The Church Needs Heresy Hunters

The Church Needs Heresy Hunters

The Church Needs Heresy Hunters

There is yet another piece of logically suicidal propaganda that teaches that heresy hunters are toxic for the body of Christ. They teach that the people who are reading their Bibles and seeking theological accuracy as missing the bigger picture and ruining it for others. What those who propagate this nonsense do not realize is how toxic this teaching actually is for the Church and how it actually gives Atheists less of a reason to believe in Christ.

 

My Argument

The idea that people who are seeking a more accurate theology or even a more Biblically centered teaching are toxic for doing so is nothing more than an ad hominem argument. It neither says how or why people like myself are toxic. The evidence as I will go into Biblically and historically points toward the need for heresy hunters and that they are, in fact, beneficial for the Church.

The reason Atheists add this to their reason as to why not to believe in Christ is simple. If you believe that the Bible is the most important book in the world, that it was so important innumerable people have died for believing and defending it then why do you only take it at face value? Why do you not research the intricacies of the passages? Why do you not want to know what the theological belief of the Bible? I’m sure as some people are reading this they’re thinking, “Because Jesus taught it was more important to love others than understanding theology.” The irony of this is that the statement they just thought is a theological statement in of itself and this is part of the point I’m getting at. Because of the Biblical illiteracy and failure of Christians and their leaders to teach sound doctrine, it is up to the “Heresy Hunters” to use logic, reason and Biblical truth to correct the lies and bring the Church on the right track.

 

Protestant Denominations Exist Because of Heresy Hunters

Most teachers who teach the anti-theology idea are ironically part of Protestant (non–Catholic) Churches. The reason this is ironic is because the entire reason there are more Churches than the Catholic Church is because of a Heresy hunter known as Martin Luther. If it were not for Martin Luther’s convictions with the corruption of the Catholic Church and the doctrine of indulgences he would never have done what he did and by extension most of the denominations might not be here today.

Now he could have just as easily kept his mouth shut and got with the program. He could have just said, “There is no perfect Church” and continued serving under the corrupted state of the Church and teach the false doctrine of indulgences and no one would have bat an eye because very few knew any better and those that did could not possibly care less. These are the results of the anti–discernment belief.

 

The Bible Supports Seeking an Accurate Theology

“The Brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” –Acts 17:10-11 (ESV)

The Jews in Berea were more honorable because they actually received the word with all eagerness and examining the Scriptures to make sure they were true. Already the Bible has discredited the anti–discernment movement. But for those who think that only one passage isn’t enough evidence to discredit the anti–discernment movement, (Which is a non–sequitur; lack of evidence does not nullify truth) here is another article I wrote on my personal blog on 7 ways the Bible praises discernment. http://treyzimmerman.blogspot.com/2017/02/7-ways-bible-praises-discernment.html

 

Conclusion

Biblical discernment is Biblical, historical, logical and beneficial to the growth of the Church. And those who teach or defend the anti–discernment theology are either covering the truth with lies, blind to the truth or going insane denying the truth. I’m sure there are those who are thinking the hearts of these people are in the right place. And they probably are in the right place, but the Bible says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.” –Luke 10:27 (ESV) They can have their hearts in the right place but if their heads are not in the right place they still fall short.

The Problem with Ignoring Haters

The Problem with Ignoring Haters

The Problem with Ignoring “Haters”

While this is not by any stretch of the imagination a new problem within the Church it is still an issue that is still a little prevalent. And people like me (people who call out heresies and heretics for the nonsense or lack of biblical support) are considered haters by most of the unrepentant and heretical false teachers and their sheep– I mean goats.

The idea that I’m talking about is not ignoring trolls who are just out to start drama with ad hominem attacks and other nonsense. I’m specifically writing about how many Christians when having their beliefs tested by other believers will call them haters to defuse the discussion. The same could be said when pastors, preachers and speakers are called out for their heresy. They call their opponents haters and then ignore the issues. For a real world example look up Steven Furtick’s “hey haters” video as an example of when someone can’t actually defend their beliefs and resorts to name calling, motive accusations and straw man fallacies. In addition to that there are Christians who choose not to try to evangelize someone because they are a so-called hater.

