Tag Archive | Heresy

Giving Opportunity to Evil

Thomas Hodges on  ministers who refuse to fight against heresy:

Tares“…alas, here is the sad root of this misery, that either the ministers are ignorant,[1] and unable to maintain the truth, confute and stop the mouths of gainsayers; or they are wicked and scandalous, like Eli’s sons, whose profane and ungodly courses lose all repute to the truth, making the things of God, (by those who measure truth by the lives and carriages of them that maintain it), to be abandoned and abhorred.[2] If neither of these, yet perhaps they are careless, negligent, and inadvertent, not heeding how truth thrives, or how error spreads,[3] as if to them it were of very small or no concern. In point of benefit they are greedy dogs, zealous enough for their profit,[4] looking after that from every quarter; but in point of duty they lack heart,[5] the fire of zeal for God’s glory is not in them, therefore they love their ease, to sleep, slumber, and take their rest; by which they give not only an opportunity to the evil one to sow his tares, but to those tares to take root and prosper.”

[1] Isaiah 56:10.

[2] 1 Samuel 2:13.

[3] Revelation 2:20.

[4] Isaiah 56:11.

[5] Revelation 3:15.

“The Growth and Spreading of Heresy, (54).”

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/ministers-must-fight-against-the-growth-and-spreading-of-heresy.92328/, Comment 1

Note: no endorsement of Ellen G. White intended by the use of the above image

12 Lies American Evangelicals Believe

Tyler O’Neil, from an October 2016 article:

“Evangelical Christians are supposedly united in their belief that only those who believe the gospel — that Jesus Christ died on the cross for humanity’s sins and rose from the dead three days later — will be saved. But not all who identify as evangelicals even believe this.

According to a September study by LifeWay Research, Americans don’t know much about theology. While most Americans identify as Christians, they seem confused about the details of their faith.

“Contradictory and incompatible beliefs are OK for most people,” explained Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. Even those who identify as evangelicals often fell into some of the worst theological errors.

Here are twelve lies about God, morality, and salvation which Christians in the study believed, and why they are wrong…”

Read more: https://pjmedia.com/faith/2016/10/24/12-lies-american-evangelicals-believe/?singlepage=true

A Wrong-Headed Appeal to Matthew 18

D.A. Carson on how do properly deal with a situation where a Person A writes a book promoting heresy and Person B publicly seeks to refute Person A without talking to him first:

770px-Daniel_Huntington_Philosophy_and_Christian_Art“…it is no part of wisdom to “Tut-tut” the narrow-mindedness of Person B and smile condescendingly and dismissively over such judgmentalism. That may play well among those who think the greatest virtue in the world is tolerance, but surely it cannot be the honorable path for a Christian. Genuine heresy is a damnable thing, a horrible thing. It dishonors God and leads people astray. It misrepresents the gospel and entices people to believe untrue things and to act in reprehensible ways. Of course, Person B may be entirely mistaken. Perhaps the charge Person B is making is entirely misguided, even perverse. In that case, one should demonstrate the fact, not hide behind a procedural matter. And where Person B is advancing serious biblical argumentation, it should be evaluated, not dismissed with a procedural sleight-of-hand and a wrong-headed appeal to Matthew 18.”

Read more: http://themelios.thegospelcoalition.org/article/editorial-on-abusing-matthew-18

 

What is Montanism?

Question: “What is Montanism?”

Eusebius-of-caesareaAnswer: Montanism is named after a man named Montanus who became a convert to Christianity around A.D. 170. He lived in Asia Minor, and, prior to his conversion, he was a priest in an Asiatic cult called Cybele. He claimed that he had the gift of prophecy, prophesying in an ecstatic state. Eusebius, a church historian born around A.D. 260-270, wrote the following of Montanus: “In his lust for leadership, he became obsessed and would suddenly fall into frenzy and convulsions. He began to be ecstatic and speak and talk strangely, and prophesied contrary to that which was the custom from the beginning of the church. Those who heard him were convinced that he was possessed. They rebuked him and forbade him to speak, remembering the warning of the Lord Jesus to be watchful because false prophets would come” (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 5.16.1). Montanus was joined by two women, Priscilla and Maximilla, who also claimed to have the gift of prophecy and also prophesied in an ecstatic state.

It was not the idea of prophecy that caused a great disturbance in the church. It was the manner in which they prophesied. They had departed from the biblical norms of prophecy, both in content and in the manner in which they expressed their prophesies. They as a trio believed that they had received revelation from the Lord while being in an ecstatic state. This style of prophesying was likened to the same irrational, ecstatic prophetic style that was a part of Montanus’ life prior to his conversion when he was a priest of Cybele. One of his more serious and obviously heretical prophesies was that an apocalyptic spirit was abroad and that Christ was to soon return and set up the New Jerusalem in the vicinity of the town of Pepuza in Phrygia, Asia Minor. This, of course, never happened and proved again that they were false prophets (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).

