A healthy teaching is truly needed in the growth of a church because in these end times many churches are being bombarded with false teachings. Maybe some people feel that we do not need to care about which teachings are right and which are not. “We only need to focus on the true teaching,” some might say. This mindset, even though it has some truth to it, it is against the Bible. Jesus reminded His disciples about false teaching, Matthew 24:4-5; Paul asked Timothy to go against the false teaching, 1 Timothy 1:3. As this is what the Bible says, we need to follow it.
The first characteristic of a healthy teaching is that it is centered on the Gospel of Christ. Paul corrected the church in Galatia harshly because they started to follow “a different gospel” of false teachers who teach that righteousness can be obtained by obeying the Law. These days, we see various teachings that are not centered on Christ, but on people instead, Galatians 1:6-9.
The second is that a healthy teaching has balance. It has a balance of the Word of God, like His kindness and sternness, Romans 11:22; and His love and discipline, Psalm 103:13, Hebrews 12:6; faith and works, James 2:17-18. On the opposite, an unhealthy teaching will emphasize on extreme characters, such as how God is always in a good mood; there is excessive emphasis on spiritual things to the point where mystical things are mixed with Biblical teachings.
The third is that a healthy teaching produces good fruits. A healthy teaching comes from the wisdom above while an unhealthy teaching often comes with a prideful spirit, feeling that they are the most rightful ones and this will lead to a stray group, James 3:13.
We must also know the characteristics of an unhealthy teaching. Among them is that it tends to bring a new revelation and interpretation. The new revelation is considered as new truth that is added and paired to the Bible; sometimes they lessen and change the Bible contents. The Bible no longer has the complete and only truth. A sect of Children of God for example, they interpret ”everything that belongs to them, belongs to everyone” not only in the matter of properties but also of bodies. This is made as a basis to commit adultery among each other.
Basically, false teaching deviate from the true teaching of Christ (Christology) or salvation (soteriology). Example: a teaching that rejects Trinity, a teaching that rejects Jesus as Lord.
In waiting upon Jesus’ second coming, be careful of false teachings that are getting bigger everywhere. Stay within a healthy local church and be diligent in meditating on God’s Word then we can escape from all of things. God bless.
Source: an article from GBI Gatot Subroto, Jakarta