Asian American Church: Breeding-Ground of Heresy?

Dr Sam Tsang (no relation of mine) has written against the destruction of the past in churches, especially Asian American churches. A ‘Bible-only’ approach, ignorant or even disparaging of the past work of the Holy Ghost, tends to the destruction of biblical orthodoxy.

This is largely an American phenomenon because we like to pick and choose our religion the way we experiment with fusion cuisine. Without denominational and creedal attachment to history, whatever these leaders say is ‘biblical’. The leaders themselves make the rules because after all, God has ordained these leaders to lead, and after all, these churches are growing in huge numbers.

Recently I encountered an anti-catholic, anti-tradition ‘Christian’ who in affirming the oneness of God denied the orthodox teaching of the Trinity. Though he referred to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, what he held was a Sabellian doctrine:

There is only One Spirit, a Spirit that is not separate. The Father, who is Spirit, does not have a Spirit from His own, and the Son does not have His own Spirit, and we do not have a separate Spirit. [There is] One Spirit that is the Father in us all, including the Son.

Like Sabellius, he even referred by way of example to the light and the heat of the sun: ‘For example, and it is a poor example, but the heat and the light from the sun are not separate from the sun; we have only one sun, though there are many suns throughout the universe.’ I was shocked to see that such a basic heresy as Sabellianism was being espoused by someone removed from me by only one degree, and I was reminded of a truth Christians often forget. Heresy, even basic heresy, is not something that happens outside evangelical social circles: those who teach it, and those who tolerate it as acceptably Christian, are very often people we know.

Sometimes we may even be called to unity with those who insist on heretical teachings. But there is no fellowship between Christ and Belial, or between the catholic faith of the Scriptures and the heretical imaginations of the human heart. I cannot take Sabellian and Apollinarian statements as a confession of the true faith, or indeed of the same Christ I know. If it be in doubt how well many sincere papists know the Lord (though it is him that they confess), a thousand times more do I shrink from affirming that those who hold grossly heretical opinions of the Trinity and of the natures of Christ profess faith in the same God. The Lord tells me of the joys of brethren dwelling in unity, but I cannot take platitudes as a basis of fellowship. Anyone who knows me decently well is aware that I desire unity in the Church; but life is not so dear, nor peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of lies and heresy.

If these are the fruits of Bible-only evangelical culture, then I am its sworn enemy; damned be all its works. And if this is what comes out of Asian American churches, then damned be that model forever.

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One response to “Asian American Church: Breeding-Ground of Heresy?

  1. Yes, and the precise anti-catholic sentiment prevents such churches from looking to the obvious place for doctrinal guidance, the creeds.

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