Sat, 18 July 2009
We must examine the things that are being taught, regardless of who teaches it to us. 2 Peter chapter 2 deals with this extensively, discussing the teachings of heresies, or sects of people who disagree with the orthodox teachings.
Peter speaks about false teachings that were extant at the time he was writing, but there are false teachers even today. Though these false teachers may not know that they are teaching error, they are a diabolical force on the world and the Church. There are a numbers of condemnations of these destructive heresies, warranting a comparison to great judgments in the Old Testament.
Looking at the sources of heresies, we find that people were looking for answers at that time, and many were seduced by a misreading of Christ's message that was either ascetic and denied the flesh or hedonistic and denied the ability for the flesh to impact the spirit. Leaders were only too eager to help because the received rewards of money, the flesh, or power.
It is sometimes easy to turn a blind eye to this, but we must never forget that there are real consequences to error that affect real people that will cause real suffering. Many of these false teachings come in "from the side" in a clandestine manner and appear in some position of authority. These people betray their true beliefs when they claim to remain faithful while encouraging others to join them in their error. To honor someone who is making a shipwreck of his or her faith simply because of the office is actually to do dishonor to the office.
The closing theme is Gerard Satamian's Chansons Sans Paroles Op. 2 Pastorale, from the album Dry Fig Trees. www.magnatune.com