Modern Day Examples of False Teaching Creeping into Churches

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Many Christians may not even notice it, but false teaching is creeping into our churches and some are perverting the gospel. Here are examples of these false teachers slipping into congregations around the world.

Sinister Ministers

Many Christians may not even notice it, but false teaching is creeping into our churches more frequently today than ever before, and some are even perverting the gospel. We’ll read bout some examples of these false teachers and their teachings which are slipping into congregations around the world. Most of the members might not even notice its happening. It’s like the frog on the pot…he doesn’t notice the heat’s slowly rising until it’s too late and then, its frog legs for dinner! Some false gospel presentations fail to mention what Jesus described what the gospel actually is; it’s about repentance and faith (Mark 1:15). Is there really faith without showing repentance? Remember Satan has his own ministers and they are cunning indeed, so it might be a small doctrinal error they introduce at first. It might come from the way they interpret a certain Scripture, but almost always, false gospels add something to grace, when in reality, it is a free gift of God (Eph 2:8-9). They often use “proof texts” but these are almost always taken out of context, and by doing so, they create a false pretext, so here are the most common of the false teachings that are creeping into our churches today, and sometimes by way of the pulpit.

Easy Believism

What is called “Easy Believism” often includes the fact that someone once prayed a prayer, or walked the isle, got baptized, or filled out a “decision card,” but often there is no visible change in their life (1 Cor 5:17; Gal 5:24). Instead of being a new creation in Christ, they live like the old creation; the fallen creation where there are no fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23); only fruits of the flesh (Gal 5:19-21). Most Christians know it’s not easy at all to live the Christian life.


Many now believe that there is no authentic salvation without baptism or without dipping the person backwards 3 times (not forward), or forward 3 times, etc.! But what about the thief on the cross who was certainly not able to be baptized! There are far too many churches which believe they are the only one, and only true church, and all others are apostates. And if you’re not baptized in their church, then you’re lost and headed to hell. However, this begs the question. Isn’t that only creating an equation for salvation? Much like: Baptism + Jesus = Salvation. Others stress tithing, observing a Saturday Sabbath, dietary restrictions, and even tithing as being required today.

I’m Not a Sinner

I’m not sure how this all got started, but now people…even saved people, declare they are no longer sinners, but wasn’t it the Apostle Paul, even after conversion, saying he was the chief of sinners (1 Tim 1:15)? Scripture tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23), and not just a little short. This is not like playing horseshoes and somehow, we can get close to God’s glory. No, just the opposite is true. I’d say we all fall infinitely short of God’s glory; a gap so large as to be humanly bridgeable. But to the person who feel’s they’re not a sinner anymore and stop calling them a sinner, is calling God a liar (1 John 1:8, 10). None are good and all sin (Rom3:10-12; Psalm 51:5; Eccl 7:20…etc.). I would ask the person who says they’re not a sinner anymore, “Have you completely stopped sinning? If so, “Why are you not in heaven? How many times do you sin now? Once a day? A week? If a bank robber robbed a bank only once a week, wouldn’t we still call him a bank robber?”

Salvation thru the Sacraments

These include baptism, the Lord’s Supper, penance, foot washing, or other such things they add. Some of these beliefs could include baptism, Speaking in Tongues, “the Second Blessing,” etc.


Jesus died for all. It’s the false idea of the “Brother of man and the universal Fatherhood of God….” I have a Greek word for that. Bologna! They believe all people will eventually be reconciled to God, despite judgment coming after death (Heb 9:27; Rev 20:12-15). But will God really save someone against their own will? Does that mean Satan will be saved too? Scripture says otherwise (Rev 20:10-15). Jesus said many are called, few are chosen and many will say to Him, “Lord, Lord,” but these same “many” will be turned away forever (Matt 7:21-23). Once the door is shut, it cannot be opened (Matt 25:11; Luke 13:25).

Gave Your Heart to Jesus

I don’t believe God really wants my heart. Scripture speaks of the human heart, saying, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it” (Jer 17:9)? That rhetorical question is really saying, no one can even know the depths of wickedness residing in the human (unconverted) heart. We need for God to give us a new heart, but He’s promised He will (Ezk 11:19; 36:26; Jer 31:33; Heb 8:10), so it’s not about letting Jesus into our hearts; it’s about God creating a new heart in us. A heart of flesh and not stone.

Bible Verses About Dating

Jesus is Not God

Those who believe Jesus is not God or that He finally became God and was not God at one time include the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Muslims, and in fact, most world religions. All of these are what the Apostle John called “anti-Christs” (1 John 2). Anything less than a fully divine Christ; a sinless God-Man; and His Death and Resurrection from the dead, show that they really do not know God or Christ. It is critical to know both! How so? Jesus said that “this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). If they’ve got the wrong Jesus, they’ve don’t have a Savior! All they are left with is a god of their own imagination, meaning one that does not exist except in their minds; whether they call Him Jesus or not.

Prosperity Gospel

When Abraham declared that the Lord, “Jehovah Girah” [“the Lord shall provide”], I’m certain he wasn’t asking for a fleet of camels. No! It was about God providing a lamb and He did just that; in Abraham’s day and in our day at Calvary, God has provided the Lamb of God. Despite how the Bible uses this name for God, some blatantly pray to Jehovah Girah for things like a Mercedes Benz! In their thinking, God becomes a “quid pro quo” God; that is, “You do this for Me (an offering?), and I’ll do that for you.” Sort of “Name it and claim it.” When they ask for “seeds of faith,” what they really mean is, they want your money. They are prophets for profit, so it’s all about prophets and loss; loss of sound doctrine. Shameful!

The Cheat and the Wheat

All of these false ways do one thing; they add some requirement to the cross of Christ. Even though Jesus said, “It is finished,” meaning He’s done all that’s required for us to be saved, they want to add some human work to it to make themselves seem more righteous in their own eyes. It’s like saying to Jesus on the cross, “Yes Jesus, it is finished, but there’s just one more thing I need to do.” This creates a self-righteous church, and we know what the religious leaders did to Jesus in His day; and He always spoke the truth. These unbiblical methods create false converts who have a false assurance of salvation or for some, creating doubts in their mind as to their own salvation, mainly because they’re not ever sure they did enough. So the cheat (Brome grass) and the wheat grow side by side, hardly detectable until they begin to produce fruit (or grain, in this case).

Robbing God

Above all, these false ways, from Satan’s own sinister ministers, are robbing God of glory. How so? They include the human part or the person’s contribution to complete their salvation, and that is not what the gospel is about. They might say, “I got baptized,” instead of saying, “God saved a wretch like me and brought me to repent…praise the Lord.” For one thing, dead people cannot choose Christ (John 6:44; Eph 2:1-5). Salvation is fully, 100% a work of God, so that means, God should receive 100% of the glory (credit, honor) for our salvation. Every one of us must confess, “Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to thy cross I cling.” It’s not: Jesus + doing this/that = salvation. See how that can rob God of glory?


What is the clear and present danger of these false teachings? They will produce false Converts; they will create many who are still-borns and not born again believers (John 3). They will create those who will believe they are saved, but really aren’t, but they’ll also create those who are saved, but create doubts in their minds as to whether they’re saved at all. It’s more dangerous to believe you’re saved when you are not saved at all. Those who are thinking they’re saved but aren’t, and those who are saved but doubt they are, are all casualties of those who bring a false gospel, which is really no gospel at all. Let them be accursed, so said the Apostle Paul (Gal 1:8-9).

Here is some related reading for you: How to Identify a False Prophet or Teacher

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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