Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Reflection - Heresy

Source (book): "Faithful to the end", Question 3, Page 61.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012


Heresy is a departure from the truth
PHOTO: Heresy is a departure from the truth
False teaching that destroys souls and brings darkness. Much was at stake, because if the gospel were distorted or compromised, God's eternal plan of salvation would be compromised, and the salvation of human beings affected. To guard the integrity of the gospel is not a matter of leisurely intellectual debate or ecclesial power politics. It is a life and death issue that affects the salvation of people.
Picture from :La Etnnia's Photos

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-414WJFlrl6I/VYgPMJOr_BI/AAAAAAAAgZA/3iv-8HIMbQk/s1600/10608211_10152604701642954_456891302108956941_o.jpg
http://sphotos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/t31.0-8/10608211_10152604701642954_456891302108956941_o.jpg
https://www.facebook.com/LAETNNIA527/photos/pb.34295217953.-2207520000.1412072045./10152604701642954/?type=1&source=42

 

How would you define heresy? Can you identify some current heresies that are popular among Christians? Why is it important that the church exercises zero tolerance for heresy? How can this go wrong? How and why do Christians easily put up with heresies (2 Corinthians 11:4, 20)?

How would you define heresy?
Definition of Heresy [2]
Heresy is a departure from the truth.

In the early history of Christianity, the church established the basic teachings of the faith. Those basics can be found in the Apostles' Creed and Nicene Creed. Over the centuries, however, theologians and religious figures have proposed doctrines that contradict established Christian beliefs. To keep those beliefs pure, the church singled out people who taught or believed ideas considered a threat to Christianity.



Over the centuries, however, theologians and religious figures have proposed doctrines that contradict established Christian beliefs.

PHOTO: Over the centuries, however, theologians and religious figures have proposed doctrines that contradict established Christian beliefs.
Picture by Margie on 7 July 2014 at 4:05pm

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http://hiswordfirst555.ning.com/group/apostasyinlthechruchtoday/forum/topics/max-lucado-in-the-shadows-of-deception?commentId=2833646%3AComment%3A147791&groupId=2833646%3AGroup%3A588



It wasn't long, however, before so-called heretics (a person believing in or practising religious heresy) were branded not only as enemies of the church but also as enemies of the state. Persecution became widespread as popes authorized inquisitions. Those investigations often resulted in torture and execution of innocent victims. Thousands of people were imprisoned and burned at the stake.



Joan of Arc – A poor peasant girl, who at a very young age rose from obscurity to shape the course of French and European history.
PHOTO: So-called heretics often resulted in torture and execution. Thousands of people were imprisoned and burned at the stake.
From “Joan of Arc Biography“, Oxford, UK – www.biographyonline.net, 21 October 2013
Picture from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Joan of Arc's Death at the Stake, by Hermann Stilke (1843)

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-e78DvVPtvoA/VVrx-Pflb9I/AAAAAAAAgFM/ZMuYybKSsXc/s1600/Stilke_Hermann_Anton_-_Joan_of_Arc%27s_Death_at_the_Stake.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/76/Stilke_Hermann_Anton_-_Joan_of_Arc%27s_Death_at_the_Stake.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stilke_Hermann_Anton_-_Joan_of_Arc%27s_Death_at_the_Stake.jpg
https://www.biographyonline.net/women/joan-of-arc.html



Most heresy proposes views of Jesus Christ and God that are contrary to what is found in the Bible. Heresies include Gnosticism (a second century heresy claiming that salvation could be gained through secret knowledge), modalism (the idea that God is one person in three modes), and tritheism (the idea that the Trinity is actually three separate gods).

Pronunciation: HAIR uh see

Example: Judaizers promoted a heresy that said Gentiles had to become Jews before they could become Christians.


'Judaizers,' Jews or Jewish converts who were attempting to convince the Gentile population in the Galatian faith-communities that they had to convert to Judaism to be saved (and probably to re-enforce the idea among the Jewish population that being ethnically Jewish and Torah observant was what justified them before God, not faith in Messiah).

PHOTO: Judaizers,” Jews or Jewish converts who were attempting to convince the Gentile population in the Galatian faith-communities that they had to convert to Judaism to be saved (and probably to re-enforce the idea among the Jewish population that being ethnically Jewish and Torah observant was what justified them before God, not faith in Messiah).
Texts posted by James on 5 December 2013
http://mymorningmeditations.com/2013/12/05/the-mystery-of-romans-who-are-the-weak-and-the-strong/
Picture from Catholic images

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ytBxBeLthvQ/VYgPMHc1S_I/AAAAAAAAgZE/raTRf1rf57w/s1600/027_uncatolicoimgcat.jpg
http://uncatolico.com/wp-content/gallery/imagenes-catolicas/027_uncatolicoimgcat.jpg
http://uncatolico.com/imagenes-catolicas/?nggpage=2


