Photo by Chad Runge / Creation Swap

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Have you ever come across this word "heresy" and wonder what it means? It's one of those fancy words that you sometimes hear around religious circles. But do you really know what it means? It wasn't all that long ago when I didn't. It was until after I became a Christian and started paying attention to theological doctrines did I come across the word "heresy."

I felt kind of foolish back then because, to be quite honest, I didn't know the Bible all that well. In church when the pastor was telling us to go to...say Hosea...I just had this blank stare. Okay, I at least knew there was an index. All I had to do was find that and I was good to go. So you can imagine that I was well behind in my understanding of fancy religious words.

It's not a bad idea, every now and then, to go back and look at some of the things you've learned over the years. I think God's Word even encourages it.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9
6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

What is it as human beings that we have the tendency to do? To forget. God tells us to basically do everything that we can to remember His Words. Why? So we don't forget.

Psalm 78:41-43
41They tested God again and again
   and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42They did not remember his power
   or the day when he redeemed them from the foe,
43 when he performed his signs in Egypt
   and his marvels in the fields of Zoan.

So, I think it's a good idea to refresh our memories of the things that are important to know and understand. But why heresy? Certainly there are hundreds or thousands of words in the Bible that have more relevance. That may be true. However, I think this is one of those words that bears significance due to the age in which we live. But first things first.

What is heresy? Well, one such definition can be found at


1. unorthodox religious opinion: an opinion or belief that contradicts established religious teaching, especially one that is officially condemned by a religious authority

2. holding of unorthodox religious belief: the holding of, or adherence to, an opinion or belief that contradicts established religious teaching, especially one that is officially condemned by religious authorities
guilty of heresy

3. unorthodox opinion: an opinion or belief that does not coincide with established or traditional theory, especially in philosophy, science, or politics
His views on child development were regarded as heresy.

4. holding of unorthodox opinion: the holding of an unorthodox opinion that is in conflict with established or traditional theory, especially in philosophy, science, or politics

A more simple version of this definition could be, "A heresy is a deviation from the truth."

I like the latter version because it fits my simple way of thinking. However, recognizing the context in which heresy is used is also important. So, we can't ignore the former definition either. A Biblical definition can help tie this together:

The Biblical Definition
I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. (Romans 16:17-18)

Now I like that. God's Word has a way of putting it clearly, doesn't it? God is not about confusion, He's about helping us as His children to navigate the bumpy and dangerous terrain we live in as Christians. As followers of Jesus Christ.

What's really at the heart of the matter though? TRUTH. Truth is under attack. But if we can't or don't recognize it, then we're in trouble. According to Romans 16, we're in danger of deception. And how will we understand or be able to recognize if we're being deceived? Paul tells us it's through the "teaching you have learned."

It's everything that God has been teaching us through His Word. We saw that back in Deuteronomy when God said to teach His commands and remember them. And in Romans, where Paul was pointing out how the disciples were instructing the Roman believers through Scripture.

Since Truth is under attack by the means of heresy, we need to be proactive and be immersed in God's Word everyday. But how much time do we really spend in studying God's Word? If we understood God's heart as in Deuteronomy, it would be every available moment. Obviously we have lives to live, so I don't think that's the issue. As an example, God tells us work is profitable in Proverbs 28:19. So it's not that God is telling us to do nothing else but spend every waking moment reading the Bible. The point is is that there is an emphasis in spending quality time reading, meditating, and understanding His Word.

We need to be prepared. We need to have a clear Biblical understanding of the world around us. Otherwise, we're going to be caught off guard. To me, that's why it's important to have a Biblical worldview. What is that? According to The Biblical and Christian Worldview for the 21st Century, it is taking the principles of God's Word and applying them to our culture in this way:

“The.” For every concept and principle, we set forth the challenge that it is Biblical, under the best principles of Biblical understanding (Hermeneutics).

“Biblical.” The Bible is the very Word of God written: infallible, inerrant, and as fully authoritative as its Source, the Holy Spirit of God (II Timothy 3:16-17). 

“Christian.” All those who believe that the Bible is infallible, inerrant, and authoritative for faith and action. But, all “Christians” do not believe the Bible in this way. Every discussion that claims to be “Christian,” as in “Christian” Worldview, is not necessarily Biblical.

“Worldview.” A word, derived from the German, weltanschauung. Worldview is the lens or grid through which we interpret the world, the universe, and every principle of what is right or wrong with all individuals, families, cultures, and nations.

“21st Century.” These Biblical principles are timeless, but they do have a particular application to each time period and culture of history.

Let's look at one specific example of what I'm talking about. In one instance, we have Nancy Pelosi saying that climate change legislation is a "moral issue" and that we have a "moral responsibility" to preserve "God's Beautiful Creation." On the surface, it's hard to take issue with that. It seems like a legitimate concern.

Now, the definition of heresy tells us that something is being deviated from the truth. And the Apostle Paul says, "By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people." So how can we take what we know to be true about heresy, AND examine what Pelosi said, AND then take all that and form a Biblical worldview?

First, we need to understand what the Bible says. Protecting the environment would seem to fall in line with Scripture. Doesn't it? God tells us that we should be good stewards (Luke 12:42; Matthew 25:14-30) of what He has given and entrusted to us. To be sure that covers a lot of area. And the environment certainly falls into that. Going back to the beginning, in the account of creation (Genesis 1:27-29), God entrusted man with the responsibility to subdue the earth and rule over it. A great responsibility. So, if we understand that the Scriptures must have continuity, then we have to say we need to take charge of the earth and manage it well.

Now here's where it gets a little fuzzy. Nancy Pelosi takes the truth and uses it toward her agenda. In the CNSNews article, she admits "I am fairly agnostic about the means to the end in terms of what mechanism is used. What we want, though, is to have a result. The job that the bill must do is have a result that we reduce our dependence on foreign oil as a national security issue, that we reduce our dependence on fossil fuels wherever they originate as a health and environmental issue, that we proceed with innovation so that we can be number one, continue to be number one in the world in innovation, competitiveness, by creating new green jobs for the future.”

Agnostic about the means? According to Ray Bohlin, the means might have some serious consequences. None of which Nancy Pelosi, in her own words, seems to be too concerned about. Bohlin says, "After exploring the question of global warming, we've found the science behind it to be questionable at best and the economic impact unnecessarily severe, particularly for minority families and businesses. This may raise a question in some people's minds as to why this is being pushed so uncritically by other world governments and by the media."

So if we use science objectively, not toward a particular agenda, we can see that human beings really don't have as much influence on climate change as Nancy Pelosi would suggest. There is another concern here, however. How will this legislation impact the nation? We know from basic economics that there will certainly be added costs to reducing "our reliance" on fossil fuels. We just don't have the necessary technology in place to smoothly transition from the old way to the new way. The economy will certainly feel an added negative effect and that in return will have a negative affect on businesses and families. Is this what Nancy Pelosi means when she's agnostic about the means?

I certainly believe in doing my part, even if sometimes reluctantly, to recycle, reuse, and help out the environment. Those are good things we can do. But is it a moral obligation to increase the influence of government and negatively impact families to the point where finances are strained and businesses, jobs, and society suffer? There are even those, according to Wikipedia, that believe overpopulation is an additional factor. Is that why so many liberal-minded people are for abortion? I certainly do not believe that God, the Author and Creator of life, would be for such measures.

Consider this. God does want us to be good stewards. But does that mean we should give preferential treatment to the environment at the expense of people? Matthew 6:25-26 says, "25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

God's heart is for people. And as far as abortion goes, there is a passage that talks about sacrifices of children that might have some relevance:

2 Kings 23:8-11

"8Josiah brought all the priests from the towns of Judah and desecrated the high places, from Geba to Beersheba, where the priests had burned incense. He broke down the shrines at the gates—at the entrance to the Gate of Joshua, the city governor, which is on the left of the city gate. 9 Although the priests of the high places did not serve at the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem, they ate unleavened bread with their fellow priests.
10 He desecrated Topheth, which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could use it to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to Molech. 11 He removed from the entrance to the temple of the LORD the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were in the court near the room of an official named Nathan-Melech. Josiah then burned the chariots dedicated to the sun." 

God has never been about the sacrifice of children, especially unborn children. I believe that is an abomination to God. You can read more about this on another one of my posts at Glory to God: Abortion.

So, does Nancy Pelosi's statement reflect the case for heresy? I believe it does. That's why we have to be ever so vigilant in understanding God's heart and God's Word. Let's not be so easily deceived or deviated from the Truth! There are many, many others out there spreading heresy just like this and we as Christians need to alert and expose it.


  1. Thanks for telling me the meaning of hersey? not sure how it is spelled

  2. Kim-

    Thanks for stopping by. I am always learning myself. :)

  3. Thanks for stopping by arise 2 write and leaving a comment.

  4. GREAT post! You make the truth very clear with plenty of supporting references like the definition of words and quoting of Scriptures. This gives your writing a solid platform--truth vs. opinion. I enjoyed reading this and agree 100%.

    Thank you for stopping by and graciously sharing a comment. Have a lovely day!

  5. Great insights as always! I will be chewing on this all day.

  6. Hello Dean,

    I agree with you; it is imperative that Christians study the word of God. It becomes so much easier to forget when we don't.

    This is my first visit to your blog but I got an earlier opportunity to read your insightful comments on Paradox Principles.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on my blog as well. My hope and prayer is that the voices of many believers will be heard over the Internet; sharing the truth about God's love, salvation, grace and His son, Jesus Christ.


  7. Thanks for all the great comments! I appreciate everyone coming by my part of the world. I love going to everyone's blogs as well and learning with you. Keep the focus on Christ! Blessings!