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Anathema

Using the word anathema or accursed is very harsh indeed!  The apostle Paul said in his letter to the Galatians;
"But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!  As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!" (Gal 1:8-9).
Do you understand what he was saying?  He was saying that if anyone teaches a gospel contrary to what he (Paul) preached consider that man to be accursed.  I say teaching, because that is exactly what preaching is.  Preaching is teaching with authority.

The Roman Catholic church declared during the council of Trent, convened December 13, 1545 to December 14, 1563 many Anathemas  (www.thecounciloftrent.com).  I see this same judgmental attitude in much of the church today.  We are all in our flesh sinners.  Christianity is a revealed religion.  We have the Holy text, the Scriptures, inspired by the Holy Spirit and written by the hand of man.  The scriptures can be read by men, because they were written by men.  But they must be spiritually revealed, because they are Holy Spirit inspired.

So what happens?  One man studying scripture has something revealed to him by the Holy Spirit, and two other men read the same text in the flesh having two other differing views.  So which of the three views is correct?  Well, the one revealed by the Holy Spirit is the correct view since the text was after all Holy Spirit inspired.  So the three men disagree; then declare each other heretics, be it by word or thought.

I do not think that this was the apostle's intent regarding his letter to the Galatians.  Every time Paul says something to this effect, it is always in regards to false teachers.  However, I do not see him saying these same things about men and women who have been under false teachers.

Do I believe that the Roman Catholic church is preaching what Paul preached?  No, I do not, therefore, I do not direct people to the Roman Catholic Church.  On the other hand I am not going to declare the Roman Catholic people accursed.  Nor anyone else for that matter.  I do not have that right, nor does anyone else.  Judgment is God's alone!

I believe that Paul preached that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  That justification is not a result of works, it is the gift of God, by His grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.  Where then is boosting?  It is excluded. (Romans & Ephesians).

I am not going to argue with someone about there particular beliefs, and I am not going to direct people to teachers who are preaching something different than what Paul preached. So what do I do?  My ministry is a public ministry.  I go into the highways and byways of the world preaching Jesus Christ; Him crucified for our sins and risen from the dead.  I talk with a lot of people about the Lord.  
Jesus said; "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Mt 5:16).
Just tell the truth in love, that is all we can do!  Always remember what love is and what love is not.
"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,  does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,  does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Cor 13:4-7).

 In Christ alone,

Mike Peek



Salvation from the wrath of God that we all deserve for our sin is a gift, by His grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.