Reprinted from Sword of the Lord (6 January 1989): What The Bible Says About A Godly Attitude Toward Heresy

By G. Archer Weniger

In these days of theological confusion and ecclesiastical compromise, what is the biblical position for a fundamentalist to assume toward heretics and false religious teachers? Are we to patronize them, associate with them, accept their sponsorship, increase their numbers, send them converts, add to their prestige, follow their leadership, identify our churches with them and obliterate important biblical distinctions with them? The Bible’s answer is clear.

1. Try them – 1 John 4: 1: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

2. Mark them – Romans 16:17: “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” Verkuyl says, “and to keep away from them.”

3. Rebuke them – Titus 1:13: “This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.” Verkuyl, “Correct them sternly.”

4. Have no fellowship – Ephesians 5:11: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Verkuyl says, “Expose them.”

5. Withdraw thyself – 2 Thessalonians 3:6: “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of us.”

6. Receive them not – 2 John 10,11: “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” Verkuyl says, “Do not extend him your greeting.” To our day false teachings are fostered by misplaced hospitality.

7. Have no company with him – 2 Thessalonians 3:14: “And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.” Berkeley Version says, “Do not get mixed up with him, so he may grow ashamed.”

8. Reject them – Titus 3:10: “A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject.”

9. Be ye separate – 2 Corinthians 6:17: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you.

Guardian of Truth XXXIV: 4, p. 111
February 15, 1990