An Example of the Spirit of Heresy

Marcion was a second century teacher of false doctrine who was branded a heretic early in the third century.  Tertullian wrote 5 books specifically addressing his teachings.  Concerning the god that was “created” by Marcion, Tertullian wrote….

“What a prevaricator of truth is such a god!  What a dissembler with his own decision!  Afraid to condemn what he really condemns, afraid to hate what he does not love, permitting that to be done which he does not allow, choosing to indicate what he dislikes rather than deeply examine it!  This will turn out an imaginary goodness, a phantom of discipline, perfunctory in duty, careless in sin.  Listen, ye sinners; and ye who have not yet come to this, hear, that you may attain to such a pass!  A better god has been discovered, who never takes offense, is never angry, never inflicts punishment, who has prepared no fire in hell, no gnashing of teeth in the outer darkness!  He is purely and simply good.  He indeed forbids all delinquency, but only in word.  He is in you, if you are willing to pay him homage, for the sake of appearances, that you may seem to honour God; for your fear he does not want.  And so satisfied are the Marcionites with such pretences, that they have no fear of their god at all.

Marcion created a”better” god by dividing the Word of God. Marcion threw out any and all writings that were too Jewish. He also discarded all writings that addressed wrath or judgment or punishment. He only allowed writings on love, grace, and acceptance. He compiled a “Bible” for his followers that did not contain the Old Testament. His “Bible” was a compilation of a changed version of the Gospel of Luke (because he wasn’t a Jew) and edited versions of Paul’s writings. That’s it. Through this he created a better god. Marcion viewed the God of the Old Testament as a vindictive lower level god. Jesus Christ was an improvement. He created…….

A god of love and grace….no room for wrath or judgment.
A god that’s always in a good mood…..no room for punishment or chastisement.
A god that accepts you as you are and requires no change….no room for hatred of sin.
A god that only wants you to change your mind about Him….no room for true repentance.
A god that is concerned about suffering and culture….but not sin or the heart of man.
A god that accepts all men in whatever state they are or choose to remain in…..because there is no hell or outer darkness.

This spirit is alive and well in today’s church. How does it work today ?

It still divides the Word of God but it is more subtle.
Instead of throwing away the Old Testament, it’s relegated to a lower status.
Or the whole Bible is divided into covenants and all but the new covenant is considered irrelevant.
Sometimes it focuses only on Ephesians or the letters of Paul and states that everything else is Old Covenant.
It teaches that there is no judgment or wrath or punishment left because it all happened in 70AD at the destruction of Jerusalem.

It feeds off of pride and unbelief.

Here’s the truth….

Any teaching that does not come from the understanding that the Word of God is unified in its expression of the nature of God…… is a product of the mind of man and the spirit of heresy.

Any teaching that does not understand the synergy of…

the Gospel and law
grace and sin
faith and repentance
Old Covenant and New Covenant
First Adam and Last Adam
Son of God and Son of Man
Lamb of God and Lion of Judah…

is actually inferior and its root is unbelief.

Beware of teachers who push a “better” theology or covenant or revelation.

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