Check the Cuff

As a young boy, Dennis absolutely hated green English peas. His mother knew that but insisted that he eat some in the interest of his health and growth.
At the end of each meal, Dennis’s plate was always empty. His mother would inquire from the kitchen as she started washing the dishes, “Dennis…, have you finished your dinner yet?” He would inevitably affirm, “Yes, mother.”
On one occasion, his mother found out what was happening to all of those peas that she knew Dennis didn’t like. She was about to put a pair of his jeans in the wash when she discovered some “forgotten evidence.” Her son had been dropping the peas down into the cuff of his blue jeans during the course of dinner and then smuggling them out of the dinning room where he would later dispose of them in the yard! HA! But this particular time he had forgotten to “empty his stash” and the little green vegetables testified to his guilt. He had been lying about cleaning his plate.
I had to laugh when his mother told me the story. [You have to admit, that was a pretty smart strategy for a six-year-old]. But the youngster’s efforts remind me of something the inspired apostle Peter notes in his second epistle. He suggests that false teachers introduce their doctrine into the church by incrementally smuggling or slipping it along side of the truth.
“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will SECRETLY BRING IN (Greek?pareisago) destructive heresies…” (2 Peter 2:1a; cf. Jude 4). Dennis smuggled peas out of the house; false teachers smuggle damnable error into the house of God. Dennis secretly got what he didn’t like out; false teachers secretly get what they do like in. The efforts of both were/are covert and dishonest:
False teachers “rarely begin their insidious work publicly; they first establish a core group of followers in private settings like Bible classes or meetings in the homes of members. These endorsers of change start their agenda quietly and privately by establishing their new ideas with a few before boldly proclaiming their novel ideas publicly from the pulpit. G.K. Wallace used to say, ‘They tea cup it'” (Lester Kamp, Studies In 1, 2 Peter and Jude, Seventh Annual Denton Lectures, Nov. 8-12, 1998, 220-221). “False teachers do not ‘attempt to meet the truth head on, or attempt to refute the truth openly,’ but they come in the ‘side door’ or the ‘back door,’ a kind of secret matter of infiltration, in order to deceive honest souls with their false doctrines” (V.E. Howard, “The Living Message of Second Peter,” The Living Messages of the Books of the New Testament, ’76, 292).
Brethren, unless we are observant enough to watch for the “peas in the cuff of their trousers,” the error false teachers espouse will invariably find its way into the bloodstream of the local body of Christ. And while we must caution against a hyper-critical, “looking for false teachers under every rock” mentality, vigilance demands that we examine the doctrines of those within our fellowship (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1; Revelation 2:14,15) and protect our souls from eternal loss (2 Peter 2:2).

Share your thoughts: