I wanted to get some feedback from you as to the way church services are conducted on TV (T. D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, etc.). It seems with these mega-churches, the attraction that they receive is astounding. It makes me wonder what the attraction is, as so many are lead by personal satisfaction, emotional feelings, and proclaiming the Holy Ghost. It never ceases to amaze me how people are so naive in their thinking, yet when challenged are on the offense. The reason I ask is that we had a recent lesson on "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing" and to recognize that is not the obvious ones, but those who stand up on national TV or large seminars and falsely preach the word that we should be aware of.
Satan does not restrict his attacks on Christians to just one avenue. He lays out multiple traps in hopes that one or the other will get you; perhaps while you are focused on one you won't see the other you are backing up into.
Some people are swept away by following the crowds, never stopping to wonder everyone else knows what they are doing. "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14). The television evangelists are skilled at drawing large crowds because they give the people exactly what they want, though it is not what God says they need. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (II Timothy 4:3-4).
I see this often. People call up wanting to know what programs we have for their children. I almost never have someone ask what our position is on various topics. People aren't that interested in whether their church teaches truth or even whether they agree particularly with what their church teaches. They want to be entertained.
Then too, the mega-churches often gain large followings by avoiding taking stands. People are told they are welcomed just as they are. If a couple is married when they have no right to be so, are they going to go to a church where their sin is exposed and refuted or one where they can stay in adultery while being told that God loves them just as they are? "For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning" (II Peter 2:18-20). It is common to find lessons that are emotional, but essentially empty of content. People leave feeling good about themselves and never convicted about a sin they don't want personally give up.
The reality is that few people will really look at what someone is teaching if all they are being fed are words that they want to hear. Their guard is down because they are happy to be told they are going to heaven without much effort on their part.
For the same reason we can be caught by internal false teachers. We might be on guard against those who are not among us, distrusting what they teach, while at the same time never thinking to check if those we are familiar with are also truthful. "For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears" (Acts 20:29-31).