KB says one of his fav sayings by Philipp Melanchthon is:
"In essentials, unity; in differences, liberty; in all things, charity."
Maybe our (my) problem is in defining those essentials a bit too narrow. Maybe we are all a bit too quick to say heresy when we really don't understand where someone is coming from. Maybe online dialogs like these are an opportunity to embrace each other in liberty and with charity.
That's awesome! You guys are taking the ball and running with this. Thanks!
CP: " a heretic causes division in a group, so that would make Jesus a heretic" Hehehe. I assume you read my careful wording that it is dividing from those alive in Christ that is the problem. There is a very real, and very practical difference. " No, sadly, CP.....the body of Christ will more likely amputate ME from them; not the other way around." Almost certainly not. Really. I attend a church right now that disagrees with me on equally significant doctrines as this. It is possible to find peace with brothers and sisters even in such disagreement. The exercise is really, really valuable and can bring real glory to the Lord. " Read and I'll be back!"I'll be here, sister. :-)
Kevin, you know, I think you're right. I'm considering all the crazy ideas I've had both online and in my church - and although there has been definite opposition, I have not experienced rejection. I've heard a lot of stories of rejection, but never experienced it. Never realized that before. I've also never experienced the closeness to others that I've had in the past few years while I've allowed myself to be "out there."My idea of heresy meant "out of the norm" or against tradition, not divisive. I certainly do not want to wear divisive as a badge!
Thanks, all! I have to say, that I've seen more shunning of "different ideas" in churches than I guess you guys have. I wish I'd had your experience. I have a dear friend who gives all, ministers to people, helped me in youth groups, runs sound boards. He believes in God, but not the deity of Jesus. CP questioned this story: The whole story is that all of the congregation was asked to talk to one of the pastors if they felt led to be an elder in the church. My friend is already an ordained elder in the RCA, as am I. The RCA (Reformed Church of America...oldest denomination in America) considers "once an elder...always an elder." My friend stepped up, but was refused because of her husband. They want "elder couples" which is not scriptural, by the way. That's the story. His wife stepped forward to be an elder, she was refused because of her husband's stance. They have to be an "elder couple" and he disqualifies them. I have also been sneered at because of my stance on loving homosexuals--one woman in a church I attended (no more!) used the word "fag." I about dropped my teeth. This was a young woman. So, yes, I have had experiences in every church I've attended. They are very exclusive. I dropped the notion of a God that eventually redeems everyone at one church...you could have heard a pin drop.
Here are a couple of scripture verses on my heart--paraphrased...you know the rest.
1) 1 Tim 4:10 God is the Savior of ALL (my emphasis) humans; especially believers.
John 3:16 God loved the cosmos (actual translation) so He gave His only Son.......
2) Another question: If Jesus died on the cross for all of our sins, is the sin of unbelief the only unforgivable sin?
3) If Jesus died on the cross for us, was His work complete if we must be the cause of our own salvation...in that WE have to believe in order to be saved.
Don replied to CP about the Apostle's Creed....it reminded me that a group of Protestants were a tad bit "unorthodox" when they took off from England to get away from persecution. Christianity has a long and interesting history. I have to remind myself that Jesus wasn't a Christian!
DonR said: CP-I'm not that familar with the Apostle's Creed. I was raised in a Southern Baptist home. Spent 21+ years as a Baptist deacon, so I didn't hear a lot about it. It is only recently (last 3 years) that I have begun to explore Christianity in depth, all versions. The Apostle's Creed dates from the 3rd-5th century CE, dpending on who you take as accurate. To me that's a long time after Christ's death on the cross. As near as I can see, the AC was written as a general refutation of Gnosticism, answering the basic ideas of Gnosticism point for point. I have studied Gnosticism a bit and find many of their ideas quite interesting, but certainly can't buy most of their exclusivity. God is simply much bigger and more loving than they imagined. I wasn't implying that there were any contridictions within the creed that had become orthodox. Anyway, I really don't like the word "orthodox". To me, it puts God in an "orthodox" box, impying that we have all the answers we need, which I don't believe.
I'll be back....thanks for coming back! :-)