Have you ever heard someone say that they are protecting God's flock? I've heard it several times, mostly from preachers who will not allow someone with different doctrine to come to their church and engage in public debate/discussion. I recently had a fellow tell me this very thing when I asked him if he would be willing to have a public debate with me at his church. He said that he wouldn't allow me to come into his church and talk about what I believed on a certain topic (doctrine) in debate format because he was "protecting his flock." My question is this: is this how a minister is called to protect his flock?
Is keeping people from hearing alternate doctrine protecting the flock? I think it is more akin to being worried that they made be persuaded to look further or deeper into a subject that they may know little to nothing about. The problem with most Pastors is that they do not teach their members to study the Bible for them selves. It is certainly okay to have teachers, but people shouldn't rely on teachers for their salvation. They should listen to what the teacher is teaching, and then go back and study the verses of Scripture that are given in a diligent fashion. This way, even if the teacher/Pastor has presented the truth to them, the person will have studied it out them self and the truth (that particular truth) will become "part of them." They will believe it whole heartedly and will not be able to waver from it.
If a person just blindly accepts what the teacher has to say they will be more likely to abandon what they've been taught in difficult times of hardship, persecution, or the like. This is because they do not believe it for them selves, but only because there Pastor told it to them.
The way you protect the flock is to (1) teach the flock true doctrine, and (2) teach them to study the true doctrines in their personal Bible study life. This way when someone else comes to them with falsity they will be able to give a defense of the faith concerning the hope that lies within them.
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.