How to deal with "Everyone's a Heretic [except me]" websites/attitudes?

This is something that has been bothering me for a while.

For those who may not know the context, if you search for Christian topics through Google or other search engines, undoubtedly you will eventually come across some websites that denounce and (sometimes strongly) condemn certain Christian leaders like John MacArthur, Ravi Zacharias, Francis Chan, [… insert any evangelical/Christian leader that you would consider an ‘orthodox’ Christian], etc. as a heretic, false teacher, and/or even an antichrist - due to perceived (yet minimal) errors in theology, visiting the Mormon tabernacle, “high net worth” claims, etc.

The same goes for anyone’s favorite, and what I would consider non-essential, theological views - Calvinism vs. Arminianism vs. Molinism, YEC vs. OEC, … (i.e. usually controversial views, but not always)

I don’t particularly like to use this description, as these are brothers and sisters - or at-least professing Christians - who operate the websites that we are talking about, but it seems to be a very narrow “Everyone’s a Heretic, Except Me” attitude that they’ve adopted. You’ll find on these websites very long, detailed passages defending their particular view on a teacher or theology, and strongly condemning every other possible (yet, what I would consider an ‘orthodox’) view. In some, you’ll find a paragraph at the end calling for a strong rebuke to “heretics” while referring to most of the verses in Scripture that relate to ‘rebuke’ and ‘false teaching’ (most that I find to be taken right out of their context).

I am often at a loss after reading some of these websites, especially when they’re laced, or outright full, of vitriol and hate towards supposed “heretics” and “heresies”. That’s not to say that all of their website is dedicated towards criticizing “heretics” - they’re often not and do have some helpful resources, but only to those who belong in their particular “sect/denomination”.

Part of me wants to reach out to these brothers and sisters. Part of me also wants to leave them alone, knowing that it may be fruitless as I will very likely be condemned as a “heretic” with my emails ignored.

What would be the best, Scriptural way to handle such situations? I’ve only seen the websites for now, but I know it’s likely that I’ll encounter some with similar attitudes in-person some day.


(Side-note as to what I consider ‘orthodox’: All who hold to the ‘essentials’ of the faith. That is, I view the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, ‘prosperity gospel’, all condemned heresies from the early Church and Church Councils, etc. as heretical)

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This is a challenge alright @Daniel_K. Let me share a little from my experience. When I first got saved I got on fire for the lord in a big way. I got particurarly drawn to the spiritual gifts and thought (in my heart though I may not have said it), that anybody not operating in the gifts like me was less a believer than me. I still shudder to think I thought this.

In my journey the Lord has brought me through this and even though I practice the gifts as usual I am currently attending a baptist church, where the theology is very different. I believe the Lord has also used me to help others who are fooled in this way of thinking.

I have come to believe that there are ‘‘closed fist’’ non-negotiables like everything in the apostles creed (trinity, creation, resurrection etc.) and ‘‘open fisted’’ (gifts, rapture position, predestination etc.)

With the kind of brothers that you are mentioning, I have a pastor’s heart towards them. I try to focus on what we have in common and draw them into deeper relationship. In my current church I will not prophesy as I am under leadership here, but I will dance during worship :slight_smile:

I hope this helps some brother. Seek to understand the questioner, and let your goal be to bring them closer to Daddy.

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When you say “deal with” are you asking how to convince them that their view is too harsh or how to better address their deeper motivations? I ask because you have listed several topics that are regularly discussed on connect. I hope you don’t think that I am being dismissive of your concerns but you might spend some time perusing these topics on connect. I think you will find that even though there is disagreement there is all ways respect and love shown between the camps.
Hope this helps.

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To me the the bottom line in our walk with Jesus is our relationship with Him, in the letters to the seven churches Jesus shows we can do much good but whats matters is love rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love, as Dr Zacharias has explained that when we know love vertically that is God to us we can then truly love laterally each other.Doctrine is important and I believe God gives gifts, not just individually but also collectively, there are various gifts and functions as Paul talk about the body of Jesus being made up of different members (eye/ear) having different functions but as a whole the body benefits from each. It is unfortunate when some believe that their’s is the only and miss out on what God built in others to benefit the whole. Even scripture says that its built from a little here and a little there isa 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little. I wonder that where some think they are the only ‘right’ church may not be relying on the full council of God, have not read/believed the whole bible.
I don’t believe any one group/church have it all or any one person knows everything, but what we do have and what we do know we are told to hold on and keep till His return.
I personally believe every single bit of scripture is about Jesus and where there are uncertainties put Jesus in the center and everything can become clearer.

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@Jimmy_Sellers Thank you. Sadly, I’m talking about a more “extremist” variety who hold certain positions in the ‘camps’ that exist. (In no way am I referring about one camp as a whole attacking the other as ‘heresy’ - certainly, this doesn’t seem to exist, as far as I know, among mainstream Christians. I myself hold various positions in various ‘camps’, but I hold to the old adage “In Essentials, Unity. In Non-Essentials, Liberty. In All Things, Charity”).

