Saturday 9 May 2015

Beware of the Marcionites!

Marcionites: What are they?. It may sound like a strange group of aliens, but in fact Marcion was a Second Century heretic, one whom the church deemed to hold utterly false views. Therefore, Marcionites are those who adopt his teaching. So, what did he believe?

1. That the God of the Old Testament was different to the God of the New Testament.

2. He had a reduced Bible canon so that he only endorsed and used Luke's Gospel and the letters of Paul. He apparently edited out OT quotes from Paul's letters as well.

Paul wrote something against people like Marcion before he died in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work".

Now every heresy keeps appearing and contemporary Christianity faces the Marcion teaching in one form or another today. How many Christians do you know who think that the God of the OT is different to Jesus and the God of the NT? This is not new thinking, because Marcion thought this, but this is indeed false thinking. How many churches today only preach from (or mainly from) the New Testament and virtually neglect the Old Testament for public reading and public preaching on the Lord's Day? We must beware of contemporary Marcionites! (this is why church history is so important, because there is "nothing new under the sun".).

The Lord Jesus cited many books of the Old Testament, as did the Apostles. Peter cited the Book of Joel and the Psalms on the Day of Pentecost; James cited the prophet Amos at the Council in Jerusalem in Acts 15. When was the last time you heard teaching from the Books of Amos or Joel?

The church and individual Christians need a fresh connecting of the Old Testament Scriptures with the New Testament Scriptures. They are both the product of the one mind of the one God brought to us by the one Holy Spirit. I sometimes wonder if in our printed Bibles, that the sheet of paper between the OT and the NT subliminally inserts a wall in people's minds between the OT and the NT. Let us love, read, preach and meditate upon all 66 Bible books.

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