Bible study author, speaker and blogger Michelle Lesley responds to those who take her to task for “naming names.” Her answer to #6 “You’re being unkind, unloving, ungodly, divisive, hateful, self-righteous, mean, critical, etc. for calling out false teachers” is spot on. You will find Michelle’s responses to the opposition a great help in contending with scoffers. She writes:
Discernment- it’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it. While I’m a women’s discipleship blogger rather than a discernment blogger, discernment is part of discipleship. And it’s sorely lacking among Christian women today, which is why it’s regularly featured in my writing.
I’ve been very encouraged by the hundreds of e-mails, messages, and comments I’ve received from women who have turned away from false teachers or helped their loved ones and churches to forsake false doctrine because of something I have written. (I claim absolutely no credit for that. God and His word get all the glory. He is the one who changes hearts, not me.) It’s such a blessing to hear from so many women who are actively pursuing Christ and the truth of His word.
Unfortunately, there are also occasional comments and messages from women who are disciples of the false teachers I warn against, who take me to task for doing so. The same unscriptural accusations are raised again and again against me and against others who take a biblical stand against false teachers and false doctrine.
Here, in no particular order, are the most frequently raised objections to my discernment work and my answers to them. Many readers have told me that these same objections have been raised to them when they warn others of false teachers. Please feel free to use this article as a resource if these objections are raised with you.
1. Did you contact Ms. Twisted Sister in obedience to Matthew 18:15-20 before publishing this article about her?
No, I have not confronted Ms. Twisted Sister about her false teaching. Here’s why:
a. The Matthew 18 passage does not apply to public false teaching. It is about sin in the local congregation where you actually know the offender personally and have access to him/her. It has to do with correcting sin in the local church and removing the offender from the local church if she refuses to repent. Jesus, Paul, and others refuted public false teaching publicly without following the (again, inapplicable) steps in Matthew 18 many times. D.A. Carson and Josh Buice have each written excellent articles further explaining the inapplicability of this passage to public false teaching. The real question is, why hasn’t her own pastor placed her under church discipline for teaching men and/or teaching false doctrine?
b. I have no doubt that others have confronted her about these things. Plus, she has a Bible and supposedly knows it well enough to teach it. If so, then she is well aware of what the Bible says about these issues. If not, she does not know the Bible well enough to be teaching (James 3:1).
c. I have attempted plenty of times to contact people like Ms. Twisted Sister. One of two things happens: either I’m ignored altogether, or one of her underlings gets back in touch with me to defend her. It’s a complete waste of time.
d. What if I had contacted Ms. Twisted Sister and she flatly refused to repent of the false doctrine she’s teaching? Would you then be in full support of my article which warns against her? No? Then whether or not I attempted to contact her is not the issue you have with this article, so why bring it up?