Top Ten False Teachers You’ll Find in Evangelical Churches


False teachers are everywhere — they’re a dime a dozen. The Bible tells us that in the last days, many false prophets will arise and mislead many (Matthew 24:11), and we see this taking place right before our eyes. In fact, you can hardly swing a dead cat without hitting a false teacher. Just turn on TBN, you’ll see endless amounts of them. But another, more nefarious kind of false teacher is the one that lurks in otherwise common Evangelical churches. These are the ones that are more difficult to notice.

For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Jude 1:4

False Teacher #10 – Eugene Peterson

Eugene Peterson
(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Eugene Peterson sadly passed away in October 2018. Peterson was famous for his book, The Message, which he referred to as a Bible translation. The Message, however, was not an accurate translation of the Scriptures by any means, it was a complete re-write and in many cases, changing the entire meaning of the text.

Peterson was an advocate of the Emergent Church and was known for building bridges between Emergent practices, such as contemplative prayer and mysticism, with mainstream and biblical Christianity.

Eugene Peterson also came out in support of gay marriage, but then partially retracted his support after LifeWay threatened to remove his materials from inventory, stating,

That’s not something I would do out of respect to the congregation, the larger church body, and the historic biblical Christian view and teaching on marriage. That said, I would still love such a couple as their pastor. They’d be welcome at my table, along with everybody else.

A pastor is someone who is set up to guard the sheep, and the fact that Peterson believed that he could still be a homosexual couple’s pastor reveals that he believes that those living in rebellion to God could still be Christians.

False Teacher #9 – Ann Voskamp

Ann Voskamp
Ann Voskamp
(Photo Credit: Facebook)

Ann Voskamp is a very popular author, poet, and blogger among the ladies. She writes in a tedious, melodramatic way that most people would find cumbersome. Yet, with a captivating charisma, she’s attracted a massive following at her blog where she writes about the day-to-day happenings in her life that so many women can identify with.

However, Voskamp has stepped into the realm of Bible teacher and is also the author of many works that, while the theology is bad, are theological in nature. Voskamp portrays God’s love in a dangerous way, confusing his love for an “erotic” type of love. In her book, 100 Gifts, she writes of flying to Paris to “learn how to make love to God,” and also, “I run my hand along the beams over my loft bed, wood hewn by a hand several hundred years ago. I can hear Him. He’s calling for a response; He’s calling for oneness. Communion”

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This view of God’s love is antithetical to the biblical view of God’s love, which is agape. Voskamp teaches a relationship with God that is more like a relationship with a lover or a sex partner.

False Teacher #8 – Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson
(Photo Credit: Church Boom)

Mark Batterson is the modern father of the practice of prayer circles. In his book, The Circle Maker, Batterson teaches an unbiblical form of prayer that mimics ancient witchcraft more than Christianity.

Based on an old Jewish Legend from the Talmud, Batterson teaches his readers to draw a circle on the ground, step inside the circle, and pray, and that by doing so, you will be able to access untold blessings from God. In his book, he also twists the Scriptures to teach a form of the prosperity gospel, he writes,

Your job is not to crunch numbers and make sure the will of God adds up. After all, the will of God is not a zero-sum game. When God enters the equation, His output always exceeds your input. Your only job is to draw circles in the sand. And if you do the geometry, God will multiply the miracles in your life.

The Circle Maker, Chapter 3

The Scriptures, however, teach that we are to pray according to God’s will (1 John 5:14).

False Teacher #7 – Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemuth
Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemuth
(Photo Credit: Single Unexpectedly)

Nancy Leigh DeMoss is another circle-maker, like Batterson, who started off well, but began to slide into this heretical teaching over the last few years. DeMoss, like Batterson, mixes this pagan practice of drawing prayer circles with biblical Christianity.

DeMoss is the leader of a popular women’s prayer event called Cry Out. At this event, she regularly turns to the prayer circle and attributes her teaching to an early 20th-century British Evangelist, Rodney (Gipsy) Smith. She writes,

Gipsy Smith was a nineteenth-century revivalist who did something unusual when he came to a new town. He’d stop on the outskirts and draw a circle in the dirt. Then he would stand inside that circle and say, “O God, please send a revival to this town, and let it begin inside this circle.”

Would you ask God to revive His people? Would you let the Holy Spirit draw a circle within your own heart? Then say, “Lord, I long for You to send a revival to my nation, my church, my marriage, and my children. But Lord, would You first start a revival inside this circle? Let it begin in me.”

She’s also a promoter of another well-known Emergent teacher and mystic, Richard Foster, one of the founders of spiritual formation — a movement whose central disciplines revolve around contemplative prayer and other forms of Eastern mysticism.

