Is S. Michael Houdmann a false teacher?
It has repeatedly been brought to my attention that I have been awarded "false teacher" status by at least two websites. Neither of the sites are worth your attention, so I won't provide the URLs. These two sites are self-proclaimed "watchdogs" over the Christian community. Anyone who disagrees with them on virtually any issue is labeled a false teacher or heretic.
On one of the sites, I was awarded the "Skull and Crossbones" award. Why? I was given the "award" because I teach that Christians cannot lose salvation, also known as eternal security. For the author of the "Skull and Crossbones" site, eternal security is his hobby horse. He sees eternal security as a damnable heresy and proclaims anyone who teaches eternal security to be an unsaved heretic. The man behind this site once challenged me to a debate, and I respectfully declined. The venom and hatred he spews forth would make it impossible to have a respectful and productive discussion. Ultimately, I count my "Skull and Crossbones" award an honor, as I am pleased to be in the same group with most of the other recipients, which includes: John Ankerberg, Tony Evans, Norman Geisler, Billy Graham, D. James Kennedy, Max Lucado, Erwin Lutzer, John MacArthur, Charles Ryrie, Chuck Smith, Charles Stanley, and James White.
The Skull and Crossbones guy's problem with eternal security is that it, according to him, promotes licentiousness (freedom to sin). His reasoning is that if salvation cannot be lost, there is nothing to motivate us not to sin. This is a tragic misunderstanding of salvation and God's love. As Christians, our motivations for not sinning are to be: (1) the perfection and sufficiency of Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf, (2) the wonderful and amazing grace and mercy of God, (3) gratitude for all God has done for us, (4) a love for God that compels us to obey Him and submit to His Word. We fight against sin out of gratitude and love for God because of the perfect and complete salvation He has provided. We do not fight against sin out of fear that God will renege on His promises and condemn us. I am happy to receive the "Skull and Crossbones" award for defending the perfection of Jesus' sacrifice.
The second site that labels me (and GotQuestions.org) as a false teacher does so for a wide variety of issues. To summarize, I am a heretic because I teach: the Trinity, that turning from sin is a result of salvation rather than a requirement for salvation, the rapture, and the eternality of hell. Again, just as with the Skull and Crossbones award, if I am to be labeled a heretic for teaching these things, well, I guess I am a heretic.
I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I do not have all the answers. If you were to combine the minds of all 250+ of the GotQuestions.org question answering team, we would still not have all the answers. I fully expect to be "judged more strictly" (James 3:1) at the Judgment Seat of Christ. There are surely some theological/biblical issues on which I do not have a correct or complete understanding. And for that, I humbly ask for, and receive, God's forgiveness.
What amazes (and distresses) me most is that some people see the headlines of these two sites and freak out, worrying that the leader of their go-to Bible Q&A site might be a heretic. If they would actually read the articles that label me a heretic, they would see that the viewpoints for which I am being attacked are well within the boundaries of Christian orthodoxy. If I am a heretic for these issues, the vast majority of Christians in historical-biblical Christianity have been and are heretics as well. Don't let flashy headlines and provactive statements like these deceive you. Examine the issues for yourself. I do not want anyone to accept what I teach simply because I am the founder of GotQuestions.org. Always compare what you read/hear with Scripture, and then accept/reject it on that basis. GotQuestions.org is no exception.
S. Michael Houdmann
Is S. Michael Houdmann a false teacher?