I have limited my definition of heresy to the statement made by Jesus in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” Over the years, I have found it has become too easy for me, and others, to widen the heresy net beyond the words of Jesus to entrap fellow believers with whom I disagree on lesser issues of preference and style.
Recently, I overheard a conversation where the word heresy was used in reference to someone who is a healing evangelist. They didn’t like this person’s style and felt he was a “heretic”. Later in the day I went on the evangelist’s website and found out he also believes Jesus is the only way to the Father – just like Jesus said in John 14. In fact, the rest of his statement of faith was very similar to the one used by my own church affiliation.
A few years ago one of my articles was posted on a prophetic website. Shortly thereafter I was put on a “watch list” of potential heretics. Reading down their list of 100’s of other “heretics”, I found names listed like Billy Graham, Jack Hayford and Rick Warren. I was honored to be named among such an esteemed crowd, but left that website scratching my head.
Be careful with anything you read that takes the liberty to call anyone a heretic. Be very careful what you actually define as heresy. Keep it simple and you won’t get confused. I had to come to the place where John 14:6 has become my personal test for heresy. Anything beyond that definition is too bound up in my own opinion and preference to be trusted.