a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Christian Heresies

To: Usenet
From: Various writers
Subj: Christian Heresies (0000.hersies.var)
Date: unknown

From: Andy Byler
Quoting: |Dave Lewsid 
|Could someone please post a brief list and short definition of the
|more important heresies?

Arianism-The belief that Christ is not God, but is the first Creature
made by God, before the beginning of time and space.  Also implies that
the Holy Spirit is made rather than eternal.

Sabellianism-The belief that the Tritnity does not really exist, but
that God is supremely simple, and that after the judgement, will throw
off the cloak of Trinitarian terms.  Also called Paterpassianism because
Sabelians believe that as their is no Trinity, God died on the cross.

Origenism-The belief that all creation, even Satan and his demonic
legions will be reconciled to God in the end of time.

Pelagianism-The belief that man is able to do supernaturally good acts
without the grace of God, that man is able to act justly and keep all
the commandments without the grace of God, that there is no original sin
and hence no need to baptize infants and that they can reach eternal

Montanism-The belief that the Church has become corrupt, and that
charismatic prophets represent the true sucessors of Christ and the
Apostles.  Very rigorist as regards sin, and similar to modern

Nestorianism-The belief that Christ is two persons: the eternal Word and
Jesus the man, and that hence Mary was not Mother of God but only Mother
of Christ.

Monphysitism-The belief that there is only one nature in Christ, the
Divine, not two, the Divine and Human.  Also called Eutychianism.

Monothelitism-The belief that Christ has only one will, the divine, and
not two, the divine and human acting in perfect harmony.

Monoenergism-The belief that Christ has only one mode of action, the
divine, and not two the divne and human.

Gnosticism-The belief that other secret revelations were made too the
Apostles to be communicated only to select followers (the elect).  Led
to various bizarre beliefs including Marcion's differentiation of the
God's of the old and new testaments.

Donatism-That only the faithful who have never sinned after baptism are
part of the Church.  That there cannot be any system of penance to admit
the lapsed, especially those guilty of mortal and grevious sins.  That
violence is an acceptable method to influence Church decisions.

Iconoclasm-The belief that not only can honors of veneration not be
given to holy images, but that such images are wrong in and of

Albigensianism-The belief in the evil nature of the material world, and
that hence acts and desires of the flesh are completely evil.  Denial of
the rights of temporal governments.  Denial of the holy state of

Lollardism-The belief that only worthy priests can confect the
sacraments.  Also denied infallibility of the Church,
transubstantiation, purgatory, intercession of the saints, visibility of
the Church.  Various other false beliefs concerning the nature of God. 
Only the elect are part of the Church.  The Church has not the right to
own property.  State and Church should be seperated and the Church made
into a democracy.

Protestantism-Denial of the Catholic system of graces and sacraments. 
Denial of purgatory, free will, intercession of the saints, visibility
of the Church.  Strictly predestinarian.  Scripture alone is the rule of
faith.  The Pope has not the primacy in the Church.

Jansenism-The belief that only the elect are part of the Church. 
Ordinary people are not holy enough to receive the eucharist.  Limbo is
a pelagian fantasy.  There is no grace given outside the Church.

Liberalism-The belief that the Church and State should be seperated. 
That the State is supreme and the source of rights, especially
concerning the Church, family, marriage, and education.  That the Church
and Pope should reconcile themselves to civilization as lately
conceived.  That there is a freedom to choose whatever religion one

Modernism-The belief that the Church has slowly created its dogma of
time, and that it is not all part of the deposit of faith.  Genesis 1-11
are poetic and not a true history.  Christ is not God.  The sacraments
were created by the Church, as was the heirarchical organization.  The
Bible is open to deconstructionist criticism, and that modern exegetes
know a truer sense of the meaning of scripture than traditional
interpretation.  That it is not necessary to pertain to the true Church
for salvation.  That morality can and should be updated with the times.

Old Order Catholicism/Anglo-Catholicism-That the Pope is not the supreme
head of the Church and infallible when speaking ex cathedra to the whole
church.  That there can exist branches of the true Church.  That the
Church is not infallible.

