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Issue 5

Matthew, a servant of Jesus Christ.
To the servants scattered throughout Canada, greetings!
"I thank God upon every remembrance of you." (Phil. 1:3)

Hello, all. This is the latest issue of Randomness. I know that some of you aren't Random Recipients. I figure you'll like what this says or else I'd like you to read this. I pray for all of you daily and praise God for you friendships. I will reply personally to any recent e-mails later. My mom wants me in bed by 11:00, and it's 10:50, so this has to be quick.


PS: This issue is in an attachment because it was so long and I wanted to format it. Just click on the link below that says "Heresy.doc". Peace, MJH

Issue Number 5, June 15, AD 2000

Heresy: "Opinion contrary to the orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church."
(The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English, 1911)
"opinion contrary to the orthodox opinion." (Websters Dictionary, 1992)
"1a) a religious belief opposed to the orthodox doctrines of a church; esp., such a belief specifically denounced by the church b) the rejection of a belief that is part of church dogma" (Websters New World Dictionary of American English, Third College Edition, 1988).
"in its primary meaning signifies an act of choice, whether good or bad. But in the N.T. [New Testament] we see the word, acquiring the implication of disparagement or condemnation. In one of the latest books of the N.T. the word is used of doctrinal errors and their advocates (2 Peter ii. I, and Jude, 4, false teachers, and sects of perdition). In general, the apostolic writings show a vehement antagonism towards all teaching opposed to the gospel, whether the word heresy is used or not. This is explained by the character of the teachings or movements so attacked. They involved such a blending of the gospel with Jewish and Pagan elements as would have destroyed everything distinctive about it." (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
"1 A doctrinal view or belief at variance with the recognized tenets of a system, church, school, or party. 2 Any course of conduct or instruction tending to produce dissension and schism in the church." (Funk & Wagnalls New Practical Standard Dictionary, 1952)
"Originally, a school, sect, faction; later, the opposite of orthodoxythe new Christian usage of the term, with reference to inner-Christian factions, began as soon as a Christian church was established. Church and heresy became excluding entitiesi.e., the Greek term was used in a bad sense (1 Cor. 11:18-19; Gal. 5:20), yet without the technical meaning of schism, which seems to refer to a dogmatic and organizational break. II Pet. 2:1 speaks of false prophets who secretly bring in destructive heresies. The exegetical and theological question arises whether the church is able to tolerate heresies, at the same time being freed to rejectschisms. (E. Dinkler, The Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible. George Arthur Battrick, Dictionary Editor, 1962)

"A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject." (Titus 3:10, KJV)

"For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:17, NIV)

"Nevertheless, it appertaineth to the discipline of the Church, that inquiry be made of evil Ministers, and that they be accused by those that have knowledge of their offences; and finally being found guilty, by just judgement be deposed." (Book of Common Prayer, "The Articles of Religion", end of Article XXVI. Of the Unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not the effect of the Sacrament.)

