<<deviation, violation>>

Heresy involves thoughts and opinions that are contrary to clear biblical teaching or commonly accepted beliefs. Such thinking can deceive many people as this false teaching appeals to the carnal human nature because it does not require personal discipline to deal with the old nature and its corrupt lifestyle and values (Mt 15:9, 24:11; 2 Jn 1:7). In fact it is an act of the sinful nature, attempting to justify wrong behaviour (Gal 5:19-21). The Bible states some will abandon their faith and follow deceiving spirits (1 Tim 4:1; 2 Pet 2:1,2).

Error comes by "not knowing the Scriptures or the power of God" (Mt 22:29). The Scriptures are to be our authority and guide to all teaching, and we are to be alert so we are not led astray by ignorant and unstable people who distort the truth (Act 20:30; Gal 1:7; 2 Pet 3:16; Jud 1:4). Paul wanted his followers to know the truth so they wouldn’t be deceived by fine sounding arguments or man’s rules (Col 2:2-4). We are to know the truth that sets free and brings us into the liberty Christ purchased for us (Jn 8:32). We are exhorted to study to show ourselves approved, correctly handing the word of truth, diligently searching the Scriptures to ensure the accuracy of the teaching we receive (Act 17:11; 2 Tim 2:15).  We are also told to turn away from idle chatter and nonproductive discussions so we can grow in grace and the knowledge of God (1 Tim 6:20; 2 Tim 2:16; 2 Pet 3:18). Continually reinforce the basic truths.

Don’t be gullible, accepting teaching which is contrary to the Bible (2 Cor 11:4; Col 2:8; Heb 13:9).

Myths and endless genealogies along with distorted and misleading doctrine lead into heresy and error.  To be kept free from deception submit to Godly leaders and mentors, and above all else study the Scriptures. The Bible gives a solemn warning about teaching wrong doctrine, distorting the

    Do not go beyond what is the Bible says    – 1 Corinthians 4:6

truth and giving a false interpretation or meaning to it by incorporating personal ideas and opinions (Gal 1:8; 2 Pet 3:3; Rev 22:18,19).

A cult is a religious group who deny one or more of the fundamentals of biblical truth, such as Jesus was not God, and that salvation is not by faith alone.

A sect is a group of people that has differing views on basic doctrine than those normally held by mainstream Christianity; as such, it can be considered a branch that teaches heresy. A heretic is a person who holds firmly to heresy.  The Bible teaches such people are to be warned but if they don’t repent they are to be shunned (Tit 3:10,11).

See also: cults, deception, doctrine, error, examine, false teaching, Gnosticism, hermeneutics, mentor, sect, truth.