Hecklers and Heretic Hunters

Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.  Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.  Hebrews 5:10-14

Once upon a time ago I was born into a family where my father was an atheist and my mother had undefined religious beliefs, a type of  spiritualism  similar to that of the Word of Faith heresy.  At age ten, I began going to a Presbyterian church with my best friend who lived next door.  Her mother had once been taught some things from the Bible, but her parents never  accompanied her to church either. My theology was basically taught to me by other fourth and fifth grade children.  Therefore if I now exhibit a strong tendency toward independent thinking, it arose out of necessity.

I have had more than my fair share of hecklers along the way. At some point into my marriage I discovered that my husband is a 32 degree Mason, that his grandfather was a Knights Templar, his father also a Mason and his mother an Eastern Star. They all assured me that they were Christians, because they had been baptized as children. One day in Seguin Texas, as I sat in the library of a small Lutheran college reading  Spurgeon, my eyes lit upon a book called Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, by Albert Pike.  I read large portions of it, trying to understand what was behind Freemasonry.  I confronted the Masons in my family with what I read.  My experience with hecklers soon grew by leaps and bounds.

I am not really sure exactly when I became blacklisted by the Freemasons.  One day, which I had thought was going to be a hopeful day, my Pastor came to my house to “witness” to my husband.  After he left, my husband laughed because unbeknownst to me, the Pastor was a Freemason, and had given him a Masonic handshake. My husband reassured me that I could never come between the two of them.  I was shocked that someone who was supposed to be my Christian pastor was a traitor to the flock.  I reproved the Pastor, and he was greatly angered;  from then on it did not matter what church I walked into, it became apparent that I had been placed on some sort of  blacklist.

The other day  a heckler showed up on another internet site with a snide comment on my Paul McGuire posts,  which had been reposted by a member of a private forum.   I was not surprised that the heckler did not bother to post a comment directly to my blog. Generally, my critics usually send some sort of anonymous threat by snail mail.  Unlike them, I am easily found,  and in most situations, I go by my real name, have photos on the internet of my house, and have always been generally accessible. On the rare occasion that I have used an alias/fictional front such as Aurora Justicia, it is easily traceable to me.  Having lived so long in a world surrounded by persons who are not Christians, one of my main objectives in life has simply been to be an honest person with an unfeigned faith. Considering that I have had to overcome a natural shyness, being forthright has been a challenge.

Now what did my most recent Heckler write? He commented,  Ahh, a heretic hunter who graces the forum with his knowledge and guidance.  It would seem from this and other articles, you would throw every believer to the wolves, who disagrees with your ideology.  Shame on you.  It is time you got off the milk and repent of what you do.

What do I observe from the content of this comment?  First of all, there is actually a reference to the scriptures through the use of the word “milk”.  At the top of the post, I have noted the scripture reference which was alluded to, and included Hebrews 5:10 which is the last part of a full sentence on the priesthood of Jesus Christ.  Over the years,  I have listened to sermons on this passage which have said that the strong meat deals with the comprehension of the Melchisedec priesthood of The Son of God. In America, the predominate religious denomination which claims to have a Melchisedec priesthood is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly referred to as The Mormons.

It has been quite a while since I have personally heard the term Heretic Hunter, and so I looked it up on the internet.  Ahh yes, back in 1993 a book was published by Huntington House called Heresy Hunters which was written by James R. Spencer, an Ex-Mormon who became a pastor of a local Four Square Church.  The two posts which prompted The Heckler to comment concerned Paul McGuire, a Senior Pastor who claims ordination by the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.  There is a strong likelihood that The Heckler’s use of the term heretic hunter came from his familiarity with Spencer’s book.

James Spencer still maintains a website mazeministry.com.  I have read portions of his material, and he is a gentleman writer.  I had no theological argument with the words presented on paper in the several articles which I had actually read. Since I do not have his book on hand, I want to post two of the critical comments by readers of Heresy Hunters which are posted on Amazon.com.

Posted October 19, 2002, Maestro writes, “James Spencer is an ex-Mormon who ought to understand a thing or two about heresy and the importance of TRUE Christian doctrine.  If Mormonism is NOT a heresy, Spencer had no reason to convert from his former position.  It is this fact that saddens me in his counter-attack upon anybody and everybody who is not a Word of Faith Christian.  Spencer’s experiential Christianity is every bit as bad as his previous experience with Mormonism.  I want to keep it clean, but Spencer’s book is typically spineless.  He has NO problem lambasting the ministry of John McArthur (whose cessationism Spencer despises; Spencer devoted an entire chapter to MacArthur), but he doesn’t want teachers who are DEMONSTRABLY lying (like Paul Crouch, Mike Warnke, and Benny Hinn) to be called to account for their lies.”

