Heresy Against The State, part 1
The “heresy” and “heretic” is normally used in a religious context. Flat earth believers are called many names, one of those names we might as well be a heretic. Though this word is usually applied within the church, the implication is much further than that.
In the church, if you are called a heretic, that means you don’t believe in what your church denomination says. So, too, this can be applied to flat earth believers. After all, we don’t believe in what the government tells us; what the “scientists” tell us.
The purpose of this article is to explore the origins of the words “heresy” and “heretic.”
“Heresy” is idea of an individual who stands against the establishment. He is history’s unsung hero. He’s the one who represents the oppressed. He finds unwelcome truth and holds them before us. He demands independence from politicians and slick Preachers
The word “heresy” by itself inherently is neither good nor bad; it is only by the context in which it is used that we pick up a moral value either “good” or “bad”. So, when speaking of heresy one must know the context in which it is used before we can know if it is used in a negative sense or positive sense.
Heretic is used both ways in the Bible as the following examples show:
Heresy Against Truth
The Bible gives specific instruction regarding heresy against truth.
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 Peter 2:1
In this verse, the literal Greek rendering for “damnable heresies” is destructive sects. These are small sects comprise of “groupies” who followed this man or that man, instead of following Christ
A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject;
Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.
Now, the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies (separations).
Obviously these heresies were not good. Separatism (heresy) from Christ amounts to rejection of man’s only salvation. But “separatism” of itself is not a bad word when used in other contexts. Heresy is separatism; heretics are separatists.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate saith the Lord…
2 Corinthians 6:17
Historically the word heresy is almost only associated with the church. Therefore for more than a millennium those who disagreed with the authorised canonized doctrines of the established church were branded heretics. They were sometimes called “protesters” or “protestants”. But in retrospect they are not usually considered “bad guys”.
Heresy Against Institutionalized Error
“Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” Thomas Jefferson
As you read this, also think in terms of a flat earther.
“Hershey,” among men, implies a minority opinion. But minority opinions are not necessarily wrong. For example, when the Supreme Court renders a verdict on a case there are two opinions rendered. 1, The majority opinion and, 2, The minority opinion. The majority opinion the one with the most votes, is it the one that receives sanctioned by the authority of the Supreme Court. The majority opinion (the one who was the least votes) is rejected but it remains on record. Those judges who voted for the minority opinion are then, by definition, heretical because it was not sanctioned.
This curiosity is paralleled in church history by the church councils held to determine “orthodoxy” and authorized doctrine. In each council there were debates on doctrines, each doctrine having proponents on various sides of the argument. After the council considered the arguments for and against the different views, and after they had voted the winners, all the various dissenting opinions were declared “heresies” and the dissenters were allowed (demanded) to confess the newly authorized “truth” – or be declared “heretics”. Needless to say, many forced confessions were less than sincere.
But, what man, or group of men, can ultimately decide what is truth – or change it at his/their discretion? And, when a truth is changed, what of the “heretics” who were already burned at the stake because they disagreed with the “former truth” – which has now been changed? Are they still heretics even though the church has changed its mind about the issue for which they were condemned? Or was the church wrong and thus murdered innocent men? Or, does the majority rule when it comes to defining “truth”? And, if truth changed, does that mean God changed, too? What if one person defines truth differently than another? Or, what if one disagrees with the centralized church establishment – or government? Is it heresy when the common man points out the emperor is wearing no clothes?
Well, it depends upon which side of the issue you find yourself. One man’s “heresy” is another man’s truth.
In countries where there is an established church, an opinion is deemed heresy when it differs from that of the church.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
In Acts 24, the bible describes Paul as a heretic. In this passage, Paul had been arrested for spreading what the establishment termed “sedition.” Prior to Paul appearing before King Agrippa, Ananias (the High Priest) and the elders hired a professional speaker to present their case against Paul in a preliminary hearing before Governor Festus. This, in part, is what the speaker said:
For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the SECT of the Nazarenes: Acts 24:5
Paul, on the other hand, testifying without a professional advocate, said:
But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call HERESY, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: Acts 24:14
The two words “sect” (verse 5) and “heresy” (verse 14) are both translated from the Greek word: hairesis. “They” refers to the centralized group; the established church and the Roman government. Together, “they” legislated “truth” for the people in their domain. Paul stepped on their toes when he expressed a separate opinion about who was king, and a separate belief about the raising of the dead. This opinion didn’t fit into the official church/state definition of “truth”. Therefore, according to the State, Paul was a “heretic” (a separatist) and his teachings were “heresies”.
Putting this into the flat earth topic, are we not fighting against “science so-called”? Are we not on the opposite of NASA, the government and the media? Flat earthers are against the “truth” of these institutions and therefore declared “heretics” – though different words are used, the idea is still the same.
Truth is not established by what a government says, an institution says or even if what the majority of the people believe.
To be continued…