1 Timothy 4.1-7 – Not so modern heresies
Posted: 22 July 2010 in 1 Timothy

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth…… If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. “

The New Testament is full of warnings against trying to remake Christian doctrine to fit our own needs and desires. But when I look on the internet today, I find myself taken aback by the extent to which Christians feel free to do just that – especially in America. Is the doctrine of the Trinity difficult to comprehend? Let’s dump it then. And the divinity of Christ? Oh well, we can do without that as well. Ancient heresies such as Modalism and Arianism are making a big comeback.

It is no secret that Europe is largely secular today, but the Christians that do remain, in Britain and elsewhere, seem to be fairly orthodox in their beliefs. At least at the moment: It is always possible that this is another American export, getting ready to cross the Atlantic.

I suppose this all flows from the extent to which religion has become just one more item on the shopping list of people who live in a culture dominated by consumerism. Consumers feel free to specify the colour of their new car, or the size of the screen on their new television, so why shouldn’t they be able specify the doctrines their religion is going to incorporate?

The trouble with that is that God is not offering us a consumer product. He is telling us the way by which we must come to salvation. Nobody tries to decide for themselves whether or not Newton’s three laws of motion are true, and a customised Christianity makes no more sense than a customised physics.

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