I notice that many here do not like the term “heretic.” There seems to be agreement that one must deny certain doctrines “essential to salvation” in order to be a heretic. This is very new thinking. Look, for example, at the definition in Webster’s Dictionary (1828):
1. A person under any religion, but particularly the Christian, who holds and teaches opinions repugnant to the established faith, or that which is made the standard of orthodoxy. In strictness, among Christians, a person who holds and avows religious opinions contrary to the doctrines of Scripture, the only rule of faith and practice.
2. Anyone who maintains erroneous opinions.
Hence, those ideas that elevate the standard by which one is considered heretical are actually a product of modern political correctness. I do, however, understand that our modern, feminized, extremely sensitive sensibilities are offended by name-calling of any kind (except the names we call insensitive, unkind “heresy hunters”), but that doesn’t change the fact that the term is accurate. In fact we are all “heretics” in some point of doctrine or other. That’s why we continue to search the Scriptures daily. I don’t know about you, but I desire to correct my heresies, not soften the blow by raising the bar so that I never feel the sting of the offensive title.
- Voddie Baucham