Question: Do you believe it’s okay for a group of women from our congregation to attend a religious seminar in which a dynamic denominational woman teacher will be saying a lot of good things, but also may teach some false doctrines?
Response: I believe this is a very bad idea for several reasons. Here are ten that come quickly to mind.
- I believe you will, of necessity imply that you generally endorse the teachings of this religious leader, if you take a group to hear her.
- I believe that you may lead those in your group who are weak and deficient in Bible knowledge to believe false doctrines that may, in the end, jeopardize their souls (Luke 17:1).
- I believe you will be hard-pressed to take a group without advertising the event and encouraging other women and groups of women (for example, visitors to your services or those who read your bulletins) who may be even less discerning than you are, to attend. The potential for damage may increase as a result of your advertising and endorsing.
- There is a good chance that false worship may occur at the seminar and those in your group will be tempted to join that false worship (Mark 7:7).
- There’s an abundance of good, sound teachers and materials and a shortage of time to study in groups. Why would you want to waste a morning or a day at the feet of a false teacher (Colossians 4:5)?
- Often attendance at these kinds of seminars requires payment for registration or admission. Your money, when this is the case, would go toward the spread of false doctrine. You would be supporting this work. (I Timothy 5:22).
- Those in your group who enjoy listening to a false teacher may be encouraged to read her books and study her materials (which will no doubt be advertised and available at the seminar) after having attended, thus ingesting even more of the false teaching that she has craftily woven into her teachings.
- A little false teaching mixed with truth is less recognizable, raises fewer red flags and thus is more dangerous to vulnerable women. She, then (the teacher) is the veritable wolf in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15).
- I believe that, in many congregations, there’s a group of women who are already leaning toward a denominational mindset. To take a group of women to such an event would empower and embolden them in this mindset and in their influence. We need to be teaching sound doctrine and emboldening those who are full of the Book rather than those who are leaning toward a rejection of the New Testament pattern.
- We hurt the church when we lead weak sisters to drink at a fountain that spews forth unbiblical terminology, celebrates unbiblical worship and implies that opposing doctrines can all be acceptable to God and those who follow them can all be saved. Those unbiblical terms like “witnessing for Jesus in our day,”…”praying the sinner’s prayer,”… “the rapture” and “the Christmas story” will soon make their way into our congregations. Soon, our members will be unclear about why we are so concerned about authority for our worship practices and they will begin to consider those who are following various plans of salvation to be brothers and sisters in Christ.
It is a dangerous path to travel over to the city auditorium with a group of sisters who are supposed to be diligently watching for the Savior’s return. What if he does return while I am enjoying the dynamic speaking ability of one who is leading people eternally astray? I would further add that it is just as dangerous, if not more so, for us to study the teachings of these false teachers in our group Bible studies in our congregations. I know of several very weak congregations who are using the works (written and video) of known false teachers as the basis for their women’s studies. Excuses like “…but she is so interesting and practical,” or “…there is really not that much available in video,” are often given. Though these are, in reality, just excuses, they would not warrant the risk of souls even were they true. This practice is a grave mistake and there will be a price paid in eternity.