How Christians expand the influence of false teachers …
Christians often do more to expand the influence of false teachers among true believers than do those who embrace the false teacher.
It happens when Christians choose to post, re-tweet, blog about, and otherwise broadcast the occasional truths false teachers state or write because they like it as a quote. Here’s the problem with that: you may know the person you’re quoting is a false teacher, but those who read your re-posting may have no idea who the person is but give them credance because YOU reference them. By using false teachers as a source of truth, you legitimize their overall teaching in the eyes and ears of your readers or listeners.
“I figured since Joe Christian quotes him, he had to be reliable,” is a common excuse many Christians give for becoming “fans” of false teachers.
A simple perusal of social media on any given day will find a deluge of quotes from Gandhi and Buddha to modern false teachers such as Rob Bell, Joyce Meyers, and Joel Osteen (and many others who are not so famous) — all passed and promoted by Christians. Thus, Christians enlarge the influence of false teachers among those they have influence with.
The danger of sharing these occasional truths from false teachers is in exposing others to the false teacher as a source of truth. Just because a false teacher sometimes gets it right doesn’t mean you should shine the spotlight on them as a source of truth. If their teaching is, overall, a promulgation of false doctrine, why would you want to expose others who may be naive about the truth to someone who would mislead them?
The Apostle Paul instructed us, “Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ,” Colossians 2:8. And I think it would be safe to say Paul would add that we shouldn’t help such people by using them as a reliable reference for truth.
Do you feel comfortable quoting false teachers to your readers or listeners? Why?