Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Heresy Among Believers

Maybe it has always existed, I mean from ten commandments came 600+ laws, dancing leads to many things and appropriateness is "important," but as I continue to read and grow in the scripture, I have become to see these thoughts (among others) as heresy in the church. I am certain some of these thoughts were well meaning, but i believe they are not Christ-like.

Personal preference or opinions versus scripture. Luke 4:1-13 is known as the "temptation of Jesus," Satan tempts Jesus and each time Jesus responds with scripture. Scripture reigns supreme in every situation in life, not our personal preference or opinion. Adding and taking away from the Word of God is sin. When various rules, schools of thoughts or tradition is counter to scripture, you should throw it out. Scripture should never be superseded by an opinion in all matters.

The acceptance of different generations. I believe this can be called Trans-Generation Ignorance. Trans-Generation Ignorance is the lack of knowledge about the various thoughts, trends, social interaction, patterns, norms, etc., from one generation to another generation. Trans-Generation Ignorance can tear apart a church body, push wedges between people, therefore not expanding the Kingdom of God (which is here and now).

Let me give you an example: if you are more concerned with the clothes someone is wearing, than the urgency concerning heaven or hell doesn't really matter to you because you can't get past clothing.

This reminds me of Jesus visit to the, "Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed," in John 5:1-15. These very people desperately needed Christ, at one point Jesus asks, "would you like to get well?" The sick man's response is, "I can't, sir, for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me." 

Did he almost miss the point because his focus was on something else other than Jesus' offer of healing? I'd say he almost missed out because he was more concerned about getting into the water and not Christ. 

"Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyze," can be anyone, look different, be a different age and communicate differently than you; choosing to disregard these differences is close-minded and is potentially sending some who is not like minded as you, to hell. (also see John 4:1-38, Acts 8:26-40; these are a couple of my favorite examples).

Real. Everything we say, see, do or not do goes noticed by someone, young or old, someone is watching; while being mindful of this, the 18-30 age range is looking for authentic faith. We are looking at the Hebrew and Greek text to find out what the scriptures teach, not some sugarcoated story or some rule that someone taught was scripture, but is not. Real is being honest, staying true to the word and doing your best at living it. When we slip and fall, we want help back up and not a slap in the face, kinda like scripture teaches.

Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."

I love this passage because it talks about the real change that comes when we follow Christ. The Greek word for transformed is metamorphoĊ to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure. When we accept Christ we become different and that difference is now our molding into Christ-likeness.

Freedom. Freedom. Freedom. In Braveheart, William Wallace says, "There's a difference between us. You think the people of this country exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom. And I go to make sure that they have it." 

Christ came to make sure we have freedom. Jumping back to Romans 7:6, "But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code." With Christ comes freedom, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery," Galatians 5:1. As we set out to share the gospel, reflecting Christ in and through us, we do it free from bondage! 

Bondage could look many different ways: caught up in legalistic traditions, opinions that supersede scripture, judgmental attitudes, etc.

I want to charge myself and anyone else to expel heresy in your sphere of influence; not to attack, but live out your faith in such a contentious manner that through your words and actions you abound in the real freedom of Christ.

God bless.

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