To be fair, some heretics are probably not even aware that they are peddling recycled heresy because they are usually as ignorant of Church history as they are of Christian doctrine. So when they burst on the scene and breathlessly announce (for the gazillionth time) that at some point in the past “all of the church was corrupted and apostatized,” and they are “restoring true Christianity after centuries of spiritual darkness,” it may be that they just don’t know how many cults have already recovered true Christianity.
(Joy Venoit – Midwest Christian Outreach) When books or articles feature questions such as, “When Did Jesus Become the Christ?” or “When Did Jesus Become the Son of God?” it usually indicates that we are about to be introduced to a heretical view about the identity of Jesus. …
Most often the proposed answer to the question will demonstrate a lack of any real familiarity with Scripture or history, and nearly always employs strawman arguments that the author erects and then boldly kicks over. Antagonists of the biblical/historical faith quite often engage in this type of setup, but they are not alone in their folly. Cults of Christianity (cults which identify as Christian and are supposedly biblically based) use similar tactics. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, for example, recycles the adoptionism heresy, which was condemned in the second century. The view essentially claims that the merely human Jesus was adopted as the Son of God or anointed as the Christ (or Messiah) at His baptism. They write in their 1975 book, Holy Spirit – The Force Behind the Coming New Order on page 90,
When did this Jesus become actually ‘Christ the Lord’? Not on the eighth day of his birth, when he was circumcised. He was not anointed on that day. It was when he was thirty years old.
A few pages later we read on page 113:
Jesus was anointed with holy spirit after his baptism in water and he thus became Christ or Anointed One, so too with his disciples.
One doesn’t have to go too far in the Gospel of Luke to find Scripture exposing this claim as false. In Luke 2:11 we read,
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (ESV, cf. Matthew 1:17)
The biblical writers record the angel announcing that the One Who was born, the Savior, already isChrist when He was born. However, we have noticed over the years that the Watchtower has never been one to let the truth get in the way of a good story.