Monday, January 23, 2006

The Problem With Heresy

Following on from the previous post:

Last night I watched the first part of the BBC’s latest adaptation of the life of Elizabeth I, The Virgin Queen. The princess Elizabeth was a rallying-point for the new Protestants, at a time when to be Protestant was to be a heretic. The episode included a scene in which two Protestants were burnt at the stake, and another in which it was reported to the imprisoned princess that 300 Protestants had been burnt in 300 days. And this highlights the problematic consequences of Christians labelling other Christians ‘heretics.’ For while angry agnostic scientist Richard Dawkins can only accuse religion as being responsible for most of the world’s conflict by conveniently failing to recall the Nazi Holocaust, Stalinist Gulags, Killing Fields of Cambodia, Disappeared of South America, Rwandan Genocide…(perhaps he has an under-evolved history ability), the liturgy of Christians murdering other Christians in God’s name is an undeniable tragedy. It always comes down to one party claiming their own orthodoxy as opposed to another party’s heresy; and typically comes with an end result of Inquisition and bloodshed.

Any Christian leader who accuses others of heresy is a dunce in the class of Church History, however much a dux they may be in Doctrine. They would do well to go back to their books, rather than throw their weight around against the younger, smaller kids in the playground.

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