This is a link to our weekly radio program #4707c Search the Scriptures Daily .
You are listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a radio ministry of the Berean Call. Still ahead, Dave and Tom continue their weekly in depth study of the doctrine of salvation. Please stay tuned. Now:
CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
In this regular feature, Dave and Tom respond to questions from listeners and readers of the Berean Call. Here's this weeks question: "Dear Dave and Tom. Paul's epistle to Titus refers to a heretic. My question is: what makes a person a heretic? And, can a true believer be a heretic?"
Dave, let me quote Titus. He's probably referring to Titus:3:9-11, "but avoid foolish questions and genealogies and contentions, and strivings about the law for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonitions reject, knowing that he that is such is subverted and sinneth being condemned of himself." Well strong language Dave. So how would you qualify as a heretic?
Well, I hope I never do. But a heretic is someone who has denied the faith. He does not believe the truth. But, that doesn't mean any unbeliever out there who doesn't believe the truth. No, they're just Christ rejecters. They're just unbelievers. This is someone who has professed. Like an apostate. He's a heretic. Whoever is a heretic after the first and second admonition reject, because he is perverted. So, it's a denial of the faith. In other words, I would say that these Emergent Church leaders that we've been talking about, they're heretics. They have denied the faith. They claimed to have once been evangelicals. I guess most of them—
Well, they still believe they are.
Yes. But, they're heretics. They are denying the word of God. They're changing the word of God, changing not just the interpretation, they would say that. No, they're not changing just the interpretation; they're changing the word of God exactly like Eugene Peterson does with The Message . And, we haven't talked about this in a long time, I'll give a couple of quick examples: John:3:17, "He sent His Son into the world that the world through Him might be saved." The Message says, "He came to help us put the world right." That sounds like political and social action. That's not a translation, although he claims it is. That is an interpretation. He's imposed his own view on this. Or go to John:3:30, somewhere around there, "He that is from above is above all." Well The Message , Eugene Peterson dares to say, dares to change the Word of God, dare to lower Jesus down to our level, The Message says, "He that is from above is head and shoulders over other messengers of God." He is not "head and shoulders." His is infinitely beyond. He is God. So, that's what I would call changing the Word of God. And these people are changing the Word of God. And they are heretics.
So there are a lot of beliefs, lot of practices, and we've gone over many of them with regard to the Emerging Church and other things that we've dealt with, because, as you've mentioned, this is Search the Scriptures Daily. We want to compare what people say with what the word of God teaches. So you have a man that is a heretic, but it says "after the first and second admonition," in other words he's been confronted, he or she has been confronted by somebody bringing the Word of God, and they have the opportunity to repent. So, this could be believers, right? It doesn't have to be just those who are professing, but people who fall into spurious doctrine, false teaching, etc. So it says, "After the first and second admonition, reject." In other words, you try to go to them; you try to reason with them from the Scriptures. This would be what? Second Timothy 2:24? Let me read this to you. You know it by heart, but for our listeners. "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, and in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." So, I think that applies. It applies to heresy, certainly. What do you think?
Well, I would agree, Tom, but the real heretic is someone, after the first and second admonition, he will not repent. So he persists. But these are people who have been led astray. People being led astray by this Emergent Church Movement, led astray by many other ways.
And cling to it as though it were God's truth.
Right. Now, when they are confronted with the word of God, wait a minute, this is not what the Bible says. This is not what the early Church did. This is not Jesus Christ, the Chief Cornerstone. This is not founded upon the apostles and prophets, you're throwing them out. You're coming up with something new. Well, that's not biblical. Well, why do we always have to go by the Bible? That would be their reaction. We live in a post-modern generation. This is a new world. We need a new church, we need to throw that out and get something new. When they persist in that, Tom, I would say they're heretics. After the first and second admonition, and you reject them.