What is the Meaning of Anathema? Can a Church Pronounce an Anathema Upon Me?

By Dr Paul M Elliott

Our series on the subject of how Christians should deal with false teaching in the church generated some followup questions from readers. We take up the first today: “What is the meaning of anathema? Can a church pronounce an anathema upon a person or group?”

Several Related Questions

Continue reading

Is Your Church a Spiritual Titanic?

By Dr Paul M Elliott

Part 12 of a series. Read part 11

In our current series we’ve been addressing these questions: “My church is no longer true to the Word of God on essential Christian truths. What should I do? Should I leave? Should I stay and try to fight error? Will I be guilty of schism if I do either one?”

Presently we’re dealing with some of the un-Biblical responses that are common today. In this installment we focus on the untenable position of those who say that there is safety in remaining in a larger church or denomination despite its errors, rather than becoming part of the remnant that comes out and separates from apostasy. Today many Evangelical and Reformed church-goers believe it is safer to remain on a large but apostate sinking ship, rather than trust their lives to the safety of a small but sound Gospel lifeboat.1

The Safety of a Large But Sinking Ship?

Continue reading

Is It Wrong to Leave a Church Because It Hasn’t Officially Endorsed the Heresy Within It?

By Dr Paul M Elliott

Part 11 of a series. Read part 10.

Our current series addresses these questions: “My church is no longer true to the Word of God on essential Christian truths. What should I do? Should I leave? Should I stay and try to fight error? Will I be guilty of schism if I do either one?”

Presently we’re dealing with some of the un-Biblical responses that are common today. In this installment we focus on the untenable position of those who say that a church doesn’t become a heretical body unless it officially endorses heresy.1

Another Fallacious Argument

Continue reading

Who Has the Right to Call False Teaching Heresy?

By Dr Paul M Elliott

Part 10 of a series. Read part 9.

Our current series addresses these questions: “My church is no longer true to the Word of God on essential Christian truths. What should I do? Should I leave? Should I stay and try to fight error? Will I be guilty of schism if I do either one?”

Contrary to what many church leaders are saying today, the Bible assigns the right — and responsibility — to call false teaching by its right name, not to a handful of theological specialists, but to every believer.1

The Definition of Heresy

Continue reading

Should You Stay and Fight?

By Dr Paul M Elliott

Part 9 of a series. Read part 8.

Our current series addresses these questions: “My church is no longer true to the Word of God on essential Christian truths. What should I do? Should I leave? Should I stay and try to fight error? Will I be guilty of schism if I do either one?”

Scripture tells us that to “stay and fight” in a church that has become apostate is itself an act of schism that God condemns. He declares, “You are separating yourself from Me.”1

Can the Battle Be Won From Within?

Continue reading