When discussing theology, I've come to realize that not only is personal study of doctrine a necessary component to faith, but it is something that shouldn't be kept to oneself. I want to share my journey, both past and ongoing, into the realm of theology. Through this, I hope that you will gain insight into the Christian faith as a whole. Before reading anything else, I suggest you read the introduction and definitions (found in the pages tabs above) so you may better understand where I am coming from in everything I write. Because many of my posts are on heresies, there is also a page above with a family tree of heresies and links to all the posts I have so far on the topic.

05 February, 2013

Heresy of the Week: Euchitism

While not still practiced (at least en masse), many themes from this week's heresy are present in modern protestantism, particularly, dismissal of the sacraments, that God "reveals" Himself to us mystically (rather than through His Word), and that we can save ourselves (even though most protestant churches would deny teaching that, they clearly do).

Euchitism, also known as Messalianism (both of which mean “one who prays” in Greek and Syriac, respectively), was first condemned as heretical at a synod in 383, and persisted well into the 12th century, being condemned again by resolution at the 1231 Council of Trier. It is considered to have influenced Bogomilism. This heretical sect taught “mystical materialism” and promoted a few strange teachings: first, that the essence (“ousia”) of the Trinity can be perceived by human senses; second, that the threefold (not triune) God transforms Himself into a single substance to unite with the souls of the perfect; third, that God takes different forms in order to reveal Himself to human senses; fourth, such revelations to the senses, and only such revelations, confer perfection upon a Christian; and fifth, that this state of perfection, which frees one from the world and passion, is only attained through prayer, therefore they eschewed the church, baptism and any sacraments. Once a person had experienced God with their senses, they were called the “perfecti” and freed from all moral obligations (Antinomianism). Some opponents have accused this sect of incest, cannibalism and other debauchery.

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