16 February 2015

The Pedestal

People have a tendency to elevate individuals to practically god-like status in which everything they say or teach is the truth.

Many popular preachers of all stripes have their own unappointed apologists. When one popular preacher's teaching was criticized there were comments defending him strongly. Phrases as "he is the man" and "everything he teaches is true," "I've never heard anything scripturally wrong come from him," etc. They follow that preachers teaching, buying their books, listening to their podcasts, and attending their meetings. It seems that their favorite teacher cannot do or teach anything that is wrong.

Some problems

  1. They have lost their first love as what happened in Ephesus. Jesus has been demoted. Jesus is THE teacher. "Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love." (Revelation 2:4, EMTV).

  2. They have made a human to be nearly infallible. "By no means! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar, just as it is written: "That You may be justified in Your words, and You may prevail when You are judged." (Romans 3:4, EMTV)

  3. They feel that you cannot criticize THEIR teacher. "He/she is a great teacher, you have no right to criticize." Saying, "Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm." (Psalms 105:15, NKJV). "To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isaiah 8:20, NKJV). "I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; (Revelation 2:2, NKJV)

  4. "I've never heard anything scripturally wrong come from him." "But test all things; hold fast that which is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21, EMTV)

  5. These teachers like that attention that comes from being a "great" teacher. "They love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to have people call them 'Teacher.' You must not be called 'Teacher,' because you are all equal and have only one Teacher." (Matthew 23:7-8, GNB92)

  6. What is truth is being decided by the individual. This is wrong; it is to be decided only by Scripture. The Bible is the only source of 100% truth. The entirety of Your word is truth, and all Your righteous judgments endure forever. (Psalms 119:160, HCSB). Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. (Proverbs 30:5, HCSB). All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16, EMTV).

  7. If the teacher apostatizes, their followers probably will too. They have put so much trust into their teacher that they will not question what they teacher. "Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him." (Proverbs 30:5, NKJV). Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited. "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. (Jeremiah 17:5-7, NKJV)

Every teacher, every time should be compared to the teachings of Scripture. We must read the Bible, study the Bible, believe the Bible, and pray.

We need a little skepticism.

Let us never put a teacher on a pedestal.

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