Heretics usually fall into the role. Seldom does a man wake up in the morning, grab a cup of coffee, read the morning newspaper, put on his clothes, and then stare himself in the mirror and say “Today, thou shall become a heretic”. Heretics usually start by staring in the mirror and saying, “Today, thou shall be a difference maker”.
Consider Sabellius. Sabellius became what is now known as a modalist. They were very concerned with maintaining the truth that God is one. They also wanted to maintain that Christ was fully God. Sabellius emphasized these two truths to the neglect of another truth: that God is also three distinct Persons.
Tertullian responded to the modalists. (It is from Tertullian that we have the statement “one substance consisting in three persons”). To our knowledge, this would be the first time that the term Trinity was used. Sabellius and the other modalists were unmoved. Sabellius was eventually condemned a heretic in 220 AD.
His story is not unique. I share it simply because it is the typical pattern of heretics. If you want to become a heretic here is the way to do it:
Step One: Have a desire to be an epic difference maker.
Step Two: Find a truthful doctrine that is being neglected or under emphasized
Step Three: Make your ministry about restoring this precious doctrine.
Step Four: Begin emphasizing this truth to the expense of other equally true doctrines
Step Five: When people begin to question your overemphasis and/or your negating of other truths consider this the price of being an epic difference maker.
Step Six: Continue undeterred. Begin seeing this “other truth” that your opponents are emphasizing as part of the reason why your precious doctrine was under- emphasized. Find ways to minimize this truth, or even show that it is an error.
Step Seven: Emphasize your truth. Totally deny the other truth. Congratulations you are now a heretic that has denied a key doctrine of Scripture.
The above picture is from a great series at The Resurgence on Know Your Heretics.