Let’s face it, no two Christians believe the exact same things. Even two Christians at the same church may not buy into that churches creedo, or statement of beliefs (which are usually available upon request.) So in order for churches to be more accommodating, some of them divided themselves on various Biblical points. The arguing got so bad that even whole churches decided that it was easier to have two churches each with one point of view than to remain as they were. This dangerous precedent has resulted in modern-day Christianity.
There’s no exact number on the number of churches because we’re constantly fighting out what we believe. I daresay I wouldn’t want to count the “Trinity believing, immersion baptism, bring the King James version only, salvation by faith in Jesus, ‘no shoes, no shirt, no service’, tithe is required, and traditional services on Sunday mornings” churches. In all the division and hurt and fallout, it’s only natural to want to gather around somebody who make sense of it. Preferably somebody whose good a giving speeches and looks like he knows what he’s doing. It doesn’t matter if he’s got a Bible in hand, but you should really pay attention to what he says when he opens it.
I’ve been told that the best way to prevent yourself from being tricked into believing a lie is to be so very familiar with the truth you can spot it even a mile away. I’m a little over twenty and I’ve seen pastors tweak the definition of a word in the Bible or take verses entirely out of context to make it say what they want their congregation to hear. I’ve heard people on television get it a little wrong on some of the major points so much so that today we’ve got some major confusion both inside and outside of Christianity.
I’ve just shown you thirty beliefs that were deemed heretical at one point or another by a council of religious scholars as they met over hundreds of years. Some of these beliefs have only one point wrong, while others have only one point correct. Today we don’t want to offend others or seem judgemental, so we wouldn’t dare correct a person who believes that they’ve been a good enough person to warrant salvation without the intervention of Jesus. There’s no way we would tell another Christian that their belief takes away from Christ’s divinity or humanity in the slightest way.
I’d like to believe that everything I’ve ever been taught is 100% sound and Biblically correct, but I’d rather know the Bible and know for myself than to trust a person to ‘pretty much’ teach me the truth as he sees it. I’ve been talking about heresy all week, and I haven’t told you what it is. The word comes for the greek for ‘choice’ and it refers to any belief that is not orthodox or popularly accepted. The belief that Jesus has one leg and is left-handed would be an (albeit absurd) example of a heresy. The belief that Jesus loves you would not. You know what, even if you don’t have it down 100% true, even if you believe “Jesus and …” Jesus still loves you enough to have died for your salvation even if you don’t entirely know what that means. Heresy is arguing about words and definitions. Heresy is being slightly lost in a sea of found. Heresy is choosing to avoid the truth of the Bible and abide by the lies of convenience.