Warped and Watered Messages

A drive through almost any city, town or countryside will make a person aware that we are largely a religious country. You can normally observe churches of a wide variety of rich and varied architectural styles. Size also varies from small country churches to mega buildings seating thousands.

As different as the types of structures are, so also are the messages they proclaim. How can you tell which church is true to the teachings of Jesus Christ? That has been a perplexing question from the earliest days of the church. Not all churches are biblically sound. Jesus warned His followers to be cautious. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15, NKJV).

As the Church grew, many more warnings were given throughout the New Testament:

  • “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
  • “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1)
  • “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1). 
  • “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:5)
  • “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means  of gain. From such withdraw yourself” (1 Timothy 6:3-5)

Sad to say, not all churches are “rightly dividing the word of truth”(2 Timothy 2:15). Their messages are often warped (distorted, misrepresented, twisted) and watered (diluted, weakened). How can you know which churches are of Christ?  First, certainly heed in detail the warning given in the scriptures above. Then, you need to know for yourself what God’s word really says. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth(2 Timothy 2:15, KJV).

I believe the scriptures provide us a navigational aid to heaven and home. I believe that scriptures of the Old and New Testaments constitute the divinely inspired Word of God, that they are inerrant in their original writings, without error in all they affirm, the final authority for truth and life. They are the only infallible rule for both faith and practice. A compass always indicates true north, and the Bible always points to absolute truth.

Not all churches embrace the above statement on the authority of scripture. I join with the Apostle Paul, “For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar(Romans 3:4).

Embrace the Holy Spirit. “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you” (John 14:26)

Prayer: Lord, help me to detect warped and watered messages and to cling to Your divinely inspired word.

~ Brother Roy

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