Galatians 5:4 says that the Galatians are heretics who have fallen from Christ. 4:11 indicates the same. Then why does 3:26-29 say that they are all one in Christ and heirs to heaven? Aren’t heretics outside the mystical body of Christ?
Perhaps the quotes are a little out of context? If you read the 3 Chapters, Paul is offering guidance on the subject of circumcision. He expresses concern that they are heading on the wrong path, offers guidance but does not assume that they are heretics, only slightly lost and need guiding back.
I don’t know my timeline that well, but the question of whether converts had to be circumcised or not, arose when Paul (I think it was him, but am ready to be corrected) raised it with the apostles. There was a debate and in the end the conclusion was that it was not necessary, but I do not know the time difference between the date of the discussion and Paul’s letter, or whether the Galatians had received previous guidance on this subject.
Had the Galatians ignored Paul (and anyone else in authority) persistently, then they would have moved into heresy (but there would always be the hope of their reconciliation).
He said they were alienated from Christ and yet in Christ
I think I can follow what you are saying! There was no
option of ex-communication back then, but ex-communication
is and act based on Love of the person, whom the devil has
caught in his web of lies, that he WAKE UP and come to
his senses and repent and accept the Truth as it is taught
by the Church! see 2 Tim 2:25-26
And it is good to remember that all of us can be guilty of heresy at some time in our life. This is simply due to sin, our pride, lack of knowledge or misguided ideas. Our only hope is Christ crucified and the mercy of God. This is one of those reasons we must be sure to forgive. We all need to be forgiven of something, and as God is all good we surely can’t pretend that any sin we commit is of no consequence.
I think one of the points being made through Paul’s interactions with the Galatians, is we can get so wrapped up in rules, laws and regulations that we forget “the spirit of the law.” and thus become to self righteous and judgmental. What can follow next is becoming a heretic. I could be wrong, but I have thought this myself.
The mystical Body of Christ is made up of all Baptized persons. Baptism leaves an indelible mark on the soul. It cannot change back to an unbaptized state. Ever. So, those persons you are referring to aren’t outside the mystical Body of Christ no matter where their physical persons are or the thoughts in their minds that make them heretics. They cannot undo their Baptism even if the make a decision to renounce it and totally turn away from God or simply chase after wind in heresy.
If you don’t understand Galatians, then read it again.
5:4 is about those who wanted to be circumcised so as to follow Jewish ritual laws. It is heresy. It would be the same as if someone came along and said Jesus was circumcised so everyone needs circumcision. We know that isn’t what it means to be Christian, but when St. Paul was writing there were those who were trying to do both, Christian Baptism and Jewish Circumcision. They were telling others they should do likewise. We call this heresy today.
4:11 is St. Paul telling those who turned back from the Way that he was disappointed, as he should have been.
3:26 - 29 explains the same thing I said above - One Faith, One Baptism. We are one in the mystical Body of Christ by our Baptism. It cannot be undone. But what I do with it makes all the difference in my life and for the outcome of my life. 3:26-29 doesn’t contradict at all 4:11, or 5:4. The whole of it says once Baptized you become responsible for all that you do with it. You are supposed to live as a child of God, not like you used to do when you were ignorant of the ways of God. Your Baptism is a big responsibility. You are supposed to live up to it. That all it says.
Well, hope this helps.