Recently, Lily was shopping for padlocks. For various reasons, we were interested in buying the Solex brand of locks. The store worker presented Lily with two identically appearing Solex locks in almost identical packaging. One was $6 and the other was $20. Living in Uganda is expensive, so only spending only $6 on a padlock is very attractive. Buy the one with the low, attractive price, right? That would be wrong.
"Duplicate" is the word Ugandans use for "counterfeit." For everything sold here, there's probably a "duplicate." Counterfeit light bulbs, car parts, car safety belts, padlocks, you name it.
Thankfully, Lily and I already knew how to discern between counterfeit and genuine Solex locks (you have to inspect them carefully; http://www.solex.com.my/fakevsreal/). The differences are subtle, but the implications are huge. If you want a padlock, you want one that's sure to work, right? Lily paid the higher price of $20 and walked out with the genuine product. We now have a Solex lock that is sure to work.
In Uganda, there are plenty of counterfeit churches. There are Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses. There are also many churches that teach Biblical unsound doctrine that focus on God making us wealthy. I will not bet my eternal future on teaching of any of those churches.
There is a lesson for us. Is there anything in our culture that looks attractive and "Christian" but is actually unbiblical? It should not be that difficult to find something. Is what you hear at church actually Biblical or the pastor's opinion? The only way to identify counterfeit Biblical teaching is to spend time around the real thing.
Paul wrote about the Bereans in Acts chapter 17 that they, “searched the Scriptures daily [to find out] whether these things were so.” The Bereans did not just ingest what Paul told them. The Bereans tested what Paul said against the Scriptures to make sure it was true. Test what you hear against the Bible to make sure it’s genuine.
New Missionary to Uganda