What I Don’t Believe: Heresy and Apostasy
Please note that the following points are not meant to be an outright condemnation of people who may hold to one or more of these beliefs. Pointing out that something is contrary to scripture is not the same as saying that someone who holds this view is going to hell. I may speak passionately against false doctrines, but the motivation is a love and compassion for people and the truth, not hatred or malice toward anyone. I, myself, have held several unscriptural views and as I’ve grown to better know God through scripture, I have been corrected; and, continue to be corrected…
(a) Calvinism – worships a different “god”, perverse understanding of God’s nature and motivations, based on Augustine’s gnostic and manichaeistic influences. You know these folks because they say you are going to hell if you don’t believe in all 5-points of Calvinism. The ultimate “man-centered” gospel is the one that is defined by man and not God. Often hides behind terms such as “historical Christianity”, “reformed theology”, and “Doctrines of Grace”. Claims to literally interpret the Bible, however, places more emphasis on what select reformers said and cherry pick verses above what the Bible actually says in context.
And, no, I don’t agree with Arminianism either.
Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin) – we are dead in sin, cannot save ourselves [scripture reveals that we would not be able to choose salvation without the drawing of the Holy Spirit and each man being given a measure of faith]
Unconditional Election – God creates some destined for heaven and others destined to hell [outright false assumption]
Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement) – Jesus only died for the elect [false, Jesus died for the WHOLE world John 1:29, John 3:16, John 4:42, 1Tim 4:10, 1John 2:2, 1John 4:14]
Irresistible Grace – Because God is soveriegn, we have no free will or choice in response [false dillema, in God’s sovereignty He gave us a free will to choose whom we will serve, our free will is not a challenge to God being Almighty]
Perseverance of the Saints – Unconditional Once-Saved-Always-Saved [false, more of a Conditional Once-Saved-Always-Saved; no man can take us out of His hand, but we can walk away; we cannot preserve ourselves, God preserves those who endure to the end; it is not a matter of working to stay saved, it is a matter of abiding (resting) in Jesus]
(b) Mormonism/Latter Day Saints – Generally really nice people… however, they are polytheists who follow a works based religion, deifying man in that man can become a god, and believes Jesus was God’s first creation.
(c) Roman Catholicism – works based religion, idolatry of Mary, invests priests with power to forgive sins, dictates of the Pope and tradition supersede scripture, forbidding marriage is a doctrine of devils, advocates praying to saints and Mary instead of Jesus.
(d) Emergent/Emerging Church – incorporation of new age and pagan spirituality into Christianity. For example: “contemplative prayer” is really repackaged transcendental meditation. They keep changing names to stay ahead of criticism, so also known as “New Spirituality”, “Hipster Christianity”, “Attractional”, etc. Includes Spiritual Formation, spiritual disciplines of the “desert fathers”, walking labyrinths, breath prayers, contemplative prayer, mindless repetitions, in addition to various Roman Catholic mystical practices.
(e) Kingdom Now/Dominion Theology/Reconstruction-ism/New Apostolic Reformation – believes that it is up to Christians to establish God’s kingdom on earth before Jesus will return. This puts them in the position of God in that they can glory in their works to change the world. The Glory of the Kingdom belongs to God alone. The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus Himself will establish His Kingdom with a single word when he returns in the same manner that He departed and sets his foot on the Mt. of Olives.
(f) Social Gospel/Liberation Theology/Christian Socialism – believes salvation is achieved by transferring wealth and power from oppressor to the oppressed
(g) Replacement Theology/Antisemitism – believes the church replaces Israel, sides with Satan against God’s chosen nation
(h) Universalism – belief that everyone is saved regardless of what they believe
(i) Ecumenism/Syncretism – merging of diverse faiths (note: classical ecumenism was cooperation between different Christian denominations, contemporary ecumenism includes merging of Christian and non-Christian religions under the umbrella of the Roman Catholic Church)
(j) Happiness Gospel / Easy-Believism / Cheap Grace – this says that if you follow these steps or join this church (or sometimes even “receive Jesus”), then your life will be carefree and full of happiness. Tell that to Stephen or any of the other martyrs who have died for the sake of the cross. While there are innumerable benefits and blessings to following Jesus, there is also pruning, correction, and persecution.
(k) Prosperity Gospel – this is a perversion of scriptural giving. Basically says “send me money and God will make you rich.” While God does bless us greatly, He meets our “needs” NOT our “greeds”. Our giving should be to helping fellow believers, helping unbelievers in order to open their hearts for the Gospel, and spreading the Gospel — not being made merchandise of by TV preachers, making them rich. (see 2 Peter 2:3) If it really worked the way they say, then those TV preachers should be sending me money…
(l) Faith in Faith – this heresy believes that the power is in OUR faith and words. That if you have strong enough faith, then you can get what you want. That if something bad happens to you or you don’t get healed it is because you don’t have enough faith (or are not donating enough money). This exalts man to “godhood” and reduces God to a vending machine.
