The Apostle Paul is worried about morons taking over the church. He had reason to fear: several morons had already influenced churches he had started, and he wasn’t even dead yet!
Paul has constant warnings about paying attention, being sober, thinking, testing, be on guard for false teaching. He tells us specific things to watch out for to help us detect erroneous morons. Here’s one example:
“Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying“
Here are several indicators a moron is talking to you:
1) You’re being taught fables.
Fables is the Greek word for “myth.” This could indicate a couple of things:
A. Jewish rabbinic stories. You can find these in what is called the Talmud. These are humanly devised explanations and elaborations of the Hebrew Scripture, some more fablish than others.
B. Gentile illustrations. Pastors and authors have been telling stories for years, many of these have been repeated so often we’re not sure if they are in the Bible or not. I generally refrain from using stock sermon illustrations for this very reason: most of them aren’t true.
C. Greek mythology. Lots of false religion influences have fashioned our Christianity. Much of our modern “holidays” are pagan in origin, for instance.
D. Stupid stuff stupid people say. “Fables” can just mean “made up stuff.” There is plenty of spiritual sounding verbiage floating around out there that has nothing to do with anything. If that’s all you’re hearing, some guy’s opinion rather than a constant return to Scripture, be on guard.
2) Endless Genealogies.
Genealogies are in your Bible for a reason. I have no idea what that reason is, but they’re there for a reason. You should be familiar with them, because they are there. But people who fixate on these things and see hidden meanings, clues, and secret codes to decipher indecipherable things, are loonies and should be avoided.
3) They minister questions.
False teaching typically begins with casting doubt. “How can you be sure that what you have is the truth?” Along the lines of Satan’s “Hath God said?” testing question to Eve. They want to engender doubt in you by asking you questions. However, mostly what they do is just stir up other questions, which they don’t answer but respond with more questions, and then you just have a giant hubbub of debate and clamor. This is a dangerous sign. Beware of those who exist to cause trouble all the time. People who stir up debate everywhere they go are handing out false doctrine. Count on it.
4) No godly edifying.
Edification is why the Church exists. The Church is a group of people who desire to grow into the perfect man Christ Jesus. It’s why we’re here. Ephesians four explains the whole process. False teachers want something from you, not something for you. False teachers want to feed their belly and take your money. The Church exists to hand out the free bread of life. Not to manipulate, but to bring you to Christ. He is the Head. The whole Body follows Him. If you meet a supposed member of the body who isn’t leading you to follow the head, you aren’t with a member of the Body!
In the end, avoid people who are always raising doubts, causing debate, arguing, fighting, ridiculing, and taking by force what ought to be given with liberality. Beware of those who know this secret thing no one has seen before. Beware the “us vs. them” mentality that we are the hidden minority the whole world is aligned against to defeat our cause. Beware those who are constantly telling stories and pontificating out of their own supposed genius. Let them write philosophy and leave theology alone.
Be careful out there.