I think that we too quick to toss the word “heretic” around.
On Ministry Matters, someone wrote an article basically saying that it's okay to put down the Bible and not be burdened by it. (I may be summarizing it wrong…)
I didn't really agree with that article. I may not subscribe to the inerrancy of the Bible view, but I hold a very high view of Scripture.
One reader left a comment saying that the article is “heretical at its worst” and that the author was a false teacher and to “run away” from the article.
Heretical? False teacher? I wouldn't go that far.
I once ran into these two “nuns” at Starbucks. I write “nuns” because they weren't Catholic. They were a different type of breed of nuns. They didn't believe in medicine. They only lived off of the kindness of strangers. And I was really digging what they were saying, until they gently told me that I may be for the Devil more than for God — in a roundabout way, of course.
Their way of thinking ultimately boiled down to this: If you are with us, you are friends. If you disagree with any of our thoughts, you're with the Devil.
Apparently, I'm team Satan to them because 1) I didn't offer my house for them to stay and 2), I don't believe that 9/11 was foretold in the Scriptures and that God allowed all this to happen to finally overthrow the non-Christians from the Holy City.
But no worries. That certainly wasn't the first time I was accused of being with the Devil and I'm sure it won't be my last.
What bothers me is the narrow mind of many of us — myself, included.
We're quick to label things that we don't know as “dangerous” or something to be scared of.
For instance, those Christians who spew ignorant hatred towards Muslims, do they know —know— any Muslims? Most likely not.
They're great people. Not all Muslims are terrorists. Not all Muslims are jihadist. Just like, not all Christians bomb abortion clinics. Not all Christians subscribe to the hatred of Westboro Baptist Church.
They're lots of great Muslim people. They're also some Muslims who are jerks. They're lots of Christians who are great people. They're also some who are huge wankers.
I have to remind myself that God is bigger than our theologies. God is bigger than denominations. God is bigger than the way we practice our faith. That there are more ways to learn about God, to experience God, to be in a relationship with God outside of things I know. And that, that's okay. There's more than my way and methods on this journey of faith.
Just because there exist theology that differs from mine; just because other people hold different values and virtues higher than what I hold onto — it doesn't mean that they're heretics.
I think we'd do ourselves a huge favor if we held off on declaring people herectics when we don't agree with them.
The scary truth is, if you take time to listen, you might actually learn something… I know, I know. I hate learning, too. It's so inconvenient to rewire your brain to think differently…
God is so much bigger than the thoughts and theology of one person, tribe, or community…