You can be in error over something you have said about scripture and not be a heretic. Even though an error of thinking can do pastorally damage and is wrong, but could be an honest error and not be heresy.
So What Is Heresy?
Michael Horton said this:
- "any teaching that directly contradicts the clear and direct witness of the Scriptures on a point of salvific importance."
Well I would say that happens to even the most honest pastors and preacher. But I would not say they are heretic.
Harold O.J. Brown said this:
- "Designated either a doctrine or the party holding the doctrine, a doctrine that was sufficiently intolerable to destroy the unity of the Christian church. In the early church, heresy did not refer to simply any doctrinal disagreement, but to something that seemed to undercut the very basis for Christian existence."
I would say that is closer to what I believe. Because we all have different points of view on almost all doctrine.
While Robert Sheeham talked about how in the New Testament there are five kinds of people who are in error.
- The sincerely ignorant.
- The sincere misinterpreter
- The temporarily inconsistent
- The deceived
- The deceivers