By Patrick Hawthorne
“Hi. My name is Patrick, and I am a heretic.” Well…let me rephrase that. To some of you reading this, I might be labeled a heretic if I disagree with your particular theology. I know this to be true because I am sometimes accused of being a heretic. No, the word heresy might not be the word of choice, but I’m fairly bright and can read between the lines. No worries. My feelings are still intact.
We – the Body of Christ – must be careful when throwing out the Heretic label. Sometimes it is a knee jerk reaction made by someone who thinks they have all the information but really doesn’t. It is, in my humble opinion, the equivalent of the protocol violation of going straight to the, “Triple dog dare,” while bypassing the double dog dare. As we say in the south, “That dog won’t hunt.”
Not everyone who has a different view of a particular Bible verse or passage is a con man or an impostor bent on destruction of the Body of Christ. Furthermore, not everyone who interprets a passage different from you or from me is a “heretic.” It may be that they have a better understanding than we do. I will give you an example.
Most understand Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” to simply mean that we all miss the mark through sin. This is true. However, when researched, the verse means so much more. It actually means, “All have sinned and have fallen short of seeing ourselves as God sees us through Christ Jesus **.
Are we both right? Yes. Yet, to the ones who think of themselves as nothing more than lowly worms in Christ, they might not take too kindly to my interpretation. But, does that negate the fact that when we became born again Christian’s we were adopted by our Heavenly Father? No! So, in line with keeping with the context of the verse, we all need to start seeing ourselves as God sees us. My believing this does not make me a ravenous wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Jesus said we can know the ravenous wolves by their fruit. (Matthew 7:16). In joining the tag line of Jeff Foxworthy, “If you go to a so called man or woman of God for grapes and only find a thorn bush, they might be a ravenous wolf.”
So, instead of being quick to jump on the “Ye Ole Heresy Wagon,” do your research. You might just find out that your so called wolf was just a more knowledgeable sheep. You might also find that your theology needs a slight adjustment. That is alright. I too have had to adjust my theology as I discovered some errors in my stinking thinking. Be blessed.
** The word for come short is 5302 hystereo (failing to fulfill a goal) means to be in lack and hence, unable to meet the need at hand because depleted (all run out). This state of lack (insufficiency, privation) naturally results when a person misses out on what is vital.The word for glory is ‘Doxa’ (from dokeo, “exercising personal opinion which determines value) – glory. 1391 /doksa (“glory”)