Updated: Apr 7, 2021
When I look back as a bible teacher for over 50 years my biggest regrets are the lives of those that I once ministered to who, somewhere along the way, have been led down a gradual path of spiritual deception or who have slowly allowed their Christian integrity and authenticity to be compromised. Like the father of the “prodigal son” who grieved for his son when he squandered his birthright on riotous living, I also grieve over each of those who have fallen away over the years. Yes, just like Demas who forsook Paul, multitudes have turned back because of their “love for this present world”, I have seen many turn back to Egypt. I’ve also known countless others over the years who have been used up, chewed up, devastated, and destroyed by abusive church leaders, foolish fads and spiritual systems. I grieve for these legions of wounded as well.
But, when I look back, I think the ones that give me the deepest regret of all are those of my former students who no longer endure sound teaching. They are the ones that Paul referred to when he said; “For the time will come when they will no longer endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap to themselves teachers; and they will turn away from the truth.” (II Timothy 4:1-4)
Yes, there was a time when they gladly endured sound teaching. There was a time when they diligently searched the scriptures as the Bereans and rejoiced in the Word. But because of ambitious and misguided leaders who sought the path of empty sensationalism rather than the Word of God, they were led away and fed an endless diet of church sensationalism, hypeology, ear tickling teachings, empty fads, pop theology and extra-biblical experiences. I sorrow for those who have bought into false movements like Bethel, "The New Apostolic Reformation", Toronto, Sozo prayer and many others. Yes, for them I grieve the most.