Are we all heretics?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Dale-c, Jul 9, 2007.

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Does every believer have some doctrinal faults?

  1. Yes, everyone, due to a sin nature will have some error.

    93.1%
  2. No, it is possible to gain sound doctrine on every topic, and perhaps I have.

    6.9%
  1. Dale-c

    Dale-c
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    I read a post the other day on a reformed forum that said we are all heretics, some to a greater or lesser degree.
    The point was that we all have more to learn and that none of us has perfect doctrine.

    Do you agree with that?
     
  2. Rippon

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    The word 'heretic' , even with a small "h" sounds rather serious . All of us no matter how sound we may be over-all have some doctrinal faults . I'd venture to say that those who claim that they do not have any doctrinal flaws are in worse shape than those who say they do . We see only partially down here , but I am waiting for the face-to-face when I shall know fully .
     
  3. Dale-c

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    It is serious but I didn't take this brother to be using it in a matter that would mean a person was unsaved.
    He just meant that every one has doctrinal impurity in this life and that we will all see everything clearly later.
    It was also a call for grace to our brothers in Christ who may not always see eye to eye with us.
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    I guess my biggest issue with this "poll" is that it improperly defines heresy.

    You're suggesting even the slightest doctrinal difference is equal to heresy. This is not an accurate understanding of how the term was originally used in the early Church. Heresy has to do more with major, foundational issues of the faith rather than some more doctrinal and distinctive matters.

    I can believe one thing about worship styles (a distinctive) while someone else believes another, opposite thing and we both are correct and neither is a heretic.

    Likewise in areas of doctrine, I believe that baptism by immersion is a doctrine for all believers after their conversion to Christ. My dear brother, or sister, in the Methodist church can believe another way. Because we differ on a doctrinal issue does not make them, or me, a heretic.

    Now in terms of foundational issue. Say I rightly affirm a Trinitarian conception of the Divine Godhead. Then my friend denies that and says God is Trinitarianly known but rather is simply One being with one essence that filled three different purposes during the time. My friend would be considered a heretic.

    I believe that we can look across the board at foundational issues and discover the core of Christian doctrine and not be in error.

    Likewise I believe your definition of "heresy" in your above poll is incorrect. Minor doctrinal disputes and differences in distinctives are not accurate barometers for heresy.

    I usually use the Apostles Creed (note: I am not a creedalist) as a good template for what is foundational for Christians. :)
     
  5. TCGreek

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    A well reasoned response. Heretic is too strong a word. I agree.
     
  6. EdSutton

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    [​IMG][​IMG]


     
    #6 EdSutton, Jul 10, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2007
  7. EdSutton

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    "May I say" that there is nothing wrong with the two questions, as they are asked and worded.

    But the title of the poll, or the OP is badly worded, as Ripon, TCGreek, and preachinjesus have pointed out.

    I once heard the late Dr. S. Lewis Johnson say something to this effect, in that deep Southern drawl of his:

    I fullly agree with this. And may I add that anyone who thinks they have got it all figured out, or has every thing exacly right, has surely surpassed even the Apostle Paul, who said, "...I count not myself to have arrived..."!

    If Paul wasn't there yet, I sure doubt that I have made it there either!

    Ed
     
    #7 EdSutton, Jul 10, 2007
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  8. pinoybaptist

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    Interesting. So, we have a brother here who is convinced he may have come to a sound understanding of all doctrine. Well, there's one for you, Ed, somebody who is better than the Apostle Paul. I think I know who it is.:rolleyes:
     
  9. EdSutton

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    Actually, I do know someone who, not only thinks, but knows He is better than the Apostle Paul!

    His name is Jesus!

    It's certainly not the singular individual who voted "yes", below. For I do not know him well enough to say "yea" or "Nay!" but I got my suspicions about whether or not it should be "yea!".

    And I actually saw, at one time, the names of those who had voted on each side. I did not pay close attention to who the one individual was, so cannot be sure. I just know it wasn't me, 'cause I ain't yet arrived!

    Ed
     
    #9 EdSutton, Jul 10, 2007
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  10. Dale-c

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    So do you not believe that anything that you believe is actually wrong?Sure things like what time to start the morning service don't make any difference but are you saying that you are not wrong on any biblical doctrine that actually matters?
     
  11. EdSutton

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    Well, I am not the one you are addressing, but may I answer anyway? I have little doubt that some of the things I actually believe are wrong; As I said before, I certainly have not yet arrived, adn do not think we will know all, until we see the Lord face-to-face, be it by death or the rapture. And all of us "see through a glass darkly" at this time. However I do not classify all doctrinal 'error' as heresy. At least 2/3 of all believers are wrong on Biblical prophecy, for example. While I do not think I am, I could stil be part of that 2/3, and another 'system' be the Biblical one. Does that make them (or me) an heretic? I don't think so, but admit I could be wrong, here. Granted some of this is subjective, but I do not put that in the same category as denying the deity fo Christ, as do the Jehovah's Witnesses, which I definitely consider heresy; or the LDS 'church' which add the Book of Mormon as Scripture, and likewise, I consider heresy. There is a running thread on whether or not a woman can baptize another believer, on the authority of the local church, in this same forum. Maybe it is just me, but I somehow consider that argument more one of stupidity, not heresy. While I am not advocating this, by any means, it is just not as important to me, as one denying the Diety of Christ, or adding the book of Mormon as Scripture.

