Q&A: Naming Names
Q: Why do you name names of people you think are teaching or preaching unbiblical doctrines?
Ans: Because if I do, you will know better, hopefully, who to be aware of.
Listen, erroneous doctrine, or heresy, has grave doctrinal implications. It can mislead to the point of deceiving those who think they are saved when they are not, or cause them to present the Gospel to others something that is not the Gospel at all.
If erroneous doctrine is proclaimed publicly, it should be called what it is publicly and the Church at large warned of it. Galatians 2:14:
But when Cephas [Peter] came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews? – Galatians 2:11-14
When I do name names, I do not ask, nor do I expect, anyone to believe me simply because I said it was so (heaven forbid!). On the contrary, I insist that you be the Berean whom Paul commended for searching the Scriptures to see if what he was saying was true. Due diligence. Acts 17:10-12.
It is not biblically loving for me to remain silent while many in the Church are lead to believe a false Gospel, or even a false implication of a teaching which directly undermines a main tenet of the Gospel. As a minister, I am obligated to speak. I may not always present the issue as I should, and no doubt, have done so in the past. Yet, the Biblical basis and examples for publicly naming names of heretics and those who are misleading the Church are abundant.
It is also not biblically loving of you or anyone else to become automatically offended when one of your favorite authors or spiritual leaders is called to the carpet for teaching something that clearly undermines either the Gospel or one of it’s tenets – or an implication of it’s tenet. If you truly love them in Christ, I would think you desire their doctrine to be as biblical as possible.
It is the Church’s duty to be the pillar and foundation of the truth of God’s written word. May we never grow slack in carrying out that glorious responsibility.