By Jack Zavada © 2015 About.com.
(Sources: gotquestions.org, carm.org, and The Bible Almanac, edited by J.I. Packer, Merrill C. Tenney, and William White Jr.)
[2]



Can you identify some current heresies that are popular among Christians?
[3] Christians are saved by faith in the work of Jesus on the cross, but faith in itself is not enough. Faith is not a substance you can put in a jar. It is belief in something. Faith is only as good as who it is placed in. If you put your faith in a false God, you are lost because a false god cannot save anyone. This is why God says in Exodus 20:3, "You shall have no other gods before Me." Faith is not what saves, but faith in the true God is what saves. [3]



You shall have no other gods before Me (Exodus 20:3).

PHOTO: You shall have no other gods before Me (Exodus 20:3).
Picture from web@conggiao.info

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-RBexU_m8rdU/VYgPM8uYSWI/AAAAAAAAgZM/vQ1mZ-vx1yo/s1600/635608060332880000.jpg
http://conggiao.info/pic/photoalbum/photos/635608060332880000.jpg
http://conggiao.info/photos/2656/0/0/muoi-dieu-ran.aspx



[4] Christian heresies are many.  Through studying such errors as arianism, gnosticism, modalism, and pelagianism, Christians can better understand their own faith.



Heresy is any belief that denies those Christians have historically recognized as essential to the faith; such beliefs include the triune nature of God, the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ, His eternality, and the nature of His incarnation.

PHOTO: Heresy is any belief that denies those Christians have historically recognized as essential to the faith; such beliefs include the triune nature of God, the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ, His eternality, and the nature of His incarnation.
Posted by Lenny Esposito on Saturday, 27 September 2014 at 6:25 AM
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http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rwcj1SLb2fs/VCZWgG5fIEI/AAAAAAAAER8/00PpMfb8f28/s1600/first-Vision.jpg
http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/09/the-heresies-of-mormonism.html



Heresies
Adoptionism - God granted Jesus powers and then adopted him as a Son.
Albigenses - Reincarnation and two gods: one good and other evil.
Apollinarianism - Jesus' divine will overshadowed and replaced the human.
Arianism - Jesus was a lesser, created being.
Docetism - Jesus was divine but only seemed to be human.
Donatism - Validity of sacraments depends on character of the minister.
Gnosticism - Dualism of good and bad and special knowledge for salvation.
Kenosis - Jesus gave up some divine attributes while on earth.
Marcionism - An evil God of the O.T., good God of the N.T. 11, books in the Canon
Modalism - God is one person in three modes.
Monarchianism - God is one person.
Monophysitism - Jesus had only one nature: divine.
Nestorianism - Jesus was two persons.
Patripassionism - The Father suffered on the cross.
Pelagianism - Man is unaffected by the fall and can keep all of God's laws.
Semi-Pelagianism - Man and God cooperate to achieve man's salvation.
Socinianism - Denial of the Trinity. Jesus is a deified man.
Subordinationism - The Son is lesser than the Father in essence and or attributes.
Tritheism - The Trinity is really three separate gods. [4]


Why is it important that the church exercises zero tolerance for heresy?
False teaching destroys souls and brings darkness [1]
The gospel that was entrusted to Paul and Timothy consisted of sound health-giving words that lead to salvation and holiness. It is contrasted with false teaching that destroys souls and brings darkness. This is the reason why Paul was strongly opposed to false teachers and their teaching. He is imitating the Lord's own hatred for false teaching as we can discern from His messages to the seven churches in Asia Minor (Revelation 2:2,6,14-16,20,24). How important it is for the church to exhibit the same zero tolerance for deadly heresy that destroys souls and congregations.



False teaching destroys souls and brings darkness

PHOTO: False teaching destroys souls and brings darkness
It is important for the church to exhibit the same zero tolerance for deadly heresy that destroys souls and congregations.
Picture posted by The Event Horizon on 2 July 2013
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0YHLabYYTuk/VYgPPBPpU7I/AAAAAAAAgZ0/5Z4VGaLsSTU/s1600/lupo_agnello272121.jpg
https://29febbraio.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/lupo_agnello272121.jpg?w=690
http://29febbraio.com/2013/07/02/xiva-t-o-anno-c/



The challenges that the New Testament church faced continue to our day, perhaps with even greater variety and complexity
The gospel has a pattern or standard that must not be abandoned. In church practice, we have our creeds that are summarised statements of belief. For instance, the Nicene Creed is used widely as the test of orthodoxy. There are other doctrinal statements, such as those formulated during the Reformation, that act as doctrinal standards. Why are these necessary? They help to guard the standard of gospel truth that must be defended and not compromised by any teaching that deviated from gospel truth. The challenges that the New Testament church faced continue to our day, perhaps with even greater variety and complexity.



