Tag Archives: heresy

Heresy

Heresy is a far broader definition than the one which I am about to apply. “freethoughtmom”:http://freethoughtmom.blogspot.com/ asked this question in “this discussion”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/?p=317:

bq. Who decides which teachings are considered a heresy?

Ultimately, Scripture itself dictates what is heresy and what is not. It is, in fact, extremely specific on what doctrines are most important, those that are “fundamental”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/?p=213 to becoming a Christ-follower, a Christian:

  • the fact that all men are born into sin
  • that no man can attain Heaven by his own merits because no man can possibly live up to a holy and righteous God
  • that God sent His only, perfect Son to pay the price for men’s sins by dying on the cross
  • that the Son overcame death by rising from the dead on the third day
  • that the Son ascended back into Heaven to prepare it for His people.

I believe that these basic doctrines are the only ones that are vulnerable to heretical teachings, _per se_, since they are the only ones that are essentially foundational for a person to acquire the salvation of their soul. All other teachings found in Scripture describe what a Christian – already a believer – must do to live a righteous life and what he must do to further the Kingdom of God. These teachings, as such, are not prone to heresy, at least not in this specific definition, though they _can_ be counterbiblical, since they are covered under the doctrine of grace. In essence, if a believer fails to live 100% righteously (an inevitability), he does not lose his salvation or earn the wrath of God (except through repeated, unrepentent violations, and then only punishment that will bring the believer back into a right relationship with God) but can, instead, repent and receive forgiveness and continue on his walk.

In short, I think that the term ‘heresy’ can only be, and should only be, applied to teachings and beliefs that are counter to the basics of the Gospel, to those basic beliefs that are absolutely mandatory for an unbeliever to come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, beliefs which are very clearly spelled out in Scripture itself.

Heresy? Or Not?

Call me weird, call me a heretic, if you will. But I don’t believe that our government should be based on the will of the Christian ‘minority’…. I believe it should be based upon the will of the majority. Granted, our nation was initially founded on biblical principles. It was founded on the notion that freedom would reign, that people would be able to worship God as they see fit, even if the God they serve is merely themselves. America was founded as a republic, a place where the people could have a say as to how they govern themselves. The reason that I believe the way I do is because of this notion, that the people choose the shape of their country’s government. Christianity will thrive no matter the shape of the government. Christianity is not a religion of authoritarianism or of dictatorship. It is a kingdom of grace and truth, and it is our responsibility to bring others into the kingdom, not by force, but by the grace and power and love of God. Some Christians think we should force the rest of the nation to become something of a theocracy, but I know from experience that the best way to turn someone off to God is to force them to ‘love’ and ‘serve’ Him. So, let the people choose their government, and let the Christians continue to do what they do, serve God and love others into the Kingdom, sharing the truth in love, as we are commanded, and bearing up under the persecution that results from those who hate us.

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P.S. Don’t get me wrong…. I’m not saying that Christians can’t or shouldn’t be involved in politics. I think we should be involved in every arena of life. I just think that we should focus on the eternal, using the temporal to affect the lives of others as we can. And, hey, if we again end up with a government based upon biblical principles and run according to God’s law, then so be it (though I doubt we will ever see a Christian society again until the millenial reign).