By Walid Shoebat
Christian essential doctrines are such that deviating from them has eternal consequences and deems the individual either orthodox or heretic. This week, a new astonishing survey published by LifeWay Research, an evangelical organization, shows that over half of Evangelicals would be considered absolute heretics and followers of the spirit of Antichrist when their theologies are compared to the early church and to biblical orthodoxy:
“Most American evangelicals hold views condemned as heretical by some of the most important councils of the early church, but a survey released by LifeWay Research for Ligonier Ministries “reveals a significant level of theological confusion,” said Stephen Nichols, Ligonier’s chief academic officer. Many evangelicals do not have orthodox views about either God or humans, especially on questions of salvation and the Holy Spirit, he said.”
When it comes to Mormonism, the survey showed that:
“6 percent of evangelicals think the Book of Mormon is a revelation from God, but an additional 18 percent aren’t sure and think it might be.”
Shoebat.com has struggled with much ridicule over our stance having seen many fall for the Glenn Beck phenomenon. Today Glenn Beck’s true colors are showing him to be anathematizing any Christian who oppose homosexuality as well as swaying major evangelical pastors to undermine the Trinity opting for the fame of Glenn Beck.
That when it came to even the Trinity, the survey reveals that nearly a quarter is infected with the Arian Heresy:
“nearly a quarter (22%) said God the Father is more divine than Jesus, and 9 percent weren’t sure. Further, 16 percent say Jesus was the first creature created by God, while 11 percent were unsure.”
The problem as we have seen and as it seems that there is much Scripture manipulation at play. For example, we encounter so many who even deny the Trinity, especially folks who are engrossed into the Hebrew Roots Movement and the Oneness Pentecostals.
For example, these argue that the early church apparently baptised in “the name of Jesus only” quoting Acts 8:16, Acts 10:48 and Acts 19:5 which according to them these verses reveal that early Christians baptized in “the name of Jesus” only.
While these controversies were solved during the early church era since “the name of Jesus” was simply to mean “in the authority of Jesus”. The New Testament revealed what such authority entails that when Jesus said, “…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” that the other verses meant the same thing.
In a similar fashion, as the article reveals that little is known today by most evangelicals that the idea, known as Arianism is gaining wide appeal as it was in the early church that even among clergy. But the difference is that this, during the early church, did not go unopposed:
Theologians Alexander and Athanasius of Alexandria, Egypt, argued that Arius denied Christ’s true divinity. Christ is not of similar substance to God, they explained, but of the same substance.
What the survey shows is that scripture isolation has become quite the trend on issues that were already established by the early church. But such settled controversies are completely ignored since many churches ignore history and early church councils. Today, its a trend to have a view that “scripture alone being sufficient” entails being clueless on early settled controversies, so today, a repetition of old heresies have been easily revived.
And such controversies were serious issues during the early church era:
Believing the debate could split the Roman Empire, Emperor Constantine convened the first ecumenical church council in Nicaea in A.D. 325. The council, comprising over 300 bishops, rejected Arianism as heresy and maintained that Jesus shares the same eternal substance with the Father. Orthodoxy struggled to gain popular approval, however, and several heresies revolving around Jesus continued to spread. At the second ecumenical council in Constantinople in 381, church leaders reiterated their condemnation of Arianism and enlarged the Nicene Creed to describe Jesus as “the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.”
But today, within church circles, the hatred of Constantine has carried the same sentiments as the liberal views on the man and the creeds are lacking trust since Constantine is falsely believed to have mixed Christianity with paganism.
This is an issue of struggle for Shoebat.com in which we wrote several exposes refuting the liberal agenda in its attacks on early church history and the church’s final warring militaristically with the Arians. Such lack of addressing these crucial issues now reveals as the results show that we were on the right, always resisting ridicule from folks who push an agenda that Christianity is not about knowledge throwing simplistic cliches and isolated verses in the comment box.
We continually argued that it’s not “all about Jesus” but it is “what Jesus is all about”.
During early church history wars erupted over the issue that “the Son is not a created being, nor can he be less divine than the Father.” While many think that the early Christians were wrong warring with the Arians, they believe such falsities because they lack understanding that Arianism brought severe aggression and persecution on the early church. Arianism results in what we see Islam doing today; they war with Christians for their doctrine on the Trinity and the best way to understand what an Arian was all about is to speak to Muslims. The generation that warred with Japan understands what Japan was all about. The generation today that wars with ISIS understands what ISIS is all about. But how will the next generation see our wars?
How than can a claiming Christian who never studied the early church struggles dismiss it all with the stroke of a comment on a blog that “Jesus is all about peace”?
But it even gets worse. The survey reveals that a whopping 51% blasphemed the Holy Spirit:
“if evangelicals sometime misunderstand doctrines about Jesus, the third member of the Trinity has it much worse. More than half (51%) said the Holy Spirit is ‘a force’ not ‘a personal being’. Seven percent weren’t sure, while only 42 percent affirmed that the Spirit is a person. And 9 percent said the Holy Spirit is less divine than God the Father and Jesus. The same percentage answered ‘not sure.’”
Have these read the dire warning from Scripture about the dangers of blaspheming the Holy Spirit? The article explains how close is half of today’s evangelicals to the early Arian heresy:
Like Arianism, confusion over the nature and identity of the Spirit dates to the early church. During the latter half of the fourth century, sects like Semi-Arians and Pneumatomachi (Greek for “Spirit fighters”) believed “in the Holy Spirit”—as the First Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) taught—but said the Spirit was of a different essence from the Father and the Son. Some said the Spirit was a creature, and others understood the Spirit to be a force or power, not a person of the Trinity.
