Religious tradition, personal opinions or a hardened heart can all lead to deception. Find out if you’ve fallen for any of these common deceptions in the Church.
It’s easier than you think…
…to be deceived.
We all want to believe it can’t happen to us, but it can—and to many, it does. The worst part? Those who are deceived don’t even know it.
That’s why we’ve been warned time and again in God’s Word.
Second Thessalonians 2:3 (NASB) says, “Let no one in any way deceive you….”
Colossians 2:8 (NASB) says, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
The only power the devil has against us is through deception—illusion. It opens the door for him to have free reign in our lives. That’s why Mark 13:33 tells us to “be alert!” Many Christians have believed the lies fed to them by religious tradition, without lining them up with the Word of God. Don’t let that be you!
To help you avoid falling into the trap, we’re counting down The Top 5 Deceptions in the Church and how you can remain strong in truth.
Deception No. 5: Politics Shouldn’t Be Discussed in Church
People have actually left churches over this one. And it’s sad, because not only does God intend for His people to be involved in government, but He instituted a form of government in Exodus 18:21 and Romans 13.
God has called pastors to shepherd people through biblical teaching and counsel. When the full Word of God is taught in church, you’ll find the Bible has plenty to say about political issues (e.g., God’s definition of marriage, the value of unborn lives, proper handling of finances, and other moral standards).
You can’t separate the Bible from politics. You can’t sit in church and believe one thing, then step into the voting booth and throw it out the window. That’s why pastors must shepherd the church in the arena of government and tell their congregations how to apply biblical principles in the voting booth.
America was founded on Christian principles, and our laws were based on Scriptures. Churches have a right to be concerned about where politics will take our nation. Christians need to be involved in selecting godly politicians who will lead us in the direction of righteousness, or our nation will forfeit its blessings. If we are to be salt and light in the public square, it must be discussed in the Church.
(For more, see 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Romans 16:17-18, and 1 Corinthians 15:33.)
Watch Gloria Copeland and Billye Brim teach you how to stand up for God in your nation.
Deception No. 4: Money Is the Root of All Evil
The first problem with this deception in the Church is that it’s misquoting scripture! It is based on 1 Timothy 6:10, which says, “For the love of money is the root of all evil” (KJV). Having money is not evil. It’s the love of money—covetousness—that leads to evil.
A person with no money at all can love money to the point of killing another person to get it. The New Living Translation of verses 9-10 says, “But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.”
(For more on what God really thinks about money, see these 60 Scriptures About Prosperity and Success.)
But make no mistake, there are warnings about money, too. Like in every other area, it’s impossible to handle money correctly without God’s help. He never said He didn’t want people to have money. He is saying that it’s going to be tough to stay away from trusting and loving money—it’s a danger to you—but you can do it if you stick close to the Father.
Deception No. 3: Calling Out Christian Leaders Is Your Duty
No pastor or minister is perfect. But the Bible says, “Who can lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless?” (1 Samuel 26:9, NIV).
This doesn’t mean pastors who are at fault should always be above criticism, but it is important to remember that “everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way” (1 Corinthians 14:40, NIV). Getting on social media and tearing people down is neither fitting nor orderly. Nor is it “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).
If you believe a pastor or minister is not in line with the Word, you do not have to attend their church or support their ministry financially, you can pray for them, and if you are in the proper position to do so, ask the Lord if He would have you deal with them in private. But to believe calling out Christian leaders is your duty is deception.
You don’t have to agree with every Christian leader, but you are not called to speak against them on the internet, in your circle of friends, or even in the privacy of your home.
David did not dishonor Saul by speaking against him, fighting him or even trying to overthrow him. In keeping himself in right-standing, he made room for God to deal with Saul directly and kept himself eligible for promotion.
(Find tips on how to keep yourself walking in the light of truth HERE.)
Deception No. 2: Healing Is Not for Today
This is one of the greatest of all deceptions in the Church that keeps God’s people sick, battling diseases and dying young.
There is not one scripture that says healing is not for today. None whatsoever. However, there are countless scriptures that declare God’s will is healing—every time, for every believer.
Whenever Jesus healed someone in the Bible, He said it was the person’s faith that made them well. In reference to this, Keith Moore says, “If healing isn’t for today, then neither is faith.”
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Salvation hasn’t passed away, faith hasn’t passed away, miracles haven’t passed away and healing hasn’t passed away. A lack of understanding or implementation of God’s Word does not equate to disappearance of a truth.
There are a staggering number of scriptures that confirm healing is for today. Don’t rely on religious tradition, what Grandma taught, what your pastor taught or the experience of anyone else. Go to the Word of God and see for yourself. Healing is for today—and Jesus paid for it for YOU.
And now, the No. 1 deception in the Church.
Deception No. 1: Trials and Temptations Are Sent by God to Teach Us Something
It’s human nature to blame someone for troubles—it started in the Garden of Eden!
Sadly, for the most part, many Christians have been falsely accusing God of being the cause of their troubles. This is the No. 1 deception sown in the Church today is that our problems, our trials and our temptations are sent by God to teach us.
This lie says that trials and tribulations are God’s tools for developing and strengthening our character. The very extreme end of this deception is that God Himself is the author of our troubles or that God is the one who makes us sick in order to teach us something.
This is absolutely against the Word of God. Why? Because the very basic principle of the Christian life is to know that God put our sin, sickness, disease, sorrow, grief and poverty on Jesus at Calvary. For God to put any of this on us now to teach us or to strengthen our faith would be a miscarriage of justice. To believe that God has a purpose for your sickness would mean that Jesus bore your sickness in vain. What an insult to His love, care and compassion toward you!
Satan is the author of everything bad in this world. He has come to steal everything from you, kill anything he can get his hands on, and destroy everything good in your life. He is the opposite of God.
If you’ve bought into any of these top five deceptions in the Church, don’t despair—many have, and many have also come to know the truth! As with anything, guard your heart and follow the Word of God. When you seek Him with all your heart, you’ll always come out on the other side with His truth.
Watch Gloria Copeland and Billye Brim discuss why your mind is the battleground.
3 Ways to Let the Holy Spirit Lead You Into All Truth
Are You Being Deceived? 4 Ways to Guard Against Deception
A Prayer to Break the Spirit of Deception
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