When female frogs are looking for a mate, they are attracted to the bull frog with the deepest, strongest croak. Those big, strong bull frogs sit in the middle of a field and croak, calling to all the ladies within earshot. When they hear him, they stop what they’re doing and hop over as fast as they can. So, the big strong bull frog gets all the girls, and the frog population thrives, because of his good genes.
But what does a small, puny bull frog with a quiet, high-pitched croak do?
Some of those smaller male frogs learned a trick that works a lot of the time. They figured out that the females are attracted to the deep croaking of the bigger frogs, so they fan out around the big bull frog, hoping to intercept females on their way over to the big frog, and pretend to be him. It’s a kind of frog ventriloquism.
So it is with Christianity. There is the truth, which Jesus and the apostles, as well as the prophets before, taught. Naturally, that truth is attractive to those who are called by it, who love the sound it makes. But false teachers saw an opportunity to get rich and powerful. They listened closely to the Gospel message, memorizing every part, and then they repeat the words, claiming to be teachers of truth because they can repeat the words. These people have, over the past two millenia, created an entire system of false religion, which claims to be the truth, based on the image, the words only, without true understanding.
Why is this a problem? Well, unlike the big bull frog, who is probably happy enough if only a fraction of the beautiful lady frogs who were trying to reach him make it, God wants all of his children to reach him. When these false teachers peddle their deceit, they trip up seekers who were looking for the truth. This causes all kinds of trouble.
False Christianity is the biggest threat to the truth, because it stops people from finding the truth. Furthermore, when people who were trapped by the lies find out that they have been duped, they leave the false church feeling jaded against everything that calls itself truth, especially Christian truth. The whole world mocks Christianity because of false Christianity. And it makes perfect sense that it should. Because the truth is not doing enough to distinguish itself from the lie.
This is where Christian Socratism comes in. We want to separate the two – true Christianity and false Christianity – completely, so that there can be no confusion whatsoever. How do we do this? By asking questions? The basic question is: Why do you believe what you believe? And what can the false teachers say to this? They try to say: “Because it’s true, because God said so, because the bible says so.” That is their cover. But when you know the truth, your testimony is personal. It is dynamic. Full of life. A true believer knows that the truth of the message is much deeper than just the words, just the statement. Talk is cheap. Anyone can say they believe the doctrines. Anyone can learn to quote the bible and repeat statements of faith. But there is no way way a false teacher can disguise himself as a true seeker, not when we do our duty and ask the hard questions, demanding answers.
We must denounce the disturbing practice of accepting churchy statements at face value. We must dig deeper. Or else false teachers and the false church will take over, because there will be nothing to stop them.