While cleaning up my files I came across an article from a May-June 2006 Critical Issues Commentary, by Bob DeWaay. The subject is the duty of the Christian to judge false teachings.
DeWaay dismantles the various arguments which claim we are not to judge, as well as the argument which says if we have a problem with false teachings, we should to privately to the teacher. Then he addresses the claim that “you will know them by their fruits” means “character qualities, popularity, or the ability to do supernatural signs.” DeWaay demonstrates that in Matthew 7 the discussion is about false prophets.
DeWaay then discusses the following points:
“Personality traits are not fruits.”
“The number of one’s followers is not fruit.”
“Signs and wonders are not fruits.”
After the discussion about these points, DeWaay says, “People who call Jesus ‘Lord,’ come in His name, and do works of power are false prophets if they refused to abide within God-given boundaries. This is an important concept. This is lawlessness. ... Understood in this way, false prophets are those who teach and practice lawlessness. They do not abide within the once-for-all determined boundaries of New Testament teaching.”
As he continues in the article, DeWaay has some very pointed comments:
“Today many despise the very term doctrine and accuse those of being wrongly motivated who think it is important to correct false doctrine and espouse true doctrine. .... The duties of pastors and elders are very clear in Acts 20 and the Pastoral Epistles. They are to teach true doctrine, correct false doctrine, and protect the flock from wolves. Sadly, those who do so today are often accused of being divisive or sinning because they have ‘judged’ when Jesus told us not to judge. This is a category error. We are not to judge motives or relative degrees of righteousness, but we must judge public teaching.”
Well said, Pastor Bob!
I recommend the full article at: