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Tag Archives: heresy

Remaining Above the Fray

The expression above the fray refers to abstaining from getting involved in a heated argument, confrontation or debate.  While individuals may participate by adding their opinion, temperance is demonstrated by going the right distance and no further.  One of the reasons I have not activated my twitter account is to avoid being dragged into a no win situation of endless mudslinging back and forth.

But avoid foolish and ill-informed and stupid controversies and genealogies and dissensions and quarrels about the Law, for they are unprofitable and useless. 10 After a first and second warning reject a divisive man [who promotes heresy and causes dissension—ban him from your fellowship and have nothing more to do with him], 11 well aware that such a person is twisted and is sinning; he is convicted and self-condemned [and is gratified by causing confusion among believers], Titus 3:9-11.

Controversy is nothing new.  During the first century, philosophers meet in the marketplace to exchange their ideas.  When these new teachings conflicted with biblical principles, dissensions and quarrels about the God’s law triggered heresy, a departure from biblical beliefs.  In the passage above, the apostle Paul warns a servant of Christ to avoid getting sucked into these futile discussions.  In the centuries following biblical times, God raised up Christian historians who wrote apologetic books defending and justifying biblical truth.

Therefore if there is any encouragement and comfort in Christ [as there certainly is in abundance], if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship [that we share] in the Spirit, if [there is] any [great depth of] affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love [toward one another], knit together in spirit, intent on one purpose [and living a life that reflects your faith and spreads the gospel—the good news regarding salvation through faith in Christ], Philippians 2:1-2.

The best solution to remain above the fray is by developing a Christ-like mind.  Arguments tend to bring out raw emotions that influences human nature to attack, lash out and seek revenge.  Yet, Jesus shares a contrary message, to let God judge the living and the dead.  Jesus had the power to call down fire from heaven as the Son of God, but he choose to live a humble life as a blue collar carpenter.  By taking time every day to meet quietly with God, this spiritual discipline empowered Jesus to carry out God’s will on earth.  When individuals begin to practice Philippians 2:2-5, attitudes will transform toward a heavenly mindset to remain above the fray.

by Jay Mankus

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Elevation or Heresy?

In this age of Progressivism, bizarre news stories once thought to be a joke are now becoming reality.  Such is the case of a new church in Denver, Colorado known as the International Church of Cannabis.  According to a recent interview with the pastor by Jesse Watters, this church uses marijuana as a Holy Sacrament to reach a new level of faith.  Is this new practice a form of elevation or merely heresy?

Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things, Proverbs 23:33.

The context of the passage above refers to drinking too much vine.  The consequence of doing such a thing can result in hallucinations.  If you pass by liquor stores in your community, you might see the words Wine and Spirits.  The spirit part eludes to the passage above.  Since alcohol is a drug, cannabis produces a similar state.  The question is does God want his worshippers to experience this high in church?

It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble, Romans 14:21.

During a private conversation with his disciples within Matthew 18:1-6, Jesus warns his leaders about causing children to stumble by following in the footsteps of your own sin.  According to the son of God, it would be better to have this person tied to chains and thrown into the sea to die alone.  Thus, the apostle Paul makes sure no one in the first century forgets about this teaching.  Sure, the idea of cannabis as a Holy Sacrament sounds enticing, but using a drug in any form of worship service is simply heresy.

by Jay Mankus

 

Viral Anger

As I was waiting to see my eye doctor today, I came across an interesting page in Time Magazine.  The article was entitled Viral Anger, addressing the growing dangers of social media in America.  The author compared this condition to an illness, spreading like a contagious disease which is making those who engage sick.

Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way, Proverbs 19:2.

Although I agree with the premise of this piece, there is a fatal flaw not addressed.  Currently, mainstream media bases the majority of cable news programing on political talking points.  These slogans and sound bytes are passed on to elite members of the press and communicated via cable, magazines and news papers.  This is the fuel which ignites daily dumpster fires on Twitter.  Until major networks begins reporting the facts, opinion based journalism will continue to spawn viral anger.

A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends, Proverbs 16:28.

Social media has opened a modern day Pandora’s Box, giving any self seeking individual the opportunity to instantly share what’s on their mind.  Without any filters, thoughts freely flow with the click of a button.  There was a time in this country when parents taught their children, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it!”  These days are gone, replaced by people seeking fifteen minutes of fame through blogs, tweets or you tube channels.

Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly, 2 Timothy 2:16.

The byproduct of social media is like a fulfillment of the passage above.  However, instead of spreading first century heresy, viral anger is poisoning souls like an outbreak of gangrene.  The only practical solution that I see is to replace negative news with a Positive News Network.  If modern cable providers carry 24 hour television channels for any thinkable topic, it’s time for entrepreneurs to create an outlet which tells the whole story of an issue.  Since I don’t see anyone putting social media back into Pandora’s Box, perhaps a source of encouragement like a PNN will be the cure to defeat viral anger.

by Jay Mankus

 

Banned from the Bible?

The origin of the term history derives from the Greek word ἱστορία.  Translated into English, ἱστορία refers to an inquiry where an individual acquires knowledge through an investigation.  According to the writers of the History Channel’s latest project, Banned from the Bible, content was excluded from the original 66 books known as the Holy Bible.  However, when I read their argument online, I realized this network is trying to reinvent history rather than genuinely research it.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 2 Timothy 3:16.

At the end of the first century AD, Anno Domini, Latin for in the year of our Lord, a controversial mentality began.  A predecessor to humanism, Gnosticism sought to pursue a hidden or secret knowledge which spread to church leaders.  From the third to the fifth century, Gnostic thinking influenced works such as The Life of Adam and Eve, The Book of Enoch, The Book of Jubilees, The Infancy Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of Mary and The Apocalypse of Peter.  In response to this threat, rabbinic Jewish leaders meet at the Council of Jamnia in 93 followed by bishops and Roman Empire Constantine at the Council of Nicea in 325 to form a consensus on the God inspired books of the Bible.

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law, Deuteronomy 29:29.

Like any professional editing process, high standards must be kept and maintained to prevent any heresy from becoming published.  Thus, liberals will cry foul whenever pieces that discredit Jesus aren’t accepted or embraced.  In their minds, if Jesus isn’t God, they can act, do or say whatever they want.  Banned from the Bible?  Yes, not for the reasons mentioned in progressive publications.  Rather, history confirms from the Easter letter of Athanasius in 367 that only 66 books made the final cut, 39 from Old Testament and 27 New Testament books.  These are the facts, not opinion, why the Gnostic letters mentioned above have been omitted from the inherent Word of God.

by Jay Mankus

 

From A Distance

Julie Gold wrote the song From A Distance after receiving the piano she played as a kid for a 30th Birthday gift.  When the movers informed her not to play it for 24 hours due to the cold conditions during the shipping process, this anticipation inspired the lyrics to the 1990 hit sung by Bette Midler.  From a Distance holds a certain sentimental value in my heart as it was the “theme song” to the first week long mission trip I ever attended.  During a hot summer week on St. John’s Island, South Carolina, I served on the worship team as the male vocalist, singing the chorus of From A Distance to close out each evening.  Although Julie Gold intended to construct a song about the way things seem and the way things actually are, she touches on an important biblical teaching.

Known as the Matthew 18 principle, Jesus introduces readers to how to properly handle any sort of grievance you may have against another person within Matthew 18:15-18.  When an agreement is made between 2 parties, God is watching, serving as a witness from a distance according to Matthew 18:19-20.  In other words, if a handshake is made to settle a previous conflict, God serves as an invisible notary to bind 2 individuals to resolve their matter once and for all.  Unfortunately, modern worship leaders are changing the context of this passage, adding worship into this equation, twisting scripture to make it say what they belief.  When you reflect upon Julie Gold’s lyrics in From A Distance, one is steered back in the right direction, freed from heresy that exists in modern day churches.

The words of the final stanza are posted below.

From a distance
You look like my friend
Even though we are at war
From a distance
I just cannot comprehend
What all this fightings for
From a distance
There is harmony
And it echoes through the land
And its the hope of hopes
Its the love of loves
Its the heart of every man

Beneath the surface, friendships are tested daily by envy, selfishness and regretful words spoken in the heat of the moment.  As long there is a willingness to comply with the regulations and standards mentioned with Matthew 18, peace is attainable.  However, the minute someone holds a grudge, refuses to let go of the pain deep inside their soul and give the devil a foot hold by going to sleep angry, hope disappears.  In view of this, remember that God is watching, from a distance, urging the world to forgive others as Christ Jesus forgave you, Colossians 3:12-15.

by Jay Mankus

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