In fact, the Scripture tells us in many places to be discerning about who we trust to feed us the Word of God: 1 John 4:1 "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."
In 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 the Apostle Paul wrote to a Church which was mired in false teaching - clarifying that it was important to fulfill the Great Commision AND to purge the false teachers from among them:
9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;
10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.
11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?
13 But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.
So, what's the difference between discernment and judgmentalism?
Discernment is measuring someone's life or words by the Scripture - are they leading a righteous life and in the case of teachers / preachers, are they teaching God's Word in truth or manipulating it to fit what they want it to say?
Judgment is stating as fact something you don't know, which is their heart. That's why I said it's important to make the distinction in my opening paragraph. I DON'T know the heart of the likes of Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, Paul Crouch, Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyers and the like, but I KNOW by their outright LIES regarding the Word of God, not to mention their blasphemies of the Scriptures that these are indeed false teachers. And I pray for them to be saved, imagine the testimony of such a one who already has millions watching them, being fleeced by them!
Watch this short video with commentary and Scripture in context to show Osteen's false preaching:
The Word of Faith Movement (see Justin Peters post below), also known as false prosperity theology of Osteen and MOST of what you see in so-called "Christian TV" today. There is very little worth watching on those channels! Listen from the wolves' mouthes their heresies, in this MP3 of Justin Peters: A Call for Discernment - A Biblical Critique of the Word of Faith (or the Health, Wealth & Prosperity) Movement at Grace Community Church on 7/12/2008.
These wolves in sheep's clothing show their contempt for the Word of God by the very fact that they do not take God's own warning to false teachers seriously in James 3:1 "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment."
I was studying in Ezekiel 9 this week and something interesting jumped out from the pages. In this passage, God is about to punish Judah (the Southern Kingdom) by allowing them to be taken captive to the Babylonians. before He does, he sends an angel to mark the small remnant who were faithful and gave order to slay the unfaithful, and where did God command the judgment to begin? His sanctuary, that is the Temple in Jerusalem:
4 The LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.” 5 But to the others He said in my hearing, “Go through the city after him and strike; do not let your eye have pity and do not spare. 6 Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark; and you shall start from My sanctuary.” So they started with the elders who were before the temple. 7 And He said to them, “Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!” Thus they went out and struck down the people in the city.
As always, no matter WHO is speaking to you about God's Word, be like the Bereans of Acts 17:11. Don't take my word, or the word of the person who made the video above. Look up those Scriptures, read them in context, go to the Word to see if these things are so.
2 Peter 2 talks all about false teachers and the dangers they pose to the body of Christ. Matt 7:21 Jesus makes a very sobering statement: 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’