Christian Trivia #5 asked how many ‘persons’ were present at the Transfiguration event. It was kind of a trick question to see if you picked up that the Father and the Son are each persons even though they are ONE God. This is what we call “The Trinity”: One God – 3 Persons.
Today, the vast majority of Christians today are “Trinitarian” – they believe in the Trinity. This seems like a no-brainer.
But it wasn’t always like that for Christians. There were many erroneous teachings about Jesus in the early centuries of Christianity. Some incorrect ideas of who Jesus was became accepted by many Christians and some even lasted many decades until they died off in favor of the true Apostolic teaching. So these Christians did not deny Christ, they just had a flawed understanding of who He was.
These false beliefs were called “heresies”. The word heresy comes from the Greek word ”haireo” which means to choose. The idea is that these false teachings were chosen by Christians rather than accepting the Apostolic teaching which comes Divinely protected by Christ.
But those Christians chose to follow either their own ideas or a popular idea presented by another Christian about the faith. Someone believing a heresy is called a heretic.
So, Trivia #6 is about the early heresies that popped up concerning exactly who Jesus was.
Name at least 3 heresies that mischaracterized who Jesus was.
I’ll give you hints:
1. Jesus was a Divine being, but not the same substance as the Father. He was a created being, He had a beginning – created by the Father.
2. Jesus was Divine, but actually only Spirit who only appeared to have a human body. His human form was only an illusion to those who saw Him.
3. God was one God, but acted in 3 modes – the Son (Jesus) being one of the modes of God. Kind of like saying I am one person, but I can assume 3 modes: a brother, a son, and a father - all at the same time. This heresy denied that God was 3 Persons and therefore rejected that Jesus was a distinct Person.
Obviously, you can look these up – I don’t expect you to know them off hand. It’s an “open internet” quiz.
(Yes, they're getting harder.)