In 2020, I recanted from a lot of old beliefs I used to have. In addition to recanting, I began researching teachers I used to trust. Which led me to begin to ask questions… a lot of them.
Just like we all would, when the people we trust are questioned, I received guarded answers and rebukes from multiple people. Apparently, I found out, this is very common, and the responses I received were the same responses others have gotten when they discussed false teachers, too. Such as, “Do not judge.”
Today, I want to share what I’ve noticed when it comes to the topic of discussing false teaching and also share how we have answers to many of the concerns I and others have received through the years.
I think Christians, especially Christian women, mean well when they care about how we speak of others and how we make someone feel with our words because, after all, we are to be careful with our words. But I also believe our emotions can deceive us.
Our desire to protect others through niceness and gentleness might be more toxic and the complete opposite of what we desire; actually allowing deceivers to thrive.
For these reasons, I speak out of love to consider what is truly godly, sisters.
Concerns People Have When Discussing/Warning Against False Teachers
People often share the same concerns regarding how we are to speak about false teaching:
- Should you privately respond to a public teacher you struggle with, instead of a public response?
- Are we judging, and shouldn’t judge, when we hold a teacher up to the Bible and share publicly the problems we see?
- Are we not being sensitive, nice, kind, or gentle when we speak against false teachers?
- Should we not name false teachers?
See: If We Cannot Judge, Then Convos Are Made Void & Misconceptions Of Judging Righteously| “Don’t Judge” Unintentional Hypocrisy
Culture of Nice & Tone
Voddie Baucham rightly says that we live in a culture of “being nice.” The moment it seems we are saying something negative about someone, our lack of “niceness” is questioned more than the evidence being presented.
Due to the responses I received, I spent over a year studying what it meant to be Biblically gentle. I was so confused at the response I was getting among Christians, when I began recanting of my Seeker-Driven & Emergent Church background. (See: Why I Took Down My Dream Posts & Series | Recant & I Am So Sorry! | Why I Am Privating A Lot Of Old Posts)
To be fair, I was passionate in posts because what I once was blind to suddenly became clear and I excitedly wanted everyone to know what the Lord revealed to me through His word. But some people struggled with this approach. Ironically, it was not new to my blog. I had spent the past four years being passionate about various issues, but it was not until I recanted that the same approach I had was now being questioned.
I appreciate past discussions I’ve had, regarding the concerns about my tone in posts, and how others believe I should present topics going forward. Again, this was from multiple people. I was seeing division among various Christian women I spoke to on how I should discuss false teaching and false teachers.
Michelle Lesley wrote a great post which helped me understand Biblical gentleness better and the sacrifices we will make on the altar of tone, especially as Christian women. Please see: Michelle Lesley – Sacrificing Truth On Altar of Tone
What was so interesting to me is that what we think is loving, sadly, becomes hateful when we protect false teachers.
Snare of a Wolf – Christians Unknowingly Protecting False Teachers
We want to be loving to those accused, but when it’s clear we are dealing with a wolf in sheep’s clothing, it’s time to pull off the wool. This does not mean ripping apart a person in the public eye. It means to carefully consider someone’s actions, the words being spoken, and reflecting upon scripture.
If we want to be loving, publicly standing up and showing how someone is not truly loving Christ, how they are being dishonest with their words, and deceiving to others speaking up might be the most loving thing we can do. We can share with the world how if we do x, y, and z these actions are not loving – but when it comes to false teachers instead of exposing the darkness to light, we want to be protective of the abusers. – Please see: False Teachers Are Like Abusers & My Own Recant Of “Hearing From God”
In a public setting, when a teacher is leading hundreds, thousands, or millions of people we can respond publicly because the public is watching. Yet, Christians who struggle with discussing false teaching, seem more occupied protecting the feelings of the false teacher who is leading sheep to the slaughter, then the sheep being led to the slaughter.
What about all the sheep who have feelings and are being deceived? I do not think people intentionally try to protect false teachers more than the deceived. I believe what happens is the wolves thrive in the numbers of people who protect them. Therefore those who are trying to show a kindness to the false teachers, often, are deceived, too.
I think we lack awareness on how easy it is to let our emotions dictate us, which then lead us to judge others based on how they make us feel; not necessarily if their words are Biblical or not. We often take poison because of kind words.
To speak the truth is both loving to the followers of the false teacher, and to the false teacher. Repentance is needed.
We know the scriptures of being loving and kind, but we often misattribute them when it comes to false teachers and our feelings. (See: Christian Mysticism | Are We Putting God In A Box?)
To be absolutely fair, there certainly is a wrong way to discuss false teaching and false teachers, yes. I believe as time goes on just like false teachers, those in discernment ministries who speak out against false teachers, in an unbiblical manner, will be exposed by their own sins.
However, tone and the measure of niceness we give should not be our first focus. For example, getting upset because someone says – this person is being ridiculous when they say – ok, let’s stop. Is the teaching ridiculous in light of scripture? If someone is saying a ridiculous teaching about Jesus Christ, well, then it’s ridiculous, isn’t it?
Shouldn’t we care more about how Christ is presented then how we would word something? Is it Biblical to be harsh when the truth is presented? Scripture indicates sometimes, yes. Sometimes being harsh IS the most loving thing to do. Also, are we now judging someone for being harsher than what we would like, while at the same time telling others not to judge? (Jude 1:23)
We cannot tell people not to judge, when we are judging them for being too harsh in our eyes. That’s the point of the hypocrisy Christ discusses when He speaks of the speck in our eye. (Matthew 7)
Maybe, we would not word things a particular way, but tone shouldn’t turn us off to the truth. Perhaps, we also have some growing to do. As my husband and I recently talked about, the truth isn’t what is prickly, we are the one who can get prickly to the truth.
