‘Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for something that  does not profit’ (Jer 2:11).

We have seen a number of  false teachings through centuries. Of them, many we acknowledge as heresies because  they originated from within the Church, but expressly or impliedly denied  what the  Church believed. If heresies could arise during the  lifetime of the apostles (1 Tim  2:18), we are  more susceptible to heresies in this modern era when the number of lukewarm Christians are increasing.

There are  certain other kinds of  false teachings in the world that deny the   revealed truth. We do not call them heresies because they originated from outside the Church. But a common thread links  both the  heresies within the Church and the false teachings that  flourished outside the Church. Both have Christians as their primary target. Both have swerved from  truth. Both presented themselves as  better substitutes for  traditional Christian faith. Both promote a philosophy and  lifestyle that  is in essence the  negation of God’s commandments. Yet both claim to be true heirs to Christ and his teachings!

The most important commandment is  to  love the Lord our God with all our heart,  and with all our soul, and with all our mind (Mt 22:37). So  denying the existence of God or loving any other being above God is a violation of the first commandment.  It is elementary. But  sadly, this  elementary lesson has  somehow been lost  from the  minds of  many Christians. This is the reason they  nod in agreement when someone says that all paths lead to God or  when some others say that  a  tribal deity introduced by a  self proclaimed prophet in the  sixth century  is the true God!

Who has bewitched (Gal  3:1) Christians into denying the  uniqueness of true God when  Jesus Christ was  publicly exhibited as crucified before their very eyes? (Gal 3:1).

Worshiping  any other being or entity as  God means directly breaking the  first commandment. Often we  hear homilies  equating idolatry with greed and  our  excessive attachment  with a person, place, object or philosophy. It is true. But the peak of idolatry is  replacing the true God with a false God. Unfortunately, billions of people are deceived into believing that a cruel and  bloodthirsty   tribal deity  and the  merciful God whom Jesus Christ revealed to us  are  one and the same!

Not surprisingly, this  false teaching has borrowed heavily, or to be precise, stolen heavily, from the Holy Bible. ‘The thief comes only to steal and  kill and destroy’ (Jn 10:10). He has done the act of theft  in such an ingenious  way that many Christians  were deceived into believing that the fictional characters of a book written centuries after the gospels and epistles were written are the same real characters they  have read in the Holy Bible. If we fail to  recognize the thieves and bandits (Jn 10:8) whom ‘the sheep ought not have listened to’, it is   easy for them to  wean us away from worshiping the true God. Sadly, it happens now.

Beware of any philosophies that  go against the  first commandment, because breaking the first commandment is the first step towards  breaking all other commandments. So it is the mother of all heresies. God willing, we will  go into it in detail in the  coming articles.