. . . 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.