I must say that I operate out of a very similar paradigm as Brian. The paradigm shift I went through to get here has been as drastic as the ‘born-again’ paradigm shift I experienced two decades ago. As a matter of fact, you could say that I have been ‘born-again’ … again!
Like Anne Rice, I could easily say that, in the name of Christ, I am no longer a Christian, if by christian you mean Protestant/Evangelical orthodox; the orthodoxy that flows from a ‘Constantinian Shift’ Theology. [Constantinian Shift: Hebrew/ Early Christian faith’s marriage with Greek philosophy/thinking and Roman’s power/politics].
In one generation, what it meant to be a Jesus follower did a 180°. For example:

Pre-Constantine, to be christian meant you were anti-violence/ pacifist – persecuted, in part, for a refusal to pick up arms.
Post-Constantine, one could not be part of the Empirical army if they were not ‘a christian’.

To top that off, at this point in history, we have Christians starting to kill other Christians for their differing beliefs. Creedal Christianity gave birth to death and violence within Christianity that results from the us vs them mentality it produces; from crusades and heretic hunts to God hates fags!

The way I see it, it is out of this Constantinian Shift that most if not all our modern theology/understanding of God is birthed. This is the prime filter through which we understand God, interpret the scriptures and interpret our spiritual experiences.

In the above video, Scott is operating more out of a paradigm that is the result of this Constantinian shift. Brian [and myself] are trying to operate fro somewhere else.

The protest-ants have no problem saying that the catholic “institutional church” had been traveling down a wrong path; but God forbid if the question of whether they are and have been on the wrong track is put forth to them. That is when they pull out the ‘H’ word. The image of a fork in the wrong road is a great metaphor for the issues that just don’t make sense to me any more: heaven/hell; universalism/ exclusivism; Calvinism/Arminianism; liberal/ conservative. Call me a heretic, but these issues and many more of the fundamental stuff, are, in my mind, obsolete and irrelevant. They deal with questions and issues that are only relevant on the  road modern Christianity finds it self on. I have repented (done an about face) and am looking for the fork in the road that our modern Christianity missed in the distant past. My goal is to take the ancient, pre-Constantine faith and bring it in to the modern/ post-modern era. And I don’t expect it will look very churchy to many.

What a great follow up to yesterday’s post:

“I am deeply committed to doctrinal orthodoxy, meaning I want to be faithful to the truth and to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, even if that puts me at odds at certain points with what this or that group has determined as doctrinal orthodoxy. For example, my Calvinist friends who claim orthodoxy need to remember that to the Eastern Orthodox, Calvinists are heterodox from the get-go, because they’re not submitted to the patriarchs and bishops of the One True Church. And my many Wesleyan and Quaker and Anabaptist friends who consider themselves doctrinally orthodox are only questionably so from the perspective of some of my Calvinist friends. And my Dispensationalist friends often speak of “historic orthodoxy” without noticing the irony that before 1835, their approach to the faith had never even been dreamed of. The same could be said in slightly altered ways for Adventists and Pentecostals.”
more – as found on

In the past, I jokingly called myself, and was called, a heretic. Today I embrace this label.

This change came about on two fronts.

First, over the last few weeks I have read and listened to how a couple of different people defined orthodoxy and heresy. One was a reformed theologian and the other an atheist. Whether orthodoxy is right or wrong, it is the agreed upon set of beliefs determined by the majority. Of course both these people placed very different out comes for the on determined to be a heretic.

Second, some of my recent reading on church history has added fuel to the fire. See I believe that the spirit and fruit that  lie behind orthodoxy is rotten. For the first 200-300 years of our faith, there was great diversity and debate over much of what it meant to be christian. As Brian McLaren puts forth in his new book, to truly be a community and a culture, what is considered TRUTH must hang in the balance between multiple view points. The early faith community dwelt in a diversity of theology. Though some were right and some were wrong, none were all right nor were any all wrong.

Three hundred years in, something changed. The empire that Jesus subverted and that persecuted the believers, first legalized this  christian faith and then outlawed all other faiths. During this time, the church and state became determined to unify belief. Regardless of the creeds, the faith was not homogenized. As the emperors pushed the bishops to come to unity, they began to enforce the outcome. This rotten fruit of orthodoxy (the closing of the western mind) manifested in 385 with the first  execution of a declared heretic –Priscillian of Avila.

See, Jesus told the parable of letting the wheat and tare grow together. Contrary to this, orthodoxy actively attacks what they believe to be tares and burns them at a stake.

Finally, we are told by those who are orthodox that we can ignore the actions of the church but need to listen to the beliefs they declare to be orthodox. The Holy Spirit, we are told, was actively involved with the development of the theology. What is left unsaid is that the Holy Spirit is less active in the lifes and actions of those who developed our theology.

Is God more concerned with beliefs then he about actions? Can we separate the two?

So regardless of whether I am inside or outside of orthodoxy, I choose to call myself a heretic, not because I am unorthodox but because I am anti-orthodox!