10 CONDEMNED CHRISTIAN SECTS
There are more than ten thousand sects of Christianity today and the number that keeps growing. We commonly hear about the Roman Catholic Church as well as other mainstream Christian churches like the Seventh Day Adventist. These Christian sects are commonly classified as Agnostics who pride themselves in avoiding temptation of the world.
VENERATION OF ADAM’S SON: THE CAINITES
Want to hear about a religion who believes that the world was created by an Evil God? Yes, Cainites believe that we are all created by this god and he was punished by a lesser God who most Christians are worshipping now. This Christian Sect also believes that the world was created from evil to prevent individuals from reaching the divine.
This Christian sect believes that the God worshipped in the Old Testament is the real evil God since it prevents them from achieving the truth about the true god. This sect also reveres other traitors and evil individuals in the bible just like Judas Iscariot. The followers of this Christian sect believes that what Judas did is an act of holiness. Cainites hold the book of the Gospel of Judas as a sacred book that holds the secret about the true god. They never really flourished and faded into history as soon as they came during the second century AD.
THE WORSHIP OF THE SNAKE- NAASSENES
The name of this Christian sect comes from the word “nahash” which literally means snake in Hebrew. Their counterpart is the Ophites which also means snake in Greek. Their sect upholds the teachings of so-called Christian Theologian Hippolytus have decreed to celebrate a serpent.
This Christian sect claims that their teachings are from Jesus’ earthly brother who is known as James the Just. Aside from celebrating the serpent, this Christian sect also believes that all ancient mysteries from the major empires are all related to each other. They use the Gospel of Thomas as well as other non-canonical books as basis of their teachings.
ABSTAINING FROM WORLDLY ACTS- THE BELIEF OF ENCRATITES
This Christian sect brought the word Agnostic to a whole new level. Aside from forbidding their followers to even taste alcohol and eat meat, they also discourage them to marry anyone. This Christian sect believes that sex whether a couple is married or not, is a form of sin because this is another act taught by the serpent aside from consuming the fruit. Their Eucharist is celebrated with water instead of the usual wine.
The founder of this Christian sect is Tatian and their teachings are more of a reinterpretation of the scriptures in the New Testament. It was Theodisius who have declared them heretics which led to the collapse of this Christian sect. Anyway, we could see how they won’t flourish and eventually die out even if Theodisius didn’t declare them as heretics. You know what I’m talking about.
DONATISM-THE SECT OUT OF SCHISM
This Christian sect detached itself from the Catholic Church since he didn’t agree with the church Fathers. This sect was established during the fourth century AD and elected Majorinus of Carthage as their bishop. They believed that a traitor bishop who has given up the Bible during their persecution has consecrated them.
In time, Majorinus was replaced by Donatus who have proven to be better than Majorinus in persuading and influencing people. As a matter of fact, he was able to convince the Byzantine Emperor Constantine to recognize Donatism as a Christian sect. This Christian sect later died out due to the persecution of the Romans as well as St. Augustine’s campaign against them.
THE REAL STATE OF THE CHRIST THE ISSUE AGAINST DOCETISM
According to Docetism, Christ never became an earthly man and everything that was written about him being in the flesh is just an illusion. This issue was raised since they contend that Jesus might really be sinful if he had a human body. This tenet in early Christians became very important to the Agnostics.
Docetism is a result of the schism with in the Roman Catholic Church which started during the first century AD and eventually had gone away the following century. The first Council of Nicaea had condemned them. The Bible also clearly states that Jesus became a mortal man and was flesh then was elevated higher than angels when he was resurrected and sat alongside the true God.
NOVATIANISM: GOING AGAINST THE POPE
During the early years of Christianity, there were a lot of issues that were raised against the church as well as those who rule it. One of the Christian sects that is a product of the schism within the church is the Novatianism led by a priest named Novatian who declared himself as anti-pope after he disagreed with Pope Cornelius.
This Christian sect believes strongly that real Christians should return to the Catholic Church due to the persecution of the Roman Emperor Decius. The teachings of this sect include adultery even second marriage. They were called heretics and later vanished away.
ADOPTIONISM-THE OPPOSITE OF DOCETISM
Adoptionism is a Christian sect that believes that Jesus Christ was a mere man who had never existed before he was born and was never a divine entity. This makes it apart from all the other Christian sect, especially Docetism. Their sect began around the second century though it their idea was never really known until Elipandus, a bishop of Spain, promoted this belief. He teamed up with another bishop by the name of Felix and they brought this question to the whole of Christianity.
This sect believed that Christ was only rewarded with holiness and eventually became son of God after he had lived as a sinless man. Of course, this belief contradicts most of its contemporaries and most especially the Roman Catholic Church which is the reason why it was declared a heresy. The greatest blow to this religion was one Felix recanted to the pope which resulted to the fall of this sect.
BOGOMILISM: GOD HAD TWO SONS
Bogomilism is a religion founded by Bogomil in Bulgaria during the 10th Century AD. Their idea was that God originally had two sons, Satanael and Michael, both playing an important role in the creation of Earth. It was Satanael who had rebelled against their Father and created the human body and other worldly material. Michael, another name of Jesus, created the soul of human.
Most Bogomils are ascetic who preferred being in poverty and strongly disagreed with the other Churches. They do not have a church and they do their prayers at home. They not only rejected meat and wine but also sex since they believe that these are creations of Satanael. Other materials that other sects revere were also condemned like the cross, the Eucharist, baptism and other relics of saints. They gained favor at first but died out during the fifteenth century.
ARIANISM: THERE IS ONLY ONE TRUE GOD
There’s not much distinction of Arianism from the mainstream churches during its days. The only thing they disagreed with the other sects and the Catholic Church is that they believe that Jesus Christ is less than God. He claimed that by worshipping Jesus like God, the other Christians sects are committing polytheism.
This was founded by Arius during the fourth century. It was later declared by the First Council of Nicaea as heresy. The biggest blow to the religion was when the Holy Roman Empire declared that Catholicism is their official religion.
CATHARISM AND GENDER EQUALITY.
Those who believe in Catharism believe that the world was also created by two forces and that Satan is responsible for the material things around us. Their sect members even rejected their own bodies since they thought that it was one of Satan’s creations. They have a ritual called consolamentum where believers try to connect their soul to the spiritual realm since they believe that this is their path to salvation.
Just like angels, the human soul is also genderless according to those who believe in the sect. They therefore uphold gender equality which is uncommon during those times. Those who are members of the sect and have received consolamentum are not allowed to touch another individual who belongs to the opposite sex. Also, they are not allowed to consume any product made out of reproduction like meat, eggs and dairy.
This Christian sect appealed to women during those days when women were treated unjustly due to the teachings of their contemporaries. The sect later began to adopt how the other mainstream Christians treated women and eventually lost the favor of most of its members.