... a hateful sounding word, isn't it?
it's being thrown around a lot these days.
here's what the dictionary has to say about it:
1. a professed believer who maintains religious opinions contrary to those accepted by his or her church or rejects doctrines prescribed by that church.
2. Roman Catholic Church - a baptized Roman Catholic who willfully and persistently rejects any article of faith.
3. anyone who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine, or principle.
etymologically speaking, it means to be able to choose.
Galileo was condemned as a heretic for supporting Copernicus’s thesis that the earth revolves around the sun and not vice-versa.
do you believe the earth revolves around the sun? if so, you would have been in the same boat in which Galileo found himself.
Paul was described to the Roman governor Felix as the leader of the heresy (aireseos) of the Nazarenes (Acts 24:5). what about you?
all of Protestantism was declared heretical by the Roman Church. possibly still is, behind closed doors.
believing and practicing the priesthood of all believers was declared heretical. anyone who 'preached' or 'taught' who was not a part of the hierarchy was a heretic.
John Wycliffe - because his translation didn’t suit the hierarchy; William Tyndale - tried for heresy, strangled and burnt at the stake in 1536; Jan Hus, Joan of Arc, Thomas Cranmer and many folk under the rule of Bloody Mary.
Billy Graham, Beth Moore, Moody Bible Institute, Max Lucado, Michael W Smith, Baylor University, Chuck Swindoll, NavPress, Intervarsity, Christianity Today, Mother Teresa, Bono, Quakers, Charles Stanley, Chuck Colson, C S Lewis, Franklin Graham, J I Packer, James Dobson, Joel Osteen, John Piper, Martin Luther King, Jr.
just a few who have had the appellation thrown their way.
oh, and anyone who uses any other Bible but the KJV.
there are lots of other words being thrown around - universalism, trinitarianism, ultimate reconciliation, hell, heaven, slippery slope - to name a few.
but - what i am hearing more than the words is that which is behind some of the words. it’s not pretty.
it sounds a lot like hate.
i don't know about any of you, but this really grieves my heart. aren't we - those of us who name His name in some form or other - supposed to find love in our hearts for others who also name His name?
why can’t we trust Him? - trust in His character?
if we trust Him with ourselves, can’t we trust Him with others?
do we trust Him with ourselves - to keep us from harm and deception?
can we not do the same for others?
confession - i don’t know everything there is to know about God. surprise! i have no clue ‘how’ He has and will work all things together for His purpose. i do know, to some degree, what the Bible has to say about salvation and reconciliation. i am aware that a strong case can be made for ultimate reconciliation - a strong case can be made against ultimate reconciliation.
why don’t we slow down, take a breath and a step or two back, consider Him and choose the better way.
why don’t we leave the out-working up to Him?
He can be trusted.