A man in a rowboat can correct his course, but not that of a super freighter…
It is the same with the church system of today. If one is born again of the Holy Spirit, they must learn for themselves how to walk in that spirit of truth, who is Jesus Christ. They cannot allow error or compromise to creep into their spiritual life, which destroys many. God is fully capable in teaching his children the truth, and providing for them fellow believers to fellowship with them along the way.
Yet Satan, who is also a spirit, is also busy within the world trying to divert the Saints of God onto another spiritual path. He knows that blatant spiritual sin normally will not work with a child of God who has started with Christ, and has a basic knowledge of the Bible. So, what Satan does is to try and counterfeit the workings of God, into a near look alike to the truth. He mixes in certain degrees of blackness with the pure white light of truth. This creates a gray area to varying degrees.
This sly fox, who understands the human mind and soul, and will raise up those in the name of Christ, who will divert people from the perfect light and truth of walking with Jesus in spirit; into a theological or doctrinal debate most often. Anything that will knock a child of God off course, and try to sever them from their head: who is Jesus Christ.
The Apostle John first coined the phrase as an anti-Christ, not one who has horns sprouting out of their heads, but rather anyone who inserts themselves as an alternative to Christ, assuming a leader’s position. This type of spirit, is of the spirit of anti Christ, and is most often found to be religious in nature. Jesus said unless one becomes as a little child, they can no way enter into the kingdom of heaven. Little Children are tender hearted and trusting, so they make easy targets for the butcher to destroy their walk. This is why men of God (Elders) who have experience in these areas have been raised up, to try and protect and nourish the young in the Lord, to grow properly without error, or compromising the security of the brethren. A good Bible knowledge is a great tool, but more important is the experience, and understanding of the spiritual world, and its snares and pitfalls.
This experience can ONLY be learned by actual followers of Jesus Christ, unfortunately a good Bible knowledge has replaced, (in “Church circles”) the need for actually KNOWING, and following Christ in spirit and in truth. Lip service is given to this spiritual battlefield, by Pastors and “so called Elders” today, since Biblests know it is scriptural to speak about such things but never have seen it nor known it; because they are not spiritual, but rather just carnal men, with a head full of doctrine. Actual spiritual knowledge, or understanding of spiritual things, is rare today. It has been replaced by natural understanding of the Bible, which is so prevalent in western culture, and the natural or worldly mind. The scribes and Pharisees were such people as these. And to make matters even worse, eastern religions were introduced into the United States, predominately in the 1960’S. This alternative consciousness’ a mixture of other belief systems crept in which are demonic in nature, and fostered what is normally called the “new age” movement.
Neither do I believe in trying to salvage the Church systems, (systematic theologies) as the reformers once did concerning Catholicism. Big fellowships or “churches” are normally too corrupted by sin and traditions of men, to try and restore by natural means and Bible knowledge. The exception to this is only if a man of God, has been called and chosen for this work, and then SENT by God alone; to administer the course correction. In the past 1500 years, well intentioned Christians went out to the world to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and his atonement on the cross. God used these efforts to bring many to Christ, and blessed many a peoples for honoring the written word (the Bible) and their cultures. However, this does not mean that most people were ever really with Christ at all, just that they honored his principles, and teachings which were pleasing to the Lord.
Let us always remember that the true brethren of God in Christ were elected before the foundations of the world. It is a work in which God does alone in the hearts of men, and no amount of teaching no matter how correct, can ever alter one who has never known the Lord in Spirit by Salvation. The result is a bunch of highly educated men and women about the scriptures, ever learning but never coming to knowledge of the truth. Or as 2 Timothy 3:7 puts it: Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. These false brethren in 2 Timothy 3: 5 says “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
This dear brethren, is why we shouldn’t attempt to try and make the correction ourselves, just avoid them at all costs; unless suited up with the full armor of God expecting opposition.
We, who genuinely know and follow our Lord, must be quite careful especially with those who claim his name. Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. These wolves are those that do not know, or have chosen not to follow our Lord for something of the world. Too often it is the counterfeit of systematic church instead of Christ.