Monday, 18 December 2017

72 Sects of Christianity

Seventy-Two Sects of Christianity

(Christian Sects Before the Rise of Islam)

The Prophet Muhammad stated that the Christians were divided into 72 sects, all of them are in the Hellfire except for 1 sect. The saved sect of the Nazarenes (Nasara) were those followers of Jesus of Nazareth who did not deify him and remained under the obedience of the Mosaic law. Apart from them, all other offshoots and sects of Christianity which developed after the death of Jesus deviated from his gospel and are therefore doomed to the hellfire. In this entry, I shall outline some of those sects and briefly summarize their particular doctrines. Hopefully the reader will be able to see the utter foolishness of Christian theology and the kind of strange theological controversies which erupted among them resulting in their factionalism:
1. Ebionism – They regarded Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah while rejecting his divinity and insisted on the necessity of following Jewish law and rites, and that Joseph is the natural father of Jesus and that Mary and Joseph conceived Jesus in the way that all parents conceive children.
2. HelvidianismAntidicomarians (lit. ‘opponents of Mary’). Helvidius author of a work written prior to 383 against the belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary taught that Mary was a virgin at Christ’s birth, but after the birth of Christ, she and Joseph engaged in marital relations and conceived a number of children.
3. Valentinianism – taught that Holy Spirit deposited the Christ Child in her womb and that Mary was the a surrogate mother, but not truly Christ’s genetic mother. Valentinian the Gnostic (d. 180?) taught that the Son of God passed through Mary like water through a straw.
4. Collyridianism – early Christian heretical movement in pre-Islamic Arabia, from the Greek word κολλυρις meaning bread roll since adherents offered quasi-Eucharistic bread sacrifice to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Heresy that holds that Mary is a divine goddess worthy of the worship of adoration. Their strongest opponent, Epiphanius of Salamis, who wrote about them in his Panarion of about 375.
5. Nestorianism – a Christological doctrine advanced by Nestorius (386–450) that emphasizes a distinction between the human and divine natures of the divine person, Jesus. A form of dyophysitism. Nestorianism holds that Christ had two loosely united natures, divine and human: “the Word, which is eternal, and the Flesh, which is not, came together in a hypostatic union, ‘Jesus Christ’, Jesus thus being both fully man and God, of two ousia ‘substance’ but of one prosopon ‘person’.
6. Anomoeanism – In 4th century, followers of Aëtius and Eunomius believe that Jesus Christ was not of the same nature (consubstantial) as God the Father nor was of like nature (homoiousian), as maintained by the semi-Arians, but rather ‘different’ and ‘dissimilar’. The Word had not only a different substance but also a will different from that of the Father. Also Heteroousianism.
7. Homoiousianism – 4th-century theological party which held that God the Son was of a similar, but not identical, substance or essence to God the Father. Proponents of this view included Eustathius of Sebaste and George of Laodicea. The Son is “like in substance” but not necessarily to be identified with the essence of the Father.
8. Homoeanism – the Son is similar to God the Father, without reference to substance or essence. The father is so incomparable and ineffably transcendent that even the ideas of likeness, similarity or identity in substance or essence with the subordinate Son and Holy Spirit are heretical and not justified by the Gospels. They held that the Father is like the Son in some sense but that even to speak of ousia is impertinent speculation. The Acacians, also known as the Homoeans, a sect which first emerged into distinctness as an ecclesiastical party some time before the convocation of the joint synods of Rimini and Seleucia Isauria in 359. The sect owed its name and political importance to Acacius, Bishop of Caesarea.
9. Sabellianism (also known as modalism, modalistic monarchianism, or modal monarchism) from Sabellius, who was a theologian and priest from the 3rd century is the nontrinitarian or anti-Trinitarian belief that the Heavenly Father, Resurrected Son, and Holy Spirit are three different modes or aspects of one monadic God, as perceived by the believer, rather than three distinct persons within the Godhead—that there are no real or substantial differences among the three, such that there is no substantial identity for the Spirit or the Son. Known as patripassianism (from Latin patri- father and passio suffering), because the teaching required that since the God the Father had become directly incarnate in Christ, that God literally sacrificed Himself on the Cross.
10. Adoptionism – The first known exponent of Adoptionism in the 2nd century is Theodotus of Byzantium. Also known as dynamic monarchianism denies the eternal pre-existence of Christ, and although it explicitly affirms his deity subsequent to events in his life. A nontrinitarian theological doctrine which holds that Jesus was adopted as the Son of God at his baptism, his resurrection, or his ascension.
11. Subordinationism – asserts that the Son and the Holy Spirit are subordinate to God the Father in nature and being.
12. Macedonianism – Founded by Macedonius a Greek bishop of Constantinople from 342 up to 346, they denied the Godhood of the Holy Ghost, hence the Greek name Pneumatomachi or 'Combators against the Spirit'.
13. Apollinarism or Apollinarianism – was a view proposed by Apollinaris of Laodicea (died 390) that Jesus could not have had a human mind; rather, Jesus had a human body and lower soul (the seat of the emotions) but a divine mind.
