Posted by Pastor Pat on March 23, 2009
You would think with the ease in which the word “heresy” is used an understanding of it would be apparent. Unfortunately, such is not the case. The word is used carelessly of those who do not conform to another person’s position.
In the New Testament, it is used in Titus 3:10, “A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition reject.” Our English word is a transliteration of the Greek. It means, “A schismatic.” It is used of a person who stirs up division. The noun form is used only here.
The verb form is only used in Matthew 12:18, “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.” The idea of “setting apart” is clearly seen.
The noun is used negatively and the verb is used positively. The heretic is not necessarily the one who differs from us in our theological position, but rather the one who makes the theological position a point of contention. If this is true, then perhaps there should be a greater level of tolerance toward those who differ with us on issues that are of no eternal significance. This would force us to determine what is primary and what should be considered secondary.