Woe to the False Teachers…
Those who teach a path apart from Christ and the Church will surely have to answer for themselves:
I am confident of you in the Lord that you will not take a different view, and that the one who is troubling you will bear the condemnation, whoever he may be. –Galatians 5:10, NAB
St. Paul was confident that he would be able to show the Galatians the errors of their ways, but the false teachers who had led them astray would surely have to answer to God for their mistakes, just as the false teachers of this generation will someday.
Sometimes, I do not know what is worse: someone who teaches against God altogether, or someone who teaches a false view of the cross. While preaching atheism or a false religion is a horrible thing, is it worse to preach falsely using the name of Christ?
Part of me wants to say that, at least, they are preaching in the name of Christ. They may err in some of their teachings, but they have devoted their hearts, souls, and minds to God. I have the hope that our God is a forgiving God who will accept them despite the error of their ways.
My wife made an interesting point the other day. Sometimes, it seems like we spend a lot of our energy battling with other Christian denominations, but who needs Jesus more? Members of other denominations or those who do not know Christ at all?
We should all hope that, one day, we will be one, unified Church. That may not happen until Christ comes again, but we know that one day it will happen. And on that day, woe to the false teachers of a twisted Gospel. They will surely have to answer for the mistakes in their teaching. But so will I. I am sure that I will make mistakes along the way, and I know that I will be held accountable.
St. Paul was confident that he could correct the Galatians’ path, and I believe we can help others, as well. I know this first-hand. It was not a Catholic apolgist who opened my eyes to the faith; it was loving Catholic who showed me the beauty of the Catholic Church in very real ways. May we continue to spread that beauty.