Saturday, August 24, 2013

False doctrine is like John Prine's Bruised Orange lyric

A friend of mine recently asked me how my summer went. I said god and asked her about hers. She is a lady with whom I speak about Jesus quite often. She replied that she loves her summers so she can listen to sermons and study what the person said in it. I asked who she listened to and she said she loves Joyce Meyer, and Joseph Prince. "I love them!" she said.

Joseph Prince is a false teacher.

Joyce Meyer is a false teacher.

I went away mournful. I am also perplexed. I often speak of Jesus in my daily life, whether at work, or church, or at the store. I often speak of false doctrine and false teachers, specifically on my blog and in general at church. Sometimes if a specific situation comes up, I make an appointment and lay out specific concerns to my pastors or elders, and step back to prayerfully allow them to do their leading and pastoring regarding what I've shared.

But outside of church, I find it difficult to approach people one-on-one when confronted with a statement such as the one I was confronted with last week.

False teaching is a serious, serious issue. It is not one where we can step back and simply say, "Well, they have most of their faith right. I'll stay quiet."

If I do that, I am being disobedient. We know the bible warns us again and again that false teachers will come (2 Timothy 4:3-4, 1 John 4:1, Matthew 7:15, Galatians 1:6-9 ...). We are commanded to do certain things about false teachers and their false doctrine, such as warn, test, rebuke, beware, resist, avoid. (Romans 16:17-18, Colossians 2:8, 1 Timothy 5:20, 2 John 1:10). This is because false doctrine kills, perverts, confuses, deceives, exploits, and destroys. (2 Timothy 4:3-4, 1 Timothy 4:1, Jude 1:4, 2 Peter 2:1, 2 Corinthians 11:13-14, 2 Peter 2:3...). The end for these teachers is cursing, darkest hell, and destruction. (Galatians 1:6-9, Jude 1:13, 2 Peter 2:3).

Dr John MacArthur says of the importance of warning of error, firstly that it will cost the person a lot of money. False teachers exploit the unwary with greed. The unwary ones will get caught up in false teachers telling them that if they give money they will receive health or wealth or prosperity. It's crass, but it is true that the false teachers say this. More unfortunately it's true that the desperate believe it and send check after check.

But even more importantly, MacArthur explained,

"People caught up in error are cut off from God's blessing. God blesses obedience to the truth. The truth is everything. The most important thing in the universe is divine truth. And these people who hold a bible in their hand but are under false teachers are never led to the knowledge of the truth that produces the blessing."

Therefore, how can I remain silent when a precious lady tells me she spends her long summer days ingesting poison? I cannot. She is in danger. I will prayerfully seek wisdom and counsel from my Holy Spirit, and ask Him to guide me into an opportune moment to share the truth with her. I don't know her from church, so It will take special maneuvering to come alongside her again, but I must bow to the weight of glory and seek a chance to share with her that the danger of the hidden reefs is just as killing as the observable reefs.

I am reminded of a haunting and a sad song by John Prine. His song Bruised Orange recounts a tragedy that occurred long ago when songwriter and singer Prine was young.

Blogger Chimesfreedom recounted  the episode that affected Prine so much.

"The John Prine website quotes Prine explaining the inspiration for the opening lines of the song one day as he was driving to do his job shoveling snow at a church. Turns out one of the altar boys on his way to the Catholic church was walking down the train tracks. God only knows where his mind was, but a local commuter train come from behind and they had to put him in bushel baskets – what was left. I saw a group of mothers standing near the accident, not knowing whose boys it was. When they finally identified the boy, the mother broke down, and the other mothers consoled her with a great sense of relief.

Wikimedia commons

The relevant lyrics go thus:

Like a long ago Sunday when I walked through the alley,
On a cold winter’s morning to a church house,
Just to shovel some snow.

I heard sirens on the train track howl naked gettin’ nuder,
An altar boy’s been hit by a local commuter,
Just from walking with his back turned
To the train that was coming so slow.

False doctrine is like that. You could be ambling mindlessly along the tracks, lost in your own thoughts, your own world, and though the train is coming so slowly, and you could have escaped it. The slow train inexorably bears down on you with just as much killing potential as if it was a bullet train coming out of nowhere. And indeed, if you stay on that track, though the train of false doctrine is coming slowly, it will still kill you. You will be dead.

False doctrine is a tragedy because it is avoidable. You can see it coming. You can get off the track. But if  you fail to heed the warning signals, you will be dead. If you are lost in your thoughts and no one warns you of the coming disaster, you will be dead. That is why it is important to warn people about it. If you had seen that young boy on a cold winter's morning so long ago, ambling down the tracks, would you have said, "Well, surely he will turn around and see the train in time. I'll stay quiet and hope for the best"? Of course not. It is the same with false doctrine.

Speak up. Warn.

Wikimedia Commons


  1. I have so many friends that love Joyce Meyer-and it makes me heartsick. We talk theology, false teachers, right and wrong, etc., yet, they still think she's a "really great teacher." To me, she's a really manipulative false teacher leading thousands to hell. I warn, I share, I listen and rebut, but it falls on deaf ears. So sad.

    1. It makes me sad too, Tara. When I hear someone say they like her, or any false teacher, then I begin to worry for them.

      I liked the Christian Apologetics and Research page on Meyer, I think I am going to run it off and give it to my friend at an opportune time. He lays it out biblically. If she won't compare tot he bible and listen to the Word, then that's all I can do.

    2. I too have copies from CARM about her and just about everyone else out there. It's been my go-to site for a couple of years now. I live in Mormon land and CARM's biblical responses to the LDS are top notch.

      And good idea- if she won't listen to you...

    3. Oh, Tara, that must be hard to live where you're inundated with people drenched in LDS philosophy. Keep up the great work. I am sure that your stand for Jesus and His light inside you through developing fruit from the Spirit is having kingdom effects daily.

  2. Hal Lindsey endorsed Joseph Prince within the last eight months or so on the Hal Lindsey Report, if I remember correctly. I was dismayed when it happened because Hal has such a wide following.

  3. You're right. I remember that. I stopped watching Hal then. I was sad for his lack of discernment there. Good old Hal. I hope he can come to see that Mr Prince's Gospel is not one that saves...

    1. I have noticed rapture ready is putting a lot of weird articles up on there site lately......its like they'll just take anything. That was disappointing to me. I would love to have a few end times sites to read that haven't jumped the shark. With all that is going on there is pleanty of facts to write about without veering into wild speculation. However I have been hardpressed to find a site that doesn't have some error along with the good.

  4. I have watched Joseph Prince's preaching ( you can see him on It is hard to make a decision based on a partial text of his sermons. Just as a text message can be
    miss-interpreted. I, myself do find his preaching biblical. In his preaching he quotes the bible, using supporting scripture.

    When I meet a woman who tells me she is a preacher/deacon etc
    I tell her that nowhere in the bible is there a female priest. All the Apostles were men. Yes, There were female Profits and Judges, but no Priest.

    1. Joseph Prince uses scripture. All false teachers use and quote scripture. If they didn't it would be easy to tell they are false. Yet satan is craftier than that. It is HOW they use scripture that is the issue. I encourage you to click on the link above to see where and how Mr Prince veers from a solid message. You are at risk in choosing to continue to follow him.

    2. HW <- bites tongue until it bleeds.

    3. HW, Is there something you want to say? If so, please share, if not, perhaps it's best not to be cryptic?

  5. Everyone is in danger of being false teachers. This blog and myself included. Humility that leads to submission of the spirit trumps everything else, because then we become a blank canvas for the glory of the Lord. The spirit of truth will lead us into all understanding, which might not be in the way we currently understand it. What shall we do then, when humility is pressed upon us? Press on into being an overcommer through the power of Christ, even if we must wait 3.5 years for it.

    1. Thanks for not biting your tongue until it bleeds and commenting as to what was on your mind.

      False doctrine is a heavy theme throughout the New Testament. False prophets is a heavy theme throughout the Old Testament. You're right- falsity abounds. We are all at risk. But that doesn't mean we ignore it when we see it. I'd ask you to look back up at the top at the scriptures that indicate what we are supposed to do when encountering false doctrine and false teachers. Because, we ARE supposed to do certain things when we encounter falsity.

      As for this comment you made, "The spirit of truth will lead us into all understanding, which might not be in the way we currently understand it." I have no idea what that means. However, it does NOT mean we *can't* understand the bible. While we are humble when we search the scriptures, the Hermenutics of Humility is a false construct that claims we are too humble to ever know for sure what it says. It looks like you might be falling for that teaching. You might benefit from the following:

      The False Gospel of the Hermenutics of Humility, by Mike Ratliffe

      As for the last part of your comment, "even if we must wait 3.5 years for it." I have no idea what that means either. I'm sorry.

    2. The other day you instructed someone on this blog that first we are raptured and then there is 7 years of tribulation. Prewrath rapture believes that it happens at some point in the middle, ie the 3.5 years reference.

      Just because we "can" understand the scriptures doesn't mean we will unless we humble ourselves first by leaning not on our own understanding. Otherwise, we are just busy convincing ourselves of our own rightness.

      If we are to supposed to do certain things when faced with falsity, then consider that is what I am doing.

    3. Ah! Prewrath. Prewrath is incorrect. The church is not appointed to wrath. (1 Thess 5:9).

      If you understand the meaning and intent of the Tribulation, you'll understand that the church isn't going to be here for it. Any part of it. The wrath begins with the unsealing of the first seal in Rev 6 and continues for 7 years. We will be gone.

      If you search in the search bar for 'pre-tribulation' you'll find many resources illustrating from scripture that the church is not destined for judgment. thanks hopeful watcher, and I believe this concludes our conversation.

    4. Briefly, regarding the issue of the "overcomer" (or, as per Revelation, "to him who overcomes") - Scripture defines what that means:

      1 John 5
      4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world ; and this is the victory that has overcome the world -our faith. 5 Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God ?

      The answer: ALL who are born-again, ie: those who have saving faith in Jesus Christ, are the overcomers. Being an overcomer isn't something we DO. It is who we ARE.


  6. I could echo (exactly!) word for word what Tara said about her friends & Joyce Meyer.

    I admit at one time, (during my lack of discernment phase), I, too, was an incredible fan. Had some lady follow me all over the Rapture Ready mb in its infancy, trying to set me straight. I never would listen to a word back then. But little by little, I came to understand.

    It'd be very difficult to warn one of my best friends about Meyer -- as her whole life, she's followed the word of faith teachings... the "joy boys' club" as Adrian Rogers use to call it... as they teach we are all to be healthy, wealthy, well.... in THIS life.

    Funny! I find many examples of sickness in the Bible -- even among the Christians.

    PLUS: why is it that they (word of faith teachers) preach we do not "have enough faith" if we get sick ~ yet they themselves DIE... and absolutely NOTHING is said that they or their families did not have enough faith!!

    Cuts both ways...


  7. I have several friends on Facebook (including the Pastor of the Church I have been attending) who quote Joyce Meyer and follow her constantly. I borrowed your link to post there. Thanks.



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