The Spirit is opposed to the works of the flesh as Galatians 5:16-21 states. One of those
works of the flesh is haireseis, or heresies as we know it. The meaning of this word is that it is
the self-willed opinion of man that goes against what God has said. Where God has spoken about something this is man saying, “Nope. I don’t agree with that. I believe something else and I’m moving forward with my opinion. I promote that.” Whether it is deliberate or done out of ignorance it is still the work of heresy. It is a self-willed opinion in rebellion against the highest authority to man, God’s “opinion.” There is no neutrality.
We may be familiar with this term, heresy, when it refers to core Christian doctrines that are rejected and where a falsehood is held in its place like Modalism, Arianism, Pelagianism, for example. These are damning to the soul, because they either deny the person and saving work of the Father, Son, or Spirit or they deny the true way of salvation according to God’s Word. These are critically important to recognize and confront, but often our idea of heresy stops there. Often we confine this topic by leaving it to just that one area, as a church matter regarding core doctrine. In our day we are in need of recognizing and confronting something that can be just as dangerous, which is cultural heresy. There are many cultural heresies that the church is embracing and when that happens then it can put core doctrinal beliefs into question and/or it can effect the witness of the church in the public square.
As we see this happening today this is a fruit of humanism. Humanism is a heretical system as a whole that takes under its wings a number of heresies. Humanism is the epitome of self-will against God. This whole system with its heretical influencers have led the church astray and into embracing heresies of mass destruction on a cultural level. What cultivates this is the neglect of submitting to the fact that God defines everything and going to His Word for the answers as our duty. When His authority is thrown to the side, especially with this subject in mind, then the will of man will build his tower and a society will form that thrives on cultural heresies. When the church is engaged in this it is a form of spiritual adultery against God.
For heresy to exist there must be orthodoxy, a reference point for a standard of what is true and right. Today’s “orthodoxy” is subjective relativism, which is the interpreter of what is said to be true and right in humanism. The funny thing is, is that subjective relativism is really no absolute standard for what can be considered orthodox within society and culture. It is an always-changing standard dependent and turning upon man’s opinion. Given this flip flop, heresy is really the new “orthodoxy” of today and what is actually true, orthodox, is considered heresy. That just goes to show that we live in a nation right now that is working directly against God and His truth, which is the only standard for true orthodoxy.
So what are some of these cultural heresies under our nation’s heretical humanistic system? These are definitely not the only ones and there could be a lot more to be said in detail about each, but the three that I will mention are major ones and these must be a warning to professing Christians if they have been influenced by these heresies. This also must be a starting point for necessary repentance, resistance, and a reformation back to orthodoxy, to what God says.
1) The second victimhood of the mother in abortion. Abortion itself is heresy, but within that issue there is no evidence that suggests that the mass majority of women who have abortions are victims. Yet the Pro-life movement has made it very clear that one of their major tenets, if not the major one, of their beliefs and practice is that the mother should not be punished. With this being taught under the banner of compassion many professing Christians are being led astray by this heresy. It is heresy, because it takes away the law and the gospel from the mother, it kills her need to repent, and it denies God’s standard of justice, which is to show no partiality to anyone. This issue must be called heresy and be explained why it is more and more by faithful Christians, so that His people can be led back to what is orthodox.
2) The delusion regarding human identity. This is another heresy with so much heresy under this category like homosexuality, transgenderism, same sex “marriage,” etc. Generally speaking though, God said that He made male and female and it is abundantly clear that reality matches that testimony. But we live in a day of the mass production of man’s opinion as to who he, she, or whatever is and who they can “love.” The never-ending pronouns that we’ve made up show that we are utterly delusional. It is also delusional to think that the same sex can marry and multiply under true covenant. And it is not only the world that is delusional, but it is also many professing Christians within the visible church who are delusional regarding this issue. This is heresy and we must call it such.
3) The new separation of church and state. Many professing Christians have bought into the command of the secular humanists that say you cannot bring your Christian beliefs into your public life. The beating drum of today in obedience to the world is, “I may be opposed to that, but it’s not my place to say.” Or “I can’t say or do that here.” This is part of the pietism that’s resulted in being led astray by this heresy. What’s sad is, it is not only heresy, because it is against what God says, but it is also heresy in reference to the “orthodox” document of our nation, the Constitution. This redefinition of the separation of church and state isn’t anywhere near what was clearly meant in the First Amendment. But that doesn’t matter, because it is a document that is fluid and changeable, right? That’s what they say about the Bible too, which is the ultimate standard of truth. Christians need to stop believing or giving into this heresy.
So, what do we make of how much influence these cultural heresies have had on the church and the nation at large? Galatians 5:17 says that the Spirit is opposed to the flesh to keep you from partaking in the works of the flesh. This means that the Spirit is opposed to heresy, these self-willed opinions against God’s truth, and He works against the flesh to keep the Christian from partaking in these heresies. Do we get what that should mean? Should we be seeing so many Christians giving into these heresies and furthering them? Should it be true that about 60% of Americans profess to be Christian and yet our nation is in the state it is? Shouldn’t there at least be more evidence of a fight? The Spirit is actively opposed to heresy.