Maestro continues, “Heresy hunting is a new inflammatory term that was invented to dismiss any honest inquiry. Spencer defends this position immaculately, but his entire book misses the point.  Paul Crouch, who wrote the forward, states that ‘one theologian’s heresy is another theologian’s orthodoxy’.  He further claims that contending for the faith (mentioned in Jude 3) refers to Christ, the virgin birth, crucifixion, resurrection, forgiveness by cleansing blood, and future judgment are the only “essentials”.  Crouch concludes by writing, “beyond these absolute essentials… there is infinite room for honest men and women to disagree…”  Thus, according to Paul Crouch – who again, wrote the forward- the authority and infallibility of Scripture, the Trinity, salvation by grace ALONE are NOT essential to saving faith.  It is for this reason that both Crouch and his hired defender, Spencer, completely miss the mark….”  (The rest of his comment can be read on the Amazon link above.) The author of this comment has entitled it Caught With Their Hands in The Cookie Jar.

Another book reviewer, David L. Rattigan, wrote on October 24, 2000, “One is left with the feeling that whilst in principle it is right to judge doctrine, even publicly, in practice there are not many ways of doing this without offending someone of James’ sensibility.  He feels that certain teachers have been unfairly criticized for their ‘little gods’ doctrine, yet the only evidence he offers for this is a very shallow comparison with the patristic doctrine of divinisation.  He fails to reasonably demonstrate, with evidence, exactly what is wrong with the critiques that have been levelled at this teaching.  ….there are helpful points which need to be heard by the ‘heresy hunters’, and they are very serious points to do with integrity and honesty.  It is just unfortunate that the tone of this book seems to pander to those whose teachings raise the most concerns (hence the book’s popularity at TBN) and comes across as a defense of Word-Faith etc. an approach which will only alienate those who need to hear some of its warnings.”

Rapture Ready.com has posted two sets of quotations; one from Paul Crouch, and the other from Benny Hinn, which embody their opinions of “heresy hunters”Paul Crouch said in a Praise-a-thon, April 2, 1991, “To hell with you! Get out of my life!  Get out of the way!…I say get out of God’s way!  Quit blocking God’s bridges or God’s going to shoot you if I don’t…I don’t even want to even talk to you or hear you! I don’t want to see your ugly face!”

The second Rapture Ready quote entitled, Benny Hinn Cursing Heresy Hunters is actually a conversation between Hinn and Paul Crouch, seen September 10, 1999 on Praise The Lord, Trinity Broadcasting Newtwork.

BH:  In that service (Denver, CO) the Lord had me place blessings and cursing-you remember that.
PC:  I was there.
BH:  You know, these kinds of things I just don’t like to do.  I frankly don’t enjoy hearing anybody do it.  But Paul, there are people who want to destroy ministries, who would love to destroy TBN, destroy our ministry, destroy any ministry and every ministry they can…We had certain people at one time after our ministry who would harass us and do all kinds of crazy things-went on for probably a year and a half- I was preaching in South Africa one day and Fred Roberts, who’s an apostle said, “Why don’t you speak judgment?” he said.  I said “What are you talking about?”  He said, “You are entitled now- because they blasphemed the Holy Spirit- to tell God what you want to see done.”
PC:  Because they were attributing your works to the devil.
BH:  To the devil, exactly.
PC:  Just like they did Jesus.
BH:  You see, the second they attribute the work of God to Satan, we as believers step into-legally step into a place where we can ask God to stop them.
PC:  Amen. Amen.   (shows video from Denver)
BH:  Yes, Lord, I’ll do it. I place a curse on every man and every woman that will stretch his hand against this anointing.  I curse that man who dares to speak a word against this ministry.  But any man and any woman that raises his or her hand in blessing towards this ministry, I bless that man.  I bless that home! I bless that family….Under this anointing, the words I speak cannot fall to the ground.  Under this anointing, everything I say, happens.

The Heckler accused me of throwing every believer to the wolves who disagrees with my ideology.  Well my “ideology” is the whole counsel of God as found in a King James Holy Bible.  Is it wrong for me to be concerned for the souls of those around me?  In Acts 20:26-30, the Apostle Paul said, “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.  For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”

The Moderator of the General Discussion on the forum where The Heckler made his comment, directly responded with his own insightful, but succinct, observations.  He reminded the commenter that the forum requires that its members attack the subject, rather than resorting to the ad hominem argument.   I would ask that the commenter, if he indeed has any factually based arguments against my posts,  to please let us know what logical argument can be made against my thesis and evidence.