Other Denominations: A Christian Attitude – Part 1
Bibleway Christian Life Centre
As an Apostolic Christian, what should my attitude be towards Christians of other denominations (e.g. Baptist, Methodist, Church of England, Roman Catholics, etc.)? In this lesson, it is our intention to discover what the Bible teaches about Christian denominations, churches or people who have not yet seen the full light of revelation concerning salvation, holiness and the Godhead.
The Origin of Heresy
A. The word “heresy” refers to one’s chosen opinion, i.e., an opinion differing from the true exposition of the Christian faith. In short, it refers to false or erroneous doctrine (see dictionary). One who believes and promotes false doctrine is a heretic (Titus 3:10-11).
B. Scripture teaches that heresy:
* Has its origin in the demonic work of seducing spirits (1 Tim. 4:1)
* Causes division in the church (1 Cor. 11:18-19, Rom. 16:17-18)
* Is a work of the flesh (Gal. 5:20)
* Came into the Church through false teachers (2 Pet. 2:1)
* Brings swift destruction upon them that believe it (2 Pet. 2:1)
* Causes the Way of Truth to be evil spoken of (2 Pet. 2:2)
C. A careful examination of 2 Cor. 11:2-4 reveals that Satan is the father of false doctrine. (Jn. 8:44) The character of heresy is deceit, i.e., false doctrine can be tied up in such a beautiful package that it appeals to the masses. Through heresy, Satan corrupts the minds of sincere people, presenting to them:
a. Another Jesus: False concept of the deity and humanity of Christ, e.g., the Roman Trinity Doctrine, the Jehovah Witness and Mormon theories, etc.
b. Another spirit: False concept of the nature and work of the Holy Spirit, e.g., worldly, liberal churches, etc.
c. Another gospel: False concept of the salvation plan, e.g., all who preach salvation outside of death, burial and resurrection with Christ.
The Bible Jesus or another Jesus?
A. 1 Jn. 4:1-3 teaches us how to determine whether or not a spirit or a prophet is of God. We are instructed:
* Not to be gullible, “believe not every spirit”
* To “try the spirits whether they be of God”
The test scripture lays down for all prophets is, “What do they confess about Jesus?”
NB: Every spirit that does not confess the truth about the humanity and divinity of Christ is not of God, but is the spirit of anti-Christ (1 Jn. 4:3)
B. 2 Jn. 9: The biblical doctrine of Christ reveals Him as both Father and Son. (Is. 9:6, Col. 2:9 and many others) 2 Jn. 10-11: The Bible instructs us to check a preacher’s doctrine. If they bring not this doctrine, they do not have God and their deeds are evil. If you invite them into your house for fellowship or pray God’s blessing on their mission, you partake of their evil deeds.
C. Jesus claimed to be the I AM of the Old Testament who spoke to Moses (Jn. 8:58), but He further claimed that “… if ye believe not that I AM he, ye shall die in your sins.” (Jn. 8:24). Compare this with Is. 43:10
It is clear from the above references that belief in the absolute humanity and deity of our Lord Jesus Christ is essential for salvation. Any denomination, organization or group that does not teach the ‘God manifest in flesh’ doctrine of scripture is deceiving and misleading the people.
The Holy Spirit or another Spirit?
A. Many Christians of various denominations today believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial sign of `Glossolalia’ (tongues speaking). However, the majority of them do not believe that this experience is essential for salvation, but rather an optional extra.
B. Jn. 3:5-8 teaches that the birth of the Spirit is:
* Essential to salvation
* Experienced in the same manner by all (i.e, a common experience accompanies all who are born of the Spirit – v.8)
C. Everyone that believes on Jesus as the scriptures have said will experience the baptism of the Holy Ghost. (Jn. 7:38, 39)
D. If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. He is in the flesh and therefore cannot please God. (Rom. 8:8-9, Gal. 5:19-21)
E. Whilst it would be impossible to detail all of the wonderful works God does in us by His Holy Spirit, we can be sure that His work in the believer’s life will produce the “… holiness without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14, 2 Cor. 6:16-7:1, Gal. 5:16 & 22-23)
The Real Gospel or another Gospel?
A. Any denomination, organization, church or group that does not preach/teach the true plan of salvation will lead multitudes to Hell. (Matt. 14:12-14, Lk. 6:39, 2 Pet. 2:1, 3:16-17, Jude, especially v. 3-4, Matt. 7:15-23)
B. Anyone who preaches a different gospel message than the one that the Apostles preached is accursed by God. Such a gospel would be a perversion of the truth. (Gal. 1:6-9)
NB: The closer a lie is to the truth, the more damnable it is.
We may conclude this section by saying that people who have not yet seen the light concerning the Godhead, the plan of salvation and biblical separation/holiness, have not seen the light at all (2 Cor. 4:3-4). They are yet in darkness and need to be saved.
A Christian Attitude – Part 1
1. The word `heresy’ refers to the true doctrine of scripture True/false
2. Heresy divides the Church True/false
3. The closer a lie is to the truth, the less harmful it is True/false
4. We do not need to check a preacher’s doctrine before we receive
him into our fellowship. True/false
5. You can go to Heaven without believing that Jesus is God. True/false
6. It is possible to be born of the Spirit without speaking with tongues. True/false
7. No holiness, no Heaven True/false
8. There is more than one way to be saved True/false
9. All Christian missionaries/preachers are blessed of God. True/false
10. There are a number of Trinity worshippers that have seen the light. True/false
This article ‘Other Denominations: A Christian Attitude – Part 1’ was excerpted from: Milk of the Word: Discipleship Manual by Bibleway Christian Life Centre. 1993. It may be used for study & research purposes only.