 

Plot Twist

By this logic everyone is a hater too. If someone is a hater because they disagree with or dislike you or your ideas then you would be a hater to them for disagreeing with you and your ideas.  The hated also becomes the hater. But in many cases the haters aren’t considered haters because they have degree’s or fame that somehow magically makes them immune from such criticism. I call double standard! By this logic everyone is a hater or no one is a hater.

 

Ad Hominem Fallacy  

Normally people call someone a hater to strike credibility for selfish motive or lack of education. Accusing other people of wrong motive or credibility falls into a category of fallacy known as an ‘ad hominem.’ Even if a person is speaking out of wrong motive or does not have scholarly credibility does not prove they are wrong. A six-year-old can say the same thing as a college professor and it does not make it any less true. In addition, if facts are facts motive means nothing in the debate and would be categorized into a different debate altogether. These are just a couple of defusal tactics used by people when they cannot truly and logically defend themselves. Sadly, most people don’t even notice them.

 

Why Atheists have Stereotypes

This mentality was a worldly mentality long before it was adopted by the Church. Every time someone preaches it they’re saying I love everyone unless they don’t love or agree with me, then I’ll just self-righteously call them a hater and ignore their existence and the Biblical texts that say to love my enemies. In essence, it’s another way the Church is becoming more like the world and believing their right for doing so.

 

What does the Bible Say?

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”

–Luke 6:27-28 (ESV)

I’m fairly confident I don’t need to stay on this topic very long because most people already have a somewhat decent idea on how, Biblically, they’re to love their neighbors. The text is self-explanatory but there are people who use the lack of specifics to warp the passage. Let’s use the example of Christ.

“Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)— then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.” And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

–Mark 7:1–23 (ESV)

What was the point I was trying to make by including this section of scripture? Christ was omniscient and knew the Pharisee’s hated them. He still preached to them and met all of their challenges head on. Christ knew the Pharisee’s hatred would eventually drive them to kill him, yet he still preached to them and met their challenges head on. Christ did not call his opponents haters he met their challenges Scripturally and logically, proving himself right. That is an example that pastors, preachers and teachers are to follow not hiding behind insults and other forms of character bashing. If you are one of those Christians or Christian leaders then you can repent. But you cannot let your pride or self-righteousness keep you from having a full understanding of Christ and his Word that you would not have without your ‘haters.’

10 Signs your Christian Leader is Failing the Biblical Standard

10 Signs your Christian Leader is Failing the Biblical Standard

10 Signs your Christian Leader is Failing the Biblical Standard

There is a Biblical standard when it comes to being an elder, pastor or teacher. While it is impossible to be perfect in maintaining the standard 100% of the time, some pastors just do not care about the Biblical instructions and neither do their leadership.

I should also mention this doesn’t just apply to pastors; it applies to every single person who teaches in the name of God. Meaning authors, Sunday school teachers and speakers are also held accountable to this standard.

#1 Wasting time on Useless Controversy

“As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than stewardship from God that is by faith.”

–1 Timothy 1:3–4 (ESV)

The first point Paul calls into question is teaching different doctrine. While that point will be covered more in number six, it does tie in to wasting time on useless controversies and myths. Google the super shemitah and the four blood moons and you will see all kinds of extra­–biblical teachings that border on mythology and promote speculations as opposed to stewardship in Christ.

#2 Teaching we aren’t Sinners

“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”

–1 Timothy 1:15 (ESV)

Teaching we are not sinners is a very arrogant thing to say. Paul, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the majority of the New Testament, healed the sick, raised the dead and was eventually martyred for his faith and obedience to Christ said he was the foremost sinner. Paul on his worst day is still a better example than 90% of most Christians are on their best days. On top of this you also insinuate that you do not need salvation since Christ came to forgive sinners. John the disciple takes it a step further in 1 John. John says, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” –1 John 1:8 (ESV) By the Biblical standard any pastor who says this is a liar and has no truth in him.