The standard of gospel truth must be defended and not compromised by any teaching that deviated from gospel truth. The challenges that the New Testament church faced continue to our day, perhaps with even greater variety and complexity.

PHOTO: The standard of gospel truth must be defended and not compromised by any teaching that deviated from gospel truth. The challenges that the New Testament church faced continue to our day, perhaps with even greater variety and complexity.
Picture posted by Krish Kandiah on 1 April 2014 

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mSoNvp0mOQY/VYgPPyff-FI/AAAAAAAAgaE/m_UhGN4fbgM/s1600/women-men-and-church.001.jpg
http://i2.wp.com/www.krishk.com/backend/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/women-men-and-church.001.jpg?resize=672%2C372
http://www.krishk.com/2014/04/men-and-church/



God's eternal plan of salvation would be compromised, and the salvation of human beings affected [1]
Much was at stake, because if the gospel were distorted or compromised, God's eternal plan of salvation would be compromised, and the salvation of human beings affected. To guard the integrity of the gospel is not a matter of leisurely intellectual debate or ecclesial power politics. It is a life and death issue that affects the salvation of people. Only through the help of the Holy Spirit who lived in us would we be able to fulfill this daunting task. Not in our own strength - which would be inadequate - but in the wisdom and strength of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 1:14). [1]



God's eternal plan of salvation would be compromised, and the salvation of human beings affected

PHOTO: God's eternal plan of salvation would be compromised, and the salvation of human beings affected
To guard the integrity of the gospel is not a matter of leisurely intellectual debate or ecclesial power politics. It is a life and death issue that affects the salvation of people. Only through the help of the Holy Spirit who lived in us would we be able to fulfill this daunting task. Not in our own strength - which would be inadequate - but in the wisdom and strength of the Holy Spirit (
2 Timothy 1:14).
Picture posted by by Steven Gledhill
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7N9Fpd7BpBU/VYgPOQ-SulI/AAAAAAAAgZk/deYb_K8cHBw/s1600/lost-lamb-2-27.jpg
http://www.freedomfrommedom.com/wp3/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/lost-lamb-2-27.jpg
http://www.freedomfrommedom.com/wp3/admit/recovery-from-addiction-gods-way-2



How can this go wrong (exercises zero tolerance for heresy)?
Postmodern climate "anything goes" is touted as the highest virtue [1]
In the postmodern climate where uncritical tolerance is touted as the highest virtue and where "anything goes", it is all the more necessary for the church to be on guard against false teaching. [1]



Sharpening ones hand (foolishness) - postmodern climate

PHOTO: Sharpening ones hand (foolishness) - postmodern climate "anything goes" is touted as the highest virtue
False teachers claiming to be apostles had infiltrated the church of Corinth and aimed to discredit Paul’s legitimacy as an apostle. To make matters worse, rather than coming to Paul’s defense and defending the Gospel that he preached, the Corinthians were taken in by this false teaching, and allowed this man’s sin to go unchecked.
Picture posted by Mike Riccardi on 24 April 2015
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http://thecripplegate.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Sharpening.jpg
http://thecripplegate.com/a-love-that-sharpens/



Why do Christians easily put up with heresies?
Because of carelessness and nonchalance [1]
Even in the days of Paul, carelessness and nonchalance were seen in some churches. Paul complained to the Corinthian Christians that they tolerate too readily the false teaching of the fraudulent "supper apostles", chiding them that they "put up with it easily enough" (2 Corinthians 11:4).  [1]



Because of carelessness and nonchalance -  The 'supper apostles' deceived successfully

PHOTO: Because of carelessness and nonchalance -  The 'supper apostles' deceived successfully
Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)
Posted by Walmir Almeida on Saturday, 23 February 2013 

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http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YGECbbI0ex0/USlxMCKrwjI/AAAAAAAAAIM/gkaPEm_X1tk/s1600/Depositphotos_8664109_original.jpg
http://walmirbsb.blogspot.sg/2013/02/a-inocencia-dos-anjos.html#.VYUsJVKYQz8



How do Christians easily put up with heresies?
Foolishness to tolerate the false teaching and accommodate the false teachers [1]
In a mocking way Paul tried to get them realise their own foolishness in not only tolerating the false teaching but also naively accommodating the false teachers: "You even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face" (2 Corinthians 11:20).  [1]



Foolishness to tolerate the false teaching and accommodate the false teachers

PHOTO: Foolishness to tolerate the false teaching and accommodate the false teachers
"You even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face" (2 Corinthians 11:20)
Picture posted by William on Friday, 28 March 2014 at 12:00 AM
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http://www.outsidecampreflections.com/2014_03_01_archive.html



Dear Heavenly Father,

PHOTO: “Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank you for the power of the name of Jesus.  I thank you for the protection that Christ’s blood offers to those who trust in Him.

