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On Shai Linne and Judging False Teachers

(Lisa Robinson)

In case you haven’t heard yet,  Christian hip-hop artist Shai Linne has released a single through Lamp Mode Recordings called Fal$e Teacher$.  The track is on his upcoming album, Lyrical Theology: Part I.  As you can guess by the dollar signs, this tune goes for jugular on prosperity teaching. Even if you don’t like rap, this is worth the listen (also check out his Attributes of God album – very rich!). But what makes this track so bold is that he actually does some name dropping. Take a listen.


Now I suspect there will be those who will be horrified that he has name dropped and will question who is he to make such assessments. I suspect that there will be some who will say that he is creating division in the church. And I question if the right criteria will be used to make such assessments against what this song speaks to.

But I get what he  is trying to do. As one who has spent many years formerly embracing the teaching of those on this list, I feel somewhat qualified to speak on the subject.  When I came to faith in Christ my first year in college (early 80s), I was a member of Fred Price’s church then called Crenshaw Christian Center. At the same time, I was also part of a small campus fellowship that was an outreach extension of an independent cult-like church in Los Angeles (of course I did not realize that at the time). And I also had a love for God’s word though it would be many years later until I was able to read it well. But for 2 1/2 years at CCC, I pretty much heard the same message: your faith needs to be increased so that you can believe God for blessings. Blessings are proof that you are favored from God. Poverty is not God’s plan and is a defeat to real Christianity.  You need to speak over your circumstances so that they align with God’s favor, which comes in the form of material blessings. It was all about the blessings. And if you weren’t experiencing them, it was your fault for not having enough faith.

Now here’s the thing. He used the Bible. He read from the Bible. And he twisted the Bible.  The reason Job suffered was because he didn’t have enough faith. Jesus wasn’t really homeless. Loss and suffering are the work of the devil. Jesus died on the cross so we could reign with him and claim our blessings. This is not the Christian message of Scripture.

While I did not realize that at the time, I did realize that the more I read the Bible the more I became aware that there must be more to the Christian life than pursuing blessings. So I ended up leaving CCC to go to the cult-like church, had a brief stint in another independent non-denominational church and eventually stopped going to church altogether for 13 years. It was a rebellious time away from the Lord primarily because I wasn’t taught properly about the all sufficient sacrifice that Christ made and sanctification.

When I repented after this 13 year rebellious period and came back into fellowship with the Lord in 1999, I continued to align with independent, non-denominational churches with Pentacostal/charismatic leanings. I discovered that sprinklings of the prosperity and Word of Faith teachings were peppered through the teaching that really did try to elevate God, proclaim the gospel and motivate the saints for love and good works. Well meaning Christian teachers and beloved brothers and sisters in Christ were influenced by some of these concepts, primarily that the presence of blessings was a sign that God favored you, that you can speak over your circumstances and that it was about going to the next level. It was a mixed bag.  Bigger, brighter, better juxtaposed with the lordship of Christ. That doesn’t mean the gospel of Jesus Christ was not preached. It was. It doesn’t mean that there was a lack of acknowledgement of suffering and divine discipline.  But Christian success rested on this type of favor, even to the point that bible reading was motivated by this purpose.  I wrote more about that on my blog here.

Seven years ago, I went through a drastic paradigm shift and have come to a different understanding of our pursuit and the framework that all 66 books hinges on, which is about God, his sovereignty, character, and redemptive purpose. But that doesn’t mean that those who hold such pursuits are not Christian.  And here is where I think we need to be careful.

Shai Linne expressed in a video explaining his motivation from the song, that it came not from hearing the teachers themselves but from their influence on their followers.  He was confronted with the overwhelming focus on pursuing material blessings, which contrasted with the Christ-centered focus of scripture. And for good reason. Consider 1 Timothy 6:3-11;

 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the soundwords of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.  But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.

The contrast is stark. The servant of Christ is to pursue sound doctrine and righteous living (healthy, gospel centered teaching) as opposed to the pursuit of material wealth, especially to the extent that the teachings of Christ are distorted or dismissed. This is a pretty good gauge. I say that because of what I said earlier about criteria and my suspicion that fans of such teaching will use faulty criteria in their backlash. Colin Smith has a really good post on TGC here that talks about the criteria for false teachers.  It is based on the message of scripture. That is our criteria.