Instead, we should look to God as our provider and look to Him to provide as He wills for the purpose of equipping us for performing His service.
(m) “Law of Attraction” / The Secret / hedge witchcraft / positive confession – this heresy believes that if you imagine, concentrate, or repeat postive affirmations over and over then you can draw things to yourself and reshape your world. This is witchcraft, divination, and doctrines of devils. This has infiltrated the Church and also exalts man to “godhood” and reduces God to a vending machine.
The truth is not “postive” or “negative”, it is the truth — and truth is determined by God, not our opinions or feelings. Positive/negative is based man’s determination of what is to be considered “positive” based on what is beneficial or pleasing to man. Instead of speaking “positive”, we need to speak the truth.
Instead of speaking in agreement with Satan, man’s opinions, fleshly desires, or our circumstances, we should always speak God’s words, speak in line with scripture, that way we know we are always speaking the truth.
(n) Sacred Names – believes only the hebrew names and pronunciations for Yaweh and Yashua are valid and anything else is the name of a false pagan god. The problem is, nobody can agree on the right spelling and/or pronunciations.
It is not knowing the right symbols, spelling, syllables, and sounds to produce with your vocal chords, it is knowing the character and personality (the heart) that is important (and we know God’s nature based on what God has revealed to us by His words).
Over emphasis on syllables, pronunciation, and producing right “vibrations” is called “enchantments” in the Bible and has more in common with kabbalah, mystery religions, and witchcraft where the belief is in the power of certain words…
God’s truth is that He is the source of power and it has more to do with trust in Him than enchantments and incantations.
(o) Judiazers – beware of Judiazers and legalists that seek to put believers back under the law. I agree that it is good to get to know the culture of the people in biblical times, however, we should be careful about being lured into legalism often accompanied by mystic kabbalism Gal 5:1; Gal 2:14-16, 21; Acts 15:8-9; 1Tim 4:3
(p) Jesus was tormented in hell – Jesus did not suffer in torment in hell nor did He “die spiritually” – the atonement was completed on the cross when Jesus said “It is finished” and He paid the wages of sin with His death.
(q) little gods – We are not “little gods” in the sense that we are or become any kind or form of “deity”. Also the belief that God “reproduced” and that man is the same as God, making God lower than the angels (Heb 2:7). Everything God created reproduces after its kind, but that cannot be applied to the Creator. Our being in the image of God does not make us the same as God. Verses wrested to support the “little gods” notion (Ps 82:6; John 10:34) are actually referring to judges acting as representatives of God or acting with the authority of judgement as “gods”. Anything we are or become is by abiding in Jesus not taking His place.
(r) Beliefs such as Jesus was a man who God inhabited from his baptism until death on the cross, or that Jesus was a man who became enlightened and shows us how to become a “god”.
(s) Beliefs such as Jesus needed to be “born again” (note He said “ye” not “we” in John 3:7).
(s) Belief that God’s nature is anything other than how He represents Himself in scripture. One example is the belief that God is both male and female – while in scripture He consistently represents Himself as masculine. Any description of God outside of scripture is quite simply another Jesus, another gospel, another Spirit.
(t) Pauline Christianity / Pauline Gospel / Pauline Theology / Paulism / Paulianity – notion that Paul was the inventor of Christianity and that he complicated the simple teaching of Jesus. Non-Christian proponents of this will use this theory to attack Christianity and the divinity of Christ. Proponents of this theory identifying as Christians will use this to discredit the epistles of Paul.
(u) Paul Onlysim / Dispensation of Paul / Pauline Dispensationalism / Darbyism – an extreme form of dispensationalism that teaches that Paul taught a different Gospel than Jesus did and that only select portions of the letters of Paul apply to us, the “Church” during the “Dispensation of Grace” and the rest of the bible applies only to the Jews. This over emphasizes perceived differences in what Paul taught as compared to what Jesus and the other apostles taught. What is neglected is that Paul’s letters were written to assemblies that Paul had already taught the gospel and teachings of Jesus. Rather than a different gospel, the letters were correcting errors that had sprouted up after he had moved on to other cities. All of the epistles need to be read in context of the gospels, not in contrast of them.
(v) Various other forms of Extreme or Hyper Dispensationalism
(w) Other cults such as Jehovah’s Witnesses / Watchtower, Armstrongism, Christian Science and all mind science cults
(x) All forms of occult masquerading as (or compatible with) Christianity such as New Age, Aquarianism, Illuminati, Luciferianism, Masonry, Witchcraft, Elemental Magic, Yoga, Kundalini, Kabbalah, Mysticism, Nation of Islam, etc