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OUTSIDE THE CAMP

So let us go forth to Him outside the camp bearing His reproach. (Heb. 13:13)

 

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HETERODOXY HALL OF SHAME

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A common reaction to our Heterodoxy Hall of Shame goes something like this: "Look at all the stalwarts of the faith they are condemning! This should be enough to show you that they are not to be taken seriously."

 

Did you notice something missing in that statement? There is hardly ever a comment on why these people are in the Heterodoxy Hall of Shame. They just look at the name and say, "How dare you!" This shows that they are respecters of persons; their worship of a person is more important than the fact that this person promoted heresy. I have much more respect for a person who actually engages in conversation about the heresy that these people promoted, no matter who they are or what status they have in the "Reformed" and/or "Christian" community.

It matters not whether the heretic is John Calvin or John Doe. If that person promotes damnable heresy, then that person is unregenerate.

Do you bow at the feet of these people and maintain that they are Christians no matter what they have said? Or do you judge by God's standard alone, no matter how famous or how respected these people are by religionists? How you respond tells a lot about you.

Another common reaction is this: "You're saying that people need to write perfect truth and need to be in perfect agreement with you in order to stay out of the Heterodoxy Hall of Shame. You're not allowing for any little error or slip of the tongue." This could not be further from the truth. Christians can disagree in certain areas, and Christians can be in error in certain areas. But when it comes to essential gospel doctrines, all Christians believe the same thing, and any deviation from this is damnable heresy. If someone said something that shows he does not believe the true gospel, then it is not merely a "little error" or a "slip of the tongue"; it is a window into their hearts:

"For each tree is known from [its] own fruit. For they do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. The good man brings forth good out of the good treasure of his heart. And the evil man brings forth evil out of the evil treasure of his heart, for his mouth speaks out of the abundance of his heart" (Luke 6:44-45).

"Well, they said so many other good things!" is also a common response. There are many unregenerate people who have said "good things." The truth is that an unorthodox proposition about the gospel negates the orthodox proposition. You judge the person's spiritual state by the heresy the person confesses. A person can say the most solid, orthodox things about the gospel, but when he comes in with one unorthodox confession about the gospel, it shows where his heart is. For example, a person can say that he is saved only by the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ, that he bases his salvation only on Christ's work, and that Christ's atonement makes the only difference between heaven and hell. But then he says that Christ's blood atoned for all without exception and that people are in hell because they did not accept the atonement that Christ made for them. The latter statement shows that he does not truly believe the former statement. The latter statement annihilates the former statement. If one confesses salvation by grace in one breath and salvation by works in the next breath, we know that he believes in salvation by works.

John Kennedy put it well in his treatise entitled Hyper-Evangelism: 'Another Gospel,' Though A Mighty Power:

"I am quite ready to allow that, in the addresses of those who hold the views to which I refer, there will be found statements that seem to contradict those which are objectionable. This, however, does not prove that the bearing of the teaching, as a whole, is not what I indicated. The telling part of the doctrine may be that which is unscriptural, and all the more is it helped to be so by the mixture of what tends to recommend it to acceptance. The measure of truth it contains merely serves, in many cases, to throw the conscience off guard. It seems to some, as if the utterance of an occasional statement, that is both indefensible and dangerous, can be quite counteracted by other statements, from the same source, that are confessedly scriptural. But in such a case, the character and tendency of the teaching are not determined by the counterpoise of truth. The sound doctrine cannot be intelligibly apprehended and honestly believed, if what is utterly inconsistent with it is both held and proclaimed. A breach in the wrapping exposes the contents of a parcel. To that opening the eye must be directed that would discover what the envelope enclosed. An occasional erroneous statement, breaking wildly through the bounds of possible orthodoxy, exposes the spirit of one's teaching, and is the index of its practical tendency."

Finally, people say that when we put people in the Heterodoxy Hall of Shame, we are condemning them to hell. This is a false accusation. We are condemning no one to hell. We are not saying that anyone in the Heterodoxy Hall of Shame is in hell or will go to hell. We do not judge who is or is not reprobate (non-elect) among those who are unregenerate. That is not for us to know. We do not know if God saved some of these people after they made these quotes or will yet save some of these people who are still alive. What we do judge is that a person who confesses a false gospel, a damnable heresy that denies an essential gospel doctrine, is unregenerate at the time he makes the confession. And we know that if God chooses to save such a person, that person will no longer confess a false gospel. When God saves an Arminian, he is no longer an Arminian. When God saves someone who believes in universal atonement, he is no longer someone who believes in universal atonement. When God saves a tolerant Calvinist, he is no longer a tolerant Calvinist.

Keep these things in mind as you read through the quotes.

To enter the Heterodoxy Hall of Shame, click HERE.