Hunting for Heretics
Sometimes, I pop over to Twitter. Since I’m in the “weird clergy” algorithm, I find myself scrolling through endless tweets of clergyfolk taking potshots at other clergyfolk for being ‘heretical’.
As a fairly recent returnee to the Christian faith, and an aspiring cleric myself, this is intimidating as hell. Heretic hunters seem to have infinite digital silver bullets to dispense towards the theologically untoward on social media. What if they come after me?! I’d better mind my theological p’s and q’s!
I think we’re all prone to heretic hunting. I know I am. Maybe it’s not religion for you. Maybe it’s lifestyle. Diet. Or ideology (after all, ideology is this country’s new major religion).
We all have our own purity circles. We all have lines drawn around “our” people and “those” people. “Right” and “wrong”. “In” and “out”.
Here’s what I’ve found... Heretic hunting robs life of joy. It’s such a heavy burden to carry - sorting out the ‘good’ from the ‘bad’.
I’m so done hunting for heretics. We’d be better off if we could come to see that we’re all heretics in our own ways. Jesus was a heretic (he was killed for it). So was Martin Luther, MLK, Malcolm X, St. Joan of Arc, St. Paul, and everyone else that we talk about decades, centuries, and millennia later.
If the full manuscript of your life and mine were displayed before a court of law - every thought, every word, every action, and inaction - we’d both be justifiably burned at the stake.
Jesus’s main heresy seemed to be this: knowing that we’re all heretics, he took our own personal purity circles and broke them all over his knee. Then he drew one big circle around all of them. I pray that He does the same with mine.