Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Heresy Challenge

I am thankful to have both EWTN (Catholic) and TBN (evangelical) available on TV. It gives me a chance to find something edifying on TV.

Of course, it also requires a lot of discernment.

Sometimes, I like to play a little game I call "The Heresy Challenge".

The rules are kind of fast and loose. Is it based on which teaching is most contradictory to the Bible? or closest? Is the winner doing better or worse? Which makes it a lot of fun!

Yesterday, I turned on TBN at 7 pm (Way of the Master, season 3, oh yea!). Sadly, they were having a fundraiser...

They were using a passage from Kings (I forget where), to say that if you sent in $1000, God would give you whatever you want!

Ok, so, I figured, "we have a winner!" Then flipped it over...

On EWTN, a man was calmly explaining "this is why it is possible for you to lose your salvation"...


How does that guy sleep at night, knowing that in the morning he might not be saved, only to have a heart attack during breakfast and go directly to Hell. Wow.

Hard to pick a winner...


TheDen said...

Hey Ned,

Glad to hear that you're watching good edifying television.

If you have a chance, catch Fr. John Corapi. He's the closest thing we Catholics have to a "Fire and Brimstone" Protestant Minister.

Anyhow, in regards to losing your salvation, yes, that's taught by the Church.

It's not actually so, however. I think that God knows who is saved and who's not. Am I saved? I don't know. To know that is to presume something that only God knows.

What God wants out of me is to follow His will. He wants me to be obedient in all things. I do know that if I'm disobedient to His word--and don't seek His forgiveness--then am I really worthy of being saved?

Scripture tells us to work out our Salvation in "fear and trembling." (Philippians 2:12) That verse does not make sense if we have an assurance of salvation.

nedbrek said...

I think the "working out" starts in fear and trembling ("the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom"). After that, "you may know" (First John).

How else can you have peace and joy, anxious for nothing; knowing God's love for us, because love drives out fear.

TheDen said...


"the 'working out' starts in fear and trembling"

The Scripture doesn't say it "starts in fear and trembling." You're adding words to the Scripture to make it fit into your belief.

Note what it says in Phil. 2:12..."obedient as you have always been..." Paul is telling us to be obedient...whether he is there or not. Obedience is key which is my point.

You bring up 1 John..."How else can you have peace and joy, anxious for nothing; knowing God's love for us(?)"

To know that answer, you have to keep reading 1 John:

"Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.
(Now) this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth and reassure our hearts before him" (1 John 3: 18-19)

"...and receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him." (1 John 3: 22)

"...Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit that he gave us. "

So, how do we know we belong to the truth? By being obedient to God. By loving Him and our neighbor. It's through love that we come to know Him.

Note that it's those who keep His commandments who remain in Him. Therefore, if we do not keep His commandments, we do not remain in Him.

It's in acts of disobedience that one can lose their Salvation. That's how Adam fell. God reopens that chance at redemption but it's only through Jesus Christ and it's only through obedience to Him. If we remain in Him, we are saved as He is saved. If we are disobedient, He will not call us friends (John 15:14) We will be "thrown into the fire" (John 15:6)

Think about John 15:6...HE'S TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE WHO WERE ONCE PART OF THE VINE!!! He's talking about Christians who "don't bear much fruit" and they're pruned so that they whither and dry up...eventually being cast into the fire.

This is what Paul is talking about in working out your salvation in fear and trembling. That we be obedient out of love and bear great fruit--out of love and be fearful that we can be cut off and cast into the fire.

In summary, what you heard on EWTN is Scriptural and is not heresy.

Earlier, you had a post titled "Gospel in One." If I had to choose one word that encapsulates the Gospel, it's LOVE. Love God...Love neighbor...Love self. God is Love and that is Jesus' message to us as is so very obvious in 1 John.

He has poured forth an unimaginable amount of love for you through the Cross and He is asking that you love Him back (through your obedience to Him and through the repentance of your sins) and share His love with others (through your forgiveness and sacrifice to them).

To me, that's the message of the Gospel. It's to love all people and bring them to God.

I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.

nedbrek said...

You are quite right, the Arminian position is Biblically defensible, and many Arminians believe that one can lose salvation. I was just so shocked when I expected an easy win over the prosperity preachers (not sure whether to give a :) or :.( ...)

I did cover the commandments mentioned in First John, not sure if you saw it...

Neil' said...

The trouble with "The rules are kind of fast and loose. Is it based on which teaching is most contradictory to the Bible? or closest?" - the Bible has all kinds of perspectives (yes it does) that don't give the same impression, so those rules are problematical to try and apply.

nedbrek said...

Hi Neil! and welcome!

By Biblical principles, I mean, as I understand them. That is mostly in keeping what I call "pale-orthodoxy" (ht Oden).

You may recognize theologians like John MacArthur and Charles Spurgeon - I would call them paleo-orthodox. It is generally Protestant, Calvinistic, but credo-baptist, and usually dispensationalist.