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False Doctrine
and Sound Doctrine


The stricter the church the more the talk about false doctrine, false teachers, and heresy. But few churches consistently apply the apostolic principles for how to determine if something is a false doctrine or if it is merely a matter of conscience or a matter of growth. Below is a list of all the scriptures in the New Testament that describe false teaching, false doctrine and heresy, and the context of each scripture. There is a unifying theme to all of these scriptures that makes it simple and easy to determine if a doctrine falls into the category of false doctrine.

What these passages do not say:

What is conspicuously lacking in these passages is any reference to labeling anyone a false teacher who worships incorrectly in the congregational worship service or anyone who organizes the local congregation incorrectly. There is no authority in the scriptures for splitting and dividing over how to sing, how to take the Lord's Supper, how to appoint leaders, how to collect and spend the offering, etc.

The Scriptures:

A. Selfish False Teachers:

1. Jesus said to "beware the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees which is hypocrisy."

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves." Matt. 7

2. Paul wrote to the Corinthians in chapter 6 not to be yoked with unbelievers. And in chapter 11 he described false apostles again as selfish and authoritarian:

you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face.

3. In I Timothy chapter one the apostle Paul urges Timothy to beware of false teachers who focus on myths and endless genealogies (a reference to the gnostic heresy that promoted secret passwords to get to the next level of spirituality, instead of depending on God's forgiveness), and then Paul warned against:

lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers

B. Teachers who deny Christ's divinity, humanity or resurrection 

4. 2 Peter 2:1  But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.

5. 1 John 4:1  On Denying that Jesus came in the flesh ] Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

C. Teachers who compromise dependence on Christ's forgiveness

6.  Galatians 2:4  This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. (insisting that male believers be circumcised according to the Law of Moses)

7.  Colossians 2:18  Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. (referring to the gnostic heresy which depended on secret knowledge to gain spiritual growth)