Dangerous and Demeaning Doctrinal Deviations
 Elder Wm. Doyal Thomas
Pastor - Philadelphia Baptist Church
Decatur , Alabama
    There are some very dangerous and demeaning deviations from doctrinal soundness manifesting themselves today among the identified body of professed followers of Christ. Dangerous not as to their capacity to dethrone God and topple His government, but rather dangerous to the children of God as to their faithful adherence to the directions that God has graciously supplied for their well being, growth, and maturing toward greater worship and service.
    These same doctrinal deviations are demeaning to the perfect and holy character of God. They all attack Him by attacking His Word, and they seek to cast improper reflections upon His veracity, omniscience, and immutability. They dishonor God, and being not of faith, are themselves sins against the Holy and Righteous God. They are sin, and they must be identified as sin and God's little ones warned to flee from them, both as to commission, and also as to being a partaker of the evil contained in these sins by complacency and by passively bidding God speed to those who walk therein.
    I will mention just two of the most odious and dangerous at this time because of the limits of space to present and condemn all that could be named. Perhaps future opportunity will be found to deal with others, or perhaps other writers will be encouraged to join in the confrontation of error, that, if left unchallenged and undisturbed, will, without fail, ultimately lead to heresies that will have damaging effect upon God's children and His precious churches.
    The two matters that I will call attention to at this time are the heresy of amillennialism on the one hand, and universal churchism on the other. These two are grievous errors, and they become heretical when continued to a point of practice and propagation. These two are separate and distinct, but there does appear (to myself, at least) to be a common thread that connects these two together. That common thread is grounded in improper hermeneutical views of the Scriptures and what the Scriptures teach.
    I suggest that the practice of "spiritualization" rather than interpretation is a major factor in these errors, and that those who imbibe one or both these errors, soon to become if not already, heresies, have indeed gone the way of spiritualizing an erroneous solution to a literal teaching. Thus, they who practice such are steadily and regularly "painting themselves into a corner," from which there is no easy route to extrication without the pride slaying admission that they are totally wrong and their avowal to come back to the same exact point from which they departed from the faith. And vain, depraved man is naturally reluctant to make such an admission and to retreat. May God enable all (myself included) to cease from proceeding further in whatever error and folly we are engaged in, and to come back to the old tried and true, Bible placed landmarks from which men depart. Should the grace of God lead one to do so, they will find that God is exactly where He was when the departure occurred.
    Many men whom I have known and loved in the Lord for years have been lured into one or more errors of this sort, and my heart yearns for them and for the sweet fellowship that once we enjoyed with them and perhaps took for granted. But, I cannot, and by God's wonderful grace, will not, dishonor Him by following them in their error simply to have a fellowship appearance, which is not an actual fellowship, but rather a perversion and a pretense. I am not immune from the same, or other error, and I pray God will keep me from error, as I pray He will recover those who have strayed.
    I love my dear brethren, and I love the Lord's churches who are infected with these contagions, and I pray for them all. But, brethren, I love my God and His Word more than I love you. If there must be departure from brethren, then let that departure be in the defense of truth and for contention for the faith as once was delivered to the saints. Let God's children and God's churches clearly recognize this evil, and let all seek the enabling grace of God to stand firm and steadfast against both these and all other grievous and damaging errors and heresies.
    To those who "spiritualize" rather than "rightly divide", may I pose some questions to you? I ask you to look inward to yourselves and face these questions honestly and squarely. "Where do you stop?" "What guidelines have you been taught by your mentors, or have arrived at by your own superior intellect or scholarship that enables you to keep your wanderings through the Scriptures on safe ground?" "Which Scriptures are you free to 'spiritualize' a false meaning to, and which are you, even yourselves, required to interpret literally?"
    Consider this: If you assume privilege to say that the thousand year reign of Christ upon the throne of David is NOW in progress, OR that such a literal reign will NEVER occur, why don't you just assume to declare also that there is no heaven, or no hell, no God at all? (Millennium equates to one thousand years, while A- millennium means, NO THOUSAND YEARS. So, since Theism relates to God, then A-theism means, NO GOD.) Are you willing to use the same privilege that you have assumed is yours to spiritualize in this manner? Are you willing? Why not? How many of you, or those whom you may lead into this error (heresy), know the difference? When may you spiritualize and when must you interpret in accordance with the Word?
    Amillennialism is not a Bible position, and such can never be sustained by the teachings of God's Word. When all the amillennialists of all the world have spiritualized to their utmost, Revelation, Chapter 20 will still be true. And six (6) times in that one chapter, God uses the literal expression, "one thousand years." You can't get around it. It's still there! And in addition to this indisputable fact, the Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testament abound with prophecies relative to the second coming of Christ and all that this stupendous event entails.
    Likewise, the universal church advocate uses this same method (?) to come to his stated position of a "true church" as taught in the Scofield Reference Bible and in numerous other "protestant" outlets. Even mainline religious bodies of many and various stripes today have ''assumed'' such a position as a universal church of some sort, either visible as do the Roman Catholics, or invisible as do the Protestants. None of these, however, have ever seen such a monstrosity, nor have they known of such. They have only imagined it to be so, and have, and do blindly follow the leader into deeper and deeper heresy and absolute violence to proper and God honoring belief of the truth and use of the Scriptures.
    In my estimation, the universal church error (heresy) is perhaps the most dangerous of these great heresies of our day. More people are being led down this evil path that appears so logical than most of us are willing to admit. And this grave heresy is sure to lead those who are ensnared by it's subtility into more and more heresy, until there is no end. Error begets error, and error practiced becomes heresy, and heresy begets more heresy, and all the time of this unholy progression downward from simple, literal truth brings greater and greater shame and reproach upon our dear Lord and upon His beloved blood bought church.
    Brethren, I believe the time is well past for the Lord's churches and His people to take a stand against such and say, "NO MORE." No longer can we sit silently while the advocates of these and other heresies go unchallenged and unopposed. It is high time we awake from our sleep and contend for the faith as was once delivered to the saints. We did not receive the teaching of the Word of God in this perverted manner, and neither can we, honorably, remain silent in order to avoid offending someone whom we have known and loved, or perhaps have never known. We must take up our position in open defiance of such heresy and say that we are willing to fight the good fight of faith. And we must prayerfully seek wisdom and strength from our dear Lord so that we may do more than give "lip service" to these matters. We must seek the grace and strength to stand and to fight if necessary for the cause of God and truth.
    Who is on the Lord's side? Is there not a cause? The clarion call goes out to all the saints of God and to all His churches, and we must not be slackers in our duty to be faithful proclaimers and defenders of the Word of God. We must no longer seek to "straddle the fence," for in doing so, we dishonor God, and we even give aid and comfort to those who oppose themselves as they teach a doctrine of their imagination that flies in the face of the teaching of the Bible.
    If I must stand alone, then I will, by God's grace, stand alone. I am not brave, and I do not want to stand alone, but, I will stand alone as God enables me if that be the case. I can no longer forbear these errors, and I can no longer avoid taking a stand for the truth, as it must be taught, and as it must be practiced.

(The Baptist Herald)

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