It is always a bit controversial to name those one believes to be the modern day false prophets. There are probably as many opinions as there are people! Jesus gives us a rough guide as to one of the criteria to look at when trying to judge whether or not the person speaking is a true or false prophet. This criterion is whether or not the prophet’s life is bearing good fruit.

 

We must take the responsibility upon ourselves to determine the answer to this question. We can rely upon others’ judgments but this may be a dangerous thing unless you know the person very well and trust their ability to discern such matters. It is a case similar to the consumer’s “Buyer beware” principle! If we fall under the spell of a false prophet it can be quite difficult to extract ourselves. The simplest solution is to avoid the false prophets in the first place.

 

One of the reasons that Christ instituted the Church and its authority in matters of morals and doctrine was precisely to assist us in this area of our lives. We can always look to the Church for an authoritative discernment concerning matters of doctrine. If the Church is wary of a particular doctrine or practice it is generally a wise thing to heed its warning sign.

 

This does not mean that a Catholic cannot listen to the teachings of other Christian denominations, however, Catholics need to take into account that teachings with a non-Catholic source will probably be deficient in certain areas. The basic message of salvation will be much the same but when it comes to understanding issues of authority and who exercises it, opinions can be vastly different. When a Catholic is listening to non-Catholic teaching they just need to be aware of these differences and make the proper allowances.

 

Catholics have much to learn from other Christian denominations. There are some aspects of Christian living where they seem to be doing better than the Catholic Church and if the Church is wise it will seek to learn from them and implement the necessary changes in order to improve our Catholic witness to the Gospel. It is important to have openness to learning from others, as this will only strengthen the Catholic Church in the long term.

 

Let us pray that we will seek to do the best that we can to be bear good fruit for the Kingdom of God.

 

Have I allowed myself to be drawn into groups that teach articles contrary to my faith? How can I rectify this situation?

 

Lord Jesus, you call us to be faithful to the Church you instituted when you commissioned Peter with the keys of the Kingdom of God. Help me to be faithful to the Church and to live fully under her guidance.