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Question: What was the most dangerous heresy that has ever threatened the Church?
Arianism
Nestorianism
Gnosticism
Iconoclasm
Other (Please state)

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TheTrisagion
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« on: June 03, 2014, 09:13:34 AM »

There have been hundreds if not thousands of heresies that have assaulted the Church over the last 2,000 years.  Which one has been the most damaging and why?
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2014, 09:21:45 AM »

Branch Theory, Invisible Church, theological minimallism and/or relativism, some forms of ecumenism. In short, all beliefs and practices that compromise the idea that the Church is the material Body of Christ, His continuing Incarnation, visible, well-defined, limited in space, here and not there, specif and not generic, to which it is clear who is in it and who is not, even though many who are in are not worthy of it and many who are out probably will be in after the Last Judgment.

No heresy in history has managed to, at the same time promote so much lukewarmness in those who remain in, promote apostasy for so many others, cool down interest in Christ in general and specifically in converting and in evangelizing and, for the first time in history, seduce even clergy to deny baptism to those who want it saying "we are all Christians after all".
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TheTrisagion
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2014, 09:25:29 AM »

I think that Nestorianism has actually had the most wide reaching effects.  Not the heresy itself, but all the reaction to it caused other heresies, schisms and discord.  If it were not for that, there would be no EO/OO separation, the Muslims may never have taken Egypt, and the world would be a vastly different place.
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2014, 09:29:09 AM »

I think that Nestorianism has actually had the most wide reaching effects.  Not the heresy itself, but all the reaction to it caused other heresies, schisms and discord.  If it were not for that, there would be no EO/OO separation, the Muslims may never have taken Egypt, and the world would be a vastly different place.

Each heresy, each political or social ideology, has its role in advancing Satan's plans to prepare the world for the advent of the Anti-Christ. The several victories of the Church over each one of these are a prefiguration of the final victory of Christ over the final plan of the demons.
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2014, 09:34:52 AM »

I think that Nestorianism has actually had the most wide reaching effects.  Not the heresy itself, but all the reaction to it caused other heresies, schisms and discord.  If it were not for that, there would be no EO/OO separation, the Muslims may never have taken Egypt, and the world would be a vastly different place.
*single manly tear*

Agreed. +1. Coptic would be the oldest spoken language. I would be a real deacon and not just some chanter that reads the gospel, sings, serves in the alter, does responses and guards the priest during distribution of the mysteries.

But the strength and prayers of countless saints martyred for the faith has definitely bolstered our church.
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2014, 10:16:35 AM »

RC
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2014, 10:22:59 AM »

RC

*Makes popcorn*
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2014, 10:48:06 AM »

*takes it back*  and *steps out* Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2014, 11:32:08 AM »

This is sort of like a poll asking you which way you would prefer to be tortured to death....

Seriously, I would argue for Gnosticism as the early Church had to confront it in the nascent days of the the Faith  as the message of Christ was just beginning to spread out of Palestine and across the Graeco - Roman world.
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2014, 11:41:39 AM »

This is sort of like a poll asking you which way you would prefer to be tortured to death....

Seriously, I would argue for Gnosticism as the early Church had to confront it in the nascent days of the the Faith  as the message of Christ was just beginning to spread out of Palestine and across the Graeco - Roman world.

Not at all.  There are some heresies that popped up that did relatively minor damage. Others engulfed large portions of Christendom. It isn't a matter of prefering a heresy, but rather a more objective discussion on which one caused the most damage or had the greatest potential for overwhelming the Church.  (I know, I know, gates of hell and all that.  Just play along with me.  Wink)
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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2014, 11:52:12 AM »

Well, I consider New Age and Gnosticism the same basic heresy and New Age wants to insidiously take over everything little by little.

But I'm an RC heretic so what do I know?  Tongue
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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2014, 12:02:53 PM »

This is sort of like a poll asking you which way you would prefer to be tortured to death....

Seriously, I would argue for Gnosticism as the early Church had to confront it in the nascent days of the the Faith  as the message of Christ was just beginning to spread out of Palestine and across the Graeco - Roman world.

Not at all.  There are some heresies that popped up that did relatively minor damage. Others engulfed large portions of Christendom. It isn't a matter of prefering a heresy, but rather a more objective discussion on which one caused the most damage or had the greatest potential for overwhelming the Church.  (I know, I know, gates of hell and all that.  Just play along with me.  Wink)

It's just an issue when the greatest heresy is really just someone's pet hatred, especially when the modern Church is considered into the conversation.
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« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2014, 12:09:03 PM »

This is sort of like a poll asking you which way you would prefer to be tortured to death....

Seriously, I would argue for Gnosticism as the early Church had to confront it in the nascent days of the the Faith  as the message of Christ was just beginning to spread out of Palestine and across the Graeco - Roman world.

Not at all.  There are some heresies that popped up that did relatively minor damage. Others engulfed large portions of Christendom. It isn't a matter of prefering a heresy, but rather a more objective discussion on which one caused the most damage or had the greatest potential for overwhelming the Church.  (I know, I know, gates of hell and all that.  Just play along with me.  Wink)

It's just an issue when the greatest heresy is really just someone's pet hatred, especially when the modern Church is considered into the conversation.

Well put.
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2014, 12:16:21 PM »

I voted other, and since we're asked to specify in that regard, my choice was, in the words of Pope Pius XI in Rerum omnium perturbationem (#4), Jan. 26, 1923:

Quote
...the heresies begotten by the [Protestant] Reformation.  It is in these heresies that we discover the beginnings of that apostasy of mankind from the Church, the sad and disastrous effects of which are deplored, even to the present hour, by every fair mind.

