Beware Spiritual ‘leaders’ with False Messages About Sin

Posted in Family, Leadership by Benham Brothers | November 1st, 2016


With nine kids between the two of us, there are plenty of cuts, aches and bruises we tend to throughout the week. So when David’s 6-year-old son was limping around the yard, it was just another day in the Benham house. But this time was slightly different because he didn’t tell anyone he had cut his foot until infection had set in.

He didn’t want the pain of cleaning it out with disinfectant (he’d had plenty of that before), so instead he ignored it and figured it would go away.

What a teachable moment! You should’ve seen the look on his face when we said he could lose parts of his body if infection is left unattended. (We know, that seems a bit rough, but we had to tell him the truth.)

We got it cleaned out – and, yes, it hurt – but he was back up and running in no time.

Today, infection has set in in America – and it’s far worse than just physically in the foot; it’s morally in the heart. And those with the disinfectant – the people of God – many are refusing to love enough to share the only message that will clean it all out.

Because it hurts to heal.

The spiritual disinfectant that hurts our moral infection but heals our spiritual direction is the Gospel of Jesus. Listen to how simple and clear this is:

“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

Everyone wants times of refreshing – but if spiritual leaders don’t apply the disinfectant that hurts (repent of sin and return to God), people won’t experience the message that heals.

This is why we were grieved last week when we read that yet another spiritual “leader” has shelved God’s disinfectant and seems fine with people limping around in spiritual pain and brokenness. (See “Dear Christians, it doesn’t matter how you feel. It matters what the Bible says.”)

The Gospel of Jesus has not changed in over two millennia. So for “leaders” today to exclude the sin of homosexuality in the Gospel, and even make it holy in some cases, only reveals that these are not true spiritual messengers of God.

Listen to what God said about people like this:

“I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds” (Jeremiah 23:21-22).

True leaders from God are willing to hurt to heal – to speak the message that turns people from their evil ways to the only God that can refresh and restore. We all need this message – especially us!

“Your prophets have seen for you false and foolish visions; and they have not exposed your iniquity so as to restore you from captivity, but they have seen for you false and misleading oracles” (Lamentations 2:14).

Today, we have many self-professed spiritual “leaders” who are giving us false and misleading messages from God about sin. Yet nothing has changed about God, and nothing will ever change about His message.

But they continue to position themselves as His messengers while refusing to proclaim His clear message about repenting of sin and returning to Him. They are what the Bible calls false prophets (messengers of God).

“You have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet you say, ‘How have we wearied Him?’ In that you say, ‘Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them’” (Malachi 2:17).

Those who repent and return are the ones who are refreshed from God. Those who refuse are simply walking around with a spiritual infection that can only be healed by Jesus. So let’s be faithful to the true message of the Gospel and love others enough to hurt to heal.


Image courtesy of cbenjasuwan at