When is it right to name names?

Im in 100% agreement with everything Sis Simone is saying in this video. Since she has done a great job talking about why we should name names, here’s my own succinct list of guidelines I use to determine whether or not I will name names. Not all conditions must be present on any given decision.

The conditions of naming names of false teachers:
1. When it is done or said publicly
2. When the person is in leadership or in a role of influence within the Christian church
3. When the person has a verifiable history of unbiblical teachings
4. When the person has a verifiable history of associating or affirming heresy from others
5. When the Holy Spirit says to do it
6. When the person demonstrates no attempt to consider their error of their teachings in light of scripture
7. When there is clear evidence of apostate/heretical teaching
8. When a credible source has already reported the information publicly


20 thoughts on “When is it right to name names?

  1. Pastor Foster-the church’s refusal to do this shows a lack of biblical knowledge and it is a testament to the bible illiteracy around the world.

    If you go get your car fixed by a mechanic and he does a terrible Job. What does everybody do? They warn others! I don’t understand how people can continue to remain silent when the word of God gives us plenty of evidence that it needs to be done!

    Romans 16:17 (King James Version)
    17Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

    Ephesians 5:11 (New International Version)
    11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

    Titus 3:9-11 (King James Version)
    9But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
    10A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
    11Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

    Matthew 7:15 (King James Version)
    15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    The Word of God is clear on the matter.

  2. I guess the other question is who is authorized to name names. Does the bible give just anybody the express authority to call out false teachers?

  3. Paul wrote to timothy a overseer of a church:

    1 Timothy 5:20 ESV / 2 helpful votes
    “As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.”

    Paul was speaking to the dear children in Ephesius

    Ephesians 5:11 (New International Version)
    11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

    Rebuke Them: Paul words to Titus
    Titus 1:10, 13, 16, “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”

    This was some info I was able find…..What are your thought Pastor Foster?

  4. Per the scriptures you cited and others, it looks like the “calling out” was always done by an apostle, overseer or authorized church leader i.e. John, Peter, Paul, Jude, the OT prophets.
    The reason for that may be the average sheep doesnt have the spiritual maturity to deal with the wiles and cunning of the false teachers.

    Looking into it more…

  5. lol @ “hush”.
    No thats not what Im saying. I was simply laying out what seems to be the predominant biblical precedent. There are other examples where such a one was not in the aforementioned group yet were given the charge. Jer 1st chapter. Beyond that I believe that all believers as they mature should act as guards against false teachers in some way or another. Its up to the Holy Spirit as to how that takes shape and what level of intensity it will have.

    All of those categories (apostle, overseer, leader) could still be considered ministers as you are. I dont mean the title to exclude anyone who has been anointed for a certain work. Ref David’s confrontation of Goliath when Saul the king did not.

  6. People of God: Romans 16:17 speaks to the plurality of brethren and which refers to the people of God and not just one person being assigned as the “official spotter of darkness or evil deeds.”
    Those who have discernment and can “see” sin or works of darkness can speak out a word in season to the offender with the purpose,at times, of restoration. There are other levels of discipline but as to one on one relations, who better than fellow sheep to spot another sheep going down the wrong path.
    We are a royal priesthood and a priest can confront another priest about the presence of sin.
    A “title” is not a prerequisite to invoke the Word of God.
    Ephesians 5:11 spoke, in toto, to the church body and which means it was a general directive to all to heed and to be on their guard and to watch out and for each other.
    When you expose deeds of darkness, there is a mindset behind that darkness and which means there is a personality or a name associated with that deed of darkness.
    Warn others by using the name. If the trumpet sound is not clear, who knows when to prepare for battle….or whom to battle?

  7. OK Pastor Foster here is a question that was answered by Pastor John MacArthur:

    The following “Question” was asked by a member of the congregation at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, and “Answered” by their pastor, John MacArthur Jr. It was transcribed by Kathy Shortridge of Billings, Montana from the tape, GC 1301-P, titled “Bible Questions and Answers Part 18.” A copy of the tape can be obtained by writing, Word of Grace, P.O. Box 4000, Panorama City, CA 91412 or by dialing toll free 1-800-55-GRACE. ©1981. All Rights Reserved.


    I was talking to a friend today and his church is having a little controversy within the congregation about faith, and apparently some people are getting involved in a the very Charismatic type of thinking. Specifically it comes from Kenneth Copeland and he’s talking about, ‘Well, it’s kind of like, ‘Let God and let go thinking,’ and human responsibility has little to do to exercise your faith, you just trust God. I explained to him to look at what biblical faith was in Hebrews 11, in the fact that the patriarchs, for example, did things and their faith changed their behavior. I was wondering what might you suggest to tell him to help him along?


