According to this Wikipedia article on antinomianism, some Christian traditions have been charged with antinomianism, but are there any that actually claim to be antinomian?


an·ti·no·mi·an  [an-ti-noh-mee-uhn]
a person who maintains that Christians are freed from the moral law by virtue of grace as set forth in the gospel.

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Antinomian is quite a negative word. The kind hardly anyone likes to call themselves, even if it was factually correct. Try comparing to bastard, which has a factual meaning (an illegitimate child). Even though being born out of wedlock isn't very shameful nowadays, it's very rare that anyone calls themselves a bastard.

You may find individuals like the blogger Dr. White, who profess to be antinomian -- but even he begins by telling how insulting the word is:

The word “antinomian” is a curse word of the highest degree in the church today. To be charged as an antinomian is to be branded a libertine, careless in morality and one who cheapens the precious blood of our Savior.

Certainly there are antinomian churches, but they avoid using that unpleasant term of themselves.

  • Enlightening. Are there any synonyms that are less derogatory?
    – user23
    Oct 30, 2011 at 18:08
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    @JustinY I don't know of any. Antinomianism (as I see it) is basically sola gratia and sola fide taken to the extreme. So antinomianism as a term includes the meaning "taken too far", and so would any synonym. So it seems like no synonym could be non-derogatory. A neutral similar (but not synonymous) term would fit a large part of mainstream Protestantism. Oct 30, 2011 at 18:32
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't "antinomian" mean "against the law"? Would "lawless/without law" not rather be "anomian"? Oct 30, 2011 at 23:25
  • @JürgenA.Erhard I think you're right. Oct 31, 2011 at 9:15
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    @JürgenA.Erhard I believe the usage (and connotations) differ from the strict literal definition. I don't think there is such a thing as a Christian believing in "lawlessness", but there are Christians who teach that we are "free from the law of Moses", or "no longer under the law", etc., which sometimes bothers the Christians who hold the law of Moses as the ultimate moral authority. It's a much fuzzier line than people think.
    – Jas 3.1
    Apr 24, 2012 at 17:30

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