RC Sproul mentioned that the early church had to contend against 2 heresies concerning the doctrine of our Lord Jesus. One is docetism and the other is monophysite heresy. Here is what he said,
“The great ecumenical council of Chalcedon in AD 451 affirmed that Jesus is truly man and truly God and that the 2 natures are so united as to be without mixture, confusion, separation, or division, each nature retaining its own attributes. The true humanity of Jesus has been assaulted in 2 ways. The early church had to combat the heresy of docetism, which taught that Jesus did not have a real physical body or a true human nature…The other major heresy the church rejected was the Monophysite heresy. The heresy argued that Jesus did not have 2 natures but one. This single nature was neither truly divine or truly human but a mixture of the two. It was called a “theanthropic” nature. The Monophysite heresy involves either a deified human nature or a humanized divine nature…We must distinguish between the 2 natures without separating them.”
Today we have the NAR leaders proliferating another similar heresy known as kenotic Christology in that Jesus gave up His deity during His earthly sojourn and then gained it back when He resurrected. (The biblical truth that Christ fully possessed both natures is called the hypostatic union.)
If believing in docetism is having the spirit of the Antichrist (1 John 4:2-3), is it not worse to believe in this current kenotic Christology heresy ? Both will change His Personhood and His work. But one is more denigrating than the other.
I believe it is worse because of 2 reasons:
1. It undermines the monotheistic distinctive of the Christian faith.
The only way to limit the use of attributes of one Person without limiting the attributes of all three members of the Godhead is to divide God into three divine Beings for each of the three Persons. Jesus could then suspend His omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, etc., while the Father and Holy Spirit would continue to exercise sovereign dominion over the universe. This view of the Trinity, however, is polytheistic, not Christian. The Christian faith is monotheistic. We believe there is only one God. “Hear O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord” (Mark 12:29). The Creed of Athanasius affirms this truth: “The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, but there are not three gods, but one God…The Father is omnipotent, the Son is omnipotent and the Holy Spirit is omnipotent, but there are not three omnipotent Beings, but one omnipotent Being …We distinguish among the Persons, but we do not divide the Substance. (This reason is copied from an article on internet with link not found now.)
2. It will undermine the perfect sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ as presented by God.
Jesus said no one is good except God. If Jesus is not God even for a moment, then He is not good. If He is not good, then He is not perfect. If He is not perfect, He cannot atone for our sins.
The NAR leaders based their error on Phil 2:5-8. I would interpret Phil 2:5-8 as referring to the humility of Christ that He humbled Himself in giving up His heavenly glory and independent authority in submission to the will of God the Father, but not divine characteristics. Because in the context of this Scriptural passage, St Paul was exhorting believers to have the same humble mindset of our Lord Jesus.
Given the current absurd shamanistic practices taught by these NAR leaders and now this heresy concerning the doctrine of our Lord Jesus, I am inclined to believe they have a different spirit. Because if they do really have the Holy Spirit, they will not err on this very important doctrine.
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
I believe this is the sinister motive to want to believe that Jesus our Lord did His miracles as a mere man without having His divine powers – for that will justify mere men like the NAR leaders can also perform miracles with the power given by the Holy Spirit. Matt 24:24 warned us that false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders so as to lead astray, if possible, the elect, in the end times. So will the Holy Spirit cause even more confusion in this last period of the last days in enabling believers in great numbers to perform signs and wonders ?