Can bad doctrine send you to Hell?

nodenom's picture

The few assembled on this forum are proof enough that Roman Catholics and Protestants and Mormons and JW's will never agree on certain points of doctrine. In fact within each denomination, you will also find disagreement.
This comes as no surprise since we are all still pretty messed up people. A large percentage of confessing 'christians' still suffer the same troubles as non christians as we play out our own little dramas we think important.

Now the question "how much wrong doctrine, dogma etc. must we embrace to lose our salvation"? In fact, can we lose our salvation by embracing wrong doctrine or do we just put ourselves in danger of never seeing the full life Christ has provided manifesting in our lives?

Will we ever see 'His kingdom come and His will being done' or will we just play our pitiful little parts on this stage and never see what could have been?

JeffLogan's picture

Don't forget to look at Summa Theologica at CCEL


    Article. 3 - Whether heretics ought to be tolerated

    On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer, wherefore she condemns not at once, but "after the first and second admonition," as the Apostle directs: after that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death. For Jerome commenting on Gal. 5:9, "A little leaven," says: "Cut off the decayed flesh, expel the mangy sheep from the fold, lest the whole house, the whole paste, the whole body, the whole flock, burn, perish, rot, die. Arius was but one spark in Alexandria, but as that spark was not at once put out, the whole earth was laid waste by its flame."

The Muslims killed those they considered heretics in the name of Allah and extremists still do today.

The Catholic church killed those they considered heretics in the name of God.

The Church of England did the same.

France is unique, perhaps, in that She killed thousands of French Christians (Huguenots) for the church and then took aim at the church itself. On August 24, 1572, the infamous St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre occurred in France where clergy identified the heretics and the French soldiers struck them down. 200 years later the French armies would descend upon the Vatican See itself, take the Pope captive, confiscate its properties, remove its government, and set up a secular government.

Colonial America, a people who fled religious persecution, also had a breed of it spring up among them which later caused the Constitution to be amended prior to being ratified by the states. Thus was born the concept of separation of church and state which other countries adopted as well.

ML said -
No you cannot be forced to do anything and most people who went through a trial in the inquisition were never tortured.

jqlogan writes -
We have little comprehended the use of force and the coercive measures brought to bear upon people. Perhaps because they are so commonly used we no longer recognize them. So let's review just a few so you can begin to appreciate the subtleness and pervasiveness of their use.

Coercive measures:

1) To get someone to agree with us we will ridicule them before others by calling them stupid or ignorant
2) Women, it is said, will withhold privileges from their spouses to exact gifts
3) Children use taunts like "teachers pet" and adults use "brown noser" to conform behavior of others
4) When someone displeases us we shun them or ignore them
5) Nations employ embargoes and economic sanctions in attempts to control other nations or countries
6) We use peer acceptance to change opinions saying things like "are you the only one here that believes that?"
7) Parents withhold privileges to control behavior

And on and on...

But someone will note that if you try to change a person's opinion against their will they remain of the same opinion still. But we're not talking about conversion here. We are simply addressing behavioral modification. Only Christ can change the heart. External rituals, sacraments, observances, obedience, and the like can only effect outward things. I am sure the Inquisitors got it wrong many times not being able to read the heart.

So when a religious organization claims to have the keys to heaven and hell and to be able to bind or loose in heaven then the act of excommunication becomes a very real threat bearing eternal consequences. And for those who do not fear what men can do to them there remains the threat of torture and death.

But the church did this as a work with good intentions--to save souls. She thought She was doing God's will. But She misinterpreted the scripture to suit Her designs and exalt Herself.

Those institutions which carry out this work cannot be rightly linked with the spirit of God. Jesus did not destroy people for not accepting him during his outreach to them:

    And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. Luke 9:54-56 (KJV)

But Jesus did say that this type of work would occur:

    But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. Luke 21:12 (KJV)

    They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. John 16:2 (KJV)

And just exactly whom does the Bible say will do the persecuting? Is it the church? Well, in Christ's day the leaders of the Jewish church incited the people to demand Christ's crucifixion. And even the extremist, the most zealous received letters of approval for the same work against the followers of Christ?

    And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. Acts 9:1-2 (KJV)

The next verses helps us understand why the persecution takes place:

    For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. 1 John 3:10-12 (KJV)

Now some will assert that you must consider the whole of scripture to form your doctrines. And it is wise not to form doctrines from a few scriptures. Yet, when it comes to apologetics they pick and choose only those statements of the church which favors Her. They forget altogether this same principle they are so quick to apply to understanding the Bible. But I say that to understand a church's belief and practice you must look at the body of her teachings. The RCC boasts many things.

1) She never errs
2) She is supreme on earth (over kings and priest)
3) She has the keys to heaven and hell
4) She can bind or loose things in heaven
5) She alone can rightly interpret scripture
6) Salvation is found in Her alone all else being imperfect
7) Those who refuse Her dogmas are reckoned heretics
8) Impenitent heretics must be exterminated from the earth

With all this power it is easy to see how the RCC controlled the world for so great a period of time. Perhaps her greatest threat were the Muslims. At least until Her favored child France turned against Her and finally took Her down.

    The Crusades were a series of religion-driven military campaigns waged by much of Christian Europe against external and internal opponents. Crusades were fought mainly against Muslims, though campaigns were also directed against pagan Slavs, Jews, Russian and Greek Orthodox Christians, Mongols, Cathars, Hussites, Waldensians, Old Prussians, and political enemies of the popes.[1] Crusaders took vows and were granted an indulgence for past sins.[1]

    1. Riley-Smith, Jonathan. The Oxford History of the Crusades New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. ISBN 0192853643, as referenced in Wikipedia article Crusade,

But this authority did not begin so late. It began as early as the 4th century, and with Constantine, and his sons following him. The church and state united which eventually resulted in the Bishop of Rome taking the title of Emperors, Pontificus Maximus, and wielding power even over them.

This is getting long so if you want to read more go here ==>

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