So I’ve been wondering how do we know who is a heretic… and who gets to make that call about another?
With the universalism debate taking place lately spurred by Rob Bell’s new book I have been reflecting on what has been disturbing me and I think its the stark way in which a ‘brother’ has suddenly become a ‘heretic’, when he happens to raise questions and possibly even come to the ‘wrong’ conclusions.
I have heard Bell specifically branded a heretic in various places and while I haven’t read the book (and am still in no hurry to) I am intrigued by the way we have handled this issue.
Not well… Not well at all.
Let’s assume Bell is completely totally wrong on the issue of Heaven/Hell. Does that then make him a heretic? Let’s allow that the view he holds may be heretical, but is the man then a ‘heretic’. That’s an enormous slur to hang on someone. If he is right about absolutely everything else but wrong on this is the label actually fair?
Even NT Wright when he speaks says ‘80% of what I say to you today will be true and accurate – 20% will not be true – the problem is that I am not sure which is which’. (I guess he gets the heretic label by certain folks too…)
Geez we’re a nice bunch aren’t we?…
I would tend to assume that by the definition used to make Bell a heretic, we are actually all heretics – we just don’t know what our heresies are – or maybe more importantly, others don’t know what our heresies are, otherwise they would be able to brand us and ‘out’ us.
I’m for truth and coherence in what we believe, but I think the casualty in this debacle has been love.
Love definitely didn’t win…