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.

12 August, 2013

Heresies of the Week: The Seven Deadly "ism"s

A slight break from my usual heresy of the week post for the seven "ism"s destroying modern Christendom as laid out in Pr. Jonathan Fisk's wonderful book "Broken: 7 "Christian" Rules That Every Christian Ought to Break as Often as Possible".  Not all of these are actual "ism"s, in that they don't all end that way, but they are "ism"s in that they are movements rather than sound doctrine.

Without giving the book away, here are the 7 "ism"s (with their description from the website above):
  • Mysticism: Never follow a rule that follows your liver, your heart, your pancreas, or any other bodily organ that could conceivably have its mind changed by the shifting of the wind.
  • Moralism: Never follow a rule that wasn't written in stone a very, very long time ago (doubly so if the grass is only greener on the other side because it's made of plastic). 
  • Rationalism: Never follow a rule just because it makes sense (especially if it promises to work because it makes sense [and especially, especially if it either contains the words "spirit-led" or can be entirely explained by a petri dish full of midi-chlorians]).
  • Prosperity: Never follow a rule because it benefits you now (and if it mentions "abundance," run screaming from the room).
  • Pragmatism: Never follow a rule that has to start over (again and again … and again …) again.
  • Werechurch: Never follow a rule that doesn't like rules.
  • "Seven Degrees of You": Never follow a rule in order to justify yourself. Seriously.
There really is nothing new here.  Mysticism has been around forever (taking great root in the Gnostic and Arminian movements in particular); Moralism found its way via legalism and asceticism; Rationalism in the enlightenment; Prosperity in the "Prosperity Gospel" movement that is just reiterations of many older movements; Pragmatism is deep in Arminian theology (particularly the Charismatic movement); the "Werechurch" in some Gnostic sects and Antinomians; and the "Seven Degrees of You" is perhaps the most rampant in today's "me-centric" culture that has taken over much of American Christendom.

Heresies are important to study and learn, not only to be obnoxious or drudge up old history (although I'm okay with both of those as well), but because there is nothing new under the sun--and these things recycle themselves over and over and over and over.  I'm not doing this just to hear myself talk (er... read my writing?), but to hopefully remind fellow Christians that doctrine matters.  Sound doctrine matters.  Pure doctrine matters.  False doctrine is deadly.  And that is why I'm so "fixated" on heresies--because, in the end, it really matters.

P.S. Take some time to watch Worldview Everlasting.  It's awesome.

1 comment:

John said...

I highly recommend Fisk's book. Like you say, nothing new, but very good reminders for America today.