Friday, January 1, 2010

Is Anything Heresy to a Heretic?

This is an extremely important issue not only to me but to all readers of this blog since heresy doesn’t normally come knocking with a name badge, “Hey, I’m heresy”, but rather heresy sneaks into your mind, your heart, your theology.  And while you subscribe to a heresy, you may think it is not you that has a problem, but all the “close-minded” people that are trying to warn you about the heresy you are caught in. (heretics tend to think of other people as “close-minded” or too simple to understand the supposed great knowledge to which the heretic has attained).

So, my question to the reader & to myself is, IS ANYTHING HERESY TO A HERETIC?
Most heresies are ready to reject anything “traditional” & instead claim to be “thinking outside the box” — in doing so where & what are the lines they will not cross?  In the heresy of hyperpreterism, I was always amazed how ANY of them were Trinitarians.  The Trinity is often considered one of the most tradition-based beliefs in Christianity.  Some people even try to claim it is a tradition not really supported by the Bible but merely imposed on the Christians via fiat.  Why is this “tradition” off limits to some heresies?  I believe it is because these heresies realize that if they step over that line, they really alienate themselves from historic Christianity.  A heretic is happy to hide in the “Scriptures” where they can redefine interpretations & present those new interpretations as merely alternatives but once they start down the path of redefining things like the Trinity, they realize they are on an alienating decline.  The heretic can play around with concepts like resurrection — they can try to get people to believe the believers’ resurrection is different in “nature” than traditionally presented.  In this way, the heretic can claim, “See, I still believe in the resurrection — I just think it is different than has been believed”.  Whereas things like the Trinity, which was a belief in the Church since the earliest of times is something the heretic cannot assail so easily.  The heretic cannot simply twist Scriptures to present their redefinition, but they must also deal with the general belief of the Church through out history.  And it is here where a heretic is most vulnerable.  It is here where a heretic cannot hide. (I know, I used to be a heretic remember?)
Back to the question — the reason that ultimately a heretic cannot call anything heresy is because it would undermine the heretics’ own position.  This is the reason you will often see heretics calling for “tolerance” & claiming they are being more “lovingly Christian” than people who are warning them.  The heretic will try all sorts of tricks to make it look like they are the true “open-minded” Christian while those who oppose them are merely “bitter”, “hateful”, “obsessed heretic-hunters” that want others to go to hell.  The heretic may even further play the line that “if people really loved & cared about them, that they would lovingly engage them in conversation”.  Many real Christians will fall for these lines, but from a former 15-year heretic as myself, let me just say don’t buy it.  The only reason a hardened heretic wants to have a “conversation” with you is so that they can attempt to prove how wrong you are & how right they are…& maybe even possibly convert you to the heresy.  I don’t know how many stories I’ve heard of well-meaning Christians who say they initially engaged a heretic to “prove them wrong” & in the end, accepted the very heresy.  Now, perhaps a person is thinking, “what do we have to fear, if the heresy is a heresy & we have the truth then we ought to be able to prevail in any such conversation?” Here’s the problem, the first thing a heretic does is get you to give up your weapons & armor (Luke 11:22, Eph 6:10-13).  You take down your defenses & sit at the table with him.  He talks & talks & talks you into an armistice & then into acquiescence & then into support.  When you look back, you will talk about how it “made sense”.  But folks, did it make human “sense” for God to create a universe of inferior beings for no other purpose than to glorify Himself?  Did it make human “sense” for God to create the planet earth & place into it a being that God not only knew ahead of time would fall but ordained to fall (Is 46:10)?  Did it make human “sense” for God to not warn Adam & Eve about the Serpent & yet hold them accountable for falling for his “conversation” with Eve?  And not only that, for holding the rest of humanity to account for the actions that that mere “conversation” brought forth?  Did it make human “sense” for God to send His Son (as Himself) into the world to die on the part of these same inferior humans?  Think about this when you are about to have a well-meaning “conversation” with a heretic.  Rather, let us FIRST disarm the heretic.  Tell him what he is advocating is NOTHING like historic Christianity & that you will NOT have a “conversation” with him about his redefined terms.  You will only discuss how he is nothing like historic Christianity & that all of his Scripture twisting under the guise of “Sola Scriptura” (Bible alone) is not going to fool you into letting down your guard.  You will then see just how interested these heretics are in having a “conversation” with you.  You will then see just how “tolerant” & “loving” they are.  Their arrogance will bubble up to the surface.
A heretic cannot rightly call anything a heresy because it undermines their own position.  Certainly you will see a heretic say some of the most outrageous beliefs are not Christian or maybe even use the word “heretical” — but every time they do so, they are open for challenge.  If they call even things like the teachings of Jim Jones or David Koresh as being “heretical”, the heretic is standing on sand.  As outrageous as Jones & Koresh’s teachings were, they were built on the same thing all heresies are built on — a complete disregard for historic Christianity.  A heretic CANNOT (& should not be allowed to) use the mantle of acceptability, of “mainstream”.  Heresies such as hyperpreterism are just as out there as Jones & Koresh.  Such heresies while not having people destroy themselves physically with poisoned grape koolaide or barricading themselves in a compound & being burned alive are STILL tantamount to the same thing.  Such a heresy STILL destroys a person & perhaps is even worse than the physical destruction since it is a type of destruction that festers & ensnares others into the destruction.
I conclude with this — for those heretics who think I’m not being “loving” & “compassionate” because I’m not engaging them in a “conversation” — what I have to say to you is what people were saying to me & I finally listened.  GIVE UP YOUR HERESY!  Humble yourselves. What arrogance to think you & you alone stand against nearly 2000 years of Christian interpretation.  Come back to historic Christianity.  Work within the framework of REAL Christianity.  I know it will be difficult at first because once you have been indoctrinated into a heresy, it seems like the heresy is the true expression & that other people just don’t get it.  Plus, after you have been part of the “fellowship” of a heresy, it feels like the heresy is a truly “loving” & close “fellowship” comparatively.  Well, of course there will be a tight bond among heretics — they have no one else to lean on — they are outcasts among outcasts.  Some people who read this, even though they will see the truth in it, will have a difficult time giving up the “friendships” they have established within their heretical groups.  It is like someone who had been in prison many years & establishing “friendships” with murderers & thieves & wanting to bring these “friendships” with them into the free world & back to their waiting families.  It cannot & should not be done.  If you are ready to give up your heresy, you must be willing to part ways from your bonds of the heresy…otherwise you will always be susceptible to re-embracing it or giving it a pass as it causes more destruction.
Come out of your heresy.  Come back to historic Christianity & work within it to reform & guard against the errors that attempt to prevail against the Church.

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