Testing Church Teachings


Technique for Testing Scriptural Accuracy of Teachings:

NOTE: This technique may take several hours the first time around or if you’re trying to do in-depth study.  The goal is to determine if teachings are Biblical and build discernment of common errors in teaching.  As you practice over time, it becomes easier to quickly spot errors.  If this process seems overwhelming, a mentor or fellow believer with knowledge of logic or research techniques may be able to assist.

  1. Pray for God to open your eyes and ears to His Word and His Truth
  2. Sermon Review
    • Listen to a sermon 
    • Make an outline of the sermon, including Bible passages and main points
    • Make an outline of any logical arguments, including cause and effect
  3. Bible Study
    • Review the entire chapter(s) in the Bible rather than just the passage in the sermon.  Sometimes it is wise to go back to the beginning of the Bible story. This may mean reading a chapter or two before.
    • Make an outline of the main points in the Bible readings
    • Make an outline of any logical arguments, including cause and effect
  4. Compare notes from the sermon to the Bible study


Bible Verses and Concepts:

Bible Verses: Hebrews 10:15-18, Romans 1:18-32

Concept: God teaches truth directly to humans


Bible Verse: Matthew 24:24

Concept: Even the elect can be deceived


Bible Verses: 2 Peter 2

Concept: False prophets and teachers 


Questions to Consider:

  • Do sermons and book studies follow what the Bible says?
  • Are church teachings based on the Word, psychology, popular beliefs, personal or political opinions, or other belief systems?
  • If the teachings do not match, is the teaching well-intended? Or is it possible there is another intent?
  • Is the person who is teaching growing spiritually over time?
  • How often do the teachings not match?
  • Who funds the teachings? 
  • Who are the teacher or pastor’s influences such as theologians? What is the teacher or pastor’s background?
  • What is your role as a member of the body of Christ when errors are found in teaching?


Reflection:

Human teachings can err.  The Bible and God are inerrant.  Christians are called to follow God’s will and God’s way, which are unchanging.

Prayer:

Holy Father, I seek to follow Your will and Your ways.  Help me to see and understand as you do.  I seek an unwavering faith and commitment to being Your servant.  Give me grace to forgive humans, as well as discernment to understand when to make different choices.  In Jesus Name, Amen.