I suppose it would not be wrong to call these websites as being more on the fringe. The attitude that they seem to have and the things that they publish are quite shocking, however (and, as I believe, that attitude/behavior is shockingly un-Scriptural). The websites that I’m talking about seem to have adopted the view that everyone outside of their particular theological view is a “heretic” plus the “fact” that most churches today are filled with “heretics” and “false teachers”. Some even go as far to say that whole denominations are really unsaved and those who claim to be Spirit-filled are really “deluded”. A particular example would be a website that called all Roman Catholics unsaved, that any Spirit-related experiences within the Catholic Church are really “demonic delusions” and, worse yet, that Catholic Christians who claim to be born-again with the Holy Spirit are possessed by “demonic spirits”. (To note, I myself am not a Roman Catholic).

I hope that I’m not the only one who sees such behavior as not very Christ-like, or even Biblical. There are some words of condemnation that these websites use that I wouldn’t even consider to use against real false teachers - as, to my reading of Scripture, the Bible doesn’t call us to condemn as harshly as some of these websites do (or personally attack them, as some websites do).

My assessment is these sites are often full of vitriol and hate whenever “heresy” is discussed, yet the authors claim to follow Christ. Some sites have a reasonably-large following as well. Their behavior really does not seem very Christian-like, and I know Scripture tells us to correct those whose behavior seems to be going down the wrong path.

Is there a way to reach out to these brothers and sisters who hold such attitudes? I think it is probably more difficult to deal with the websites as you can easily get banned/ignored, but I wonder how we should best approach them if we happen to talk to them in-person - in a manner that is ‘quick’ before they walk away or condemn you as a “heretic”?

(I apologize if what I’m trying to say is not quite clear. I’m just very concerned about the number of such websites that exist, however small they may be, and I’m not sure if they are acting in a way that our Lord commands and expects us to act.

To be more brief, my question is really “What should we do with such websites and fellow Christians who hold to this attitude?”)

Brian, thank you. Your words inspire me. :slight_smile:

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Dear Daniel

@brianlalor thank you for your words.
with his words in mind regarding the closed fist topics and the open fisted topics this is I believe a sound way to approach these kind of issues in nowadays christendom (which is with no doubt quite divided in many theological topics).

I would like to point out a way on how I am dealing with these kind of webpages because indeed some of them are out of line and indeed are full of condemnation.

In Ephesians 6:10-20 at the end of this wonderful epistle Paul uses the image of a Roman Soldier to help us to understand better our identity in Christ. The armour of God he mentions there is purely spiritual and is mainly for defensive use, except the sword which is the word of God.

He talks there about topics such as Truth, Peace with God, the Faith of Christ, The Righteousness of God, eternal Salvation and the Word of God. The moment we trust in Christ and the finished work at the cross according to 2 Cor 15:1-4, we receive all spiritual blessings in heavenly places such as mentioned in Ephesians 1:3 (Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:)

The armour of God and the topics related to them I categorise into, following Brians line as closed fist (non- negotiables) and are part of the spiritual blessings we received. We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). It is a peace which passeth all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

Once a believer understands his new identity in Christ and is aware of that spiritual armour what could possibly happen? The armour is for our protection, it is for our daily life as a spiritually newborn. Because we were crucified with Christ nevertheless we live, but not we, Christ liveth in us and the life which we now live in the flesh we live by the faith of the son of God who loved us and gave himself for us (Galatians 2:20 KJV).

Paul wants us to understand what we have in Christ when he starts the explanation of the armour with : Finally, brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the Power of his might (ephesians 6:10) therefore he writes as well these wonderful passages in Titus 2:11-15: (KJV)

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness we should live soberly, righteous and godly in this present world. Looking for the blessed hope and the glorious appearance of the great God and our saviour Jesus Christ who gave himself for us that we might be redeemed from all iniquity and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous unto good works. These things speak, exhort and rebuke with all authority, let no man disguise thee.

Paul charges us in this letter to speak, exhort and rebuke with all authority the things of the doctrine Paul revealed unto us in his epistles (Let us not forget that Paul received direct revelations from the resurrected Jesus, the head of the body of Christ).

This includes all sound doctrine taught to us, such as the spiritual armour and the topics related to it.

What then deviates from the sound doctrine should be exhorted and rebuked with all authority but always in a gentle, loving and caring way as he charges Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2-5 (KJV): Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine; For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Already back in these times there were people turning away from the truth and sound doctrine and Paul left us instructions on how to behave and act on this.

To conclude: once we as believers really start to understand what we have in Christ we will have peace with everything what happens around us, including pages who are kind of hatred towards other positions within the body of Christ Hate has nothing to do with exhortation and rebuking. The base of all must be always love.

And finally, all scriptures are given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto good work therefore I believe all answers are found in scriptures and theological discussions must always be based on them.

Personally I stay away from getting too much drawn in discussions with the authors of such pages cause this could be a full time job and It can be quite annoying.
Hope these words are somehow useful for you.

Be blessed Daniel and continue to grow in the Lord and be constant in prayer as in Colossians 1:9-11 for example:

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

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