Throughout my life, I have been accused of being woefully misguided as a so-called Christian at best or a heretic and not even a Christian at worst. I have learned to not have my faith and relationship with God determined by what others may think of me or my beliefs as a believer in Jesus Christ. I’ve developed a tough skin, which is a bit remarkable for someone who for many years experienced a whole lot of personal insecurity.
Why, a heretic?
As a youngster growing up in the Foursquare Church, and then during my campus ministry days in the Assemblies of God, I was accused of not being a Christian or a heretic because I was a Pentecostal and believed in the continuing work of the Holy Spirit through the supernatural Gifts in our day. Scripture is absolutely clear, they claimed, that the supernatural Gifts of the Holy Spirit ended with the establishment of the Canon of Scripture, or with the death of the Apostles, or sometime during the first century (whichever version the person claimed to believe). I still don’t believe that. So, perhaps I am a heretic or not even a Christian because I believe in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. I will to let God be the judge.
Generally, if one grows up within Pentecostalism, one’s heritage comprises Fr. John Wesley’s Evangelical-Arminianism, which was passed through the Holiness Movement. So, because I am an Arminian rather than a good Calvinist, that is another proof positive that I am horribly misguided at best or a heretic and not even a Christian at worst. After all, we all know that only through Calvin and Reformation Theology do we find the fullness and truth of God’s will expressed. To believe otherwise is to deny the authority of Scripture.
So now, today, because I do not believe that the traditional interpretations of Scripture applied to the homosexual condition to be correct, I am horribly misguided at best and a reprobate heretic at worst.
For me, it is not about Scriptural authority. Of course Scripture is my authority. I just think the theological, exegetical, and hermeneutical arguments against the traditional anti-homosexual interpretations are better, more thorough, and more accurate than the Prohibitionists’ views. Prohibitionists want to force the belief that if anyone disagrees with their particular interpretation of Scripture, then those people deny the authority of Scripture. This is a false premise, but if a lie is repeated often enough…
I’ve been called a heretic because I was a Pentecostal (and still am in many ways). I did not let their accusations dissuade me from my relationship with God. I’ve been called a heretic because I am an Arminian. I have not let those accusations hinder my relationship with God. I am now referred to as a heretic because I do not completely support the inappropriateness of any form of same-gender relationships.
I am not going to let this latest accusation interfere with my relationship with God, my desire for God’s will to be done in my life, and my honest desire that all people be reconciled to God.