Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Symptoms of False Doctrine

Erik Kowalker has served the church well by posting this awesome quote by
 the great  J.C. Ryle.

Each of Ryle's points progress deeper into the inroads of the danger involved. By doing so,
 I believe he is an earthly echo of the voice of  Christ speaking from his Throne Room
 to his church!


Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous.

1. There is an undeniable zeal in some of the teachers of error: their “earnestness” makes
 many think they must be right.

2. There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge: many fancy that such
 clever and intellectual men must surely be safe guides.

3. There is a general tendency to free thought and free inquiry in these latter days: many like
 to prove their independence of judgment, by believing novelties.

4. There is a wide-spread desire to appear charitable and liberal-minded: many seem half
 ashamed of saying that anybody can be in the wrong.

5. There is a quantity of half-truth taught by the modern false teachers: they are incessantly
 using Scriptural terms and phrases in an unscriptural sense.

6. There is a morbid craving in the public mind for a more sensuous, ceremonial, sensational,
 showy worship: men are impatient of inward, invisible heart-work.

7. There is a silly readiness in every direction to believe everybody who talks cleverly, lovingly
 and earnestly, and a determination to forget that Satan often masquerades himself “as an
angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).

8. There is a wide-spread “gullibility” among professing Christians: every heretic who tells his
 story plausibly is sure to be believed, and everybody who doubts him is called a persecutor
 and a narrow-minded man.

All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing person to deny them.
 They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it
 more than ever needful to cry aloud, “Do not be carried away!”

~ J.C. Ryle

Warnings to the Churches, “Divers and Strange Doctrines”, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1967], 76, 77.