14. Eutychianism – derived from the ideas of Eutyches of Constantinople (c. 380 – c. 456). The human nature of Christ was overcome by the divine, or that Christ had a human nature but it was unlike the rest of humanity. One formulation is that Eutychianism stressed the unity of Christ's nature to such an extent that Christ's divinity consumed his humanity as the ocean consumes a drop of vinegar. Eutyches maintained that Christ was of two natures but not in two natures: separate divine and human natures had united and blended in such a manner that although Jesus was homoousian with the Father, he was not homoousian with man.
15. Novatianism – an Early Christian sect devoted to Novatian. Lapsed Christians, who had not maintained their confession of faith under persecution, may not be received again into communion with the church. It held a strict view that refused readmission to communion of Lapsi, those baptized Christians who had denied their faith or performed the formalities of a ritual sacrifice to the pagan gods, under the pressures of the persecution sanctioned by Emperor Decius, in 250.
16. Donatism – Christian clergy are required to be faultless for their ministrations to be effective and for the prayers and sacraments they conduct to be valid. Rigorists, holding that the church must be a church of "saints", not "sinners", and that sacraments, such as baptism, administered by traditores were invalid.
17. Monophysitism – the Christological position that, after the union of the divine and the human in the historical Incarnation, Jesus Christ, as the incarnation of the eternal Son or Word (Logos) of God, had only a single "nature" which was either divine or a synthesis of divine and human. Jesus Christ, who is identical with the Son, is one person and one hypostasis in one nature: divine.
18. Monothelitism or monotheletism – formally emerged in Armenia and Syria in 629. Jesus Christ has two natures but only one will.
19. Miaphysitism sometimes called henophysitism – the person of Jesus Christ, Divine nature and Human nature are united (μία, mia - "one" or "unity") in a compound nature ("physis"), the two being united without separation, without mixture, without confusion, and without alteration.
20. Docetism – the doctrine that the phenomenon of Christ, his historical and bodily existence, and above all the human form of Jesus, was mere semblance without any true reality. Jesus only seemed to be human, and that his human form was an illusion.
21. Marcionism – was an Early Christian dualist belief system that originated in the teachings of Marcion of Sinope at Rome around the year 144. Jesus was the savior sent by God, and Paul the Apostle was his chief apostle, but he rejected the Hebrew Bible and the God of Israel. Marcionists believed that the wrathful Hebrew God was a separate and lower entity than the all-forgiving God of the New Testament.
22. Paulicianism –Attributed to Constantine-Silvanus of Mananali (d. c. 684). Variously described as adoptionist and dualist.
23. Arianism – is a Christological concept which asserts the belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was begotten by God the Father at a point in time, is distinct from the Father and is therefore subordinate to the Father. Arian teachings were first attributed to Arius (c. 256–336), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria, Egypt. the Son of God did not always exist but was begotten by God the Father.
24. Montanism – an early Christian movement of the late 2nd century, later referred to by the name of its founder, Montanus, believing in new revelations and ecstasies, unapproved by the wider Church. It was a prophetic movement that called for a reliance on the spontaneity of the Holy Spirit
25. Bonosianism – Antidicomarian sect. Bonosus was a Bishop of Sardica in the latter part of the fourth century, who taught against the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary. They affirmed the purely adoptive divine filiation of Christ. However, they differed from the Adoptionists in rejecting all natural sonship, whereas the Adoptionists, distinguishing in Christ the God and the man, attributed to the former a natural, and to the latter an adoptive sonship.
26. Jovinianism – Antidicomarian sect founded by Jovinian (c. 405).
27. Psilanthropism – understands Jesus to be human, the literal son of human parents.
28. Manichaeism – Founded in 210–276 by Mani (claimed to be Paraclete)

29. AudianismAnthropomorphism, a sect of Christians in the fourth century in Syria and Scythia, named after their founder Audius, who took literally the text of Genesis, i, 27, that God created mankind in his own image.

Now according to tradition, the Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him & his family] said that the Christians were divided into 72 sects:
وَافْتَرَقَتْ النَّصَارَى عَلَى ثِنْتَيْنِ وَسَبْعِينَ فِرْقَةً , فَإِحْدَى وَسَبْعُونَ فِي النَّارِ , وَوَاحِدَةٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ
The Nazarenes were divided into seventy-two sects. Seventy-one are in the fire and one is in paradise.
[Sunan Ibn Maja #3992]
The Christians of antiquity were indeed divided into some seventy odd sects, though the Hadith can also be interpreted to mean that the Christians were divided into a large number of divisions, more so than the Jews before them, and similarly, the Umma of Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him & his family] will be divided into 73 sects, meaning they will experience more divisions than both the Jews and the Christians. A large number of the remaining sects are essentially Gnostic groups, like the Ophites, Bardesanes, Sethians, Basiledes, Priscillians, Naassenes, and Nicolaites. Other heresies include the Euchites/Messalians, Pelagians, Semipelagians and Luciferians.

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