Or as Belloc would have it, the collection of heresies known as Protestantism.

While only the Apostolic, liturgical churches existed upon the earth the hope remained - however faint - that Christendom may once again be unified.  Protestantism, however, represents the absolute death knell for Christian unity this side of the Parousia and provided the impetus for the secularization of Western society.  For these reasons, I find it to be the collection of heresies with the most wide-ranging and longterm disastrous effects.
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« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2014, 12:23:50 PM »

well I guess looking at the basis of everything makes things simpler.

The worst heresy is the heresy that led one or more souls away from salvation.

And that is potentially every single lie.

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« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2014, 12:48:54 PM »

The commodification of faith in modern times.

You want to minimize the effectiveness of an idea, package and market it to the masses as a product.
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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2014, 12:55:59 PM »

The commodification of faith in modern times.

You want to minimize the effectiveness of an idea, package and market it to the masses as a product.

+1

The age of global communication also causes that all lies have a voice. That the church is a kind of service or product that is part of a package that guarantees my quality of life is one of these lies.
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« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2014, 01:03:25 PM »

The commodification of faith in modern times.

You want to minimize the effectiveness of an idea, package and market it to the masses as a product.
+ 2
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« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2014, 07:12:58 PM »

The commodification of faith in modern times.

You want to minimize the effectiveness of an idea, package and market it to the masses as a product.

You've already lost if you think ideas can be judged by something like effectiveness or judged at all for that matter.

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« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2014, 09:26:33 PM »

The commodification of faith in modern times.

You want to minimize the effectiveness of an idea, package and market it to the masses as a product.

You've already lost if you think ideas can be judged by something like effectiveness or judged at all for that matter.

So, you've lost then?
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« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2014, 10:00:33 PM »

Gnosticism.

It was there early on, continued, and still going today.  Many movies & stories are centered around gnosticism.
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« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2014, 10:17:03 PM »

I tend to believe the Church is protected as a divine institution. (In spite of all the adversity and heresies) ...
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« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2014, 10:27:11 PM »

For those saying gnosticism, I'm curious at to what you think that term means. As generally used it is an umbrella term that includes so many groups, practices and beliefs, over such a long period of time, and in so many different places, that it becomes largely meaningless in discussions like this. Which particular gnostics or beliefs? After all, most gnostics weren't Christian heretics, but rather pagan syncretists who tried to take elements of various religions and philosophies and merge them.

I'm not sure that I take 'dangerous' and 'damaging' as being the same thing, as I would understand the first term as having more to do with potential + actual harm, while the latter I'd see as being mostly just about actual harm. But anyway, if I had to choose one that fit either/both, I would say Arianism. It lasted in the east for at least 60+ years, and in the fringes or outside the empire for hundreds of years. It was held to by many emperors, who persecuted and martyred Christians. I think it was the first major heresy Christianity faced on a higher intellectual level, and which required greater theological minds to refute. It was also dangerous because at the time it was not only that 'the world awoke to find itself Arian,' but even within the orthodox faithful there were disputes and divisions (Constantinople and Rome not in communion, Alexandria and Meletian Antioch not in communion, etc.) Of course you can say, rightly, that the Church was never truly in danger (Matt. 16:18)... yet it must have seemed pretty grim at times.
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« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2014, 10:29:28 PM »

For those saying gnosticism, I'm curious at to what you think that term means. As generally used it is an umbrella term that includes so many groups, practices and beliefs, over such a long period of time, and in so many different places, that it becomes largely meaningless in discussions like this. Which particular gnostics or beliefs? After all, most gnostics weren't Christian heretics, but rather pagan syncretists who tried to take elements of various religions and philosophies and merge them.

I'm not sure that I take 'dangerous' and 'damaging' as being the same thing, as I would understand the first term as having more to do with potential + actual harm, while the latter I'd see as being mostly just about actual harm. But anyway, if I had to choose one that fit either/both, I would say Arianism. It lasted in the east for at least 60+ years, and in the fringes or outside the empire for hundreds of years. It was held to by many emperors, who persecuted and martyred Christians. I think it was the first major heresy Christianity faced on a higher intellectual level, and which required greater theological minds to refute. It was also dangerous because at the time it was not only that 'the world awoke to find itself Arian,' but even within the orthodox faithful there were disputes and divisions (Constantinople and Rome not in communion, Alexandria and Meletian Antioch not in communion, etc.) Of course you can say, rightly, that the Church was never truly in danger (Matt. 16:18)... yet it must have seemed pretty grim at times.
Good point. I probably should have made it more clear.  I was interested more in how damaging different heresies have been.
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« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2014, 10:31:06 PM »

Probably I would say Ultramontism/the Roman interpretation of Papal Supremacy, because it is the most effectively divisive. It is not a doctrine about which one can agree to disagree about other things. The Pope cannot demand the Filioque and Orthodox cannot reject it if they all accept Ultramontism.
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« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2014, 11:37:44 PM »

I think Monothelitism is a big contender, which had four patriarchates under its grasp at one point. Imagine if we had already been seperated from Rome then, with no truly orthodox patriarch? it would be very difficult, especially if the emperors had stayed supporting it
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« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2014, 12:02:54 AM »

The commodification of faith in modern times.

You want to minimize the effectiveness of an idea, package and market it to the masses as a product.

You've already lost if you think ideas can be judged by something like effectiveness or judged at all for that matter.



So, you've lost then?

If you are valuing them, then yes you have.
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« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2014, 12:36:23 AM »

I voted for Other, specifically, Vatican I and Vatican II.  The RCs aren't going to renounce them anytime soon and their efforts at unification will mean that these innovations will be shoved down everyone's throat.
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