Are You a Heretic?

Are you a heretic?  Am I?  No one has perfect theology, do they?

Not one person who is currently living or who has ever lived could rightfully claim ultimate infallibility with regard to Scripture interpretation (excepting Jesus Christ Himself and the rest of the Godhead, of course).  We learn from each other.  It’s an organic process as we grow in Christ.

HOWEVER, there are certain Scriptural Truths that are non-negotiable within orthodox Christianity.  And, I will fight for those Truths earnestly contending for the faith [Jude 3].  There are aberrant teachings such as Latter Rain/Dominionism/Manifest Sons of God/Prophetic/NAR, Word of Faith, the emergent/emerging church, strict legalism, etc.; plus, there are, of course, sub-Christian cults.  Each of these MUST be addressed!

The thing we must keep in mind, though, is that there are those caught up in these doctrines/movements unknowingly.  Some are truly seeking God through Jesus Christ yet are enmeshed in heresy.  It is for this reason I prefer to label the teachings as heresy rather than call those involved heretics.  To call individuals heretics, to me, seems to make a judgment of the heart.

This does not mean to say that some of these individuals are not teaching heresy knowingly.  I’m sure there are those who are quite wittingly leading others astray – wolves in sheep’s clothing [Matthew 7:15].  These people may never be reached at all as they are the tares/weeds amongst the wheat:

24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field?  How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’  The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’ [Matthew 13:24-30 NKJV]

On the other hand, we are to continue, in love, to show the error of false teaching for to do so, we may potentially help some of those who are following heretical teachings actually reach a saving faith.

22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh [Jude 22-23 NIV]

 19 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. [James 5:19-20 NIV]

OK, so, I’m not a heretic and, hopefully, neither are you.  Let’s all grow in the knowledge of His will through all spiritual understanding in order to live a life pleasing to the Lord [Colossians 1:9-14].

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10 Responses to Are You a Heretic?

  1. Tricia says:

    Yes, there’s a huge difference between being deluded or misled or mistaken, which happens to us all more than we would care to admit, and being wilfully contradictory to the plain teachings of the bible in an attempt to lead others astray. And there’s a middle course to be steered between “love everybody” regardless and “reject everybody” when they don’t conform to your particular set of beliefs.

  2. Craig says:

    Exactly. And, it is my hope that we can stay in that middle. There is so much at stake to reduce this to a ‘reject all’ attitude.

  3. Karen Butler says:

    Whew, I’m glad I’m not a heretic! I agree, we have to stop throwing those unhelpful words around.

    What a good job you’re doing here, Craig. You are respecfully engaging your critics, and thoroughly engaging the topics you address. I pray you will bring many of the Father’s children out of the tossing waves of deceitful doctrines by continually speaking the truth in love.

    I do have one suggestion–can you switch to a more readable theme on WordPress? Your articles are very long, and it becomes more difficult to read them, especially the quotes in blue. I confess that if I had not read your excellent article on Johnson’s Born Again Jesus on Mkayla’s site I might not have read much here. Her bold type, for example, is excellent for long articles.

    But regardless, I look forward to reading more here!

  4. Craig says:

    Karen,

    Well, perhaps you need to get a stronger eyeglass prescription… ;-)

    I’ll take your suggestion under advisement. Due to technical problems (long story) I was somewhat limited in my choice of themes. I will see if the problem is still active.

    Thanks for coming by!

    Craig

  5. mbaker says:

    Craig,

    Thanks for the balance and fairness you are trying to present here, which I find so often lacking on discernment sites.

  6. Craig says:

    mbaker,

    It is my prayer that this site will meet the goal of fairness and balance; and, I expect the readership to help keep me accountable to that standard.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Craig

  7. mbaker says:

    “…we are to continue, in love, to show the error of false teaching for to do so, we may help those who are following heretical teachings actually reach a saving faith.”

    I was so thankful; to those who did just that and who helped me see the error of teachings that I had gotten involved in, (and questioned), but was always told “Don’t touch God’s anointed”, meaning the false teachers of course. I think many like me who are older Christians have been taught to respect whatever comes from the pulpit as God’s truth.

    Unfortunately, as many of us found out in hindsight, that is not always the case.

  8. Derek Ashton says:

    Craig,

    This is an excellent way to deal with this topic. May God use your site to bring others to the Truth of Jesus.

    Grace & peace,
    Derek Ashton

  9. Craig says:

    Derek,

    Thanks for your comment! :-)

    In pursuit of His Truth,

    Craig
    CrossWise

  10. Pingback: Are You A Heretic? | The Narrowing Path

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