If You Can’t Convince Them, Confuse Them
By: Brian A. Yeager
When I first began preaching in a local work, I had a pretty basic approach to teaching. I figured my task was to teach the lost of the world (Colossians 1:28 and Titus 1:2), help restore apostates (James 5:19-20), teach the saved (Acts 20:26-27), set in order things that lacked (Titus 1:5), and protect the Lord’s work (I Timothy 1:3-7 and II Timothy 4:1-5). My approach was founded upon Scriptures. I was motivated because I had not seen these things being done amongst any congregation I was aware of.
I moved to Virginia to begin the Lord’s work there. With a fresh mind and a bit of naivety, I thought there had to be other preachers that shared my desire and zeal. I figured surrounding myself with older, wiser preachers would be prudent. Soon, I fell prey to these older, wiser preachers. They sounded much wiser than I did. They had knowledge that I did not have. They spoke with a greater capability. They had a mastery of the English language and skills in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek that I did not have. The only preachers I felt I had things in common with was men like the Apostle Paul. I could associate with these words: “But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things” (II Corinthians 11:6).
Rather than realizing the preaching examples I needed were in the Scriptures (I Corinthians 11:1), I decided to follow the pattern of these “older, wiser preachers”. I started studying the ancient languages of the Scriptures. I started learning more about writing and aimed to gain a better handle on the English language. This did not last very long. There was another preacher in the area. He was older, yet not necessarily wise in my eyes. He had some impure motives. However, I learned a lot from him when I realized he was right about the direction I was heading. This man told me a few statements I have never forgotten. For one, he said: “Greek is like underwear. You should wear it on the inside for support, but never on the outside.” He also said: “A good teacher can teach it so the cows can get it and the calves can too.”
Though the motives of the man who gave me good advice were impure, I began realizing his advice was in line with the Scriptures. Notice this: “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (I Corinthians 2:1-5).
These older, wiser preachers (as I had falsely concluded) taught a lot about Bible Geography and often used the ancient languages of the Bible in their lessons. These teaching methods were not helping anyone to be saved then, nor do they help folks be saved now (cf. Romans 1:16). These preachers were held in high regard as “knowledgeable men”, but the congregations they labored with were full of ignorant sinners. As I got to know these men more and more, their sinful lives began to be uncovered. They held many false doctrines, yet they taught them subtly (Acts 13:6-10). They hid their errors in lessons that were far above the heads of their ignorant pupils. They often “muddied the water” to keep people from seeing the truth (Romans 16:17-18). Sure, some things take more time to study and learn than others do (II Peter 3:15-18), but there is simplicity in Christ (II Corinthians 11:3). When someone starts talking over the heads of others it is often to confuse them knowing that they can’t convince them. This tactic is even used on the simplest of subject matters.
The Tactic Of Confusion Used Even With The Subject Of Baptism
These Virginia “preachers” all held a false doctrine on the subject matter of baptism. You see, the Bible very simply teaches us that we cannot be taught wrong and scripturally converted at the same time (Matthew 13:19, John 8:32, Romans 6:17, Colossians 1:5, and I Peter 1:22-25). That is easy to see just by looking at the aforementioned Scriptures. Yet, these preachers held that one could be taught denominational doctrines of men and still be properly converted to Christ. Rather than coming out and using those terms, these men used long speeches and confusing analogies to confuse their followers.
Soon after I began exposing this false doctrine of these men, I was labeled as teaching the “Administrator Of Baptism Doctrine”. I had NO IDEA what that meant. Soon, long articles and letters were written about what I was teaching. Greek terms, names of preachers, support of preaching schools, and other such devices were used to expose me for teaching the “Administrator Of Baptism Doctrine”. People had no idea what that meant. They just figured that 41 older preachers, using big words, must have known more than me. Sadly, the reputations of these men meant more to their followers than the Scriptures did (documentation is here: http://www.wordsoftruth.net/Incorrect_Marking_of_Brian_Yeager.htm).
The folks I worked with wrote a letter asking a preacher (Clayton Winters of Tennessee) a simple question. We wanted to know if he believed a man taught and baptized through denominational doctrine was a Christian. Three pages later, we had muddy water. Again, the Scriptural answer is clear. You cannot be taught error, obey error, and be properly converted to Christ (John 17:17 and I Thessalonians 2:13). As these men continue to this day to promote this error and others, they prey on the minds of the ignorant. They choose their words carefully, and make sure they lose people by muddying the details. They know they cannot convince people that one can be born into denominationalism and Christ at the same time (Galatians 1:6-10 and II John 9-11), thus they try to confuse those people.
We have to be aware of enticing words (Colossians 2:4). A three-part argument [syllogism] may sound impressive, but we are not supposed to be persuaded to believe something because it is full of philosophy (Colossians 2:8). Those who use such tactics are trying to handle the word of God deceitfully (II Corinthians 4:2). They do a good job at looking the part of a faithful brother or sister in Christ, but they are really agents of error (II Corinthians 11:13-15 and Jude 3-4). Some of the very one’s who are charged with protecting the body of Christ, are really speaking perverse things to draw away disciples to themselves from the Lord (Acts 20:28-31). If you find yourself caught in the midst of confusion, please remember that God is not the source of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33). If you’re not scripturally convinced of something, don’t believe or practice it. Stand strong. Don’t become confused!
Volume 11 – Issue 42 - July 10th, 2011