Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Publicly denouncing heretics and false teachers

In Singapore, we have a "new" home grown heretic in the person of Joseph Prince. In South Korea, we have a long-time favorite in the Word-faith syncretist David (Paul) Yonggi Cho. Both of them are in cultures which are steeped in Confucianism. Both of them are very prominent among the visible Church. Both of them are also free to publish their views without fear of almost any pastors in their home countries denouncing them.

The absence of denouncing heretics seem to be due to a misplaced idea of what being peaceable and being meek and Christ-like mean. In the absence of widespread public denunciation, these false teachers do not have to fear being marked as a false teacher, for what can a few laymen (if any) do? In the Confucian concept of "face," the whole issue becomes entwined with cultural expectations and norms. The problem therefore is that ministers in those countries have a false view of what heresy is, and a failure to recognize their duty in the face of damnable errors.

Let's look at an analogy. What do these countries do to those who commit heinous crimes? The names and pictures of those convicted of such crimes like murder, terrorism and treason are routinely published. The civil realm denounces publicly and convict publicly those who commit such crimes. In the case of rape, men who are accused of rape are even presumed guilty until proven innocent in the court of public opinion (while women rapists get a free pass in this regard). Do the civil authorities or the media give "face" to those accused and/or convicted of such crimes? Of course not! The public shaming and disgracing is part and parcel of the punishment meted out on these criminals.

When it comes to God's Kingdom in the Church however, suddenly everything changes. Here, even Satan might be given "face"! False teachers commit spiritual murder, but spiritual murderers are treated much much better than physical ones. Heretics who spew their toxin from the pulpits commit spiritual treason against the God they claim to serve, but of course whereas in the civil realm traitors are subject to capital punishment, in the Church it seems they are accepted and their critics portrayed as being un-Christlike. The comparison can go on and on, but the point should be clear by now.

Those who refuse to publicly denounce heretics and false teachers are winking at sin. What would we say about a judge who looks at someone convicted of murder and refuse to punish him? What a scandal it would be for a government to allow a person convicted of treason to go away scot-free? Yet, somehow these pastors and ministers think that it is better not to offend a person than to serve God. They rather give "face" to heretics and false teachers, and allow God to be mocked, souls to be destroyed, and the witness of the Church to be sullied before the world. If the civil realm even in Confucian societies do not give "face" to criminals, why are these pastors giving "face" to those committing heinous spiritual crimes?

If those pastors actually think they are answerable to God alone for their ministry, let them stop their cowardice and start speaking out against the heretics and false teachers in their countries. Your silence is silent consent to their errors, in the same way as someone silently observing a rape in progress is giving consent to that rape even though he did not participate or support it, and the blood of those you did not warn will be upon you.

4 comments:

Joe Wong said...

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=898936333452480&id=100000083644268&ref=bookmark

Gregory S. Gill said...

An excellent article.

PuritanReformed said...

@Greg,

thanks

PuritanReformed said...

@Joel,

while you are against the Hyper-Grace heresy, I don't agree with your portrayal of Calvinism. I don't see any understanding of what Calvinism is, as opposed to what the Hyper-Grace heresy teaches