While listening to our sermon this morning we were woken from our slumber to hear that many people are heretics. Looking at some comments posted on wiblogs recently this seems to be a word that is gaining currency amongst Christians at this time.
The poeple being described as such today are those who do not belive in 7 day Creatonism as fact. Personally I can agree with this to a certain extent from both sides.
1. The world was created in 6 days. Therefore 7 day creationism is a heresy in itself.
2. Many Christians find it hard to accept that the fossil record and Genesis do not conform to this teaching and therefore Genesis must be wrong – or not to be taken literally.
3. Creationists believe that Genesis should be taken literally and science is therefore wrong.
Personally I couldn’t give a flying wotsit who is or isn’t 100% correct.
1. God created the world – how He did it, how long it took Him and how old Methusaleh was when he died aren’t important to me. The fact is that God created the world from nothing. Whether the process took 6 days, 10 years, 8 centuries or 400 million years matters little to me.
2. I believe that all organisms, and the world itself, evolve to meet the changing environment and has done since the dawn of time.
3. I DO NOT believe in the evolution of species and its ability to cross genus. We DID NOT evolve from apes but the opposite could be true – in some ways they have a better grasp on living than we do.
4. There is a possiblity that mankind could have existed at the time of some dinosaurs – how else do you explain fossilised footprints of human and dinosaur being found together. However I may be wrong about this.
To me we are all heretics. We have to be because Christians all believe different meanings of the same truth – why else do we have so many different denominations. However you cannot be saved unless you believe in God, the death and resurrection of His Son – who IS God – and the guiding hand of the Holy Ghost/Spirit – who is ALSO God.
Whether you believe that God wants us to drink wine, because Jesus turned water into wine, or not drink wine because of what it cause you to do, is a personal choice. Just because someone else believes the opposite does not make them wrong – thus a heretic.
There are certain absolutes that we should all adhere to but we need to remember that Jesus wasn’t sent to divide God’s followers but to draw us nearer to Him. To show us that a purely dogmatic view and inflexible faith will not save us but drive a wedge between us and God. That doesn’t mean that we water down what we believe in but that we proclaim it at every possible opportunity.
Whatever you do please remember that you have no right to call anyone a heretic – whether you do it from the pulpit or in another way. That is you judging someone by your own interpretation of right and wrong – if you’re God then that’s fine, if you aren’t then go and remove that HUGE log from your own eye first. It is also possible that you misread the context of what is being said. You need to engage and discuss to find out what is meant.
Disagreement is healthy; discussion and debate are to be welcomed but a failure to listen and to understand is leaving the way open to unnecessary division and hatred.
Remember that we all need to learn from history. Jesus was killed because His message was diametrically opposite to religious belief held by the religious caste of His time. The church has been just as bad through Inquisition and Reformation.
It won’t take much for mankind to get the racks and bonfires going again.