#3 Failing to Study the Word

“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

–1 Timothy 4:7–8 (ESV)

Failing to study the Word to deliver on Sunday morning is not a good sign. If your Pastor almost regularly says they didn’t have time to prepare a message it’s time to switch Churches. Pastors are to train in Biblical research and in showing kindness towards others. More on that point in 6 as well.

#4 Failing to set the Example

“Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”

–1 Timothy 4:11–12 (ESV)

Setting the example as a leader is possibly one of the most crucial things. It’s important enough as a Christian. When you’re a Christian other’s general expectations of you are raised. If you’re a Christian leader their expectations skyrocket. Most non–Christians would turn a blind eye at stronger language but if you’re being insensitive or crass that will reflect poorly not only on you but the Church as a whole, the specific ministry you are a leader in and most importantly a person’s perception of Christ.

In addition to the drawbacks of negative evangelism there are other drawbacks within the Church. If the Pastor, preacher, teacher, or whatever is failing to be an example in conduct by visiting the sick and the widows, being a comforter to the oppressed, being a giver to the needy then what incentive is there for those who are following them to do these things? The Scriptures make it clear Paul never wanted pastors to be hypocrites who tell those that follow them to do things they aren’t actively doing themselves.

#5 Closed Bible “Preaching”

“Until I come devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.”

–1 Timothy 4:13 (ESV)

One of my biggest pet peeves is closed Bible preaching. There’s nothing in the world quite as painful as someone who claims to believe and confess the Word of God and to say it is the most important book (It would be taboo to say otherwise in a Church of course) but never actually open it from the pulpit or platform or stage or whatever they call it now. To an outsider visiting the Church that screams we only use the Bible as a good luck charm or as a defusal to justify controversial worldviews and politics. If the Bible were the most important book it would be read and taught within context from the pulpit.

#6 Doctrine is a Secondary Issue

“Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by doing so you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

–1 Timothy 4:16 (ESV)

Here is by far the heaviest burden of being a teacher. This is also the main reason why leaders need to study the Bible to know what the standard of teaching is. Moving on to the meat of the matter, there is a defusal technique used by many Christians but leaders especially. This is when they say doctrine takes a backseat in priority to loving others. The irony is, this statement is of itself a doctrine that takes priority over loving their critics. The fact is Paul taught that doctrine is a primary issue. Logically, Jesus’ teaching that we should love others as he loved us is a doctrinal statement.

#7 Anti–confrontational/ Closed off from Rebuke

“As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that they may stand in fear.”

–1 Timothy 5:20 (ESV)

This is actually more of a general thing and could easily become an article in of itself than just applying leaders. The reason I included it is that there are a growing number of leaders who are closed off from criticism. They will block you if you contact them on the internet or ban you from their congregation if you call them out in the Church. Some Church’s welcome cards actually warn you that if you do not like the teaching you have to leave; you cannot challenge them. Yet Paul teaches that if someone persists in sin rebuke them in the presence of all.

#8 Godliness is a means of Gain

“Teach and urge these things. If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.”

–1 Timothy 6:2–5 (ESV)

Teaching Biblical principles as a means of gain is a very common thing nowadays. I call them the over glorified self–help lectures. They essentially take a Biblical virtue like say “mercy” and they spin it in a way that it no longer teaches to forgive as Christ has forgiven us but instead saying things like “Unforgiveness is like drinking a poison and expecting the other person to die.” Besides the fact that by this strain of logic God is now the most toxic being in the universe (because Hell is biblically a place for all the unforgiven) it now changes the motive from doing good for Christ to doing good for gain which is not Biblical.

#9 Feeding Vain Ambitions

“But those who desire to be rich fall into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”

–1 Timothy 6:9 (ESV)

Along the same vein as the previous section creating sermons for “vision” and “purpose” removes the desire to be content with what God has given us. In fact there are instances of Christians hurting themselves financially and even emotionally chasing after dreams and visions, whereas had they remained content the problem would not have presented itself.

