The challenge of false teaching in the church today is so enormous. False teaching in the church has posed a pain taking work on the church to find out false teachers and their mission.

Some movements stand to be false and are obviously known to be counterfeit of the true church. However, the infiltration of false doctrines into church denominations that uphold scriptural truth is the greatest threat the church has ever faced from this menace.

What can help a person with an average knowledge of the Bible to differentiate between false teachings from the truth is to have a general clue of what false teaching is all about.

The Bible has given a general clue of what false teaching and its effects can be by teaching what true Christian life should be. From the knowledge of what true Christian life is one can deduce teachings that are meant to lead astray to false Christian life. Jesus says:

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? (Luke 9:23-25 NIV).

Apostle Paul later on in ministry speaking on the same subject says:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God this is your true and proper worship to God (Romans 12:1).

The basis of the Christian life is self-sacrifice and total submission to God. Christ lived as a sacrificial lamb to the glory of God (Philippians 2:3-8), the apostle Paul upon his call also has to pour his life as a living fragrance unto the Lord for spreading the gospel (2 Corinthians 2:14-15).

What matters to a true believer is the will of God. Bringing glory to God in everything and making sure that he or she lives in obedience to God’s Word.

On the contrary, false Christianity is self-centred. The “I” kind of Christianity. Only looking to self-benefits. What makes the difference between the two is a mindset. True Christians have their minds set on pleasing God and not seeking after the desires of the flesh (Romans 8:5-8). While on the other hand, false Christianity is built on attitudes like the following:

  • Pray only to meet end needs and not to glorify God ultimately
  • Pray only to experience the presence of God and simply satisfy the emotional longing and the emptiness of the heart
  • Pray only to experience the supernatural power of God
  • Pray simply to show other believers how prayerful we are and then be praised for our “spirituality”
  • Pray to be spiritual (prayer is taken as a means to meet personal spiritual goals)
  • Worship and serve God for self-benefits mostly to receive human praise by how sound we are theologically, displaying our oratory ability and how gifted we are at singing and playing a musical instrument
  • Study the Bible simply for what benefits we can gain out of it
  • Give offerings and tithe as a loan to God simply to receive back with much interest

This is where the infiltration of false teaching has dragged the evangelical church to today. The presence of self, self and self has eaten too deep into the fibre of the evangelical circle and can be sensed easily virtually in all activities of the church.

This is nothing but a displacement of the God of the church and the placement of the man-god on the throne of God in the church.

As an individual Christian, you must dispossess your life from self-centred Christian practices and let it be about God and to His glory alone. The ultimate standard you must meet is to bring glory to God in everything you do (1 Corinthians 10:31).

The presumption to serve God through self-love is an expression of lack faith in God through His Word. We display our confidence in God’s promises to sustain us by surrendering our lives for His glory.