This is perhaps my favorite quote by Chesterton. It reminds me that it is okay to explore the Christian faith, explore theology, weigh my presuppositions and place my traditional constructs on the back burn for a while.
It’s okay to do this because while, for a time, it may appear that heresy is right around the bend, as we turn that corner we may discover orthodoxy hiding there in the shadow all along.
But it is important for each person to discover this on their own, and not be a drone either to their traditions, or their leaders.
I tried to be some ten minutes in advance of the truth. And I found that I was eighteen hundred years behind it. I did strain my voice with a painfully juvenile exaggeration in uttering my truths. And I was punished in the fittest and funniest way, for I have kept my truths: but I have discovered, not that they were not truths, but simply that they were not mine. When I fancied that I stood alone I was really in the ridiculous position of being backed up by all Christendom. It may be, Heaven forgive me, that I did try to be original; but I only succeeded in inventing all by myself an inferior copy of the existing traditions of civilized religion… I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy.
I tried to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy.
Don’t be afraid to explore.