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Berean
09-02-2009, 10:43 AM
Just as we see the term heresy thrown around often, and lots of time it is only when someone elses belief differs from ours I would like to hear what your criteia for judging a religion as a "cult" ?

Dale-c
09-02-2009, 10:50 AM
This has been on my mind lately as well. I am not sure I have the answer to it.

Johnv
09-02-2009, 10:53 AM
Christians sometimes define a cult as "something you do in worship that I don't like" :D

ReformedBaptist
09-02-2009, 11:19 AM
A congregation of worshippers who have any other object of their worship, devotion, prayers, or service other than Christ and Christ alone.

Crabtownboy
09-02-2009, 11:24 AM
It depends on the country and culture you are talking about. Baptists are considered a cult in some countries in Eastern Europe.

Cult = a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cult

Allan
09-02-2009, 11:45 AM
Just as we see the term heresy thrown around often, and lots of time it is only when someone elses belief differs from ours I would like to hear what your criteia for judging a religion as a "cult" ?

Here is what I heard of, learned and use from the Watchman (a group that keeps up to date on the cults and false teaching presently and historically).
Here is link (http://www.challies.com/archives/dvd-reviews/dvd-review-mark.php)to some information and below is a excert from it:
The presentation describes cults through the four marks developed originally, I believe, by Watchman Fellowship. These marks are easy to remember and are helpful in forming a framework around which we can differentiate a cult from a church. The marks are as simple as add, subtract, multiply and divide.

Add: Cults add to Scripture. The revelation of God provided in the Bible is never sufficient for a cult. Thus they must add to the written revelation of Scripture, usually with additional scriptures or with their own translation of the Bible. In this way we have books such as The Pearl of Great Price of the Mormons and the New World Translation of the Bible produced by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Since the Bible claims exclusivity as the written revelation of God, we must see that other books, even if the followers of cults claim that they are equal to the Bible, must actually be over and above the Word of God.

Subtract: Cults subtract from the person of Christ. Cults cannot tolerate the divinity and exclusivity of Jesus and thus usually reduce Him to being a created being. In some cases they make Jesus only a manifestation or mode of God. In either case, the role of Jesus as revealed in Scripture is diminished.

Multiply: Cults multiply the requirements of salvation. Salvation, as it is presented in the Scriptures, is by God’s grace through faith alone. Cults continually add to the requirements of salvation, always adding human works as a necessary prerequisite to salvation. No cult teaches or endorses justification by faith alone. Thus all cults reject the very heart of the gospel.

Divide: Cults divide the loyalty of believers. Each cult believes that it has exclusive revelation and understanding of God that ensures its followers are either exclusively God’s people or are somehow more blessed than others. Cults always seek to divide believers against each other based on the previous three marks. Thus cults are, by their very nature, divisive

From the link given:
Those who were consulted in the making of this film are:

◦Dr. James R. White, Alpha & Omega Ministries
◦Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, Knox Theological Seminary
◦Dr. R. Fowler White, Knox Theological Seminary
◦James Walker, Watchman Fellowship
◦David Henke, Watchman Fellowship
◦Dr. Steve Cowan, Apologetics Resource Center
◦Craig Branch, Apologetics Resource Center
◦Clete Hux, Apologetics Resource Center
◦Jerry Johnson, The Apologetics Group

Berean
09-02-2009, 12:08 PM
Would Roman Catholics who tend to deify The Virgin Mary be considered a cult?

ReformedBaptist
09-02-2009, 12:12 PM
Would Roman Catholics who tend to deify The Virgin Mary be considered a cult?

The papacy is the mother of all cults. But to answer your question simply, yes.

Allan
09-02-2009, 12:29 PM
Would Roman Catholics who tend to deify The Virgin Mary be considered a cult?

I think it depends on the church.

Some add to the scripture with the OT Apocryphal, and or Deuterocanonical and some even contain NT Apocryphal books (such as Easter Orthodox) or even Pseudepigraph, not to mention the popes declarations are considered equal to the scriptures and supercede them at times as well. - There is your adding.

This one can be debatable; They subtract or diminish Christ's by placing Mary as a co-redemptor and divine in status. - There is your sudtraction

They also multiply requirements of salvation with a number of things, in addition to faith. - There is your multiplying.

They are very divisive against other groups, via brutality, misinformation, murder (<--though this is more a past aspect here) etc.. (I have some missionary friends in middle Mexico who are quite literally scared of how the catholics hostility against them has increased incredibly)Though they have recently claimed protestants can be saved, officially it does not mean they necessarily are. I believe the above constitutes the divide catagory.

So I guess the question is - if YOU put together the facts, what do you think?

HankD
09-02-2009, 02:00 PM
My test is simple...

The Incarnation.

Is Christ fully human?
Is Christ fully God?

If either question is denied or needs to be qualified then one is dealing with a cultist.

Therefore, I personally wouldn't consider Catholicism as a true cult (apart from Allan's observation) and I'm a former Catholic.


HankD

Zenas
09-02-2009, 04:06 PM
A cult is a to which other people (not yourself) belong. Not all groups are cults but you will never hear a person say, "I belong to a cult." :laugh:

Joseph M. Smith
09-02-2009, 04:39 PM
I understand the term "cult" to be reserved for those religious groups which involve a close and unquestioning allegiance to a leader. Jim Jones and his group spring to mind as an example.

Marcia
09-02-2009, 04:58 PM
My test is simple...

The Incarnation.

Is Christ fully human?
Is Christ fully God?

If either question is denied or needs to be qualified then one is dealing with a cultist.

Therefore, I personally wouldn't consider Catholicism as a true cult (apart from Allan's observation) and I'm a former Catholic.


HankD

The problem with this test is that Oneness groups (those who deny the Trinity) can answer "yes" to this. They are a cult.

Cults are defined both sociologically and religiously. From a general view, it is an authoritarian group that controls the lives of its members. From a Christian view, it is an authoritarian group that does not allow any challenges or questions to those in authority and that departs from the essentials of the Christian faith.

Other characteristics can include isolating members from family and friends, mind altering techniques, special diets, rules one must abide by or be "lost," pressure on members to recruit, and more. Cults can range from spiritually destructive (all of them are) to physically and emotionally destructive (Jim Jones, Koresh, Heaven's Gate).

World religions such as Hinduism and Islam are false but they are not cults.

The LDS and JWs are considered Christian cults because they use the trappings of Christianity but depart from and/or deny the essentials.

Johnv
09-02-2009, 05:07 PM
I don't believe denial of the Christian essentials qualifies a religion as a cult, in and of itself. It qualifies them as not being truly Christian, but as a cult? No.

Marcia
09-02-2009, 05:22 PM
I don't believe denial of the Christian essentials qualifies a religion as a cult, in and of itself. It qualifies them as not being truly Christian, but as a cult? No.

If they claim to be Christian but deny the essentials, yes, they are a cult (Mormons, for examples, and Oneness groups).

Or if denying the essentials is part of the overall pattern of authoritarian leadership and some or all of the other characteristics I listed, yes, it's a cult.

I took a course on Contemporary Cults in seminary - Ron Rhodes taught it. He is considered an expert. Check out his books on Amazon. He has one on cults in general. He also has quite a few books on witnessing to cultists.

HankD
09-02-2009, 08:16 PM
The problem with this test is that Oneness groups (those who deny the Trinity) can answer "yes" to this. They are a cult.

Cults are defined both sociologically and religiously. From a general view, it is an authoritarian group that controls the lives of its members. From a Christian view, it is an authoritarian group that does not allow any challenges or questions to those in authority and that departs from the essentials of the Christian faith.

Other characteristics can include isolating members from family and friends, mind altering techniques, special diets, rules one must abide by or be "lost," pressure on members to recruit, and more. Cults can range from spiritually destructive (all of them are) to physically and emotionally destructive (Jim Jones, Koresh, Heaven's Gate).

World religions such as Hinduism and Islam are false but they are not cults.

The LDS and JWs are considered Christian cults because they use the trappings of Christianity but depart from and/or deny the essentials.You are correct Marcia.
The assumtion is that I am talking to someone who claims to be a Christian.
It is a simple test that most cultist fail.

If they answer in the affirmative, I then go on to the Trinity and ask:

Do you believe in the eternal Trinity as three distinct persons in one divine essence?

Again, Catholic doctrine is the same as Baptist doctrine as to the Trinity.

Next would be the sufficiency of the Blood Atonement of Christ.

Though to hold a weak position or a works position IMO does not constitute the basis of a cult given the two other essentials above.


HankD

Marcia
09-02-2009, 08:25 PM
You are correct Marcia.
The assumtion is that I am talking to someone who claims to be a Christian.
It is a simple test that most cultist fail.

If they answer in the affirmative, I then go on to the Trinity and ask:

Do you believe in the eternal Trinity as three distinct persons in one divine essence?

Again, Catholic doctrine is the same as Baptist doctrine as to the Trinity.

Next would be the sufficiency of the Blood Atonement of Christ.

Though to hold a weak position or a works position IMO does not constitute the basis of a cult given the two other essentials above.


HankD

Good questions to ask, Hank!

Revmitchell
09-02-2009, 10:41 PM
Just as we see the term heresy thrown around often, and lots of time it is only when someone elses belief differs from ours I would like to hear what your criteia for judging a religion as a "cult" ?

Apparently if you raise your kids to be family oriented.

Allan
09-03-2009, 12:11 AM
My test is simple...

The Incarnation.

Is Christ fully human?
Is Christ fully God?

If either question is denied or needs to be qualified then one is dealing with a cultist.

Therefore, I personally wouldn't consider Catholicism as a true cult (apart from Allan's observation) and I'm a former Catholic.


HankD
Brother, look again at my post. I did not actually say they were or were not a cult. I gave some answers to the four basic views that are typically used to define what a cult is. However in my post I said if YOU take the facts what do YOU come up with. I left the final decision in the mind of the observer who is to look into it themselves.

HankD
09-03-2009, 12:42 AM
Brother, look again at my post. I did not actually say they were or were not a cult. I gave some answers to the four basic views that are typically used to define what a cult is. However in my post I said if YOU take the facts what do YOU come up with. I left the final decision in the and the mind of the observer.Oh, you are right Allan, "cult" is a subjective thing and I was actually agreeing with you. The important element is why we need the information and for what purpose. Presumably it is to help some deceived soul rescue himself from the snare of the devil.

2 Timothy 2
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

When they understand and receive the proper scriptural view of Jesus Christ, God come in the flesh, everything else falls in place and the light of truth is turned on whether cultist, Catholic, Family International, JW, Mormon, etc...

That is why when I have opportunity with the deceived, I concentrate on the person of Christ and not what we call them or they call themselves or which antichrist (there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time) they follow.


HankD

BigBossman
09-03-2009, 08:21 AM
I remember one time when I was about 14 years old, I attended a worship service with a group of non-denominational believers. The pastor/preacher/leader (whatever you would call him) would strum this electronic harp & the people would act like they were in some kind of a trance. This would be done throughout the entire service.

I thought that was some creepy stuff. Needless to say, I never went back there. I would consider them a cult of some kind, but definitely not an "occult".

It was located in an office building & only was around there for about three months.

The truth is not all cults are bad, but I will say there are some weird ones out there. Some people easily confuse cults with occults.

webdog
09-03-2009, 09:17 AM
Apparently if you raise your kids to be family oriented.
...or refuse to attend a local church while following Bill Gothard.

Revmitchell
09-03-2009, 11:15 AM
...or refuse to attend a local church while following Bill Gothard.

Two separate issues the second being of no consequence outside of your subjective standard. Even adding them together, which is incorrect, does not equal a cult.

kyredneck
09-03-2009, 11:24 AM
....your criteia for judging a religion as a "cult" ?

Is this too simplistic to go by these days?:

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not Jesus is not of God...... 1 Jn 4:2,3

webdog
09-03-2009, 11:33 AM
Two separate issues the second being of no consequence outside of your subjective standard. Even adding them together, which is incorrect, does not equal a cult....according to your subjective standard. I see them as quite intertwined.

Revmitchell
09-03-2009, 11:36 AM
...according to your subjective standard. I see them as quite intertwined.

You need them intertwined.

webdog
09-03-2009, 11:37 AM
You need them intertwined.:rolleyes: More "subjective standard" on your part...

Revmitchell
09-03-2009, 11:38 AM
:rolleyes: More "subjective standard" on your part...


So you have no real standard?

webdog
09-03-2009, 11:40 AM
So you have no real standard?Yes, and it's not you.

Thinkingstuff
09-03-2009, 11:59 AM
I have a real standard. Any one who doesn't agree with me is a cult. Very simple and straight forward. Though there is no dictionary that holds this point of view so by my definition all dictionaries are products of a cult. :laugh:

Marcia
09-03-2009, 02:19 PM
Is this too simplistic to go by these days?:

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not Jesus is not of God...... 1 Jn 4:2,3

This is only good in context of gnosticism. At the time, the "Christian Gnostics" denied that Jesus had a human body because they believed the body (and the material world) to be evil. John was writing against the Gnostic teachings partially in 1 John and so he had this statement.

This statement is not a test for many other heresies.

Marcia
09-03-2009, 02:21 PM
Cult is a perfectly good word if used correctly. It describes many groups that are dangerous (such as Jim Jones, Koresh, Heaven's Gate, Church of Scientology, and others) and is useful when identifying groups that claim to be Christian but are not, such as the JWs, LDS, Oneness, etc. I do not use this term when talking to cultists but it is a good and useful term when educating believers on these groups. Just because a term is misused does not mean we can't use it.

Most people don't see a use for the term until someone in their family or church as joined a cult.

HankD
09-03-2009, 04:09 PM
This is only good in context of gnosticism. At the time, the "Christian Gnostics" denied that Jesus had a human body because they believed the body (and the material world) to be evil. John was writing against the Gnostic teachings partially in 1 John and so he had this statement.

This statement is not a test for many other heresies.

Actually the word here for flesh is sarx which in koine means mortal flesh(subject to death) energized by blood.

The koine word for body is soma.

So, IMO this passage has a much wider scope than the error of "Gnosticism" which is not mentioned in the text of this passage.

Anyone who denys either the true deity or the true humanity of Christ comes under the condemnation of this passage.


Here is the Scripture logic.

John 1
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
...
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

HankD

Dr. Bob
09-03-2009, 04:09 PM
CHARACTERISTICS OF A CULT (adapted from Josh McDowell's book Understanding the Cults)

These are for "Christian" Cults, although they may apply to cults within Hinduism, Buddhism, etc as well

1. MEW TRUTH
Revelation from God is continuing and THEY have it. They have some book (or some translation that is the "real" truth and all else is not authority

2. NEW INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE
They hold the "Key" to understanding the mysteries of the Bible. Like neo-orthodoxy they use Bible words, but reinterpret Scripture to fit cult doctrine

3. NEW JESUS
II Corinthians 11:4 warns of this attempt. Anything less than 100% God the Son and 100% human is heresy

4. NEW CHRISTIANITY
Church has departed from the faith. Use Christianity as a "spring board" into all areas of belief

5. NEW LANGUAGE
Double-talk - public consumption vs. private is very different

6. NEW GOD
Replacing Triune Godhead with someone or something else (Satan, spirits, gods or goddesses replace YHWH)

7. NEW THEOLOGY
No absolute foundation leads to shifting and ever changing belief systems

8. NEW LEADERSHIP
In place of reading and interpreting the Word as "priests", cults often have strong leaders with unique access to God

9. NEW SALVATION
Cults always emphasis WORKS to do or follow. Salvation is a process, only accessible to those in the cult


I would say a SECT of Christianity might have 1 or 2 of these characteristics, but still be mainline orthodox. They are confused doctrinally but probably still regenerated (Charismatic, Pentecostal, KJVonly, some Christian Church/Church of Christ)

A CULT would have 7+ of these marks (Jehovah's Witnesses, Latter Day Saints, Christian Science, Adventists, Masonic Lodge, Church of God, Moonies)

Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy are Christian DENOMINATIONS and not cults (although many argue Romanism to be a pagan religion totally separate from the general teachings of Christianity)

Marcia
09-03-2009, 04:30 PM
Actually the word here for flesh is sarx which in koine means mortal flesh(subject to death) energized by blood.

The koine word for body is soma.

So, IMO this passage has a much wider scope than the error of "Gnosticism" which is not mentioned in the text of this passage.

Anyone who denys either the true deity or the true humanity of Christ comes under the condemnation of this passage.



Yeah, I know about those words but it is still talking about denying that Jesus came in a real human body. The verse says anything about denying the deity of Christ. You are adding that to it.

Dr. Bob
09-03-2009, 04:32 PM
Yeah, I know about those words but it is still talking about denying that Jesus came in a real human body. The verse says anything about denying the deity of Christ. You are adding that to it.

That Jesus is GOD is the assumed premise. Those who deny GOD became MAN (thus dying, redemption, etc) is what the heretics are.

Marcia
09-03-2009, 05:00 PM
That Jesus is GOD is the assumed premise. Those who deny GOD became MAN (thus dying, redemption, etc) is what the heretics are.

I was responding to a question about this as a test:
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not Jesus is not of God...... 1 Jn 4:2,3Yes, the presumption overall in 1 John is that Jesus is God but this specific statement is saying that those who deny that Jesus came in a human body are not from God. It was a test for the early Gnostics (most scholars and Christian commentators believe) who denied that Jesus came in a body. This sentence does not address the deity of Christ and is not giving that as a test. I'm not talking about the overall requirements for heresy.

