Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Am I a Heretic?

"Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion. The founder or leader of a heretical movement is called a heresiarch, while individuals who espouse heresy are known as heretics. "

If this is how we define heresy, I suppose Jesus was a heretic. He brought controversial change to the religious system of beliefs of his day.

All the reformers like Martin Luther, and William Tyndale were considered heretics in their days.

And for everyone who believes they hold to true orthodoxy there will be others who hold to a different system of beliefs calling them heretics.

So I guess we are all heretics according to someone.

However, I pray I can avoid being burned at the stake (both figuratively in terms of ruined relationships and harm done to Christ's Church - and literally of course). But I can't help think being a heretic may not be such a bad thing. If you think of history, we've all benefited from the efforts of other great heretics.

So go ahead and call me a heretic if you want, but ...
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. "(Matt 7:1-5 NIV)
"Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord."(Rom 14:1-8)
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke 6:37-38 NIV)
“It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” (1 Cor 4:4-5 NIV)


Lysa said...

Thinking about how Martin Luther proclaimed not to be a heretic, but was, perhaps, Anti-Semetic (?)
It appears that he was a persecutor of Jews and yet Jesus is a Jew!
Another point to ponder...perhaps (?)

Jonathan said...

Thanks Lysa for the comment.

I did not realize Luther was Anti-Semetic... but I see now he did write some in that direction. Thanks.

I guess what I'm getting at is it is really hard for us to pinpoint who the real heretics are. I imagine as I break away from some traditional beliefs some may toy with using the label for me.

Whenever there is strong disagreement, on each side will be tempted to call each other heretics.

But we do need to be careful not to take the position of judge of other servants of God.

Thanks! God bless!

Lysa said...

True, true!

Jesus said the world would know us (His followers) by our love for one another.

For me, that's the Crux of it.
As I, too, follow Him on the path which He is leading me, I take all that is said and or done to me and process it through His Spirit.
I don't think it's our job to try and figure out who the heretics are. He is the One who knows each heart.

Jesus did say that a tree is known by it's fruit...it is the evidence of where we're grounded and what's at the core of our being. But I judge no one.
Love and intercession...that's the calling He has placed upon my life.

I trust that, as you blog about these things that He is working out in you, He is revealing to you the calling He has placed upon your life as well!