Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Biblical Survey of Excommunication


It is one of the oldest known practices in Biblical Christianity. In fact, our first parents were the first human beings to experience it. It is part of nearly every covenantal arrangement God has made with man. In fact, the only covenants that did not include it were those that involve only unconditional promises from God, such as the Noahic covenant where God promises never to destroy the earth with water again. This practice is the bedrock of ensuring that the people of God are not confused with the people of the world. Only in modern times has it become unpopular and obscure. If the Church is to continue to thrive and grow in her faith, she must renew this practice. I am talking about the practice of excommunication.


Adam and Eve
“So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Gen. 3:24) Our first parents were themselves subjected to excommunication by God after they broke the covenant and chose to live and think independent from their Creator. From the very beginning, submission to the authority of God reflected in honoring and keeping the commandment was necessary to enjoy fellowship within the framework of covenant arrangement. Man rejected that concept and hence, fellowship with God was broken and as a result sin and death entered the world and man found himself excommunicated from God and paradise.

Abrahamic Covenant
“But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.” (Gen. 17:14) According to the sign of the covenant, which was part of the covenant itself, if a male refused to be circumcised, he was excommunicated from the community. Why? He was guilty of breaking the covenant. Covenant-breaking serves as the basis for excommunication in both the Covenant of Works with Adam and now the Abrahamic covenant as well. This points to a long and deep history for the concept and practice of excommunication.

The Sinaitic Covenant
“Any man from the house of Israel who slaughters an ox or a lamb or a goat in the camp, or who slaughters it outside the camp, and has not brought it to the doorway of the tent of meeting to present it as an offering to the Lord before the tabernacle of the Lord, bloodguiltiness is to be reckoned to that man. He has shed blood and that man shall be cut off from among his people.” Lev. 17:3-4 Here we see excommunication practiced even in the Old Covenant. This is one of several examples of the practice under Jewish law. The concept of separating the obstinate from the covenant community has a very long history indeed.

“Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue.” (Jn. 12:42) Here we see the practice of excommunication continuing even in Jesus’ day. Apparently, the Jewish leaders would excommunicate anyone that confessed belief in Jesus Christ. The practice is not only ancient, going back to the very beginning, it seems unbroken up to this point.

The New Covenant
“If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” (Matt. 18:17) Here we see that excommunication is a commandment expressed and extended to the covenant community by Christ Himself. 
Excommunication in the New Covenant arrangement, according to Scripture, is not merely a good practice, but it is also a direct command from the lips of our Lord Himself.

I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (1 Cor. 5:5) Here we see the apostle Paul, speaking with apostolic authority, commanding the Corinthian community to take swift action to excommunicate a man that had taken his father’s former wife for his own. This was an act of incest that is strictly forbidden by divine law and Paul’s action is both swift and severe. They are excommunicated from the community immediately.

“Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.” (1 Tim. 1:20) Paul is once again involved in the excommunication of two men because of their refusal to receive apostolic instruction with all humility. Perhaps Hymenaeus and Alexander thought that everything was just a matter of interpretation and Paul’s instructions along with the gospel records were not really binding. It seems they discovered that Paul’s teachings actually were binding. In fact, they were binding enough that they found themselves outside the covenant community and perhaps outside the covenant itself.

“Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.” (Titus 3:10) A factious man is similar to the Rob Bells and Dans of the world. These are men who come along and decide to turn Christian orthodoxy upside down and reject what has been received and taught authoritatively for years now in the covenant community. Such men are to be identified, their sin and error pointed out, and rejected from the community.

There is no absolute truth: No way...way!
Only in recent times have many communities of faith lost their way in terms of the doctrine and practice of excommunication. There is no one variable upon which this error predominantly rests. Rather, there are a number of contributors. We begin with a flawed view of God, His righteousness to be specific, a low view of sin, a casual attitude toward religion, a postmodern way of life, and an autonomous approach to the Christian life, the Christian community, and the Christian Scripture. These and many other factors have contributed to a near extinction of a practice that is designed to honor God before the world by insisting that those who bear the name of Christ do so with honor, with dignity, and with all soberness, understanding the rich and privileged position they have within the covenant community.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Spin of Sin: The Sinister-Spinster-Sinner

