Five Acceptable Heresies infecting Evangelicals and Pentecostals today

Five Acceptable Heresies* Infecting Evangelicals and Pentecostals today

  1. Sin is the cause of illness and poverty. It is never God’s will that Christians ever be poor. Furthermore, Christians should embody the latest and finest the world has to offer because they represent the Good King who always blesses His Children.
  2. Nations are endowed by God with the unquestionable right to exact authority over persons. This right is likened to God’s salvation power. The State’s power is more important than the church’s power as it regards human civil freedom.
  3. Christians should embody the ideal Nationalist citizen. When an Evangelical leads the government, Christians have a unique opportunity and responsibility to spread Christianity.
  4. Christians should be pioneers in using every available new means of technology for the dissemination of their way of being Christian. There need be no consensus on what a Christian is, the Bible speaks for itself. There need be no question of whether the technique itself raises new issues for living. Use it and God will take care of the rest.
  5. As long as Wars are fought in behalf of a nation, the Christians in that nation should be important arbiters of the goodness of that War. Their theology of war should center on the Sovereign State’s authority and on assurance from that State that it has exhausted every other available means.

*By “acceptable” heresies I mean, for the most part, practical heresy. These are meant to illustrate how our talk of Jesus doesn’t match our practice of His Kingdom ways.

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7 Comments

Filed under Politics, theology

7 responses to “Five Acceptable Heresies infecting Evangelicals and Pentecostals today

  1. Steven

    It is not just Evangelicals and Pentecostals that have this problem, I am a leader and teacher in a Anglican congregation. I am trying to teach our people how to think through the items on your list. The American civil religion is a very powerful thing and like your friend Jon Trott has pointed out, the American Jesus is often worshiped by we Americans.

  2. Thanks for your comment Steven. Every church in every generation has had to deal with it’s relationship with the State. Some churches go on the record as decidedly apolitical. This doesn’t work and, if anything, only tries to mask the acquiesense. I just saw that Pax TV ran “Faith in the White House” again last week—nearly four years after the election!

  3. Bryan

    I would agree with number 1 as a pretty serious problem. Not sure if I would agree with the rest as much. Seems to reflect more political beliefs that some Christians have made public rather than actual doctrines that are being preached as “from God”. If a right wing Christian believes in war as a political tool and a strong Nationalistic identity for the US, it doesn’t necessarily translate into a doctrinal statement by that person.

  4. Bryan,

    thanks for your comments. You seem to separate doctrine and preaching from I call “practical” heresy. Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy together make up, in my opinion, the Christian life. My purpose in listing these heresies is to ask people to think about the ways our social and political lives intersect with our spiritual lives. In American history, especially since WWII, Christianity in America has gone public like never before. Like it or not, this carries with it responsibility. Billy Graham talks about this in his memoir when he describes praying with Eisenhower in front of reporters as a mistake. Poke around on this site a bit more. My politics is all over the map.

    Thanks,

    Chris

  5. I mostly agree, Chris. But i think (we’re permitted to do that – right?) that the first part of point one is arguable. My understanding of the first 2-3 chs. of Genesis is that Eden was a perfect environment free of sickness and death. Then Adam sinned, and so all of us sinned, ending the perfect environment. And further a curse was placed on the very soil itself, as the Lord stated to Adam, “in the sweat of your brow you shall work the land – and it shall continually produce weeds and brambles….” -my own liberal paraphrase, working from memory Always your friend, please greet Martha in my name; Steve G

    Ps: I strenuously agree with the rest of your point, btw. ;)

  6. Steve, I was thinking of those who say that personal sin is the direct cause of illness and poverty. I’m simply saying not always.

  7. Oh, then we have no disagreement; simply a point of clarity is all. I might have added the word ‘their’ – in there – somewhere? But i’ll stop before i begin to sound like Dr. Seuss (too late – mate?). =D

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