(Some New Agers will say Jesus is God but they are not Christians. So that is not always a good test, either. They may say that because they think everyone is divine or is God).

This is what that passage is I John is probably about:
Docetism, an early Christian heresy affirming that Jesus Christ had only an apparent body. The doctrine took various forms: Some proponents flatly denied any true humanity in Christ; some admitted his incarnation but not his sufferings, suggesting that he persuaded one of his followers -- possibly Judas Iscariot or Simon of Cyrene -- to take his place on the cross; others ascribed to him a celestial body that was incapable of experiencing human miseries.
This denial of the human reality of Christ stemmed from dualism, a philosophical doctrine that viewed matter as evil. The docetists, acknowledging that doctrine, concluded that God could not be associated with matter. They could not accept a literal interpretation of John 1:14 that the "Word became flesh."

http://emp.byui.edu/MarrottR/352Folder/ism%20collection.html

HankD
09-04-2009, 10:28 AM
Yeah, I know about those words but it is still talking about denying that Jesus came in a real human body. The verse says anything about denying the deity of Christ. You are adding that to it.OK, let me repeat with some additional thoughts Marcia.

I showed you the scriptural logic and that by the same human author John the Apostle inspired by the Holy Spirit in both his gospel and epistles.

...The Word was God...
...The Word became flesh...

1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

"Jesus" His name referring to His manhood.
"Christ" His title referring to His deity.

The fact is that the phrase "human body" is not used, neither the word "body" to make it perfectly clear from the word sarx that Christ was/is a human being with human nature (apart from sin) subject to death as well as being truly God come in the flesh.

In other words, Jesus Christ did not just appear to be a human being, He was a human being (born of woman) and as such was subject to death.

Angels have appeared as "men" with an apparent human body but they are not human beings. They were not "come in the flesh", nor "born of woman" and are not subject to death.

While Scripture is our final authority, above is the argument (and Scriptures) that Tertullian used against Marcion from this passage.

Marcia, I understand what you are saying about and appreciate your knowledge concerning the ancient error called Gnosticism which is still with us today disguised in other forms. I am only trying to be helpful and fill in your extensive background.

The emphasis of this passage (1 John 4:2-3) is His mortal human nature (sarx) more than His human body (soma). His name Jesus referring to His humanity and the title "Christ" referring to His deity.

God bless you in your diligence.

HankD

Marcia
09-04-2009, 03:45 PM
OK, let me repeat with some additional thoughts Marcia.

I showed you the scriptural logic and that by the same human author John the Apostle inspired by the Holy Spirit in both his gospel and epistles.

...The Word was God...
...The Word became flesh...

1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

"Jesus" His name referring to His manhood.
"Christ" His title referring to His deity.

The fact is that the phrase "human body" is not used, neither the word "body" to make it perfectly clear from the word sarx that Christ was/is a human being with human nature (apart from sin) subject to death as well as being truly God come in the flesh.

In other words, Jesus Christ did not just appear to be a human being, He was a human being (born of woman) and as such was subject to death.

Angels have appeared as "men" with an apparent human body but they are not human beings. They were not "come in the flesh", nor "born of woman" and are not subject to death.

While Scripture is our final authority, above is the argument (and Scriptures) that Tertullian used against Marcion from this passage.

Marcia, I understand what you are saying about and appreciate your knowledge concerning the ancient error called Gnosticism which is still with us today disguised in other forms. I am only trying to be helpful and fill in your extensive background.

The emphasis of this passage (1 John 4:2-3) is His mortal human nature (sarx) more than His human body (soma). His name Jesus referring to His humanity and the title "Christ" referring to His deity.

God bless you in your diligence.

HankD


So you are saying it is about denying the humanity of Jesus? Why do all the commentators say it is about denying that Jesus came in an actual human body?

Revmitchell
09-04-2009, 04:00 PM
So you are saying it is about denying the humanity of Jesus? Why do all the commentators say it is about denying that Jesus came in an actual human body?

Do you really see a difference in those two?

Marcia
09-04-2009, 04:05 PM
Do you really see a difference in those two?

Technically, from one perspective, no. But it's a matter of emphasis. The Gnostics thought the body was bad so they said Jesus as God could not appear in a real human body. That is what 1 John is addressing in that verse. The human flesh of Jesus - an actual, material body, was the Gnostics' sticking point with Jesus. I am just trying to be accurate at to what their issue was as it relates to that one verse. This is what Docetism is.