All this while the questions on the survey were simple. Had the survey been formulated to include the icon saint of the Coptic Egyptian church, Athanasius’ 27 anathemas, the results would have been staggering. Coptic Christians are way more learned on such heresies and are inclined to get these right. Does the western evangelical church even realize that missing any one of them is a major heresy? Here they are:
(1.) But those who say that the Son was from nothing or from other subsistence and not from God, and that there was time or age when He was not, the Holy and Catholic Church regards as aliens.
(2.) Again we say, Whosoever says that the Father and the Son are two Gods, be he anathema.
(3.) And whosoever, saying that Christ is God, before ages Son of God, does not confess that He has subserved the Father for the framing of the universe, be he anathema.
(4.) Whosoever presumes to say that the Ingenerate, or a part of Him, was born of Mary, be he anathema.
(5.) Whosoever says that according to foreknowledge the Son is before Mary and not that, generated from the Father before ages, He was with God, and that through Him all things were originated, be he anathema.
(6.) Whosoever shall pretend that the essence of God is dilated or contracted, be he anathema.
(7.) Whosoever shall say that the essence of God being dilated made the Son, or shall name the dilation of His essence Son, be he anathema.
(8.) Whosoever calls the Son of God the mental or pronounced Word , be he anathema.
(9.) Whosoever says that the Son from Mary is man only, be he anathema.
(10.) Whosoever, speaking of Him who is from Mary God and man, thereby means God the Ingenerate , be he anathema.
(11.) Whosoever shall explain ‘I God the First and I the Last, and besides Me there is no God,’ Isaiah 44:6, which is said for the denial of idols and of gods that are not, to the denial of the Only-begotten, before ages God, as Jews do, be he anathema.
(12.) Whosoever hearing ‘The Word was made flesh,’ John 1:14, shall consider that the Word has changed into flesh, or shall say that He has undergone alteration by taking flesh, be he anathema.
(13.) Whosoever hearing the Only-begotten Son of God to have been crucified, shall say that His Godhead has undergone corruption, or passion. or alteration, or diminution, or destruction, be he anathema.
(14.) Whosoever shall say that ‘Let Us make man’ Genesis 1:26, was not said by the Father to the Son, but by God to Himself, be he anathema.
(15.) Whosoever shall say that Abraham saw, not the Son, but the Ingenerate God or part of Him, be he anathema.
(16.) Whosoever shall say that with Jacob, not the Son as man, but the Ingenerate God or part of Him, has wrestled, be he anathema.
(17.) Whosoever shall explain, ‘The Lord rained fire from the Lord?’ Genesis 19:24, not of the Father and the Son, and says that He rained from Himself, be he anathema. For the Son, being Lord, rained from the Father Who is Lord.
(18.) Whosoever, hearing that the Father is Lord and the Son Lord and the Father and Son Lord, for there is Lord from Lord, says there are two Gods, be he anathema. For we do not place the Son in the Father’s Order, but as subordinate to the Father; for He did not descend upon Sodom without the Father’s will, nor did He rain from Himself, but from the Lord, that is, the Father authorising it. Nor is He of Himself set down on the right hand, but He hears the Father saying, ‘Sit on My right hand’ Psalm 110:1.
(19.) Whosoever says that the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost are one Person, be he anathema.
(20.) Whosoever, speaking of the Holy Ghost as Paraclete, shall mean the Ingenerate God, be he anathema.
(21.) Whosoever shall deny, what the Lord taught us, that the Paraclete is other than the Son, for He has said, ‘And another Paraclete shall the Father send to you, whom I will ask,’ John 14:16 be he anathema.
(22.) Whosoever shall say that the Holy Ghost is part of the Father or of the Son be he anathema.
(23.) Whosoever shall say that the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost are three Gods, be he anathema.
(24.) Whosoever shall say that the Son of God at the will of God has come to be, as one of the works, be he anathema.
(25.) Whosoever shall say that the Son has been generated, the Father not wishing it, be he anathema. For not by compulsion, led by physical necessity, did the Father, as He wished not, generate the Son, but He at once willed, and, after generating Him from Himself apart from time and passion, manifested Him.
(26.) Whosoever shall say that the Son is without beginning and ingenerate, as if speaking of two unbegun and two ingenerate, and making two Gods, be he anathema. For the Son is the Head, namely the beginning of all: and God is the Head, namely the beginning of Christ; for thus to one unbegun beginning of the universe do we religiously refer all things through the Son.
(27.) And in accurate delineation of the idea of Christianity we say this again; Whosoever shall not say that Christ is God, Son of God, as being before ages, and having subserved the Father in the framing of the Universe, but that from the time that He was born of Mary, from thence He was called Christ and Son, and took an origin of being God, be he anathema.
Christianity is not a faith which has been recently defined by a mega-church pastor, but has a history of solid doctrine that has been established from time immemorial. So Christians need to be careful when they listen to someone gymnastically using verses. Verse gymnastics are the methods deceivers play adding “I am using Scripture”. The early church is not an entity to be ignored, for the Church is the pillar and the bulwark of truth, which is what Scripture itself declared:
“but in case I am delayed, I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.” (1 Tim. 3:15).
It’s the Church, not the scriptural gymnast who is the pillar and bulwark of the truth. Claiming Christians need to continually examine themselves, lest they be found unworthy and end up with the damned regardless to how much they deceived themselves that they are “saved”.