How to Deal with Heretics and Those Who Disagree with You

Posted on December 24, 2008. Filed under: Contemporary Religion, Theological Issues |

Wednesday, December 24, Christmas Eve Day, 2008–In yesterday’s Post I was writing about an article posted by Dr. Al Mohler and I was agreeing with him that those who DENY the Virgin Birth of Christ reveal a low view of Scripture and do damage to the doctrine of the Person of Christ, the doctrine of salvation and the doctrine of the Trinity. This kind of unbelief by those who call themselves Christians and are pastors or teachers in Protestant churches and seminaries properly merits the term Heretic. That is strong language and no doubt some objected to that. Only one person responded, and he quite obviously objected to my point of view.

But I have a couple of questions this morning. If we do not use the term heretic to describe those who have given up a core doctrine of the Faith, what term should be used? If you are a “Christian” of the liberal sort, and do not believe the Bible to be true in its claims to miracles like the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection, how can we distinguish between what you believe and what the Church has historically taught? If you do not believe in the Full Divinity of Jesus, that he was fully divine at birth as well as fully human, how does that affect your view of the Trinity? How are we saved if Jesus was not the eternal Son of God dying in our place to atone for our sins? If Jesus did not rise from the grave literally, where is our hope for eternal life?

I think that the words  “Heretic” and “Heresy” are good words, but why do people object to them when they have clearly forsaken the most important doctrines of historic Christianity?

Things get much tougher when you start examining Evangelical thought in all its diversity with the various shades of Arminianism, Calvinism, Pentecostalism, Word of Faith, and now the Emergent and Emerging Churches. Doctrinal diversity seems to be multiplying. But where does our diversity get to the point of Heresy?

While I have long been a 5 point Calvinist and simply cannot see how anyone who understands either the biblical doctrine of man’s sinfulness or the sovereignty of God could ever believe in a general atonement or synergism, I do have some concerns about my own tendency to critique those who differ with me. I certainly disagree with Billy Graham’s theology, and to a lesser degree his methodolgy, but it seems to me that the Lord blesses some men and ministries despite being off in a few important areas of doctrine. Who am I to criticize someone like Billy Graham?

I understand that not all results are the work of God; much that we think may be the work of God ends up being a straw structure and will not be preserved on the Last Day. Yet, when I look at the overall work of men like Graham, Rick Warren, and Ravi Zacharias (all of whom have received some severe criticisms by my Reformed brethren) I cannot help but thank the Lord for their faithfulness to the Great Commission and to the Lord and his Word- even though their doctrines are off and some of their fruit may prove false. At some point it appears that the criticisms from the Reformed ranks might be saying, “If you don’t believe just like us you are not really preaching the Gospel and you probably are not really saved and you are obviously a wolf in sheep’s clothing, etc.” That may not be what we are saying, but it seems like that might be how the message sounds.

Don’t get me wrong here, if someone deliberately repudiates a core doctrine, I do not hesitate to call a heretic a heretic. But when it comes to those Arminian brothers who “feel” that we can freely choose Christ while still dead in our trespasses and sins, I am hesitant to criticize them too severely. It seems to me that while Truth (doctrine) absolutely matters, that is not all that matters. In this sin filled world, I might have a more precise understanding of the truths of God’s Word than you, but your faith and obedience to what you do believe may be much stronger than mine, and most importantly, God (for his own reasons) might just choose to use You more than me, even though you believe some things that are really quite wrong, and if taken to their logical extreme, would prove to be another gospel.

I realize that we are living in dangerous times and that Evangelicalism has been seriously compromised from within and challenged from without. We must be able to discern the truth and defend the truth. But my own tendencies towards a sharp tongue (pen? Keyboard?) and a bit of arrogance concern me.

I guess the struggle for me is to know when to criticize and how to do  it with humility and grace. And I am really wrestling with why God seems to use so many Believers whose doctrines are pretty distorted. Again I know that not all fruit that seems good really is good, but I think that we in the Reformed house may sometimes use that as an excuse.

Any suggestions would be helpful.

