One of the toughest things Christian have to do is use discernment when it comes to figuring out if they should follow a certain ministry.
I have a couple of methods I use to determine if I am personally going to follow a ministry. I am going to share those with you today.
First is the ministry “orthodox”? And when I say “orthodox” I mean the Webster’s dictionary version of the word which is, “conforming to established doctrine especially in religion” not the Orthodox denomination.
But how do you do that? Well the first way is obvious read and study the Bible. I know Biblical study takes time and you may need a quicker answer so how about this.
Follow the Nicene Creed,
“We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made;
of the same essence as the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,
and was made human.
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered and was buried.
The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again with glory
to judge the living and the dead.
His kingdom will never end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life.
He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
He spoke through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and to life in the world to come. Amen.”
Please note the term “catholic” means “universal” it is not referencing the Roman Catholic denomination. People often get that confused.
That is a perfect way to start. That way you know if you hear a ministry saying something like, “Jesus isn’t God, He was a created Being made by the Father born two thousand years ago”. You can immediately know that the Ministry who says that is teaching false doctrine and you should avoid them. They’re a lot ministries who just by knowing the Nicene Creed you can write off as they teach things that are not the basics of the Christian faith. Things we call “heresy”. It is very important to know who God is and fundamentals of the Trinity.
The second way I am going to discuss is going to be a bit less popular. Does this ministry produce the Fruit of the Spirit?
What is the Fruit of the Spirit? Well this…
Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version
“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
So if you see a ministry that is hateful, wrathful, angry, arrogant, aggressive, graceless, always picking fights and being divisive without every controlling the tongue then avoid them.
After all they’re many ministries who can articulate theology and preach sermons without behaving in a manner that goes against the way the Bible instructs. (Click the link below to read more on divisive people and behavior)
You may say, “But Pastor So and So has excellent theology and is a great teacher!”
I ask you, “If that Pastor had such excellent theology then why does he behave in such an unbiblical manner? If that Pastor is such a great teacher than why is he teaching his followers to behave like a sinner and not like Jesus?”
I will leave you with this scripture as the best response to any challenge on this…
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 New International Version
“13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
Have a Blessed Week,