Beware Of False Prophets!

By J. Wiley Adams

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15).

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 Jn. 4:1).

There is no more notorious a false prophet among churches of Christ today than Charles A. Holt, the editor of a publication known as The Examiner. Some of the writers in his paper are so cowardly they will only sign their articles with a pen name or the word anonymous. For some reason they do not want folks to know who they are or where they are from. If they have the truth what have they to fear?

Of course, some are willing to sign their names such as Dusty Owens and now Bob West. Many others have fallen prey to the false ideas of Charles Holt. What bothers me is that some so-called faithful brethren are having some of these men for gospel meetings. Bob West edits a paper from Brevard, North Carolina called The Answer and he is the author of the popular religious cartoon known as Theophilus. Now that West has joined up with Holt we may expect his cartoon character to start spouting venom and rancor as is characteristic of Holt and his writers. I have certainly been disappointed in men like Dusty Owens and Bob West for allowing themselves to be duped by such a man as Charles Holt.

Now Holt is making inroads in my beloved home state of Virginia where the gospel cause is weak and whatever gains have been made over the years have been with much effort on the part of a good many. It arouses my indignation to know that he is invading the area around Richlands, Cedar Bluff and other sections of the mountains of Virginia. Everywhere his blasphemous teachings have gone, whether in Virginia, Georgia, Texas, or elsewhere, he has left a path of destruction among the churches that would put the recent hurricane Gilbert in the shade.

What alarms me also is the gullibility of some of my brethren. Some think we are only reactionaries when we dare to preach or to write anything on this matter. Well, Jesus said to beware of false prophets and John, the disciple especially beloved by Jesus, warned us to beware of false prophets and to put them to the test of Truth. So may I do what Jesus did and what the apostle John did? Well, I certainly intend to whether some like it or do not like it. It is high time we called Holt, Owens, West and others’ hand and all those silly pen writers who do not wish to be identified.

In some places Holt is being put on the air with his heresies by naive brethren who use his taped messages for local broadcasting. But why should we be surprised? Jesus told us it would happen and it has always happened down through the years. There are always those who are discontent with God’s word and the progress of his people. So let us fight back and let these false prophets know there are still those who will not bow their knee to Baal. Brethren, please wake up and join the fight. It is later than we think.

Guardian of Truth XXXII: 23, p. 723
December 1, 1988