Heresy 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
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
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.