Of Charlatans and Itching Ears
- Written by Pete Phelan Pete Phelan
The charlatan is a person who uses Christianity as a means of personal enrichment. Paul charged Timothy to be on guard against him. “If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain” (1 Timothy 6:3-5). The charlatan is only interested in the Christian faith to the extent that it can fill his pocket. He uses his leadership position to benefit from others.
The "tickler" is the false teacher who cares nothing for what God wants and everything for what men want. He is a man pleaser rather than a God pleaser. Paul thought of him as the ear tickler. “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching but have itching ears. They will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). The "tickler" craves popularity and praise from the world. To maintain his followers’ respect, he preaches only the parts of the Bible he deems acceptable. Therefore, he speaks much of happiness but little of sin; much of Heaven, but nothing of Hell. He gives them only what they want to hear. He preaches a partial gospel which is no gospel at all.
Over the past few months I have been listening to preachers who have preached a word, but not The Word. They have twisted the truth using Hebrew and Greek words to embellish their stories to gain the delight of their audience. They have taken parts of scripture and sculpted them into accounts of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment. They act as peddlers of custom crafted error who masquerade as teachers of truth. They are charlatans and ticklers who seem like champions but disseminate perversion of the Truth. Their tactics are studied, clever, and effective. They give you a toothy smile and vacuous content. They preach an empty gospel to a packed house. They toss aside the Bible’s content in order to obsess about matters that are trivial or novel. They violate Deuteronomy 4:2 and Revelation 22:18-19.
Where saith thou this hath occurred? Right in our own backyard. Here in Hopkins County. People are being misled and churches are being disrupted. We must test every spirit to determine if it originates with the Holy Spirit or with a demonic spirit, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. Be on guard.
On the Inside,