Operation: Helping Children to Identify Heresy

Recently, I was playing the game Operation with one of my children. If you’ve never endured enjoyed this pastime, let me break it down for you. Players take turns using tweezers to pull out various afflictions, ranging from a bird in the brain to a frog in the throat, from your patient “Cavity Sam.” But, if you’re not careful, the tweezers will hit the side of the opening, causing a loud buzzer to sound and red light to flash. Cavity Sam is riddled with ailments and he needs some desperate treatment. Enter heresy.

The church is also riddled with ailments; bad doctrine and heresy plague the church. Heresy is a chosen opinion that causes a faction within the church. Biblically, it’s a false teaching that has destructive results. (2 Peter 2:1-3) These false beliefs can either be held in ignorance (material heresy) or deliberately (formal heresy). So, if your child has a faulty understanding of Jesus, you are more than likely dealing with a material heresy; there is just some confusion that needs to be cleared up.

So, Here’s an Example

Example: Susan explains to her mother that Jesus is God’s son so he must have been created by God.

Susan’s incorrect view of Jesus is actually Arianism, a belief that denies the deity of Christ.

The problem with heresy is that it may not always be as obvious as a bird in your brain or a frog in your throat, but it is just as deadly if left untreated. Finally, it is important that we help our children to identify bad doctrine early because these areas of poor understanding can lead to bad doctrinal beliefs and doubt. To this end, solid biblical training is important.Young people need to know what they believe; catechize them, train them in their faith, and give them the tools to spot bad doctrine.

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