I love this @cseebald!
Richard, I love your thoughts here. Interesting timing. I also attended a unity event at the end of June. I recorded my thoughts on this video. We’re totally on the same wave length.
It seems like this topic—unity and oneness among the Body of Christ—keeps popping up every time I turn around. So, either God is trying to tell me something, personally, or I keep hearing about it because he’s talking to everyone else about it too. I’ll take the former but I really hope it’s the latter.
I think we need to observe that Paul would not allow heresy. So I will not have acceptance of Mormons or JW who use the word Jesus and claim to be Christian, they are not. As for the denominations that have at their code orthodox (not spelled with a capital), traditional Christianity I can accept them even though it usually happens they dont accept me. Just one example, my pastor has cut me off because I dont believe the KJ is the only Gods words even though I use KJ for my reading and study.
Do you know the original meaning of the word “heresy”?
belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine.
Wrong. That’s what the word has come to mean. Would you like to know what it originally meant? And why it’s important to know the original meaning?
Yes I would also like to know why the word nice means something different today than it used to mean. Acts 24.14 is an biblical example of the use of the word.
Sorry, @hemetoutpost, I’m not following. Where do you find the word “nice” in the Bible?
Pedant was in the sixteenth century a schoolmaster, strong and vigorous’ is one of the earliest meanings of nervous (as in full of nerves, or sinews). There are many other such examples. Promiscuous used to mean confused or undistinguished, while the first punk was a was a prostitute.
I suppose I should say Richard that I appreciate this conversation. Discussion makes me reevaluate my understanding of things. I want to be correct so I can help people. So thank you. Perhaps I should have waited for your definition because I would like to know. I included the word nice not as a biblical reference but as an example of a word that no longer means what it used to mean.
A biblical example of a word that changed meanings was the word ekklesia. It started out as meaning called out ones but came to mean the church people.
Looking forward to your reply,
Ah, @hemetoutpost, gotcha! Then yes, we are totally tracking here! These are great examples, by the way. (Nerd side note: I once looked up a list of words that now mean the exact opposite of what they originally meant.) Okay… Let me get some of my thoughts organized so I can make a proper reply. I think you’re gonna like this one. It kinda blew my mind when I found out about it.
While Im waiting for your compedium Id like to ask if you have a book on biblical interpretation youd recommend. Ive read several, some better than others and oddly it seems to me none the same. The most recent one I read was Gordon Fee NEW TESTAMENT EXEGESIS. It was written for pastors and seminary students so I didnt get a lot out of it.
meanwhile back in the forum
Me: “I heard heresy means something different than what it actually has come to mean. I’ve no idea what it is though!”
Also me: “So…is heresy just hearsay?”
Oh man… Thank you! I totally forgot I didn’t reply to this!
No worries, brother! I’m a word nerd so I read this and got all excited!
So, peep this… According to the dictionary, a “heresy” is “a belief or opinion contrary to orthodox Christian doctrine.” Naturally, this definition colors our interpretations of verses like these:
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies…” - Galatians 5:19-20 (KJV)
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies…” - 2 Peter 2:1-3 (KJV)
Since the Bible strongly condemns heresy, and we believe “heresy” means “false doctrine”, it’s easy to feel quite justified in separating from other believers whose doctrine doesn’t line up with ours. Sadly, this is the exact opposite of what these verses actually mean!!!
The word we translate “heresy” is the Greek word αἵρεσις, which is transliterated as hairesis . And it actually means a “sect” or “party” or any other kind of subgroup that sets itself apart. It’s the exact same word used to identify the subgroup known as the Sadducees:
“Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party (hairesis) of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy.” - Acts 5:17 (NIV)
And it’s the same word they used to accuse Paul of causing division:
“We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect (hairesis) …” - Acts 24:5 (NIV)
Therefore, when the Bible condemns heresy, what it’s actually condemning is the act of creating a subgroup set apart from the rest of the Body; it’s condemning the practice of dividing from your brothers and sisters!
Let that sink in for a moment: How often do we point fingers and cry “heresy” in order to justify separating from other believers when, in fact, the the only “heresy” the Bible actually condemns is division itself???
What was the main source of Heresy in the Early Church
And boom goes the dynamite.
Great question. We just talked about this in our church meeting a couple days ago as we are expanding from one church to 2 churches, which many people were struggling with because they didn’t want to affect some of the relationships they’ve developed.
The thing about division is…it’s not just A strategy, it’s Satan’s primary and ultimate strategy. Sure, he uses other stuff like distractions, possessions and other things. But all of the other things can be worked with. If division enters, it’s over. The kingdom will not stand.
While doctrinal divisions may come up more online and through personal relationships, I find it’s more practical issues that typically rear their ugly head the most in churches. Divisive thoughts like “this meeting would go much better if I was facilitating it,” or “I’ll make this decision for everybody because they’re not mature enough to be involved in the decision.” Stuff like that.
One of the things I’m currently writing an article about is how a necessary element of a healthy church is commitment to a worthy mission. Without it, I believe division is bound to happen.
So I guess my answer to the question if I was present would have been a person will pay a price that’s reflective of the value they place on the mission they’re a part of.