Engage Your Brain
April 24, 2009
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as
there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly
introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought
them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow
their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will
be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false
words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction
is not asleep.” – 2 Peter 2:1-3
Never doubt it: evil is alive and well, and it is attacking the
It’s depressing when you consider it. Not only do we have
to fight enemies on the outside – whether that is outright
physical persecution or the intangible philosophies of an ungodly
society – but we also have to fight heresies inside our own
We cannot let our guard down. We must be sober and alert at all
times – engaging our brains to examine everything that comes
our way, whether it be from people we meet, the TV, Internet, radio,
book, or pulpit.
Fortunately, Peter gives three keys to discern falsehood in these
verses. If a book, philosophy, person, or teaching does any of
the following, we are to name it for what it is – heresy – and
avoid it at all costs:
- Denies Jesus – his Person, his death,
or his resurrection.
- Promotes sensuality – focusing on
the body and material things rather than on spiritual character
and Christian growth.
- Demonstrates greed – preaching God but living like
So take the time to carefully consider:
- What books am I reading?
What and who am I listening to? How do they stack up to these three
keys Peter gives?
- What are the popular Christian books and speakers of
the day? How do they stack up to these questions?
- Suppose you identify a popular Christian book or teacher
as heretical based on one or more of these three points (yes,
it does happen): how should you react if another Christian thinks
the book or teacher is wonderful?