Can it be RIGHT to Rebuke PUBLICLY?? -Andrew Strom. Some Christians insist on applying Matt 18 to every situation. But what about FALSE TEACHERS? Matt 18 says that if my brother "sins against me" then I should go to him privately about it, then with one or two witnesses, then to the whole church if he does not repent. This is a very important process for resolving issues where a brother has sinned against me personally. But what about FALSE TEACHING of a serious nature? What if it is spreading or starting to infect whole sections of the body of Christ? Is it still just a "private matter"? My understanding is that in the New Testament we NEVER see Jesus or the apostles treating FALSE TEACHING as a "Matt 18" scenario. We see them publicly rebuking and correcting - trying to arrest the 'cancer' before it spreads any further. This is an act of LOVE towards the body. It is trying to stop the damage before too many precious sheep are harmed. False teaching and false prophets are never treated "NICELY" and "SWEETLY" in the New Testament! Below, Dale McElroy has compiled a bunch of Scriptures relating to this, that you may find interesting: "New Testament Correction methods" "The New Testament gives several ways and instruction on how to correct people. The apostle Paul sometimes even turned people over to Satan to correct them. -See 1 Cor 5 and 1 Timothy 1:20. Elders were commanded to correct severely in Titus 1:13. People are commanded to instruct with mercy or fear. -See Jude 22-23. Jesus rebuked Peter openly in Matthew. Paul rebuked Peter publicly in Galatians 2 for his hypocrisy. Jesus whipped the sellers out of the temple in Mark 11 and John 2. (-They had made God's house a den of thieves). In 1 Cor. 4:21 Paul asks the people, "Shall I come with love or a rod?" The apostle Paul used boldness in 2 Cor 10:1 and said that he would not spare anyone in 2 Cor 13:1-2. In 1 Timothy 5:20 a command is given to rebuke for sin publicly and in 2 Timothy 2:24-26 the instruction given is to correct with meekness. Col 1:28 gives the instruction to admonish and Hebrews 3:13 gives the instruction to exhort. Eph 5:11 gives the instruction to expose darkness. Gal 6:1 gives the instruction to correct with meekness if people are overtaken in a fault. Jude 3 gives the instruction to contend earnestly for the faith...." [END QUOTE]. ---------------------------- This is certainly an important issue in these Last Days, so it is vital that we understand what the New Testament is saying. The false teachers and false prophets in Acts were rebuked very harshly, and Paul sometimes "named names" in his letters to the churches. So surely we cannot continue to claim that this is a "Matt 18" situation? Surely it is more serious than that - and requires a more 'drastic' response? Enjoy your Bible studies on this topic, my friends! God bless you all. Kindest regards in Christ, Andrew Strom.