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Updated: May 25

Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some, 2nd Timothy 2:18.

"There's a lot of squirrels out in those woods and every one of them is rolling his own nut."

Pastor Billy Dean Randall (now deceased)

I was recently asked by a man who keeps up a number of websites and who offers outlets for many variant views, how to know when to break fellowship with those whose views are toxic. This blog post will not deal with issues of local church discipline, but will deal with using discernment in dealing with brethren (real or fake) who are outside of your church.

As the Pastor of the Black Creek Baptist Church, I choose who can occupy our pulpit. Aside from obvious heretics, I allow just about any preacher one shot at preaching. If they are a missionary, we allow them in for their good. We always give a generous love offering, and we determine as a church to what extent we want to be involved in their ministry.

As for evangelists or visiting speakers, I have one and only one criterion. Did they, or did they not help our people? In my 17 years here, there are a couple of men who will not be invited back. Men who rail on government figures are unwelcome. We can handle it once, but I take time afterwards to admonish them not to.

There have been one or two who wouldn't have much to say if they couldn't rail on Liberal politicians. There have been a couple of preachers who if my people had spent the time watching the bathroom faucet dripping water, might have found more profit. I am reminded of King Charles II's remark about Prince George of Denmark when he tried being sociable with him, "I have tried him drunk and I have tried him sober, there really is nothing to the man".

From time to time, a preacher blindsides us with a high pressure altar call. My people know enough to just endure it, but sometimes a visitor is suckered into playing his silly game. My big concern is that the person does not become the typical fundamental photo op wherein the deluded visitor makes a teary eyed profession and then disappears off the radar and never shows up to church again.

This church is filled with people who by the grace of God came to repentance through the preaching of the cross from a King James Bible. It has been 35 years since I have seen that kind of altar call bring any lasting fruit. (The same can be said for street preaching and door to door visitation. Yes, I know that you have a little book with hundreds of check marks for people who prayed your little prayer. Keep it, I have something that you don't have. I have pew after pew filled with converts.)

I take the errant preacher aside in private and explain that most of my people were victims of just that kind of hocus pocus, but came to realize later after years of preaching to allow the Holy Ghost to overcome their phony profession, bring them to true biblical repentance, and finally make them partakers of the grace of Christ, who then taught them holiness in life.

Recently, a man who was a good and honest preacher mourned over his little stage act. He had a spectacular testimony of being brought out of sin. It made him popular in fundamentalism, more for the circus aspect of his testimony than for his obvious power with God. His paying audiences had expected a big splashy altar call and he gave them one. After taking him out to breakfast the next day and giving him the testimonies of our people who once were bamboozled by high pressure preachers, but now have bible salvation and lives to prove it, he understood. He will be welcome in this pulpit at any time.

I have at least one other who has been unable to look at the utter bankruptcy of the last 35 years wherein churches no longer grow by soul winning, but lure members from other churches. He closed his ears, his eyes, and his heart to anything that did not validate his experiences from 40 years ago. To my sorrow, he has been disinvited.

It is rare that I cut off fellowship with anyone. Even those aforementioned preachers are not cut off from my willingness to fellowship. They are cut off from our pulpit. That is not hypocritical. I fellowship with women, but I don't give them the pulpit. Part of the reason that I don't cut off fellowship is that I hope to use those gifts and insights which I have received from the Lord to convince those men. Also, if I am willing and humble, those same men may have things that they can teach me.

Then who should be cut off from fellowship?

  1. Those in obvious unrepentant sin: But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat, 1st Corinthians 5:11.

  2. Heretics whose teachings become a cancer: And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus, 2nd Timothy 2:17. A good hint as to what causes cancers among a people and what doesn't is Hebrews 13:9; Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. Teaching doctrine is like soul winning. You must have a life that other people actually want. I know a significant number of spiritual geniuses whose lives are far beneath the life a saint of God should live. they wave their hands and want you to look at their doctrine but ignore their wretched lives.

  3. Men who are antichrist: For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist, 2nd John 1:7. Jesus Christ is (present tense) come in the flesh. Anyone who for what ever reason does not believe that Jesus Christ currently sits in the same body of flesh wherein he was born, and is resurrected from the dead is antichrist.

  4. Lords over God's heritage: Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock, 1st Peter 5:3. It is extremely rare to see such a man in the average Independent Baptist Church. They can usually be found in one of two environments. They can often be found among the marquee preachers for most big camp meetings. They can also be found in tiny churches that exist year after year with just a few families mesmerized by strict rules of some petty dictator.

  5. Men who are smarter than the King James Bible: A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump Galatians 5:9. I do not automatically cut off fellowship from such people. I just preach the King James bible line upon line until their heretical little heart cries "foul". Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Amos 3:3. I have one final authority. Any man who seeks to introduce himself or his stupid lexicons as a final authority need not look to fill our pulpit.

  6. All those who openly violate 2nd Timothy 3:1-9:

2nd Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2nd Timothy 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

2nd Timothy 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

2nd Timothy 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

2nd Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

2nd Timothy 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

2nd Timothy 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2nd Timothy 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

2nd Timothy 3:9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

Don't make a man an offender for small offenses. That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought, Isaiah 29:21. Be longsuffering. Keep the channels of communication open. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject, Titus 3:10. If you have people for whom you care and are responsible for what they hear and read, you have an obligation to protect them. I don't censor what they read or hear. I reprove what they see and hear from the pages of a King James Bible.

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