I was angry at misguided Christians damaging the credibility of the Church with false teaching. I then found comfort in some sarcastic tweets and Facebook posts.
But ultimately I ended with pity.
My pity was for those who had been naive enough to buy into another round of false teaching about the end-times, and worse, that they were foolish enough to risk all to broadcast it to the world.
Nobody doubts their sincerity, but they were sincerely wrong, and being sincerely wrong is the same as being wrong. I’m sure they didn’t go in wanting to get it wrong, but they ended up duped.
So, how do you avoid embracing false beliefs?
1. Guard your heart. Your heart is more influential in what you believe than your mind. My friend Dennis Peacocke says it like this, “The mind justifies what the heart desires.” Your beliefs are determined more by what you want to believe than by what your intellect dictates. So, if you want to avoid false belief, you have to guard your heart constantly.
2. Be suspicious of beliefs that line up with your desires. This follows logically from point #1. Here are some examples: The Prosperity Gospel, Name It & Claim It and any variety of the God-Just-Wants-You-Happy doctrine.
3. Study the Bible cautiously. Don’t be quick to believe something just because you heard it preached. Study, read and pray. You are responsible for what you believe.
And, lastly, whatever you do, don’t listen to Harold Camping. GS.