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Major Christian Heresies - What Are ECKist's Secret Heresies?

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  • prometheus_973
    I discovered this on the Internet and found it to be interesting. I, then, wondered about Eckankar s (Klemp s) positions on the Christian theology listed
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2010
      I discovered this on the Internet and
      found it to be interesting. I, then,
      wondered about Eckankar's (Klemp's)
      positions on the "Christian" theology
      listed below, as well as, his (the) current
      position on EK theology versus that
      of his H.I.s and chelas (EK heretics).

      "Major Christian Heresies

      (in historical order)

      There are certain elements of Christian theology so difficult to understand
      that the only way for different people to give the appearance of agreeing
      about them is to use exactly the same words. In a sense, that is the problem
      that was addressed at the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 325, which
      articulated a unified statement of belief, and in the subsequent Church councils
      intended to clarify it further.

      Such councils, by accepting certain positions as orthodox, provide historians
      the useful term "proto-orthodox" to refer to them before their acceptance.
      With official acceptance, proto-orthodox views formally became orthodox
      (for those accepting the authority of the council), and all conflicting ones
      became "heterodox." Heterodox views, when persistently held and actively
      offensive to holders of orthodox views, are "heresies" (or "heresy" if taken
      collectively), even when they originated before the formal differentiation
      of orthodoxy.

      Not surprisingly, some famous "heresies" have arisen when different believers
      in various periods have proclaimed views incompatible with those of others.
      There has probably never been a Christian whom some other Christian at some
      period would not have considered a heretic, and there is probably no Christian
      alive today who would not have been viewed as a heretic by the majority of
      participants at some of the historical Church councils.

      For purposes of this page, I have tried to state a number of heretical positions
      as starkly as possible, together with a very brief indication of the "error"
      underlying each one. All of the heresies listed here, however, were originally
      expounded in far subtler (and wordier) form, as were the attacks on them.
      Marcionism (IInd Century) (named after Marcion, 85-160)

      The wrathful and war-like God of the Old Testament is a different god from
      the just and forgiving God of the New Testament, who, on discovering human
      suffering, appeared as Jesus Christ to bring salvation; the Old Testament is
      irrelevant; in the New Testament only parts of Luke and parts of the Pauline
      letters are authentic.

      This is heretical because:

      (1) It denies the unity of God.

      (2) It misunderstands the humanity of Christ.

      (3) It rejects accepted scriptures.

      Comment: Marcion rejected all scriptures except the book of Luke and the
      letters of Paul, to whom he considered himself an intellectual successor.
      He was excommunicated as few as four years after his conversion to Christianity.
      Rejecting nearly all forms of Christianity but his own, Marcion attracted
      a sufficient following to cause concern among more mainstream Christians,
      and his lasting influence on many Christian communities was probably one
      of the influences that led to the establishment of Nicene Creed (AD 325).
      Gnosticism (IInd Century) (named for Greek gnosis, "knowledge")

      Our world was created not by the true God, but but a lesser one —the "demiurge,"
      a kind of divine craftsman— whose creation of the mundane world was essentially
      a kind of mistake. Humans have a spark of divinity, however. The realm of the true
      God is concealed from humans, but there is secret knowledge which can enable some human souls to return to it. The knowledge was secretly transmitted by Jesus to the
      select few. Public rituals, however, have little utility.

      This is heretical because:

      (1) God created everything, including people. There was no "demiurge."

      (2) Jesus did not transmit any secret knowledge. The means for full salvation
      are freely available from the public teachings and openly performed sacraments
      of the Church. Manichaeism (IIIrd century) (named after Mani, ca. 216-276)

      The world is caught in a conflict between the forces of good and evil, led by
      two gods, a conflict which has existed since the beginning of time.

      This is heretical because:

      (1) It postulates more than one god.

      (2) In the beginning there was only God. Evil therefore could have entered the
      world only afterward.

      Comment: Mani was a Persian or Mesopotamian. Although Manichaeism sometimes
      borrowed Christian elements (as well as Zoroastrian, Hebrey, and even eventually
      Buddhist elements), Manichaeism was not really a Christian sect, and its
      doctrines therefore should be classed as paganism rather than heresy. But it was
      an important force in the third and forth centuries (when it was usually
      illegal), and competed with Christianity, with which some people tried to
      combine it. Arianism (IVth century) (named after Arius, 256-336)

      Jesus was different from God and secondary to him.
      Condemned at the Second Ecumenical Council (Constantinople, 381)

      This is heretical because:
      Christ was wholly divine, as well as wholly human, and, being wholly divine,
      could in no way be secondary to God the Father.

      Comment: Although Arianism was originally propounded with the simultaneous
      view that Jesus' nature was nevertheless still divine, the term is also extended,
      confusingly, to a wider range of views, including the view that Jesus was an
      ordinary person. Although condemned by the Church in the fourth century,
      the belief continues to reinvent itself today among liberal Christians. The
      non-divinity of Jesus is, of course, also a view held by most non-Christians.

