Tuesday, January 20, 2015
When Is It My Circus?
In response to my post yesterday, someone raised the reasonable question, “When is it my circus?” I’ll attempt to answer that with a some questions.
First, is the issue or the heterodox teaching directly affecting my church? I’m understanding “church” broadly here, so it can refer either to a single congregation or to a denomination. If your answer is, “No,” it’s not your circus.
Second, if your answer to Question One is, “Yes,” then ask yourself if you are qualified to respond to the issue. If not, it’s not your circus. Here is where many Young Prophets make their mistake. They have a little knowledge, and often not much maturity, so they think they are qualified. Ponder the “am I qualified” question seriously before you decide that you are.
Third, if you are qualified, you need to ask yourself the best way to handle the situation. Those suffering from YPS generally decide that the best approach is a scorching blog post, calling out the “false teacher.” Direct contact with the “false teacher,” or attack on the “false teacher” via the blogosphere generally results in two things: defensiveness on the part of the “teacher” and his followers (circling the wagons), and dismissal of the critic. Remember, false teachers generally don’t think of themselves as false teachers.
But a more effective approach is to deal directly with those in your church who are affected by the teaching. Find out why they are attracted to the teaching. Is there perhaps some shortcoming in your own ministry that is causing these folks to look elsewhere? But don’t go into attack mode. Gently lead them into a more correct understanding of the biblical teaching. You are dealing with the sheep, not the wolves.
But what if you’re not qualified, but you still think there is a problem? Seek counsel from older, wiser, more qualified men. Perhaps there’s not a real problem. Perhaps there is, but in either case, wise counsel will help you see things more clearly.
Finally, whether you are qualified or not, pray. Pray for wisdom. Pray for God to raise up men qualified to deal with the issue and willing to deal with it. As I said in the last post, Jesus cares more for his sheep than you do. Such prayers will be answered.