After examining 34 core beliefs, Christianity Today magazine [Oct. 16, 2018] concluded that:
- A majority of U.S. adults (59%) believe that the Holy Spirit is a force, not a Person.
- Six in 10 Americans agree that religious belief is a matter of personal opinion and not about objective truth
- Most Christians believe that people are basically good, God accepts the worship of all religions, and Jesus was the first and greatest being created by God the Father.
Just to set the record straight:
- The Holy Spirit most definitively is a Person
- Religious beliefs better be about objective truth, or it is nothing at all.
- People are not basically good.
- God does not accept the worship of all religions, particularly when those religions do not even recognize who He is.
- And Jesus was not created.
Let’s focus on the latter, because this is also what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe today. They believe that Jesus is inferior to God the Father because He was created by God the Father. But did you know that this heresy is nothing new?
Here’s a little bit of church history: The Arian controversy of the fourth century is widely regarded as one of the most significant in all of Christian history. A bishop from North Africa, Arius (250-336 A.D.) argued that Jesus was the most important among all creatures, but that He was created nonetheless. His famous phrase in reference to Jesus is: “There was once when He was not.
This was met with a swift reaction from many within the Church who were able to marshal an impressive number of biblical passages to combat his ideas and point to the fundamental unity between the Father and the Son, although the Son was subordinate to the Father during the incarnation. In other words, during His incarnation, Jesus filled a different role than He did from eternity past.
If what Arius had argued was true, and if what the Jehovah’s Witnesses contend is true, and if what many Christians in our country today believe is true—that Jesus was the first and greatest created being—then Jesus could not save anyone, because no creature can save another creature.
So, let’s be clear: Jesus was God Himself in human form, and the second Person of the Trinity. Any other view is quite simply heresy! And theology does matter!
Devotedly your pastor,