As many of you know, I have been back and forth lately with Dan Trabue over a number of issues th century and to excommunicate those who refuse to receive said dogma with all humility. The purpose of this post is to show the reader how Dan claims one thing and thing tries to say that he is not claiming the very thing he is claiming. It is the same slight-of-hand nonsense we observed in men like Rob Bell, Doug Pagitt, and Brian McLaren.
related to the biblical expression of Christianity. Dan is one of those emergent guys, and he seems to think he can replace nearly every basic doctrine of historic Christian orthodoxy while retaining his identity as Christian. This is due in no small part to his uncritical acceptance of postmodern philosophy coupled with the Church’s true failure to rightly emphasize Christian dogma in the late 20

Dan’s first claim is that ANE writers did not write with the same aim of modern historians. What Dan means is that ANE writers were more concerned with doing something other than just transmitting historical facts as they occurred when they wrote. First of all, like any good slight of hand movement, there is some truth in the statement. However, the statement is much more controversial Dan admits. Second, the statement is far too general. Third, the statement assumes that the Ancient Hebrew Scriptures follow the ANE model in recording historical narrative, which also assumes that the motivation and forces behind the Hebrew Scriptures were the same as every other ANE text. That these assumptions are patently false seems obvious to anyone but those with the most extreme prejudice. Dan’s view destroys the universal fall humanity and, along with it, the doctrine of original sin. If there was no literal Adam to fall, there could be no literal, universal fall. If Adam was not the federal head of man, there was no federal head of man. If that is true, men can obtain righteousness and be saved apart from Christ by simply not sinning. Yet, Dan spins, claiming to believe that we are all sinners even though he has removed the very foundation for his own claims.

Luke Included Adam and Seth in his genealogy
I pointed out that Luke, in his genealogy of Christ, include Adam and Seth among the many other generations from Christ back to Adam. My reason for doing so was so that Dan might realize that Luke, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, accepted the view that Adam and Seth were historical people living at a point in time. Dan rejected Luke’s account although he provided no alternative explanation and then claimed that we do not know what God’s opinion of what Luke wrote might be. Now, if Dan believes Luke was wrong, he must also believe that God believes that Luke was wrong. Yet, he says we just don’t know God’s opinion of Luke’s account. I suppose Dan could argue that Luke mixes myth and legend into geological records while providing a certification of the historicity of Christ and his Messianic office. But such a move would seem to be, not just logically incoherent and absurd, it would be philosophically outrageous. Yet, Dan denies holding the view that Luke’s writings are unreliable. He wants to attest that Luke is reliable while claiming on this point that Luke was wrong, or in other words, unreliable. This is the two-faced spin that emergent thinkers love to play games with. They hold a view while claiming NOT to hold a view. How long did we know that Rob Bell rejected the Scriptures and endorsed homosexual sex before he finally came out and admitted it?

Dan has repeatedly said the Bible is not the Word of God and that the Scriptures are not binding, nor ipso facto, claiming that this was just Paul’s opinion. At the same time, Dan has attempted to employ a certain authority over me by informing me that I cannot slander him because slander is forbidden. I have to ask, by whom? Whose authority forbids me to slander? Oh, the same text that forbids slander is the text that Dan wants to argue in another place has no authority and is not binding. And then Dan wants people to believe that he really doesn’t believe the things I am accusing him of. Once again, we see the sinister spin of the sinister sinner at work. It really is outrageous and would be comical if it were not so wicked and rebellious.
authoritative on our lives. Having grown tired of generalities, I took Dan to Paul as he was pronouncing a curse on anyone who dared disagree with him on the gospel. Paul wrote with all authority on the matter. There can be no doubt that Paul, in the very least, was under the impression he had a right to claim that his version of the gospel was the standard and that no one had any right to proclaim even a slightly different one. Dan rejects Paul’s authority

In addition to Dan’s denial of a literal Adam which must mean a denial of a literal fall and the necessity for a literal redemption in Christ, Dan has denied the reliability of Luke along with the authority of Paul specifically and all of Scripture in general. At the same time, Dan wants us to believe that he is a Christian. Now, as one might guess, Dan also embraces homosexuality. Dan claims that marriage and sex are open to all that want it and that God is perfectly fine with such arrangements. I am sure Dan has read the supposed apologetic for gay Christianity and is familiar with those weak and ridiculous arguments. The point here is that gay sex is described by Scripture not only as a sin, but as a perversion of the natural design of the human body. And the larger point is that commandment breaking can never be a part of the Christian community regardless of how many OSAS hard-core dispensational guys preach that it can be. The view that Christ can be your Savior even though He is not your Lord crawled up out of the sewers of hell even if it did so through well-intentioned men. Dan’s endorsement of same-sex relationships precludes him from the community of faith even if he says that it does not.


