avoiding the Socinian conclusion

Private judgement. A heresy? Out of the unintelligible Jakob Boehme, a number of heretical mystics evolved their ideas into the heresy of English deism, a deism as the matrix of the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, but landing many in the theological doghouse…

More intelligible to us than Neo-Platonism , but also more heretical, was the most rational of all Reformation heresies, Socianism or Socinianism. The real founder of Socianism was Erasmus, who was the first to prove that the only text in the New Testament which could be used as evidence for the doctrine of the Trinity was a late and fraudulent interpolation. He did this in 1516. The Socinians drew the obvious conclusion that God was one, not three, and thus revived, in an uncompromising form but on purely intellectual grounds, the old Arian heresy.

—Pelagians and Socinians
By Berkhof’s estimation, the Pelagians, as well as the Socians deny any real connection between Adam’s sin and our own. For them, the only connection between Adam’s sin and the sin of the remainder of humanity is that of an evil example, which we all emulate, though we are free to stop sinning, if only we would choose to stop. Each individual is regarded as sinful as soon as they commit an actual sin in practice.—Read More:http://www.oocities.org/viper234/locke.htm image:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/garden/luxury-doghouses-and-the-dogs-that-couldnt-care-less.html?_r=1

They also believed in the complete disestablishment of the Church and in toleration. The established churches-Protestant and Catholic alike- expressed horror at such monstrous ideas, and, between the two, the Socians had a thin time of it. They found a refuge, first in Poland, then,when the Jesuits came to Poland, in Holland. From Holland, in the seventeenth century, they exercised great influence in England, sometimes even within the established church.

Whether he was a disciple of Jakob Boehme or not, Newton was certainly a Socian. So was John Locke. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the Socians were regarded as the intellectual leaders of the English dissenters. Ultimately, even the established churches have caught up with them. Since the eighteenth century, Protestants have generally believed that Erasmus was right about the New Testament references to the Trinity. Even the Pope has not tried to deny it since 1898. But neither the pope, nor the Archbishop of Canterbury, nor the Lutherans, nor the Calvinists, nor the Greek Orthodox Church has yet come to the more radical “Socian” conclusion that God is not three but one. That, at this time of day, would be too difficult.

—In the first place I object to the Calvinistic DOCTRINE of the Trinity for the same reasons they object to the Arians and Socinians.
They object to these, because their views derogate in their judgment from the eternal glory of the Founder of the christian religion.
ARIANS & SOCIANS: They will not allow the Saviour to have been a creature, however exalted, because they conceive this character is unbecoming him, and contrary to the scriptural statements concerning him. They wish to give him more glory than they think the Arians are willing to do.
Now I object to their making him and calling him an “Eternal Son” because I think that if he were only the Son of God from all eternity, he is entitled to very little, if any more glory, than what the Arians give him. —Read More:http://www.piney.com/Trinitarian.System.html image:http://lucyckintern.wordpress.com/


(see link at end) …The further development of ideas of anti-trinitarians was socian movement – another seriously developed by Belarusian thinkers religious movement. Socians believed that Christ was a human and did not recognized the Trinity of God-Son, God-Father and God-Spirit in Christ. Socians expanded their beliefs to social relations. The extreme socians like Martyn Chehovich considered that Christians cannot participate in war and even touch arms, cannot own land or servants, they have generally denied the idea of the power of men and recognized only the power of God. To some extent it was an ancient form of anarchy. The power of state was endangered because Community Meetings were ruling socian brotherhoods. Symon Budny and Vasil’ Cyapinski were among socian brothers. All lands where socian communities were appearing were busy organizing schools , shelters, hospitals. This has reached not only aristocracy but poor people too. The education was valued above all. The socian aristocracy refused their property and divided it among poor. Lately most of socians were expelled from the country by Jesuits and Orthodox Church. They ended up in the Netherlands and many of them left for America. …

—The openness of God movement is Socinianism revisited. Le-lio Socinus (1525-62) and his nephew, Faustus Socinus (1539-1604), denied virtually every vital doctrine of the Church, including the Trinity, the substitutionary death of Christ, and the imputation of Christ‟s righteousness, but for our purposes we need only men-tion their denial of original sin and of predestination. The two, of course, are united, for if man is not born totally depraved, then he can set the date of his conversion. Predestination is not needed. But if man is born so sinful that he cannot even believe, God must predestine his salvation or else there will be none saved. Socian-ism soon moved to England and was absorbed into Deism, disap-pearing as a separate movement until now.—Read More:http://www.footstoolpublications.com/Ebooks/GOD_SOVBooklet.pdf image:http://www.supercoolpets.com/archives/2012/06/barkitecture_–_nytimescom_cus.php

…The Christian followers of this movement directed their attention to the translation of the ancient judaic literature and middle age Jewish-Arabian texts. They were seeking the truth undistorted with multiple christian translations. The ideas of this movement promoted a strong intellectual exchange between Judaic and Christian communities. They have spread north up to Novgorod (by Shariya) and south to Hungary. The Hungarian judazantists were openly using Jewish Old Testament, Talmud and other works of Judaism in their practice.

Another heretical belief that was a predecessor of reformation was a movement of non-acquiring (“Nestiaz^acieli”). It was one of the moral foundations to criticize the low ethical level and greed of both Orthodox and Catholic Christian priests. …Read More:http://www.belarusguide.com/culture1/religion/Reformation.html

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3 Responses to avoiding the Socinian conclusion

  1. rey says:

    Its interesting to me that all the great Christian scientists that Henry Morris champions in his books against evolution as the founders of various scientific disciplines were heretical by his own (I think Baptist) definition and that of his readership. I’m thinking of a book called “The Biblical basis of modern scholarship” (I think) and every scientist who he hails there as a Christian was a Socinian, Arian, or Pelagian (or all three at once). It seems almost as if one had to be a Socinian to break free from superstition and engage in science at that time. I don’t know how else to explain it. Morris doesn’t list Michael Servetus, but we know also he was an anti-trinitarian (of what sort I don’t know) and he discovered the circulatory system, and then was burned at the stake by Calvin for his anti-trinitarian views.

    • rey says:

      Oops, not “The Biblical basis of modern scholarship” but “The Biblical basis of modern Science”

    • Dave says:

      if we go back, way back, to Maimonides, he felt there were elements of Christianity which were flawed, in his view, and that these types of movements within Christianity were inevitable, although with Islam and Mohammed he seemed much harsher, with the near entirety of it being a heresy. But that is his opinion, and it shows that the H word can be used in all sorts of contexts. thanks for your comments.

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