The Poppins Principle:
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” ~ Matthew 7:15
When in reality, Peter gives a different description of these false teachers:
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” 2 Peter 2:1-3
Sometimes I wonder if the wolf even realizes he’s a wolf. It’s possible the deceiver is deceived himself. We tend to imagine that a false teacher wakes up in the morning, slicks his horns back, and grins at himself in his mirror with delight, thinking of all the people he’s going to mislead that day. Although there are men like this, it is not the breed I’m speaking of.
It’s the subtle ones – the ones that sincerely proclaim that we’ve misunderstood Christianity, or some major doctrine of Christianity, for the majority of the past 1500+ years. Those who say we’ve been close to the truth of the gospel but just slightly off, and until their recent discoveries of what Paul, Peter, James, etc REALLY said, that we were missing the bulk of what God intended for us to comprehend. It’s not that these false teachers have nothing good to say at all; but the error mixed in with their good teaching is what makes them all the more deadly. Mary Poppins wisely said “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”. Not that false doctrine is medicinal, but rather as sugar masks the bitter flavor of the medicine, so the falsity of their teaching is covered by the bits of sweet truth they speak alongside it.
We must be discerning, as every wolf doesn’t walk around with a sheep cloak, leaving his legs and teeth exposed like some sort of pathetic poser. Those are easy to spot. It’s the one’s that look like sheep, smell like sheep, even talk like sheep for the most part, that I am reminding you (as well as myself) about.
May God bless, and keep us from error.