Q. Some friends and I have been agonizing over taking a stand as it relates to a popular female teacher whose studies are promoted in our church. Our issue is not that we question this teacher’s love of the Lord Jesus Christ, or her sincere heart, but rather many aspects of her teachings. In our opinion she often takes Scriptures out of context as proof texts for the point she is making, and advocates practices that we think come from New Age religion . Should we just not go to the study and remain quiet, or should we state our concerns to the leadership?
A. Sooner or later, just about every teacher makes a mistake or two in interpreting Scripture. Most of them will recognize their mistake and will quickly take steps to correct it. Also, some parts of Scripture have both literal and symbolic meanings and either can be appropriate depending on the context in which it’s being used. If this is a case where you and your friends are simply uncomfortable with this teacher’s methods but believe her basic doctrine is sound, then quietly withdraw and don’t make a fuss about it.
Then there are those teachers who persist in spreading obviously false doctrine. By that I mean they repeatedly say things that are inconsistent with a literal, plain sense understanding of the Bible when taken in its proper context.
If several of you are in agreement that this is one of those cases and believe the Holy Spirit is prompting you to act then you should communicate your concerns to the leadership and underscore them by refusing to attend her studies.
If others ask you about it express your concerns to them in a non judgmental way, and encourage them to do their own research into her teachings, referring them to Acts 17:11 as your authority.
Jesus said a bad tree cannot bear good fruit (Matt. 7:18). That means nothing good can come from allowing provably false doctrine to spread through the body.