I have been exercised recently about what constitutes error or even heresy (not the lightest of topics to be considering here I know). Over the years, Christians have branded one another as heretics and have done unspeakable things to each other – although not for a few hundred years. These days, when we disagree over doctrine, we enter into dialogue with a view to understanding one another’s position. Whilst at a recent CTE Enabling group I had an interesting discussion with members from the Greek Orthodox Church, Scottish Presbyterian Church, German Lutheran church and others over the question: if we accept one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, why can we not take communion together – the very meal Jesus instituted to celebrate our unity? For me, this issue is critical although I see no way for it to be resolved at present. When a fellow brother or sister (perhaps in our own ‘tradition’) seems to be teaching error what should be our response? Do we ignore them or cut ourselves off from
them? Do we seek to bring correction? Or do we seek rather to safeguard our own flock, particularly if the person bringing error is remote from us? In all of this, we have a re- sponsibility to look after those God has given us responsibility for whilst we seek to pre-serve ‘the unity of the Spirit, through the bond of peace’ (Ephesians 4:3). In other words, don’t fall out with each other over non essentials but stay rooted in the truth.
God bless, Richard.