But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. -- 2Peter 2:102 (ESV)
We often hear in response to discernment that false teachers and prophets are not that big a deal. Where is the harm in Joel Osteen making people feel a little bit better about themselves? What is wrong with spreading the hope of prosperity? When one looks at the micro sense, perhaps it can be difficult to see that when the prosperity does not come to pass or the house gets foreclosed that we have people whose faith has been shipwrecked on the shores of disbelief. There are macro concerns as well though and Peter gets to that in the key verses for today. It is expressly because of false teachers and prophets that the way of truth, or the Gospel, will be blasphemed. While the apostate church turns a blind eye to charlatans like Paula White, the world see her for what she is. A conniving, money grubbing hustler. When the world sees the absolute lunacy that comes out from Charismania, all of the church gets lumped in with the false teachers. When Bethel pretends for a week they are going to raise a dead child and fail, the way of the truth gets blasphemed.
That said, the recent pandemic of the coronavirus provided the church with the opportunity to either be the church as God designed or continue playing games and leading people to defame and blaspheme Christianity. Guess which path they have chosen? The above links are to three recent stories emanating from those who fancy themselves Christian and the outbreak the world is grappling with. The first comes from a mega church pastor in Australia named Brian Tamaki. Here are some excerpts from the article:
"Tithe-paying, Bible-believing, Holy Spirit-filled Christians have a Psalm 91 "protection policy" against COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, according to New Zealand's popular multi-campus Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki. Speaking to his congregation in Auckland on Sunday, Tamaki said God allows "epidemics, pestilence and famine" when people have departed from faith in Him. But for Bible-believing, born-again Christians who pay their tithes, God assures them protection from the virus in Psalm 91. Tamaki claimed that because viruses travel through the air controlled by "satanic spirits" that energized their spreading, only Christians covered by God can avoid being affected by the virus. "The prince of the power of the air, Satan, has control of atmospheres, unless you're a blood-bought born-again, Jesus-loving, Bible-believing, Holy Ghost-filled, tithe-paying believer. You are the only one that can walk through atmospheres and has a, literally a protection -- the Psalm 91 protection policy around you," Tamaki said. "I don't care if you don't believe it. It's all right. I'm just giving you so you understand." -- Charisma News
First let us deal with the obvious fact that the verses cited from Psalm 91 do not provide immunity from disease. That is absurd. If it were so, Christians would literally never get sick. This is why we never create full doctrine based from Psalms or Proverbs. They can serve as excellent secondary sources to confirm scripture but not to create whole doctrine. Even Paul advises Timothy to partake of a little wine for his stomach ailments. Paul himself suffered from a thorn in his flesh that many theologians assume was a physical ailment of some sort. God did not respond to his pleas for relief by quoting Psalm 91 -- He told him that His grace would be sufficient. Do you know who did quote 91, out of context I might add? Satan. He did so to Jesus during His temptation.