Ok, I am going to date myself big time here and now.
How many of you remember a game show, To Tell The Truth? It ran from 1956 (before my time) to 1968 (I was 7.) then for several years in syndication.
Here is how it worked:
The show features a panel of four celebrities attempting to correctly identify a described contestant who has an unusual occupation or experience. This central character is accompanied by two impostors who pretend to be the central character. The celebrity panelists question the three contestants; the impostors are allowed to lie but the central character is sworn "to tell the truth". After questioning, the panel attempts to identify which of the three challengers is telling the truth and is thus the central character.
I liked that show. They always brought people on with very interesting skills like, a dentist for whales or something strange and different. The Imposters could often be very convincing.
Very often falsehoods can sound very convincing.
About two years ago I was in a Sunday School class where the teacher handed out worksheets and taught a whole lesson.
Several of us during the lesson had some raised eyebrows or scratched our heads yet no one said anything. At the end of the lesson the teacher told us that he had taught us all wrong just to demonstrate how easily it could be done and not questioned even by Christians.
Ok, I got his point but what upset me was that there were some new Christians in the classroom that might have been confused when they left. Plus, there was the worksheets that were printed with wrong information that left the building. (Not a good thing to have happened.)
Then there is the preacher that sends out scripture texts that are deliberately wrong just to see how many will look them up and correct him. It is his way of testing his congregation. (Not a good thing to do.)
People tend to believe what they are taught. People tend to more easily grasp what they see in print. And it is always better to teach someone correctly rather than change their thinking later.
As Christians we should always be aware that people are looking at us, they are hearing what we say, they are using us as examples. What you do, say, and print say an awful lot about you. Please, be careful what you do. We are teachers in a way.
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. (James 3:1 ESV)