    I had the dubious privilege, a few years ago, of being a messenger to an annual Association Meeting where the question of withdrawing fellowship with another church because she had ordained an woman as a deacon arose. When the motion to withdraw fellowship failed a few churches withdrew their fellowship from that local Association, over the issue. One of the churches that pulled out was my own. These churches subsequently formed the Central Point Association, which the State KBC refuesed to 'recognize', on the grounds that it did not have enough churches in the 'New' Association, BTW, but was actually, IMO, afraid that that would alienate some big churches in the state that did already ordain women as deacons. FTR, there ewas already an extant association in the KBC, and one that had been around many years, with the same number of churches, as the proposed one, the new one of which had the realistic probability of at least tripling in number, in very short order.

    I consider myself a loyal Baptist that thinks any church can do what she wishes. And we, as a church, wished to not be affiliated with that. But I also made the observation that I wasn't exactly sure that whether or not a sister church, ordains a woman decon, should be the "Central Point" of my theology. Franlky, I do not think so.

    Scripture says
    All the above emphases are my own. The emboldened words, to which I have added the rendering beside two of them, are from the Greek 'hairesis', or a deriviative, from which we get our words heresy and heretic.

    The underlined words are to get one's attention, including the warnings about biting one another.

    Should we avoid heresies, in one sense? Yes, absolutely!

    Are all differences heresies? Not by any stretch, in the sense in which we use the word!

    Can I give you an all-inclusive defintion of heresy? No, but in the words of the late Supreme Court Justuice, Potter Stewart, "I know it when I see it."

    I hope you all on the BB know it when you see it, as well.

    Let's not throw the word heresy around too freely. For that diminishes its real value when it is really needed! :thumbs:

    Ed
     
    #11 EdSutton, Jul 10, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2007
  12. Amy.G

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    Galatians 1
    8But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

    What is the gospel that Paul preached?

    1 Corinthians 1
    1Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand,

    2by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

    3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

    4and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

    5and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

    6After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;

    7then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;

    8and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.

    Eph. 2
    8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

    9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

    Any other other gospel other than this is heresy.
     
  13. tinytim

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    I agree...

    The word is a very strong word implying division from the orthodox teachings of the church...

    I have some opinions of some heresies today, but because of BB rules, I am not allowed to call it an heresy.

    And the rule is a good one. Because the word should only be used to describe gross division from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.... and as Amy posted above, we all know what that is.
     
  14. rbell

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    I voted "no."

    But not because I think I have it together.

    I just object to how "heretic" labels are thrown around so carelessly.
     
  15. Dale-c

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    Well, it is obvious that it is really the term that people are objecting to, not the principle.
    I just heard someone say this and thought is was interesting.

    Let me ask this:
    Is heresy possible for a Christian?
    I have heard two terms: damnable heresy and just heresy.
    I have always seen these to be two different leves, ie heresy is any unBiblical doctrine which all of us are most likely guilty of, some to greater degrees that others.
    Damnable heresy is one that actually changes the gospel to the point that a person is not even really saved.

    Again, I just read this quote and thought it was interesting. I am not being dogmatic here.
     
  16. tinytim

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    I think you are right.. it is the word that people are objecting to.

    I don't think any of us think we have everything right... but I don't think you have to have everything right to not be a heretic...
     
  17. Dale-c

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    I looked up heresy in the dictionary and it is quite a subjective term.
    It is basically going against established orthodox doctrine.
    The problem with that is, not everything that is established orthodox doctrine can be true.
    As was said about prophecy: at least 2/3 of people will be wrong.

    So at best, it seems that being a heretic or not by the dictionary's standard is a man made criteria. Certainly man can attain any standard that man makes for himself.

    So, if we define heresy as:
    1. Any doctrine contrary to established orthodox beliefs that are time honored is heresy, then we can say we are not heretics at all.
    2. any doctrine that is not Biblical is a heresy, then we are all guilty, some more than others.


    One more point is that in light of this, is it even wise to ever call anyone a heretic?
     
  18. Dale-c

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    I looked up the references to the word in the Bible:

    Heresy once:
    Heresies 3 times:
     
  19. pinoybaptist

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    Oh, yeah.
    And we're so fond at doing that on this board.
    Reminds me of one time back in the Philippines when I was jogging one morning, and this mentally challenged young man was running after vehicles and whacking them with a stickbroom, and another mentally challenged young man was on the other side of the street laughing and he goes,"hahahaha, he's crazy, he's crazy" !
     
  20. bobbyd

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    I think heretic is an awful strong word to use for erring in doctrine. Am i always right...heck no! Do i make mistakes, even in interpreting Scripture? More often than i should.
    Does that make me a heretic, i don't think so (even though i voted in that way because i disagree more with the fact that i can be right more often than not.)
     

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