2 Tmothy 4:1-5
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – eith great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of evangelists, discharge all the duties of your ministry. . . .
So What is Sound Doctrine?
Sound doctrine is the eternal, unchanging truth about God and the gospel. Doctrine that merely “itches ears” cares nothing for the truth – its concern is that it sounds good. It focuses on what the listener wants to hear and what they will pay for. In other words, The Gemini Effect . . .
Trying to distinguish sound doctrine from other doctrine is not always easy to do. After all, there is sound doctrine that will sound “good” to some ears. And those skilled in the art of The Gemini Effect will inject just enough truth into their doctrine to manipulate the listener. To better understand the differences in doctrine, you really need to understand the methodology of the messengers. Here is a look at the different types of messengers you may encounter:
Charlatans: Charlatans will lie and cheat in order to sell you their ideas. They often change their message when it is in their best interest to do so. They pay very close attention to the reaction of their audience noting their likes and dislikes. Charlatans want the power and the profit that goes along with a “successful” teaching career.
Marketers: Marketers are the salesmen of religious ideas. They are experts at whetting the peoples appetites for their ideas. A lot of the time, marketers will use tactics that border on the side of manipulative. Marketers know what they wish to convey; however, they are willing to modify their message if it will help it to sell. Marketers are only half-motivated by self-interest- they also desire to genuinely serve their audience.
Contextualizers: Contextualizers have the goal to communicate so that people can understand while guarding the integrity of the message. Think of missionaries who seek the best way to communicate across cultural and language boundaries. Contextualizers are sincere. They are more concerned about their audience rather than their own personal gain.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” ~Matthew 7:15