If everyone participates in the gatherings of the church then how do we avoid people teaching heresy? That seems to be a common question posed to me about every member participation. It is a good question, and it makes sense. The problem is that I believe it is based on some faulty assumptions. I will discuss these over the next few days.
Another faulty assumption is that the pastor will always (or at least usually) get it right. In many (or at least some) modern evangelical circles the pastor would say that you should check him to make sure what he is saying is right, that you should read your Bible and make sure he accurately taught it, but is this really the message that the practices of the church teach? Why don’t we want just anyone sharing and teaching when the church is gathered? Because we don’t trust that they know what they are talking about. Why do we let the pastor teach week after week? Because we trust that for the most part he does know what he is talking about. I have heard a possible compromise that maybe if the pastor or elders pre-screen those who wish to share then those people could address the rest of the body. Should we also bring the pastor’s sermons before a body of elders before it is preached? If not then I think my point is made that there is a trust in the pastor being right as opposed to the rest of the body.