But given my exposure to what he is referring to, I have to ask if the claim Shai Linne makes is that these folks are not Christian. That’s a serious allegation and one that I think should be assessed with a better foundation than two days of viewing. It is one thing to teach falsely and another to be false.  I am apt to say some on that list would qualify but there are some I question.

Nonetheless, his observations give rise to the validity of what he is trying to address: the consistency in the message of followers that contradicts the Christ-centered message of Scripture. And here is where I’d say that I applaud his efforts to address some twisted teaching that unfortunately has run rampant in the name of Christianity.

52 Responses to “On Shai Linne and Judging False Teachers”

  1. “It was a rebellious time away from the Lord primarily because I wasn’t taught properly about the all sufficient sacrifice that Christ made and sanctification.” “The servant of Christ is to pursue sound doctrine and righteous living”

    Thank you, isn’t the loud call that the Lord expects us each to take responsibility

    now these were more noble-minded for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Acts 17: 11

  2. Lisa Robinson April 9, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Anonymous, interesting that you would pick out that line from a post focused on claims of prosperity teaching. Yes, of course I am responsible and would not suggest otherwise. In line with post, I’m highlighting that faulty teaching does not provide a good basis for sanctification, that’s all.

  3. Hi Lisa,

    didn’t mean any offense. Things that often stand out to me are things the Lord has so impressed upon me – this one being how foolish of me, that the Creator of the universe had cared to provide me His word,the bible and I hadn’t cared to really know,study,love it.

    thanks again.

  4. Elizabeth Johnston April 9, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Anonymous, if I understand, you are saying that those lines from Lisa’s post resonated with you in that in times past you lacked diligence in the Word. Is that correct?
    Lisa, thank you sharing the song. It is awesome. The brother’s heart seems to be in the right place, and his concern is for the church. He did not say these folks were unsaved; he said they were false teachers. As sheep, we need to know. I am thankful he has the nerve to say it. And I thank you, again, for sharing it. You rock (or should I say “rap”?)

  5. I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with people naming names. Why shouldn’t we? These guys have worked their craft long enough under the pretended protection that makes people uneasy about the possibility of ‘touching the Lord’s anointed.’ And I especially like them being called out in the context of rap, since it seems to me that urban populations (including a lot of those in the black community) are particular targets for this brand of heresy.

  6. Anonymous, this is a thought tangent and I’m pointing out a failure in perspective which people such as us are prone to:

    “I ought to have” responsibility of studying the Word of God for yourself is true.

    I’m convinced that a lack of gentleness and grace are often due to a failure to reconcile “Ought to” and it’s application to other people.

    It turns into law, “Oh man, I should’ve known this” and you exhort others to recognize the same responsibility that you know. However, that in and of itself is not sufficient to transform your character and grace if you forget the context in which God provides that gracious revelation of how lost you were, divine sovereignty and human responsibility play out in such a way that causes us to be gentle and gracious as Christ has been to us.

    To be honest, I think that’s really the case. Realizing that in a certain sense I’m “putting you down”; In and of itself it is awesome that you’re taking upon yourself responsibility that God applies to his creation, and especially human beings!

    Just don’t forget the way that God revealed that to you graciously in a way that produced love from a sincere heart. That was his aim, that should be our aim too! Not just to share what happened but only to share what happened to us (like Paul in his epistles [Keller mentions this in Galations for you]) if it will benefit its hearers.

  7. Truth Unites... and Divides April 9, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Hi Lisa,

    Great post. By any chance, have you watched the online debate between two African-American men, one supporting Reform Theology, and one supporting Word-Faith Theology who happens to be Fred Price’s son? If so, what did you think of it?

  8. Lisa Robinson April 9, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Anonymous, Elizabeth and Byron, really its all good. I was not offended but only offering clarification of why I stated it like that.

  9. Lisa Robinson April 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    TUAD,

    That sounds interesting. Do you know the names of the men? I would love to listen to that debate.

  10. Thanks so much for posting that, Lisa.

    I can’t help but wonder how much grief he has received for recording that.

  11. Lisa Robinson April 9, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Greg said

    “It is a Christianized form of neo-pantheistic sorta gnostic new age goofiness that if taught by other people would be instantly condemned as rank damnable heresy.”

    Yes, exactly. The premise behind the WoF movement with respect to speech and creating your own reality is akin to Christian science philosophy. Not Christian by a long shot. But regarding the systematic theology on which these beliefs hinge, I’m not sure that we can apply that consistently to the ones being mentioned in this list. There are varying beliefs with respect to each of those components.

