Everyone's a False Teacher

When you enter a word or phrase into Google's search box a drop-down feature appears that suggests related search items. Google's algorithm will display popular search queries featuring your word or phrase. I was curious so I started entering the names of well-known pastors to see what the popular searches are. I tried a number of different names with the format: "john doe is." Young, old, Reformed, not Reformed, church growth guys, and, well check out the one unifying theme. (A few of the naughtier words were blurred to protect sensitive consciences.)

So, everyone is labeled a false teacher?! I mean, I tried Mark Driscoll first because I know and respect him. I also know people love to hate on him, so the drop-down didn't surprise me. But then John MacArthur and John Piper get the same sort of result. And, it's not just the Reformed guys who get it. The non-Reformed and church-growth guys too are often labeled "false teachers."

Of course, not every well known pastor turned up these negative results. For example, Mark Dever (Capital Hill Baptist Church and Nine Marks) only gets one suggested search. I don't know if it's true, but I hope it is. Either way, it's not a bad thing.

In the end Google's algorithm tells us more about ourselves than the people we "google." Google is telling us something; maybe not what is true, but at least what is perceived by some.

When the spotlight falls upon certain men we will do well to listen to them, or read their own words, weighing what they say against Scripture, without relying on google or one critic's blog post to settle the matter for us. Otherwise, in the end, everyone is just a false teacher.