Being Called a Heretic…..

February 6, 2014 — 3 Comments

If you blog long enough, someone will eventually call you a heretic. Self-appointed orthodoxy watchdogs plague the internet almost as much as porn.  Say something outside their particular theological tradition and they’ll damn your soul to an eternity in hell as fast as you can click “publish” on your blog post.

My latest accusation of heresy came last week on Twitter. My theological crime? I don’t believe in Biblical inerrancy.  I tried pointing out to my inquisitor that Biblical inerrancy is a 20th century fundamentalist invention, not something which is actually intrinsic to the Christian tradition, but things like “facts” and church history are but minor inconveniences to the religious zealot….

Biblical inerrancy is certainty grounded in fear and the need for control. Allow for any “error” in the Bible, so the inerrantists claim, and how can you trust any of it? The answer to this supposedly challenging question is actually quite simple.

SOURCE: The Bible Isn’t Perfect And It Says So Itself – Zach Hunt – Red Letter Christians.

The word might not have been thrown at me but I have been called a heretic several times in my life as being a follower of Christ and the primary reason is biblical inerrancy. Over my ten year diligent study of theology I have come to understand, as Zach Hunt in the quote above, that inerrancy is grounded in fear and the need for control and that it is very much a 20th century invention. Scientific findings, among many other things, have  been invading theological thought too much to be comfortable to many.

Biblical inerrancy has come to mean that if you don’t interpret the Bible the same as I do then you are simply wrong.  Being that there are more than 40,000 versions of Christianity around today there are also 40,000+ versions of biblical thought. Each claims to have the truth but which is the correct one? After my study I can say probably none of them. They each take a verse or two out of that document and form their beliefs around those few words.  They, like Martin Luther who grabbed Ephesians 8-9 as the reason to treat Christianity as a something for nothing religion, find a particular verse that totally aligns with their view of God and cling to it with almost total ignorance of  everything else.

In reality everyone of us who claims to be Christian is a heretic to others who don’t believe as we do.  I have been in a very reflective, maybe even melancholy,  mood lately. In some ways I am just not sure of my purpose for continuing on with this blog with any seriousness. Looking over this decade long search for the “truth” has led me to some basic conclusions about our search for God. I will be presenting them in the coming posts. Since I am just starting this particular line of thought I really don’t know how long this series will last but I am sure that I will be called a heretic by some for even bringing up the questions and thoughts that I have on this topic. As is typical of me I will not hold back because of that threat….

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3 responses to Being Called a Heretic…..

  1. 

    I’ve had similar problems recently, with reactions from some in my church to my blogging on my ‘flexible’ approach to the Bible. Here’s my latest response. Would be interested to know your thoughts on this… http://rojnut.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/love-trumps-all/

    • 

      I definitely align with a flexible approach to the Bible. Probably more so than you. Starting next week I will be putting out a six part post series on that very topic.

      You must realize that there might be consequences to crossing the “line” in your particular denomination. Questioning ANYTHING about the Bible has serious consequences with some. As long as you are willing to accept these consequences, which might include you being asked to leave, then I encourage you to voice your concerns. To me, being a Christian does not mean sitting back and accepting everything you are told. I paid the price for that revelation and you might also. It was worth it for me and you should consider whether it is worth it to you…

      Good Luck.

  2. 

    Thanks, RJ. We recently moved from a Baptist to an Anglican church, not for any theological reasons, purely practical, and we maintain good friendships at our old church, but we’ve found the Anglican church to be surprisingly far more conservative and rigid in its beliefs (at least amongst the leadership). However, we worship the same Jesus and want the same goals, and I’m happy to lay aside differences in order to build together. Having recently moved there, and seeing a vibrant, growing community, I don’t want to jeopardise either my own place there or the existing growth and unity.
    Much as I love expressing my views and my ‘evolving’ faith, there are plenty of others blogging and Facebooking about Progressive / Red Letter Christianity. The blogosphere will survive without my voice in the mix! I hope that my stand of love over bold expression in some ways demonstrates in action my belief as a Christian with Progressive / Red Letter tendencies!
    This is right for me now. But in the long run, who knows….?
    I’ll continue to follow your blog and others, with interest (especially Kissing Fish and We Occupy Jesus, to which I also contribute).
    Blessings 2 u,
    Roger

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