Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Distributors of Leaven

Matthew 16:6: “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.’”

Leaven is yeast added to bread dough which makes the whole lump rise. Only a little leaven is needed to affect the entire loaf. Jesus used the analogy to warn people of the false doctrine of religious teachers. Likewise, an entire congregation can be infected with the corrosive nature false doctrine or false teachers if only a small foot-hold is gained. This is exactly why godly pastors and overseers should be diligent in protecting the flock and rooting out these distributors of leaven.

These people “creep in unawares” supposing to spread their deceit. These “wells without water” need to be exposed and driven away because “the truth is not in them.”

Paul said these people “preach another gospel” (Gal. 1:8-9; I Timothy 4:1)

Peter said they “secretly bring in damnable heresies” ( 2 Peter 2:1)

Jude called them “dreamers who defile the flesh” (Jude v.8)

And Paul summed it up well when he said, “they are wolves who desire to enter in and will not spare the flock” (Acts 20:29).

False teachers:
Lack authority…. so they dislike those who have it
Lack integrity….. so they rely on secrecy to gather followers
Lack sympathy… so they will not help the hurting, only the good enough
Lack humility…. so they set themselves up as pillars of truth or revelation

These distributors of leaven masquerade as those who represent God. The sad truth is they lead the souls of men and women into bondage while promising them freedom, and in some cases lead people into the fires of hell while promising them heaven.

These distributors of leaven must be confronted with all seriousness and by godly leaders.

Jude said they ”separate themselves” (Jude v.19) - probably because they consider themselves to be the spiritual elite.

Early miners were able to tell the difference between pyrite (fools gold) and true gold by simply looking at it. They were so familiar with the authentic that the counterfeit was obvious.

You don’t need to be aware of every false doctrine out there. All you need to know is your Bible, and the false become obvious.