Every development of doctrine spawns a conservative heresy or schism as well as liberal ones

Most recently, developments in the area of ecumenism and the dignity of the human person have spawned conservative schismatics like the SSPX and well as all the New Age froot loops types.

T’was the same in the New Testament period. You not only had gnostic froot loops who John warned about (the types who “ran ahead” and claimed special insights beyond what the apostles taught (2 John 9), much like the “progressives” loyal only to the Third Vatican Council), but you also had Reactionaries like the Judaizers who hated all this newfangled garbage about Gentiles being in the Church and the abandonment of kosher regulations. “It’s not what we did when *I* was a lad! The Church has gone to hell in a handbasket since Peter started listening to those damned liberals like Paul, by cracky!”

But there’s an even earlier schism than that: the Mandeans. They are Reactionaries who wanted to just stick with John the Baptist and didn’t go for all that far out stuff about Jesus being the Lamb of God. There’s a reason, you see, why John the Evangelist spends so much time recording John the Baptist’s denials that he’s the Christ, and his emphatic insistence that Christ must increase and he must decrease, Christ is the Bridegroom and he’s just the Best Man, and so forth. The revelation isn’t *merely* conservative. It is also dramatically and frighteningly creative and we often don’t really want God’s real creativity. We’d often prefer our own, thanks, or none at all.


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