Question:

I love my church family. I really do. About a year and a half ago, we employed a new minister. He is more a teacher than a preacher, but he has several degrees and has taught theology. My problem is, I am not comfortable with what he says. Most of his sermons dwell on what he calls "legalism." He especially loves to talk about "the doctrine of baptism." He believes that baptism is nothing more than an affirmation of faith and not necessary for salvation. That is not what my Bible tells me. I am usually a very tolerant person about other people's relationship with God, but this man makes my stomach tighten up every time I hear him. He called people who think that instrumental music is wrong "stupid." Why would you call someone who thinks differently from you stupid? I live in a small rural community. I really do love my church family and I don't want to leave. But I am very unhappy. Any advice?


Answer:

I suspect that the congregation gives this man too much respect for his degrees. What I would suggest is talk to the other members to see if they also hold to the false ideas being expressed by this man. It may be matter that each is afraid to say anything because they think they are alone in their objections. If you find that most agree with the false doctrine, then you need to find a sound church to attend because matters are going to get rapidly worse. If most are in objection, then you gather your Scriptures and study the issues out together. Then you call a meeting of the church, lay out your evidence of false teaching and insist that the false teacher leave.

"Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple" (Romans 16:17-18).

Thank you. I am going to take your advice and talk to one of my elders.