"Early in the morning, as Jesus was on His way back to the city, He was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, He went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then He said to it, 'May you never bear fruit again!' Immediately the tree withered." Matt. 21:18,19
I recently saw a list of people floating around the internet. It was written by a person on a rather extreme end of the Adventist spectrum. On this list were prominent Adventist leaders from around the world, all of whom, according to the author, were dangerous heretics. I scanned through the list, reading what heresy the individuals had been proclaiming, grinning and shaking my head in amused disbelief as I did so. There were teachers and pastors that I respect and personally know, am proud to know: people taking a stand for what they believe, teaching tremendous God-centered ideas, and helping grow this peculiar Adventist movement as they do so.
I half expected to see Luther and Zwingli's names tucked into the mix.
Naturally this got me thinking in all sorts of hypothetical directions. If I were to find myself in some form of leadership down the line, if I was even a semi-prominent member of ministry, would I make this list of "heretics?" Or would I keep from rocking the boat, not giving anyone cause to stop valuing my opinion or finding me credible? Or would I simply not have anything to say except to repeat what has been un-controversially said before me?
So many thoughts have sprung from this. First, I in no way see myself as one to regurgitate--I find it absurd now, and I'm sure I will continue to find it a silly thing to do. When we start to simply repeat what has been told to us, our minds and spiritual lives suffer, wither, and die; and when individuals collectively do this, well, the whole movement suffers, withers, and dies. So, there is and will be much for me to say that no one has said before me in quite the same way.
A big part of me wants to be the kind of person that would end up on such a list: a boat-rocker. To have such conviction that something is true, and to be convinced that others ought to join me in believing its truth because life is simply better that way--wait, this is beginning to sound like the gospel. As Christians in today's society, have we lost our heretical roots?
Maybe a little heresy is good for the soul. If no one is pointing fingers, the odds are there's nothing new showing up. And if nothing new is showing up, are we still growing? Or do we just say we are growing? If Jesus had an issue with a plant for this reason, I wonder how He reacts to us.
So I guess we'll see what the future holds. Maybe I'll make headlines and maybe I'll just read them. Whatever happens, though, I want to keep growing by God's guidance. And if He guides me into some truth that must be said, well, I hope to say it. Who knows, I might just be God's next big heretic.