16 I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then tolerate me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting. 17 In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool. 18 Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. 19 You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! 20 In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face. 21 To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that! 2 Corinthians 11:16-21
It’s obvious that Paul was using sarcasm here to prove a point. The Corinthians followed people and philosophies that were dangerous to their spiritual health. Paul wanted them to know that he was still looking out for them, but their beliefs were damaging them and their reputation.
That’s the thing with false teaching. It can enslave and bring you low. When the teachings don’t come to fruition, you get discouraged and depressed.
If, for instance, the preacher tells you that if you give more, it will be returned 100 fold to you and you’ll be rich. You see a few, including the preacher, do this and wonder why it’s not happening to you. You then begin to wonder about your lack of faith. You begin questioning your entire faith. You go further and further into debt in order to get rich because the preacher is still getting wealthy, so why can’t you. It may take years but eventually you’ll crash because you may realize that the whole thing was a sham.
That’s just one example of how false teaching can ruin. Unfortunately, there are even worse endings when the teachings involve false doctrine, perversions, and demonic spirits.
But as we seek to stay close to Christ, and stay in a Bible-teaching fellowship of Believers, it’s becomes harder and harder to stray.
Every Sunday morning while I was stationed in England, the preacher closed the service with these words: “Come close to God and He will come close to you.”
It’s simple, Biblical, and profound.