My husband and I are so blessed in that we had good grounding for the first eight years of our Torah life. We had a rabbi who taught his congregation the basics of Torah without any silly, extra-biblical nonsense or the pushing of weird spellings of “the Sacred Names.” He would always apply the respective weekly Torah and Haftara (writings and prophets) portions to the Brit Chadasha (NT) readings, which always had the congregation spellbound and in a constant learning mode. In short, he was absolutely awesome!
One of his favorite sayings was, “We don’t have to keep Torah, we GET to keep Torah!” Well, that always kind of bothered me because, according to scriptures such as Numbers 15:13-16, anyone who accepts יהוה as their God, MUST become Torah observant! It’s not an option. Same ELOHIM, same rules…. (Torah consists of His divine instructions in righteousness, so why would there be different rules for His “natural” and “adopted” children?)
Anyway, neither Bill nor I ever challenged him on this; we just quietly disagreed. But then we ultimately ended up with a new “check in our Spirit” the day we asked the rabbi what we should do about eating pork (the main staple of Europe), as we were getting ready to take a trip to Germany when Abba caused me to find my natural father’s side of the family. Rather than to tell us that pork is “unclean” no matter where you go, our rabbi pointed us to one of Paul’s much-misunderstood writings, and said, “It says right here, you should eat anything that’s put in front of you.” (1 Corinthians 10:27)
So, we went to Germany and ate whatever my "new" relatives put in front of us. Somehow, in our gut, we KNEW it was wrong, but our rabbi had SAID it was okay to eat pork, and so we ate….
It wasn't until a couple years later (10 years into our Torah walk!) after Bill and I had grown in our faith (we left that particular synagogue after 8 years), that we realized our rabbi had been dead wrong in his interpretation of Paul, and that "unclean" remains "unclean" no matter what part of the world you're in. And so we immediately repented for having eaten pork in Germany, and decided to become VERY conscientious about our studies, and our future selection of teachers.
The lesson I’m trying to highlight is: By all means, follow GOOD teachers, because we ALL need guidance. But be very careful to never blindly believe anybody or anything you see, read or hear, because it just MIGHT be wrong! Constantly continue learning and growing, but READ Scripture for yourself (with the help of the Ruach) so you can know what it says and doesn’t say. If you don’t, then you’ll surely end up learning false doctrine and following some lunatic with an “ear tickling message” into the pits of hell.