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The Heretic

I was walking in San Francisco along the Golden Gate Bridge when I saw a man about to jump off. I tried to dissuade him from committing suicide and told him simply that God loved him. A tear came to his eye. I then asked him, “Are you a Christian, a Jew, a Hindu, or what?”

He said, “I’m a Christian.”

I said, “Me, too, small world. . .Protestant or Catholic?”

He said, “Protestant.”

I said, “Me, too, what denomination?”

He said, “Baptist.”

I said, “Me, too, Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?”

He said, “Northern Baptist.”

I said, “Well, ME TOO, Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.”

I said, “Well, that’s amazing! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist or Northern Conservative Reformed Baptist?”

He said, “Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist.”

I said, “Remarkable! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region or Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Eastern Region?”

He said, “Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region.”

I said, “A miracle! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?”

He said, “Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.”

I said, “DIE HERETIC!’ and pushed him over the rail.

“Teaching”; used of the content rather than the act of teaching. The Greek word may be used of the doctrines of men (Matt. 15:9), but more important, refers to the teaching of Jesus (Matt. 7:28) and later the teaching of his followers. “My teaching,” Jesus said, “is not my own. It comes from him who sent me (John 7:16; i.e., it is from God). The word was used of Christian doctrine (Acts 2:42), to which believers are to be wholeheartedly committed (Rom. 6:17). It is important to “continue” in the doctrine (2 John 9) and to be able both to teach it and to refute those who oppose it (Titus 1:9).

The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook, Walter A. Elwell, Editor, (Harold Shaw Publ., Wheaton , IL; 1984), p. 349