As history has shown, it is a common tactic for the oppressing force to gain control of a nation by seizing the means by which individuals might defend themselves. Once the citizenry are disarmed, it is a relatively easy matter to exert complete tyrannical control. It seems to me that the same principal holds true in the spiritual realm.
The New Testament is replete with warnings of false teachers and teachings, of lying signs and wonders, and of corrupt men who would seek to draw followers after themselves. God has not left His people defenseless. He has indwelt us with His Spirit of Truth, provided us with the example of Christ, His teachings, the teachings of the apostles, and all the other writings found in the Bible. There is a gift of the discerning of spirits given to some, but more importantly, there the ability to test all things and to be discerning, which is the responsibility of all believers. If the believer is to be armed against the deceptions of the enemy, and to remain free from his oppressive regime, then he must exercise discernment with continual vigilance. If this defensive weapon is seized and taken from you, then you are easy prey for any who would desire to take you captive.
Because of these things, it is very disturbing to me to observe a trend in the Body of Christ today. This trend is to scorn and belittle those who would exercise their God-given self-defense weapon of discernment. Those who would obey scripture and “test all things” are mocked and ridiculed from the pulpit, and labeled ‘Pharisees.’ It seems that the Church has fallen prey to the pluralistic, non-judgmental mindset of our present age. The one unpardonable sin is to question someone’s belief, or dare to say that it might be wrong. These new leaders demand you climb on the bandwagon, and if you cannot agree, then you must remain silent at all costs. They call for us to experience now, and evaluate later. Adam and Eve had no experiential knowledge of good and evil. The Serpent called their attention to the attractiveness and desirability of the fruit, and enticed them to experience for themselves. In their later evaluation, they knew that they had been wrong to ignore what God had said on the matter, but by then the damage had been done.
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