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Author Topic: What are the Main Protestant Heresies?  (Read 3339 times) Average Rating: 0
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« on: February 20, 2010, 01:38:31 AM »

I'm not talking about Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc., but what are some of the major heresies of Protestantism, especially Evangelical Protestantism. Also, what is the distinction between an official "heresy" and that which is simply erroneous? For example, is "Sola Scriptura" a heresy or simply an error? Or is there a difference?

I know that chiliasm/millenarianism is officially condemned as a heresy by the Church, and all Evangelicals embrace this heresy in some form. (By the way, I know Orthodoxy teaches that the 1,000 year reign of Christ is not a literal 1,000 years and that Our Lord is mystically reigning with His Saints now through His Church, and that satan is currently bound. But why does St. Paul refer to satan as the "god of this world" in II Corinthians 4:4?)

OK, what are some other Protestant heresies?


Thanks.


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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2010, 12:02:22 PM »

Iconoclasm, arianism (in some branches), macedonianism (I suppose), there are many more, but I cannot name them.
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2010, 12:04:59 PM »

I know that chiliasm/millenarianism is officially condemned as a heresy by the Church, and all Evangelicals embrace this heresy in some form.
OK, what are some other Protestant heresies?
Thanks.
Selam
I don't really feel competent enough to distinguish heresy from mere error.

But I would like to gently disagree that all Evangelicals accept the heresy of millenarianism (choosing to use a word more quickly recognized by more people). Many years before Orthodoxy even showed up on my radar screen, I had learned and believed that
Quote
the 1,000 year reign of Christ is not a literal 1,000 years and that Our Lord is mystically reigning with His Saints now through His Church, and that satan is currently bound.
Of course, my understanding of "the Church" has changed since then. And yes, I was often at odds over this matter with my Evangelical friends.
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2010, 12:14:29 PM »

In order to be a heretic, doesn't that presuppose that you are still in the Church believing something contrary to canonical dogma?

I would say that the Protestants/Catholics and others aren't committing heresies simply because they aren't in the Orthodox Church. However, I would certainly say they are in error and their beliefs would be considered heresies in Orthodoxy, but we cannot call them heretics, just as you cannot anathematize someone that is already outside the Church. I mean, what would be the point of refusing them communion if they were never baptized into Orthodoxy in the first place?

Now, to answer what errors they believe in that we would consider heresies in our Church, I would definitely say chiliaism, iconoclasm, arianism (only some), etc...
I think it'd be hard to attribute heresies to Protestants considering the fact that there something like over 10,000 various Protestant Denominations.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 12:16:27 PM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2010, 01:48:50 PM »

The Five Sola's, each and every one of them heretical:

Sola Scritpura: rejects Tradition which the Apostles told us to hold fast to (II Thessalonians 2:15), and the Ecumenical Councils themselves.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19327.msg285414.html#msg285414
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21798.msg331030.html#msg331030
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21798.msg333057.html#msg333057
Besides that, Sola Scriptura isn't found in the scriptura.

Sola Fidei: besides rejecting the only verse in the Bible where "Faith alone" is found (James 2:24, the reason why Luther removed James from his canon), it rejects the Sixth and Seventh Ecumenical Councils.

Sola Gratia: rejects the Sixth and Seventh Ecumenial Councils, besides the Apostolic injunction in scritpure to work out our salvation, with fear and trembling, and the Biblical dogma of synergy.

Solus Christus/Solo Christo: rejects the Third and Seventh Ecumenical Councils, and the myriad of examples where God directly tells someone to have someoen else pray to Him for the addressed person, and the prayer of Christ whre He prays not only for the Aposles, but also for those who will believe through them.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21443.msg361594/topicseen.html#msg361594
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13078.msg361578.html#msg361578
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,17016.0.html
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14613.msg279695.html#msg279695


Soli Dei Gloria: rejects the Third and Seventh Ecumenical Councils, and the example in Numbers where God defends the glory of Moses and St. Paul defends his glory as an Apostle.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20972.0.html
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25351.msg397351/topicseen.html#msg397351
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2010, 02:10:52 PM »

The Five Points of Calvinism (TULIP) are largely a rejection of free will:

Total Depravity - We are severely damaged people, but not totally depraved. It is a denial of our free will to say we are incapable of choosing God.

Unconditional Election - Orthodoxy rejects predestination, that God chooses who will be saved and who will be damned (with the implication that God created people for damnation). (This is the more strict form, Double Predestination. Coming from a conservative Calvinist background, I don't know anyone who actually believes this.)

Limited Atonement - We believe Christ died for all mankind, not just the elect.

