Section navigation

Eight Symptoms of False Doctrine

Author
Category Articles
Date January 25, 2013

Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous.

  1. There is an undeniable zeal in some of the teachers of error: their ‘earnestness’ makes many think they must be right.
  2. There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge: many fancy that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe guides.
  3. There is a general tendency to free thought and free inquiry in these latter days: many like to prove their independence of judgment, by believing novelties.
  4. There is a wide-spread desire to appear charitable and liberal-minded: many seem half ashamed of saying that anybody can be in the wrong.
  5. There is a quantity of half-truth taught by the modern false teachers: they are incessantly using Scriptural terms and phrases in an unscriptural sense.
  6. There is a morbid craving in the public mind for a more sensuous, ceremonial, sensational, showy worship: men are impatient of inward, invisible heart-work.
  7. There is a silly readiness in every direction to believe everybody who talks cleverly, lovingly and earnestly, and a determination to forget that Satan often masquerades himself ‘as an angel of light’ (2 Cor. 11:14).
  8. There is a wide-spread ‘gullibility’ among professing Christians: every heretic who tells his story plausibly is sure to be believed, and everybody who doubts him is called a persecutor and a narrow-minded man.

All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing person to deny them. They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it more than ever needful to cry aloud, ‘Do not be carried away!’

Notes

From J. C. Ryle’s Warnings to the Churches [Banner of Truth, 1967], ‘Divers and Strange Doctrines’, pages 76-77, with slight editing.

    • Warnings to the Churches
      price From: $7.00

      Description

      Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous. There is an undeniable zeal in some of the teachers of error: their ‘earnestness’ makes many think they must be right. There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge: many fancy that such clever and intellectual men must surely be […]

Latest Articles

Your Church and the Priority of Worship February 11, 2020

9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall […]

Amen — ‘A Sound Like Thunder’ February 4, 2020

Usage certainly varies. There is the sonorous ‘Amen’ from the pulpit to which the response is total silence. There is the elaborate musical ‘Amen’ which in some congregations is considered to be the appropriate finale to the service. There is a congregational response which ranges from a perfunctory mumble to a virtually non-stop background sound. […]