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Ancient-Future Heresies

Let’s both reason from the Scriptures, and simply be reasonable (Isaiah 1:18). The Ancient-Future search to discover gems from “Classic Christianity” comes up short by a century — the century in which the New Testament was written. The critical difference should be obvious. The writers of the New Testament were inspired by the Holy Spirit as they penned God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21, 22). What writings from A.D. 100 and later can claim such inspiration? None. But we’re told that some were disciples of or lived at the time of the apostles. True, but proximity to the apostles is hardly a guarantee against heresy, nor does it come close to inspiration. Furthermore, much of the first-century-written New Testament reproved and corrected errors that had already entered the church!

Remember the Apostle Paul’s warning to the Ephesian elders, who were certainly closer to Paul than any of the so-called Church Fathers:

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears” (Acts 20:28-31).

Again, why this attraction to the ancient Church Fathers? Could any of them say with Paul, “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:9)? We can trust his God-breathed words completely. On the other hand, it takes very little scrutiny of men like Origen, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Cyprian, Justin Martyr, Athanasius, John Chrysostom, Cyril of Jerusalem, Augustine, and others, to see their flaws, let alone their heresies. For example, Origen taught that God would save everyone and that Mary was a perpetual virgin; Irenaeus believed that the bread and wine became the body and blood of Jesus when consecrated, as did John Chrysostom and Cyril of Jerusalem; Athanasius taught salvation through baptism; Tertullian became a supporter of the Montanist heresies, and a promoter of a New Testament clergy class, as did his disciple Cyprian; Augustine was the principal architect of Catholic dogma that included his support of purgatory, baptismal regeneration, and infant baptism, mortal and venial sins, prayers to the dead, penance for sins, absolution from a priest, the sinlessness of Mary, the Apocrypha as Scripture, etc. 

It’s not that these men got everything wrong; some, on certain doctrines, upheld Scripture against the developing unbiblical dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church. 

Nevertheless, overall they are a heretical minefield. So why seek them out?

Introduction by  Lou Whitworth 

The Early Years

In this essay we will examine the life and work of Edgar Cayce, often called “the sleeping prophet.” Many considered him to be a prophet and healer very popular in the sixties and seventies. Today his influence is stronger than ever as he helped pave the way for the popularity of “channeling.”

Edgar Cayce was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, in 1877. His family was ordinary in most ways, except for a current of demonic dabbling and occultism among the males. His grandfather was a water witch and unerringly accurate in dousing for water with the forked limbs of a witch hazel tree. Many of his acquaintances held that he was also able to make tables and brooms “dance.” Edgar’s father was an unwitting Pied Piper of snakes. Apparently snakes loved him and followed him around and even wrapped their bodies around his hat brim if he put his hat down while working in the fields. It unnerved him so much that he moved from the farm into the city and eventually became a justice of the peace.

Edgar Cayce’s childhood was very unique. As a boy he exhibited an occultic tendency to see and hear things that others didn’t see. For example, he had “little playmates” who disappeared when others came around. They always grew with him and stayed his size, but after the death of a neighbor girl who could also see them, they seemed smaller. He realized that he was growing up and would soon lose their companionship.

As a young boy Edgar attended the Christian church and wanted to be a minister. He resolved to read the Bible through once for each year of his life. By age 13 he was working on his thirteenth reading in his favorite place, a playhouse by a creek in the woods, when he heard a humming sound. He looked up to see a woman in brilliant white clothing with wings on her back standing in front of him. She said,…….

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December 2011



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