Alarming Trend!

2 Timothy 4:2-4 ” Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

Unfortunately I am seeing an alarming number of Christians develop a concoction of theological beliefs that find its source in any number of podcast speakers, conferences and books. I think it’s really important to read widely but I think it’s more important to read the Scriptures and know what truth is, so we can know error when we come across it.

I think it’s great to attend a conference and expand our worldview of the church and what God is doing in the world but I also think we need to be careful that we don’t make conference speaking the staple diet of our spiritual and theological formation.

I think it’s great that the Gospel is accessible over the internet but I think we need to be aware of the different messages being communicated by lots of different pastors and teachers and make sure podcasts don’t replace sitting under solid expositional Bible preaching week in and week out in our local churches.

Over the last 4 years I have gone on a massive journey of growing in my theology and walk with God and I have shifted from some of my previously held theology and ministry philosophy because further study and personal experience has convinced me that they have been inadequate biblically.

One of the marks of the last days is a distortion of truth. Truth has been distorted in all streams of the Church over the last 2000 years and especially in the more recent emergent church movement. The emergent church is questioning some of the fundamental beliefs that have formed the foundation of Christianity over the last 2000 years, including the virgin birth of Jesus, the trinity and substutionary atonement.

I love to learn from all quarters of the church but I am aware that I have a responsibility to see if what is being said aligns with careful study of the Scriptures. I myself lead what I would describe (if you want to put a tag on it) as a charismatic-missional church that places a massive emphasis on preaching and living biblical truth. From the last 4 years of feedback one of the reasons why many people are apart of our church community, both unchurched and churched is because they love the raw biblical teaching week in and week out that they can live out in their lives. Being innovative and accessible doesn’t mean you have to compromise on biblical truth.

I preached from Matthew 16:24-28 to 400 teenagers on Friday night telling them to repent of their sin, deny themselves and follow Christ, all of which is very politically incorrect, and dozens and dozens of them flocked to the front to commit their lives to Christ and be saved from their sin.

Paul’s emphasis to Timothy here in 2 Tim 4 reminds us that “False teaching is deadly and must be dealt with firmly.” Paul is exhorting us to preach the Word in season and out of season. Podcasts, conferences and books are a great resource but lets not check our minds at the door and allow our hearts to feed on a poor substitute for the raw gospel.

Lead the Change!

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4 Responses to “Alarming Trend!”

  1. Rachel Wallace Says:

    Great post Corey. That’s what we love about Activate; unashamed Bible teaching, even when it’s a difficult word to bring. It’s a hard task doing what you do in a culture that is more about doing what we feel than doing what is right. We feel blessed to be under the ministry of someone dedicated to preserving the Word and yet balanced enough to utilise new methods and stay relevant.

  2. I have noticed that this trend has been growing in churches but I think rather just pointing it out maybe we need to ask why it is happening. I know that your preaching and teaching is strongly rooted in scripture. However you do often refer to other preacher’s messages and/or books as having “shaped your thinking” on particular issues. This is something that I think has become common place among a lot of preachers to the extent that some state their own books as being the basis of the message they are about to give. To some people this style of preaching can create the image that basing your theology on scripture alone isn’t enough and that you need to be able to cite others who agree with you in order to strengthen your stance. It’s no surprise then that some Christians feel the need to name drop high profile Christians when they talk about their personal views and beliefs on certain topics.

    • Corey Turner Says:

      Thanks Andrew for your thoughts.

      As far as interacting with authors and teachers, I think it’s important to hear what other people are saying about life, culture, scripture, etc. Obviously, we must weigh everything against the teaching of Scripture but my experience at bible college and in church life has taught me that even amongst well studied spiritual leaders & theologically educated scholars, there is a diversity of opinion on different scriptural texts, hence why we have different streams and expressions of church life.

      All preaching should be based on Scripture, otherwise, we have no authority as preachers to even speak. I think well informed preaching not only studies the Word and preaches it but is aware of some of the different thoughts and ideas that abound about a particular topic. Knowing the arguments for and against gives you an awareness that makes for good preaching.

      Corey

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