This could be a rhetorical question that opens minds regarding serious activity among a lot of Christian students, both young and more mature (in age) seeking answers to understand the very tenets of the life of Jesus, especially before the Passion. Before delving into a lot of deep prose about God’s intervention within His creatures, we must start at the beginning of His creation, the reasons God brought about humanity and the eventual redemption for each of us.
In two of my Catholic365.com articles, “Jesus Christ - True God and True Man” and “A Church in Peril” , the term heresy was used to bring attention to past and perhaps current statements being made, even if only casually, that sometimes make the hair on the back of my neck rise. It appears that many people can be led very quickly to believe teaching that may not be in-line with the Roman Catholic Church’s traditions when misunderstood values are promoted and the student(s) walk away repeating what they just learned to others who also do not have a complete knowledge of the Catechetical Instruction.
When the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) came out, my pastor asked me to conduct classes for the parish regarding this new teaching manual in order to promote parishioners’ interest and allow a more modern manner of learning about the Catholic catechisis. “Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people, and adults which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine, imparted, generally speaking, in an organic and systematic way, with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life.” See the CCC Prologue II (# 5).
I did begin classes, but informed my pastor that the initial reason for this catechism was intended for bishops. See the CCC Prologue III “The Aim and intended Readership of This Catechism” (in part # 12) “This work is intended primarily for those responsible for catechesis: first of all the bishops, as teachers of the faith and pastors of the Church.” “It is offered to them as an instrument in fulfilling their responsibility of teaching the people of God.”
My reasons for including this information from the CCC is to point out that when any of us take the task of teaching regarding the Catholic Church, its stance on Theological premises, and particularly anything about the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, we better have the resources of the Catholic Church and its formal interpretation to anything we write or speak about. That is why, after careful examination regarding the two articles I wrote, and the very themes that inspired me to write, were not my own thoughts without the backing of the CCC. Others who do not back their statements with official Church teaching are taking a slippery chance of promoting incorrect information.
Perhaps we live in a time where old ideas might be outdated, such as the world was flat, until brave explorers like Columbus and maybe the Vikings earlier, proved history wrong. And don’t forget the teaching that the Sun and stars revolved around the Earth, which called those who denounced that idea as heretics. But, we’re not dealing with scientific premises that could be changed with time and investigation. We are dealing with the Son of God, who by the way was not human first and took on a divine nature secondly; known as the Adoptionism Heresy. All the tenets of Jesus Christ are detailed in the CCC and to deviate from these with modern-thinking can do more harm than if we had never attempted this trek of educating others. Adoptionism was denounced by the Councils of Antioch and the 1st Council of Nicea.
Just recently, I had the opportunity to be in the presence of a person who told me a second time that Jesus went to the Cross feeling His mission was a failure. He also, according to what this person stated was that Jesus knew he was doing God’s work but didn’t realize he was divine. These comments came from another woman who was teaching on this and that led me to write, “Jesus Christ - True God and True Man. This could lean on heresy if one is not careful. The other article dealt with a Presbyterian church who in their desire to make Muslims feel invited, made as one of their statements for a meeting that Jesus was relegated to a common status with Muhammed as a prophet, In this instance the Divinity of Jesus was removed, which in the Catholic Church would be Heresy.
In both these articles, I went to the CCC and “The Teaching of Christ” edited by Now Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, Ronald Lawler, OFM Cap. and his brother Thomas Comerford Lawler. Therein I ensured my comments were with the backing of what the Church teaches. I would hope others attempting to teach would do the same.