    And yet spatterings of these teachings have infiltrated the church in various forms, often in subtle forms. When combined with valid teaching it distorts Christian doctrine and practice.

  12. Truth Unites... and Divides April 9, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    “TUAD,

    That sounds interesting. Do you know the names of the men? I would love to listen to that debate.”

    You can actually watch it. I think you’ll be intrigued by the first few minutes, and want to watch and observe it in its entirety.

    Here ya go: Word of Faith and Reformed Theology

  13. sorry to confuse-the point was, though it is very good to have brothers and sisters on guard for us all and pointing out error, we each must be doing this. How can we each contend for the faith if we do not know the word the way the Lord desires for us.

  14. Lisa Robinson April 9, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Anonymous, I confess I’m a bit confused. Are you indicating that because of a 13 year rebellious period I went through, which I repented of in 1999 (14 years ago), that I have no business addressing these issues? I hope that is not what you are saying. Surely you understand what repentance is, right?

  15. Lisa Robinson April 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    I edited that sentence so it is clear.

  16. (The character limit forced me to break my comment into 2 parts)

    * Part 1

    There is biblical precedent for name dropping (Paul and John used it), but more importantly, identifying the culprits by name is a RESPONSIBLE thing to do to protect the innocent in the faith community. (Incidentally the ones who usually object to such practice are false teachers and their followers).

    It is analogous to dangerous criminals that are on the run (this comparison may be a little heavy for some but stay with me, take your fluids and keep your breathing exercises up :) ). Law enforcement agencies release their full name and picture (or a sketch drawing) so the public knows EXACTLY who to look out for. They don’t say, “look out for a slightly overweight red-haired male in his mid 30’s that speaks with an Irish accent” If they know exactly who the person is, then they name them. Likewise, viruses are named and symptoms are described in detail so we know what to protect ourselves against.

    The main point is this: If we are convinced in our mind that person X is a danger to the Christian community and capable of causing harm by the heresies they promote, it is our “duty of care” and a matter of good conscience to let the innocent, the naïve and the undiscerning know (a) who the person is and (b) why they are dangerous. Call it “harm minimization” if you will.

    Especially, if those in pastoral and teaching ministry are “entrusted” with such office, I would think that in a sense they have a “fiduciary” obligation as “trustees” of God’s spiritual and intellectual property (to borrow from legal language), to act in the best interests of those they minister to, or like the Police motto, “to protect and to serve”. It’s responsible and faithful stewardship (Titus 1:9).

    (John from down under)

  17. *Part 2

    HOWEVER…

    Some watch bloggers and heresy hunters in their zeal to nail falsehood have become all too casual and blasé in labelling someone a “false teacher” and furthermore (the part that irritates me no end), they make swift assumptions about their motives such as “so and so is teaching these things to fleece people of their money”.

    The reality seems to evade them that it is POSSIBLE to be “an honest heretic” or “an unconscious deceiver” in the sense that the person truly believes in their mind and conscience that what they teach is true biblical interpretation and they want to share it with their followers with a genuine desire to help them (which as a matter of personal opinion and observation I would put Hinn, Myer, Jakes and Osteen under this category). If you are deceived yourself you’ll be naturally deceiving others.

    OF COURSE it’s possible that one can be a deliberate, organized and systematic deceiver, but to identify a clear “intention to deceive” takes more than analysing one’s book or sermon. So unless we have hard and undisputable evidence that they DELIBERATELY deceive people for gain, I would humbly submit that we refrain because we’re not God the Holy Spirit.

    All the fearful judgment reserved for false teachers in the NT is for folks who have made a CONSCIOUS decision to teach things that THEY KNOW are not true WITH THE INTENTION to lead people astray. This profile assumes premeditated evil and not simply getting your hermeneutics wrong.

    In the end, name dropping (IMO again) serves to help identify the source of dangerous teaching but ought not be the PRIMARY target. Saying “I reviewed X’s book and it contains dangerous teachings and this is why or how” is different from saying “X wants to get rich and fleece people”

  18. John, great comments. You struck at the chord of this post. I think this is important;

    “The reality seems to evade them that it is POSSIBLE to be “an honest heretic” or “an unconscious deceiver” in the sense that the person truly believes in their mind and conscience that what they teach is true biblical interpretation and they want to share it with their followers with a genuine desire to help them (which as a matter of personal opinion and observation I would put Hinn, Myer, Jakes and Osteen under this category). If you are deceived yourself you’ll be naturally deceiving others.”

