The Word & the Truth> About Heresy > What Is Heresy?
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Was Jesus a Heretic?
Sometimes, senseless people blame the true Church, calling it "heresy," when the number of the heresy-believers surpasses that of truth-believers.
1) Jesus, too, was treated as a heretic
The Jewish people who lived two thousand years ago referred to Christianity as the "Nazarene sect,"persecuting Christians for following Jesus, who was from Nazareth (Acts 24:5). Regarding Him as a heretic, the Jews tried to kill Jesus many times.
John 8:59 『At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.』
John 10:30-31 『"I and the Father are one." Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him...』
John 11:53 『So from that day on they plotted to take his life.』
The religious leaders of that time, who regarded Jesus as a heretic, had not recognized their sin until they handed Him over to be crucified. They believed that their actions were just, even faithful to God, and they boldly shouted, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!"(Matt. 27: 23-25).
When God appears in the flesh, He is still God, not a man; however, the people thought that Jesus’divinity was only self-proclaimed. When Jesus asked the Jews why they wanted to stone Him, they answered very confidently, "We are not stoning you for any of these, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God"(John 10:33). By their actions, the Jews treated Jesus as if he had been a heretic.
2) Jesus’disciples were also called heretics
Do you think that the people who condemned Jesus, by claiming that He was a heretic, acknowledged His disciples? When the Apostles preached the gospel, the Jews denounced them, too. They assumed that the disciples were only heretics who had worshipped Jesus, the son of a carpenter, and had fabricated His divinity. The disciples, who proclaimed that Jesus was the Christ, were flogged (Acts 5:40), chased (Acts 9:23-25), and even stoned to death (Acts 7:59).
Acts 24:1-9 『"We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect."』
Acts 7:59-60 『While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed..."Lord, do not hold this sin against them."When he had said this, he fell asleep [died].』
3) A present-day view of heresy
When a deacon of the Protestant church first heard the truth, he asked the pastor of the Protestant church, "I happen to know of a church that proclaims that the Sabbath day is Saturday, not Sunday, and that the 25th of December is not the birthday of Jesus. Are this church’s teachings correct?"
The pastor’s answer was ridiculous, "Biblically, the Sabbath day is Saturday, and the 25th of December is not the birthday of Jesus, but any church that keeps the Sabbath and does not celebrate Christmas is heretical."
What does his answer mean?
His standard of judgment is not the Bible, but the doctrine of his own denomination. Since Jesus and His disciples kept the Sabbath day and did not celebrate Christmas, were they heretics? Today, people accuse those who follow the teachings of Jesus, calling them heretics. They use the same arguments as those who denounced Jesus as a heretic.