|FAQ ID # 5672|
|Last Update : 2007/10/19
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|Question / Issue|
|Please tell me how to recognize "false teaching". Some say that believing in the gifts of the spirit; i.e. healing or tongues, is following a false teaching. Some are labeling churches that allow praying in tongues as "false teaching" churches. Some even believe that denominations that support ecumenicism are falsely teaching; others tell me that Billy Graham is a "false teacher". How does one define "false teaching"? Thank you.|
|Answer / Solution|
|The way to determine if something is a false teaching is to test it against Scripture, our final authority. 1 Thess 5:21 exhorts us to "examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good." Be sure the teaching is true to the Word of God.
John declares, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." This may seem like a simple evasion of the complex question concerning denominations and interpretations within the body of Christ, but it is in fact the secret to “knowing the truth.” Concern yourself primarily with Scripture and prayer. The most accurate translations of the Bible available today are the New American Standard (NASB) and the New King James (NKJV).
Most denominations agree on essential doctrine; that is, who God is and what it takes to become His child. While we may disagree on other important issues, none of these discrepancies change eternal destiny; they just have certain effects in the practice of faith in this life. Concerning interpretations that abound throughout commentaries and other such literature, this is permissible but troublesome because of the confusion that sometimes results. This is why it is imperative that you study God's Word for yourself. When reading the Bible, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading. He is our Teacher who guides us through the truths of Scripture (John 14:26; John 16:13; 1 Cor 2:10.) The Lord promises if we lack wisdom in anything that we should ask, and it will be given. (James 1:5)
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