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?

jwmcmac's picture

Dan, Ok. I'm going to agree


Ok. I'm going to agree with you to a degree.

I am sure that many were unjustly punished under the influence of the Inquisition.

I want to make some small stipulations in this too.

Unfortunately, to the mind of those of the day, heresy was considered to be more a crime than being a traitor during war . . . and this spilled over into civil life . . . so that a heretic was very often someone who was militantly confronting the local civil authority . . . perhaps for good reason . . . and the heretic was often not only one who was confronting the local religious authority.

1) There were both 'religious' and 'civil' aspects to the Inquisition and many times these were run together as one.

I will only defend the religious . . . to a degree.

2) Many punishments of the Inquisition were more in way of doing penance . . . to call the sinner back to the Truths of the Faith . . . and were not enforced with any civil punishment . . . but a penance was imposed to bring about a return to the practice of the Faith.

In these, there was no civil punishment if there was no contention with the civil law to consider.

3) In contradiction to popular belief, three people were killed per year by the Inquisition, on average . . . and as I say . . . these were not due to purely religious considerations. The Church did not have control over local law enforcement . . . and would not then or now stand in the way of a death penalty or even be able to prevent such . . . even if She did not agree with the sentence or the punishment.

Civil law was not as refined or as just or as fair in those 'olden' days as now in the USA. We had just not evolved to that point.

Can we see that?

Whoever is in charge, people have suffered at the hands of other people who are in charge.

To me, most of this is more political than religious . . . but the Church always gets the blame.

Actually, without the influence of the Church, it all would have been so much the worse. And when the Church is driven out or when the people or civil or religious Authorities associated with the local Church has become corrupted in any locality, bad things have happened . . . but not because of the Church but rather in spite of Her.

CHRIST's influence barely keeps governments civil at times in history. That is neither CHRIST's fault nor the Church's.

Coercion was 'not' the 'primary' intention of the Inquisition. Mostly, the primary intention was to 'defend' the Faith in a warring world of mixed civil and religious beliefs and practices.

But in the secular world of Catholic culture, this 'defense' of the Faith often is not 'applied' precisely in that way. Politics are always involved in the civil end of this. That is not the Church. It is in spite of the Church.

The original purpose was to 'defend' the 'Faith' and to 'discover' those who actualy were 'heretics'.

In a civil environment, this can be a bad situation for any accused . . . as no one is likely to come to the aid of an accused lest they also become an accused. In civil law, there can be imprisonment or worse.

Unfortunately, in Catholic cultures of civil government, the lines often got blurred and local governments, abusing or misusing the guidance of the Church, sometimes making mis-use of the Inquisition to destroy their true political enemies, sometimes justly and sometimes unjustly. People do this and have done this throughout history.

Luther fell into this same type of trap in his day . . . he falling into this same type of cultural melee. His conflict started out as a religious issue and turned into a civil government issue.

Often the local government is much stronger than the influence of the Church . . . as King Henry proved . . . and as others prove constantly throughout history.

just an aside:

I think the USA is fixing to go through something very ugly and very similar to the Inquisition but perhaps worse . . . like the so-called enlightenment . . . which was an anti-religion movement . . . in the next few years.

Because we murder unborn babies by the millions and now are fixing to make this a government supported 'right' . . . and with many so-called 'Believers in CHRIST' having now voted for the most pro-abortion person in the country . . . only very bad things will come upon us all. And this will be done by civil authority supported by pseudo-religion of their own making . . . doing this despite the actual beliefs of the actual Church. We all may soon be persecuted . . . and we deserve this . . . since we have not defended the unborn.


The Church was not really in favor of very stern measures against heresy . . . but made guidelines, sometimes bending toward allowance of measures in the civil domain, which really 'moderated' what the civil authorities would have rather done.

In my view, often, the Church was 'putting the brakes' on the civil authorities, but mostly She moderating by Her influence rather than by Her command. The locals were and are usually in charge of the application or mis-application of Her influence.

Over the years, the Church has learned from these 'mistakes' in the civil application of Her otherwise 'good' intentions of the past and has found other less abusable means to 'defend' the Doctrine of the Faith . . . staying more separate from civil authorities . . . even to stating that each individual has the 'freedom' to believe as they desire . . . even if we don't agree with you.

However, there are still rules of civil government to consider . . . and no one is allowed to coerce . . . and no one is allowed to terrorize or murder . . . from either side of this issue . . . and if we do these wrongs or if we plot against the local government . . . in the civil domain . . . despite the influence of the Church, the government will 'get' you.

I see that those on the other side of the Inquisition always see it from only that one perspective . . . of having been unjustly punished . . . as is the usual case in all matters such as these.

I believe that even many of the Saints of the Church (Saint Teresa of Avilla, Joan of Arc, John of the Cross), also Galileo (?) . . . had to deal with the Inquisition . . . defending themselves from unjust religious or civil authorities . . . who may have been mis-applying the 'intentions' of the Inquisition.

I am not an expert on the Inquisition . . . the 300 years or so of it . . . applied in different times and cultures and situations . . . but I realize there were times during the Inquisition where wrong things occurred.

As to the meanings of the word 'Inquisition' . . . most Protestants would not even understand this in the same manner as do Catholics . . . since we look at the situation with different understandings of the meanings of the 'words' and with different understandings of the 'intentions' of the 'words'.

The true definition of and intention of the Inquisition is more formal than the way we understand it's meaning as Protestants or Jews or Muslims.

To the Church, the meaning was more in the way of 'questioning' or 'searching' for the Truth or 'defending' the Truth or 'defending' the Faith. The Inquisition for the most part was a defensive means, from the Catholic perspective and even in application . . . which humans in the local secular government sometimes abused, but the Church did not abuse and does not so abuse.

The Office of the Inquisition laid down guidelines and it was the local ordinary or the local governments who implemented these guidelines in their own domain and in their own way.

If we want to blame . . . blame the locals in the trenches.

Actually, each instance is an entirely different situation.

To the one who was 'arguing against' or 'fighting against' that Truth . . . either secularly or governmentally . . . this distinguishment being difficult to separate at many times in history . . . to such a one . . . it may seem to be or the Inquisition may actually have become a type of 'coercive' force . . . especially in the secular courts which were and are not actually the Church, but rather were and are the government . . . and in the past . . . this perhaps being a Catholic environment . . . and so a blurring of these distinguishments occurs . . .

GOD Bless all here.