    FWIW, I do agree with the name dropping and identifying strange teaching. But I think this is an important qualification. I’m not so sure about Hinn. But as to the other 3 you mentioned, I really do believe their intent is to help people though the teaching is off.

  19. One of the most blatant “fleece the flock” charlatans is Peter Popoff. He was caught red-handed and is still out there scamming whoever will listen.

    But I do have a question about the song and the philosophy of naming names. Does it do any good? Sure, the choir jumps up and eagerly joins in, but does it have any impact on the followers of questionable ministries?

    Lisa, would it have made any difference to you back at CCC if someone had told you Freddie was a false teacher?

  20. Popoff is definitely a no-brainer. I actually watched the exposé on him back in the 90s (or 80s?) where he was wearing the earpiece and taking info from behind the stage from someone who was reading personal cards that people filled out that contained details about where they lived and what they suffered from. This is a black-and-white case of an imposter because the evidence is undeniable. If people know all that and continue to listen to him, what can I say? Lord have mercy!

    You raise an interesting point though Dave whether name dropping makes any difference to the followers of questionable ministries. I used to be one of those duped ones (not in the prosperity gospel but other dangerous teachings), and back then I would react predictably if someone criticised those I respected and admired.

    I don’t think there is a straight yes/no answer to your question. The answer may be yes, no or maybe. Maybe nothing happens there and then, but I would not underestimate the seeds of (good) doubt that such exposure plants in the minds of naïve followers. Such doubt can grow enough over time to make them uneasy enough and motivate them to question it themselves and eventually break away.

    And then there are the Jim Bakkers of the world. Prison caused him to open his eyes and write an entire book called “I was wrong”.

    (John)

  21. a final reply – wasn’t even talking to you Lisa, but using your (and my) witness in thinking of any now who need it. How good the Lord gives us testimonies to instruct His body, whom He loves. Oh the ways I let myself be led astray.

    Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15

    For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 2 Cor 11:2-3

    I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. Col 2:4,8

  22. Lisa,
    I was very encouraged and blessed by reading this and your articles on the Word of Faith Movement and your experiences in those kinds of churches and at Fred Price’s church.

    One of the worst and most cruel things I ever heard was by Fredrick K. Price – when he said basically that the Holy Spirit doesn’t want to indwell a body that is paralyzed or one that is blind. (paraphrasing – I heard F. Price say it on the audio tape that accompanied Hanegraaff’s book; it is documented in Hanegraaff, Christianity in Crisis, p. 259-260, 1993; from F. K. Price, “Is God glorified through sickness?” audio tape #FP605, Los Angeles: Crenshaw Christian Center, n.d.)

    That is amazing cruelty to believers who are blind or quadriplegic, etc.

    I have the first edition of Hanegraaff’s book, Christianity in Crisis, 1993.

    Back in 1983-1993 and beyond, I began warning friends and family members about the “Name it claim it” theology.

    But they almost never believed me.

    One of the biggest difficulties is that many people who go to these type churches don’t believe it when we point out problems, and that forces us to have to listen to their very goofy and time-wasting sermons, etc. (in order to get context and documentation)

    I had to get Hanegraaff’s book in 1993 and the audio tape, because so many people I talked to didn’t believe me when I would point out the errors of the Word of Faith heresies.

    I do not have Hanegraaff’s new book, “Christianity in Crisis in the 21st Century” – Is it an update of the 1993 version or totally new?

    I have found “Health, Wealth, and Happiness: Has the Prosperity Gospel Overshadowed the Gospel of Christ?” by David W. Jones and Russell Woodbridge to be very good, and it includes careful documentation of the statements of the Word of Faith teachers also. (though not as extensive and thorough as Hanegraaff’s book.)

    Thanks again for an excellent article.

  23. I just noticed that Rob Bowman also blogs here. I also have his book, “The Word-Faith Controversy” (2001; Baker)

    He was surprisingly quite critical of Hanegraaff’s book; but I very appreciated his carefulness and accuracy and balance.

    It has been several years since I read Bowman’s book – I read it back in 2001 when it came out – took it off my shelf now and looked through it again.

