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Bad Churches Breed Bad Theology

posted Apr 6, 2018, 11:11 AM by Nathanael Wheeler   [ updated Apr 11, 2018, 4:17 PM ]
For a bit more background to this article, see:

The Bible has plenty of warnings about hanging around with heretics, and is quite clear about why. Proverbs 13:20 says, "He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm." Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:33, "Do not be deceived: 'Bad company corrupts good morals.'" 

You might argue that Jesus hung out with the sinners more than he hung out with the righteous, and I'll get there in a minute. The reason that I'm writing this article is because a member of Hope Church approached me a few weeks ago with some concerns. See, I lost my job in November, and I was about to move from where my family had been living to a place that happened to be closer to part of my family. As my friends and family all know, my sister is married to a woman, and the place that I planned to move was closer to her.

As the Hope Church member began addressing his concerns, it became clear that there was a problem. He began telling me that when my sister comes over to visit, I need to cleanse my house. Apparently, when she comes over, she's evil, and she leaves behind "evil homosexual spirits" that cause problems for me and my family. Among other things, one of the many concerns that this person had was that these spirits would (his words, not mine) "turn the kids into faggots."

After he was finished with his tirade about evil spirits and all, I asked him if he could tell me what a "homosexual spirit" was. He didn't understand the question, so I rephrased it as, "The Bible talks about homosexuality in multiple places, but never once mentions a spirit being involved. Can you show me in the Bible where there's even such thing as a 'homosexual spirit'?" While he was simply incredulous that I didn't believe in them, he was unable to show where such a thing might be found in the Bible.

Following this line of questioning, I asked him why he believed that spirits were being left in my house. Again, no answer from any known theology, no answer from the Bible. I explained to him that the Bible says nothing anywhere about purifying or cleansing your house from spirits. The Bible says plenty about getting rid of idols and stuff from your house, but nothing about spirits. Any time that the Bible talks about spirits in a "house," it's referring directly to a person, not an actual house. This is found in Matthew 12 when, after a spirit has left a "man," it later says "I will return to my house..." Man and house are used interchangeably in this context multiple times.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:19, "... your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you..." See, as I explained to this man, when Jesus came and died on the cross, the veil in the temple was torn (Matthew 27:51). This signified a move of the Spirit of God from out of "houses built by human hands" (Acts 7:48). The Holy Spirit now resides in the heart of each and every believer, and the Bible says in 1 John 4:4, "... greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world." I explained that in light of what the Bible says, by bringing these concerns to me, this man either did not believe the Bible, or he did not believe that my wife and I are Christians. 

Now, in Proverbs 22:6, the Bible also says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it." I want my kids to love their aunts. I also want them to understand that homosexuality is sin. I want my kids to understand that we are supposed to love everyone, but to despise and reject sin. I am training them with this approach. Sin is sin, and man is born with a desire to commit it. Whether it's stealing, lying, or even homosexuality, it's sin.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, "Or do you now know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, not idolaters, not adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God." It just lumps everybody together there - thieves, liars (swindlers), and even homosexuals. It's just sin. it goes on to say in verse 11, "Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of God."

In the end of our discussion, the man resolved to simply end the discussion by saying with a smug expression, "I'm sorry I even brought it up. You're completely right, and I'm completely wrong." When I explained that lying was also a sin, and that it was actually mentioned in the same places in the Bible as homosexuality, he turned bright red, but just repeated what he had said. As we were leaving, I offered to shake his hand, and he shook my hand and we parted ways.

Now, did the bad theology come from the church, or did the guy have bad theology, and then chose that church because it also had bad theology? Who knows, but church is the place where we are supposed to learn proper theology, and our bad theology is supposed to be corrected. This man has attended a church with bad theology for some time, and is clearly filled with something other than love for sinners, based on his words and actions. When church is just based on feelings, and man's feelings are inherently evil, then evil is what the church produces. When a church teaches good theology, and works to correct bad theology, rather than approving and embracing it, then that church produces the fruit of the Spirit.

Jesus hung around with sinners instead of the heretics. He was a friend to them, and he taught them proper theology. Jesus did frequently interact with the heretics as well, but he always tried to correct their bad theology. We are to be like Christ, and that includes correcting bad theology, and teaching those who may not be aware of the truth.