Answering The Mail

Because of last weeks posting and the subsequent comments I have received many questions from the readers. The main questions on plenty of people’s minds are these two;

“Why is it a sin to attend a seminary that teaches heresy”?

“Am I sinning for attending a secular university”?

I answered the first question, or at least I tried to, on this weeks podcast but today I’ll attempt to expand upon it. Please see the following text and pay special attention to the emphasis I have added.

Deuteronomy 13:1-5

If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.  That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.

It seems fairly simple. We are not to listen to or be taught by false teachers. These teachers are a test from God. If we love God then why would we want to willingly listen to or be taught by false teachers? Wouldn’t willingly sitting under false teachers be disobedience to God? Wouldn’t that indeed be a sin? I think that it would.

Romans 16:17

Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.

We are to avoid these teachers and not be willingly taught by them.

Titus 3:10

Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition,

We are to reject false teachers and not willingly be taught by them.

2John 1:10

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him;

We are not to bring a false teacher into our houses or even greet these people and not willingly be taught by them.

2Timothy 3:5

having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

We’re to turn away from false teachers and not be willingly taught by them.

The next question is a bird of another feather. Check out what the Apostle Paul writes to the Church at Corinth.

1 Corinthians 5:9-10

I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.

I would expect by enrolling in a secular university to encounter people who Paul described in the above text because the secular university is of the world. That would include Professors, Administration, as well as students. Paul told us we could associate with those types of people because that’s just the way it is. There would be no reason to repent of this because it would not be a sin to do so.

The bible also gives believers the following commands on how we are to conduct ourselves in these situations. We are to be witnesses (Acts1:8), light before all men (Philippians 2:15), to do good (Galatians 6:10), and to pray (1Timothy 2:1).

The bible tells us that there is a distinction as to what we are to expect from the world and what we are to expect from those who profess Christ. This is the Doctrine of Separation in a nutshell. You don’t hear these things being taught today because it’s an unpopular message. It’s a message we’ve been preaching around here for 3.5 years or so and will continue to preach as long as this site is in existence.

Any thoughts?

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6 thoughts on “Answering The Mail

  1. I agree with your answers to both questions. One thing that can make it difficult to apply the answer to the first question, however, is that virtually every teacher from which we choose to learn will be teaching falsely, in our estimation, concerning one biblical topic or another. The question becomes, then, which false teachings are we comfortable putting up with? Is the essentials/non-essentials distinction enough? I wouldn’t, for example, be comfortable learning from a teacher/pastor who denies the Trinity, but I might not feel convicted to separate from an Arminianist one. I would not subject myself to teaching from a hyperpreterist who like Hymenaeus preaches that the resurrection has already happened, but I would be comfortable being under the authority of a local pastor who is a dispensationalist.

    What think you, my friend? 🙂

  2. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the comment and welcome!

    I guess I’m an essentials guy when it comes to listening or being taught by someone. For example I would never attend a school that teaches against biblical inerrancy. If they can get you to believe that the bible contains errors that paves the way for a whole host of issues. Maybe I’m over-reacting because of my past experience as a heretic. I dunno.

    Back in the old days leaders were taught and trained by the church and didn’t face what we face today. Unlike today the early church were like-minded and this is what makes separation easy to understand but difficult to determine where to draw the line. I guess we go back to the essentials but then again which essentials as it seems everyone has a different list these days. In the interest of time the link below is a good list for me.

    http://www.jlm-ministries.com/Beliefs.htm

    This is a really good topic to explore isn’t it?

    Phil

    • This list is pretty good, but I think there’s at least one thing missing. Given Paul’s having likened Hymenaeus’ teaching that the resurrection had already happened to gangrene, like Dee Dee Warren I would argue that belief in a future resurrection is also an “essential.” Otherwise, though, I’m on board with this list.

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