False Teacher #6 – T.D. Jakes

T.D. Jakes
(Photo Credit: B&C)

This one seems like it should be obvious, but sadly, it isn’t. Up until recently, T.D. Jakes was sold in Southern Baptist LifeWay book stores around the country.

Jakes is a modalist — that is, he believes a damning heresy about the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. The modalist heresy teaches that the Trinity is not one God existing in three distinct persons simultaneously, as the orthodox creeds teach. It teaches that the Trinity takes on different modes (or personalities) at different times. That God either exists as the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit, but never all three simultaneously.

Besides this blatant heresy, Jakes is also a prosperity gospel teacher who essentially teaches that God is like a genie in a bottle and exists to provide us with whatever we desire, so long as we have enough faith.

False Teacher #5 – Sarah Young

sarah young
Sarah Young
(Photo Credit: Publisher’s Weekly)

This also seems like another obvious one, but again, sadly, it isn’t. Sarah Young’s books and studies are still widely sold in Christian bookstores, including LifeWay of the Southern Baptist Convention.

In her book, Jesus Calling, Sarah Young portrays herself as a recipient of divine revelation, who, like the Apostles, was tasked with writing down God’s specific words. She claims to have personally heard from God himself, and her book is the written record of this new revelation.

Of course, this is complete heresy. The canon of Scripture is closed and God does not speak directly and specifically in this way today. Further, much of what Young writes in her book is contradictory to what is already written in Scripture and has been edited several times when these contradictions were brought to light.

False Teacher #4 – Priscilla Shirer

Priscilla Shirer
(Photo Credit: Daily Republic)

Priscilla Shirer is one of the many darlings of the Southern Baptist Convention, and a regular speaker on the LifeWay Women’s speaking circuit. Shirer, daughter of Pelagian heretic, Tony Evans (below), is an advocate of mystical forms of prayer and contemplation that were born out of the Emergent movement.

Justin Peters wrote an excellent review on Shirer’s movie, War Room, which basically sums up these false teachings as highly emotional and seductive to fallen human nature.

Priscilla Shirer participated in a DVD on the contemplative prayer heresy called Be Still. She addresses her critics on her web page and though at first glance it may sound like she supports a biblical view of prayer, looking deeper into what she is saying, it becomes clear that she doesn’t understand what biblical prayer and meditation are.

In her FAQ she says,

By participating in the Be Still project, we by no means meant to convey our agreement with the theological viewpoints and positions of other participants yet we did believe (and still do) in the over-arching theme of the resource and that is why I agreed to do it.

This is a contradictory statement. The theological viewpoints and positions of the participants are the over-arching theme of the DVD, and she says she supports it.

More on Priscilla Shirer, here.

False Teacher #3 – Tony Evans

Tony Evans
(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Tony Evans is Priscilla Shirer’s father. Evans’ heresies include (but are not limited to) Pelagianism (the denial of original sin), Inclusivism (you don’t have to be a Christian to be saved), and Limited Theism (the denial of God’s omnipotence).

In an interview with Glenn Plumber at the NRB Convention in 2004, Evans affirms a Pelagian view of Christ’s death and resurrection, stating,

But the thing that the death of Christ did was cover and overrule original sin so that no man is condemned because they are born in Adam, but men are condemned because they consciously reject salvation.

Evans also holds to inclusivism, that is, you don’t have to actually know Christ personally to be saved. In this same interview, Evans says,

If a person believes somebody’s up there that created this… I don’t know who He is but I want to know Him… if that person were to have a heart attack at that moment, God could not condemn him and be just because God says he who seeks shall find, so since God makes that promise, if God doesn’t give him the Gospel or give him a direct revelation then He has to judge him out of another dispensation.

Evans works, like many of these other false teachers, as of the time of this writing, is still sold in LifeWay’s book stores.

five marks of a false gospel

False Teacher #2 – Lysa TerKeurst

Lysa TerkHeurst
(Photo Credit: Facebook)

Lysa TerkHeurst is a protege of Steven Furtick, the loudmouth prosperity huckster out of Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC. TerkHeurst, like her spiritual father, Furtick, is a proponent of the prosperity gospel.

In her latest book, It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, she states,

“We will be victorious because Jesus is victorious. Victorious people were never meant to settle for normal.”

She also practices and promotes the contemplative prayer heresy, which teaches that you can receive direct, divine revelation from God if you “tune your frequency in” to his voice. In a PDF she put out titled How To Hear God’s Voice, she writes,

God will never speak to us or tell us to do something that is contrary to His Word. But unless we know Scripture, we will not be able to discern whether what we are hearing is consistent or not with the Word.

