Is This Heresy?

Is this emerging Christian thinking heresy?

Short answer: yes.  By Orthodox standards, and by Evangelical standards (which are hardly orthodox) this is heresy

But that's not necessarily a bad thing. All of our beliefs are likely heresies of some kind, to varying degrees, small and large.

Kierkegaard recognized that truth, as we understand it, is subjective. He gives an example of two men praying: one is praying to the "true" (Christian) conception of God, but doing so "in a false spirit." Another man is a pagan, praying to his own concept of a god... but he does so "with an entire passion for the infinite." For Kierkegaard, the second man prays in greater truth because his spirit is rightly-oriented.

C.S. Lewis suggested that the only reason our prayers get anywhere 
near God is because God has the grace to intercept them (our prayers) as they spray out into space [my wording]. We are so limited and so broken as human beings that we can't begin to fathom the fullness of the Creator of the universe. How then, can we hope to grasp "absolute truth?" God loves us, and accepts our prayers for what they are: humble attempts at knowing, loving, hearing and connecting with God. That is, when they are humble attempts. Arrogant tirades for the sake of making a point probably don't get too far. Yes, I'm guilty of this, too.

Ultimately, I believe Jesus Christ has grace for our heresies if we're seeking in faith, in hope, and in love. And in intellectual and spiritual humility. I pray my life will continue to better-reflect these fruits.

I recommend 
Spencer Burke's book for some "defense" of heresy...


Anonymous said...

Hey it was good to hear that you believe that we should be conecting with people of other faihs. There is however a major difference betwwen Christianity and other world religons, Jesus was God in the flesh, there is no othere Like Him because He is eternal. Peopel of othere faiths can do nice things and feed the poor, i think your theology of what Gods words says about the depravity of man kind. Heres a good question, Are you a good person?

Aaron said...

Heresy is etymologically defined as "choice."

um... and I choose to regard you, Peter, as a good person. Who can type. And God as something quite beyond the confines of human definition. I also choose not to be so assumptive as to believe I know the heart and mind of God. Some folks could do the same.

RickNiekLikeBikes said...

No I don't believe that prayers have anything to do with knowing the mind and heart of God. And I don't splay prayers into the universe either. God knows my needs before I ask them. Even so my prayers aren't always profound and my prayers may not always "pure" in that I'm tired, lose my train of thought etc. Sometimes I pray when I'm in a bad mood. Either way, I never attempt to deserve my connection with God, I simply know that He said I could and should. I don't prepare to deserve the table of the Lord either (in Communion), I simply prepare to be amazed. In the same way, I'm not perfect in prayer, but I'm always amazed. And in prayer I realize more and more and over and over that my God is absolutely the beginning and end of all things. I'm not going to fake as if it's not good to consistently get to know Him more and more and better and better.

Brent said...

It's funny how us humans think we need to conjure up a feeling of sincerity to think God will hear or answer our prayers. I am completely a where this is worthless but the sin in me still tries to tell me I need to reach some kind of sincerity in order for my pray cash to be excepted. I don't know if God cares if we are sincere or not maybe He would except both prays and only be concerned with how he can draw you closer to Him. So I would ask, why do you believe the second mans spirit is rightly oriented over the first?

Jake said...

This pagan prays in "greater truth" only becasue he is ignorant and has not heard of God. But if a missionary came and told him the gospel the pagan would be in sin if he continued to worship his god, because he has now heard the gospel.

In the same way it may be excusable to commit a sin in ignorance but once we have learned that it is sin we must repent of it. Jesus can forgive our heresies if we have done them in good heart and without knowing that they are wrong but if we knowingly sin we "trample the Son of God underfoot...[and] treat as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant" (Hebrews 10:29) if you want to contact me.

Peter said...

Jake, thanks for the visit. I think your comment suggests that "head knowledge" translates to "enlightenment" or salvation, and that a lack of knowledge would then equal "ignorance," as you say.

I think this is a tenuous assumption. Plenty of "theologically sound" Christians live in utter ignorance. Plenty of folks outside traditional faith structures live in the illumination of the Holy Spirit. I don't think a piece of text, or a fact, or a propositional truth robs individuals of their connection to God. Jesus came to provide "the Way," not block the door when we're already halfway through.

Just some thoughts - I hope you'll keep in touch!

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