Without fail, whenever I bring up this subject, I’m sent a plethora of links to articles and videos that are all missing one thing:
A clear rule of biblical criteria for identifying at what point the Gospel or Jesus become, “different” and thus damnable.
Seriously guys, if we are going to start a crusade in which we’re making these types of accusations toward others, then it’s imperative that we have Scripture to back us up.
Now, I understand people can take a Bible verse, slap on some commentary, and tell you what it, “really means.” I get that. I really do. And that sort of thing can make for a great discussion. But when we’re dealing in serious issues where we’re charging people with potentially damnable things, you gotta have more. Folks need to be able to read it in their Bibles for themselves—-without your help as an interpreter.
Because we have to be sure. There’s a lot at stake here . . .Especially if we’re wrong.
. . . And maybe even our own salvation.
We have a command to be ever willing to believe the best of every person (1Cor 13 AMP). Sometimes it seems like we practice that passage in reverse, doesn’t it? We’re ever willing to believe and suspect the worst of every person. If you define hate as the opposite of love, then what are we doing when we jump at the opportunity to believe the worst about those with whom we disagree? John said anyone who hates his brother is a murderer and has no eternal life in him—So while we’ve been so quick to bring every one else’ salvation into question . . . Maybe it’s time we were a bit more concerned for our own.
. . . Moving on
So I’m putting forth a challenge to all those who are actively involved in this popular practice of accusing folks of preaching a different Jesus/Gospel:
I don’t say that in arrogance. I’m saying it out of obedience to 1 Thessalonians 5 which commands us to test and prove all things.
Quote the statement under investigation and show where in the Bible it’s referred to as another gospel or a different jesus.
Notice I said to quote the statement as opposed to naming the doctrine. Why? Because unfortunately folks often hear something, rearrange it, then run off saying So and So is teaching X, Y, and Z. We’re not interested in that. Let’s play fair here and deal with the actual quote and not your interpretation of it.
Now . . . Here’s what I suspect. And I say, suspect, because I could be wrong. But so far it seems that the Bible really does not give a measurable criteria in this area. How could it? If I remember correctly, a different Jesus and another Gospel are terms that only occur once in the Bible. The word, heresy maybe a couple more.
And whenever the Bible is not very specific on a subject—Look out! Because folks just can’t leave it alone. So you’ll often see quite a bit of shoehorning going on in order to arrive at conclusions.
That’s right, I said shoehorning— yeah, it’s a word. I looked it up.
Many will ask, “Are you saying there is no way to prove false or unbiblical doctrines with the Bible?” Of course there is. You can clearly demonstrate erroneous doctrines using the Bible.
All day long.
But critics don’t seem content with this. They have to push it to another level. It can’t be just an erroneous teaching. It must fall under the category of a different gospel or another jesus thus allowing for a more direct personal attack with terms like, “heretic” and “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
Look, we feel strongly about this. I get that. It can be a very emotional subject. But if we are going to insist on using such loaded language, let’s also insist that clear biblical criteria be shown.
And in the event it cannot be . . .
Then we need to serve ourselves up a nice big slice of Humble Pie and repent of this sinful, destructive practice.