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My Encounter with a Heresy Hunter

by Tom Brown

After picking up the phone with my usual cheerful greeting, a voice responded, "Hello, this is Pastor X." My heart dropped. It's him! It's the heresy-hunter who's been publicly criticizing some of God's choice servants. Now I was his next target!

I shouldn't have been startled when he called. After all, a month before, God warned me of his impending call. I even told my wife, Sonia, this. Nevertheless there's nothing like the actual confrontation.

I asked, trying to disguise my nervousness, "What can I do for you?"

"I wonder if I could meet with you to discuss the scriptures?"

I thought, "Sure??? You mean BEAT THE BIBLE OVER MY HEAD!" But I responded, "What for? I don't want to discuss anything with you, because you're too divisive!"

"Well, let's discuss whether or not I'm divisive. I promise I won't come to debate or argue with you."

"Under those conditions, OK. We'll meet," I answered knowing that he really wanted to argue. But I must admit I wanted to tell him a few things too...if you know what I mean!

I have never understood how these so called apologists can publicly criticize other ministers who obviously have the call of God on their life. I feel tremendous guilt if I say just one mean, petty remark about a fallen minister, not to mention the spiritual ones. Yet these heresy-hunters continue day-after-day criticizing God's anointed--and publicly--without feeling one ounce of guilt or remorse over the destruction they cause in the the body of Christ.

I was finally going to find out what motivated Pastor X and others such as him to judge God's people.

What did I discover? Nothing new.

Pastor X is motivated by the same thing that motivated the Pharisees and Sadducees to criticize, judge, and persecute Jesus and the apostles--and that's JEALOUSY!

I'm sure some are thinking, "Oh, NO! Pastor X and his fellow workers are trying to protect the Church from false doctrine."

Please realize that this was also the Sanhedrin's official, public reason for crucifying Jesus: You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish, was Caiaphus' excuse for murdering Jesus. (Remember he who hates his brother is a murderer too.)

Are not the heresy-hunters using basically the same language to justify their judgmental attitudes, which the Bible emphatically forbids.

"We are guarding and protecting God's Church from false doctrine," you hear them argue.

I believe the Lord can handle that job without your help...or mine! Jesus said, "I will build my Church and the gates of hell WILL NOT prevail against it."

The Lord is responsible for the Church. True, we pastors must protect the flock to which the Lord has made us shepherds. But we are not to judge God's true ministers because we disagree over minor points of doctrine which the devil has magnified.

Yes, let us pastors protect our churches from religions that deny the fundamental doctrines of Christ--the virgin birth, the inspiration of scriptures, the new birth, etc... But let us also put away strife and dissension--and strive the keep the unity of the Spirit.

So you might be wondering how the meeting with Pastor X turned out. Well, I argued persuasively--but most importantly in love--my theological stance. I have been known to get a little hot-tempered when I debate concerning the scriptures, so my wife warned me beforehand to watch my temper. And by God's grace I did. (Sonia was with me and can verify this.) And Pastor X tried his best to point out what he thought were my errors. In the end neither of us, as expected, changed our views.

The one thing about Pastor X that disappointed me the most was not his inability to answer my arguments but his mean-spirited attack on me personally.

"You're a dangerous man!" he repeatedly said. ME...dangerous! You gotta be kidding.

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