More than ever, we need the wisdom that comes from our Lord God. We are told if we want this wisdom, we have only to ask: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5) We can pray for both wisdom and discernment, as Solomon did: “So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.” (1 Kings 3:9a) Today I’m posting a follow-up by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth‘s Learn to Discern: How to Recognize and Respond to Error in the Culture that I posted a couple of days ago. These are great questions that will help us ferret out what is truth and what is “tickling your ears”. And I encourage you to ask God for discernment and His wisdom.

  1. Does it have a high view of Scripture? Does it see Scripture as authoritative, inerrant, and sufficient?
  2. Does it square with Scripture? Does it add to or take away from Scripture? Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you and you be found a liar.” (Prov. 30:5–6);    I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” (Rev 22:18–19)
  3. Does it have a high view of God (as revealed in Scripture)?
  4. Does it have a high view of Christ? As God in the flesh? Sinless? (John 8:24; 10:33This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” (1 John 4:2–3)
  5. Does it present the Gospel faithfully?
  6. Is it God-centered or man-centered? Does it have a biblical view of man as fallen and sinful? Is it more concerned about restoring our damaged self-esteem, or being cleansed from our sin and made right with God?
  7. Does it avoid or skip over themes that are uncomfortable to us such as sin, the wrath of God, judgment, the death of Christ, Christ as the only way, repentance, and obedience? Does it soften the claims of Christ/the gospel to make it more palatable to modern ears?
  8. Does it minimize, trivialize, or redefine sin?
  9. Does it make you dependent on a small, elite group of enlightened people to tell you what you need to know?
  10. Is it “new”? Is it consistent with “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints”? If it’s new, it’s probably not true!
  11. Is it “reactionary” against historic, orthodox faith? Subtly subversive? Scornful of anything “traditional”?
  12. Is the lifestyle of the teacher/promoter consistent with (or contrary to) Scripture?