June 21, 2012

In A Land Of The Blind, One-Eyed Men Are Kings

Blind Ignorance or Intellectual Arrogance

I view this question as being closely linked to the previous post. The modern Scholars are doing the same as the heretics of old. Taking Scripture or at least poor interpretations of it, passing themselves off as experts and then exposing heresies or false beliefs based on the power or prestige of their elevated “secular” positions. Thereby they lead thousands if not millions astray with a warped unbiblical view that has been twisted by having approached the Scriptures with an improper anthropocentric view rather than the proper theocentric view. I imagine some of these new false teachings are just modern day convolutions or versions of century old Christological heresies. As they are too numerous to mention all I will only hit on a few as points of reference or case-in-point(s).

Heretic...αἱρετικός or airetikos/hairetikos airetikós means "to choose, have a distinctive opinion" – a factious person, specializing in half-truths and misimpressions "to win others over" to their personal opinion". Whether it be through ignorance of purposely educated and deliberate “academic” polemic or dialectic (arrival at truths through debate or dialogue), heresy is still heresy. As noted one internet source the Christ-centered or Christological heresies usually revolve around three premises:

  1. The Denial of Christ's Divinity: This has led to errors that include: Ebonism, Arianism (Jehovah's Witnesses), Nestorianism, Socinianism, Liberalism, Humanism, Unitarianism.
  2. The Denial of  Christ's Humanity: This has led to errors that include: Docetism, Marcionism, Gnosticism, Apollinarianism, Monarchianism, Patripassianism, Sabellianism, Adoptionism, Dynamic Monarchianism.
  3. The Denial of Christ's Two Natures-Fully Human/ Fully Divine. This third premise falls out from the first two and this has led to errors that include: Monophysitism, Eutychianism, Monothelitism. These all confuse the two natures of Christ by either absorbing one of His natures into the other cannibalistically or dividing them out completely in a form of Christological modalism and splits Jesus into distinct radically separate entities.

All of these heresies in some way ended up forcing true believers to formulate statements or creeds defining absolute true positions. Many are often considered by academic "experts" as irrelevant just as they view many things within the Bible. This attitude has in turn allowed the same old Christ-centered heresies to resurface again from dormancy under new names and from new people but sadly, they are the same old errors.

Of particular interest is Gnosticism which plagued the early church and was vehemently defended against by early church fathers and (it appears) even by some of the Apostles.  The proof of this is especially evident even as far back as some of John’s reasoning in his gospel (logos) and Paul’s reasoning in 1 Corinthians against the “wisdom” of the world. Jump ahead 2000 years and we see that this heresy never went away, it went dormant. It resurfaced in the form of New Age mysticism and similar nonsense when it had no resistance or few that will defend against it.  I suspect this is true because people/believers either cannot recognize it as error or chose not to fight it. The first attitude is nearly unbiblical (2 Peter 3:15) in its ignorance as we are called to be prepared to give a ready defense/apologia of our faith. The second is clearly unbiblical as we are called to not only defend our faith but we are to actively proselytize and take it out into the world (Matthew 28:19-20).

These statements mentioned seem to get at the core of why heresies arise. They arise because they run rogue of Scripture. It is the inspired text of the Holy Bible that has been the canon and measuring stick of everything God has chosen to reveal about Himself to man outside of His Son Jesus Christ. When people either fail to understand properly what is in Scripture or refuse to accept what is in it as “Gospel Truth”, we have error creep into the faith. We see this is exactly what happened in the early days of the faith with all the named heresies. We also see it when we observe the cults like Mormonism which add to the Scripture or academic "experts" like Rudolf Bultmann and others of the Quest for the Historical Jesus when they  attempt to take away from what Scripture tell us.

Deuteronomy 4:2 ~ “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.”

Sadly, my experience has been the many just don’t know or understand Scripture. In that case it is a matter of ignorance or not knowing (gnosis). In the case of the “academics” and the “scholars” they chose not to acknowledge what is in Scripture and then attempt to intellectually dissect it until it is only a pile of disparate facts and data taken wholly out of their original context…therefore it becomes nearly meaningless. In these cases it is a matter of intellectual arrogance. Either way, man himself becomes his own worst enemy by becoming his own highest authority when that distinction has clearly been reserved for Almighty God. In the end, heresies often result. It is why we are told to turn towards God. Seek the Lord and live.

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