Have you noticed any patterns here? Several of these are named after their chief proponent, teacher, and/or the guy who thought it up. Some of these were a danger to the early church so much so that Paul wrote to the churches urging them to avoid these teachings and to hold to the sound ones the Apostles had presented them. Like many things, their followers held fast to these ideas and as long as people lived to spread them, these heresies stood to put stumbling blocks in the paths of young Christians. Over time, some of them changed and at least one of them still has a following today, even thousands of years after it’s original stray thought lead to an entire strayed belief system that eventually had no room for God. What’s worse is that many of them are interconncected.
Antinomianism: Religious members don’t have to follow ethic or moral laws. Salvation is by predestination only.
Error: It’s hard to say, Paul argued both ways, yet somehow this ism was labeled a heresy. I think though that laws ought to be followed, things get uncivilized otherways, religious or not.
Avoided: Apparently it wasn’t, but I haven’t heard of it, or most of the other ones for that matter.
Pelagianism: The original sin did not taint human nature. Jesus was “a good example.”
Error: Jesus’ blood paid the price of the original sin’s effect on human nature. He was more than “a good example”.
Avoided: Good old Pelagius eventually took back his point of view, but as we’ve seen in the year 400 all sorts of heresies did damage everywhere.
Audianism: A mix of Antropomorphism and Quartodecimanism.
Error: Yet again, two heresies don’t make a right. It doesn’t make Audius right either.
Avoided: Somewhat, it was around near the year 400.
Montanism: It’s teachings superseded the Apostles teachings. Back-slidden Christians could not be restored.
Error: You can say what you teach is superior, but you can’t make it true.
Avoided: While not a mainstream heresy, some sects followed it from the 2nd into the 8th centuries. But to their credit, they also followed other hereies. If you’re going to be wrong, why not do it right?
Donatism: These beilievers held that there should be no sinners in the church and any person who fell away from the faith ought to be treated a sinner.
Error: As former sinners, these believers did more harm than good often seperating whole communities.
Avoided: They weren’t, but they were overcome when Rome fell.
Euchites/Messalians: Their mystical materialism reached all the way to the Bogomils, they held that they could reach a state of perfection solely through prayer.
Error: They had lots of them, but who doesn’t? Anyway, it takes more than prayer to be perfect, it takes the covering of Jesus’ blood.
Avoided: This far-reaching sect fell out of favor in the 12th century.
Ebionites: These Jews took right to Jesus’ clarification of the laws in his teachings, they even think he is the messiah, but that he wasn’t divine.
Error: They were half right. Jesus is the messiah. He is also divine.
Avoided: Almost entirely by the early church, though they did leave some writings.
Paulicianism: Believers in two kingdoms, they carefully accepted some parts of the Bible while rejecting other parts of the Bible.
Error: They couldn’t handle the whole Bible so they took parts out and put other parts in, which we’re warned against in the Bible.
Avoided: It was only around in the late 600s to the late 800s, but there were some isolated believer communities well into the 1800s.
Maassenes: Possibly the very first Gnostics to arrive on the stage, they worship snakes.
Error: They’re breaking one or more of the ten commandments.
Avoided: They didn’t last long, but their teachings echoed troubles well into the early church.
Notzrim: They believed that what we call the New Testament was a work of fiction created by Paul of Tarsus.
Error: Their logic is baffling. I just don’t think they could handle the truth. Very few people can, you know.
Avoided: It was more a problem for the Jews as they existed even in Jeremiah’s time and they persisted until they became the Mandaeans – who still exist today.