“I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.” (1 John 2 v 26)
Charismatic figures through their false teaching were leading John’s people astray from the truth. John exposes them. This is the reason for his writing.
But what about us?
Would we be led astray by such personalities? There is a fine line sometimes between respect and honour and a culture where the charisma outweighs character.
Confidence, passion, optimism, great communication and gifting needs a culture which appraises on a regular basis whether the Christians are being drawn closer to Jesus or not. The lifestyle of those who are teaching/leading needs to be scrutinised. Can you see Jesus in their language and their attitudes? Are they loving people? Is there an atmosphere of fear circling them or one of vulnerability?
But it doesn’t stop in the pulpit. Look at the pews. Are there groups within the church trying to topple and oust their Pastor? Are they trying to lead people astray from their under-shepherd? Ask the same questions.