Saturday, March 27, 2010

Blogging through The Orthodox Heretic day 33

The final parable in the printed version of the book I have is the title parable. In this story a young man is condemned for heresy, a crime for which he is truly guilty. When he is sentenced to death, he does not dispute the charges or beg for his life. He only requests that he be allowed to pick the person to light the flame from among the crowd. On the day of his execution, the judge asks him to choose. As he looks around the crowd, they become more and more uncomfortable as none of them want his death on their conscience. Finally he calls out. "I have held a distorted, muddied and inaccurate view of the divine. I have only one request: that I be set alight by one among you who is innocent of this charge."

Like the story of the woman caught in adultery, this story hinges on the audience being both aware and honest. Unfortunately, in my experience, few fundamentalists are either and I would expect that there would have been someone in either crowd to step forward and claim innocence. I like the way Peter puts it though... "we must question the difference between the heresy of orthodoxy, in which we dogmatically claim to have the truth, and orthodox heresy, in which we humbly admit that we are in the dark but still endeavor to live in the way of Christ as best we can."

No comments: