Most heretics come from an attempt to tie together paradoxes in the Scriptures.
After reports had been published that Mark Twain had died, the still-living author wrote in to the New York Journal with this quip: “The report of my death was an exaggeration”. I wonder if we could say the same about some of the early heresies — because they aren’t quite dead yet.
Definition of Heresy
According to dictionary.com, the following is a breakdown of the common definition of "heresy":
- opinion or doctrine at variance with the orthodox or accepted doctrine, especially of a church or religious system.
- the maintaining of such an opinion or doctrine.
- the willful and persistent rejection of any article of faith by a baptized member of the church.
- any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs, customs, etc.
Meaning of Heresy
- Heresy is not the same as error.
- Heresy is the choice to abandon the widely accepted teaching on an essential doctrine and embrace one’s own view.
- Heresy is to “preach another gospel”, as Paul stated in Galatians 1:9: "As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed."
- Technically speaking something is not a heresy just because the church deemed it so. It is heretical because it is a teaching which has abandoned the “pattern of sound teaching”.
Here are four heresies which aren't quite dead yet: