I have been doing a study on Antonomianism … reading current material by well known “Christian” authors and television ministers from various streams of the Church as well as some of the writings of the ancient Church fathers about this issue that first popped up before the canon of Scripture was set and when the Church was still less than a few decades old (while the events in the Book of Acts were still happening).
I said “Christian” because it is debatable if they really are as this is really a very old heresy that actually promotes LAWLESSNESS. The word breaks down into “anti” which means ‘against’ and “nomian” which means ‘law’. So this heresy is “against the Law” or, in its most basic form, states that we, as Christians, no longer live ‘under the Law’ and therefore do not have to conform to any moral or ethical standards such as The Ten Commandments. Taking that just one step further and you end up basically against all authority in a person’s life and so a person does not allow such things as God’s Moral Law (The Ten Commandments) to dictate or control one’s behavior. As I said – lawlessness.
A side note: A great place for the Spirit of Jezebel to take control and destroy the local church.
The discussions and arguments fly back and forth and can become really complicated and twisted around. The issue or heresy comes under many titles – but basically the argument goes that we are no longer under the Law (Old Testament) but are now living by grace as we are in New Testament times. It is based on a number of partial and whole verses quoted out of context and totally misapplied and misunderstood.
But reader beware – those who teach this are popular, will deny that they are Antinomianists, can use and twist Scripture to suit their cause not following any of the tried, tested and accepted methods of interpretation and application. They are smooth and quote Scripture constantly making any undiscerning believer think that they are hearing truth explained. And it all sounds so good as it is really a “free grace theology” that puts no obligations, restraints or responsibilities on a person but allows them to be free. And, of course, the truth can “set you free” as the Bible states.
A life-long Marxist – looking at this tendency from a non-religious background – found that there is a readiness by the mass of people to have little sense of obligation to obey any set of rules that they consider arbitrary, or even just constraining, whatever its source. This may be facilitated by one or more of several changes. These include: the tendency to live outside settled communities; the growth of enough wealth for most people to have a wide choice of styles of living; and a popularised assumption that individual freedom is an unqualified good.
Bingo! Sounds like he is describing our society today – where people move frequently and thus have a tendency to not be connected to a “settled community”; we live individualized lives again not connected to the common societal good and thus think that we have the freedom to do what we want and that this is good.
So, those “Christian” teachers are simply floating downstream with the rest of society heading towards a deep, dark hole that we may never again come out of. These people forget that the Bible states that man’s heart is deceitfully wicked. And these teachers are simply tickling the ears of those who are floating downstream with them … as Paul mentions to Timothy when he states: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Paul had earlier stated: But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron… (1 Timothy 4:1-2)
So we have teachers and people floating downstream listening to heresy that sounds good, is taught in a very smooth and entertaining manner, and that makes people feel good giving them license to do whatever feels good. But remember, dead fish float downstream. I would rather believe the truth and struggle with the standards and The Ten Commandments as the moral law of God to be upheld and lived by – and thus have life and have it more abundantly – reproducing life (salmon swim upstream against the current to spawn).
My how easily we are deceived when we really are not good workman and no longer rightly divide the Word of truth.