When the children of Israel were in the wilderness, G-d was with them, guiding them. He appeared in the day as a pillar of cloud and at night as a pillar of fire.
Recently, Baruch and I were watching a speaker on Christian television. This teacher was one of those speakers with a plaid shirt, ripped jeans, and tennis shoes; trying to be hip and give a twist on what was “old.” He said that people teach that there was creation, the fall, personal redemption which leads to being in community. However, he taught that there was creation, the fall, and drawing together into a community which led to a kind of collective redemption. He went on to state that when one becomes more involved in community he is actually drawn close to G-d; instead of drawing closer to G-d will draw us closer to one another in the FAITH community. Obviously this is false! Some of these leaders are so poorly trained theologically and get caught up in what they are saying, that they don’t even realize the heresy they speak sometimes. But it is no excuse for the terrible theology being taught today.
The other problem is that sometimes there is no theology being taught. There is a very famous preacher on television who, in his biography on his website, does not even mention his salvation experience or any religious reference at all. He teaches messages which emphasize earthly ramifications and wanting a good experience in this life, rather than discussing what G-d wants and what pleases Him. Very few people today seem interested in living a praiseworthy life.
These two scenarios speak to the crisis in the believing community today. Too many leaders are not trained theologically to recognize heresy and to teach only truth.
We need to make sure that we are following the Pillar of Cloud, as the Children of Israel did in the wilderness, or we will get lost in the fog of poor theology!