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What is an Heretic?

Key scriptures

The material which was originally found on this page has become the seed of one chapter of a book:

Stephens, Lauston and Ian Johnson, Our Oneness in Christ (PublishAmerica, 2007).

Summary of the page originally found here (now in the book):The page originally posted here developed the concept that the essence of heresy is divisiveness, not doctrinal error. A heretic is essentially a divisive person. He or she uses false teaching to create a following, which will give the heretic money and/or influence. The essence is selfishness and divisiveness, not doctrinal error. The Church has injured itself by insisting on doctrinal uniformity and persecuting anyone who expresses disagrement or reservations, however peaceably, as a heretic.

The page which originally appeared here also discussed several examples in support of an observation that the primary cause of the important, lasting divisions in the visible church has been divisive people and the interference of national and worldly political disputes in the Church. The mere existence of some doctrinal diversity has not caused serious, long-term divisions. Doctrinal differences are not the real cause of denominationalism.

Related Links

Common Divisive Fallacies Home
The Opinion-Maker Fallacy, and other fallacies about the Church
The Highway from Egypt to Assyria in Isaiah 19:23-25, an example of a scripture that has traditionally been interpreted non-literally in part in order to avoid giving recognition to the existence of two entire nationalities of "heretical" Christians.
Lauston Stephens: Pursuing Oneness in Christ
The Pentecostal doctrine of tongues: Example of a bilateral heresy

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Link to Dr. Bruce Cook's review of the book Our Oneness in Christ by Lauston Stephens and Ian Johnson.

© 2002 by Ian B. Johnson