The early church rejected Montanus and the prophetesses and their prophecies. The rejection was based on the biblical examples of other prophets. While Montanus, Priscilla, and Maximilla were irrational when prophesying, prophets of the Bible were rational in their thinking and actions. Old Testament prophets spoke an understandable message; they were always in control; they always spoke with reason and understanding. The church expected New Testament prophets to follow the same pattern as Old Testament prophets. If they did not, they were rejected as false prophets. Montanus argued that he was being persecuted just as Jesus said His true followers would be in Matthew 23:34. However, those that opposed Montanus pointed out that neither he nor his followers had ever endured any persecution or martyrdom because of what they taught. Those that opposed Montanus again appealed to Matthew 7:15, where Jesus warned of the coming of false prophets. The prophetic claims of Montanus were rejected by most of the early church because they did not meet the biblical example and criteria of a true prophet.

Some today see in the actions of Montanus, Priscilla, and Maximilla justification for ecstatic utterances or speaking in tongues. Yet, tongues was NOT the issue; rather, prophecy was the issue. However, tongues were never ecstatic utterances; they were usable, understandable languages (Acts 2:7-11). Either way, whether prophesying or speaking in tongues, the Lord’s purpose in giving gifts was for the edification of the church (Ephesians 4:11-13). Prophecy was meant to be understood for the edification of the church. Tongues were meant to be translated so they could be understood, again for the edification of the church. If this did not happen, those speaking were to be silent (1 Corinthians 14:28). These gifts were to be used properly and in an orderly manner (1 Corinthians 14:40), again a requirement that Montanus and his followers failed to meet.

Source:  http://www.gotquestions.org/montanism.html

We Deserve Nothing Good

Jean-Baptiste Oudry - Le loup et l'agneau

Even though we grew up in a post-Christian Canada, my husband and I are in the interesting situation of knowing, among the people we grew up with, at least:

  • One Calvinistic Baptist pastor;
  • One female Baptist pastor;
  • Two Christian and Missionary Alliance pastors;
  • One Presbyterian pastor (PCC);
  • One female Presbyterian pastor (PCC);
  • Four Anglican priest(esse)s;
  • One New Testament scholar; and
  • One missionary

I wish I could say that all of the above people teach the historic Christian faith, but sadly I can’t.  In fact, I know for certain that at least one of the above-mentioned individuals is a pied piper leading people to hell.  I recently perused said pastor’s blog and read sermon after sermon assuring people that they “deserve” God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness because God has deemed human beings to be “worthy” of those blessings.  There was no mention of sin or repentance or the need to turn to God in faith.

By contrast, here is what the Bible actually teaches, as summarized in the Westminster Shorter Catechism (scripture proofs are listed below):

Q. 17. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.[42]

Q. 18. Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam’s first sin,[43] the want of original righteousness,[44] and the corruption of his whole nature,[45] which is commonly called original sin; together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.[46]

Q. 19. What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. All mankind by their fall lost communion with God,[47] are under his wrath[48] and curse,[49] and so made liable to all the miseries of this life,[50] to death[51] itself, and to the pains of hell forever.[52]

Scripture Proofs:

[42] Genesis 3:16-19, 23. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return…. Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. Romans 3:16. Destruction and misery are in their ways: Romans 5:12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Ephesians 2:1. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.

[43] Romans 5:12, 19. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

[44] Romans 3:10. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: Colossians 3:10. And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Ephesians 4:24. And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

[45] Psalm 51:5. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. John 3:6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Romans 3:18. There is no fear of God before their eyes. Romans 8:7-8. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Ephesians 2:3. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

[46] Genesis 6:5. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Psalm 53:1-3. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Matthew 15:19. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: Romans 3:10-18, 23. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes…. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Galatians 5:19-21. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. James 1:14-15. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

[47] Genesis 3:8, 24. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden…. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. John 8:34, 42, 44. Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin…. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me…. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. Ephesians 2:12. That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: Ephesians 4:18. Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.

[48] John 3:36. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. Romans 1:18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Ephesians 2:3. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephesians 5:6. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

[49] Galatians 3:10. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Revelation 22:3. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him.

[50] Genesis 3:16-19. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Job 5:7. Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. Ecclesiastes 2:22-23. For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun? For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity. Romans 8:18-23. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

[51] Ezekiel 18:4. Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Romans 5:12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 6:23. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

[52] Matthew 25:41, 46. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels…. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. 2 Thessalonians 1:9. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; Revelation 14:9-11. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

May God limit the evils of the false teachers in the church and have mercy upon this wicked and adulterous generation.