I grew up on a farm in my younger years until I left to work for Uncle Sam for three years at the age of 19.
We had a small herd of Guernsey cows. They had a reputation of having high quality milk with high butterfat content -- sometimes the expression "golden Guernsey milk" was used by dairies in promoting their milk.
We had lots of milk to drink each day and my mother made butter. My dad drank the buttermilk -- he was the only one in the family who would!
I averaged at least a quart of milk a day and sometimes more -- especially if my mother had just taken a chocolate cake out of the oven. You will find it hard to beat this combination -- warm chocolate cake just freshly baked and cold Guernsey milk to go with it!
But my desire for a drink of cold milk is totally annihilated if I become aware that someone has dropped a few drops of arsenic into it -- it may be just as white as before and just as cold as I'd want it to be -- BUT it's the few drops of arsenic which will keep me from drinking it. The last I had heard, arsenic is not a booster to better health -- in fact, the stuff will kill you!
For decades in this country there have been persons who have been slipping a few drops of spiritual arsenic into the diets of Christians in quite a number of places.
You may ask just who these person are -- and what is the nature of this "spiritual arsenic?"
The perpetrators come from all strata within those groups claiming to be Christian. They can be theologians, seminary professors, teachers in a variety of schools, church leaders, pastors, and lay persons holding offices in a church.
This group which dispenses the spiritual arsenic has one thing in common though the nature of the arsenic dispensed may vary a bit. The common thread is a denial of something revealed in the holy Scriptures (Bible) -- God has made a lot of things plain to us such as spelling out the basic root problem of the human race, what laws apply to all human behavior and relationships, what He has done to bring healing and wholeness to sinful human beings, the performing of many miraculous acts during the history of the human race, and what He has planned for the future.
Since the Holy Spirit (the greatest Theologian in existence) authored the Scriptures and Jesus promised that this same Holy Spirit would teach us, guide us into the truth, and would show us things to come, then we can be absolutely certain of a number of things, starting with positive assurance of sins forgiven on condition of our repenting of all sin and receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives!
But here's the problem -- Jesus warned of what He described as "wolves in sheep's clothing" making their dreaded appearances. He also warned of false teachers and prophets coming on the scene and this would be a worsening problem as we get closer to the moment of His personal return to this world.
So now the church at large more than possibly at any time in its 2,000 year history is plagued with those who deny the authenticity of the Scriptures, deny the moral standards which God has put in place, deny the miracles He has done throughout human history, deny the existence of a personal devil and a huge host of demon spirits, deny the significance of Jesus' atonement for the entire human race, deny He was literally resurrected from the dead following His crucifixion, and deny that He is going to return to this sin ravaged planet to take charge and rule the entire world at some point in the future!
It behooves Christians more than ever to spend much time on a daily basis searching the Scriptures and seeking to be spiritually sensitive to anyone who would try to convince you that something which God has made very plain in His revealed Word is not really so -- watch out for the subtle droplets of spiritual arsenic! And when such an individual attempts to lace your spiritual diet with the poison of unbelief you can write that person off as being as phony as a three dollar bill!
By the way, I do have a three dollar bill in my collection of unusual "currency" -- it has a picture of Bill Clinton on it -- but it could just as well have the pictures of some theologians to which I have been exposed over the years -- some pastors --some teachers -- even some United Methodist bishops and also some lay persons as well!
And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand."
--- Matthew 24:4,5,11-13,23,24
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. --- 2 Peter 2:1-3