In the end, due to Dan’s beliefs and their implications for Christian doctrine and their impact on the Christian community, we have to challenge his claim that he possesses genuine faith. Many people came along in the first century church making the same claims. But upon closer inspection, they were found out to be false teachers, false prophets, and false converts. The same is not any less true today. The difference is that today’s church hardly ever inspects a person’s claim to know Christ. They simply take it at face value and conduct no due diligence whatsoever. We have to be more prudent about how we conduct ourselves in the Christian community. We don’t start out doubting a person’s faith. That is not what I am saying. I am saying that new arrivals must be known. We spend time with them. We have conversations with them. We observe their life. What do they believe and how do they conduct themselves? When we begin to hear things that trouble us, we must push into those issues and understand more about their claims and beliefs. When we bump into guys like Dan, we engage in conversation and eventually end up where we have ended up. We ask the person to repent of their unbelieving views, submit to Scripture with all humility, and call on their elders to teach them a more pure form of the Christian system. When they are persistent in their refusal to accept and believe Christian dogma, we are equally persistent in refusing their testimony and view them as a wolf instead of a sheep. Those facts are published for the rest of the community so that everyone is aware and protected from those who would bring damnable heresies into the body of Christ. When men like Dan collect other cavils of like-mind and run down the street to start their own group, we treat them with contempt and shame, refusing to extend the slightest degree of respect and honor to them because they reflect a shameful and despicable version of Christianity that does far more harm than it does good to the Christian way.


Don't take the pictures too seriously. They are mere my way of interjecting a little sarcasm, you know, a literary device not to be taken overly literal. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Children of Men: Understanding Human Origins of Heresy

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” (Gen 3:15) “And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one.” (Matt 13:37-38) “So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” (Rev. 12:17)

Lately, I have been focusing my blog posts on the subject of heresy. I am convinced that American Christians, for the most part, have completely lost touch with the true nature of heresy. This is due in no small part to ignorant pastors who, for the last 30 years have been bellowing from the pulpit that doctrine doesn’t matter. I used to attend an Independent Baptist Church where the pastor loved to bash those who took doctrine seriously by characterizing them as people who treated the Bible like a math book. While that statement can be true in a certain context, it is not true in the context in which he presented it. In fact, he did more work for the kingdom of darkness in those moments than he did for the kingdom of God. That is regrettable and more than a little unfortunate. It was and is irresponsible for any pastor or elder to belittle Christian doctrine. As I have always said to men who do this: Christian love never elevates itself at the expense of Christian truth. Heresy was an immediate threat to the Christian Church, has been a threat throughout her long and rick history, and remains an ever-present threat to her today. Christians, elders, and pastors ought to respond accordingly.

A heretic is one who is unregenerate, but who resembles, even remarkably at times, and portends to be, one of the regenerate. He is one that has rejected the faith while pretending to accept it. He claims to love Jesus, to be loyal to God, and to love the Church, all the while spreading his false and damnable teachings. That makes me wonder, whatever happened to damnable doctrines? In modern American Churches, the incidents of heresy are growing at an alarming rate and it is especially growing among the young. It is as if the Christian culture must mimic the worldly culture and where the worldly culture is overthrowing traditional values because it is the interesting thing to do, many young Christians have fixed their attention on orthodoxy and her creeds and confessions, see it as dull and uninteresting, and in the name of carving out their own spot, they have climbed into the seat of heresy and buckled-up for the excitement it promises to offer them. The hiss of the serpent can be heard in nearly every evangelical community. What can I say? A little hyperbole is a good thing now and then.

