Fear Of Whales

Archive for January, 2017

Only about Ten Heresies

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A long long time ago I was in college and had a very clever college pastor. Things didn’t work out, it’s a long story told during my first year of blogging, but he had one very good idea that I keep coming back to.

”There are only really about ten heresies” He said. They just keep coming back once everyone forgets we already condemned them. I think he has an incredible point that clariefies much of christian history.

I don’t claim to have the athouratative list bit i’ve been working on it. Basicly you go one way or the other with one of a couple important parts of the faith, like:

TRINITY: Denying the Oneness
If you think that one of the parts of the trinity is more important than the other parts, or that they all work together for form God like voltron instead of being God in and of themselfs, you done goofed. We have silly names for it like Tritheism and Pneumatomachianism, but basicly they are all various ways to fail to aknowledge God is one

TRINITY: Denying the Threeness
If you feel like being wrong about the trinity, but counting to one is not a problem for you, you may liket to deny God’s Threeness. Call it Modalism, or Patripassionism or Oneness Pentecostalism, it’s all one thing and it was condemned in Smyrna long long ago.

JESUS: Denying the Goditude
Maybe Jesus was a mortal man who was adopted by God, or maybe he was the union of word and flesh, but distinct from and lower than the “Son of God”. Maybe he’s really just a symbol and not a real thing we should actually look for in history. Whatever dude. I don’t need to memorize a new name for this mistake. It’s wrong.

JESUS: Denying the Manitude
So If that’s wrong that maybe we should go the other way. Maybe gos only “appeared” to be Jesus and his earthly form was an illusion, or maybe he was so perfect that he kinda metaphorically hovered a quarter inch off the ground. Maybe his divine nature totally usurped and superceded his human nature and made it irrelevant. Nope. None of those are true. Christ was fully human.

SALVATION: Denying the Law
This one is popular (and popularly condemned) right now. Sort of a Universalist “noncondemnationalism” I can do whatever i want, believe whatever I want, God forgives anything and everything for everyone all the time. There is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus… But the bible, and all of church history has some pretty concrete things to say about those that are not in Christ Jesus, whether they go to church or not.

SALVATION: Denying the Gospel
This one is even more common, and frighteningly rarley condemned in the subculture. Orthodox Christians profess salvation by Grace alone through faith alone but nothing. So if you have a belief that “you are not saved unless you ____ “ it does not matter what you fill the blank with, you are a heretic. Because you are not saved unless Jesus saves you, and what you do has nothing to do with it. It used to be called “Pelegianism” not it’s more commonly called “Legalism” but while the former was clearly denounced as a rejection of Jesus and everything he lived died for, the latter is usually meant to mean someone should lighten up. Legalists should not “lighten up” they should repent and believe the good news. They are wrong.

I honestly can’t think of any more off the top of my head.

What do you think?

Does that cover it?

Should I make room for something about Eschatology? Being obsessed with the bay or hour, vs denying the parousia?

I thought about some behavorial heresies like antinomianism, but honesly I think those are covered under salvation.

You tell me

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January 11th, 2017 at 2:54 am

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roasted-broccoli-horiz-close-1200I like broccoli a lot, but didn’t always like broccoli.

It used to be something that I tolerated, because I knew it was good for me.

I didn’t hate it or anything. I just considered it palatable only when covered in gobs of ranch, or cheese.

Then one say everyting changed.

I found a recipie, that sugested roasting brocoli with olive oil and garlic on high heat for a short time.

It was an absolute game changer in my relationship with brocoli.

Suddenly i could eat broccoli as a main course, center stage in a dish, and really enjoy it for what it is! This recipie even helped me appreciate other dishes with broccoli in them, because I feel like I know what the broccoli flavor is really all about now.

Why an I telling you this?

I feel like a lot of people have a relationship with scripture that is like my relationship to broccoli. We know it is good for us, but we don’t enjoy it. We stuff it down when we can, by serving it alongside worship songs and didactic sermons. We read “devotionals” instead of scritures, and we tell ourselfs they count because they mention scripture verses in them, but we don’t stop and ask ourselfs why the scriptures cannot be the main course.

We don’t like the taste.

That’s the reason. And it’s a legitimate one. We find it boring, or confusing, or irrelevant, or bitter. So we make sure to cover the taste with something sweet or cheesy, and then show off our clean plate.

But I think there is a way to serve scripture as a main course that people authentically love, and don’t have to pretend be fine with. I thinks that’s how scripture got to be scripture in the first place. I think that if we dispense with the search for dressings, and set about figuring our how to roast it right, we will change people’s relationship to the Word of God.

I just haven’t figured out what it is yet.

This analogy, more than anything else, closley describes what I hope to do with my life of ministry.

Find that broccoli recipie for every book in scripture, and teach it to people.

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January 5th, 2017 at 1:52 am

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