I. Strategic considerations concerning the doctrine of Christ

                                                                                       2nd John 9

We believe that any lack of manifestation of God in the Church today can be traced back to a lack of abiding in the doctrine of Christ. Consequently a thorough defense against deviations from the doctrine of Christ has to be given. In doing so, it is not sufficient to re-stipulate the commonly accepted dogmatic formulations against arianism (denial of Christ's divinity) and apollonarianism (denial of Christ's humanity) as such, i.e. concerning their portent upon that part of theology designated as "christology". Instead we want to go further and analyze, judge and combat the influence of arianism and apollonarianism in all the rest of theology and in church conduct. It goes without saying that we are far from pretending to be historically exact as to what Arianus and Apollonarianus taught in detail. Instead we are using their heresies in a wider, paradigmatic sense; i.e. as thinking patterns that exist independently of their peculiar teachings and which repeat themselves in church history. They had just been illustrious examples of the respective wrong doctrine patterns.

I. a. Apollonarianism basically is that kind of doctrinal stance according to which Jesus was in reality not entirely human, but rather some sort of a half-god or superhuman being.  Jesus then becomes what the devil had wanted Him to become when he tempted Him in the desert, namely a being, that suffers extensively, but once the respective need arises, changes a stone into a bread, just as any reasonable half-god would have done. Then Jesus could not have become the One who stands in the gap for humanity.  Because then all the angels could have said to God: "See, there is no way to save mankind, because they are weak, and Jesus acts like a powerful half-god, but there is no human being that could fully do God's will!". Then Christ's crucifixion would have become meaningless, because God wanted that a human being be offered as a spotless sacrifice in order to atone for man's disobedience in Adam; a half-god or angel could not have done this.  The angels could then have said to God: "See, it was not such a good idea to create God-worshippers out of rotten plants, you should rather have had some more confidence in us, angels, we are much better in being obedient!"

The apollonarian Christ is the mystical Christ who is abstractly divine. It is the mystical-sacramental Christ of the Roman Catholic Church who gets sacrificed again and again in the Romish mass. It is the universal-spirit-Christ of New Age. It is the gnostic "mind" in cults such as "Christian Science". Unfortunately apollonarian thinking patterns can also be found in Christian churches that formally hold to the apostolic creeds. They are not apollonarianists as far as their teaching on Christ is concerned, but they behave in other areas of doctrine, as if they had an apollonarian christology as basis. These effects are being discussed in the respective doctrinal sections of this publication.

II. Arianism is basically that teaching according to which Christ was in fact in the beginning an ordinary human being that only at one point in time following his birth was declared God's son or just had the title God's son without really being God's son  or was just God's representative in a symbolic way or a first example of an ideal follower of God (Jehova's witnesses) or "God-empowered man" (New Age). The cult called "Jehova's witnesses" hold to one blatant form of arianism, they believe (in their inner-circle leadership, not in their publicity) that Christ was not crucified in reality, but that this only seemed so. However, arianism does not restrict itself to cults such as this one. Also the Christian church is plagued with wide variety of internal problems with arianism. The old liberalism from the 19th century, which in the Occident is not fully overcome yet, moves entirely within the arianist thinking pattern. According to it Jesus was just an ordinary man with Joseph as his natural father. Churches that cling to like teachings do neither have the moral stamina nor the apologetic power to fight against current en-vogue-whimseys according to which Jesus was not crucified and raised from among the dead but instead emigrated to Kashmir where he came to choose the profession of a guru. Also the false Gospel of the Galatians of old is an arian phenomenon. The Galatian arianist thinking is described in the section: Doctrinal strategies concerning soteriology and anthropology (move back to the bottom of the doctrinal "new deal" opening page to find the link to that section). Arianism forgets, looses sight of, neglects or belittles the fact that Christ was God and thereby comes to a man-made gospel substitute.

The arianist's Christ is the Christ who starts a political movement and throws the Romans and Greeks out of Palestina by secular and human means. It is the Christ who challenges humanity to try a "Christian" version of humanism. It is a Christ that has nothing to say concerning life after death and the supernatural. (This is why people like Bultmann tried to "de-mystify" the Bible). It is the idol of the worldly, religious Christian, that helps towards a better life, a nicer circle of friends, a better social position and a glorified ego, all items realized independent of and apart from the real Christ who is supernatural God and actually becomes a curse to those who do not love Him.

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