False Teacher #1 – Beth Moore

beth moore crazy eyes
Beth Moore
(Photo Credit: YouTube)

And last, but not least, we have Beth Moore. Beth Moore is the favorite among the lady preacher speaking circuit ranging from LifeWay and the Southern Baptist Convention to Hillsong. Beth Moore’s most blatant heresy is undoubtedly her claims to have received a direct vision from God — a vision that contradicted the Scriptures entirely. In this vision, God supposedly told her that Roman Catholicism is one of God’s true Christian denominations and that he desires unity among the various denominations, including Catholicism.

In another video, she doubles down on this vision claiming that God told her that he is going to “unite all sectors of Christendom,” and in another, she claims God gave her a vision of a bus stop so that she could give a random lady some money.

Whether it be Beth Moore’s endless accounts of visions from God, or her regular teaming up with heretics like Joel Osteen or Joyce Meyer, or just the fact that she has literally no discernment and is politically charged with leftist identity politics while declaring that spending time in the Bible is not the same thing as spending time with God, one thing is for sure — Beth Moore has captivated millions of people around the world and led them astray. Whether she devours them herself or feeds them to her pack mates, she is a wolf in sheep’s clothing that, for some reason, still continues to be paraded around in orthodox churches as though she is benign. She is not, she is to be avoided at all costs.


  1. Woww… You are talking about Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth whom I hear nearly everyday on her radio?How can you do that? I know what she preaches. I hear her nearly everyday on her radio. You are wrong my friend. I am a person who reads the Bible and know what it says. And she is a blessing. And you need to repent for calling her a false teacher. And you need to look at yourself and stop judging people whom you don’t even know what she talks about. Also; the same is for Francis Chan, whom you have written articles about. How about praying for people; instead of telling things that are not true about them?
    Your sister in Christ

  2. This article is false and has disgusting correlations with the what the Arthur’s never intended. Whoever wrote the is an arrogant Antichrist who takes the beautiful distinctions of personalities and confuses them with a narcissistic view in the mirror! May God Judge you for your harsh name calling and criticism.

    • They never do that. You have your own belief system. Read the Bible. Then start looking at what Churches around you teach. I thought I found a Church. However, once you start hearing. “There are things in the Bible that I wish were not there”. Then you start to notice that there is a failure to mention Salvation. It is all about “Love and Grace. And worse of all God wants you prosperous and healthy. Now I am wide awake to my Churches failure. Not to mention a service that is all about The World and not much Bible. For a Bible Believing Church. The teaching is very lean. One thing for sure I am glad I left the Catholic Church. The Pope is leading the flock in the wrong direction.

      So find the best Church you can. With good people for fellowship. Read the Bible. And seek our some Pastors that teach the Bible.
      Also this person is very biased against some Pastors and even if they are great, will disparage them. Personally I like Jack Hibbs, John MacArthur, Justin Peters to name a few. I stay away from Olsten, Myers, Moore and the Hillsong, and Bethel, NAR .

      • I totally agree with what you have said. I have searched for a Bible believing teaching church for many years. Sadly, I have had to settle with one that I do not totally agree with. It has taught me to search the scriptures much more closely and I believe that is what God prefers us to do anyway.

        Their are a lot of people who have a top ten list of false teachers.and everyone.of them have different names on them. They need to think about their own motives and what God thinks of them.
        Truth be known, they probably are not 100% in alignment with God themselves..

  3. I was aware of most of the false teachers you spoke about. You have opened my eyes even further because of the example(s) you have given. I knew Beth Moore and Joyce Myers weren’t exactly on point, so thank you for the eye opener.

  4. Do you have any spiritual person or practice that you are FOR? Are YOU so pure? Do you have any SOLUTIONS, or do you merely tear other people down?

  5. I completely disagree with your assessment of Dr. Tony Evans. I have attended his church for over 15 years and have never heard him preach anything you claim he’s preached. I strongly suggest you give each of these people the opportunity to respond to these seemingly unfounded accusations. What are your qualifications?

  6. And yet, totally missed the obvious ones, such as Joel Olsteen, Benny Hin, Creflo Dollar, etc.. The article simply reinforces that we are to be discerning and led by the Holy Spirit to guide us. Since some that you have named are NOT false teachers, you make people cast doubt on those who really are. What a shame and a sham!

  7. I have a question: What type of church do you come from? That will tell me A LOT about you. What exactly is the “reformation” church? Lutheran?? I agree with you on MOST of these, however, not Nancy Leigh DeMoss, nor Tony Evans! I agree with some of the comments on here. Like how about you going after the TRUE HERETICAL PROSPERITY FALSE TEACHERS??! I also watched the American Gospel documentary on Netflix. Very well done!! Everyone NEEDS to watch this!!!

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