“The Incarnation is the hinge of salvation” and “Iconoclasm as a denial of the Incarnation is the summation of all heresies.”

The first quotation is from the second-century apologist Tertullian and the latter was penned by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. These two statements can well be applied to our present cultural crisis; namely, the rise of transgenderism signaling the end of the sacramental order. 

In the first century, Christianity quickly spread from the Middle East into the Greco-Roman world. There the Church was confronted by its first heresy—namely, the Docetist doctrine that denied the reality of the material world. Docetism taught that Jesus was pure spirit, His body a mere illusion. St. John already needed to condemn this heresy. He taught: “Many false prophets have appeared in the world…every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God, while every spirit that fails to acknowledge him does not belong to God. Such is the spirit of the antichrist” (1 John 4:1-3). 

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