Thursday, March 13, 2008

Martin's Biblical Analysis of False Prophets

Dr. Paul Martin presented a workshop at the Evangelical Ministries to New Religions Conference on March 7, 2008. Along with impressive research concerning abusive religious groups that he presented at his workshop, "Why Evangelicals Should Believe in Thought Reform (“Brainwashing”)," Dr. Martin also included some interesting information about what the Bible has to say about false teachers and wolves in sheep's clothing.

Of the 210 verses that refer to false prophets, priests, elders and Pharisees, here is a summary of their content:

  • 99 verses (47%) concern Behavior
  • 66 verses (31%) concern Fruit
  • 24 verses (12%) concern Motives
  • 21 verses (10%) concern Doctrine
It is interesting that most Christians who deal with apologetics, false teachers and Bible-based cults are most concerned with doctrine only. When discussing the patriarchy movement on and earlier last year, I was told by many that it was not appropriate to discuss much of anything save these folks' misuse of Scripture. But doctrine represents only a small portion of what Bible speaks about concerning false teachers.

According to the Scriptures, we should be very concerned with both the behaviors and the fruit of spiritual leadership in the church and in parachurch organizations. This is not gossip or mean-spirited criticism but what Scripture actually teaches us to observe.

Dr. Paul Martin (an evangelical Christian) is CEO and Founder of the
(A residential treatment center in Albany, OH for those who have been abused in relationships, cults, or by professionals or clergy. They offer hope and help through a program of counseling, education and retreat.)