    The reason, basically, that people get involved in that: Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Frederick Price and a lot of other lesser light stuff. The reason people get involved in that is because they do not understand the nature of God. God for them is nothing more than an utilitarian genie. You rub the bottle, he jumps out and does what you demand. It is a man centered theology, it is based on health, wealth, and happiness.

    I could say it to you simply this way: those guys say, you can…they call it affirmation faith. They use a lot of different terms, but ever increasing faith, affirmation faith and you know they’re like the clock that doesn’t run, they are right twice a day and that’s what confuses people. See I mean, they intersect with the truth a couple of times and they are clever. But basically what they are saying is, you can demand healing. I mean, Hagin and Copeland say they have never been sick, never been sick, but they are going to die. But they are never sick, they never have problems, they are always successful, they have always enough money and so forth…that’s what they are promising.

    Now I would just say, that the problem basically is they have a man centered theology. You get into it for what you can get out of it. You demand healing, you demand prosperity, you demand a new job, you demand a new car. They call it faith, but it isn’t faith at all, it’s indulgence under the guise of faith. They just absolutely murder the scripture by misinterpretation. They just adulterate it all over the place, twisting it to make their own goals. There is always a sort of a major ego thing that you see just as big as a spotlight in the middle of the whole deal.

    Just another step I would add. Any system that comes along and promises health and prosperity and all of that stuff is the utter antithesis to what the gospel offers men. Jesus said, “If you’re not willing to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy to be my disciple.” Jesus said to the young guy who came along and said, “I got to go home and bury my father,” which means collect my inheritance, “Forget it!” Another guy came along and said, “I’ll follow you where ever you go,” he said, “The foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no where to lay his head,” and the guy split. In other words he said I don’t want you on the terms that you are looking for comfort. I want you on the terms that you are going to abandon comfort. But these guys are coming around, and the very things that Jesus rejected in followers, they are giving to followers and saying this is the gospel and it is the very opposite gospel to what Jesus offered.

    So you see they don’t understand the character and nature of God. He is Holy. He is Sovereign. He is Lord. They have made man the lord who will tell God what to do. And I think as I have said before, that it is one of the most insidious things happening in America today, because it sounds so good and they are so flowery and warm. Copeland is almost like a stand up comic, you know, he’s funny. He’s really funny and he sort of draws people in with his humor, and Fred Price is a clever speaker.

    But, I’m more and more convinced, and that’s why I don’t hesitate to talk about these things, that I am called by God to preserve the sacredness of sound doctrine. Just for an illustration of that, in 1st Timothy, just to give you the perspective and when I get done with Romans or Matthew, I’m going to teach 1st Timothy. But, it is says if a man desires the office of a bishop or an elder or a pastor, he desires a good work. All right, then it gives all the qualifications (1st Timothy 3), he has to be a one woman man, blameless, he has to be temperate, sober minded, and it gives all these things, and they’re all one phrase…blip, blip, blip, blip and that’s all there is to it. Then all of a sudden, it comes down to the fact that he must have…….let’s see if I can find the exact verse. Well it goes all the way through the deacons and all the way down to the end of the chapter and then into chapter 4, it talks about the deacon and the deacon’s wife and so forth and so on, then you come into chapter 4, “…and the Spirit speaks expressly, in the latter times comes false doctrines…” and so forth and so forth, then you come to verse 6 of chapter 4, “If you put the brethren in remembrance of these things you’ll be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and sound doctrine.” Then he goes on, “…refuse profane and old wives fables, and he goes on to say, these things command and teach,” read the text, verse 13, “…exhort and teach doctrine and don’t neglect the gift.” Verse 16, “…take heed unto the doctrine.” In other words, you got all these little short deals and then when he gets into doctrine, he goes on for half a chapter, because that is the major ministry of an elder or a pastor, is to keep the church from error.

    Now if you back up into 1st Timothy, I’ll show you the same thing. 1st Timothy, chapter 1, in verse 18, he says, “This charge or this body of truth I commit unto you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which pointed to thee, that thou by them mightiest war a good warfare. In other words, your a soldier Timothy, by virtue of the declaration of the elders who affirmed your calling and you are to, “Hold the faith with a good conscience and not be like those who put away the faith and made a ship wreck like Hymenaeus and Alexander who I have delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.” In other words, you make sure you hold the faith, and you make sure you keep a pure life and don’t fall by the wayside as those who have literally made shipwreck. And what it means is these false teachers had a boat load of people and they wrecked them on the shoals of false doctrine and the people are floundering in the water.

    So that the primary responsibility of the servant of God is to keep sound doctrine before the people. And one of the things you have to do to do that, in Acts 20, is to warn people about false teachers and so I don’t hesitate to do that. Because I think these things are so insidious.

    Look! Christians across this country are literally confused beyond hope. You know, you are fortunate, you are in a church where there is a firm commitment to sound teaching and its consistent and its systematic and you can depend on it and you can learn from it. Most people sit in a church and they don’t even know what sound doctrine is. There are a lot of places where I can go, and go in and speak and give a message and it goes right on by people like I was talking another language. Because they don’t even have ears to hear let alone understanding. So its critical that we warn the people. It’s amazing to me how many people support these ministries thinking they are really supporting something the Lord is in and its just chaotic.

  8. Ok here is another question:

    The following “Question” was asked by a member of the congregation at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, and “Answered” by their pastor, John MacArthur Jr. It was transcribed by Anjela Paje of Spokane, WA, from the tape, GC 1301-W, titled “Bible Questions and Answers Part 25.” A copy of the tape can be obtained by writing, Word of Grace, P.O. Box 4000, Panorama City, CA 91412 or by dialing toll free 1-800-55-GRACE. ©1983. All Rights Reserved.


    We were having a discussion this morning on the occult. And, I wanted to know, if a Jehovah’s Witness came up to you and said that, that their religion was the right way, what would you say?

    John MacArthur’s Answer

    I’d say, they were wrong. First of all, it would depend on the situation. When the Jehovah’s Witnesses come to my house, and want to teach me their stuff, I won’t let ‘em. I won’t let ‘em do that. But, I confront them as false prophets. I don’t know whether that’s what everybody ought to do. That’s what I do. I just say, “You’re false prophets, propagating damnable lies, representing Satan. And, I won’t hear them. But, on the other hand, if you’d like to hear the truth, I’d be more than happy to tell it to you.” It’s a shock sort of thing. You try to do what the Lord would have done, or what Paul would have done. But, you see, these people go along, and if everybody just sort of treats them nice, and, I know there’s a balance.

    You want to be loving and sensitive to them, but they need to be, sometimes, struck with what’s going on, what the reality is because no one really ever says that to them. And, you have to realize that they’re people just like us. And, they have all the same emotions and the same doubts. Only, their doubts are greater than our doubts because they don’t have the truth. And, the Lord can’t strengthen their faith because they don’t know the Lord. So, it’s all human. It’s a human system. And, they have doubts. And, sometimes, if you can be very strong in confronting them in a loving way, but very strong, you might be able to push them out of it, so I won’t let them propagate to me. But, if they want to hear what I say, I let them do that.

  9. @brdavision – MacArthur’s approach to JW’s is not necessarily the one that should be adopted by all Christians in every circumstance. We must be attentive to the Spirit of God as we engage others in evangelistic/apologetic dialogue.

  10. @COGIC BROTHER-I can agree with you on that somewhat, not everybody is equipped to handle agents of satan. But really that’s no excuse, every believer should open up their bible and read it. Jesus said so many times “do not be deceived” One can only be deceived if one doesn’t know….

    Jw’s are false teachers, and we need to engage them in that regard. Don’t allow them to teach you anything, but do tell them the truth.

  11. pastor foster,yes would she start calling them out because i just get a phone call from a friend who say’s she has became infected from a man in the church who asked her to marry him but he only used her to hide his secret he holds a lot of positions in the church including deacon and he sings ofcourse.She says wants to worn peaple but she is to ashamed. she says she went to church to live not die.what can i tell her? I’m scared she might hurt herself.

  12. pastor foster,yes we should start calling them out because i just get a phone call from a friend who is now infected from a man in the church she was ingaged to, but he likes men to. He holds many positions in the church,deacon and he sings.He used her to hide his secret.She says she wants to worn peaple but she is to ashamed to say she she get hiv in the church.What can i tell her I’m scared she might hurt herself.

  13. @brdavision – there is a difference between the truth itself and the way that one communicates it (the truth). In my opinion, only believers who lack discernment would engage every JW person in the manner outlined by John Mac. God does not call for us to “shock” every person we encounter in an apologetic encounter.

  14. @brdavision – Ok, let’s stay with the Word of God. Where in the Bible (chapter and verse) does it explicitly tell us to communicate the truth to unbelievers in a shocking way (ala John Mac)?

  15. Uh, how did this become a referendum on John Maxwell and Jehovah’s witnesses? I think the conversation is a little off course.
    The issue is false teachers in the Christian church.

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