headerphoto
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." ~ 1 Peter 3:15-16
Battling Heresy

Since the birth of the Church, heresy has often thrived along side with the Truth. In contrast to the one Truth, there are many different kinds of heresy, and regrettably, there are also various "solutions" to battling heresy which are unbiblical. Only two will be discussed here. One way of battling heresy will be that of conducting a massive witch-hunting exercise as a form of power display, as seen in the case of Roman Catholicism. Another would be to set up a central authority to guard against the infiltration of heresy into the Church, by filtering what the authority deemed to be heretical or not. More often than not, the two are usually two sides of the same coin. And while the reader may agree that the former is extremely inhumane and certainly isn't according to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, most will not hestitate to vote for the latter as the way to battle heresy.

Yet, it is clear in the Scripture that we do not battle against the world with flesh and blood, neither was it recorded for us that God had instituted some chief priests among His people. Let the truth be heard, all believers are equally called His priests before His presence, and there is no mediator between them except the Lord Jesus Christ, our only Mediator. Though out of good intention or perhaps not, the centralized authority was meant to safeguard the Church but has actually becomes an obstacle, quite the opposite of what it intended to achieve in the first place. Firstly, this hierarchical organization has denied believers from exercising their priesthoods by rendering them as passive laity. And secondly, the mere act of sheltering the believers, in actual fact, robbed believers of their opportunity to grow in the faith. How may one grow without trials and hardship, which are God's intended purpose for the Church?

In fact, the only antidote against heresy is the gospel of Jesus Christ, by which its light can shine pass the darkness of heresy. It is not by setting up some high offices as filter of the truth, neither is it accomplished by silencing the advocates of heresy, but it is by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ which can lead one to understand and behold the Truth as the Spirit leads. We need not an artificial garden under protection, neither do we need someone to exercise judgment on behalf of us. Christ is all we need, indeed. And God has placed faithful men among us, who will faithfully pass on the teachings that are handled to them, from generation to generation. And this is a worthy saying, that heresy are battled by faithful men who showed no fear in presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ faithfully, and capturing all to the obedience of Christ Jesus.

0 comments: