Why didn't the elders rebuke a preacher for teaching that forgiveness is unconditional?


Recently, I heard of a preacher preaching a sermon partly on “forgiveness.”  He used the account of Jesus on the cross to show that Jesus unconditionally forgave the multitude.  The question that I have is, if that is so, then why did the Holy Spirit through Peter call them "murderers" and said that they needed to "repent" and be "baptized?"

What really bothers me is that the church where he preaches has three elders and only "one" took exception to his teaching error. 

In fact, one of the deacons in making the final announcements said:  "We want to thank our preacher for two outstanding sermons today and praise him for the effort and study he is doing".

It really bothers me that the elders at least did not call the preacher to the side for a private discussion and since he taught error publicly request that he correct it by public acknowledgment.


What you are seeing is the result of the common statement: repeat a falsehood long enough and people believe it without question. The concept of unconditional salvation has been taught in the denominations for a long time. People hear it so often that they don't even stop to think if it is a scriptural idea or not. They just assume it must be so.

No, the Bible doesn't teach unconditional forgiveness. If such existed then there would be no need for preachers because everyone would be saved. See the lessons, "Unconditional Love" and "Forgiveness" for passages about this.

I suspect that the deacon makes similar comments each time he gets up. We all tend to select our favorite expressions and reused them, never pausing long enough to decide if they are appropriate. Then, too, he likely didn't stop to think whether unconditional forgiveness was really taught in the Bible or not since he has heard it so often.

I'm glad one elder noticed the problem. I hope he has addressed it with both his fellow elders and they, in turn, with the preacher. Yes, it would be best if it was handled on the spot, but I've been in situations where I've been caught off guard by a false teaching. I know it is wrong, I know roughly why it is wrong, but I can't think off the top of my head where the appropriate passages are. Rather than try to correct a mistake with a mistake, I do my research first and then approach the one in error. But such errors ought not be left to fester too long.