The following is a reply to an email amongst friends concerning heresy hunters, those who denounce other Christians as being heretics (false: prophets, apostles etc.) because they hold different non-essential Christians doctrines than them.
You asked, ‘There are people who have different view points. Are they entirely wrong?’ Yes and no, case by case differs. Look at the Kings of Israel and Judah, some were good, some were bad, some were good and then bad, others were bad and then good, whilst some kept tottering between the two opinions! Simon the sorcerer from Acts 8 was converted and baptised in a time of revival, BUT his heart was not right. Peter sussed him out, as he wanted to purchase the impartation of the Holy Spirit with money and told him to repent.
I briefly looked at the two websites as you asked, though I never stay long to look at heresy hunters websites. Most of these people have real issues in their own lives to deal with and try to bolster their image by denouncing those who have achieved things in the Lord. Jealously is a terrible thing. Some of these sites are put up my non-Christians to cause weak brethren to stumble, fall and lose faith.
Jesus said, “Go into all the world and make disciples...” Paul wrote: ‘Loves thinks no evil’ 1 Corinthians 13. People who deny the authority of the Word of God are not the sort of people who have authority in Christendom or are capable of making sound biblical judgments in regards to spiritual matters. They begin with a bias, that God is changing and has limited power!
Most heresy hunters, ‘false’ prophet exposé’s, or revival police begin with the premise that the ones they are pointing the finger at ARE false brethren and are wolves. Yet most of these brethren hold orthodox views and the Bible is very clear that we should think the best, ‘love thinks no evil’ 1 Cor. 13. The hunters begin with a wrong attitude to begin with and only get worse.
The issue is: Do these exposé’s wish to correct, instruct and help those they thing they are exposing or do they merely take pleasure in condemning them? Many heresy hunters have been taken captive by the devil to do his will – to tear the body of Christ apart. Some heresy hunters, are our brothers in the Lord have erred in their discernment and misunderstand great portion of the Holy Bible, whilst others are tares and accursed children. Think how foolish it is to have a ministry or website that ONLY condemns other Christians. Is any of the books in the Bible entirely dedicated to that or does Paul make references to just some individuals, Demetrius, the coppersmith, beware of him, as he done me much harm, and John writes in 3 John to beware of the church leader who forbids to entertain the brethren and threaten his congregation with expulsion if they do!
‘Do not speak in the hearing of a fool as he will despise the wisdom of your words’ as the Proverbs declare and many heresy hunters have heads and hearts as hard as oak. Their minds are made up, many have deceiving spirits and some deny portions of God’s word – such as saying that the Gifts of the Spirit are not for today, or God does not heal – both completely untrue, biblically and historically across two thousands years of Christendom. Many have little to no conception of biblical love or edification as their words and articles reveal; if your brother errs, you pull alongside him and help him out and pray for repentance and restoration, not glee over their condemnation and hell fire. Some heresy hunters, have been disillusioned or have been hurt or abused in the church system and therefore they only know how to vent their feelings; often very misguided, in these ways. For many, their sites are an outlet to their own hurts and frustrations that they are not in Christian ministry and resent other that are.
Jesus said to the crowd who were vying to stone the woman caught in adultery, “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.” I am no advocate of this man or woman or denouncer of others, but I have learnt to focus my time and talents into the work I have been called to. The church united will stand to fight the enemy stronger than if we are divided – Jesus said a divided church cannot stand.
We are called to ‘contend for the faith’ Jude 3 and to ‘hold fast the faithful Word’ Titus 1:9 as well as ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ’ 2 Peter 3:18. To permit believers to declare things that are contrary to the Word of God is wrong but there are doctrines and differing viewpoints which are not essential to salvation; doctrines which are on the peripheral. We are also called to ‘examine ourselves as to whether we are in the faith’ 2 Corinthians 13:5 and if one ‘wander from the truth’ we should try to turn them back and ‘save a soul from death’ James 5:19-20. Let us NEVER forget that ‘the measure we use,’ to judge someone or another ministry ‘it will be measured back to us’ Matthew 7:2. It is a stark warning for all.
‘Study earnestly to present yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth’ 2 Timothy 2:15.
Recommended Books and DVD:
Discipleship For Everyday Living: Christian Growth
How Christianity Made the Modern World
Understanding Revival and Addressing The Issues It Provokes
Great Christian Revivals DVD