As a n Elder Board here at Gaylord E-Free, we have been studying the book of Titus together. This is a book that gives great teaching on the importance of Elders in the church and what their role in the church is to be.
We discovered in this book the danger of false teachers and deceivers in the church who sow seeds of destruction, discord and disunity. As you read through these warnings in Titus, along with similar warnings in other books of the New Testament, you tend to see a pattern into how these seeds are sown. They aren't communicated through a bullhorn. They are communicated through a whisper.
In Titus 1:10-11 we read that "rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers" must be silenced because they are "upsetting whole families." The implication is that they were spreading their destruction and discord house to house and family by family.
In 2 Peter 2:1-3, we learn that false prophets and false teachers will "secretly" introduce their destructive heresies. In other words, they will do it "under the radar," spreading their poison person to person.
In Romans 16:17-18, we read about men who use flattering speech to deceive the hearts of the "unsuspecting." Again, the implication is that quietly they use flattery to win individuals over to their cause, individuals who do not suspect that they have ulterior motives.
So often we see it happen or hear of it happening. Churches move into a crisis because seeds of destruction, disunity and/or discord have been planted. And usually this happens through secret meetings and private conversations This activity does not start by taking place out in the open. It starts quietly, subtlety. It takes place through a conversation in a corner over here or during a cup of coffee at a restaurant over there. It happens through a phone call during the day or through an invitation to dinner at night. In other words, it takes place in ways that our "under the radar" until enough people are won over so that it can become a public issue.
Whenever you find yourself in a situation where an individual in your church, even one you really wouldn't suspect of having ulterior motives, is "chewing on your ear" privately and quietly about issues in the church that they are "concerned" about or about teachings that are counter to what is being taught, I would encourage you to BEWARE! It's usually through these means that seeds of destruction, discord and disunity are planted that can send a church into a crisis.
Be careful of the church whisperer.