It is no small matter to call into question the sacredness of things like the nature of Sacred Scripture, the divinity of Christ, and the sacred institution of marriage. But at nearly every turn, evangelicals find themselves doing precisely that. We are debating things we are obligated to receive and believe with all humility. And for some strange reason, we think this behavior is somehow more sophisticated, more expressive of progress, even more noble than not. Young evangelicals seem to view the practice of challenging orthodoxy through the lens of updating an outdated policy manual at work. The casual approach to such things is telling and reveals a very disturbing trend in many, if not most, evangelical churches. I believe this trend can be traced to the refusal of the Church to test those who claim to be believers and teachers and leaders who are not! I believe the trend is in no small part to be blamed on pastors and churches so interested in growing their membership and attendance that they have relaxed church membership requirements to the point that Satan would be a good candidate for the deaconate in many communities. They have deluded themselves into thinking that any standards for membership at all are the equivalent of legalism. The apostles of Christ who gave us the teachings of Christ would have disagreed!

Gonzalez points out that “the challenge posed by heresy provoked a series of reactions that would have great consequences for the future life of the church. The creed, the New Testament canon, and the doctrine of apostolic succession are three of those reactions.” [Gonzalez, A History of Christian Thought] The church should be no less busy today contradicting and stopping the mouths of heretics as it was from its beginning. Instead, many in the church have adopted the tactics and strategies of the world. They begin by labeling people who are concerned with doctrinal truth as unkind and mean-spirited and overly critical of others. Perhaps some would accuse them of being intellectual bullies. This kind of name-calling and classification is used to manipulate people’s behavior. No one likes to be called a bully or unloving. Hence, the tactic succeeds in silencing those who are simply concerned about the well being of the church and it cuts the fence line so that sheep can wonder out, and wolves may wonder in! Don’t buy into the weak-minded tactics of these swindlers of God’s flock is my advice.

I hope to take you back in time to look at some of the ancient heresies with which the church had to contend from nearly her inception. It is my goal to link those ancient heresies with the modern ones about which we contend today. Moreover, my purpose is not merely to call out these things, and to help you make these connections. Instead, my purpose is to influence change. I want the church to begin to excommunicate the heretics, be they simple members, Sunday school teachers, elders, pastors, theologians, and scholars. There is no place for the serpent in the church, regardless of the disguise he may use. When we find the snake in the garden, we cut its head off. When we discover the heretic in God’s community, we take swift action. We lovingly confront them, at first giving them the benefit of doubt. We continue to work with them while managing their influence. In time, if they refuse to recant, we excommunicate them and let them know they are not welcome in community until they repent and receive with all humility, that which has been preserved and handed down to us from the apostles at the beginning.






Saturday, April 18, 2015

The History of Heresy

Satanic Origins
Heresy is a break from unity in Christ. To be specific, it is a break from the truth that binds us together in Christ. From the beginning, heresy has served up death and destruction on the human race since the father, and first heretic, Satan, introduced it. Satan created a schism between himself and God. Essentially, he rejected God’s truth. He substituted his own word in place of God’s word. Jesus said he was a liar from the beginning. Jesus also said, “unless you believe I am He, you will die in your sin.” (Jn. 8:24) Literally, the text says unless you believe that I AM, you will die in your sins. The Satanic alternative to the words of Christ is a rejection of Christ, His Word, and His truth. That reject may be dressed up as a partial acceptance. But a partial acceptance of God and of Christ and of God’s Word is a rejection of God and His truth. In its place, the heretic supplies his own self, his own word, and his own truth.

Satan separated himself from God along with the angels that followed his thought process. Additionally, he drove a wedge between God and man by asking man to reason independently, apart from God. Man adopted his own self, word, and truth as his final standard, exchanging the truth of God for a lie. Paul tells us that the minds of the ungodly are blinded by Satan to do his will. (2 Cor. 4:4) Christians are commanded to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (1 Cor. 10:3-5) Elders are told to reject, avoid, have no care for, and to push away a heretic after a first and second warning. (Titus 3:10) Heretics seek to contradict God’s truth and in so doing, they seek to destroy it. The point of this paragraph is that Christians have to take heretics more seriously than they have in recent years. They are enemies of God and of Christ and they seek to destroy the Christian faith. They are not sincere Christians that love Jesus with whom we have a casual and insignificant disagreement.