#10 Failing to Devote themselves to Good Works

“The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.”

–Titus 3:8 (ESV)

Tying in with the section on setting the example if the leader is not doing good works they aren’t holding to Paul’s instructions in the Pastoral epistles. They, Biblically, should be caring for the sick, the elderly, widows, orphans, etc.

 

The reason I wrote this article was to challenge people to critically evaluate their Christian leaders. Many of them claim to believe the Bible but teach and act contradictory to the Word of God. You may think your Christian leader is great and amazing but that doesn’t mean they’re following the instructions of Paul. In fact, you may find your own ideals of a Christian leader is flawed. If you teach in any capacity you need to read this and critically examine yourself.

Corrupt Interpretation of Amos 3:7

Corrupt Interpretation of Amos 3:7

Corrupt Interpretation of Amos 3:7

“For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.”

–Amos 3:7 (ESV)

   This passage is twisted the most by the New Apostolic Reformation and others groups of that nature. The idea they try to propagate is that the prophets are necessary in order for the Church to function. Ultimately to provide a kind of “spiritual experience” not taught in Scripture.

For a more in depth understanding of the New Apostolic Reformation here is a link by GotQuestions.org https://www.gotquestions.org/New-Apostolic-Reformation.html Read more

Our Life Purpose is to Serve others?

Our Life Purpose is to Serve others?

Our Life Purpose is to Serve others?

“For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.”

–Romans 14:7-8 (ESV)

   Helping others is not in itself a bad thing yet if that is all a Christian lives for then biblically speaking there is an error in this ideology. The first and most immediate issue with this ideology is that if it were true then until Eve was created Adam had no purpose. This would mean that Adam being commanded to name the animals was a purposeless task that God gave him. If our life purpose as humans is to serve other people, then where is the need for God?

Read more

Does Everyone Have their Own Truth

Does Everyone Have their Own Truth

Does Everyone Have Their Own Truth?

“There is a way that seems right to a man but its end is the way to death.”
–Proverbs 14:12 (ESV)

   There are many on both sides of the political spectrum that have concluded that everyone comes to their own truth. That is their interpretation of life, the world, morality, family, etc. When they say this they mean everyone is right and no one is wrong. Read more

Corrupt Interpretation of 1 Corinthians 10:13

Corrupt Interpretation of 1 Corinthians 10:13

Corrupt Interpretation of 1 Corinthians 10:13

There are some who have said and heard that ‘God will not give you more than you can handle.’ This is based on the passage 1 Corinthians 10:13. This passage tends to get used as a kind of encouragement but not for the same reason as the Bible intends. If someone is facing worldly troubles in the congregation, it builds their confidence to motivate them to try to tackle their challenges. It gives them encouragement that simply because they are Christians God will not over-load them. The problem is the quote is never actually said word for word in this teaching. If it was, there would not be this kind of deception. Read more

Corrupt Interpretation of Romans 8:28

Corrupt Interpretation of Romans 8:28

Corrupt Interpretation of Romans 8:28

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

–Romans 8:28 (ESV)

   For most of us who grew up in Church this passage does not seem like it could easily be corruptly taught to mean something different. The major method of deception is using the word good in broader terms than what Paul initially intended for the Roman audience. When you read it out of context it begs the question, ‘what does Paul mean by good?’ Some people are a little more generous with their definition used in this context and interpret it to mean that God will make, generally speaking, good things happen in your life. They teach that if you love God your life will be fantastic. The general message they warp it into is that we as Christians will have a great marriage, bank account, physical health, and be popular all because we love God. Read more

Corrupt interpretation of Jeremiah 29:11

Corrupt interpretation of Jeremiah 29:11

Corrupt interpretation of Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you future and a hope.”

–Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

   This is one of the most notoriously misused verses in all of Scripture. I think the only passage misinterpreted more is Philippians 4:13. The way this passage is commonly misinterpreted is as a message that says God will absolutely prosper us just because we call ourselves Christians. Read more