Heresy Hunting, or Truth Telling?

I love James Pyles, my friend who hosts and writes My Morning Meditations.  I pretty much knew that when I posted my ‘rather provocative challenge‘ that he would show up…  I just didn’t expect to be described, albeit tongue in cheek, as a heresy hunter.  Honestly, I’ve read his blog long enough to know the shoe fits his foot.  But, it is funny, anyway.

His post, however, made me consider several thought trails…

My first thought was, “What would Rav Shaul/Paul have done if he had access to the internet?  Would he have contended for truth on a blog among other medium?  Would all of his blog posts have been cookies and cream, hugs and ‘get along,’ or would he have occasionally brought the hammer?  Isn’t he provocative at points?”

That led to my immediate second thought, “Don’t we have more than just one tool in the tool bag?  Yeshua was gentle and meek at times while other places in Scripture we see Him all ‘fire and brimstone.’  Shouldn’t we also use differing means and messages to wake people up?”

A bit later, I pondered my post thinking, “Is it calling Christendom ‘heretics’ to point out the importance of Shabbat, or am I truth telling in using any number of means to say that Isaiah 56:1-7; 66:23; Matthew 24:20 and Acts 18:4 all speak of the exact same day of the week?  Is it One Lord, One Faith, One Body, Two Days of worship?  I am convinced not!”

Honestly, I do agree with James that we need to be gentle, but the Word is the Word, and sometimes IT is the Rock of offense.  We may try not to be offensive in sharing it, though there are occasions where we must be provocative as we strive/contend for truth.  At the end of the day, no matter how well couched, the truth is offensive to those who do not want to hear it.

But, it is good to stop and judge our motives from time to time.  I do appreciate James making me do that.

Shalom.

 

About Pete Rambo

Details in 'About' page @ natsab.wordpress.com Basically, husband of one, father of four. Pastor x 11 years, former business and military background. Micro-farmer. Messianic believer in Yeshua haMashiach!
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7 Responses to Heresy Hunting, or Truth Telling?

  1. James says:

    Actually, I didn’t really refer to you as a “heresy hunter”. I used the term rather poetically rather than as a literal accusation. I was trying to draw attention to how we all are searching for truth, including me, by declaring our personal understanding of the truth as “the” truth for all. Back in the first century, there were terrific disputes between the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Zealots, and Essenes and what have you. We are no different. We each represent a particular stream of thought and practice within a larger religious context.

    As Lancaster pointed out in the article I cited, the meaning for the Greek word that we translate as “sect” was “morphed” over time to mean “heresy” when originally it just meant something like “opinion”. While I don’t deny an absolute truth, I don’t think it’s always as simple as “truth” being carved on a stone tablet for all time and that things don’t change or require reinterpretation (the Torah’s laws on slavery come to mind). We all have our own religious opinions on what the Bible is trying to say, and chances are, none of us has everything figured out correctly, hence the need for dialogue.

    In Acts 9, Saul/Paul found out he was wrong about his zealous persecution of the Jewish disciples of “the Way” in a rather dramatic manner, and it changed his life forever. We have to admit at least the possibility that we can be wrong from time to time.

    The capstone to my small missive was the quote I inserted from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin:

    View people you are likely to quarrel with as your partners in personal growth. They are likely to make you more aware of your vulnerabilities, limitations, and mistakes. Don’t let this get you down. Rather, let it serve as your coach. You now have more awareness of what you need to strengthen, fix, and keep on developing.

    I think this is how we should regard each other when we disagree, not necessarily as “right” vs. “wrong”, but as partner engaging partner keeping each other sharp and each of us using the opportunity to make ourselves a better person than we were the day before.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Connie E says:

    It says, ‘if we judge ourselves we need not be judged’. Let’s us ‘judge’ ourselves ‘by the Truth’. ‘Your Word is Truth’. Let’s not change it. We’ve done that for too long. Let’s be willing to embrace ‘His Truth’. It’s established and settled.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. avleigh says:

    Just thought I’d add my two cents… I have avoided mentally jabbing at people in any type of arrogant or demeaning manner when disagreeing about scripture and its interpretation online. If it looks like it turning that way, I bow out with as much respect and grace as I can muster, in order not to get drawn into the prideful & fleshy “I’m right, you’re wrong” type of arguing. However, after attending a lengthy bible study every Saturday with a Hebraic Roots group, I can tell you its invigorating and challenging and above all deepening to open the word and bring everyone’s unique way to looking at the scripture alive in discourse, and yes, sometimes get loud about it… I HIGHLY recommend it. The important thing is to remain in brother love. Even when there is heat from the friction of differing opinions – we remain brothers in Christ. We are not ‘best friends’ in Christ – God chose to use the ‘siblings’ metaphor to define our relationship with each other – and Lord knows siblings are known to have a fight or two… but we stay with them and still love them. It grows us as you said Paul. Unfortunately, there are many that are not used to this type of ‘iron sharpening iron’ approach to relationships, in Christ. What I have learned, albeit the hard way sometimes, is when talking to many main stream Christians, (online or in passing- not someone you are called to ‘minister’ to), if one person is more mature in the faith, as I believe brothers and sisters of the Hebrew Roots ilk are, it would do us good to remember if your a 16 year old you should not willfully choose to go into an epic ‘battle of wits’ with a 5 year old over the internet. Usually, just like a 5 year old, they will resort to name calling – and you will eventually realize the futility of it all. It’s all about knowing the age-appropriate response of whom you are communicating with and standing for truth (IN LOVE) accordingly. Been poking around this site (I’m a newbie) and really enjoying it so far! Shalom!

    Like

  4. loammi says:

    I’ve noticed that even if I read someone scriptures directly then they can get offended bc it exposes the darkness. I didn’t write it, so don’t blame me!
    ‘try to determine what will please the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the deeds produced by darkness, but instead expose them’ Ephesians 5

    Like

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