False Prophets
Deut. 18:29 lays down the punishment for heretical prophets who come bearing a false word as if from God. When the prophet claims that this truth is God’s truth and it turns out not to be God’s truth, that prophet shall die. The Torah dealt harshly with heretics. Satan offered up an alternative to divine truth and was cast out of heaven. Adam and Eve thought they could substitute their own truth in place of God’s truth and introduced death upon all their progeny. Prophets that offered an alternative truth under the law were executed under divine law. Moreover, Deut. 13:5 instructs Israel to execute any prophet that gives counsel that contradicts divine law. God views ungodly beliefs and advice as counsel to violate His revealed will, His divine command. Hence, when we hear men like “Dan” advise us that God honors gay marriage and gay sex when Scripture clearly forbids it, we see Dan providing counsel to people that is perfectly justifiable to rebel against God. Our response cannot be one of a mere casual shrugging of the shoulders and agreeing to disagree. The situation is far more serious than that. In both the Old and the New Testaments, the heretics were purged from the community of faith. So must they be in today’s church.

False Apostles & Teachers
The ancient Christian apostle, Peter, issues an ominous warning to his audience in his second letter: But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned. (2 Peter 2:1-2) Paul tells Timothy that false teachings will spread like cancer. (2 Tim 2:17) As an example he mentions Hymenaeus and Philetus who have erred regarding an early form of Preterism, claiming the resurrection had already taken place. Paul, using the OT instance of Jannes and Jambres, informs Timothy that false teachers, even though they invoke the name of Jesus, oppose the truth, are men of depraved minds, and are rejected in regard to the faith. (2 Tim. 2:8) Paul uses the metaphor “savage wolves” to describe false teachers: “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. (Acts 20:29)

Paul warned the Corinthians about false apostles, saying, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.” (2 Cor. 11:13-15) These men actually look like apostles of Christ. They wear the same disguise as the true apostles wear. But upon closer examination, they are exposed. Jesus said that many would come in His name saying that they were one of His, and claiming that they embraced and proclaimed His message. But they are liars, fakes, and pretenders according to Jesus. In the end, it is those who hear His word and do it that are the true teachers and followers of Christ. (See Matthew 7) The point here is that the NT documents are filled with Christ and His apostles identifying again and again false teachers and their teachers and correcting those ungodly ideas with the truth of God with the message of God that has been reduced to the written text. That written text is the only protection we have to keep us safe from error that damns and condemns the soul. Perhaps now it is easy to see why the false teachers, the liberal pastors and scholars, continually focus their main efforts around contradicting Christianity by attempting to weaken or discredit the Scripture, contradicting it, and leading people to believe it is not God’s word, it is not authoritative, it is not binding, and there is no single interpretation to which the Christian is obligated. 

Early Heresies
The “Ancient Roman Symbol” R stands out as a witness to the attitude of the church concerning the serious nature of heresy and false conversion. Moreover, it points up to the remarkable emphasis that the ancient church placed on sound belief and the confessions required of new converts even at their baptism. This practice served as the basis for what would eventually become the Apostles Creed. The volume of competing ideas and non-Christian influences were just as enormous for that culture as they are for any culture today. It is essential that the modern churches continue to take measures to ensure that such leaven does not make its way into the community. For, if it does, as Paul said, it will spread like a cancer.

Legalism
One of the fiercest battles over truth and the gospel in the ancient Church was that of a Judaizing effort within Christian circles. As one can imagine, since most Christians in the earliest times were Jews, the dangers of Jewish influences within the Christian community were ever present. The number of different strains varied from Ebionism to Essenianism to Elxaism. These systems involved errors that ranged from of law-based salvation to aberrant views of the nature of Christ.  The dangers were so real that Paul pronounced an anathema on anyone found guilty of preaching a gospel contrary to the one he had published and peached. Can you imagine what the results would have been if the attitude of the Church was similar to men like “Ted?” These are all opinions of equal weight and therefore, each man is free to think as he pleases? There is no set of authoritative teachings providing the basis by which we, as Christians, must form our beliefs.

Gnosticism
Another very early heresy that also contained many tentacles was called Gnosticism. “The Gnostics would take any doctrine that they found valuable, without any regard for its origin or for the context from which it was taken. When they came to know early Christianity and saw its great appeal, they attempted to take those aspects of Christianity which seemed most valuable to them and adapt them to their systems.” [Gonzalez, A History of Christian Thought, Vol. I]

Dualism
Just as exists today, there was a dualistic tendency in some early heretics. Marcion comes to mind. Gonzalez calls it “an exaggerated Paulinism.” Marcion held radical views, such as his belief that the God of the NT was a different God of the OT. He held a negative view of the OT Scripture. Are these sounding familiar? The gay, anti-Christian movement espoused by “Ted” makes the exact same move. Both Marcion and Ted destroy the God of the OT. Marcion destroys it literally while “Ted” destroys it literarily. But each man’s view has the same devastating consequences.

