Some Christians believe that it is wrong for Christians to criticize the teachings and practices of teachers like Joyce Meyer. They point out:
- that Jesus taught his followers not to judge (Matthew 7:1), and
- that the Bible says not to 'touch God's annointed.' (Psalm 105:15)
The notion that these verses forbid Christians from examining the teachings and practices of other Christians is the result of faulty interpretation.
The Bible teaches that all Christians should learn how to discern between orthodoxy and heresy. It tells us to test everything, and to then hold on to that which is good:
Do not put out the Spirit's fire;
do not treat prophecies with contempt.
Test everything. Hold on to the good.
Avoid every kind of evil.
This necessarily involves 'judging' - not of the person, but of his or her teachings and practices. Paul wrote that to the Thessalonians, in essence telling them to do what the Berean were earlier commended for:
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
Note that the Berans did not merely find out whether what Paul said could be found in Scripture, but whether what he said was true. They judged Paul's message to see whether or not it was supported by Scripture.
It is of vital importance that we, likewise, judge teachings and practices by the Bible in order to determine if the things taught are indeed Biblical or something else. This is what it means to discern between orthodoxy and heresy. After all, while most aberrant and/or heretical teachings are derived from the Bible, they are not supported by Scripture.
Sadly, many Christians are Biblically illiterate - relying more on the insights of their favorite teachers than on their own, personal study of God's Word.
Moreoever, the Bible warns that there would come a time like today, when certain people will simply not put up with sound doctrine, but instead seek out teachers and teachings which suit their own desires:
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
One of the aims of Apologetics Index is to encourage and teach Christians to discern between orthodoxy and heresy - to test everything, holding on to the good, and avoiding what is bad. Hence this look at the teachings of Joyce Meyer.
For more on these issues, see:
Should Christians Judge? Does the Bible not warn against 'touching God's annointed'?
What is discernment? How should it be applied?
A Biblical Guide to Orthodoxy and Heresy
Bible Interpretation and Scripture Twisting
Essential doctrines of the Christian faith
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