The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Christians / Being Deceived

Mathew 24:5

For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will [deceive = planaō] many.

Lexicon :: Strong’s G4105 - planaō

Outline of Biblical Usage

1. to cause to stray, to lead astray, lead aside from the right way
2. to go astray, wander, roam about.

There was a time when I thought the above verse was pretty obvious in it’s meaning [ie] we need to be aware of people who claim, themselves to be the messiah. We have had a few in the past who have found headline news for this very reason. [Wikipedia will give you a huge list of persons who have made such claims] and have deceived many.

Now days I think the meaning of this verse could be a little closer to home than I used to think. The above verse could well read in this context:—— “many will come in my name, saying I am the Christ”:—— these persons are not necessarily claiming to be the Messiah themselves, but they come in the name of Christ/ Christianity and teach their form of who they think Christ is. [ie] they say/ teach Jesus is the Christ yet their teachings are misleading, and will cause many to stray. Now When we look at it along these lines, most of us will immediately think of Jehovah’s whiteness, seventhday Adventist, Mormons etc…yet I feel this warning could be closer to home than most of us think / or care to think. There are scriptures through out the n/t alone that warn about false teachings secretly/ cleverly being brought in and arising among believers. The bible urges us to examine what we believe lest we become deceived and pass on the spiritual disease. Although we all mean well, could some of us be in for a rude awakening on that great day ? Even many of those Peoples and groups we may claim to be false, mean well. But is well meaning a good enough excuse ?

I will give one example using myself. But before i do, please Can we not turn this into a debate of who’s right and who’s wrong [ie] Trinitarianism v Unitarianism, full Preterism v futurism etc … for the sake of this, let’s just all imagine what we believe/teach/ and say ends up being wrong in a major way [ie] involving the more major doctrines/ teachings.

Here’s me :—— I am somebody who’s pretty Comfortable with my outlook on the bibles so called major doctrines,that’s not to say I am correct in my views. So here’s the thing, I probably have more in common with many [not all] teachings of Jehovah’s whiteness than let’s say a Trinitarian, who believes :—— 1/. in the immortality of the soul. 2/. that God become flesh and died. 3/. God came to save the immortal soul from a lost Eternity in hell fire. 4/. We go to heaven immediately upon death. 5/. Only a bodily Resurrection. 6/. Speaking in unknown tongues. 7/. Celebrates pagan festivals such as Christmas and our traditional Easter etc… etc…

Compared to my beliefs :———

1/. I don’t believe in a Triune God .
2/. I don’t believe in the immorality of the soul/spirit. 3/. I don’t believe God become flesh and died. 4/. I don’t believe in God saving my immortal soul from never ending he’ll fire. 5/. I don’t believe in going to heaven when we die. 6/.I don’t believe in unknown tongues [ie] I mean nonsensical So called heavenly language. 7/. I don’t celebrate Christmas or traditional Easter, etc …etc…

These two sets of beliefs are not even close to each other. If we were honest We would view each other as heretics. Even if we do so in love.

I’m sure with the many well versed and intelligent people on this forum, we could draw other comparisons like this, but as an example I i thought it only fair to use myself and my set of beliefs as being in the wrong.

So the question is — is the possibility of being genuinely deceived a lot closer to home than we care to think ?

Since most of humanity, including us, appears to hold many of our own doctrines a bit dogmatically, and thus most of us must be wrong, I’d say the answer has to be “Yes.”

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Hi Bob, I was referring to biblical doctrine, what do you mean by most of humanity?
Are you referring to other religions ?

Do you think most of [so called] Christianity has got it wrong ?

The way I think about it is that if I’m wrong, I’d rather be wrong about God being loving and mistakenly live my life in a loving way that I believe He commanded than be wrong about God being wrathful and live my life fearfully pointing out the flaws of others to disguise my own.

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That was very well put, Ron.

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Thanks for you reply, and in a way I couldn’t agree more. But I wasn’t really questioning weather God is loving or wrathful, [ I think we have already had a brief talk on that issue]. I think the bible presents to us quite clearly that anything done without love is meaningless and void. On the other hand the bible also expresses about being deceived were our belief and teaching is concerned. The n/t
alone is littered with warnings about these issues. It would seem to me rightly or wrongly the both go together. Is love alone Without God enough to see us through. Or do we need love and God to see us through. If love alone is good enough then it doesn’t matter what we believe. “Hey all roads lead to Rome” but that seems to fly massively in the face of what the bible is saying. How can there be so much warning about what we are to believe, For it not to be of great importance in our standing with God.

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You are de man Bob. Love it.

Yes! I meant most religious people, including “us” with our interpretations of Biblical doctrines, feel pretty sure our particulars are right. And given the variation on many points even within Christendom, it seems obvious that individually most of us must have plenty wrong, at least on differing specific ideas.

If we assume that there isn’t a division between God and love (“Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.”), then perhaps we can say that love leads us towards right belief - the path to right belief is through love.