Reality is we all need some thicker skin, especially those of us in America. We are all privileged to have time to care about someone’s tone.
There are sisters and brothers being killed because they will not denounce Christ, and we care that someone stepped on our toes a little, while speaking the truth of Jesus.
As The Church Body, Our Sensitivities Will Vary
The Bible is where we get all of our answers. I believe we should be considerate when face to face with individuals. I believe when we are able to know the sensitivities of the individual we speak to, we can cater our communication better. Whereas in a public place, it is much harder to cater to everyone and their sensitivities.
As writers, our audience will vary. In fact, some people might be drawn to the truth because of the passion of someone, and for another, someone might be turned off by that same passion. So, just because we may not do something a particular way, does not mean we should have everyone do things the way we would. What we might consider harsh, someone might consider a push and an encouragement to do better. We really have to stick to scripture here because our definitions can vary due to our own sensitivities or lack of. Honestly, I have to remind myself of this.
The Real Sin With Our Sensitivity?
The point is we need to speak the truth with love. However, we should never cater to a sensitivity that is sinful, period. Being nice about sin is more hateful than loving. Not helping someone see how she is on the path of destruction is not loving.
I do not think (or hope) any of us seriously would lead someone off a cliff intentionally. But our niceness often does. We selfishly (ouch) care more about being liked, than someone’s eternal life. That’s the real sin.
We would stand by and have people die around us without lifting a finger because we want to be loving and nice.
We serve Christ before others, and we cannot please everyone. If we love the Lord the right way, than we will be loving to others, as well. Some people might believe we should be softer, while others might believe we should be more firm. Absolutely, we are not to be hateful. But someone having a tone we do not like, does not necessarily mean that person is being sinful, either. As stated, maybe our desire to be liked is the real sin. Totally guilty. (1 John 4:20-21)
If we get divided because of someone using a tone or using some words we do not like, but they are speaking the truth (and are not guilty of being sinful in what is being presented) – I think we really need to start asking ourselves some questions.
- Why do we struggle with tone? What exactly is bothering us?
- Why do we struggle with sinners being called out to repent?
- Why do we think it’s wrong for the followers of a false teacher to be warned and to turn to the truth instead of deception?
- Repentance can take a long time for people, decades, if ever.
- Why let the followers be deceived for that long?
- Why have followers follow a false Jesus and Gospel?
Why list names? Sometimes we can see false teachers for who they are, but then the very same tactics the false teacher commits, we are blind to under the false teacher we believe to be true. Names help target specific practices and teachings of why an individual is a false teacher. We carry biases when we generalize and can be convinced, “Oh yeah, this person is wrong, but not my teacher. She isn’t like that,” even if she does the same things.
Please note: I encourage a serious amount of research before speaking up about false teachers publicly. I’m not even saying you need to speak publicly, rather, be ready to discuss with those you love so that they are not deceived. How does the teacher present the Gospel? What are their views on Christ? False teachers will always present a false Christ and Gospel. Many will encourage Christian Mysticism.
If we do not speak up, who will?
Some Resources: Recommended Websites For False Teachers/Teaching
The Gospel Message: With the Good News means there’s bad news. We all are sinners and condemned. We all deserve the just punishment of God’s wrath. Christianity is unlike any other religion because we cannot earn our way into Heaven. God saw the weakness of man and his utter depravity. Yet, He showed us grace. Jesus, God, One Person of the Trinity, became God in the flesh, the God-Man. He was always perfect and sinless. And His humanity was perfected on the cross, living the full sinless life. He became our atonement sacrifice. Dying in our place, taking on the wrath of God upon Himself. He died on the cross, and He was resurrected because death could not hold Him. Jesus is the answer. We, as guilty sinners, need His blood to pay off our debt of sin. For all who put their faith in Him – meaning eyes are opened to the Gospel, we see ourselves as a sinner, we see the need for Christ, we desire our Savior, and we see the ugliness of our sin. Putting our faith in Jesus, we seek HIs forgiveness and repent from our sins, we turn away from our old way of life. We, through the work of the Holy Spirit, continue to become convicted of sin daily. Our eyes will never be the same again. We see things in a different light, and the truth of Christ affects how we live and serve Him. Christ tells us to count the cost. Salvation is a serious topic, it is not to be taken lightly. For a breakdown of this powerful message, understanding how Christ could be God and Man, why God required sacrifices, and more -please see: Why Did A Loving God Kill His Son? (Does God Hate?)
If you think you know the Gospel, check out these questions and see how prepared you are for the day someone might ask you why you believe: The Gospel Challenge (30 Question Quiz) – Are You Ready To Defend Your Faith?
Scripture To Meditate On – (ESV) Proverbs 28:14, “Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.”
Community Prayer – Community Prayer | May ’22
Christian Topics/Series Covered
Personal Blog: Peeking Beneath
Second Blog: UnAshamed Christian Housewife
Godly Men & Women I Recommend: Link To List
Resources For False Teaching: Recommended Websites For False Teachers/Teaching
Video Playlist: Christian Questions, Topics, False Teachers, Insights
Video Playlist: New Christian Believer
Video Playlist: Understanding False Teachings
Video Playlist: Sermons To Grow From
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3 thoughts on “When Discussing False Teachers, Be Ready to be called Insensitive”
The problem is that nice people are easy prey to narcissistic false teachers. And they are quick to defend the most guilty ones.
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YES! You worded this perfectly ❤ We confuse Christian love by mere emotion a lot of the time, especially in America.
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