Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Proud to be a Heretic

“Heresy is a cradle. Orthodoxy a coffin.” Robert Ingersoll

Being a spiritual person is all about being a heretic. The word heresy originates from a Greek word that means “choice”. Jesus was a heretic. He chose which parts of his tradition made sense to him. He chose to heal on the Sabbath. He chose to dialogue with woman and to mix with lepers and Samaritans. He was a man of freedom and choice. He created his own reality. For the first three centuries, Christians were people of choice. It was only after the third century that heresy became an evil. Then and now, heresy has become known as straying from orthodoxy. Orthodoxy means “right belief”. As if anyone or any group could possibly claim such certainty.

Freedom, one of the central qualities of Jesus’ life has now become the marker of exclusion. You have to believe a set package of beliefs. This is when religion becomes dogmatic.

Like many people who explore spirituality, but are suspicious of religious dogmatism, I believe that life is a choice. I choose my priorities. I choose where to put my energy. I am not compelled to live and love in a particular way. I live freely and with heart.

My life mission is to live as a loving heretic, to choose a reality that builds a more peaceful world and to empower others to live with choice and heart.

There is a Sioux creation story that captures the call to create your own reality. The Creator gathered all of Creation and said, "I want to hide something from humans until they are ready for it. It is the realization that they create their own reality."The eagle said, "Give it to me, I will take it to the moon."The Creator said, "No. One day they will go there and find it."The salmon said, "I will bury it on the bottom of the ocean.""No. They will go there too."The buffalo said, "I will bury it on the Great Plains."The Creator said, "They will cut into the skin of the Earth and find it even there."Grandmother Mole, who lives in the breast of Mother Earth, and who has no physical eyes but sees with spiritual eyes, said, "Put it inside of them."And the Creator said, "It is done."

Be a bold heretic. Choose life. Start now. Don’t let religious dogmatism get in the way of the reality you are creating.


Kevin Beck said...

Looking forward to reading your blog!

Brian Johnson said...


Patrick Wynne said...

GREAT post! In a talk with my pastor (ELCA) just this last Saturday I had remarked, somewhat apologetically, that he'd probably think most of my beliefs about God and Jesus were heretical. It's good to think that that might not be a BAD thing! I also love the Ingersoll quote!

Will said...

Well, my wife asked me to look up the word Heresy and I found a passage in Acts 24:14 where Paul says that how he worships God is called heresy (or choice). Anyway, I also checked online and found you. Glad to find another loving heretic.

I had already come to the conclusion that I was a "heretic" and didn't care any more. After seeing what was called "orthodox" and how twisted and skewed it was, I willingly grasped heresy, knowing that I didn't want to be orthodox any longer.

I had never heard that Sioux creation story, but it fits with many others I have come across. Yes, the way to Father is through inner searching, because he placed himself there.

Great thoughts here, and I will share them with others.

Unknown said...
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Michelle D. said...

Well said! I couldn't agree more!