Originally published June 3, 2016
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy hit the big time several years ago with his “You Might Be a Redneck” one-liners. He frequently introduced the bit by saying, “I’ve found that there are rednecks all over, but sometimes people don’t know they’re rednecks. So, I came up with this little test…” and continued with such gems as:
“If you’ve ever had to carry a bucket of paint to the top of a water tower to defend your sister’s honor, you might be a redneck.”
“If your wife has ever said, ‘Honey, come get this transmission out of the tub so I can take a bath!’ you might be a redneck.”
“If you’ve ever been accused of lying through your tooth, you might be a redneck.”
It was a routine that a lot of us in the South found hilarious because we knew someone who fit nearly every one of Jeff’s jabs.
Like rednecks, there are apostate false teachers all over the place out there, only a lot of them (and their disciples) don’t know they’re false teachers. And the fruit of their lives is far wackier than anything a redneck has ever dreamed up. That fruit doesn’t make them false teachers, but it sure is a sign that we’d better examine the root of doctrine from which the fruit sprang.
So if any of the preachers and teachers you’re following have ever said or done the following things (or something even crazier), watch out, because they Might Be Apostate.
If you’re a middle aged pastor who makes embarrassing rap videos, who publicly extols the virtues of Spanx for men (even though it gives you gas) and who calls himself a Ferrari you might be apostate.
If you feature a Naked Cowboy impersonater (aka- your youth “pastor”) at your “Christian” women’s conference, you might be apostate.
If you’ve ever purposefully applied the pronoun “herself” to God, you might be apostate.
If you celebrated your 35th birthday by preaching at the “church” of your mentor, T.D. Jakes, and placing a $35,000 check in his offering wheelbarrow, you might be apostate.
If God has ever told you to go up to a stranger in the airport and ask if you can brush his hair, you might be apostate.
If you’ve ever given your congregation a sob story about needing a new $70 million Gulfstream jet, because the old one is worn out, you might be apostate.
If you think of the Holy Spirit as the “sneaky,” “silly,” “funny,” “blue genie from Aladdin,” you might be apostate.
If you’re a woman who thinks God is OK with you preaching to men despite what His word clearly says to the contrary, you might be apostate.
If you’ve ever said, regarding your church’s worship service, “I probably wouldn’t have a stripper on stage…” but leave the door open to the idea because “God told Isaiah to walk around naked for three years,” you might be apostate.
If you think smacking people in the face with your Nehru jacket is a ministry of the Holy Spirit, you might be apostate.
If you’ve ever typed a Facebook status in tongues, you might be apostate.
If you say you’re a trinitarian, but think the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three “manifestations” of God rather than three Persons, you ARE apostate.
If your senior pastor father sexually abused boys at your church and paid them off to keep them quiet and you, as the subsequent pastor, knew about it but didn’t speak up, you might be apostate.
If you officiated at your homosexual son’s “wedding,” you might be apostate.
If you’re a pastor who thinks expository preaching is “cheating” because it’s “too easy” and that “it’s not the way you grow people” AND that we shouldn’t say “the Bible says…” AND that parents who take their children to a small church instead of a mega church are “stinkin’ selfish,” AND that we shouldn’t use the Bible to convince the lost of their need for Christ, you might be apostate.
If you partnered with a Roman Catholic mystic with a degree in spiritual psychology to make a completely unbiblical movie about the Bible featuring ninja angels and Mary Magdalene bossing the disciples around, you might be apostate.
If you and your 80s rock star third husband stand in the pulpit and tell people to watch porn to improve their sex life, you might be apostate.
If you’ve ever decided to “p*ss off the religious people” on Easter Sunday by playing AC/DC’s Highway to Hell to open the service, you might be apostate.
If you’ve written a book entitled “I Am” and it’s about positive confession rather than Jehovah, you might be apostate.
If you think you have the power to control the weather by the words you speak, you might be apostate.
If you think that between the cross and the resurrection Jesus went to Hell and that Satan and the demons jumped up and down on His back, you might be apostate.
If the top three “pastors” you encourage people to follow on Twitter are T.D. Jakes, Rick Warren, and Joel Osteen, you might be apostate.
If a currently practicing homosexual couple wants to serve in leadership at your church and your only problem with it is that one of them isn’t yet divorced from his wife, you might be apostate.
If you’ve ever been accused of having an affair with Benny Hinn, you might be apostate.
If, a hundred years ago, your worship leaders might have been carted off to the funny farm or treated to an exorcism for conducting themselves like this, you might be apostate.
And, if you’re about to write a comment rebuking me for marking false teachers to avoid and exposing unfruitful works of darkness because Jesus would never do such a thing then you don’t know your Bible.
And you just might be apostate.