I am not a condemning person. I know someone who seems to believe that a quality society imposes upon religious leaders (ie. bishops, priests, pastors, rabbis) is condemning. She believes that religious leaders are condemning. This is folly. Apparently, when I actually countered her thoughts (something everyone around me seems incapable of doing a lot of the time) she looked ready to physically strike me. Luckily, she calmed down and didnt strike me. Anyway, religious leaders are not, for the most part, condemning people. They do condemn actions, but so does the governmentthat does not make the whole world ruled by those who condemn. In fact, there are many leaders in todays Church who would never consider doing anything condemnatory. This, in some cases, is not necessarily a bad thing. But it seems to have created theological and spiritual rot.
Gasp! Oh no, say it aint so!!! But its true. And it makes me mad. I really dont like what I see. Last night I spent an hour talking to my mother and father about this. It began with if I find Catholicism alluring, and ended with ways to combat heretics. But heretics are not branded as such today. They call themselves liberals. They are seen as visionaries, the ushers of a new age. They see themselves as more enlightened than the Apostles. They believe that since they can afford a better education than any Apostle could ever have had that they understand God more. Jesus didnt really rise from the deadwhy, that is only a spiritual rising. They believe that sort of thing. To these people, to be a Christian is to be like a member of any other religion. They simply are followers of Jesus and people who examine His teachings. Therefore, they must be Christians.
The -ian suffix comes from the Greek that means of the same family. To be a Christian is to be of the same family as Him. In reality, it is more. To truly be a Christianan heir of Gods kingdomis to have Jesus in your heart. That is what Jesus means when he talks about being born again. We dont need to have liberal theologians putting weird twists on it so they dont have to change their lives. Jesus already explained it to Nicodemus. Jesus explains being born again to him in John 3:1-21.
Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, You must be born again. The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because has not believed in the name of Gods one and only Son." (John 3:5-8, 16-18 NIV).
Those of us receiving this should all know about true Salvation comes only through Jesus Christ. I think weve all prayed that little prayer for forgiveness asking Jesus into our hearts. Thats how one becomes "born again" and a true Christian. But liberals dont seem to hold to this tenet of the Christian faith.
Im not sure about most denominations. I, myself, am an Anglican and have been raised in no other church. My father is a fifth-generation Anglican priest, as is my uncle. My brother will make it six. We were learning about something called "amiable debating" in English today. Essentially, its wishy-washiness. I made a crack about the fact that it sounds like what they must do in the House of Bishops. The House of Bishops is divided. It is divided between liberals and conservatives. Conservatives are called fundamentalists by liberalsone of whom wrote a book against fundamentalism (Spong ring a bell?). Liberals are called heretics by myself. But they are not regarded as such. Im sure that, despite what they call themselves, most people wouldnt call them heretical even if they disagreed. Heresy, by todays definition, is a horrible crime. It used to be punishable by death at the stake. People are afraid as being blunt. Im tired of this fear. Im ready to be as blunt as a big, flat metal surface. I want people to know. Im reminded of the De Garmo and Key song, "Lets Get Upset". Lets get upset, my friends.
Essentially, liberals are fairly universalist, meaning that Jesus Christ is not the only pathway to God and Heaven. They have arguments to back this up. They have some form of argument to back everything they say up. It turns out, though, that much of their argument and reasoning contradicts itself. They do not believe in a static God, and believe that revelation is ongoing. Both of these statements are true. But their unstatic God is not a God who can be considered a Rock of Ages or unchanging. Their "revelation" brings up views of God that contradict the Biblebut thats okay, because God isnt static, right? Wrong. One liberal bishop from the United States has, essentially, tried to detheise Christianity. He doesnt (as many others) believe that Jesus actually rose from the dead. Many of these people who say these things say that they believe the ancient creeds and the 39 Articles of the Anglican faith. What about Article 28, Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the Name of Christ, which says:
They also are to be had accursed that presume to say, That every man shall be saved by the Law or Sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that Law and the light of Nature. For holy Scripture doth set out to us only the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.
If you do not believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, "The way, the truth, the life," and that He is "the resurrection and the life," then you do not hold onto the 28th Article. The key points in all of these statements are such words as the, only, must. Those are very definite words. Therefore, these men, these thinkers, these intellectuals, these theologians, these leaders of the Church do not seem to have true Salvation. I do not wish to judge, but if you do not believe you need Jesus in your heart and do not have Jesus in your heart, then your are not a Christian and have not received the Salvation of our LORD.
What can we do? We can proclaim orthodoxy. As laypeople, we can go to things like General Synod, and make our votes and voices known. We can do what we are called to do, and reach the average people. The biggest problem with liberal theology is that it draws people away from Christ. Thus, we must reach people who have seen only a watered-down, liberal version of the Gospel. We must defend our faith, but be careful to not seek argument or back others into corners. We must write letters, maybe. We must do many things. We must make the Gospel heard. One of the larger issues at hand is that the conservatives are not vocal. We must be vocal. But above all, we must pray. We must pray for Gods work in us and others. We must pray for the spreading of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. We must pray for the salvation of others. We must pray for the liberals, that they will see that in order to love someone, you neednt agree with them. And we must love. Without love, any action we take will be useless. People dont like the Church because they view it as being condemning. We must erase that image, and present the Truth. God will do the rest. So, here are two things: prayer and love. Remember those and God will make all good things come to pass, my brothers and sisters.

Your Brother in Christ,
Matthew Hoskin

Copyright 2001, Matthew Hoskin