If all those people out there who are
Teaching the Bible wrong
Are damnable heretics,
Then what does that make me when I
Get something about the Bible wrong?

Is it just a simple error from innocent
Ignorance or miscalculation on my part,
Where on theirs, it’s a signal of wanton wickedness?

And what if they, twisted as they are,
Should condemn me for getting something wrong,
Thinking that I am evil,
Rather than simply mistaken?

That, too, would be condemnable,
Wouldn’t it?

We all sin in many ways—
In thought, action, and will.
And I don’t see any case among us
Where somebody couldn’t try harder
To get things right when it comes to
Interpreting and teaching the Bible.

So maybe we could dial it back
A notch or two when it comes to
Branding others as “heretics”—
Especially by way of tests that
We could not pass ourselves.

I’m not saying there’s no such thing
As a heretic anymore, but really,
I think that oftentimes the main motive for
Branding someone this way
Is merely to dehumanize them as a member
Of some other camp than our own—
Even if we say it’s for the purpose of
Protecting our own camp from false teachings—
As if we weren’t already in error
In several ways ourselves.

Calling someone else a heretic
Does not prove that I am not one myself.

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