June 4, 2008

The quickest way to prevent heresy is to teach all truths, and the most certain way of refuting it is to expose them all.
                                                                                 – Blaise Pascal

Heresy is a dangerous word in today’s culture of tolerance.  Somehow and someway, all views are supposedly of equal validity.  How can this be?  This is especially troubling within Christianity.  As a Christian, I believe in the Bible and therefore in an absolute standard of right and wrong.


With this in mind, how much wrong must be in a concept before it is wholly wrong?  Or in other words, how much heresy can be tolerated?   Let us consider this very thing.

Before we begin, let me follow a basic convention.  I will give a basic definition of heresy for the purposes of this article.


Heresy is an erroneous or false opinion, repugnant unto and subverting the doctrine of faith revealed in the Word as necessary unto salvation; and obstinately maintained and perniciously adhered unto by a professed Christian.

                                                                               Obadiah Sedgwick

This quote is taken from a longer work located at A Puritan’s Mind.  Both the article quoted and the vast array of articles located at this site make it a personal favorite.


So, I wonder, what should a Christian’s response to heresy be?  Should we assume a standard of tolerance to make the post modern movement proud?  Or would we better pursue righteousness by exposing and refuting such heresy.


I firmly believe the latter.  I vastly prefer polemics to straight apologetics when dealing with a self proclaimed Christian entrenched in heresy.  I keep apologetics in my tool box as reserved for interacting with the standard unregenerate folk I know and meet. 


So, what shall we do when we meet a person calling themselves a Christian (sometimes they avoid that term as if it was the black death), but denies certain fundamental truths.  Such as

  • the deity of Christ
  • the triune nature of the Most High
  • salvation by grace through faith
  • denial of the Word of God (entirely or proclaiming the Word as errant)


Shall we sit on our backsides and allow lies to breed and multiply and spread like cancer?  Or shall we engage the heresy and proclaim truth?


A common quote (and one that appears in many forms):

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

                                                                                    – Edmund Burke

Let us also say that “All that is necessary for heresy to triumph is for godly men to do nothing.”


My challenge is for godly men to step away from the sidelines and engage heresy.  This requires that these same godly men know the truth well – the Bible well, be much in prayer, and willing to engage. 


So men, read your Bible, bend your knee, and expose heresy.


One Response to “Heresy”

  1. Great post. Good thoughts. 🙂

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