Sunday, May 10, 2009

Identifying and Confronting Heresy

In the May issue of Touchstone, S. M. Hutchens has a great editorial on a difficult subject - identifying and confronting heresy. He handles the subject with humility but also with courage. Of course, it doesn't hurt that he gives it an excellent title: "The War on Error." Here are a few brief excerpts:

Reading the last few weeks in the church fathers and reformers, I was struck by what we would call their rudeness. It is hard to go far in their writings without finding them bluntly identifying their opponents as heretics, perverts, madmen, liars, and tools of the devil.

Identifying heresy and falsehood and those who teach it is a duty which, if shirked, will subject the souls under one's influence to the tender mercy of the wolves and one's own soul to the judgment reserved for the shepherd who did not protect his flock. How many pastors and teachers I have known who have been called upon to decide whether to break with their peers by speaking the truth about doctrine or conduct, or with God, and how many appear to break with God.

One must be very sure the accusation is right. This means work: education to competence on what one is talking about.

--S. M. Hutchens

You can read the entire editorial here.

And by the way, if you don't currently subscribe to or read Touchstone, you are depriving yourself of one of the best publications in print.