The Inquisitions were tribunals established by the Roman Catholic Church to seek out, try and sentence those they considered were guilty of heresy (teaching what was contrary to established beliefs). For several hundred years beginning around 1184, the Catholic Church conducted systematic public inquisitions with a lack of regard for individual rights together with subsequent harsh penalties in an effort to discover and suppress heresy. These medieval practices still reflect badly on the church. A similar tragic mistake was made during the so-called Crusades of attempting to force people to believe in and follow Jesus. The Bible repeatedly states following Him is voluntary (Mt 16:24; Rev 22:17).  

The Early Church was not immune to false teaching, and much of the NT letters are instruction given to reinforce the truth and challenge wrong concepts before they took hold and became accepted doctrine (eg. 1 Tim 1:3; 1 Jn 1:8, 4:1-3). As believers, we should follow the example of checking what we are taught with the Bible and refuting what isn’t (Act 17:11). The church leaders should also address these issues, by challenging those who have deviated and are spreading wrong concepts, and counteract by providing clear Bible based teaching so the local fellowship is not lead astray. Wrong and inaccurate teaching should be exposed with the motive to bring restoration, by using clear Bible truths, not the upholding of questionable traditions that have no foundation in Scripture.

See also: church discipline, crusades, doctrine, false teaching, heresy, investigation, questionable practices, truth, volunteer.