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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Five Major Heresies in the Church: Marcionism

by David Chadwick

We are wrapping up our week with one more heresy: Marcionism.

This heretical thinking became popular in the 2nd century. Marcion, an early Christian theologian, presumed that there is a difference between the God of anger and judgment in the Old Testament and the God of mercy and love revealed through Jesus in the New Testament.

Marcion drew up a canon of 11 books in the New Testament that included the four gospels and a few of Paul’s writings. He left out the entire Old Testament.

Eventually, this was labeled a heresy, a wrong teaching. Take note of any leader or pastor today who is trying to discount the veracity and the importance of the Old Testament as they are dancing with Marcionism.

In the Old Testament, one sees a God of anger and judgment, yes. But I would argue, and many others would as well, that a God of love, compassion, and forgiveness is displayed as well. Grace is woven into every part of the Old Testament and story after story gives whispers and glimpses of the coming King Jesus.

Similarly, in the New Testament, Jesus rules and reigns with a message of humility, forgiveness, love, grace, mercy and compassion. But he also warns of the reality of hell and of eternal judgment. Jesus gives us more info about hell than about heaven! God’s eventual judgment of this world is evident in most of the New Testament books.

God is the same God of the Old and New Testaments. And as I mentioned earlier, Jesus is found throughout all of Scripture. He is even seen physically in Old Testament, pre-incarnate theophanies as well as the New Testament Incarnation. This refutes one popular preacher who recently encouraged Christians to “unhitch” ourselves from the Old Testament. Take heed of such thinking! It is wrong and will lead you astray!

Strengthen yourselves in the Lord, my friends. Put your trust in him. See and understand the amazing storyline of the Bible, one common theme woven throughout all 66 books.

Learn the historical truths of both the key doctrines of the Christian faith as well as the heresies that lead people into deception. Develop strong theological muscles that can withstand any storm!

And always remember: Sound doctrine produces a sound mind and mental health.

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