The early Church faced many misconceptions about Jesus Christ. Some believed Jesus’ body was a shell to the Divine Logos without a human soul. Others thought Jesus was not true body at all but a phantasm of light. Still others thought Jesus’ human nature and divine nature were so entangled that neither retained a true liberty from each other and were in fact fused into one mixture. Others distinguished Jesus’ nature so much that there was no true unity but a loose union of two separate natures.
One of the earliest though was Arianism which denied the co-eternal nature of the Son with the Father. This heresy was perpetrated by the hesiarch Arius in the 4th century. His heresy was condemned at the Council of Nicaea at 325 AD as well again at Constantinople in 381 AD. Of course proper and orthodox theology teaches that Jesus is one person with two natures in harmony being both fully God via the Second Person and fully human through Jesus of Nazareth.
The article, “What Is Arianism and Are You Accidentally Committing This Heresy?” by Alyssa Roat gives a very detailed account of Arianism and is a good resource for those seeking to understand it better. She states,
“Many centuries ago, a man named Arius stirred major controversy in the church with his claim: Jesus Christ was created and finite, not of equal divinity with the Father. This became known as the heresy of Arianism. However, repudiation and rejection of his claim did not come easily. Even today, we may find ourselves falling into Arianism.”
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