    I was surprised that Bowman says that “the Word of Faith Movement is Pentecostalism at its (near) worst” and “to encourage them to pursue a rich, mature, biblically sound Pentecostalism at its best” (page 12, Preface)

    Pentecostals and Charismatics need to totally reject Word of Faith teachings and clean out their whole movement and denominations ( IMO) and pray for healing under the attitude of “They will be done”. (not as a formula tacked on at the end, but a deep heart attitude of trust under God’s Sovereignty) And for blessings for needs in this life under the same attitude (of trust in God’s Sovereignty) and that God uses trials and pain.

  24. Thank for that reply Ken. I have found this to be problematic too.

    “One of the biggest difficulties is that many people who go to these type churches don’t believe it when we point out problems”

    As to Dave’s question if someone pointed out to me that Price was a false teacher, I would have rejected that assertion at that time. After my rebellious period and I was situated in more stable churches, I did find his teaching problematic in that it was overly focused on obtaining blessings and pursuit of wealth. BUT, I did buy into the underlaying presupposition of teachers like Jakes and Meyers combined with 3rd wave charismatic thought that placed emphasis on receiving something from God, going to the next level, emphasis on faith, etc. So even then I would not hear anything negative about them. In fact, I had stopped listening to Hank Hanegraff for about a year because of his refutations of Jakes teaching. I thought he was so wrong. This convinces me that it really does take the work of the Holy Spirit to make us receptive to re-evaluation.

  25. Greg, I’m pretty sure Price holds to that view also and I think Meyers. That’s some foul stuff.

  26. This quote of Joyce Myer below is from Victor Stephen’s web-site.

    “There is no hope of anyone going to heaven unless they believe this truth I am presenting. You cannot go to heaven unless you believe with all your heart that Jesus took your place in hell.” (Joyce Meyer, “The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make”, Page 37)

    That’s pretty bad; really bad.

    where do they get this?
    From a bad interpretation of 1 Peter 3:19, and Ephesians 4:8-9?

    I Peter 3:19 has to mean either:
    a. Christ proclaimed victory over the spirits in prison – with verses 22 – subjecting the angels and authorities and powers (including demons and evil dead people in hades)
    or
    b. the spirit of Christ preached through Noah in the days of Noah – verses 20

    there are other reasons to reject the view that Christ went to Hades, but even if He did, He proclaimed victory over the unbelievers and demonic spirits; He did not suffer in Hell and then become born again; again.

    They seem to not believe “it is finished” and “today you will be with Me in paradise” and “He became a curse for us on the tree” and “He bore our sins on the tree” and He was the propitiation for our sins”, etc.

  27. If I am not mistaken, I have read somewhere that Joyce Meyers no longer believes that horrible bit of falsehood. Does anyone else remember reading that or know if it is her current position?

  28. I find it interesting that Paul, while denouncing false teachings in several letters, doesn’t name the false teachers except in what he intended as a private letter to Timothy. When Paul is addressing churches, clearly writing to a public audience, he speaks of false teachings and corrects them, but doesn’t provide a list of the false teachers.

    In Acts 15, Luke tells of men who came from Judea preaching circumcision. It seems like there’s a good chance the apostles and Jerusalem church would know who these guys were, but still there are no names listed. MOF, off hand, I cannot think of an example of a NT writer publically denouncing false teachers by name. Does that factor into this discussion?

  29. Dave,

    A couple of examples come to mind that may have some bearing on your question.

    In Acts 13:6, the false prophet (not teacher) Bar-Jesus is named by Luke. And in 3 John 9, a man by the name of Dietrephes is mentioned. It doesn’t say he is a false teacher, but he was a very negative influence in the church and was turning people away from John and his coworkers. Indeed casting people out of the church if they received the brothers. Of course this is not a public letter either, but a private letter to Gaius.

  30. Greg, your points don’t hold up. I’ve never heard anyone say that the guy in 1 Cor. 5 was a false teacher. I admire your flexibility in stretching that far, but I don’t think it applies. Nice try though.

    Regarding the Timothy references, it is speculation at best to say that Paul intended for Timothy to publish the names. Simply put, the passages do not say that. And to be accurate, in 1 Tim. 1:20, Hymenaeus and Alexander are not identified as false teachers to be avoided, but as blasphemers whom Paul has already handed over to Satan.

    And in your Matthew passage, the names seems to be escaping me. Are you saying there were some guys named Pharisee? Like, at least two of them, since Jesus used the plural?

    I’m just saying that for something deemed so important by so many these days, it just strikes me as odd that we have no scriptural examples for naming false teachers. There’s a lot of topics covered in the NT and a lot of examples and instructions given. This just doesn’t seem to be one of them.

  31. Dave,

    Do you not think there are any principles to be drawn from the examples I gave in my comment?

  32. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8 KJV).

  33. Well, Greg, I’ve had enough of you knowing my motives and such. I don’t think there’s anything to be gained by interacting with you.

  34. Dave,

    Did you miss my comments?

  35. OK Cheryl, I think the Acts 13 passage has more to do with the miraculous element and the conversion of the proconsel. There is no warning about the guy, nothing about avoiding his teaching. In fact, the situation has been effectively dealt with by the end of the account.

    The example from 3 John is the same as the Timothy example – a private letter, which you aready pointed out. Why are you asking when you already mentioned that? We’re talking about public warnings against false teachers by name. Furthermore, John’s comments are more of a personal complaint than a warning – there is no “beware the leaven of Diotrephes.” There is no instruction to the church.

    I’m outta here. I don’t believe there is anything to be gained. Evidently there is no need for scriptural precedent before publically bashing other believers, just a self-righteous certainty of one’s own error-free position. It’s such a popular Christian sport these days that questioning it is in itself an offence. And that’s a shame.

  36. Dave,

    Well, it doesn’t look like you may ever accept anything short of, “I Paul tell you that…….is a heretic. Have nothing to do with him.”

    The point I have been trying to make is that even if these aren’t exact matches, these NT guys didn’t seem to have any problems stating people’s names when they were causing problems. Why do you think that false teachers should get a pass in that department?

    Isn’t it loving to tell someone when a wolf is at the door and wants to devour them? Or should we just be generic and say to watch out for animals with sharp fangs? It makes no sense to me.

    How about one more try at a Biblical example here. Will you accept this one? Galatians 2:11ff “But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned…” You know the story. His hypocricy in dealing with the Gentiles was leading others astray and Paul stood up and told him he was wrong–publically. Please, please don’t tell me that this is different because he was not “teaching”–it was his actions that were wrong. It was in fact his actions that were teaching others to go astray.

    There are some extremely serious errors being taught ought there in the name of our Lord these days. Should people not be aware of them? And of those that proclaim them? After all, they aren’t alway readily apparent in any specific teacher at a moments notice, specially if you are a new believer. Why wait until someone has gotten sucked in to listening to some teacher and believing what you are being told and then finding out some way that they are walking on very dangerous ground?

  37. Just one more quick thought here. Some years back when I was getting gradually pulled into the hypercharismatic teachings that are so prevalent out there, I think it may have made a great deal of difference to me if I had known from the beginning about how far “out there” this movement had become and who the current “movers and pushers” were. But I didn’t know much about the doctrine involved nor did I know a lot of the “names” that were associated with and involved in the movement to one degree or another.

    There were big name folks invited to speak to our church quite often. Because of family circumstances, I didn’t get to hear many of them or I may have picked up on a lot of things before they became so blatant in our group.

    But my point is, if I had been told more about these doctrines, and if I had been told where these folks were really coming from, I would of probably been very wary long before I was, and probably would of gotten out long before I did.

  38. Greg, I resent your little barbed comments, such as “this Dave Z guy.” It seems like a subtle attempt at belittling and dismissing. Disrespectful if nothing else. And inappropriate. And it sure doesn’t help your credibility in my eyes.

    My point behind all this is that scripture addresses false teaching, not false teachers, and there is a difference. For one thing, addressing the teaching itself would also apply to all the little churches that slip under the radar when only the highly visible preachers are listed. And regardless of how prominent some TV/radio preacher is, most people still attend smaller local churches.

    So now I have a question: What is the fundamental difference between a song or an individual publically naming false teachers and the approach of the various “discernment ministry” websites?

    Or do you think the “discernment ministry” websites are a good thing as well?

    Lisa, If you’re tracking this, I’d like to see you weigh in on my question.

  39. Dave, to be honest, I’ve wrestled with the question myself. When I look at Paul’s instruction to Timothy, I do believe there is warrant for the pastor to warn his sheep about deceivers. BUT, that is in the context of local gatherings. How does that play out with internet, music and such? This is a different context that Paul was addressing.

    I just ran across this article earlier today from Thabiti Anyabwile. I think it might be helpful.

