The Manipulative Meaning of Historical Heresy

Blogs and Podcast with David Leo Schultz

While, yes, there is brief mention from Paul in his letters in the New Testament of keeping watch of your doctrine…there was no call for the church to start executing people if they went against what the church believed…and yet…that’s exactly what we did.

And this is barely talked about. 

What is talked about is the “heresy itself.” Does that bother anyone else? Isn’t there more heresy in their hate than in their belief?

Nearly 2,000 years since Jesus walked the earth and we still have the same problem.

I still haven’t found the word “heresy” in the Bible, although maybe I missed it…who would ultimately know who is and who isn’t committing heresy except God himself…

I mean…it’s only because the age of tolerance is upon us…that Protestantism exists at all…or anyone in that split would all be killed as heretics…

That’s what honestly cracks me up when any…and I mean any… Protestant uses the word “heresy”…I go…(Insert SMH emoji).

There’s a deeper problem we have to face, if say, we could say who has the right and who doesn’t have the right to declare who is and who isn’t a “heretic.”…We have to decide who has the truth and who doesn’t…

Remember that Rich Mullins quote, “If the bible tells us anything…it’s that God is right…and the rest of us are just guessing.”

See this, for me, is the problem with the Evangelical tenant of saying and believing the Bible is the inherent and infallible word of God. Don’t get me or hear me wrong…I don’t mind it…but…let me give you a metaphor that is a real instruction in the scriptures…

On the subject of speaking in tongues…the scriptures instruct us…that we also need an interpreter to be present…if there is no interpreter…then one should be quiet and speak to himself and God…1 Cor 4:27-28…

Using tongues as a metaphor…the Bible – if it is actually inherent and infallible…then it is itself like a holy tongue…but even tongues relies on the interpreter…

Now which interpreter of the scriptures is…interpreting …100% correctly.

Do you see the fundamental problem; why it is almost absurd to say the bible is inherent and infallible? Again…I argue not with doctrine…but reason…not because I want it to be or not want it to be…but because of logic…

Let’s say the Bible is as the evangelicals say…infallible…ok…then so the interpreter must be…or it just doesn’t work…It’s like saying…I have found a million dollars…locked in this safe…and no one has the key…does that do anyone any good?

In this modern age… instead of being a heretic if you have a different “interpretation”…they simply become another denomination or split…and then another…and then another…

But this word heresy no has made its way into our vernacular beyond a governmental church decree…it is now used as a weapon to shame, humiliate, and manipulate anyone who doesn’t see the way we see things…who doesn’t interpret things the way we interpret things…

So if your views on God, culture, politics, family values, morality don’t match with mine…and I call you a heretic…then what I am doing is in fact using shame and manipulation to mold you or guilt you into siding with my views…

This leaves no room for free thinking, reason, or process.

This is why most childhood believers in the Christian tradition of faith, abandon it in college…because they actually have a chance to have space, freedom, to question, doubt, think, and process what makes sense to their reason…it’s not that their rejection of the Christ mystery is correct…but because the Church itself doesn’t make room for such questions…to be able to sit with the doubt and mystery in a body of believers…because there is no room or grace for them to do that within the walls of a church…there’s no loving people to give them some humble glorious perspectives of Christ and the Cross to think about…so they are free to roam wherever their whims will take them…

Perhaps the Spirit of God will lead them to Himself, even without the help of the church…especially since such a multitude can find no such safe place in Christianity…

My fellow Ragamuffins, make room for heretics, free thinkers, doubters of the faith…The hand of God isn’t made of butter…not one false move is going to cause them to fall through the trap door to hell…such thoughts are silly…and yet …so many still believe this…

I get it…I once did too…

But it’s a spiritual state of emergency with the mass exodus of the Christian Faith…which in a way I think is really healthy…because it’s causing us to ask the hard questions about not only what we believe…but how we believe…and the results are astonishing…we have been preoccupied with getting everyone to think how we think, behave how we behave…love is an afterthought…a non-priority…

Now let’s go back in time and picture the church setting someone on fire for not believing what we believe…or teaching a different perspective…

Which one is the heretic according to the love found in and revealed by Jesus Christ? 

The person being set on fire…or the one setting the person on fire?

Now join me back in this present age of the church? Which one is the heretic? The one who doesn’t believe what and how you believe? Or the one who uses shame, guilt, and manipulation by calling someone a “heretic?” At least…from the standpoint of the love of God.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *