But such a teaching, itself, is foreign to scripture, seeks to exercise religious control over God’s people and creates and maintains divisions among God’s people whom He has united.
Church Fables which I embraced:
“Clergy Laity Distinctions”: I firmly believed that there were clear distinctions between two classes of believers…otherwise known as “clergy” and “laity”, those who were “ministers” and those who were “not in the ministry”, those who worked in “spiritual work” and those who worked in “secular work”, those who were in “full-time Christian work” and those who were in “part-time Christian work”, those who were “servants of the Lord” and those who were “servants of men”! Traditions of men assigned to the first class distinctive titles, certificates, papers or letters, distinct responsibilities and privileges, distinct places of ministry, distinct means of support, and in some places even distinct clothing! But I eventually learned that scripture never distinguishes between clergy (God’s inheritance) and the laity (God’s people)! Not one of the above distinctions can be scripturally defended! In both Old and New Testaments the clergy and laity are designations of the very same group of people! It is true that under the Old Covenant God ordained that men of the tribe of Levi were the only ones who could be priests and ministers, but under the New Covenant every believer is a priest, an ordained and gifted minister and no class of believers has ever been called to “part time ministry”! This doctrine creates all sorts of divisions among God’s people! Thus I had to repent of this doctrine and practice and refrain from any further participation in it.
“Local Church Membership”: For many years I was proud to be a member of my church. But that membership distinguished me from other Christians who were not members of my church! But as I searched the scriptures on the subject I learned that membership in scripture is always associated with a body which has a head. No local church is ever described in this way nor does scripture ever speak of “’members” in a church at Jerusalem, Ephesus or Corinth. The only scriptural church which has members is the church which is Christ’s Body of which all believers are members! The whole concept of membership in local churches thus creates many unscriptural divisions among the people of God who are one in Christ! So I had to repent of this doctrine as well and abstain from seeking “membership” in any gathering of Christians which would exclude any who belong to Christ.
“In Fellowship/out of Fellowship”: For many years I distinguished between those of us in my church who were “in fellowship” and others whom we believed were “out of fellowship”. But then I learned that neither of these terms are scriptural ones! Fellowship is not something you can be “in” or “out of” but rather something which you have or do not have. It is not something that others can extend to you, withhold from you or “put you out of”! The doctrine of “in fellowship” and “out of fellowship” has been created to justify and create countless divisions among those whom God has united by His Spirit!
“Church collections” and “Church tithing”: For decades I faithfully contributed every Sunday to collections which were made in churches where I was a “member” or “in fellowship”. I felt that this was an obligation which every faithful Christian would accept. But the greatest percentage of those collections was spent on maintenance of church buildings and paying church staff or those in “full-time ministry”. No collection is ever recorded in a church gathering in the new testament! Nor did any first century churches receive collections for the purpose of paying for “church buildings” or paying “salaries of church staff”! The collection of I Cor.16:1,2 was to be laid by in store by each believer to be used for poor saints! The teaching of “church collections” and “church tithing” are really all about human control of the financial resources of God’s people when in reality each believer needs to be listening to Christ their Head regarding how He would have their collections disbursed! So this is another teaching and practice of which I had to repent in order to be obedient to the scriptures.
“Church Leadership”: For most of my life I looked up to and followed “church leaders”, then I trained to be a “church leader”, I became a “church leader” and began training others to also be “church leaders”! I never questioned the whole concept of “church leadership” until I began to test all of my beliefs and practices by scripture. It has only been recently that I realized (to my surprise) that God never intended that any man other than the Lord Jesus Christ should be a leader of His people! The Lord Jesus did not train leaders, did not assign the task of “leading” to any of His followers nor did He appoint apostles, elders, deacons, pastors etc to “lead “ the church! Rather the Lord Jesus called and trained followers who would also train others to follow the only leader whom God has ever appointed over them and that is Christ. Thus I learned that all of the many practices that I associated with the idea of mortal church leadership only served to divide Christians, cause us to follow a multitude of leaders and distract our attention from the only True Leader which God has given us, His own lovely Son! So I have had to repent of my participation in, the poor example I set and the teaching I gave to others regarding being “church leaders”. Now I simply desire to encourage all believers to be eager followers of Christ rather than following any mortal leaders.
End- times Fables which I embraced: I was taught many end-times doctrines by my pastor, grandfather and many other Bible teachers. But I embraced and taught many of them to others without ever having seriously searched the scriptures to see whether these things were so! But as I tested my own teachings by the marks outlined on this blog for distinguishing false teachings from sound doctrines all of the following were exposed as false teachings and I had to repent of and reject each one:
-The teaching that Daniel’s 70 weeks are actually “sevens of years”,
– The teaching that Daniel’s 70th week is the “seven year tribulation”,
– The teaching that Christ’s return from heaven is an imminent event, i.e. that no prophecy of
scripture must be fulfilled before He returns,
– The teaching that the rapture or catching up of the saints will happen before the tribulation,
– The teaching that following the rapture/catching up of the saints they and the Lord Jesus ascend to
– The teaching that the Day of the Lord lasts over a thousand years.
