Despite our family’s circumstances and decision to leave our former church, it is not that we believe all are lost. We cannot know the hearts of men or what God knows about their individual faith or salvation. For this reason, I am sure many in our former church are brothers and sisters in Christ. Leadership may be as well…pastors, staff. I would say it’s not likely that any church has 100% who are chosen believers, there will always be tares. I would also say that a pastor can still be saved and yet mistaken in his preaching in some areas.
I believe God opens the eyes of His sheep in His time so they can see the teaching of wolves, whether it’s sheep unaware who are teaching or it’s wolves who will push the agenda forward. I personally struggle because one particular pastor has fruits that indicate possible wolf status. It’s hard for me not to write him off completely. I do think some of the elders may also be in this category, though I don’t know enough of their personal fruits to see it. Sadly, there are also likely some in the church we know who believe they are saved but aren’t due to improper teaching. I don’t know if it’s our role to do more than point out error in teaching, confront sin directly as it’s seen. It is for God to judge the hearts, we can only judge the fruits.
I do believe though assuming a pastor or leader is actually a Christian saved by grace through faith in Christ is not wise either. Just because one says they are a Christian doesn’t make it so. Where to draw the line in my own head? I don’t know that I need to know so much as I need to just listen and see where a teacher/pastor is coming from based on their teaching and their fruits. If I point out the fruits, the error, and pray, what more to do?
I have so much to learn!