By Elizabeth Prata
I liked this article a lot. (linked below). It was balanced, noting the fact that some sites make a cottage industry of naming wrong things on the internet but the noting the importance and purpose of doing it right. She diminished her credibility somewhat by including a well-known hateful discernment ministry in the footnotes on the ‘good side’, but the article itself was terrific.
In it, the author made an interesting side trip into history, noting Athanasius’ struggle with battling false doctrine. She showed from scripture how it’s the duty of every Christian to be on the alert for false doctrine and the false teachers who bring it. She also addressed the question that has been proposed to me of late, when to stop battling a celebrity false teacher and just go my way. (Answer: never).
Is the error being propagated publicly? It must be refuted publicly — in the pulpit, in print, and in person. Does it rear its ugly head after it has already been defeated? It must again be refuted, however many times it takes. Does that sound fatiguing? Discouraging? Like a losing battle? It is.
But that is the call — to defend the faith once delivered to the saints. Whenever and wherever new, or worse, old repackaged heretical ideas gain cultural ascendancy, and the number and flavor are ripe for the picking, they must be battled because they are still wrong.
The author also stressed the importance of being art of a church body and submitted to its authority, of being properly equipped, and resisting pride and arrogance. I recommend the article,especially if you’re involved in discernment online in any way, something which I am and I’m unapologetic about. The Holy Spirit gives out the spiritual gift of discernment and always remember it is a gift. I intend to use it to the best of the ability I have in His strength and for Him both online and in my church, even and especially when it means naming names. Even the name of certain celebrity female preachers who regularly claim to hear from God. 🙂
I recommend the article.
MacArthur sermon, A Call for Discernment
MacArthur blog, Naming Names
Challies, Matthew 18 in a Shrinking World