Irresistible Grace - Another rejection of free will, and a misunderstanding of Grace. Grace is God's energies, which we are free to walk into or out of; it's not a "thing" that God gives to us.

Perseverance of the Saints - Another rejection of free will. Even the greatest saint has the freedom to fall. The icon of the Ladder of Divine Ascent shows undoubtedly great living saints being pulled off right at the top.

Calvin was named a heretic and Calvinism blasphemous in the Confession of Dositheus from the Synod of Jerusalem in 1672.
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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2010, 02:22:21 PM »

I think it'd be hard to attribute heresies to Protestants considering the fact that there something like over 10,000 various Protestant Denominations.

That's the problem here.  When talking of the beliefs of Protestants, or even Evangelicals, one can only talk of trends or tendencies, not universally held beliefs, since there is so much variety and disagreement within that grouping.  

That said, one tendency that I have noticed among some, but not necessarily all, Evangelicals, is that their efforts to denigrate the Mother of God often lead to Christological heresy.  I've heard more than one Evangelical say that "The Virgin Mary was only the mother of Christ's human nature," and therefore can't be called "Mother of God."  This of course results in a sort of Theodorean Christology, which separates Christ's humanity and divinity in a way that is condemned by our Third Ecumenical Council.  Whenever I've encountered an Evangelical who tells me this, I usually respond by asking them if they believe the Virgin Mary gave birth to a baby or a nature.  When they respond that she gave birth to a baby, I ask if they believe the baby was God.  The conversation goes on from there, until the Evangelical finally understands what we mean by "Mother of God," and admits that in that sense she really is the Mother of God; or the Evangelical will go the other way and display an understanding of Christ that really does separate His natures in a way that can be condemned as heretical.

Another thing I have seen, but to a lesser extent, is the claim that the Virgin Mary can't be called "Mother of God" because Christ's flesh was a "heavenly flesh," and that he didn't even get his humanity from her.  That would be docetism, or some other quasi-Gnostic heresy.  These people won't even call her "Mother of Christ," because they just don't believe she was His mother in any real sense.  Again, I've seen that much less frequently than the other tendency I mentioned above, but the fact that it exists at all within the Protestant communion without being condemned is to me quite remarkable.  People will go after us Orthodox for believing that works play a role in our salvation, but they will ignore a heresy among their own brothers that in essence denies Christ's humanity.
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2010, 02:29:01 PM »

In order to be a heretic, doesn't that presuppose that you are still in the Church believing something contrary to canonical dogma?

I would say that the Protestants/Catholics and others aren't committing heresies simply because they aren't in the Orthodox Church. However, I would certainly say they are in error and their beliefs would be considered heresies in Orthodoxy, but we cannot call them heretics, just as you cannot anathematize someone that is already outside the Church. I mean, what would be the point of refusing them communion if they were never baptized into Orthodoxy in the first place?

Now, to answer what errors they believe in that we would consider heresies in our Church, I would definitely say chiliaism, iconoclasm, arianism (only some), etc...
I think it'd be hard to attribute heresies to Protestants considering the fact that there something like over 10,000 various Protestant Denominations.
But the OP didn't ask about heretics.  He asked about heresies.  Would you not agree that the false teachings to which a Protestant adheres may indeed be called heresies, even if the adherents themselves are not truly heretics, as you define the label?
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2010, 08:55:06 PM »

I know that chiliasm/millenarianism is officially condemned as a heresy by the Church, and all Evangelicals embrace this heresy in some form.
OK, what are some other Protestant heresies?
Thanks.
Selam
I don't really feel competent enough to distinguish heresy from mere error.

But I would like to gently disagree that all Evangelicals accept the heresy of millenarianism (choosing to use a word more quickly recognized by more people). Many years before Orthodoxy even showed up on my radar screen, I had learned and believed that
Quote
the 1,000 year reign of Christ is not a literal 1,000 years and that Our Lord is mystically reigning with His Saints now through His Church, and that satan is currently bound.
Of course, my understanding of "the Church" has changed since then. And yes, I was often at odds over this matter with my Evangelical friends.

Mar Papias who knew the Apostles believed in a literal thousand year reign. Is he a heretic too?
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2010, 01:39:09 AM »


Sola Scritpura: rejects Tradition which the Apostles told us to hold fast to (II Thessalonians 2:15), and the Ecumenical Councils themselves.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19327.msg285414.html#msg285414
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21798.msg331030.html#msg331030
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21798.msg333057.html#msg333057
Besides that, Sola Scriptura isn't found in the scriptura.

This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. -John 21:24-25
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Tags: heresy Protestant Christianity 
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