I held a garage sale with my son and DIL this past weekend. I made a whopping $75, but enjoyed my time with Ryan and Kristin.

But I also had a couple of eye-opening encounters.

One was a beautiful mom with five kids. They had moved from a bustling large city to a small isolated farm in a new state.

They had a great time picking out several items at the garage sale. At the end of it, one of the teens handed me a pamphlet.

“Read this,” she said.

I won’t share the name of the movement because I don’t want to give any credence to this small, but growing cult.¬†My heart sank at the words in bold print across the top of the pamphlet: God hates. God kills. You Think You are Saved, but You Are Not.

For the next 20 minutes this beautiful woman explained her stance on faith. And how we can never measure up, and how that we need to resign ourselves to God’s judgment. How she moved her kids from one place to another so they could soak in this teaching.

My whole heart is to love and know God, but this was so out of context and so extreme and harsh that I was completely turned away from her message. When I tried to explain that I was a believer, she tried to explain why I might not be.

Why am I sharing this?

Because we often wonder why a world who doesn’t know Christ might be turned away or confused by our message. When you have experienced that transformation, that relationship, you want to share. But what if this is their only view of God?

It’s important that we search scripture for truth–in context–and that we don’t blindly fall for a doctrine that can be so far from what the Bible teaches.

I looked up this movement later and was surprised to see that it was not far from my home, but not surprised to see that it revolved around one man and his following.

I didn’t try to argue with this woman. She was firmly entrenched in her belief system. But I thought about all the people she would meet that day with her pamphlets. And it made me sad and angry.

Later, another family handed me a card. It was the same church. The same message.

We can’t be lead into false teaching or by false prophets. We have to:

Know the Bible.

Study.

Pray for discernment.

Question leaders who create a doctrine based on an isolated scripture out of context. If they alienate you from others, question why.