The Forefathers Calling Doctrine
Held by the Holdeman's Heresy

Docetism: An ancient heresy fought vehemently by the early church. The word means “to appear or seem.” Derived from Gnosticism, which taught that all matter was evil, docetism taught that Jesus took no flesh from Mary and that he only seemed to be human flesh but actually had a special body from heaven. (Some variations taught Jesus wasn’t really born and did not really die or resurrect.) Heretical groups carried this doctrine throughout history. Radical Melchior Hoffman picked it up and it spread to Menno Simons, who held it apologetically in a milder form. Most Swiss Mennonites never held it and the Dutch soon abandoned it. Most Mennonites today reject the docetic view of the incarnation. John Holdeman revived it in its full strength.

Holdeman Doctrine

Early Church Fathers
“[Jesus] did not take His flesh from Mary” 

Bible Doctrines and Practice pg 40

Those, therefore, who allege that He took nothing from the Virgin do greatly err”

Ireneaus Against Heresies Vol 1 pg 454

[The heretics] contend...that as the Word of God became flesh without the seed of a human father, so likewise there was no flesh of the virgin mother”

Tertullian On the Flesh of Christ Vol 3 pg 539

“Why did he come down into her [Mary] if He were to take nothing of her?”

Ireneaus Against Heresies Vol 1 pg 454

“What is this fruit of the womb, which received not its germ from the womb?”

Tertullian on the Flesh of Christ Vol 3 pg 540

“Pray tell me why the Spirit of God descended into a woman’s womb at all, if He did not do so for the purpose of partaking of flesh from the womb?”

Tertullian on the Flesh of Christ Vol 3 pg 538

“The Word was truly born of the Virgin, having clothed Himself with a body of like passions with our own…. made for Himself a body of the seed of the Virgin, but without any intercourse of man...Do ye therefore flee from the ungodly heresies; for they are the inventions of the devil.”

Ignatius Vol 1 pg 71

“It is the same thing to say that He merely seemed to appear and to say that He received nothing from Mary. For He would not have been one truly possessing flesh and blood, by which He redeemed us, unless He had summed up in Himself the ancient formation of Adam”

Ireneaus Against Heresies Vol 1 pg 527

The Word was made flesh, not of Mary, but in Mary”

Bible Doctrines and Practice pg 40

““But to what shifts you resort, in your attempt to rob the syllable ex (of) of its proper force as a preposition, and to substitute another for it in a sense not found throughout the Holy Scriptures! You say that He was born through a virgin, not of a virgin, and in a womb, not of a womb”

Tertullian On the Flesh of Christ Vol 3 pg 538

In what way so ever you torture the statement, He is either of the flesh of Mary because of the seed of David, or He is of the seed of David because of the flesh of Mary”

Tertullian Vol 3 pg 540

“He was both of Mary and of God”

Ignatius Vol 1 pg 52

Stop your ears, therefore, when any one speaks to you at variance with Jesus Christ...who was also of Mary; who was truly begotten of God and of the Virgin” Ignatius Vol 1 pg 70

“He was born of a virgin’s flesh”

Tertullian On the Flesh of Christ Vol 3 pg 539

“His body was not of this earth” →

Messenger of Truth article 8/28/02

“Why deny it to be earthy, when you have the best of reasons for knowing it to be earthy?”

Tertullian On the Flesh of Christ Vol 3 pg 530

 

“We are [composed of] a body taken from the earth, and a soul receiving spirit from God. This, therefore, the Word of God was made

Ireneaus Against Heresies pg 454

 

“‘The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.’ This passage, however, has nothing to do with any difference of substance” 

Tertullian On the Flesh of Christ Vol 3 pg 529

 

“All these marks of the earthly origin were in Christ...He existed in the corporeal substance of a man...His was an earthly flesh”

Tertullian On the Flesh of Christ Vol 3 pg 530

God made a body of celestial flesh for Christ →

Thought taken from Sunday School Quarterly

“Why talk of a heavenly flesh, when you have no grounds to offer us for your celestial theory?”

Tertullian On the Flesh of Christ Vol 3 pg 530

“They [heretics ]on that account suppose that a sidereal [celestial] substance is suitable for Him”

Tertullian On The Flesh of Christ, Vol 3 pg 529

 

“They [heretics] allow that Christ really had a body….He borrowed, they say, His flesh from the stars” Tertullian On the Flesh of Christ Vol 3 pg 526

“The Body of Jesus was an eternal product from heaven”  

Bible Doctrines and Practice pg 40

 

But we have a convincing proof that in it [the flesh of Christ] there was nothing of heaven”

*Tertullian On The Flesh of Christ, Vol 3 pg 530

These passages alone ought to suffice as... proof that Christ had human flesh derived from man, and not spiritual, and that His flesh was not composed of soul, nor of stellar substance, and that it was not an imaginary flesh; (and no doubt they would be sufficient) if the heretics could only divest themselves of all their contentious warmth and artifice.”

Tertullian On the Flesh of Christ Vol 3 pg 534

“Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one” (Job 14:4). 

“There was no possibility for humanity to contribute to their salvation.”

Messenger of Truth article 8/28/02

The heretics... attached an idea of inherent corruption ...to the flesh or body of man”

Tertullian on the Resurrection of the Flesh Vol 3 pg 545

But since Apelles’ precious set lay a very great stress on the shameful condition of the flesh... unworthy of Christ...I am bound to refute them on their own ground.”

Tertullian On The Flesh of Christ, Vol 3 pg 529

Then, you say, if He took our flesh, Christ’s was a sinful one. Do not, however, fetter with mystery a sense which is quite intelligible. For in putting on our flesh, He made it His own; in making it His own, He made it sinless.”

Tertullian on the Flesh of Christ Vol 3 pg 536

“Take note that this verse and the previous one →
[in the likeness of sinful flesh] point to the resemblance only”

Messenger of Truth 8/28/02

“Not...‘the likeness of the flesh’ in the sense of a semblance of body instead of its reality; but he means us to understand likeness to the flesh which sinned, because the flesh of Christ, which committed no sin itself, resembled that which had sinned—resembled it in its nature, but not in the corruption it received from Adam”

Tertullian Vol 3 pg 523

“Some that are without God, that is, the unbelieving, say, He became man in appearance [only]

Ignatius Vol 1 page 70

“And there are some who maintain that even Jesus Himself appeared only as spiritual, and not in flesh, but presented merely the appearance of flesh.”

Justin Martyr Vol 1 page 295

“Avoid the docetae...For whosoever does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is antichrist

Polycarp Vol 1 pg 34

Vain...are those who allege that He appeared in mere seeming.”

*Ireneaus Against Heresies Vol 1 pg 527

“His body did not begin to go back to dust between the crucifixion and the resurrection, as ours would have”  →

Messenger of Truth 8/28/02

“Why does not his flesh, since it is like ours, return in like manner to the ground and suffer dissolution?

Such objections even the heathen used constantly to bandy about”

Tertullian Vol 3 pg 535

“Do we not need carefulness in bringing the human dimension into Christ? Does the thought of Christ’s humanness attract us?”→

Messenger of Truth 8/28/02

“You [speaking to heretics] should not worry that, if He had been born and truly clothed Himself with man’s nature, He would have ceased to be God....For God is in no danger of losing He own state and condition”

Tertullian on the Flesh of Christ Vol 3 pg 523

“For we affirm Christ the same flesh as that whose nature in man is sinful. In the flesh, therefore, we say that sin has been abolished, for (in Christ) that same flesh was maintained without sin”

Tertullian on the Flesh of Christ Vol 3. Pg 535

“But if the Lord became incarnate for any other order of things, and took flesh of any other substance, He has not then summed up human nature, nor in that case can He be termed flesh.”

Ireneaus Vol 1 pg

“For if He did not receive the substance of flesh from a human being, He neither was made man nor the Son of man. And if He was not made what we were, He did no great thing in what He suffered”

Ireneaus Against Heresies Vol 1 pg 454

“Nor did He truly redeem us by His own blood, if He did not really become man”

Ireneaus Against Heresies Vol 1 pg 527

“He was very man and He was very God”

Ireneaus Against Heresies Vol 1 pg 469

“[Christ’s] flesh...human without doubt, as born of a human being”

Tertullian Vol 3 pg 525

“By thus acknowledging His human nature, [Jesus] baffled His adversary”

 Ireneaus Vol 1 pg 549

“These passages alone… should have been sufficient for proving the human flesh of Christ”

Tertullian On the Flesh of Christ pg 529

Surely he is antichrist who denies that Christ has come in the flesh. By declaring that His flesh is simply and absolutely true, and taken in the plain sense of its own nature, the Scripture aims a blow at all who make distinctions in it”

 Tertullian pg 542

Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus is come in the flesh is not of God; and this is that spirit of antichrist”

God 1 John 4:3

Many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist

God 2 John 7

Next page

For Members

Love letter to the Holdemans:

Home

Introduction

Why We Left

Who is My Brother in Christ

An Unbroken Lineage of Unchanged Faith?

Holdemans Calling Their Forefathers' Doctrines Blasphemous

The Forefathers Calling Doctrine Held by the Holdemans Heresy

Public Apology

Why So Many Doubts and Fears?

What Must I Do to be Saved?

Poem

Conclusion

 

Whether it be of God and No Proselytes in Zion--a Re-examination:  (this is the original pamphlet sent to 2,000 members of the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite)

Re-examination

 

 Scare Tactics

 

Answers to Myths, Fears, and Misapplied Scriptures

 

About the Authors

For Non-members

Origin of the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite

What does the Church of
God in Christ, Mennonite,
really teach?

Holdemanism VS Anabaptism

Comparing the
"One True" churches

Quotes from Ex-Members

Witnessing to Holdemans

For Ex-Members

Scare Tactics

 

Answers to Myths, Fears, and Misapplied Scriptures

Breaking the Chains

The Sin of Obeying Legalism

Finding the New Testament Church

Should Christians Dress Plain or Should They Follow Christ's Example Who Dressed "Just Like the World"?

Quotes from Ex-Members

Links to Other Sites on Cult Recovery

Audio and Video Testimonies

Our Spiritual Journey to Jesus by Leona Nichols

Quiet Things, Quiet Places - http://www.quietthingsquietplaces.com

Coming Out of Deception and Spiritual Bondage by Weldon Koehn

Canadian Television Broadcast on The Purge of the 1970's

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