To be Christian, do you have to believe Christ is the only way to eternal life? Some who claim they are, don’t. Does a Christian think the Bible is divinely inspired scripture? There are many working on changing it. Are these recently revived heresies still wrong considering how many people believe them? Does the changing view of revolving society have any bearing on the eternal truths of God’s message and standards?
With all the variety of church teachings and practices that have come about, what could even be called heresy these days? To be heretical is to go against the predominant beliefs, but hairs have been split so many times there is little left that is sacred. The Nicene Creed and the apostles creed both still hold up in most churches, but little else has universal agreement. It seems as though anything else you want to throw in the mix with them is totally up for debate. Surely there must be a number of people required to agree on something before it is established as a “common belief”. Mormons, Jehovah’s witnesses, and a variety of other groups claim to be believers in Christ but have greatly different views than Roman Catholics or protestants. There are a lot of them, so does that disqualify their differences as heresy? Under the official definition, it would seem they are.
As a person trying to come to a more stable grip on what you truly believe, its impossible to find the answers by looking up and down a rule book, especially when the rule book has things in it contradicting any reasonable understanding or is otherwise completely unrelated to the scripture its supposed to uphold. Something becoming holy simply by being popular among a certain crowd screams out against the necessary universal truth required of something truly divine.
“Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
Jesus said this. It has been used to give way to a great many things which oppose his greatest commandments, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” The things common throughout religious communities that go against what the Bible teaches are far too numerous to get into, not to mention all the stuff that has been tacked on because it doesn’t say you can’t. Christ was offering an ongoing dialog with the understanding that the rest of his message has already been considered when petitioning for exception or change. We should not expect our neighbors to be struck down and all their stuff to be given to you and your brother in law because you prayed for it and said “in Jesus name” at the end.
He spoke of things like, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?” and“So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said, ‘this people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'” When reaching various consensus’, forgotten is the requirement of keeping with the teachings of God for their beliefs and traditions to be valid points of faith or honorable forms of worship.
If one man stands alone as the last one believing Christ died for his sins, is he a heretic, and if so, is that a bad thing?
Matters of faith are not simply a popularity contest. Every belief, every truth, even sharing the story of Jesus Christ has been exceedingly unpopular in different times and places. Countless people have stood for beliefs which now seem unquestionable, only to be burned alive because it wasn’t popular when they said it. If one man stands alone as the last one believing Christ died for his sins, is he a heretic, and if so, is that a bad thing? The way God enabled our redemption, was by coming into the world as a heretic. Bringing a message of love, understanding and reconciliation which was so unpopular he was crucified for it. It wasn’t a new message, looking back it was already spelled out in the earliest communications of God to men, it had simply been turned on its head through adaptation to popular opinion.
From the Sacred Calf in the desert to the murder of Jesus Christ, mass murder of unbelievers to mass suicide, commonality of beliefs in no way indicates correctness of beliefs. There is an ever growing expanse of beliefs, people always thinking they have found a more righteous path, and in our societal turn to ignore rather than confront, it will continue, heresy has become a nothing word with little to no consequence.