Question: I've heard a number of Catholic apologists say that Dave has misrepresented Anathema, that it doesn't mean eternal damnation in hell as he says, but simply excommunication. This Rock for July 1992 made that same charge. Who is right?
Response: As for my interpretation of anathema, This Rock is playing a semantic game with its readers. Of course anathema means excommunication. But excommunication means "eternal damnation," for outside of the Roman Catholic Church there is, according to official teaching, no salvation.
They make anathema sound a bit nicer than it is by suggesting that Rome doesn't anathematize anyone, but heretics do it to themselves. The Roman Catholic Church doesn't excommunicate anyone, but the person does it to himself "by adopting wrong theological positions." Who decides that a theological position is wrong? Certainly the heretics don't pronounce that decree against themselves. It is the Roman Catholic hierarchy, which alone can interpret the Bible, which decides that a belief is heretical. It is they who pronounce the anathema upon all those who disagree with them, which includes you, too, if you are an evangelical.
The article ends with another slur on my integrity, this time accusing me of mangling the position of New Agers along with that of Roman Catholics. No documentation is offered, not one quote, to support this assertion—just another ad hominem broadside to discredit me as one who is "pursuing a higher calling than the truth."