I expect that anybody who has been in the church long enough has found themselves, sooner or later, in a position where they suspect the pastor (minister, priest, etc) is not teaching quite what you would expect. Maybe he is teaching something that is slightly out of step with the Bible. Maybe he is teaching something that is not quite in line with the church's affiliation. Or maybe both.
I am trying to find the best way to handle such a conversation right now. I'm in a situation where the pastor routinely -- week after week, month after month, at this point year after year -- begins Bible classes by misquoting the Bible. The invocation with which he begins is, "In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit." That's a fairly obvious misquote of part of the great commission: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit". It's not even possible that he doesn't realize that it's a misquote; he says it correctly during church services or (interestingly enough) when his supervisor is in town. I have found myself wondering: Does he think he's improving on the Bible? If not, why change it? But if so, what exactly is his level of respect for the Bible, and its role as a safeguard for the faith once given?
Why am I still there, if he's misquoting it that blatantly, that regularly? Well, it's not for lack of looking around at other churches to see if there's anything out there that is truer to Christ and his word. In the last few years I've visited three different Lutheran churches, a Methodist church, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Church of Christ, and Baptist at various points. But I have yet to find anywhere where the preacher is any more Biblical than my current pastor. Why have I not yet spoken to him, if it has been going on so long? Because the previous time I tried to speak to him about something -- something far less serious, that didn't anger me at all but I thought was more difficult than necessary and thought could be made simpler -- not only was I not able to persuade him to see another point of view, but the particular thing I brought to his attention was promptly used as a sermon example of people not cooperating with church leadership.(At times like this I'm glad I've guarded my anonymity as a blogger over the years; it does help.)
But I'm curious whether anyone has ever navigated through a conversation like that successfully. And by "successfully" I mean not just without getting excommunicated, preferably even without getting used as a bad example in a sermon, but actually succeeded in getting the pastor (minister, priest, etc) to listen?