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The Heresy App ...
... if only it were that simple.
Often Christians find themselves in situations where they would love to have an instant answer to their questions, to be able to discern truth from error, or certainty from personal opinion. They think it would be great if we could all simply be plugged into a computer and download painlessly everything we need to know.
Truth is not just believing the right things, it’s about living them out ... we need to know how to help other Christians grow in their understanding of truth, whether they be children, young people, those in our urban areas, or in other cultural contexts, or those in our churches who are full of questions.
Life and faith is not like that, though, and that's what makes it so interesting. A real commitment to truth takes much more hard work. It’s not just about spotting when a doctrine is wrong. Sometimes that is easy, sometimes not. Just being able to dismiss something as “heresy” of itself is of little value. Think of the controversial doctrines we mentioned in the Heresy App™ launch page. It might be easy to dismiss Marcion as a heretic because of his attitude to the Old Testament. Yet in practice many Christians actually do struggle with the Old Testament, and in effect ignore large parts of it. So, the real question is, how we help Christians read, understand and apply the Old Testament as well as the New.
Similarly, while we may never have heard of the concept of modalism, many of us struggle to grasp the concept of Trinity for ourselves, let alone to try to explain it to others.
And some comfortably-off Western Christians might easily think that prosperity teaching is unbiblical, yet it is not so easy to dismiss for many Christians in situations of poverty and injustice as they cry to God for healing and for Him to provide for their needs. How do we help them to expect God to intervene in their lives, or in ours, without falling into the trap of thinking we can somehow manipulate Him, or that following Jesus is something we do for personal gain?
Learning to recognise truth and discern it from error is only the start of the process which we take our students through here at ICC. Truth is not just believing the right things, it’s about living them out. This requires a good knowledge of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. It means we need to know how people over the centuries, and in the present day, have tried to explain the core beliefs of the Christian faith. And we need to know how to help other Christians grow in their understanding of truth, whether they be children, young people, those in our urban areas, or in other cultural contexts, or those in our churches who are full of questions.
Jesus said to his disciples in John 8: 31-32 “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”. Really knowing truth comes out of a developing relationship with Jesus, not by pushing a couple of buttons on a mobile phone, even if the Heresy App™ existed (which it doesn’t – sorry!). At ICC we’re committed to helping Christians grow in their knowledge of Jesus, of His truth, and of how to share that in our world.