The great deceiver has many heresies prepared to fit the different
tastes of those he wants to ruin. His plan is to bring into the
church insincere, unconverted people who will encourage doubt
and unbelief. Many who have no real faith in God agree to a few
principles of truth and pass as Christians, and in this way they are
able to introduce error as Bible doctrine. Satan knows that the truth,
received in love, sanctifies the life. So he tries to substitute false
theories, fables, another gospel. From the beginning, servants of
God have opposed false teachers, not because they considered them
vicious people, but because they taught falsehoods that were fatal to
the spiritual life. Elijah, Jeremiah, Paul, firmly opposed those who
were turning others from the Word of God. The liberal mindset that
thinks correct faith is not important found no welcome with these
holy defenders of truth.
The vague and inventive interpretations of Scripture and the conflicting religious theories in the Christian world are the work of our great adversary to confuse minds. The discord and division among the churches come mostly from twisting the Scriptures to support a favorite theory.
In order to prove false doctrines, some take hold of passages of Scripture separated from the context. They quote half a verse as proving their point, when the remaining portion shows that the meaning is the opposite. With the wily deceit of the serpent they take their position behind unrelated statements intended to please carnal desires. Others turn to figures and symbols, interpret them to suit their ideas with little care for the testimony of Scripture as its own interpreter, and then present their erratic thoughts as the teachings of the Bible.
← Read Previous: Chapter 3 — Dangerous Seductions
→ Read Next: The Whole Bible A Guide
Source: Ellen G. White, The Great Hope, p. 23