I’m not sure which is worse . . .

. . . the fact that I had to send an email reminding our Discipleship Committee that we have a false teacher leading a Sunday School class (and other classes) or that the only response I got from fifteen recipients was from one person who wrote “Merry Christmas.” 

Here’s the relevant part of what I sent:

Thanks for your leadership this year.  I think the team was very active and made a lot of progress.I have a few suggestions for next year’s [Discipleship Committee] team:

1. Have some kind of litmus test for Sunday School and Bible Study teachers regarding the essentials of the faith.  We have at least one Sunday School teacher who denies most or all of the essentials, teaches doctrine that opposes the Book of Discipline, and more.  I know Jesus warned that we would always have to fight false teachers, but once they are identified we need a method to correct the teachings or remove them from any position of influence.  LUMC is flourishing, in general, and we have a superior set of pastors.  But we must remain vigilant as we grow or more false teachings will creep in.

Here’s a quote from John Wesley:

I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out.

Wesley was right.  We’ve left sound doctrine and lost spirit and discipline in many parts of the Methodist Church.  Lots of people are working hard to reclaim them.  It is a church-by-church battle.

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5 thoughts on “I’m not sure which is worse . . .”

  1. Neil, I agree 100%. In my church, I think if you want to be Sunday School teacher, you can. We need to go to some kind of vetting by someone before that can happen. Perhaps I will propose that to General Conference in ’08. Have you got your nomination in to go to GC in ’08? In my conference (South Carolina), nomination forms are due next week. You are the kind of delegate we need and I hope you will try to get elected.

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  2. Neil, the real truth is that this isn’t about the “Methodist” church being under attack. ALL churches are under attack by the devil. This is because we have a VERY real enemy that wants to kill us, steal from us and destroy us. It’s really that simple. If there really has been a loss of sound doctrine in whatever church across America, it is ONLY because some person that was/is in a position of leadership within the church allowed it to happen. Seriously, God’s Word cannot be overcome by the devil, unless we allow it to happen. Why do you think it’s IMPERATIVE that we as Christians make the stands we make for God’s Word and who God is in our lives? This isn’t just about the Methodist church either. Not to accuse you, Neil, but it sounds to me like you’re thinking of things in a purely Methodist manner, when in truth, God is FAR above any sort of Methodist teachings and doctrines. His ways, after all, are above our ways.

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  3. Ivan, thanks for the support, but with a mission trip to Kenya (2 weeks + 2 days) plus family stuff there is no way I could attend. Just not enough vacation days to go around. I’ll ask about it though, for future reference. Glad you are going!

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  4. Hi GraphicArtist – You are right. I could have left the “Methodist” part out, as this problem is rampant. It was just a Wesley quote and I attend a UM church. I’m not big on denominational labels; I really try to focus on the essentials.

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  5. “ALL churches are under attack by the devil. This is because we have a VERY real enemy that wants to kill us, steal from us and destroy us. It’s really that simple. If there really has been a loss of sound doctrine in whatever church across America, it is ONLY because some person that was/is in a position of leadership within the church allowed it to happen. Seriously, God’s Word cannot be overcome by the devil, unless we allow it to happen. Why do you think it’s IMPERATIVE that we as Christians make the stands we make for God’s Word and who God is in our lives?”

    Indeed. And, on a more personal level, we, as Christians, are free from the devil and his fallen angels [unless we give them a foothold]. {Hebrews 2:14-15, Collosians 2:15.)

    Thus, we must take a stand, and oppose the devil at every turn {Ephesians 6:12, James 4:7) for he will attack us at every opportunity. (1 Peter 5:8)

    Sincerely in Christ,
    Hidden One.

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