How to Spot an ‘Approved’ False Prophet by TOM HILL for Charisma News
Why do people fail? Unfortunate circumstances? Sometimes. Poor training and lack of experience? Sometimes. Lack of sufficient finances? Often.
The famous self-help book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill lists 30 reasons why people fail. His list includes these four reasons. However, he did not identify one prominent reason for failure: following faulty leaders. We follow faulty leaders? Yes, many times, and more often than we want to admit.
Unqualified leaders have no trouble attracting followers. I know—I fell for them often in my youth, especially professing Christian leaders. So much so that I created a policy to protect me from following the wrong people. I decided to raise a “red flag” whenever I observed a biblically faulty trait in a leader, no matter how seemingly insignificant.
Sometimes it was a non-essential factor that would not exclude that person. But sometimes the red flags revealed a serious biblical fault and/or they accumulated, which resulted in my rejecting that leader. I continue this practice to this day. It has spared me from those who would lead me astray into sin and heresy.
Without a doubt, following faulty “Christian” leaders results in more failures than we want to admit. After all, we fall in love with those whom we follow. Since they give us what we want, we have great difficulty dismissing them. We rationalize their behavior even in extreme circumstances, turning errors into benefits.
How do you decide which Christian leaders you will follow? How many false prophets in the church of Jesus Christ can you identify? None? One? Several? In fact, with few exceptions, false prophets inhabit every Christian congregation. They fool the unwary and gain leadership positions even as pastors in assemblies of believers by deceit, prestige and promises.
The Bible describes many faulty leaders and the false prophets that accompany and support them. They directed their followers into disaster every time. Examples abound in every biblical era. For instance, the times of the kings provide clear illustrations.