Editorial – The Most Dangerous Religion

When the disciples came to Jesus as recorded in Matthew 24 and asked Him about the sign of His coming and of the end of the world, the very first thing that is recorded in Jesus’ answer is a warning that they be not deceived. This warning is given in different language three times in Matthew 24. When our Lord gives us a warning three times, would you think that there is something there that we would need to pay close attention to?

Not only are we warned against false Christs, false prophets, and wonder workers, but we are given the plain warning that these deceptions will arise among God’s people. (See Matthew 24:24; 2 Peter 3:17.) “Do not forget that the most dangerous snares which Satan has prepared for the church will come through its own members who do not love God supremely or their neighbor as themselves.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 477

So the most dangerous deceptions will come from professed Seventh-day Adventists. “The gospel of Christ has little to fear from its open opponents. Its most dangerous foes are the pretended friends of Christ, who say, ‘I go,’ but do not go. They profess to love the Lord Jesus, but through the deceptions of Satan, they work against Christ, because they are not doers of the word.” Youth’s Instructor, August 14, 1894

Of these various infiltrators or pretenders, the most dangerous teachers or preachers are not those who preach a radically different theology, although some have been taken in by these. The most dangerous are those who preach mostly the truth with some sly errors built in which negate the power of the gospel. If the truth is received in the love of it, it will sanctify the life and prepare a person for heaven. But if a vital ingredient is missing, the soul will be left bankrupt for eternity. Ellen White had much to say on this subject:

“The most dangerous falsehoods are those that are mingled with truth. It is thus that errors are received that captivate and ruin the soul.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 338

“Many are in reality fighting his [Satan’s] battles while they profess to serve under the banner of Christ. These traitors in the camp may not be suspected, but they are doing their work to create unbelief, discord, and strife. Such are the most dangerous of foes. While they insinuate themselves into our favor, and gain our confidence and sympathy, they are busy suggesting doubts and creating suspicion.” Review and Herald, August 28, 1883

“Those temptations are the most dangerous which come from the professed servants of God, and from our friends.” Signs of the Times, January 3, 1884

“In every age false prophets have been the most dangerous enemies Christianity has had. Men have appeared who claimed to be champions of truth, professing to have a great burden for the souls of their fellowmen. But they taught false doctrines, and perverted the truth. The spirit they manifested, the work they wrought, testified to the character of their religion. Such men have arisen and do arise, and will continue to arise, in our own day. They will criticize, judge others, will be always ready for controversy, and will resist the truth. They will put false interpretations upon the Scriptures. They will misstate the words of those who advocate truth and some who listen to them, who do not have spiritual discernment, will be misled by these false teachers, and be found fighting under the black banner of the adversary of God and man.” Ibid., July 1892

So what is the most dangerous religion or religious teacher? The most dangerous religion or religious teacher is that which claims to be Seventh-day Adventist but which does not include all of the vital truth or is interwoven with subtle error. The closer it is to the truth, the more dangerous it is.

“Our faith is not to stand in the ability of men but in the power of God. There is danger of trusting in men, even though they may have been used as instruments of God to do a great and good work. Christ must be our strength and our refuge. The best of men may fall from their steadfastness, and the best of religion is found in obedience to every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Righteousness exalts a nation, and the absence of it degrades and ruins man.” Ibid., May 19, 1890

Somebody is probably asking now, Who are you talking about? That is a question that you must become able to answer through your study of the Word and your vital connection with Christ through the Holy Spirit. If you are going to go through to the end, your faith must be in God and His Word and not on any many or you will not make it.

“As we near the end of time, falsehood will be so mingled with truth, that only those who have the guidance of the Holy Spirit will be able to distinguish truth from error.” Maranatha, 192

The End