I’m a Heretic, Not a Free Thinker

I could be wrong, but it seems that most people hold non-orthodox positions because they have been overly influenced by modernity. They don’t believe in the supernatural stuff (Virgin Birth, miracles of Jesus) because it’s somehow anti-scientific. They don’t believe in Purgatory or Hell because it isn’t very Politically Correct. They believe in Universal Salvation because, you know, everyone’s pretty much nice and all.

These are beliefs by default, and betray a disengagement with doctrine rather than a disagreement with it. The dissent of Otherwise Orthodox comes from an engagement with doctrine, dogma, and tradition.

My belief in, for example, the need for female ordination does not stem from a PC-infused conception of fairness or power-sharing. It is a Christological issue for me, and is a position I came to through prayer and engagement with Catholic tradition, specifically Eucharistic Adoration.

I think this is an important distinction because it means that if I want other people to agree with me (doesn’t everyone want that?) I should support and encourage deeper and fuller engagement with orthodoxy and tradition. If my heresies are, in fact, true, then I should have faith that a framework of (what I take to be) true- that is, the liturgical and theological traditions of the Church- should lead people to also believe those things.

It is only through engagement with traditional orthodox belief that heresy makes sense.