Bible Answers: What is Marcionism and why does it matter?

-A A +A

“Do you see Marcionism in the church today? If so, why does it matter?”

An unusual question—“Marcionism” is not a term common to our everyday vocabulary!
Marcion, a bishop in the Christian church in what was called Asia Minor, lived in the early second century. He is famous for his answer to the question “How could the wrathful God of the Old Testament be the same loving Father of Jesus seen in the Gospels?” His conclusion: the “God of the Old Testament” has nothing to do with the “God of the New Testament.” Consequently, he revised his Bible, eliminating the Old Testament (OT) altogether and cutting out anything in the New Testament (NT) that was too much connected with the Old. His Bible contained only parts of Luke and 10 of Paul’s letters.
There is a Marcionism evident in today’s church. Many Christians find the OT too hard to explain, or too embarrassing to discuss. It seems irrelevant, obsolete and confusing. Some modern Christian writers find the OT just a little too edgy for their taste.
There are problems with dismissing the OT, however. All Scripture is inspired (II Tim. 3:16). The OT is the Bible Jesus and the early church used (Mt. 22:29; Lk. 4:21; 24:27: Acts 18:24; Rom. 4:3). The OT and NT together provide the most complete picture of God for believers. He is the author of both law and grace, a God who offers freedom, forgiveness and salvation and also demands obedience and holiness. He is patient and compassionate, but He also judges evil and demands undivided loyalty.
The “God of the OT” is the same as the “God of the NT.” The full biblical portrait presents a creative, personal, purposeful, powerful God whose grace and whose judgment on sin are seen consistently throughout both testaments — most fully evidenced at the cross of Jesus.