Heresies…they come in all sizes, shapes and colors. The most heinous ones are the ones that sneak in under the radar.
The most virulent of these have their deadly source in one of two false beliefs. In some cases, perhaps both! (hold on, we are going theological here…):
Christology (the study of Christ) – What do they do with the person of Christ? A great teacher? A moral model for emulation? A “good” person? Sorry, no! They must teach nothing less than what was revealed in Scripture. As Peter declared in Matt. 16:16 – “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
How important is this? Consider the words of the apostle John: By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. – I Jn. 4:2,3
Soteriology (the study of salvation) – How do we inherit eternal life in heaven? Do more good than bad? Obey a collection of do’s and don’ts? Try our best and just trust in God’s “niceness?” Not even close! Here it is, from Ephesians 2:8, 9: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not by works, so that no one can boast.”
How about this one? Paul didn’t mince words; here is his conclusion in Galatians 1:8 – “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.”
An excellent litmus test – What do they say about Christ? How do they say we get to heaven?