Bad Doctrine Has Consequences

Very few people care about defending the doctrine of God against those who teach heresy. Adn those that point out the heresy are not welcome.

I've never believed that a person can lose his or her salvation - there are too many passages that indicate that Christ cannot lose one of His own. So the last straw in leaving my Arminian church was when my kids and I were talking about their childhood and I asked if they remembered the moment that they "got saved". My son could tell me where he was, what he had been doing, who was there.

My daughter said, "What do you mean? Do you mean the first time, or all the other times?" The surety of her salvation (to her mind) depended on how many times she had "gone to the alter" - this was the consequence of this bad doctrine.

What are the consequence of having "relationships" with those who deny the Trinity?

James White says (In "The Forgotten Trinity):

True worship must worship God as he exists, not as we wish Him to be. The essence of idoloatry is the making of images of God. An image is a shadow, a false representation. We may not bow beforea statue or figure, but if we make an image of God in our mind that is not in accord with God's revelation of Himself, then we are not worshiping in truth. Since sin and rebellion are always pushing us toward false gods and away from the true God, we must seek every day to conform our thinking and our worship to God's straight-edge standard of truth, revealed so wonderfully in Scripture.

(page 195) Look at the "gospel" message of every single group that denies the doctrine of the Trinity. You will find error and perversion in every group. Why? Because the true Gospel must be based upon the work of the one true and triune God. Without that basis, the Gospel cannot stand. Look at Mormonism, which denies the pillar of monotheism: the Gospel becomes the means of becoming a god. Look at the Witnesses: the Gospel is a mere appendage, a message of how we can live forever in a paradise earth. Such is what happens when the Redeemer becomes Michael the Archangel, and the Spirit becomes an impersonal active force. And in the Oneness groups the Gospel becomes legalism, replete with "necessary" things one must "experience" to be truly saved.

Bad doctrine has consequences - twisting the Gospel to fit our own desire about how it should look - has consequences.

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3 thoughts on “Bad Doctrine Has Consequences

  1. Dear Ellen, I like your blog! You have insightful questions and topics that keep me thinking.

    I too agree that bad doctrine has consequences,and that we must (not optional)defend truth.

    I do though disagree on whether or not a person can lose their salvation. I found salvation in an Assembly of God church, earned a theology degree at an independent, pentecostal Bible college, and currently attend a Foursquare church - so you might say (please pardon the bad pun in advance!) that I drank the kool aid. Tp your comment that too many passages indicate Christ cannot lose one of His own, I would respond with passages that indicate that man can apostasize and turn away (you might say 'reverse repentance') and thus lose salvation.

    I found the anecdote regarding your daughter poignant and insightful, and would respond that it seems not so much that her particular issue was bad teaching about losing salvation but bad (or none) teaching about the assurance of salvation! In my view those topics are not mutually exclusive.

    But that's not the reason I'm commenting! I feel a little bit 'bait and switched', where in the same context of losing salvation you added denial of the Trinity. That's huge! Even with my background the Trinity was, and is; held as a key, essential doctrine that separates the Kingdom of God from the kingdom of the cults.

    So here's the question - do you consider Calvinism to be essential Christian doctrine? Would you break fellowship with me because I hold Arminianism?

    P.S. Because I know I'm biased I have been studying Calvinism and would solicit from you an book recommendations that you think are superior on the topic. Thanks!

  2. Terrific, thanks so much! I've ordered these and look forward to a more disciplined journey. Although I do have a working knowledge of both camps, I needed a framework to begin the in depth work so I appreciate it.

    Not sure if this is too big a question to answer using comments, but I would so appreciate a Calvinistic response to this scenario: whilst (I love using that word) in Bible College, there was a great guy that everyone loved. Passionate but not obnoxious in his faith, participated in the classes, faithfully showed up for prayer meetings, confessed his faith in Jesus, etc etc etc.

    A few years later, I ran into his wife and she reported that he had had an affair, left her; and renounced his faith! Then, (I don't remember the timeframe) I unexpectedly saw him and asked him if what his ex-wife was true. He was defensive and obtuse, but he did absolutely state that he no longer believed in Jesus Christ and didn't care about his eternal state! Wow, that really shook me up.

    So, it appears (and I know that appearances can be deceiving!) to me that he had abandoned the faith that he once practiced and proclaimed. What would a "once saved always saved" construct say to that? It just seems to easy to say that he was never saved in the first place. Could it truly be that simple?

    Thanks Ellen, have a great day.

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