So what is heresy?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by 4His_glory, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. 4His_glory

    4His_glory
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    In another topic it was brought up that we need to define heresy. It does seem like it is a term thrown about rather flipantly at times. So lets BIBLICALY define it. What does the Bible say heresy is? Considering that some insuitate that Calvinists or MV users are heretics, it would be nice to know what a heretic really is and not what others wish it to be.

    Please do not let this degrade into an atack on Calvanism or Bible translations, lets just define biblical heresy.
     
  2. dianetavegia

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    The article is too long to post here so follow this link:
    http://www.letusreason.org/Pent38.htm
     
  3. LRL71

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    dianetavegia,

    That's one of the best definitions of heresy that I've read! [​IMG]

    Thank you for sharing it with all of us.
     
  4. El_Guero

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    That is pretty concise!
     
  5. PastorSBC1303

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    Diane, great article, thanks.
     
  6. Soulman

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    I think Diane nailed it.
     
  7. Bro. James

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    "Recant, O heretic, or you will die."--my supposition of verbage from one of the inquisitions.

    Millions of saints have died as "heretics" at the hands of "the orthodox". Have we forgotten?
    Yes, "Christians" killing Christians.

    I would refine the definition of heresy: it is any departure from the Word of God. Heresy is a false teaching, not necessarily apostolic--God had to show Peter, an apostle, about clean and unclean. Anytime we vest infallibility in a person we are on "thin ice". Only God is without error--including His Word.

    As far as "orthodoxy" is concerned, this concept has been defined by those "in power", especially where "the Church, universal, has been married to the State--a practice which is a good example of early false teaching. We nearly had a "state church" in the U.S.(a different thread)
    The heresy of "universal" church is the "mother" of many heresies which still exist.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  8. 4His_glory

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    Actually orthodoxy is a good term that has been abused just like "Christian". Should we stop using "Christian"?

    The defenition that was given was pretty good, especially considering it does use one verse to support it self.

    Peter was not called a heretic for his lack of understanding concerning clean and unclean. Heresy is a very strong condemnation, I think it needs to be defined more specificly from the Scriptures.

    You are right, only God is with-out error, but not all error is heresy. Some would call anyone who uses a different version than the KJ a heretic :rolleyes:

    Some will claim that Calvinism is a deviation from Scripture (I think contrary), so according to your defenition that is heresy. That would mean then that a number of godly men through church history are heretics. I don't know anyone who is willing to claim the John Bunyan and C.H. Spurgeon, and William Carey, are heretics.

    Heresy needs to be defined biblically and what I would like to see is a discussion along that vein.

    So with that note I will begin.

    Heresy comes from the Greek word "hairesis" which means a choice, or a choosing. It also denotes a body of men who follow a particualr set of tennets. There is more to the defenition, but first here is a list of passages that use the one above:
    Ac 5:17 15:5 24:5,14 26:5

    In each of those referance "hairesis" is translated sect in the KJV, the ESV uses the word party.

    Later in the NT Paul gives the word a differnt flavor. In Galatians 5:20 Paul lists it as a work of the flesh. In 1Cor. 11:19 he uses it to describe schim in the church. The NKJV gives a better translation here than the KJV when it uses the word "factions". Remember this is thoes who have chosen to follow a certain set of tennets or beliefs.

    In Titus 3:10 Paul uses the word again: "Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition," (NKJV) Those admonitions are mentioned in the previous verse: "But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless." (NKJV)

    Peter uses the word in 2Peter 2:1: "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction." (NKJV)The teaching of these false prophets is a denial of Christ Himself.

    Notice the adjective "destructive" is used to describe which kind of heresies, since "hairesis" can denote any sect of people ascrbing to certain beliefs, such as Christians as was noted in Acts 24:5.

    This is the meaning that heresy has come to today. A destructive doctrine that denies Christ. I think this would eliminate calling Calvinists heretics since they certainly do not deny Christ. If we followed this instruction from Peter, we would only use it to describe thoes who deny Christ, therefore eliminating our reckless labling of other brothers and sister in teh faith as heretics.
     
  9. av1611jim

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    __________________________________________________
    I have added my own emphasis to your comments.

    It is to this comment I offer a hearty AMEN AND AMEN!
    I get so tired of my brethren tossing about the "H" word, applying it to anyone with whom they disagree.
    I, personally, think perhaps self-righteousness or pride is involved in such tactics.
    "Holier than thou" sound familiar?
    Whenever anyone elevates themselves over their brethren, they are on dangerous spiritual ground.
    I agree; we ought to Biblically define the word and apply it thusly.

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  10. 4His_glory

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    Your right Jim, I think it is often a self-righteous pride that is the source of some folks throwing around the "H" label so carelessly.