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabitianyabwile/2010/07/21/a-sampling-of-pauls-instruction-re-false-teachers-and-sound-doctrine/

  40. Thank you Lisa, good stuff. The second link is closer to what I was getting at with exposing the false teaching itself. When you think about it, if it is a person, the false teacher, that is denounced, an unaware believer could still pick up the false teaching somewhere else, but if the teaching itself is exposed, the believer is no longer unaware, no matter who he hears it from. However, I can’t help but notice that it’s a lot easier to say “so-and-so is a false teacher” than it is to correct the details of the error itself. Maybe that plays into it.

    But actually, you didn’t really answer my question, which was:

    What is the fundamental difference between a song or an individual publically naming false teachers and the approach of the various “discernment ministry” websites?

    I don’t know that I see a fundamental difference. Maybe someone else does.

  41. Here’s another thing – on CMP’s recent post called “Eight Issues that Do NOT Make or Break Christianity,” several people were writing him off as a false teacher. Greg, as I recall, you came close to that yourself, at least as far as saying you “completely understand the sentiment” of a guy who called Michael an enemy of God. And you said you “share the concern” of a guy who said Credo House had lost all credibility.

    So, is CMP a false teacher or not? Some seem to think so, others, not so much. Where is the line? All those who accused Michael are just as certain they’re correct as Shai Linne is. Are they correct? Why or why not?

  42. Truth Unites... and Divides April 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Dave Z: “What is the fundamental difference between a song or an individual publically naming false teachers and the approach of the various “discernment ministry” websites [which publicly names the names of false teachers]?”

    One is set to music and the other one is not?

    ;-)

  43. TUAD, ha!

    Seriously, I think the difference is that it is just one song set in context of an album that in toto provides a systematic theology of God’s sovereign character, work and redemptive plan. It actually tells a story. Ironically, False Teachers is right next to Cosmic Powers which talks about the work of the enemy. But the thrust of the album is telling God’s story. I’ve listened to it 2x now. It’s quite good.

    Discernment ministries on the other hand focus on weeding out false doctrine. Their focus is on correction.

  44. Lisa….thank you for sharing your experiences in these groups. I have also had bad experiences in independent fundamentalist Baptist churches.
    It takes such a long time to recover from the damage of false teaching.

  45. I believe the damage from false teaching is called spiritual abuse. For anyone who is interested, here is a definition….

    Spiritual abuse can occur when a leader uses his or her spiritual position to control or dominate another person. It often involves overriding the feelings and opinions of another, without regard to what will
    result in the other person’s state of living, emotions or spiritual well-being. Power is used to bolster the position or needs of a leader, over and above one who comes to them in need. The power abuser resents accountability and punishes people for noticing there is a problem. Religious power brokers control their kingdoms with power facades by raining Bible verses on people about authority and submission.
    -The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, Johnson & Jeff VanVonderen – pg. , 20-21;117

    By the way- this is a very helpful book!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Shai Linne, Lyrical Theology, and “Fal$e Teachers” | Servant & Herald - April 10, 2013

    […] Here’s a thoughtful blog post discussing the choice to call out false teachers by name: Lisa Robinson @ Reclaiming the Mind: On Shai Linne and Judging False Teachers. […]

  2. Does Prosperity Teaching Deny the Gospel? | Parchment and Pen - April 11, 2013

    […] a follow up to my last post On Shai Linne and Judging False Teachers, I’ve been reflecting on the underlying problem with the teachers represented in the song. […]

  3. Proper Teaching on Money, Finances, and Giving – in rebuke of the Word-Faith system | apologeticsandagape - April 11, 2013

    […] Shai Linne and Judging False Teachers […]

  4. On Judging Shai Linne and His Beef with False Teachers | Lisa Robinson - April 13, 2013

    […] On Shai Linne and Judging False Teachers […]

  5. CHH: “Christian Hip Hop” or “Controversial Hip Hop” – Pure Church by Thabiti Anyabwile - April 15, 2013

    […] ministry. Christianity Today picked up on the issue. Lisa Robinson at Parchment and Pen offered reflections based on her years inside prosperity congregations. Mark at Here I Blog added some source support for the song’s denunciations. Those were the […]

  6. Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile Approves “Fal$e Teacher$” - April 15, 2013

    […] ministry. Christianity Today picked up on the issue. Lisa Robinson at Parchment and Pen offered reflections based on her years inside prosperity congregations. Mark at Here I Blog added some source support for the song’s denunciations. Those were the […]

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