April 23, 2013

Is it Unloving to Call Out Fal$e Teacher$?

by George Lawson

shai linneShai Linne is no stranger to those who love Christian Hip-Hop music (he’s been my personal favorite for years).   He is not even a stranger to those who don’t love Christian Hip-Hop, although I’m convinced that Shai is on Phil Johnson’s playlist (see Phil Johnson’s GTY post here).   But now he is apparently no stranger to Paula White Ministries either.

Shai Linne’s new album “Lyrical Theology” features the pre-release single “Fal$e Teacher$”, which calls out 12 well known prosperity preachers.   So who made the list?  Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, TD Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Paula White, Fred Price, Kenneth Copland, Robert Tilton, Eddie Long, Juanita Bynum, and Paul Crouch are all identified as false teachers (each of whom we could spend an entire post on).  Fal$e Teacher$

Wadeoradio.com made the bold move to request a response from each of the 12 preachers and received at least 1 response from Bradley Knight, the manager of Paula White’s ministry.  Not only is Mr. Knight the manager of Paula White’s ministry, he also happens to be her son.  In an effort to defend his mother, he calls Shai Linne’s song “pure cannibalization without Biblical precedence.

Phil JohnsonOf course, we know there is “biblical precedence” to call out false teachers.  Not only did our Lord Jesus call out false teachers (Matthew 7:13-36) but so did the Apostles Paul (1 Timothy 1:20; 2 Timothy 2:16-18) and John (3 John 1:9).  There is no question that there is “biblical precedence”.  But the question remains, is this the loving thing to do?

You can’t help but feel Knight’s pain.  After all, this is his mother.  If there ever was a reason to get into a fight in the school yard, this is it.  But I would contend that calling out false teachers is not only the most loving thing you can do for the sheep, it is also the most loving thing that you can do for the false teachers themselves.

Referring to false teachers in Titus 1:13 Paul says, “reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith”.  The “so that” indicates that part of the reason we are to reprove false teachers is for their own spiritual health! To be “sound in the faith” speaks of spiritual health and wholeness.  Far from being unloving, it is actually to the false teachers’ advantage that they be reproved.kids taking medicine

As Shai Linne points out “today the only heresy is saying that there’s heresy”.  It might be strong medicine for false teachers to be “put on blast” but it’s the right biblical prescription.  There is no competition between love and truth.

If you are interested, see See Shai Linne’s response to Brad Knight.

 

George Lawson

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George is a graduate of The Master's Seminary and is the Pastor-Teacher of Baltimore Bible Church, a new church plant in Baltimore, MD (www.baltimorebiblechurch.org)
  • Ryan

    When Knight comes to a proper understanding of biblical precedence of calling out false teachers, he should read Luke 14:26. “If any man come to me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

    • Jenny Perez-Monto

      That scripture does not apply to false teachers. Please read it in context.

      • outreaching

        I agree. The context of Luke 14 does not specifically address false teaching. However the parallel use of this verse, that appears in Matthew 10:37, does teach us that we must be willing to stand up for truth before our families, even if they respond with hostility. Not sure if that was what Ryan was trying to point out or not. Far from an act of hatred towards our family members, standing up for truth is an expression of love. That was the point of the article.

        • Ryan

          Sorry, I should have explained further. Obviously Christ in Luke 14 is not telling us to hate our family members, but to put the truth of the gospel as priority before any family relationships. What I was trying to say was that when Knight would by the grace of God come to a proper understanding of biblical precedence of calling out his mother (meaning he has repented of his false teaching), this passage would be helpful to him. Truth takes precedence to a false teaching family member.

  • Melissa Collins

    Wow. My daughter in law played this song for me on Sunday so your writing is current for me. Thank you for your insight. I did read Shai’s response to Brad White and I found it to be accurate as far as my knowledge of scripture. It is time to get bold as a Christian in these days.

    • outreaching

      Amen!

  • http://www.facebook.com/danny.hendricks Danny Hendricks

    No competition between truth and love. Seems I have this conversation with other believers daily. I wish I had thought to say it just that way and with your permission I would like to from now on!!! Good stuff!!!

    • outreaching

      Permission granted!

  • Billy_Quan

    Your last statement was very interesting (and true of course). “There is no competition between love and truth.” The problem is that there seems to be no balance either. Most of the people that hang their spiritual hat on the nail of truth don’t do it with love. They do it with reckless pride and arrogance. Because they feel they have “truth” on their side they don’t have to worry about he love part. Truth has become their god. Im a fan of Shai Linne and love this song. This is not meant to be about him or to call out arrogant “truth teachers” but to say that the problem is not a competition, but a balance between truth and love.

    • outreaching

      It’s a shame that theological conservatives, who are well known for being bold with the truth, are not as well known for being bold in love. It is important to examine our motives, if we engage in pointing out error. Thanks for sharing that. What I hoped to point out with this post is that telling the truth is loving (Ephesians 4:15). We don’t have to tone one down to express the other but can and should fully express both. The warnings and reproof of Scripture are at the same time evidence of God’s kindness and love. Amazing to think about!

  • Michael Coughlin

    Once we agree that calling out false teachers is loving the next step is to actually determine the standard for false teaching.

    For example, I would consider baby baptism to be false; but I wouldn’t call someone a false teacher for teaching it…if they have the gospel right.

    So the question is, do these people get the gospel right?

    If not, then it’s easy – false teaching.

    But what if they actually get the components of the gospel right, like Knight did in his letter? I think that is where the water gets muddy. It seems that if a ministry is known for some much anti-gospel teaching, even if they state the true gospel, they are in trouble. I assume Judas Iscariot himself “preached the gospel” a few times, and I doubt anyone would have trouble with me calling him a false teacher.

    Paul rebuked the spirit girl in Acts who was actually proclaiming truth, because he didn’t even want truth if from demonic force! Boldness, truth and love are essential.

    Good article, George.

    • outreaching

      That’s an excellent observation that deserves a future post! But regarding the error of the prosperity gospel, I think MacArthur did an excellent job unmasking what is underneath their teaching at the following link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaMAw5v9kGs

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