21 QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE JOINING A CHURCH
(This is an
extract taken from James Melton's
"Handbook of Heresies")
Before joining a church, ask for a Statement of Faith and check it carefully. If one is not available, at least speak to the Pastor personally and get answers to the following questions. This concerns your spiritual wellbeing. You have every right to ask questions. In fact, a genuine Bible-believing Pastor will appreciate you asking doctrinal questions.
The answer to every question inside the brochure, should be a definite "YES". If the answer is "NO" or "I'm not sure", then keep looking because there are better churches to join.
A "YES" answer to each question doesn't guarantee that the church in question will be the best one for you, but it does help to guard yourself from many of the heresies in our midst.
"For the time will come when THEY WILL NOT ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, HAVING ITCHING EARS." (2 Timothy 4:3)
"STUDY to shew
thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RlGHTLY
DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH. "
(2 Timothy 2: 15)
1. Do you believe God has preserved an infallible copy of His word for us today?
2. Do you believe the King James Bible is God's infallible word for the English speaking people?
3. Do you believe that God is a Holy Trinity, consisting of Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
4. Do you believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, without a man being involved, and lived a sinless life, God manifest in the flesh?
5. Do you believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died and paid for our sins on Calvary's cross through the shedding of His own sinless blood?
6. Do you believe that the Lord Jesus Christ rose physically from the dead for our justification?
7. Do you believe that the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, currently sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest?
8. Do you believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person who convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgement.
9. Do you believe that the Holy Spirit is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ?
10. Do you believe that the apostolic sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, are not for today, since they were for the purpose of confirming the preached word of God to Israel in the 1st Century?
11. Do you believe that all men are born with a sin nature, and that salvation through Christ is needful for all?
12. Do you believe in the eternal security of those who have received Christ as Saviour?
13. Do you believe that the church is the bride of Christ, consisting of all born again believers?
14. Do you believe in the autonomy of the local church?
15. Do you recognize water baptism and the Lord's Supper as Scriptural ordinances for the church?
16. Do you agree that the majority of professing Christianity is in apostasy and that true Christians need to practice Biblical separation from such people?
17. Do you believe in the literal, physical, imminent Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ?
18. Do you believe in a literal glorious heaven for the saved and in a literal burning hell for the lost?
19. Do you believe that Satan is a literal living being who opposes God, and who will be condemned to eternal punishment in the Lake of fire?
20. Do you believe in the literal word-for-word Genesis account of creation?
21. Do you believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for the sins (past, present and future) of the whole world and not just those that get saved?
DOCTRINES OF DEVILS
Now, the following is a list of 37 heresies which are found in many churches and following these is a list of a few of the religions and churches where they occur. Are any in the church where you go?
"Now l beseech you, brethren, MARK THEM WHICH CAUSE DIVISIONS AND OFFENCES CONTRARY TO THE DOCTRINE WHICH YE HAVE LEARNED; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." ( Romans 16:17-18 )
1. Apostolic signs and wonders Needed to confirm the preaching of the word to the Jews (signs and wonders is a Jewish term in the Bible). God no longer honours them today.
2. Baptism of the Holy Ghost and Fire - The teaching that a person receives the Holy Ghost AFTER they've received Christ as Saviour. (Baptism with fire occurs when the lost are cast in to the Lake of Fire.)
3. Denial of Eternal Security - Contrary to John 1:12, 1John 3:2, Rom 8:14, Gal 4:5, Eph 4:30, 2Cor 1:22, 1 Pet 1:5, Heb 13:5, Matt 28:20 etc
4. Unpardonable Sin - Only mentioned before Calvary when it was obvious that Jesus was working miracles by the power of the Holy Ghost. Today, there is no unpardonable sin except that of dying without ever believing in Jesus Christ as Saviour
5. Women Preachers - This is contrary to 1Tim 2:11-12; 1Tim 3:2
6. A-Millennialism - the denial of the coming 1000 year reign of Christ on earth
7. Baptismal Regeneration - This states that babies can be cleansed from all sin by being baptised. Not found in the Bible.
