Heresy is the youth of truth.
Orthodox is descript old age.
Heresy is thought.
Orthodoxy is habit
Heresy is initiative.
Orthodoxy is inertia
Heresy is self satisfied and intolerant of orthodoxy.
Orthodoxy is equally self satisfied and intolerant of heresy.
The orthodox should think better of heretics.
And the heretics should think better of the orthodox.
For every orthodoxy was once a heresy.
And every heresy is fated to be an orthodoxy.
All countries were founded by traitors.
All our churches were founded by heretics.
The patriotism of today glories in the treasons of yesterday.
In our churches we bend the knee in cushioned prayer,
To saints who were once dragged before
The tribunals of the orthodox and condemned,
And hung for their belief or unbelief
Half of us are heretics.
The other half worship heretics.
Not even the orthodox worship the orthodox.
Every orthodox faith is founded on some old time heresy.
The men who conform to the old
Never win immortal palms
From the book, “Thinking and Talking about
I really like this poem. I think it basically of sums up the life of the church or believers. If we were sent to the time of the Reformation we would be more heretical than Luther or Calvin. Heretics are our heroes. They are St. Francis, Martin Luther, John Knox, John Wycliffe and Jesus. They all made huge waves in their day, but not without consequences. When we look back they are our heroes, but those who are heretics today are the enemy or on their way to Hell. Same things said about our heroes.
All of the great reformers or heroes of the faiths would have been considered heretics or at least liberals in their day because the norm would have been orthodoxy. By definition, Orthodoxy is “authorized or generally accepted theory, doctrine, or practice.” In other words it is what is normal in the church. Heretics are not normal. They push the boundaries and we don’t like them just for that thing. We want everything to be normal. We are comfortable in our little churches doing our little things, following the way it’s always been.
“The way it’s always been.” That’s kind of funny. It’s probably only been that way for a few years. Why do you go to church at 10 or 11 a.m. every Sunday? Jesus didn’t do it that way. Heck, Jesus and all the disciples went to the synagogue on Saturday for their entire life. Luther liked to sleep in as he got older. That’s why we meet at that time. We meet on Sunday because Christians were kicked out of Judaism in 90 C.E. Until then Christians were members of Judaism and worshiped in the synagogue on Saturday. After Christians were kicked out of Judaism Christians decided to change to Sunday since Jesus was raised on Sunday they would worship on Sunday, a day of work, not rest.
Do you hold on to the Rapture theory? That got going in the 1830’s. You mention the Rapture to St. Paul and he’d think you were a nut job. He expected Jesus to return in his lifetime. No rapture, no tribulation, not for Paul.
Most of us grew up with Sunday school but that is only 200 years old. The church building was introduced after Constantine first made Christianity legal in the Roman Empire. Christians took over Pagan worship sites and used them for their own purpose. The church choir soon came out of those Pagan rituals. The pulpit, offering plate, the typical worship order, and bulletins all came from the reformation time period.
The theology of the Trinity came from the late 4th or early 5th century. It was not something that was taught in the early church. It wasn’t even clear to all groups that Jesus was God until this time period. There were many groups who looked at him as an anointed person or prophet that God gave great abilities to because of his closeness to God. Those groups were all killed by the “orthodox church”, led by Constantine. (Maybe that is one argument against a church run state but that’s another blog) So, you could say that the orthodox church is only the orthodox church because they won. Or you might say it was because we didn’t have a Bible yet. But what bible should we follow? The protestant with 66 books? The Catholic with 73 books or the Greek Orthodox with 76?
For those who want to have church like Jesus had it would not want it. We would not recognize their service and they would not recognize ours. If you think something is heresy, maybe it is you who are simply holding on to your own theology or traditions and not onto where God is leading his assembly of believers. People today are no different than the Pharisees that hold on to their traditions. These traditions were only a few hundred years old. Not really things that Moses or Abraham really did.
So I think by now you get the point. Almost everything that we hold as essential to our beliefs or worship was once thought of as heresy. Theology changes, rituals change and we change as we grow and learn the better way.
St. Francis was called before the Pope one day to testify as to why he was doing this odd thing. Taking care of the poor. When St. Francis told the pope what was happening he was sent off with blessings. Not all heretics were or will be so lucky. Many were killed, jailed, or kicked out of the church because people had to hold on to their traditions. Today is no different. People will be standing up for where the church needs to go. They will be despised, cursed, condemned by those holding on to the past.
About every 500 years the church goes through major changes. We are due. What will you do? Will you hold back yourself and others? Stand firm on your theologies and traditions? Or will you make a mark on your world. Stand up for change and take the real Christ into this world. The world that he loved so much. Be a heretic. Make a difference.
Here is a link to letting go of our theology and loving people like we should.