Monarchianism
This particular heresy is a bit more complex. It can typically be divided into two aspects of a similar effort: Dynamic Monarchianism and Modalist Monarchianism. Dynamic Monarchianism basically viewed Christ as a mere man and was close to Ebionism in that respect. Modalist Monarchianism took the nature of Christ a different direction. The divinity of Christ was identified with the Father. This view eventually was adopted by its most famous proponent, Sebellius and became more widely known as Sebellianism. The church at Rome condemned dynamic Monarchianism, in 195 AD. Dionysius, bishop of Rome, condemned Sebellianism in 262 AD.

Logical Preconditions of Heresy
I want to talk about the necessary and sufficient conditions for heresy. First, the necessary condition for heresy is that truth exists. If truth did not exist, heresy could not exist. In order for heresy to exist, it is necessary for truth to exist. Truth then is a necessary condition for heresy. But the mere existence of truth is not a sufficient condition for heresy just as being a woman is not a sufficient condition for being a mother. A sufficient condition for heresy is that one adopts a contradictory view to certain kinds of truth. Unless certain kinds of truth exist, and unless men are capable of adopting contradictory views to these truths, it follows that sufficient conditions for heresy would not exist. Moreover, if this were the state of affairs that has obtained, heresy would not be possible. But we know, according to Scripture, that not only is heresy possible, but that it exists, and it has existed from the earliest times in the history of Christianity. Moreover, we know that if heresy existed, then necessary and sufficient conditions for it must have existed.

Upon close examination of views like that put forth by men like “Ted” (see the com box in my previous blogs for his real name), we discover that sufficient conditions for heresy would be impossible. Ted’s denial of the binding and authoritative nature of Scripture is a denial of the very kinds of truth that make heresy possible. In other words, Ted’s argument eliminates heresy as a viable option from human behavior. The reduction of all truth to mere subjective, non-binding opinions is to remove any and all sufficient conditions for the existence of heresy. However, since heresy existed in the time of Christ and His apostles, we know that such a move is not philosophically plausible, logically coherent, and most importantly, it is not consistence with the unambiguous teachings and events recorded in Scripture.

What men like “Ted” do is not really the denial of absolute truth. If you read Ted’s argument and accusations of me, you will see a clear self-refutation emerge. Ted is merely exchanging one authority for another. He is not denying all authority, practically speaking anyways. He is replacing biblical authority with his own set of beliefs. That is not difficult to see, at least for the non-Ted’s that are reading the discussion. Ted is exchanging the truth of God for the truth of Ted. And his descriptions of me reflect deeply on Ted’s convictions that his views not only apply to him, but they extend to me. Moreover, Ted’s accusations of me show that Ted at least thinks his views transcend humanity and apply equally to all those in my category. So we also see in Ted the unavoidable logical end of self-refutation. This is why I referred to Ted as a walking contradiction.

The Ignorance of Ignoring Heresy
Modern cultures, due to the pervasive infection of postmodern relativism within them, cannot be trusted to provide the appropriate response to heresy or heretics. The notion that man is the measure of all things, even in the backhanded sort of way Ted suggests, is insufficient in its ability to deal with the seriousness of damnable dogma. Far too often, local churches and entire denominations, being influenced by the academy and the so-called sophistication of modern biblical scholarship, downgrade the heresy of false doctrine that the ancient Christian apostle Paul himself, compared to the deadly disease of cancer. As a matter of fact, the downgrade of heresy, far from advancing the Christian ethic, and enriching Christian knowledge, more often than not, ends in disastrous consequences. Indeed, if we continue to extend this strategy, such policies will inevitable result in the total eradication of biblical Christianity.


In short, the long history of the existence and condemnation of heresy testifies against the arrogance of postmodern thinkers like “Ted” and Rob Bell and others. Historically, the Church has been dealing with heresy for nearly 2,000 years. And for those who want to soften how that practice occurs, the Church has been dealing with heresy harshly and seriously for nearly 2,000 years.

The Bully Pulpit and a Culture of Intimidation

On the one side, we have the Christian community, and on the other side, we have the pagan community. The Christian community is made...