Our Scripture verse today is 1 John 4:1 which reads: "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
Our quote today is from Vance Havner. He said: "The early Christians condemned false doctrine in a way that sounds almost unchristian today."
Today, we are looking at "The Deposit of the Faith" (Part 4) from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez's fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).
Marcion, whose father was a bishop of Sinope on the southern coast of the Black Sea, knew Christianity from an early age. But he profoundly disliked both Judaism and the material world. He thus developed an understanding of Christianity that was both anti-Jewish and anti-material. He went to Rome, around the year 144 AD, and there he gathered a following. But eventually the church at large came to the conclusion that his doctrines contradicted several fundamental points in Christian doctrine. He then founded his own church , which lasted for several centuries as a rival to the orthodox church.
Since Marcion was convinced that the world is evil, he came to the conclusion that its creator must be either evil or ignorant - or both. But instead of positing a long series of spiritual beings, as the Gnostics did, Marcion proposed a much simpler solution. According to him, the God and Father of Jesus is not the same as Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament. It was Yahweh who made this world. The Father's purpose was to have only a spiritual world. But Yahweh, either through ignorance or out of evil intent, made this world and placed humankind in it -- a theme that one finds in many Gnostic writings as well...
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