The Story:False teaching is madness because it leads people away from the true orientation and pathof life into the woods and wilds of the Lie. In the film, Bridge Over the River Kwai, the main character, Colonel Nicholson, was led astray by a mixture of good and bad motives – compassion for his troops coupled with pride and resentment against his captors. Losing the larger perspective of the war effort, and becoming impervious to sound reason, he let his emotions get the best of him and almost ended up becoming a traitor to his country. False teachers want only one thing – self-aggrandizement, whatever the form of that may be. And we are their means to achieve it. If we fail to hold fast to the right way and to shore up our footing in Scripture day by day, we may find ourselves led away by our passions into spiritual madness, and not even know it. What will it take to bring us to our senses? Will we have to hear some “dumb ass” warning us of our folly?
The Structure:I cannot emphasize enough how important this topic is that Peter is lingering over for this entire chapter. Paul warned of false teachers. John warned of false teachers. Jesus warned of false teachers. False teachers will always be with us,and if we let their smooth pitch overcome sound reason and Biblical clarity, we may descend into madness with them. Believers need to watch out for one another, and whenever they see false teaching rising in their church, they need to be willing to play the role of the “dumb ass” and confront those who are heading down the path to certain destruction.
How would you suggest confronting a Sunday school teacher or Bible study leader who was becoming enthralled with false teaching?
Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Beware False Teachers: 2 Peter 2.12-22,” simply click here.
T. M. Moore
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.