Don’t Be Afraid To Read Heresy

"Read Heresy" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
“Read Heresy” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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Don’t be afraid to read heresy.

The literal definition of heresy is belief contrary to orthodox doctrine or opinion profoundly at odds with what is generally accepted.

Many people over the centuries have been executed for writing it. Many have been executed for just reading it.

Now, people are mostly excommunicated for writing it. Now, many more suffer numerous consequences for just reading it.

I remember one incident where I was caught reading some eastern philosophy by a an orthodox friend. He promptly scolded me for it, insisting that there was enough orthodox Christian material to read without creeping outside of its tidy boundaries.

That didn’t deter me.

I’m not ashamed to say that I like where I am today, theologically. I attribute this to the many unorthodox ideas… yes, heresies… that I’ve read and entertained.

This daring venture has made me deeper, wiser, and more open to the mysteries of the universe.

I do believe my theology, my philosophy, my thinking, is richer for it.

We do have a choice: Read only authorized material and be conformed to the expectations of those who rule over us, or read outside the lines and discover and enjoy the vast wealth that it provides.

Read whatever you want!

Grow!

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3 Replies to “Don’t Be Afraid To Read Heresy”

  1. Completely agree, you will be better informed for it and stronger, whether you stick with the beliefs you hold or change them.

    One of the most important lessons I have learned in expanding my mind in this way is that whatever I know, it is small compared to what can be known.

    This has opened me up to the possibility for awe, wonder and there not being one person on the planet that I can’t learn from.

    Even if it is just to learn how clever I am in comparison to them 😉

  2. Your musing reminds me of this New Testament words ‘ And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ I think that this is saying ‘Don’t be conformed by orthodoxy, but be transformed by new ideas from multiple sources’

    We must be individuals and come to our own conclusions on the path of life. Learning to conform stifles the person we are. And that’s not a good thing.

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