Deception Within the Church
by Chris Barhorst
Many Christians are aware that groups like Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, etc. are laced with error to the point of being classified as cults.
But few realize the potential danger of erroneous teachings within the body of Christ.
The apostle Paul warned that; not only would false teachers attempt to infiltrate the Christian church from the outside, but that also from within, men would arise speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them (Acts 20:29-30).
The purpose of this article is to discuss Satan's method and purpose of penetrating the body of Christ with false doctrine.
In 2 Peter 2:1, the Scripture states, "But there were false prophet also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies".
Now, look at the words "privily shall bring in."
In the original Greek language of the New Testament this is one word, which not only describes the method by which false doctrine is smuggled into the church, but also it's deceptive purpose.
This is the Greek word pareisago, which is a three-fold word that begins with the preposition para (Linguistic Key to the New Testament, Reinecker and Rogers).
Para means "alongside" and this describes the smuggling operation.
False teaching runs right alongside true doctrine. This creates a deception more difficult to detect, because it is so close to sound doctrine.
Nobody manufactures a counterfeit dollar bill and designs it like a baseball card. Then who would believe it to be a dollar bill? The counterfeit dollar must be able to come alongside the genuine dollar and appear to be a true bill.
So one can see that para describes the method that deception is smuggled into the Christian church.
The next part of this word is the greek word eis. This word means "into (Ibid)."
Usually men (or women) from within the ranks of Christianity, for the purpose of getting their deception into the body of Christ, will run these teachings alongside (para) true doctrine, desiring to get it into (eis) the church.
The final part of this word is the greek word ago. This word means "to lead (Ibid)."
This is the end result of false doctrine, individuals being led astray.
Thus, the Greek word pareisago reveals that false doctrine is run alongside true doctrine, to get it into the body of Christ, to lead individuals astray.
It is a sad fact that often times this deception is brought into the body of Christ by respected leaders or laymen, those from within.
The best protection against deception is to be a man or woman of the Word. One who studies to show themselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15).