A Godly Attitude Toward Heresy
"For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers... Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake." —Titus 1:10,11
In these days of theological confusion and ecclesiastical compromise, what is the Biblical position for the Bible believer to assume toward heretics and false religious teachers? Are we to patronize them, associate with them, accept their sponsorship, increase their numbers, send them converts, add to their prestige, follow their leadership, identify our churches with them, obliterate important Biblical distinctions with them??? The Bible's answer is clear.
1. Try them . . .
1 John 4:1, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
2. Mark them . . .
Romans 16:17, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
3. Rebuke them . . .
Titus 1:13, "This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith . . ."
4. Have no fellowship . . .
Ephesians 5:11, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."
5. Withdraw thyself . . .
2nd Thessalonians 3:6, "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." (See also 1st Timothy 6:3-5).
6. Turn away from them . . .
2nd Timothy 3:5 " . . .Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
7. Receive them not . . .
2nd John 1:10-11, "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." To our day false teachings are fostered by misplaced hospitality.
8. Have no company with him . . .
2nd Thessalonians 3:14, "And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed."
9. Reject them . . .
Titus 3:10, "A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject . . ."
10. Be ye separate . . .
2nd Corinthians 6:17, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you . . ."
—The above adapted from an article by: G. Archer Weniger, D.D.
Contend for the faith . . .
The Bible teaching is plain. God's people and God's churches are forbidden to make common cause with modernism. Heresy is to be exposed. The ecumenical movement is controlled by heretics. Ecumenical evangelism ignores the Scriptural teaching on sound doctrine, in order "to reach lost souls." What a farce! We should be interested in lost souls; but compromise is not God's way. Jude was interested in "the common salvation", but he also contended for "the faith."
"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." —Jude 3,4
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