Is Marcionism still alive in the Church?
Marcion was a wealthy Christian Ship owner from Asia Minor who moved to Rome in 140. Marcion’s problem was that he did not like the God of Wrath in the Old Testament (Tanak). He applied the scissors to the Bible to remove the books that he found offensive and found that he could not stop. Paul was Marcion’s greatest hero and it was no surprise that he ended up with a Bible containing only 10 Pauline epistles (minus the Pastoral epistles and Hebrews), Luke and Acts, and even from these books he removed any references to the Old Testament. He ended up with 2 Gods — The God of the Old Testmanet and the God of the New. He was ex-communicated in 144. His rival church movement was widespread in many parts of the Empire and was numerous and influential for nearly 2 centuries.
But is the Heresy of Marcion dead? I would like to suggest it is not. While it may not be as blatant as Marcion there are still different forms of it. It is very much alive in certain theological schools of thought. What Marcion did not appreciate was that when it comes to understanding the Bible you have approach the both testaments to get the full picture. If you lack one part who will end up with a distored theology which could end up in heresy. Many Churches today ignore the Old Testament altogether while some only delve into certain parts like the Psalms leaving whole books untouched. For those people who say all we need is the New Testament please answer me this. How can you understand the book of Revelations without the Old Testament? How can you understand Hebrew without Leviticus? How can you undertand Pentecost without Sinai? How can you understand Jesus without Isaiah and every other book in the Old Testament? I could go on and on. While most people today aren’t as blatant as Marcion there are subtle ways in which man y become like him. We maybe only every use New Testament only Bibles with the Psalms attched at the end. While there is nothing wrong with this if this is all you use then you are walking in the footsteps of Marcion, who was declared a heretic. I know some people will be saying what about people who don’t have parts of Bible in their tongue because it hasn’t been translated or because they live in a closed country. Well that is different and God understands our situation. But most of us reading this aren’t and we have no such excuse. If you are such a Christian who has done this please change and stop following a heretic. If you go to a Church which practises this speak to your Pastor and find out why and try and get him to change. If your Church refuses to Change then you need to find another Church which doesn’t practise the Heresy of Marcion. In the end it is for our own good to read and understand the whole counsel of God. We need the whole to understand the part. To even try to begin to Understand God we need both. We all desire a closer walk with God and Jesus and to achieve this we should at least read what He has given us. Have a good day.