What Ever Happened To The Honest Heretic – By Pastor/Elder Matt Leko
Posted on May 21, 2023 by No comments
You know the one I’m talking about. The heretical teacher that is honest about their lies, their false views of Christ, salvation, God’s word, or some other pivotal point of theology. Oh, those were the good old days when even heretics were honest.
You may have surmised that I’m being sarcastic, and you’d be right. There never were the “good old days” when heretics were honest about their perversions. Instead in church history you see repeatedly a purposeful superficial aligning with those that are right in belief and practice to gain a platform from which they can twist the truth. Jude says they have “crept in unnoticed” vs.4. Paul says to the Ephesian Elders that “from among yourselves men will rise up speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after themselves.” Acts 20:30 Jesus describes false prophets as those “who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” MT7:15 They are not outside of the visible fellowship but from within, in which lies the danger. Thankfully God didn’t leave us men or institutions to be our guide, but He gave us His written unchanging Word, that we may not be deceived but rather know the truth.
Sufficiency of Scripture and its cousin, the perspicuity or clarity of scripture.
This really is the center of the battle with all false teaching and false teachers. If we really do believe that God’s word is enough and understandable to the common man, then we must trust ourselves to the Word of God, and not our own subjective experience or to the trickery of eloquent men (no matter how plausible their arguments may seem or how outstanding their credentials.) This is where the eastern Orthodox church and the Catholic church went astray, with the exultation of church councils, traditions, and in the Catholics case, the pope’s decrees to be equal to God’s word. In a contemporary context, a deficient view of God’s word is also the source of the “old earth theory” of creation and the redefining of “gender roles” i.e., egalitarianism, the acceptance of the “social justice movement” and other issues like them are an attempt to be more palatable to society, but in the process the Word of God is degraded, and fallen man is pandered to instead of being called to repentance. All these things are symptoms of a low view of scripture. Your view of scripture really is the most pivotal point that sets the trajectory for all doctrine, worldview, and practice, With eternal implications. The exclusivity, and the authority of the Word of God is paramount, if you are to follow the narrow road that Jesus set before us. To know who Jesus is, what He has done, and requires of us, there is only one source, His revealed Word.
The root of the sufficiency of scripture really lies in the question of authority. Does God alone have the authority to command his people? Is Christ the head of the church? Or has that role been given to other men? Most people don’t think of it this way, but the question of who is head of the church, is the question, and its misidentification plagued the Church from the time of Constantine (when he called the first ecumenical council) to the church of England where the king is considered head of the church, to this present day, including individual “Christians” and “teachers” who see fit to effectively edit God’s word to suit their own appetites. The reality is Jesus is The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He has all authority in heaven and on earth. Jesus is Lord of the church and therefore alone has the authority to issue it commands.
We need to fix our eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. And not just any “Jesus”. Not the Jesus from tradition, or mystical experiences or the Jesus of our imagination or others, but rather The Bible, as the saying goes, “Jesus is foretold in the old testament, revealed in the Gospels, and explained in the epistles”. God’s word alone is to be that which illuminates and defines what it means to travel on the narrow path which leads to life.
Your brother in Christ Matt Leko