Has Doubt Inspired Heresy?

     At the urging of my daughter, I watched a Netflix film entitled Come Sunday, and I think I’m heartbroken. This movie is the true-life portrayal of Bishop Carlton Pearson, who decided there is no hell. During a documentary about the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Pearson believed God spoke to him, and because God is love and Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, everyone goes to heaven.[1]

     A few days later, I read an article about an applauded author I recognized from my son’s teen years. Joshua Harris impacted teens and singles in the late 1990s and early 2000s with his books I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl – Say Hello to Courtship. Harris, the former pastor of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, just divorced his wife and announced he’s not a Christian anymore, at least not by evangelical standards. Fox News reported, “In an Instagram post, he also apologized for his previously held views, including "bigotry" to the LGBTQ community.”[2]

     This morning, I reread an article I had saved from last August about Andy Stanley, the son of Pastor Charles Stanley. Andy has been preaching that Christians need to “unhitch” from the Old Testament.[3] The article accused him of heresy, and I would agree.

     But what’s going on? It’s crazy to think three solid Biblical Christians could be so corrupted with the enemy’s lies. Pearson turned from Truth to universal reconciliation. No hell and everyone going to heaven sounds so good. We desperately want to believe it, especially when we lose a loved one who never received Jesus. But Scripture says otherwise, and in reality, this is doctrines of demons.[4] If universal reconciliation were true, our Bible would not make a distinction between believers and unbelievers, between children of light and children of darkness. John 15:6[5] would be irrelevant, as would Matthew 7:23[6] and many others.

     Stanley, on the other hand, says he believes the New Testament, but feels the Old Testament is irrelevant even though Jesus said, the Scriptures “…are they which testify of Me.” Jesus, the theme of the whole Bible, is progressively revealed therein. God knew our sinful, finite minds could not handle His full revelation all at once. Some still can’t handle it.

     Harris just lost faith in the One True and Living God – maybe because God’s Word conflicted with Harris’s desires.

     While these reasons for leaving the Truth of God are different, they all have one source – DOUBT.

     Each man doubted what he knew of God and that God’s Word meant what it said. Thus, heresy was born. However, it wasn’t one day they believed Truth, and the next day, they didn’t. Doubt was gradual like ocean waves pounding against a cliff. As time passes, the raging water erodes the base. Eventually, the overhead rocks fall, similar to the bluff in Encinitas, California, that recently collapsed killing three. According to the report I read, the bluff was a mixture of rock and sand.[7] It seemed solid, but when the sand eroded the rock crumbled.

     Satan is working overtime to corrupt Christians, especially those with influence. Christians who look strong in the Word, yet somehow their foundation isn’t quite solid Rock. Nevertheless, God is allowing this shaking. But why?

     To refine the church? To reveal the hearts of those who truly believe His Word and are willing to follow it, and those who are not? I don’t know.

     What I do know is doubt is deadly. If we allow doubt to fester, it will take over and color everything – every thought, word, and deed. Doubt’s ONLY cure is true and wholehearted repentance. Once God has cleansed us from unrighteousness[8], we must use His armor by believing His Word, girding our loins with Truth.[9] Still, Satan does not let up, so this is where we must take our thoughts – our doubts – captive, and make them obey Christ.[10]

     Sadly, Pearson, Harris, Stanley, and countless others have chosen a different Gospel, another Jesus,[11] and a form of godliness.[12] Their doubt-inspired heresy continues to gain momentum because congregations have itching ears.[13]  And these false teachings will fuel the end-time “falling away.”[14]  My heart is broken!

[4] I Timothy 4:1
[5] “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
[6] “And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'”
[8] I John 1:9
[9] Ephesians 6:10-18
[10] II Corinthians 10:3-5
[11] II Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6-9
[12] II Timothy 3:5
[13] II Timothy 4:1-5
[14] II Thessalonians 2:3


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