In contemporary Christianity, there seems to be hardly any attention paid to the person of Christ and His two natures of divinity and humanity. It seems as if either this is a knotty theological problem too abstract for us or that it has no bearing on our faith and practice. Such a view is misguided, if not presumptuous, in my opinion.
If it is true that the person and natures of Christ is an outdated theological fossil, why would our church fathers and ancestors spend so much time, energy, blood, sweat, and tears over ascertaining the true Christ? Simply put, ascertaining the true Christ is at the heart of entire Christian faith, the essence of the gospel. Have we bothered to reflect? Now, in our postmodern church, there seems to be such paucity of reflection on this central bedrock of our faith that we get distracted by everything else except the person of Christ.
If Christ is not who He says He is; if the Christ we preach is not the Christ of Scripture, then we have a gigantic problem in our hands. An erroneous view of Christ has direct consequences on our faith and practice. It bears fruit in a plethora of false doctrines that in turn lead the masses into the quagmire of sin and destruction.
Take for example the heretical idea that circulating in the veins of Jesus is the divinely substantial blood of God the Father. If this is the case, it is only a stone’s throw away from the idea that if we believe in Jesus, we will share in His divine blood as part of our new covenant blessing. How so? Like so: in view of possessing the possessions and blessings that the cross of Christ has purchased for us, we can assume that Jesus’ divine life propelled by His divine blood literally powers our bodies. But is this Jesus the Jesus of historic Christian faith? The answer is no: it is the heretical Jesus who is a Eutychianesque demigod.
More fundamental than that, this demigod of a Jesus would not have the power to redeem us. For whatever is not assumed is not redeemed. This demigod of a Jesus would not be fully God and fully human. As such, this false Jesus could never be our Saviour or Lord. This demigod could never bear our sin and reconcile us to Father, for he would not have assumed our full humanity. Without assuming our full humanity, how could he ever redeem us in any way? In other words, there would be no salvation for us in this false demigod of a Jesus. There would be no gospel. Period.
Stemming from this core heresy on the person of Christ, we see the ludicrous consequence of ‘new covenant believers’ possessing the divine blood of Jesus by hypergrace. While I have personally heard it preached along these lines, I believe the more central question is this: claiming that Jesus has divine blood from Father leads logically to the conclusion that when we are in Christ by virtue of faith in Him, we come to possess this same blood. Thus, as an assumption, it does lead to the absurd consequence that we as ‘new covenant believers’ have divine DNA in us that protects us from disease, old age, decay and all the nasties that life can throw at us. A twisted false gospel emerges.
If we implicitly have such a view of our divine corporality in Christ, it is no wonder that we expect ourselves not to grow old or get sick in life. We become literally ‘little gods’ with the power to name it and claim it, and blab it and grab it, whichever way we want. And if we are already possessors of divine DNA, what need have we of sanctification in Christ; or holy obedience to God; or confession of sins and living by God’s commandments; or engaging in spiritual disciplines as part of our discipleship in Christ? If anything, we end up being on a gargantuan ego trip.
Is this not what the Word of Faith prosperity and hypergrace pseudo-gospels teach? In a more extreme form, is this not what dominion theology of the New Apostolic Reformation claim we have the power to do—to command the forces of nature and eventually exert dominion over every sphere of human society? Is this not the mammon of religious empire rather than the loving kingdom of God? At the very least, this is indeed the case in my view.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. Doctrinal and theological errors can have wider reverberating effects, as shown in the above discussion though not exhaustively. Let us not miss the core and quintessential substance of Christian faith and be distracted by the secondary effects of fundamental heresy. Let us put first things first and focus on the big rock before the small pebbles. Neglect this foundational bedrock, and we will miss the plot, veer off target, and land in the woods.
The bull’s eye is right here: the person and natures of Christ. Getting this right has been the historical standard by which the body of Christ has ascertained what is heresy or what is not. I pray that under-shepherds of Christ will be mindful of this unassuming but monumental fact and think, meditate, and teach wisely, for the glory of our God.