HankD
09-04-2009, 05:54 PM
So you are saying it is about denying the humanity of Jesus? Why do all the commentators say it is about denying that Jesus came in an actual human body?Yes, but His deity as well when one takes all of the writings of John into consideration.

You used the phrase "actual human body" and that's a semantic precision with which I would agree. He had an actual birth, He felt actual pain and suffering when He was on the cross, He actually died as a human being and shed actual blood giving up His life as our ransom.

All these truths were/are denied in one way or another by those in error to this very day.

They claimed that though He had a body it was a body like the one that appeared to Abraham and the other "theophanies". Or like that of an angel appearing to people as a "man" but not an "actual" (by birth) human body.

Jesus was truly human in that He was flesh (sarx), born of a woman, mortal, subject to death, feeling hunger, pain. So, yes, He had an actual human body in every sense of the phrase (apart from sin).

Those in error were baffled as to how God could become a real flesh man with an actual human body.

The pharisees had it backwards:

"thou, being a man, makest thyself God" when in reality it was God being made a flesh and blood man.

There were many kinds of "heretics" manifest in the early years of the church. Gnostics were only one of many. They all had a problem with one or the other, His deity or His humanity (or both) and the distinction between the persons of the Father and the Son.

That it why I believe John was very precise with the word sarx and that the LOGOS was God, was with God and became sarx.

Marcia, I admire your scriptural ablitity and my pupose is not to contradict or say you are wrong but to add (FWIW) a little more to your knowledge.

I appreciated the same as you pointed out to me the "oneness" Pentecostal doctrine which I had forgotten.


HankD

Marcia
09-05-2009, 12:27 PM
Yes, but His deity as well when one takes all of the writings of John into consideration.


Yes, I was talking about something called Docetism, or variations of it. Appearing to have a physical material body but not actually having one. I was addressing one specific verse that another poster asked about, not anything else. That one verse was addressing this heresy (most believe).


There were many kinds of "heretics" manifest in the early years of the church. Gnostics were only one of many. They all had a problem with one or the other, His deity or His humanity (or both) and the distinction between the persons of the Father and the Son.

That it why I believe John was very precise with the word sarx and that the LOGOS was God, was with God and became sarx.

Yes, I know there were many heresies, but it is a pretty universal agreement that this verse I was responding to is addressing the heresy of Docetism or something similar. That's all I was saying - someone asked if that verse was a good test for heresy, and I said it was not a test for all heresies but it was written to refute this particular heresy (Docetism or an early form of it). Also, we see it in 1 John 1:1 where the John emphasizes the physicality of Jesus -- "What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life--"
.

Marcia, I admire your scriptural ablitity and my pupose is not to contradict or say you are wrong but to add (FWIW) a little more to your knowledge.

I appreciated the same as you pointed out to me the "oneness" Pentecostal doctrine which I had forgotten.

Okay, thanks. I actually discuss Gnosticism (and refutations of early forms of it we see in the Bible) when I talk about New Age, so I've had to become somewhat familiar with it. I also know some of the early heresies such as Arianism (which is like what the JWs believe) and Sabellianism (which is the modalism of some of the Oneness followers), as well as several others. These are important to know because they are still around today, just with different names.

HankD
09-05-2009, 08:21 PM
Yes, I was talking about something called Docetism, or variations of it. Appearing to have a physical material body but not actually having one. I was addressing one specific verse that another poster asked about, not anything else. That one verse was addressing this heresy (most believe).




Yes, I know there were many heresies, but it is a pretty universal agreement that this verse I was responding to is addressing the heresy of Docetism or something similar. That's all I was saying - someone asked if that verse was a good test for heresy, and I said it was not a test for all heresies but it was written to refute this particular heresy (Docetism or an early form of it). Also, we see it in 1 John 1:1 where the John emphasizes the physicality of Jesus -- "What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life--"
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Okay, thanks. I actually discuss Gnosticism (and refutations of early forms of it we see in the Bible) when I talk about New Age, so I've had to become somewhat familiar with it. I also know some of the early heresies such as Arianism (which is like what the JWs believe) and Sabellianism (which is the modalism of some of the Oneness followers), as well as several others. These are important to know because they are still around today, just with different names.Yes and they will be till He comes. It's good to know that there are people like yourself to help the deceived. It's a difficult and often times a discouraging ministry.

Keep up the labor of love.

HankD

Marcia
09-06-2009, 04:49 PM
Yes and they will be till He comes. It's good to know that there are people like yourself to help the deceived. It's a difficult and often times a discouraging ministry.

Keep up the labor of love.

HankD

Thank you, Hank! :wavey: