heretic[n. her-i-tik; adj. her-i-tik, huh-ret-ik]
- A professed believer who maintains religious opinions contrary to those accepted by his or her church or rejects doctrines prescribed by that church.
- Anyone who does not conform to an established attitude,doctrine, or principle.
- Anyone who disagrees with one of your core beliefs.
Ok, ok...so I made up the third definition. So sue me - but it fits. If you haven’t grown up in Protestant circles, you probably haven’t heard the word used very much. Which is funny, because the Roman Catholic Church used to be a very big fan of applying it to Protestants.
Up until about a year ago, I would have had few qualms about using the word myself. What changed, I hear you cry? I’m glad you asked, dear reader. Many things changed.
About ten years ago, I went through a period of what now seems like temporary insanity in which I became...what should I call it? A Christian? A Protestant? A Fundamentalist Christian? I’m no good at labeling things. And about a year ago, I started becoming...an agnostic? A liberal Christian? A deist? My soul, if I indeed possess one, seems to have an “under construction” sign hanging on it. Enter at your own risk, and for pity’s sake, wear a hard hat (OHSA and all that - you understand).
Now in order to make you understand my story, first I need to understand it. And I’m not sure that I do. So at the risk of being cliched, let’s start at....the beginning.