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Yes, I would like to think so to, but it just doesn’t seem to be the case. Let’s take for instance the biblical presentation of speaking in tongues. Let’s say as many do believe, that tongues are not gibberish Unknown heavenly languages that need a prophet to interpret, and that they are In fact Human languages that were miraculously Given to unlearned believers for the sake of spreading the gospel and teachings of God etc. [ie] the book of Acts account. If this is the case, then we have thousands of false prophets claiming to be speaking on Gods behalf. Under Torah law such persons would have been put to death. I understand this method of punishment is no longer the way, but does that make the offence any less serious. Is meaning well and being genuine a good enough excuse ? If we are to says yes as long as they mean well and love, then are we not hypocrites for not excepting the likes of Jehovah’s whiteness, seventh day Adventist’s and Mormons, into main stream Christendom, many of these persons are God fearing, loving people who mean well, yet they just happen to be genuinely deceived. Were is the line drawn ? It would seem that christ and the apostles drew the line through certain teachings, beliefs that had to be adhered to, along with love, this was to clearly set such believers apart from the world. Yet we all profess the same faith, and some of us end up polls apart to what those beliefs and teachings are. So it would seem love doesn’t lead us to the right belief, and what we say we believe/ preach / teach does have consequences, even if we are genuine.

I’ll throw an idea I have just thought about so haven’t fully thought through: I guess it depends upon whether there is only one set of right beliefs. It might be that there are many combinations of right beliefs as well as wrong beliefs. The false teachers lead people to sets of wrong beliefs. The true teachers lead people to sets of right beliefs. Different sets of right beliefs may even have individual beliefs that conflict like whether or not speaking in tongues is about real human languages or not. Perhaps the defining characteristic of whether a set of beliefs is right or wrong is whether it leads to love?

I do whole heartedly agree with your drive behind love being the key to all. I also think that we would be kidding ourselves if we thought there was only one right set of beliefs from A to Z, But it would also seem clear that there is a major difference between not so important and very important. Yet many of us still disagree on what could be deemed the more important issues.

Just out of curiosity, as a universalist yourself apart from the obvious [ie] the saving of all mankind, what would you say sets us apart from the likes of Jehovah’s whiteness, seventh day Adventist and let’s say christadelphians ? I would say the majority of Christendom class these as cults, do you feel that outlook is justified, and if so for what reasons ?

I wouldn’t classify anything as a cult based on doctrine, but rather on the existence of practices like pushing adherents to disconnect from family members etc. I’ve heard bad things about Jehovahs Witnesses in that regard but don’t know about the others you mentioned.

Yes there does seem to be a lot of bad press surrounding Jehovah’s whiteness and the act of disfellowshipping. Weather they are wrong would be another matter. Apostle Paul has no qualms disfellowshipping a wilfully sinning member of the Corinth congregation and further warns not to even eat with a brother or sister who is a railer, covetous, drunkard etc… it seems to get even worse at 1Timothy 5, Such a person who doesn’t provide for his family has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. :flushed: It could be said we are the disobedient ones for not disfellowshipping.

Any how, I won’t plug you no more,:face_with_monocle: Thanks for your honest In put.

Well, are Christians being deceived…by what took place, at the last supper? :crazy_face:

This is shocking! Simple shocking! It probably belongs in this thread, as this news story - could be a game-changer. :crazy_face:

Let me quote a bit, from the experts. And the strong reaction, to the story. :crazy_face:

And while the majority of the sushi was spicy salmon rolls, tuna rolls. and California rolls, archaeologist Dr. Gilbert Rothschild maintains that at least one of the rolls had a touch of beef in it.

“When Jesus broke bread with his disciples, we now know it was, in fact, a large piece of yellowtail sashimi,” says Rothschild, antiquities professor at famed England’s Fellingham University. “There was some edamame as well. What was really amazing was how the chefs kept the fish fresh as they traveled to Jerusalem and up Mount Zion. They were very skilled with the fish. And they prepared a special Judas Roll for the occasion.”

Rothschild and his team of researchers spent the better part of 10 years digging and sifting through the room where the Last Supper was held, as well as the outlying areas of the Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion.

They claim they uncovered the remains of chopsticks and an empty soy sauce bottle. And an in-depth lab analysis confirmed particles of wasabi had adhered to the ancient flooring in the room.

The findings from the archaeological team have drawn sharp criticism from the Catholic Church, in particular.

“How can these quack researchers say that sushi was prepared for Jesus and His apostles at the Last Supper?” decries Father Terrence O’Donoghue of the Archdiocese of Boston. “They make it sound like it was some sort of pizza and poker night with the guys. They need to bone up on their Bible readings, I’ll tell you that much I want them all to sit down and read the canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luka. and John. I suppose they think the Eucharist at Sunday Mass should be spicy tuna rolls.

But anyway. Let me end with this informative and short, YouTube video. :wink:

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You’re welcome! I think that some points in Paul’s letters were addressing specific problems in congregations he wrote to rather than making universal statements for all time.

Is that a serious write up ? Not to sure
weather to trust a report from someone going by the name of Rothschild :thinking::joy:

I think it’s very possible he was doing both. Paul was certainly aware of the extent of God’s plan for the ages, and way into the future as well; in writing to a particular audience, he encouraged them, warned them, edified them with truths he knew to be earth-shaking, destined for all people everywhere, and at all times. I’m pretty sure he was well aware that what he wrote, under inspiration, and in accordance with the Scripture, was not just for the small congregations he was writing to.

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I think that is a pretty reasonable take on the issue, I would be more than inclined to go along with that.

Do you think Paul knew that his letters would end up in what we now call the Bible? I accept that there are some truths in them that can be applied now, but I’m doubtful that every single point he made in every letter was meant to be reapplied thousands of years later.