Luckily, the butter, onions, garlic, chicken broth, thyme and toasted almonds gave the pilaf a little flavor at least, and the rest of the meal turned out fine. Enough sauce covered the cider-braised pork chops so that anyone desiring to could spoon it over the rice as well. But it was still missing those pretty flecks of green and the freshness that a good-sized handful of fresh parsley added at the last minute brings. If only I had looked a little closer the day before, even I might have seen those little stinkers.
It can happen to us as easily as to parsley plants. False teachers are charming, logical, and usually attractive people. They will appeal to your sense of justice, common sense, compassion, ego, even your pocketbook, whatever it takes to get your attention and draw you in. Many of them sincerely believe what they teach, having been previously deceived by yet another false teacher. Those are especially difficult to ignore—what seems like an honest and sincere person cannot be the evil wolf Jesus warns us about, can he? And no marvel; for even Satan fashions himself into an angel of light. It is no great thing therefore if his ministers also fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness… 2 Cor 11:14,15.
So whose fault is it if we are taken in by these people? God makes it clear in both the Old and New Testaments that we are responsible for our own souls.
A wonderful and a horrible thing has come to pass in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely and the priests bear rule by their means, and my people love to have it so…Jer 5:30,31.
For it is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Jehovah, that say to the Seers, see not, and to the Prophets, prophesy not right things, but speak to us smooth things…Isa 30:9,10.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts, and will turn away their ears from the truth and turn aside unto fables, 2 Tim 4:3,4.
Scary, isn’t it? Don’t think it cannot happen to you and, like my parsley plants, happen quickly. Before the apostles were dead, the first “-ism” was already upon the church. They were fighting the Judaizing brethren, the Gnostics, the Nicolaitans, and others we probably will never know about.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel, not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ, Paul told the Galatians in 1:6,7, not twenty years after founding the churches in that area. How about us two thousand years removed? If there was ever a time for vigilance, for going back to the basics, for attempting to restore the New Testament church as God intended it to be, it is now. So many have strayed so far.
When your elders and preachers seem harsh and intolerant toward a teacher or group, or even toward you, give them a break. Your souls are in their hands. They are seeing things that you, caught up in your emotions and prejudices, might not. Like parents protecting a child from the predators out there in the world, they can see the danger. Instead of adolescently complaining, “You’re mean. You don’t understand,” pay attention. Ultimately, if you choose not to listen to them, the parsley worms will eat up your souls, leaving nothing but useless stems, and God will hold you accountable.
Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits...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, Matt 7:15,16; 1 John 4:1.
(For hints, help, and instructions on using this blog, click on the FAQ/Tutorial page on the left sidebar)