Mark Driscol over at The resurgence writes in Now the Mainline Churches Make Sense As he and his son passed a “liberal mainline church” his son asked what the beliefs of that church were. and I told him they do not believe people are sinners, do not believe the Bible is to be taken literally but is more like a fantasy video game, do not believe you need Jesus to go to heaven, and do believe that being gay is cool with Christ. For a minute he looked like a dog that had just heard a high-pitched whistle and there was an awkward silence as he waited for me to say I was just kidding. After a few moments he could tell I was being serious and then said, “That is the exact opposite of what God says in the Bible. How can they still call themselves a church? They should get another name because they’re just confusing people if they say they are a church.” “They’re just confusing people!” I think that was the most intelligent summary of heresy I’ve heard in a long time. My oldest daughter and I have these kind of discussions fairly regularly. It’s tough as an adult living in a world increasingly hostile to […]
The magnificence of God demands that the study of Him requires more than our finite minds can offer. This is certainly true when it comes to studying God as Father, Son and Spirit; God as Trinity. In the first centuries the doctrine was not defined but it was still, simply held. From the beginning the disciples recognized God in Three Persons, One Essence.
John Owen, the Puritan wrote, “the sum of this revelation in this matter is, that God is one ; — that this one God is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost ; — that the Father is the Father of the Son ; and the Son, the Son of the Father ; and the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of the Father and the Son ; and that, in respect of this their mutual relation, they are distinct from each other.” 1
The apostles heard Jesus order them to baptize in the (singular) name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They heard Jesus proclaim that the Spirit would be another of the same kind. They recognized and rightly worshiped Jesus as fully God. And they heard Jesus proclaim that He and the Father were one, and demonstrate it by His works. Hearing and seeing and experiencing God in the flesh before them as they did, they were led inexorably to the unity of God in trinity.
The Trinity is one of the most boggling concepts in the scripture, and all of our struggles to comprehend it fall short.
One of the most complete statements on the trinity is the Athanasian creed. Written perhaps around 500 AD (up to two hundred years after Athanasius (died Ca 373AD))
There are three characteristics that are consistent across every person I’ve ever known who was looking for a fight.
1) Some if not all of them Just liked to argue.
2) They believed at some level that they might be wrong and thus were prepared to duke it out from the start, no matter what the issue.
3) They had a much higher view of themselves than they merited. People who do not know them might well describe them as arrogant after meeting them.
Last time we talked about the identifying marks of a heretic; while this week we are going to look at a few more identification marks which pretty well double up to show us some of what motivates them. So in order to help refresh your memory: a heretic:
teaches a different doctrine,
disagrees with sound teaching,
and as a result rejects godliness which the gospel should invariably produce in the life of a true believer.
By rejecting the scriptures they embrace ignorance never examining the end result of their obstinacy. Proverbs 21:16 says, “A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead.” The end result of heresy is death. Thus it is nothing to be trifled with.
If you return to 1 Timothy 6:4 we step into their motivation.