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Heresy explained

HeresyHeresy is often misunderstood as being absolute disobedience to God, but it is my opinion often something more subtle than that. I will start this essay off by giving you a real-world example. You see to understand the most dangerous forms of heresy one has only to see that if a thing is not of God it then falls into the category of Doctrines of Demons.

The example that I would like to give you is that of baking a cake. There are a few recipes that go into a cake. I am sure that Getting There would give me some great examples seeing that she recently proved her culinary skills in the kitchen with a wonderful batch of cookie. For the purpose of this essay I will grab the first one that I can find off the net

1 (18.25 ounce) packagefood cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Sounds like a strange cake, but I won’t be a critic. This cake is called Too Much Chocolate. It apparently won the author some prize. Go see it here

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Too-Much-Chocolate-Cake/Detail.aspx

Let me play the part of the food heretic. Lets say the I remove the sour cream because that just sounds awful to me and I am sure that something like sour cream does not belong in a chocolate cake.

If I was to bake a cake with this altered recipe would this still be the same cake that the wonderful woman won the prize for? No it would not. This, in theological terms, is the more extreme form of heresy that is practiced by the likes of the Jehovah’s Witness, Mormons, Christian Scientists and so on. They make it a habit of totally remove core doctrine from the bible such as the divinity of Christ and the blessed hope of all Christians, Heaven.

OK, now lets try something else, lets say that I like sour cream mixed with my sweet choc cake but I have a dislike for vegetable oil, but know that as a good baker I could not totally remove that ingredient because the cake might get too dry (guessing, have no idea). So I decide to place 1 ½ cups of this wonderful half rotten cow byproduct called sour cream and decrease the amount of vegetable oil in the recipe by half to ½ cup. I also decide to remove one egg and add 2½ cup of semisweet choc chips. So I have all the core ingrediants, but the cake I bake will probably not win a prize because it is not the same cake this lovely woman slaved so hard to create. This is the more subtle form of heresy. This is practiced largely in the Charismatic church, the emergent church and of course NCMI. This is why it is so hard to point out the error that is evident in these churches. They take one piece of doctrine, for instance tongues, and elevate it so high that it is hardly recognizable as what is really presented in the scriptures. They are messing with Gods recipe for man.

People have to change their approach to how they combat these churches. They cannot go in all guns blazing, expecting to find them sacrifices bunny rabbits on the alter, because the fact of the matter is; they won’t, or even be able to find anything that can totally be pinpointed to as outright heresy. They will answer to the same creeds as you, so they will worship, in theory, the same God as you, and every argument or debate that you enter into with them will come up naught. You have to point out to these people the mis-balance that exists, for that is the key to success in these cases. You need to point out to them that like them you are rescued by Christs blood, and that something like tongues not occurring in your life is no reason for them to deny you Christianity, but false tongues on the other hand is a very serious thing indeed, and I believe that we are to watch them, because if they are not from God then where are they from?

I hope this essay puts some things into perspective better enabling you to understand and indeed combat heresy effectively within the body of Christ.

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Eight Distinctives Of An Aberrational Christian Group

Scripture: Colossians 2:6-7; Galatians 5:1; I Corinthians 2:16-18; Matthew 11:28-30.

Definition: Aberration – Fringe doctrine, or a group of persons holding that doctrine that has not separated itself from the Church. This is often an anti-conformist group, sometimes led by a charismatic leader, but as often by some principle of greater strictness, more single minded dedication, or more intense renunciation of the world and its attractions. Often has as its main principle some aspect of orthodox faith that is being neglected. The question concerning the seriousness of the fringe doctrine will be answered by the fact that the group has chosen to stay in the Church (i.e. within the boundaries of the “faith once for all delivered unto the saints”).

Introduction: There are eight general distinctives that are frequently found in aberrational Christian groups. Not all aberrational groups will necessarily exhibit everyone of these distinctives, but most do, and some will evidence one or more with greater intensity and scope. It is important to remember in identifying an aberrational Christian group that we are not dealing with a thorough going heresy, but often a mainstream group that is in transition from the fringes of Christianity to a heretical group completely outside Christian orthodoxy. For our purposes the difference between the two is this. A heretical group takes something major in Christianity (who Jesus is, salvation, the Trinity, etc.) and makes it minor. An aberration, on the other hand, takes something minor in Christianity and makes it major (baptism, worldliness, holiness, etc.).

Examples: Victory Chapel (a.k.a. Potter’s House, Church of the Open Door); International Churches of Christ (a.k.a. Boston Church of Christ, Boston Movement) however, some would list the ICC as a full blown heresy; Community of Jesus; Greater Grace World Outreach (Bible Speaks); and numerous independent churches.

I. Scripture Twisting.

This is the most important distinctive from which all other distinctives flow. Usually there is a deficient concept of Church history or theological categories. Consequently Scripture is taken out of context, carelessly applied, and used to justify wrong conclusions (prooftexting).

A. Doctrine developed from historical books of the Bible. Here, the historical books of the Old and New Testaments (Exodus, Kings, Samuel, parts of Gospels, Acts, etc.) are used to derive authoritative doctrine for the Church today.

B. Contextual Chaos. Verses are pasted together to prove a doctrine.

C. Mystical Mush. Taking verses intended to be literal or are idiomatic and giving them a “spiritual” interpretation.

II. Controlling Leader/Leadership.

Frequently, near to total submission is implicitly or explicitly demanded by the leader/leadership. This is because they have “the mind of Christ,” special revelation, are “God’s anointed,” etc.

A. The leader/leadership has a special pipeline to God with no actual accountability. This gives to them a special authority and weightiness in their pronouncements, even in non-essentials.

B. Scriptures like Hebrews 13:17; Psalm 105:15, etc. are used to manipulate the member and justify the leader’s position. These verses are taken out of context and were never intended for leaders who are not accountable.

C. The leader/leadership often determines the areas of your life that are important for you to submit in. Refusing their counsel is to be rebellious.

D. The problem is that members of these aberrational groups tend to abdicate their decision making power to the group or leader.

III. Separation/Isolation Of The Membership.

Members are separated from the “world” in a variety of ways in order to protect them from “harmful” influences.

A. This is couched in spiritual language and is usually sincerely believed by the leader/leadership as an appropriate and necessary step for them to take. “We want to help you to become the best in Christ that you can possibly be. It has been our experience that you can be harmed by living with…, getting involved in…, reading…, associating with…, etc. This certainly wouldn’t please Jesus, and you might even fall away from the truth. It has happened in the past.”

B. This separation is often from other Christian groups, other Christians, and Christian writings.

IV. The Chosen Few.

Spiritual elitism is often rampant in these aberrational groups. All other Christians outside your group are either lukewarm or not true believers at all.

A. Consequently, salvation is not found outside the walls of the group and other Christians are “fair game” for proselytizing (conversion to a group, tradition or belief system, and not to Christ).

B. Aberrational Christian groups rarely, if ever, cooperate with other Christian groups not associated with them.

V. Uniformity Of Lifestyle.

This uniformity of lifestyle may be manifested in beliefs, dress, language and living conditions.

A. The desire is to create a true disciple of Jesus Christ. However, the issue is what makes a disciple and how is one identified.

B. This uniformity can intrude in all the private areas of an individuals life where the Scriptures are silent.

VI. No Dissent.

Because the leadership is authoritarian it follows that there can be no questioning of God’s anointed or prophet.

A. In non-coercive groups and churches differences on lesser points of doctrine are tolerated. It is the unity of the Spirit that is essential. Minor differences of doctrine are not tolerated in aberrational groups.

B. To speak out or to question is to have a rebellious spirit and to possibly fall under God’s wrath.

VII. Traumatic Departure.

Leaving an aberrational Christian Group is always extremely traumatic.

A. If a member plans on leaving and the leadership finds out there may be a painful confrontation with the leadership who seek to talk the “rebellious” member out of leaving.

B. Frequently, the person may be told, “If you leave bad things will happen to you. Maybe you will get cancer…, get hit by a car…, lose everything…, go insane…, and even die.”

C. Leaving is also very traumatic because even though the member no longer believes in the group, they have been indoctrinated to believe that salvation does not exist outside their walls. Thus, where can the departing member go?

VIII. In Transition

Doctrines and practices tend to mutate further and further from orthodox belief and expressions.

A. Aberrational groups are never static but tend to devolve theologically. Many begin fairly orthodox, but over time become heretical in major doctrines.

B. The practices and rituals of aberrational groups also tend to take on divine authority. Practices that were optional or conditional in the beginning become absolute standards whereby commitment and spirituality are measured.

What is Heresy

What does the bible say heresy is? Is it right to call anyone that is anti a certain doctrine a Heresy Hunter, and shrug off what ever points they raise?

Defending the Christian faith is known as Apologetics, and it is often misunderstood by the Christian church. Apologists against Charismatic and Pentecostal doctrines I believe have got the hardest job out of any other. I say this because you are not fighting what would be considered un-orthodox, but rather heterodox, or fringe beliefs. You are fighting against fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and this is often taken as divisive. It is also common for one of these Apologists to be told that they are blaspheming the Holy Spirit, which is the one unforgivable sin.

I think “Let us Reason” website puts it well when they say:

“The apologetic wing of the Church can be looked upon as a mechanic who listens to the sound of a car, looks into the engine and then diagnoses the problem. If we went to a car mechanic who was able to accurately diagnose what is wrong, or could go wrong in the future, we would all be appreciative. But regarding apologists, most do not want to hear what is said because it might move them out of their comfort zone, or it’s simply what they don’t want to hear — that someone’s favourite teacher could be wrong and misleading them.”

What is Heresy?
Heresy is when someone, or some organisation starts teaching doctrines or ideas that are not presented in the Bible taken as a whole and in context. It is the departure from the orthodox, the inclusions of traditions, or experiences that don’t line up to biblical canon.
It can also apply to an instance where a truth that is taken out of Scripture, is elevated to such a degree that it no longer represents what was taught in the Bible.

The reformation fathers fought against heresy, and changed the course of Christianity. If they did not have Apologetic ideals we would still be under Roman Catholic doctrine, and indeed not even have the scriptures for ourselves as common men.

People often tell Apologists that the truth will always win, and that God does not need mere men and woman to defend His word. This is not correct, because if this was the case then there would have never been a need for the Reformation. There are also many cults out there that are spreading their wings becoming major players in the religious field and if they go unstopped, what will the Christian world look like in 100 years? But unfortunately, especially when it comes to Charismatic and Pentecostal preachers, they do not want to hear what you have to say, and cruelly label you a “heresy hunter”

Why is it important to fight the Pentecostal onslaught and for what reasons do I believe it to be heterodox? This is what I will present on this blog. I will not be looking at the entire Charismatic movement, but rather at one movement that falls under the New Apostolic Reformation banner. This movement is called NCMI or New Covenant Ministries International.

I focus on NCMI because I believe that there is not enough warning people that this specific movement has fallen into error.

I encourage people to visit this site and post comments on articles, and if you can give me a clear biblical reason why one of my articles are incorrect or does not reflect NCMI in the proper light I will then remove or edit it. I am not closed minded, but if you believe that I am wrong, then prove it by Scripture, because a Christians true measure is by Scripture.