There’s a brother who tells a story about how, during a Q&A session, a young lady asked him and another teacher whether it was a sin to be vegetarian. They proceeded to jokingly argue that, yes, vegetarianism was a sin. They went back to the early chapters of Genesis to appeal to the garden of Eden, and they went to Daniel to show how he had lobbied for vegetables and water only. As the brothers were making their case, the young woman looked concerned. They, then, revealed that they were just pulling her leg and explained how, in fact, vegetarianism isn’t sin. (As a five-point baconist, I tend to disagree.)
But this illustrated an even more important lesson, for the young lady and those present, and for us as well. Actual false teachers can be very crafty with the Bible, and their teachings are much much worse than the illustration above. They can do twists and turns and go from book to book to promote a false teaching, and if we’re not careful, we can easily be convinced. Therefore, this illustration calls us all to be Bereans.
In the book of Acts, Luke commends the Christian Jews at Berea, because
they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Acts 17:11)
They didn’t merely accept teaching at face-value. Not even the Apostle Paul’s. They tested what he said against Scripture and found it to be true.
How prepared are we to defend against false teaching? How well do we know the word of God? Can we, like an experienced bank teller, quickly see a counterfeit because we know well what the truth looks like?