Vol. 5, No. 5
~ Page 10 ~
Initially, United States citizens were angry that the Iraqi Minister of Information, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, was spinning a different description of what was occurring during Operation Iraqi Freedom. That anger soon morphed into laughter as it became apparent that this man was living in his own little world, and only telling the cameras what he knew his boss wanted to hear. In fact, many Americans began purposely tuning in to his press conferences, as if they were a stand-up comedy routine. This man continued to deny the obvious, even as the tanks of coalition forces rolled into Baghdad -- right up to the location where he was staying. He knew the truth, but he also knew what certain people wanted to hear. As such, he took on the name of "Minister of Misinformation" within the press, and around dinner tables all across this country.
Sadly, I believe that many in the religious world suffer this same mentality. Whether they are preachers, teachers or scholars, they know what the Bible says, yet, they continue to preach and teach something else. Many have spent years studying the Bible, and can quote passages verbatim. But when it comes to preaching the truths that are contained within God's Word, they retreat to their own little world and preach what they know people want to hear. For instance, Jesus made it plainly clear that he was going to establish one church, of which he serves as the Head (e.g., Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 4:4; Ephesians 1:22-23). Yet, week after week, pulpits are mounted by denominational preachers who have read these verses, but affirm to their congregations that there is nothing wrong with being a member of a denomination founded by men. Some of these same "Ministers of Misinformation" exclaim that in order to be saved, all one must do is "accept Jesus into his or her heart." However, these teachers and preachers know this concept is not found in the Bible. Rather, it is what members of their congregation want to hear. When this fact is pointed out to these educated men, they try to twist and pervert Scripture in an effort to continue teaching what makes their congregations happy.
Consider for a moment the preacher that understands that Christ's Kingdom -- the church (Colossians 1:13-18; Matthew 16:18-19) -- has already been established, and yet still continues to lead his congregation in reciting the "Lord's Prayer" each and every Sunday. The words that ring forth out of his mouth state: "Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come." These "Ministers of Misinformation" know the Lord's Kingdom has already been established, and yet they continue to repeat this mantra. Or what about those who insist that baptism is either not necessary, or not specifically for the remission of sins. No matter how tightly these people close their eyes, or how hard they wish the evidence would vanish, passages such as Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38 and 1 Peter 3:21 are not going away. They very plainly state that baptism for the remission of sins is essential. These verses are clearly obvious, just like those tanks that rolled into downtown Baghdad.
Unfortunately, these "Ministers of Misinformation" are not located only in denominations. Even with the Lord's church, there are individuals (preachers, teachers and elders) who know the Truth, but continue teaching what they believe people want to hear. For instance, a ten-year-old can easily discern the first nine verses of Matthew chapter 19. So why is it then, that we still have "educated men" teaching that individuals can divorce and remarry for reasons other than "except it be for fornication" (v. 9)? Furthermore, why do we have individuals or organizations who proclaim to the world that they love souls, and yet when they "write up" an individual in order to tell the world of his sin, they don't even take a few minutes (and a minimal amount of pocket change for the phone call) to follow the Scriptures and tell that individual, admonishing him of his sin, in an effort to restore him or her (Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:14, 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15). Elders of the Lord's church are not excluded from stating one thing knowing it is a contradiction of God's Word. The serious nature of what these "Ministers of Misinformation" are doing can be found in Paul's warning to the elders when he noted: "Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."
If it weren't so serious, these religious Ministers of Misinformation might also be laughable. We can't laugh at men who desire Easter "pageants." Or men who teach that baptism is not necessary. Or men who allow musical instruments in worship. Or men who serve as bishops but will not courageously stand for the Truth. Or men who marry (or accept silently) individuals who they know have been previously divorced for reasons other than fornication. Or men who teach that anyone who accepts Jesus into his or her heart is saved. These Ministers of Misinformation are dealing with people's souls! The misinformation they are handing out is not simply a spin on who is winning a war. But, rather, the misinformation these individuals are spreading is condemning many people to an eternity in torment. While Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf may not have wanted to see or admit the military tanks were, in fact, at his doorstep, the truth is, they were. The truth became obvious on televisions all across the globe. Likewise, religious ministers of misinformation may not want to admit the Bible speaks plainly of Christian duties, but the Truth is, it does! It is obvious, and it is right before their very eyes.