Heaven Fables which I embraced: For most of my life I believed two very commonly accepted teachings about heaven…
–The first was the teaching from John 14 that Jesus was going to heaven, preparing mansions in heaven, coming back from heaven and would take us to heaven. But that teaching was challenged in my own thin king at a Bible Conference where a brother from England made a simple statement about the Lord Jesus’ “going away” in John 14…. He said, “The Lord Jesus was going to the cross!” As I searched John 14 with that thought in mind I was amazed to discover that “heaven” was not even mentioned but the Lord Jesus clearly said that where He was as He spoke to his disciples was “in the Father”! He did not promise in John 14:6 that he was the way “to heaven” but rather the way to the Father! So the doctrine stated above was another teaching which I had to repent of and reject for it not only contradicted what the Lords Jesus plainly said, but it created division and deception among the people of God.
– The second was the teaching that Christians Go to Heaven when they die & when the Lord comes again. But only when I began testing my own beliefs by the simple tests of scripture did I realize that this teaching was also false! Without exception, every man mentioned in the Bible who went to heaven went there while his physical body was alive and well! Not one is ever recorded going to heaven when they died! Nor does scripture ever teach that people will go to heaven when the Lord Jesus returns from heaven! Rather scripture clearly teaches that all His saints will come with him to earth when He come from heaven! So you can see that this was yet another false doctrine of which I had to repent.
Salvation Fables which I embraced: Two very commonly embraced doctrines which are considered by many to be foundational truths of the Christian faith are actually false doctrines…
-Justification by faith alone: This is one example of a true doctrine (Justification by faith, Romans 3:28; 5:1; Galatians 3:11etc ) being made into a false doctrine, by the addition of just one word “alone”, and thus made to contradict many other truths of scripture such as justification by Christ, justification by blood, justification by grace and justification by works but NOT by works of the law! In order to embrace all the scriptural truths regarding justification, I had to reject the doctrine of “justification by faith alone”!
– Substitutionary Atonement, or the teaching that the Lord Jesus became a substitute for sinners for whom He died…. This is a false assumption from such passages as Romans 5:6,8 and I Peter 3:18 which clearly teach that He died for the ungodly, for sinners and for the unjust. But neither these texts nor any others suggest that Christ was our substitute, i.e. that He came to do something for us which we could normally have done for ourselves! He came to do something for us which we could never have done! Such a work is NOT that of “substitution”! When one is a teacher and is sick for a day- another teacher may teach for them and thus be their substitute. But when one is seriously injured in a highway accident and needs to be flown hundreds of miles to a hospital, the man who flies a helicopter to pick them up is the pilot for them but he is NOT their substitute! He comes to do something for them which they have never done and cannot do (i.e. fly a helicopter). Just as the helicopter pilot is not a substitute for the accident victim, neither was the Lord Jesus a substitute for the sinner!
A Satan Fable: -Satan is the “god of this world”. This is a false deduction from II Cor.4:4 a context in which Satan is never mentioned! This teaching ascribes to him exactly what he has always desired…attributes of deity which belong to none other than the Creator of heaven and earth, (i.e. the right to be called God and the ability to blind minds.) This teaching distracts believers from things which scripture teaches only God can do, ascribes attributes of God to the Enemy and contradicts the clear teachings of scripture!
It is always doctrines such as this which divide between brothers and sisters in Christ whom He has united as one in the church which is His Body!
A Scripture Fable: I was taught and for many years believed and taught to others the following….The “sign gifts” such as apostles, prophets, prophecy, tongues, interpretation, healings, miracles, wisdom, knowledge, discerning of spirits etc all passed away when the scriptures were complete and have not been in operation among believers of the Body of Christ since that time. This false teaching is never stated in scripture but is deduced from I Cor.13:8-13 where it is falsely assumed that “that which is perfect” was the completion of the scriptures before the end of the first century A.D. Scripture clearly teaches otherwise! Therefore this is another false teaching of which I had to repent and reject even though many close friends disagree with me. This teaching divided me for far too long from saints who simply take God at His word and believe what the Bible says for itself.
Because not many years ago I, myself, embraced all of the fables mentioned above, I know how you will feel if you currently believe any of the above-mentioned doctrines and have just read my claim that such are actually false teachings. So I would ask you to do one of two things (for your own benefit and for mine):
(1) Take the time necessary to list the marks which you believe are true of every false teaching.
(2) Demonstrate that any one of the doctrines mentioned above is actually stated in words of
In either case I will welcome and appreciate your scripturally based comments (below) or in a personal email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.