This dialogue deals with the right--or lack thereof--of Christians like myself calling other people’s beliefs false. Is it right to do that? How do we know we are not deceived ourselves?
Tim: Hi. I have some questions. Can we talk?
Matt: Sure. What's up?
Tim: What right do we have calling someone a heretic. I mean nobody is perfect nobody understands the Bible perfectly. We are all mistaken about something about the Bible.
Matt: The Bible defines what is true and states that those who fall outside certain parameters of doctrine are false. We are only repeating and teaching people what God has already stated about truth.
Tim: True but how do we know if we are right. We could be interpreting the Bible falsely. It is like the tea pot calling the kettle black if you get my meaning.
Matt: That is true. But let me ask you. Is Jesus God in flesh?
Tim: I believe so! but there are verses in the Bible that seem to discredit this.
Matt: Such as?
Tim: Jesus saying the father is greater than him.
Matt: But how does that mean that Jesus is not God? Remember, according to Phil. 2:5-8 and Heb. 2, Jesus became a man. He ADDED human nature to Himself and became one of us. He was made for a little while lower than the angels. I am married. My wife is a Christian. I am greater than she is in authority and position in the family. Does that mean that she is not human because I am "greater" than her in position?
Tim: Okay, I see what you're saying. But, we are saved by grace Matt and if God wants to be gracious to a Mormon or Jehovah's Witness, what right do we have to deny the possibility? God is gracious to whom ever he wants to be he does not care about denominations. Is it possible their could be a few Mormons running around who understand and are saved?
Matt: Yes, it's possible. But official Mormon doctrine is very false and leads to damnation. This is because Mormonism teaches that God came from another planet, has a goddess wife and that men and women can become gods and goddesses of their own worlds. The Bible contradicts this in Isaiah 43:5, 44:6-8, for example.
Tim: True but not all Mormons believe this. The reorganized Mormon church does not. Wow I need to right that down.
Matt: The RLDS church is quite different from the LDS church in many respects. But, by far, most Mormons believe Mormon doctrine. Besides, I do not argue the position from a possibility that they might know the truth. I argue against Mormon doctrine. Now, God says that we are to honor and worship Him only--not any false gods (Exodus 20). Is the Mormon God true?
Matt: Then they are serving a false god, right?
Matt: Does a false god save anyone?
Matt: Then it is proper to say that if someone believes in the Mormon god, he will not be saved, right?
Tim: True, but most Mormons don't even know what they believe. They just go to church to feel good. I should know I have met Mormons who don't know that the Mormon church teaches they could become a god.
Matt: I don't know about that. Ninety-nine percent (99%) of those I've spoken to over 20 years have known Mormon doctrine. God is not a man from another planet who has a goddess wife as Mormonism teaches. That is false doctrine. It is right and proper to state so.
Tim: True. I never looked at it that way.
Matt: To ignore it, knowingly, is to not warn them about the dire consequences. That is why I have my website up . . . to teach the truth and expose error. I don't want people to go to Hell. It isn't because I hate Mormons (I like them and work with them) or Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. It is that I care about them . . .
Tim: True. But it does no good to argue. They are trained to argue and they want to argue. They do not know what they are doing to themselves. It is so confusing because it is hard to deal with someone who believes they are Christian when they really aren't.
Matt: I am trained to discuss the issues with them and expose the error. Each and every Mormon is created in God's image and is worth the struggle of truth which is why I do what I do.
Matt: Besides, the more that Mormonism (and all cults) spread, the more people are damned.
Tim: True but as a Calvinist you must know the elect will be saved no matter what you do . . . LOL That is what gets me about Calvinism.
Matt: True. But, I also know that God uses the preaching of His Word and that He ordains the means of saving people. My website makes a difference in people's lives because God ordains that it does.
Tim: But I think Calvinism is a very confusing doctrine.
Matt: It isn't confusing at all . . . God is sovereign, right?
Matt: God is in control of all things, right?
Matt: God uses all things for His glory and for accomplishing His will, right?
Matt: God uses preaching, teaching, evangelism, and apologetics to bring His people into salvation, right?
Matt: He uses the freedom we have as Christians to preach to the lost, right?
Matt: He has said in James 5:16 that the prayers of the righteous make a difference with Him, right?
Matt: So then, my prayers and preaching influence God, right?
Tim: Yes . . . to a certain degree.
Matt: Yet, God, from all eternity, has not changed, and His will is carried out. Right?
Matt: I am free to preach and teach and let God worry about appointing people to believing (Acts 13:48). Yet, I know what I do makes a difference . . .
Matt: If I am a Calvinist as you think I should be, then why do I have CARM on the net?
Tim: . . . because of the reasons you gave me.
Matt: You see, God is sovereign, and He still uses us.
Tim: Do you believe we are living in the so-called "end times"?
Matt: Yes, I do.
Tim: Well I am not so sure . . . the human race could go on for another hundred years are so. 1000 year to God is but a day.
Matt: Maybe it will. But we must never stop evangelizing and telling the truth . . . even up to the day of His glorious return. Amen?
Matt: Now, are YOU saved?
Tim: Yes I believe so . . . but I hope it is not a head thing and not a heart thing if you understand. I understand the words but have I really accepted it? You can believe something to be true and not accept it.
Matt: That is true. Let me ask you some questions, all right?
Matt: Do you believe Jesus is God in flesh?
Tim: Yes. I know that part is true. If the Bible is true then Jesus is God.
Matt: Do you believe Jesus rose from the dead in the same body He died in though it was a glorified body (John 2:19-21, 1 Cor. 15:1-4)?
Tim: Yes, but is that because I have been taught to believe or because I have accepted it?
Matt: I understand, but what is your state of belief right now? Do you or do you not believe it?
Tim: It changes from Day to Day.
Matt: I understand. But what you need to do is trust what God says. Faith is only as good as who you put it in.
Tim: True and I believe that Jesus is the way.
Matt: You need to read the Bible, study Jesus' words, pray to Him, and do your best.
Tim: I have studied other religions and they have no answer to the sin problem.
Matt: That is true. Only Jesus is the way out of sin.
Tim: Hinduism believes in reincarnation but that does not solve the problem of sin. It makes it worse.
Matt: Yes. It does.
Tim: Only Christianity does it for you . . . what do you think heaven is like anyway?
Matt: It'll be great being with Jesus.
Tim: With billions of other Christians . . . I hope Jesus will be in more than one place at the same time.
Matt: He will work it out.
Tim: I would hate to stand in line for all eternity. I can't stand to stand in line for food at the grocery store.
Matt: It'd be worth it waiting for Jesus, right?
Tim: Yes, it would. Well, I need to go and get some sleep. Thanks for talking.
Matt: Sure. Anytime.
Matt: God bless.