Over the past few months I’ve been studying the great heresies of Christianity. (Interesting point: the root word for heresy comes from the Greek – “to choose”).
Many heresies were incredibly divisive and damaging to the Body of Christ. Some of the “big” ones were Gnosticism, Arianism, Modalism, Marcionism, Modernism, etc. Most of them were related, and in one form or another they all exist today. Another common element is that they led to schism.
But I think the most divisive heresy – because of its constant splintering – has to be Protestantism. Whereas most of the other great heresies peaked and receded within about 400 years or less, there seems to be no abatement to the mushrooming of Protestantism.
So is Protestantism the greatest (most damaging) heresy in Christian history?
I don’t ask this question to “beat up” Protestant people. I have nothing against them. I’m merely looking at Protestantism from an objectively technical and historical context and in relation to other heresies which antedated it or sprung from it.