Subtle Heresies

I once heard Ravi Zacharias talking about two kinds of heresies according to Frank William Boreham: the heresy of hereness and the heresy of thereness.

The heresy of HERENESS is the idea that God is HERE (not out THERE) and so therefore, if I am to escape His presence, I simply have to get out from this place. Jonah is the perfect example of this. When God called him to preach in Nineveh, he FLED to a distant land, falsely believing that by going away, he had escaped from his accountability to God.

The heresy of THERENESS is the exact opposite. It is the idea that God is out THERE and if I am to escape His presence, I just need to stay right here and not go out there. Adam is the perfect example for this. When he and Eve succumbed to the temptation, they hid in the bushes and covered themselves with fig leaves. When they heard God walking in the garden, Adam falsely believed that God is just out THERE, unable to see him.

Both views of the presence of God are wrong. But of course we know all that. In theory, at least.

Things would only get a little complicated when we fool ourselves into believing that we could get away with little compromises just because we’re outside church walls or on vacation and nobody sees us. In Psalm 139: 7- 11, David wrote these classic verses about the omnipresence of God. If this psalm doesn’t make us think twice about sinning in private, I don’t know what would.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day.