What is Heresy?

By Amy Spreeman - Posted at Berean Research:


Heresy is a false teaching about the essential doctrines of our faith – the ones we must adhere to, regarding who God is, who Jesus is, salvation by grace, and Jesus’ resurrection. Non-essential beliefs are certainly worth discussing with passion (and love of course), but not to the point where those who hold opposite non-essential beliefs are considered heretical. It is also important to remember that sanctification (our growth in holiness, truth, and wisdom), often is on a different timeline from other brothers and sisters in Christ.

So what constitutes a heresy? There’s no better resource than what CARM (Christian Apologetics & Resource Ministry) has put together on the subject. At the bottom of this article is a list of heresies determined by church councils throughout the centuries, with links and explanations:

“Heresy is a belief or idea that is in contradiction to orthodoxy. In the context of Christianity, heresy is that which deviates from standard biblical teaching. Examples of heresy would be polytheism, a denial of the resurrection of Christ, a teaching that salvation is obtained by works, etc. The Christian church has experienced many attacks by heretics throughout the centuries, but it has fought them successfully – even though many persist. There are modern-day heresies. For example, Mormonism which teaches God is an exalted man from another planet and that we can become gods. The Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the Trinity, deny the deity of Christ, and deny salvation by grace alone through faith alone. Roman Catholicism also and works to salvation and promotes Mary worship.

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