    I think if we understand heresy in the way it was intended we will regocnize that not all error is hersey. In other words there are varrying degrees of error, consequently there are varrying degrees of separation.
     
  11. Soulman

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    Error is one thing and degrees of error. False doctrine is another and fits the definition of heresy.
     
  12. 4His_glory

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    Ummm... false docrine is error, but according to Sripture heresy is doctrine that denies Christ, so not all false doctrine is technically heresy. Heresy has come to mean any type of false doctrine , but biblically speaking it is doctrine that denies Christ.

    I personally feel that A-millenialism is false teaching, or doctrine, that does not make it heresy though since it does not deny the Lord Jesus Christ. It is worng, but it is not heresy. The point I am trying to make is that heresy is used to loosly in today's climate.
     
  13. av1611jim

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    What is the BIBLICAL definition?
    4his-glory has given it. That is where it should stay. As I said before, too often we toss that word around and all it does is inflame emotionalism which is carnality. Is THAT a Biblical response we are seeking?

    We should speak out against error and loudly oppose heresy. but we should never ascribe the "H" label to a brother/sister in Christ who disagrees with our brand.

    Are Presbyterians heretics because they sprinkle instead of immerse? There are dozens of errors which do NOT deny Christ.

    To SOME I am heretical in my KJVo stand. I don't believe it to be error yet some do. I would NEVER ascribe the same (heresy) to they who use MV's.

    Whatever happened to charity? [​IMG]

    Jesus rightly said, "When the son of Man cometh, will He find faith on the earth?" If he does it will only be the "7000 who have not bowed the knee to Belial". Meaning they who have not succumed to the prevalent carnal mindset. We ought to get out of our flesh and see "What saith the LORD."

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  14. James_Newman

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    What exactly does the bible mean when it speaks of 'denying Christ'? We see Peter's denial (1,2,3) and this was obviously a flat denial that he knew Jesus. But 'deny' may have many facets. To say that amillennialism doesn't deny Christ, well, in what way do you mean? It denies that He will sit on the throne of David and reign on this earth from Jerusalem, as stated in the bible. Would this not be denying Him His rightful position as King of Kings?
     
  15. omalley

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    Not to get too nit-picky, but my view is that Jesus is indeed reigning on David's throne now, which is at the right hand of God. I don't deny Christ's exaltation at all. It seems to me that most people either over-simplify an issue (as in this case) or think their view is the only answer or make blanket statements like 'as stated in the bible', which shows a complete lack of understanding of a different view and leads to calling all others a 'heretic'. It's exactly this mindset that started this thread in the first place and which causes people to sling the 'H' word around at other Christian brothers. It's just plain wrong.

    Heretically yours,
    Omalley
     
  16. James_Newman

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    That would be a good topic for another thread [​IMG]
     
  17. 4His_glory

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    Amen Jim, I am glad you see the point I am trying to make. I do not call KJVoers heretics, I don't agree with them, but they are not heretics. I am gald you see the same about MVers.
     
  18. 4His_glory

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    What exactly does the bible mean when it speaks of 'denying Christ'? We see Peter's denial (1,2,3) and this was obviously a flat denial that he knew Jesus. But 'deny' may have many facets. To say that amillennialism doesn't deny Christ, well, in what way do you mean? It denies that He will sit on the throne of David and reign on this earth from Jerusalem, as stated in the bible. Would this not be denying Him His rightful position as King of Kings? </font>[/QUOTE]Remeber that Peter said destructive heresies, or literally heresies that bring destruction. This distinguishes it from other uses of the word, as when it it applied to Christians.

    Also we see that the Greek word used for "Lord" is "despotes" which means: master, or absolute ruler. It denotes absolute power and ownership. This is very different from the typical word that is tranlated Lord in the Scriptures.

    Peter's denial of Christ was different. He wished to separate himself from Jesus' prescensce in order to spare his life. He was not denying that Christ was indeed the Lord of all, for his brokeness of heart and repentent spirit later reveal that he still bowed before Christ as Lord.

    The short of it is this: to deny Christ as mentioned in this passage is to reject His absolute rule over everything, consequently, who needs Him as a Savior.
     
  19. omalley

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    You completely missed my point. I wasn't debating the finer points of other millennial views, I was using that as an illustration of the bigger problem. Using your mindset and methods, we could take every issue where we differ and call each other heretics over it. Thats the point. I believe this quote is applicable:

    “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials liber­ty; and in all things, charity."

    In light of this, the task becomes to define the essentials.
     
  20. 4His_glory

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    Excellent quote, it goes along with the point I have been trying to make. [​IMG]
     

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