Is tolerance the heresy that provides a foundation for the persecution of Christians; or does it merely reflect the pulse of society as the true moral compass for a nation?
Was Walter Kaufman the heretic of his own portent, or just fearful of admitting his true character and lack of belief?Is disagreeing with a belief the same as disbelief
The term heresy has changed in meaning both explicitly and implicitly since the early years of the church. The Greek sense of the word suggests that someone was a member of a particular party or group without attributing any moral judgment. It soon grew to mean something as opposed to Christian truth as the father of lies himself. It actually became the mirror through which one could view orthodoxy - a term that came later describing a belief system that existed, unnamed, throughout. As the antithesis developed so necessarily did the thesis or Christian doctrinal teachings. In other words, doctrine was largely undefined in many areas until the "heretics" began to challenge and question teachings. Great minds such as G K Chesterson and Harold O J Brown, just to name two among so very many, toiled with this connection. Essentially the disputes within the church became more profound and considered more threatening that the influences outside the church. Pagans, for example, during the early church years, received a greater degree of sympathy and tolerance that did the "trouble makers" within the church. This perspective seems to have intensified and metamorphosed through the centuries.
However, to proceed, let us consider the social impact of these two reference points. Was it the Christian or the heretic that established the normative behavior of societies, nations, and populations? Is disagreeing with a belief the same as disbelief? To the shapers of doctrine through the ages, one has always been considered different from the other. Not only that, but one is much more intolerable that the other. I do not wish to belabor this further, but wish to ask this: Have we yet learned our lesson? What role does tolerance play in our "modern" society?