From: george murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Oct 01 2002 - 20:29:47 EDT
John Burgeson wrote:
They are my friends because they are, however misguided, my brothers in
> Christ. And I have good reasons to think they reciprocate that friendship --
> and, yes, love. As such, I suggest that you ought to so regard them also.
> Ever since Ireneous started promulgating the "Christian" doctrine of
> exclusivity back in -- what -- 200 AD or so -- we Christians have been all
> to quick to divide the world into "us" and "them." I suggest that this is
> perhaps the most serious error we make. The very word "heretic" comes from a
> Greek word meaning "other choices," and that Greek word carries no
> pejorative connotations. Today, of course, people vilify and hurt other
> people because their beliefs differ, labeling them "heretics" and justifying
> all sorts of harm to them on that basis.
I do not see Jesus doing that. And I won't either.
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but
inwardly are ravening wolves."
Jesus - as well as Paul, the pastoral epistles, and other NT writings
certainly denounce what came to be called "heresies." "If any one is preaching
to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let him be anathema." The the
idea of a total inclusivity is foreign to the NT & foreign to any version of
Christianity which claims to be able to say anything at all that is
true. If it
is true that Jesus is Lord then it is false that Jesus is not Lord. An
unwillingness to make the latter statement makes the former meaningless.
The crucial question of course is what constitutes a "different
gospel." Accusations of heresy go overboard when they insist on
even on relatively minor theological details. The gnostic systems which
Irenaeus opposed - with the claims that the Father of Christ was not the God of
Israel, that the material world was a mistake brought about by the inferior &
God of the Jews, that salvation meant souls being rescued from the world, that
it depended fundamentally on knowledge rather than faith - and which performed
their own type of exclusivity over against ordinary Christians who didn't have
the secret gnosis, clearly was another gospel.
& even setting aside the NT writings, Irenaeus was hardly the first
Christian writer to reject heresy. Check Ignatius of Antioch e.g.
I certainly do not think that a YEC view in itself is
heretical. But if
suggestions are made that salvation requires not only faith in Christ
rejection of evolution then we're moving in that direction.
George L. Murphy
"The Science-Theology Interface"
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