Skirting heresy for the sake of the gospel

“One who simply repeats old phrases takes no risks; it is easy to remain orthodox and hew to the old line. But one who speaks to this hour’s need and translates the message will always be skirting the edge of heresy… Only the one who risks heresies can gain the truth.”

- German Theologian, Helmut Thielicke

I found this quote a little while back and I have to say, it gave me the spark to start sharing my words more widely again. I’ve posted it up on my ‘about’ page on my site and have pinned it at the top of my note app.

I’ve long been terrified of being labeled as a heretic. I came back to the Christian church fairly late in life after being away for a couple of decades. Though the Gospel has grabbed my heart and won’t let me go, I worry that I’ll say something wayward that might hurt someone’s faith. Something that I regret.

Also, since I’m under the scrutiny of a group of other Christians in my denomination - any one of whom can pull my card should I swerve outside of the lines of doctrine too far or frequently - I get a bit nervous when I hit that ‘publish’ button.

(I’m a people-pleaser by nature. Which doesn’t help.)

When I started out in seminary, I definitely felt like the rookie cop with bad aim and an itchy trigger finger. I’m glad I recognized it. But it made me hesitant to share much. I downshifted hard into student mode. I opened my ears and shut my mouth. And I’m glad I did.

But Thielicke’s sentiment above gave me the permission to go for it. To boldly skirt the edge of heresy for the sake of the Gospel.

I’ve been fully immersed in Christian ministry for a few years now in earnest (and my overall ministry spans back decades). I’m no seasoned theologian, but I feel like I’m in a place where I can take Thielicke’s words and run with them. I’m sure that as I go along, I’ll say some things that strike some as being heretical at times. But this is a risk I have to be willing to take in order to keep a pulse on God’s living dynamic Word. God help me.