      Comment: Arianism is historically one of the most important of the great
      heresies because it was especially widespread, as was opposition to it. The
      bitter conflict (personified in Arius and his enemy St. Athanasius) was
      important in inspiring Emperor Constantine to intervene by calling the Council
      of Nicene (Nicaea) in 325, which developed the Nicaean Creed, encapsulating the
      orthodox doctrine of the trinity.

      Early XIVth-Century Nestorian Gravestone from Inner Mongolia
      Nestorianism (Vth century) (named after Nestorius, ca 386 – ca 451)
      Christ had two natures, human (Jesus) and divine (Christ), quite distinct from
      each other, but united in the historical Jesus Christ. (Thus Mary was the mother
      of Jesus, his human nature, but was not the "Mother of God," since God was his
      divine nature.) Condemned at the Third Ecumenical Council (Ephesus, 431)

      This is heretical because:
      Christ was both wholly human and wholly divine, and these two natures were
      united in a single entity: the Christ. To speak of them being distinct implies
      that he was not wholly either of them. The title "Mary, Mother of God" is a
      constant reminder of the error of the Nestorian formulation.

      Comment: Nestorius was excommunicated in 431. His followers, hounded into exile,
      became the "Nestorian Church" and expanded eastward along trade routes. The
      movement became the first Christian church in China. Monophysitism (Vth century)
      Christ had a single, divine nature, not separate human and divine natures.
      Condemned at the Fourth Ecumenical Council (Chalcedon, 451)

      This is heretical because:
      Christ was both wholly human and therefore suffered as we suffer, and also
      wholly divine, and therefore able to forgive sins and redeem humans. To argue
      that he has only a divine nature is to deny that he had a human nature able to
      suffer as a human suffers. Condemned at the Third Council of Constantinople (680).

      Comment: Although Monophysitism has been reinvented constantly throughout the
      history of Christianity, it is often especially associated with Cyril of Alexandria (ca 376 - 444), and enjoyed greatest popularity in the churches of Syria, Palestine, Ethiopia, and especially Egypt.

      Pelagianism (Vth century) (named after Pelagius, ca 354 - ca 420 or ca 440 )

      The sin of Adam affected only Adam, not all humanity. Every individual is born
      innocent, but is free to choose to perform good or evil deeds. Thus choosing to
      behave virtuously will earn one spiritual salvation.

      This is heretical because:

      (1) People are saved ONLY by God's grace through their faith in Christ, not by
      the works they perform, which may have many motivations, including bad ones.

      (2) It is illogical so speak of complete free will, since even free will is a
      gift of God, and therefore contingent upon God's agency.

      Comment: Pelagianism was a particular target for St. Augustine (354-430),
      one of the most important formulators of Christian theology. Arguably it was
      his efforts to argue against Pelagianism that led Augustine to refine his doctrine
      of the absolute necessity of divine grace in human salvation Averroism (named
      after Averroës [Ibn Rushd], 1126-1198)

      A person's soul has an individual part and a divine part. The individual
      part is not eternal. The divine part is eternal, but it is not individual;
      instead it is shared with all people.

      This is heretical because:
      it precludes the immortality of the individual and the resurrection
      of the dead.

      Albigensianism (XIIth century) (named after the town of Albi, France)

      The world is caught in a conflict between the two gods of good
      and evil. The earth was created by Satan, the evil god, and through
      Jesus humans may be saved and brought to the realm of the true God.

      This is heretical because:
      The world was created by God, not by Satan.

      Comment: Because of the similarity of this XIIIth-century position
      to earlier Manichaeism, it was often called Manichaeism by writers
      of the period. Waldensianism (XIIIth Century) (named after Peter Waldo,
      d. 1205 or 1217)

      Concern with money and power leads to spiritual corruption;
      even Church officials should not seek a sumptuous style of life.

      This is heretical because:
      Spirituality is a function of one's relationship with God,
      not with material things.

      Comment: Persecution of the Walensians (or Waldenses) was probably
      motivated largely by this message being a nuisance rather than strictly
      heretical. However the Church agued that the laity have no right to preach,
      which is what Waldo's followers were doing. Waldensianism seems to have
      deviated further after adherents were excommunicated, when they saw
      church wealth as even more sinful. Arminianism (XVIth-XVIIth Centuries)
      (named after Jakob Arminius, 1560-1609)

      It is un-Biblical to argue, as Calvin did, that some people are predestined to
      be saved and others not; Christ died to provide a chance of salvation to

      This is heretical because:
      Since God has perfect knowledge, he knows in advance who will be saved
      and who not. What is known in advance is not logically available for modification.

      Comment: Arminianism had wide appeal, almost certainly wider than
      predestinationism, and influenced John Wesley and the Methodist churches
      derived from his views. Some variant of the rejection of predestination
      is found among most Christians today, who are, in that respect, mostly
      Arminian heretics.

      Comment: It is almost certainly a logical fallacy that foreknowledge
      is the same as predestination. This is a problem that has plagued Western
      philosophy since Classical Greek times. Jordanianism (XXth-XXIst Centuries)
      (named after me)

      People are a lot sillier than they think they are, and discussing theology
      does not, in itself, save them from that trait.

      This is heretical because:
      It fails to take the silly bits seriously and it ignores the saving grace of
      fatuous pomposity and vaulting self-confidence."
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