Galatians 5:20 puts heresy among the works of the flesh.
I have heard the idea that this word essentially means a wrong doctrine or a “false teaching”.
I don’t know where that comes from.
Strong says it means “properly a choice, that is, (specifically) a party or (abstractly) disunion. Sect.”
1) act of taking, capture; e.g. storming a city
3) that which is chosen
4) a body of men following their own tenets (sect or party)
4a) of the Sadducees
4b) of the Pharisees (The word Pharisee means “separatist”)
4c) of the Christians
5d) dissensions arising from diversity of opinions and aims
Acts 15:5 “but there rose up certain of the heresy of the Pharisees which believed, saying, that it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”
It is not the doctrine over which people disagree that this word is pointing to, but the subsequent “sides” of the argument. The “parties”.
There are some things we should stand for. In Galatians 2:5, Paul shows that some wanted to add circumcision to the gospel, as though it were a commandment of the Lord, to which he would not even put up with “for an hour”.
The point here is not that these Pharisee turned Christians believed circumcision to be necessary for salvation, it is that they were forcing it on other Christians.
Mark 7:8 says this: You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.
If the doctrine is not a *commandment*, perhaps we should rethink taking sides.
We want to be on the Lord’s side, which is unity! After all, he didn’t pray that we would “follow the pattern” perfectly. He prayed that we would have unity.
So the world would believe He came.
When differences of opinion come, as they surely will, rather than demanding obedience as though we were kings of this world and not brothers and sisters to each other, let us earnestly seek God’s help in seeing and understanding the truth in prayer together and keep the unity of the Spirit!