Paul M.Elliott Teaching the Word Ministries
Many of the individuals who lead Christian educational institutions and churches into apostasy are clever, articulate, and even witty speakers and writers. They definitely have a way with words. Many of them are personally charming and engaging. Some of them have taken on a celebrity status among their followers. The undiscerning, focusing on these outward appearances, let down their guard and open their minds to heresy with hardly a second thought.
One wonders how those who focus on outward appearances in our day would have reacted to the Apostle Paul:
But as for myself, having come to you, brethren, I came, not having my message dominated by a transcendent rhetorical display or by philosophical subtlety when I was announcing to you the testimony of God, for, after weighing the issues, I decided not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and this very One as crucified. And as for myself, when I faced you, I fell into a state of weakness and fear and much trembling. And my message and my preaching were not couched in specious words of philosophy but were dependent for their efficacy upon a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, in order that your faith should not be resting in human philosophy but in God’s power (1 Corinthians 2:1-5, from The New Testament: An Expanded Translation by Kenneth S. Wuest).
Paul too – by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – had a way with words, but it was not an appeal to the flesh. He told it like it is:
Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple (Romans 16:17-18).
But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13).
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
The Apostle urges believers to stand firm in Christ and in the Scriptures,
that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ (Ephesians 4:14-15).
From – How Does Apostasy Happen? – Part 7 by Dr. Paul M. Elliott