Protect us Lord.  We are your servants and we want to serve you with power.  Protect our homes and help us to remember the power of your name, the blood of Christ and the word of God.  Help us not to get lazy in our own personal Bible study so we can know your voice and recognize and discern when a preacher or teacher that is speaking your words, but twisting, denying and hiding the truth of your message.

Lord, give us wisdom.  We will not be lead to the slaughterhouse by evil prophets that claim to love you and profess your name.  You said in your word that many will come to you and say, “Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name, cast out devils in your name.”  In your word, you tell those false prophets to depart from your presence for eternity and their punishment will be greater because of the deception and corruption that they have used to take the name of Jesus and defile it.

In Jesus name, bless and protect our families, health, finances and minds.  We only worship the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  The God who sent His only Son Jesus to pay for the sins of the world, Amen.


Written by Julia Shalom Jordan, published on 09 April 2012
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-arzd1pWpZjw/VYgPPBKJAzI/AAAAAAAAgZ4/5UE8mPz99EY/s1600/wolf_in_sheeps_clothing_12.5rlvsqtvkn8kcgg0o88s4wg48.6ylu316ao144c8c4woosog48w.th.jpeg
http://www.shalombewithyou.com/wp-content/uploads/yapb_cache/wolf_in_sheeps_clothing_12.5rlvsqtvkn8kcgg0o88s4wg48.6ylu316ao144c8c4woosog48w.th.jpeg

http://www.shalombewithyou.com/prayer/spiritual-warfare/prayer-against-false-prophets/

Reflection - Heresy, by Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012



Reference

[1] From "Faithful to the end" A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, Copyright © 2014 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-241-0, PART ONE: UNITED WITH CHRIST, Chapter 4 "United with Christ in Service and Suffering" (2 Timothy 1:8-18), Page 48 - 50.

[2] Definition of Heresy, http://christianity.about.com/od/glossary/a/Heresy-Definition.htm, by Jack Zavada © 2015 About.com.
Basic teachings of the faith - http://christianity.about.com/od/christiandoctrines/a/basicdoctrines.htm
Apostles' Creed - http://christianity.about.com/od/christiandoctrines/qt/apostlescreed.htm
Nicene Creed - http://christianity.about.com/od/christiandoctrines/qt/thenicenecreed.htm
Christian beliefs - http://christianity.about.com/od/denominationscomparison/ss/comparebeliefs1.htm
Persecution - http://christianity.about.com/od/glossary/a/JZ-Persecution.htm
Popes - http://catholicism.about.com/od/popes/Popes.htm
Inquisitions - http://www.gotquestions.org/inquisitions.html
Jesus Christ - http://christianity.about.com/od/newtestamentpeople/p/jesuschrist.htm
God - http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefactsandlists/qt/biblefactsgod.htm
Gnosticism - http://christianity.about.com/od/glossary/a/Gnosticism.htm
TRinity - http://christianity.about.com/od/glossary/g/trinitydoctrine.htm
gotquestions.org - http://www.gotquestions.org/inquisitions.html
carm.org - http://carm.org/heresies

[3] Heresy, https://carm.org/heresy, by Matt Slick, Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry, carmstuff@yahoo.com

[4] Heresies, https://carm.org/heresies, Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry, carmstuff@yahoo.com
Adoptionism - https://carm.org/adoptionism
Albigenses - https://carm.org/albigenses
Apollinarianism - https://carm.org/apollinarianism
Arianism - https://carm.org/arianism
Docetism - https://carm.org/docetism
Donatism - https://carm.org/donatism
Gnosticism - https://carm.org/gnosticism
Kenosis - https://carm.org/kenosis
Marcionism - https://carm.org/what-is-marcionism
Modalism - https://carm.org/modalism
Monarchianism - https://carm.org/monarchianism
Monophysitism - https://carm.org/monophysitism
Nestorianism - https://carm.org/nestorianism
Patripassionism - https://carm.org/patripassionism
Pelagianism - https://carm.org/pelagianism
Semi-Pelagianism - https://carm.org/semi-pelagianism
Socinianism - https://carm.org/socinianism
Subordinationism - https://carm.org/subordinationism
Tritheism - https://carm.org/tritheism


NIV, New International Version, Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

2 Corinthians 11:4 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+11%3A4&version=NIV

2 Corinthians 11:4, 20 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+11%3A4%2C+20&version=NIV

2 Corinthians 11:14-15 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+11:14-15

2 Corinthians 11:20 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+11%3A20&version=NIV

2 Timothy 1:8-18 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+1%3A8-18&version=NIV

2 Timothy 1:14 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+1%3A14&version=NIV

Exodus 20:3 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+20%3A3&version=NIV

Revelation 2:2,6,14-16,20,24 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+2%3A2%2C6%2C14-16%2C20%2C24&version=NIV