Andy Byler

{I assume it's obvious that this is a Roman Catholic list.  While some
of our readers may not regard some of these views as heretical, they
have all been defined as such by official statements.  This means that
"modernism" and "liberalism" are being used with specific technical
meanings, defined in the papal statements that declared them to be
heresies.  A number of Catholics would argue that certain aspects of
modernism are no longer considered heretical.  However when the word
"modernism" is used in Catholic discussions, it's important to
realize that it is a reference to the condemnation of this specific
set of views.  --clh}

From: Miladus Edenessi

here is a quick list.  It is by no means exhaustive nor does it claim to  
represent all.  

Simon Magus and the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies present a number of  
'heresies', including a variety of gnostic versions.
Marcion and his followers.
Montanus and the Montanists.
Donatus and the Donatists.
Arius and the Arian heresy.
Pelagius and the Pelagian heresy.
Monophysite and variations thereof.
Bogomils, Cathars, etc

There is a very interesting book by Alain Le Bouillec that traces all  
heresies via the expressions, metaphors, figures used by the Church  
Fathers to describe abd discuss heresies.

Miladus Edenessi

From: Martin M. Palo (as142@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Quoting: | (D. Andrew Byler) 

|Arianism-The belief that Christ is not God, but is the first Creature
|made by God, before the beginning of time and space.  Also implies that
|the Holy Spirit is made rather than eternal.

That is the concept that theologist have written that Arius believed.
But that is not historically accurate. 

If you take the first part and change the wording slightly:

The belief that Christ is not the greatest diety, but is the first
being generated by the Father before the beginning of time.

What you have now is the belief of Bishop Alexander of Alexandria, 
the opponent of Arius.

Look it up. Read Alexander's and Athanasius' writings.

Martin M. Palo

From: "--clh]"

I have read them both.  There is always some room for uncertainty,
because we have limited writings from many of the heterodox, including
Arius.  But we do have a couple of letters, one to Eusebius and one to
Alexander.  From that and a fairly long letter by Alexander, I think
at least some of the issues between them are clear.  (1) Arius does
not believe that the Son is eternal.  There was a time before he was
begotten.  Alexander denies this.  (2) Arius believes that the Son was
created from nothing.  While he uses the term "begotten", he also says
that the Son is "from nothing."  Alexander objects to this.  He
objects because in Alexander's view (which orthodoxy has followed),
the Father and Son have the same nature.  They are equally eternal and
equally everything else.  They differ only in that the Son is begotten
from the Father.  Alexander believes that Arius' insistence on the Son
coming from nothing means that the Son is a created being, not the
natural son of his Father.  I admit that there is a certain ambiguity
about the few pages we have of Arius' writings.  It is just barely
possible that he doesn't mean what Alexander thinks he means.  But his
insistence on "from nothing", and his use of the word "creature",
suggests that in fact he does think of the Son as something whose
nature is inferior to God.

In fact Arius does use the word "God" when speaking of the Son.
However in other places he distinguishes between God and the Son.
This suggests that saying "Christ is not God" is slightly too strong.
Arius thinks of him as God in a certain sense. William Rusch
characterizes it by saying that "God" and "Son of God" are "courtesy
titles" for him.

I have some questions about the beliefs you attribute to Alexander.  I
don't claim to be an expert on his thought, as I've read only one
letter (which however deals with these issues in some detail).  But at
least based on that, some of the phrases you use don't seem consistent
with what he said.  First, "not the greatest diety".  Alexander denies
that there is more than one diety, so I think he would not use this
exact phrasing.  The Father is greater than the Son only in the sense
that the Father is the source of the Son.  Other than that they are
equal.  "The first being generated" suggests a parallelism between
generation of the Son and other beings, which I would think Alexander
would not accept.  (At least he objects to suggestions of it in

In a number of cases there are questions about whether ancient
heretics really held the positions associated with them.  For example,
it's not entirely clear that Nestorius was a Nestorian, nor that
Pelagius was quite a Pelagian.  There may be a certain caricature
involved in Arius as well, but it does seem that he taught that the
Son is a creature, created from nothing and by nature inferior to the

------ EOF

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races