Eight Symptoms of False Teaching

Bishop J.C. Ryle’s 8 symptoms of false teaching:

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

2. There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge–many think that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe to listen to.

3. There is a general tendency to completely free and independent thinking today–many like to prove their independence of judgment by believing the newest ideas, which are nothing but novelties.

4. There is a wide-spread desire to appear kind, loving, and open-minded–many seem half-ashamed to say that anybody can be wrong or is a false teacher.

5. There is always a portion of half-truth taught by modern false teachers–they are always using scriptural words and phrases, but with unscriptural meaning.

6. There is a public craving for a more sensational and entertaining worship–people are impatient with the more inward and invisible work of God within the hearts of men.

7. There is a superficial readiness all around to believe anyone who talks cleverly, lovingly and earnestly, forgetting that Satan often masquerades himself as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14).

8. There is a wide-spread ignorance among professing Christians–every heretic who speaks well is surely believed, and anyone who doubts him is called narrow-minded and unloving.

All these are especially symptoms of our times. I challenge any honest and observant person to deny them. These tend to make the assaults of false doctrine today especially dangerous and make it even more important to say loudly, “Do not be carried away with strange doctrine!”


4 thoughts on “Eight Symptoms of False Teaching

  1. Thank you for your website. I just came across it when looking to see if Ruzz Disdar has been exposed yet. To add to this topic, I noticed what I call “serpent language” with many people preaching online. It’s where they know more about occult stuff and evil and they use the language trying to preach and know less about Jesus’ character. I agree with the eractic emotions as well. I also notice many of these false preachers talk worldly and emphasize more on the needs of the flesh (give more time to) and little time honoring and praising our Savior. Finally, they seem to have a panic alert from the holy spirit every other week or so. That was a dead giveaway because how come I didn’t get a heads up from the Lord? ….. The Holy Spirit does not give false alarms, not even once. Again, Thanks for your website, I am looking forward to reading it.

  2. What you have said is so true. Just recently my eyes have been opened as to why so many false churches/teachers accept just about anyone who says they are Christian with open arms, no questions asked, even when they are glaringly obviously not sticking to what the Bible says – nor do they even often know what they Bbie says – never mind care.

    It’s now dawned on me that they won’t criticise anyone, constructively or not, because they can’t bear any criticism themselves as they know it would be a case of people in glass houses should not throw stones. So it’s all quiet on the western front. It’s a mass mind control conspiracy. No need to control people’s minds, just teach them to control each other’s minds!

    If one should dare to make even a slight insinuation that perhaps they’ve got something wrong or ought to have a look at what the Bible says about something, it would be as if you were the devil himself come to take them to hell. A mass murdered who couldn’t care less one way or the other about anyone or anything would receive more acceptance and affirmation. And yes, I am speaking from personal experience.

    Well of course the Bible got it right, as all this was foreseen. It doesn’t say there will be many false teachers in the last days, it says that most will be false. They have another gospel, and another Jesus.

    There is so much information in the Bible about false teaching, some of it not obviously about false teaching, like Matthew 6:23: “But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” and “Foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you?” That’s why Jesus said that many would say Lord, Lord but he will say get thee from me, I never knew you. That’s also why he said you will be hated of ALL men for my name’s sake. And the list goes on.

    I am realising more and more that we need to learn to be a soldier, with the armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) to stand up to other Christians as much as anyone or anything else.

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