Humbly yours,

Bryan

Advertisements

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

3 Responses to “How to Deal with Heretics and Those Who Disagree with You”

RSS Feed for Mark12ministries’s Weblog Comments RSS Feed

“I think that the words “Heretic” and “Heresy” are good words, but why do people object to them”

***
This is why; many don’t realize the violent history behind the Roman Catholic Church regarding “heresy”. The Papal “tradition” of dealing with “heretics” is not only unbiblical but is of Satan, copying satan’s goal to be worshiped in place of God. Note this clip from the Jesuit oath condoning crimes and atrocities “in the name of God”:

“I furthermore promise and declare that I will, when opportunity present, make and wage relentless war, secretly or openly, against all heretics, Protestants and Liberals, as I am directed to do, to extirpate and exterminate them from the face of the whole earth; and that I will spare neither age, sex or condition; and that I will hang, waste, boil, flay, strangle and bury alive these infamous heretics, rip up the stomachs and wombs of their women and crush their infants’ heads against the walls, in order to annihilate forever their execrable race. That when the same cannot be done openly, I will secretly use the poisoned cup, the strangulating cord, the steel of the poniard or the leaden bullet, regardless of the honor, rank, dignity, or authority of the person or persons, whatever may be their condition in life, either public or private, as I at any time may be directed so to do by any agent of the Pope or Superior of the Brotherhood of the Holy Faith, of the Society of Jesus”.

The word “Anti” in the original Greek means “in place of”. Who claims to be “in place of” Christ? Vicar means “a substitute in office”. Who claims to be a “substitute in office”?

Outstanding point Kyrie!
Certainly in the history of the church the Catholics branded the Protestants as Heretics and persecuted them unmercifully. Likewise, Protestants persecuted Catholics and Baptists and branded them both Heretics. And numerous religious wars were fought over heresies and hundreds of thousands, millions even, died.

Granted the word, viewed in its historical usage, is emotionally and politically charged.

However, the word Heresy can still be used today without the violent and political connotations. Of course there would remain a subjective element. What is heretical to the Catholic may be sound doctrine for the Protestant.

I would maintain that anyone who professed to be a Christian, but denies the Virgin Birth, the miracles of Christ and the Apostles, the literal phyisical resurrection of Christ, and a few other doctrines, is a heretic and should be labeled such and disciplined by their respective denominations.

“Protestants persecuted Catholics and Baptists and branded them both Heretics.”
***
There are only 2 ministries in the world: “The ministry of condemnation” (sin management) which is vastly Papist and “the ministry of reconciliation” which has no leader but Jesus and, according to a man made tradition is considered “heretic” and worthy of torture & death by the Papacy.

The authority of the Papacy to make such a claim is from the “Pseudo-Isidorean (False) Decretals”, the most extensive and influential set of forgeries found in medieval Canon law. The works were probably produced c 842 in Metz.[1] The author, a French cleric calling himself Isidore Mercator, created false documents purportedly by early church popes, demonstrating that supremacy of the papacy dated back to the church’s oldest traditions.

The author’s motive was apparently to give the pope more power… “They were deliberate forgeries and corruptions of ancient historical Documents, but their spurious character was not discovered til some centuries later.
– Hally’s Bible Handbook p 879

“Ministers of Reconciliation” are vastly “Protestant” and would never take up the sword. Reconciliators only teach and administer the gospel of Christ and do not judge executably or do justice. “Rather, it judges spiritually, it loves, nurtures, suffers patiently, forgives, and rejoices in the truth. Reconciliation never fails because its strength is not sin but the power of God.”

“I place no blame here on anyone. The Papacy and the American Presidency are appointed by God to regulate evildoers by all necessary means. This they’re doing well – “using power to help people” – and are enjoying rich worldly rewards for their deceptive and often brutal services. But their eternal future is in dire jeopardy, a fact dimmed by the ecstasy of power.

When a self-aware evildoer is led to stop evildoing, he is being drawn inexorably by God out of the jurisdiction of the rulers of evil. This is “coming out of Babylon,” and it’s not easy. It’s as hard on the body as stopping smoking, drugs, or toxic diets. How to leave the addiction of Babylon is not taught in any religious institution that I know of, Christian or otherwise. One learns only from humbly reading the Bible, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit and others who have come out. Persons who help others wanting to come out of Babylon are called “ministers of reconciliation.” Reconciliators don’t condemn evildoers or their rulers. They don’t evangelize for a particular church or sect. They only facilitate citizenship in the safest, best-protected government on earth, Jesus Christ.- Tupper Saussy


Where's The Comment Form?

    About

    This blog exists to study the bi-vocational ministry, explore the Bible & Theology, and look at current events, history and other world religions through scripture, and have fun doing it!

    RSS

    Subscribe Via RSS

    • Subscribe with Bloglines
    • Add your feed to Newsburst from CNET News.com
    • Subscribe in Google Reader
    • Add to My Yahoo!
    • Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    • The latest comments to all posts in RSS

    Meta

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: