Thursday, July 6, 2017

They Walk among Us

Five years ago I passed along a post from Bill Muehlenberg about modern Marcionism and its dangers to the Church. The dangers of Marcionite thinking is both dangerous and popular as noted in a current post wherein Carl Trueman warns against aspects of this heresy: unbalanced emphasis of God’s love, disregard for the Old Testament, and neglect of sound doctrine in music. He is on target here. Like its cousin heresy, Gnosticism, this ancient teaching is as difficult to kill as the mythological multi-headed Hydra: as soon as a head is cut off two more grow in its place. As a result, they both have lasted for centuries.

The appeal of Marcionism is its emphasis on newness. Allegedly, by loosing the bindings of past teaching and forms, a new, fresh approach is brought to the Church to invigorate stagnancy. However, the truth is that the traditions of our fathers are what secures the Church to the “foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Eph 2:20). To throw off supposed restraints leaves one adrift in a sea of opinion. Trueman’s concluding warning is apropos:
Think truncated thoughts about God and you'll get a truncated God; read an expurgated Bible and you get an expurgated theology; sing mindless, superficial rubbish instead of deep, truly emotional praise and you will eventually become what you sing.
Whichever head of Marcionism may be raised, the solution is the same: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle” (2Th 2:15).

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