View Full Version : Confronting an error?

michael b
Oct 29th 2013, 03:03 PM
On Sunday evenings our Pastor leads a Bible study and we always have a time of discussion which includes Q&As. A lady asked our Pastor if there was a difference between a "test" and a "temptation". Our Pastor said yes. He explained that a "test" was mostly about being put into the fire, by the Lord, in order to purify us and that a "temptation" could also be brought by the Lord, in order to help strengthen us when the Lord assists us in overcoming the temptation. Our Pastor clearly stated that "tests" and "temptations" can clearly come from God.

The lights, in my mind, started flashing and I was immediately drawn to James 1:13....Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.

I was on the verge of questioning my Pastor right there and then when I felt the Holy Spirit was instructing me to keep quiet...so I kept quiet and with held my comments. After the service I thought about talking to the lady that asked the question, but I felt I should refrain from doing that also.

I'm thinking I should go by his office and have a visit with him.

Any advice?

Old man
Oct 29th 2013, 03:25 PM
when I felt the Holy Spirit was instructing me to keep quiet...so I kept quiet and with held my comments.

There is always a proper time and place.

After the service I thought about talking to the lady that asked the question, but I felt I should refrain from doing that also.

Never a good idea to contradict your pastor in the eyes of the congregation without him there to defend himself. It's called gossip and causing division; regardless of how well intentioned. Especially before you double check and get clarification from your pastor as to what he really meant to say.

Good to see that you are sensitive enough to the Spirit to obey Him in this and withhold until a more proper time. Good for you.

This is just me but I would prefer to meet him in a more relaxed setting (I hate offices). I would ask him to clarify the comment first. Then admit that I don't understand how Jam 1:13 fits into it and ask him to explain (approach him humbly as if you are completely aware that it is you who may have misunderstood). Asking questions to get to a point is less of a challenge toward him than directly saying "but Jam 1:13 says this" (in your face type of thing). Besides it may simply be that he didn't explain it as well as he had hoped or you missed something.

Oct 29th 2013, 03:46 PM
In a non threatening way, next Sunday night, during the Q&A, ask: "Pastor, I was thinking about last week's question and was wondering if you could clarify what is meant in James 1:13?"

It's likely that he did a poor job of communicating and given another graceful opportunity, can rectify it. God does allow temptation, but he does not cause it. And He does not not allow us to be tempted above what we are able to overcome.

Oct 30th 2013, 10:00 AM
Having faced this before, I can only hope that your Pastor is mature and secure in his position and will respond appropriately. Are you nervous about questioning statements in the open forum? If you are, it is not an open forum.

Sadly, my experience was that the Pastor was one of those "because I said so" people. He had no answers. I pray that you aren't facing that kind of person.

If you find that he is that kind of person, you probably need a new Pastor.

Not all Pastors are teachers. They are not even always preachers. Sometimes, they are only shepherds.

TBM 11
Oct 30th 2013, 12:55 PM
I agree with the comments here. Personalities do need to be considered. I do think that in some way this should be brought up to him. If he is not humble enough to recognize that what he said was not in agreement scripture, then he truly should not be preaching in my opinion. It is our job as members of the congregation to point out these errors.

Oct 30th 2013, 01:21 PM
A couple of centuries ago you would risk being burnt at the stake for questioning authorities. Any humble and meek person should be ready and willing to accept correction at the very least

michael b
Oct 30th 2013, 02:53 PM
In no way do I desire to cause this my pastor embarrassment. I think it best to have a friendly conversation with him in private and with humility and meekness ask him if I missed something in the conversation last Sunday night. If I misunderstood I'll admit it, however if he mis-spoke perhaps the Spirit will lead him to make a correction in the next Sunday evening Bible Study.

Believers ought to know that the temptations we face in this life are not from God, allowed by Him...yes...but He does not tempt us. It would be a tragedy for believers to think that the very God which lives within them would tempt them to sin. In other words...why would God seek to destroy the very creation (the new man) which he created through the power of His Holy Spirit? It is my opinion...He wouldn't.

Oct 30th 2013, 03:25 PM
Hi Michael,

It is a shame we have to tip-toe in church especially when it comes to God's Word. I'm sure Jesus would want to be understood properly.
Maybe you could send the pastor an anonymous email. Then you wouldn't have to correct him face to face or embarrass him in front of his sheep.
But then going forward the pastor would get it right, and you would be glad, and the angels would rejoice in heaven, and all the people would say hal...okay okay, maybe that was a little over the top. Maybe this is a test for the pastor?

Oct 30th 2013, 05:40 PM
I'd ask about it ASAP, pride cannot get in the way of truth.