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.

25 August, 2014

Heresy of the Week: Ophitism

This week's heresy is the "parent" heresy to last week's heresy.

Ophitism (also known as Ophianism) was a 2nd century Gnosticism sect. From what little survives about their sect today, they regarded the serpent from the Garden of Eden as heroic, superior and preferable to Christ, and that the God of the Old Testament is the enemy. They also believed in the Monophysitism teaching that Christ did not exist in the flesh. They believed that Christ was an imitator of Moses’ serpent’s power. Like other Gnosticism-family sects, they believed in multiple heavens and that the Creator God was to be despised. They believed the ultimate Father was Bythos (meaning “Depth”) and from him came the Father of All (or First Man), Ennoia, the Son of Man (or Second Man) and the Holy Spirit (or First Woman). From the Spirit came water, darkness, the abyss and chaos. Both the First and Second Men became so enamored with the beauty of the Holy Spirit, the three generated a third man, Christ, the Incorruptible Light. The myth goes on to tell of the creation of the evil material world. More than any other Gnostic sect, it appears that Ophitism most closely follows the Bible in their story of creation, the fall and redemption.

18 August, 2014

Heresy of the Week: Peratism

This week's heresy is one of the Gnostic heresies about which we know a good deal.

Peratism, meaning “to pass through” is a 2nd century Ophitism Gnosticism sect related to Borboritism, Mandaeism, Naassenism, and Sethianism. Little has survived about this sect other than in the writings of one early church father. They were largely focused on astrology and the influence of stars and planets on man, with many myths about the planets. It appears that they believed in a Trinitarian-like God with three divisions or “principles”: Pater (the Father, who was perfect goodness and unbegotten), Uios (the Son, considered to be the Word and the Serpent) and Hyle (the Spirit, who was fashioned by the Father but is without form). They seem to largely follow the redemption story of the Bible. The Serpent (meaning the Son) attracts to himself the “likeminded” (like iron is attracted to a magnet), who are called “Paratae”. The Paratae are those who have learned through gnosis how “to pass through” the corruption to which every created being is subjected. The ignorant were known by Peratians as “Egyptians”.

11 August, 2014

Heresy of the Week: Restorationism

This week's heresy, while perhaps noble in intent, is terrible in execution.

Restorationism (also known as Christian Primitivism or the Primitive Christian Movement) is a protestant (predominantly Hussite and Anabaptism) heretical belief that the woes of the church can be fixed by returning to the “primitive” or apostolic early church. In their attempt to “purify” the church, Restorationists are willing to throw out many orthodox beliefs to achieve a more  “ancient” form of religion. It is also connected with the Dispensationalism Christian Zionism movement, and Restorationism is often the name used for the Christian Zionism movement during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

04 August, 2014

Heresy of the Week: Subordinationism

This week's heresy sounds like the description to a syllogism.

Subordinationism is a heretical doctrine that says the Son and Holy Ghost are subordinate (or less than) the Father in both nature and being. While sometimes confused with Arianism, they are not the same. All Arianists subscribe to Subordinationism, but not all Subordinationalists believe in Arianism. Some see this as the middle ground between Sabellianism and Socinianism/Unitarianism.