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I used to attend one church which felt quite weird for me. Here are a few things that I don't agree with:

  • Everybody can speak in tongues. The steps are, first you need somebody to pray with you so you are being baptized by spirit, after that, you can just speak gibberish as long as it make some sounds that will be called as speaking in tongues. They have a session during the worship for speaking in tongues only and they also speak in tongues after prayer.
  • According to them, church leaders must be rich. There was once the preacher speaking about a poor pastor and he said that God didn't anoint him to become a pastor and that's why he's poor.

These are things that bothered me and I stopped going to that church. But my question is, should I condemn them? Or could it be another method that God uses to reach out to more believers?

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No church is perfect. If they've got the Gospel right, they could still do a lot of good. 1 Thess 5:21 – dancek Sep 8 '11 at 9:37
What do you mean by "condemn?" Unless you're a dictator or on a jury, it's doubtful that you mean anything besides "ignore" or "tell my friends to stay away." – user116 Sep 8 '11 at 12:09
@ollie, what I mean is to declare (to myself) that the church is "wrong". Rather than just think that the church is just not right for me but there is nothing wrong with it. Actually, without the step of declaring it as wrong, I might someday accept their teaching as right. – Phelios Sep 8 '11 at 15:03
There is a huge difference between "think they are wrong" and "condemn". You are certainly allowed to believe that they are wrong. However you should always consider that you yourself might not be perfect. And if you later consider the matter carefully, and pray, and come to the conclusion that they are in fact right, that's the right thing to do - if they are in fact right. – DJClayworth Sep 9 '11 at 17:58
up vote 10 down vote accepted

In Paul's letter to the Galatians, he adresses this issue about wrong learning in the church:

Galatians 1:8 (KJV):
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

See the following where this verse is shown in different translations, and at the bottom some commentaries about the verse:

Spesially note the commentary from "People's New Testament" on "accursed":

Accursed. Anathema; given over to the judgments of God. He who corrupts divine truth is an enemy of God, and is under the curse.

Some of the translations use the word "Condemn", but it is not up to us to condemn or accurse - this is up to God. Although we should take action, as to not support this preaching.

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There is a huge difference between "preaching a different gospel" and "wrong doctrine". Every person and church is fallible, and hence it is almost certain that every church is preaching at least something that will turn out to be wrong. – DJClayworth Sep 9 '11 at 17:54
@DJClayworth: You are right that every church might get something wrong, and this is why it's not up to us to cast a judgement - that is up to God only. But if you feel, based on the scripture, that one church gets something fundamentally wrong, you should not go to that church. – awe Sep 12 '11 at 9:55
"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." I have always found it arrogant that Paul that he considers his gospel more superior that that of a angel or that of Christ? – resident_heretic May 13 at 23:52
@resident_heretic: I think that is to be sure that we are not lured by someone trying to preach false gospel, claiming to be sent from God. We have seen examples of that in modern cults. – awe May 31 at 12:29
@awe: Why would an angel of God preach a gospel that was wasn't true? Are they not same beings that heralded the birth of Christ? Paul was quite specific in the text. – resident_heretic Jun 3 at 5:18

"Condemn" is a rather strong word. I think you just should not be a part of it. I would not be a part of a church like that either.

Their is no lack of bad Christians in the world unfortunately. As long as you do not think that those radical views are speaking for Christianity as a whole.

Matthew 7:1 (ESV)
Judge not, that you be not judged.

I do not think it is our place to condemn anyone.

1 Corinthians 9 is also a pertinent passage.

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+1 thanks for taking the trouble to revise the answer! – dancek Sep 8 '11 at 19:45
I agree in general with the sentiment expressed in the first bit, but the verse you quote is out of context and does not apply. The context talks about how we ARE to judge. I think the main point here is that is that in the scenario given by the OP they have no place nor does anybody stand to gain from the action. They just need to find a healthy church. – Caleb Sep 8 '11 at 22:36
Condemn and judge may not be in Christian terms synonymous – Neil Meyer Sep 9 '11 at 11:18

Considering the spiritual works of mercy

  1. To instruct the ignorant
  2. To counsel the doubtful
  3. To admonish sinners
  4. To bear wrongs patiently
  5. To forgive offences willingly
  6. To comfort the afflicted
  7. To pray for the living and the dead

You've got a case of the #1's and to a lesser extent a case of the #3's. Keeping in mind #4 and #5. Do number #7. If there is any fallout from the eventual collapse of that church do number #2 and #6 for your afflicted former congregation.

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I would just like to throw in another reaction to the word "condemn". Let us examine James 4:11-12 (NIV). This passage indicates that there is only one Lawgiver and Judge. The power of saving and damning is beyond us.

Certainly though if you believe a certain congregation has erred you should stop going and if you think the teaching is harmful to the souls of the faithful you should, well let me just piggyback off of @Peter Turner, consult the spiritual works of mercy to help these faithful out.

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I think you are right that they are in error. Setting aside for a moment whether or not the congregation is really speaking in tongues, there is clear instruction in the bible on how this should be done:

From 1 Corinthians 14:

22Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers ... 27If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.

The practice as described in your question is clearly not in line with scripture; they are just "clanging gongs".

But, I, too, think "condemnation" is a little strong. The literal meaning is to mark them for hell, and I hope that's what you have in mind. Secondly, I'm concerned

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YES YO SHOULD. There's no perfect church, right, but there are such people called false prophets and we need lesser people hearing wrong and out of context preaching. It's sad because there are a huge load of people just believing what the pastor says and not seeking for truth themselves (they're not even opening their Bible during preaching)

As I've said, yes, do so - but correct them directly before you condemn them. If they don't listen to your corrections - just don't feed dogs what is Holy (according to the book of Matthew) and warn other people about that church as Jesus have warned His disciples about the Pharisees.

God bless and Bless God

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