[sword-devel] Open Content Creation

Alexander Garden sword-devel@crosswire.org
Thu, 1 Feb 2001 22:02:59 +0000

On Thu, Feb 01, 2001 at 04:24:29PM -0500, Jeffrey Malbisse wrote:
> >I am confused.  What connection is there between development methodology
> >and the willingness (and mandate) to fight heresy?  I see no reason to
> >tolerate heretic developers any more than I would heretic ushers willing to
> >guide people to their seats in Church...
> >
> Online Bible is currently having a very big problem with this exact issue 
> through the unofficial users groups TOLBSS.  One of the co-moderators of 
> that site recently put up a separate page for "Heretical Works," and defined 
> "heretical" as anything that is not in complete agreement with 
> fundamentalist Christianity (his persuasion).  That, of course, means that 
> anything Roman Catholic, as well as anything Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, 
> or any other mainline denomination is immediately defined as "heretical."  
> He did not seem to be aware that about half of the material currently posted 
> on his site already is outside of the fundamentalist camp.
> How do you make the decision of who is a heretic and who isn't?  Let's face 
> it, in terms of historical continuity and sheer numbers, anyone who is not a 
> Roman Catholic is outside of "normative" Christianity.  (I'm not Catholic 
> myself, by the way.  Just stating a statistical fact.)  Do you decide it 

Catholics winning on historict continuity and sheer numbers? How many of
those sheer numbers are truly devout? I suggest they lose at least ten
percent when that is taken into account. And historical continuity? The
Catholicism that Luther decried was a (relatively) young thing at the time.
In a thousand A.D. Pope Gregory the xth said than any bishop who elevated
himself above all other bishops exalted himself to the place of Christ and
was indeed the anti-Christ. Please, I do not wish to enter into a debate on
what qualifies as heretical in this forum, but I cannot let such an
outrageous claim go unnoticed.

> instead based on purity of the Gospel messsage?  I think that the Lutherans 
> and the Baptists might fight each other to a draw on that one without 
> conceding defeat to each other.  How about purity of worship style?  The 
> Orthodox and the Anglicans would both want to claim that honor, while 
> excluding most other people.  What about those who say that it's simple to 
> tell whose right, just see if they are "filled with the Holy Spirit."
> Which set of fundamentals are really fundamental, and what gives any of us 
> the right to make that decision for anyone other than ourselves?

The fact that God has recorded in His word what is heretical. If you answer
that I interpret His word to say one thing is heretical and you interpret
it to mean another, I reply that some interpret it in such a way as to deny
that Christ was God, man, or either. There will always be disagreements,
there will always be those who twist the scripture to feed their lusts, but
God's word is sure and not beyond comprehension.

Alexander Garden