8. Denial of the Sin Nature from Birth - The "all people born good" theory. This denies Ps51:5; 58:3; Rom3:10; 3:23; 5:12
9. Lord's Supper Required Weekly - for obedience to maintain salvation
10. Musical Instruments Forbidden in Worship Contrary to the Bible which is filled with musical instruments
11. Salvation through Works - Contrary to Romans 11:6 and many other verses
12. True Church theory - "Our Church is the only church". Found nowhere in the Bible. Those who have received Christ alone by faith alone are members of His church.
13. Annihilation - The belief that the wicked are destroyed with no eternal punishment. Jesus disagreed - Matt 25:41; Luke 16:24
14. Denial that Jesus Christ is God - Contrary to the Bible - 1John 5:7; John 20:28, Isaiah 9:6; 1 Tim 3:16 and many others
15. Denial the Holy Ghost is God - Not in the Bible - 1 John 5:7; Acts 5:3-4 and many others.
16. Denial of a Literal Burning Hell - This disagrees with Jesus – Matt 5:22; 25:41 etc
17. Denial of the Literal Second Coming of Christ Contrary to Titus 2:13; Acts1:11; Rev 1:7 etc
18. Denial of the Trinity - Contrary to 1John 5:7; See Jesus & the Holy Spirit is God
19. Deity of Man - A foolish belief that man can become God. Unbelievably ridiculous!
20. Denial of the Blood Atonement - Contrary to John 1:29; Heb 9:22: Acts 20:28
21. Denial of the Physical Resurrection of Christ - Contrary to Luke 24:38-39; John 20:27
22. Multiple Authorities Used - The denial of the King James Bible as the sole authority for faith and doctrine. "Bringing to nought the word of God"
23. Polytheism - The belief in more than one God. Contrary to Gen1:1; Mark 12:29
24. Celibate Priesthood - The teaching that the Catholic priests must remain celibate. Not in the Bible. Peter was a married man!
25. Confession - Pagan practice of the Roman Catholic church. Contrary to 1Tim 2:5. Sins are to be confessed to God, faults to man.
26. Image Worship - Not in the Bible along with prayer wheels, prayer beads, crosses and relics.
27. Immaculate Conception - The belief that Mary was born sinless. Contrary to Rom3:23; Luke 2:22; Luke 1:47
28. Infant Baptism - Not one instance in the New Testament.
29. Mary Worship - contrary to 1Tim 2:5
30. Mass - Not in the Bible
31. Papacy and the Priesthood - Not in the Bible
32. Purgatory - A place of fire after death where sins are purged till ready for heaven.
33. Sabbath Keeping - This is the belief that we should worship on Saturday. Not in the Bible
34. Soul Sleep - The belief that when we die there is no punishment for the wicked
35. Denial of the Virgin Birth - The denial that Jesus was miraculously conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of a virgin without a man being involved, contrary to Matthew 1:18.
36. Reincarnation - The is contrary to Heb 9:27
37. British-Israel Theory - The belief that the Ten Tribes of Israel went to the British Isles after being taken into captivity by the Assyrians in 722 BC, and that the Anglo-Saxon races are now heirs to the promises of Israel.
Charismatic Groups - 1,2,3,4,5
Assemblies of God - 1,2,3,4,5
Christian Science -3,4,8,11,15,16,17,18,20,21, 22,36
Church of Christ (Campbellites) - 3,6,7,8,9,10,11,12
Jehovah's Witnesses - 3,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,21
Mormons (The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints) -7,8,11,12,13,14,15,16,18,19, 20,21,22,23
Roman Catholic Church - 3,7,11,12, 22,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32
Seventh Day Adventists - 11,13,16,22,33,34
Unity School of Christianity - 3,8,11,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,23,35,36
World Wide Church of God (Armstrongism) - 3,7,11,12,13,14,15,16,18,19,20,21,23, 33,37.