What if after years and years of Bible study and prayer you discover that you are a heretic? Would that be a bad thing? Is there a chance that holding to heretical views could actually be a step in the right direction at some point in time? Are all heretics evil? What is a heretic anyway?
A quick search will help you quickly discover that the word heretic has been defined in a variety of ways. Take a few moments to carefully read the following definitions.
1) A person who holds controversial opinions, especially one who publicly dissents from the officially accepted dogma of the Roman Catholic Church 2) Someone who believes or teaches something that goes against accepted of official beliefs 3) A person who holds unorthodox opinions in any field
After reading those definitions, do you think there is a slight possibility that you are a heretic? For example, when it comes to all of the religious organizations around the globe, do you believe anything at all that is outside of their official statement of beliefs?
Are you a charismatic or pentecostal? If so, would that mean in the eyes of a conservative religious organization with a formal statement regarding a disbelief in tongues that you would be a heretic?
What about the reverse? If you are a Charismatic who believes in the gift of tongues being for today would that mean that from the perspective of a Conservative Reformed religious group with a statement of faith which makes it clear they do not accept tongues for today, you would be a heretic?
Consider for a moment all of the beliefs within the Roman Catholic Church. How do your beliefs stack up against Roman dogma? If you disagree on any points, wouldn't that make your beliefs purely heretical in the eyes of Catholicism? Again, consider the definitions above.
Let's flip this around again. If you are a Catholic who believes in praying to the saints and Mary, regularly scheduled confession to a priest, and so on, wouldn't the definitions above place you in the position of considering all of your non-Catholic friends heretics?
Did you happen to notice in the definitions that heresy is not limited to the religious world? Anyone who holds an unorthodox (majority held view) opinion in any field is considered to have heretical beliefs.
Consider for a moment those you have heard of who have made great advances in any field. Do you realize that when they began to step outside of accepted thoughts and to go beyond the limitations of previously held belief systems that they suddenly fit the definition of heretic?
Look at history and you find people being accused of heresy for believing and teaching that the earth was round rather than flat. What once was considered heresy is now accepted as fact.
As you consider the amazing technological advances that have taken place through the centuries, how many leaps forward do you think were propelled by people with the courage to think outside the box?
How many advancements do you think came along as a result of people mustering the courage to look beyond popular thought (orthodoxy) and to consider greater possibilities? Where would we be without those people? Is it possible we would still reading by candlelight and traveling by horse and buggy?
Look back at history and you will find heretics in every field including theology. Over time many of the heretics have become the heroes.
So what do you think? Are you a heretic? If so, is that something to be ashamed of? Or is there a chance it's actually a good thing?
Article Source: http://www.abcarticledirectory.com
The heretic James Flanders is a musician, writer, and audio blogger, who by the grace of God came to accept the idea of looking outside the box as he approached Scripture. He was surprised to discover that God's redemptive plans for creation are greater than he had imagined.
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