Friday, September 29, 2017


This week I launched a brand new podcast with some friends called "Heretic Happy Hour" and so far it's performing better than we expected.

In our very first episode we talked about the word "Heresy" and where it comes from.

The actual word means "causing division" and the emphasis is on the sin of dividing the Church, not about false teaching.

Unity is a big deal for Jesus. He prayed that we would be one as He and the Father are one. He said that our unity would be a sign to the world that Jesus was actually the Messiah sent from God.

This is also why Jesus commanded us to love one another as He has loved us - which is to say - extravagantly and unconditionally.

Paul also stressed unity in his epistles to the early Christian assembly. He rebuked the Corinthians for dividing over which Apostle they like best. He reminded the Galatians that we are no longer divided by race, or status, or gender, but that we are all one in Christ. He rebuked the Romans for dividing over whether or not eating meat sacrificed to idols was right or wrong and told them to each be convinced in their own mind, but to remain in unity as brothers and sisters in Christ.

He even suggested that it was ok to just allow oneself to be wronged as long as unity in the Body of Christ was maintained.

Unity was - and is - crucial. People will know that we are the followers of Christ if we have love for one another. So, it's a very big deal.

It's why Paul warned us in Titus to warn a divisive person twice and then have nothing more to do with them if they refused to stop dividing the Church.

So, the idea of dividing that Body was heresy. It went against everything that Jesus and His Apostles stood for.

Heresy, is about division. This means one could be guilty of heresy while teaching the truth.

How? By using the truth to divide the Body of Christ.

One could also be a heretic for simply saying this: "I cannot fellowship with anyone who disagrees with my theology."

Only a heretic divides the Body of Christ over differences in theology.

The irony, of course, is that people do this all the time. Hardly a day goes by on Facebook where someone doesn't say exactly this - "I cannot fellowship with anyone who disagrees with my theology" - and usually in the process that same person will accuse those who disagree with them of being heretics.

But the only heretic is the one who divides the Body of Christ - even if they are technically correct in their theology.

So, please don't be a heretic. Don't divide the Body of Christ over your own views of scripture. Don't insist that everyone must agree with you on ever single point before you'll accept them into your fellowship.

Our unity is in Christ.


LISTEN: Episode 01 of The Heretic Happy Hour: "Heresy Is In The Eye of the Beholder"

On iTunes Here>

OR, listen on Podbean here>


Marshall said...

by the definition "causing division", Jesus might then also be labeled "heretic".
better to go yet another step closer to the more concrete definition of ηαρεσις: preferences. Jesus held no preferences, instead yielding fully to His Father's own.

Keith Giles said...

Jesus was most certainly a heretic. He said himself he came to bring division, didn't he? Didn't the Pharisees consider him a blasphemer? That's heresy.

Everyone is someone's heretic.

T Aagard said...

Here is another instruction from Paul to separate from brothers for a specific practice.
2 Thes. 3: 6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.
The word used here for idleness, can also be translated "unruly". Actually both meanings apply. Paul defines what he means by "idleness" when he says "and not accord with the tradition that you received from us."

Are there any specific traditions Paul means by this? Yes, he goes on to explain.
7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you,
8 nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day,
that we might not be a burden to any of you.

Paul is referring to his "example" of always combining marketplace work with spiritual leadership. To Paul, not working in the marketplace was being "idle". This routine of refusing to work in the marketplace place is exactly what hired Bible experts do. They demand a full pay check out of the offering plate. Bible experts use 3 or 4 passages to justify "full time ministry". It just so happens that I have found all these passages to be used in a corrupt manner. They are either or both falsely translated, or falsely assumed upon. These 3 or 4 passages are used to nullify 8 passages just like this one. It doesn't take a Bible expert to see these things, but for some reason few if any care to look. Hired Bible experts are in a conflict of interest to want to look. I've written a free PDF book on this if anyone cares to check my work. I have been shocked at what I have found.

Paul repeats his "keep away" instruction.
14 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

Paul's instruction is not division but church discipline. The brothers who make claims to not work are the ones who are divisive because they reject the traditions laid down by the apostle Paul as the framework for church practice. It should be no surprise to us to observe that when hired professionals dominate the church, the church divides into 1000 different incompatible brand names displaying to the world that the people of God are fractured rather than "perfectly one". This tells us that the church will not unite to follow only Christ until professionalized Bible experts are "warned" to be "ashamed", taught, rebuked, corrected, and instructed in righteousness.
Am I missing anything?

rmillyn said...

A little late to the conversation since I just found this but hoping I get a reply. This is a fascinating topic and I find myself wondering if I've been guilty of this and where the line is.
For example, I have a difficult time with the idea of accepting neo reformed and fundamentalist ideas as even being Christian at all. It would be easier to worship in a Mormon church because of the level of fear, hatred, nationalism, and legalism embraced by these groups; I see them as diametrically opposed to the teachings of Jesus. And to be fair I imagine they see me the same way.
Does that make me a heretic in your view and where is that line drawn?

Keith Giles said...

I think the real danger is when we fail to separate people from their beliefs. We can love anyone and everyone, regardless of what they believe or whether or not we happen to accept or reject those beliefs.

Accepting or rejecting beliefs is fine. But rejecting people is not.