At one of my meetings during the retreat, a colleague made a cursory mention of a book written by a former Bishop of South Carolina, C. FitzSimons Allison entitled The Cruelty of Heresy. Allison writes that "we are susceptible to heretical teachings because, in one form or another, they nurture and reflect the way we would have it be rather than the way God has provided..." Among other things, the problem with heresy is that "they lead us into the blind alleys of self-indulgence and escape from life...." Instead of aligning our lives and beliefs with the faith once delivered, our tendency is to make a religion of our own desires.
It is easy to look at the abundance of both new and old religions today and begin picking and choosing from this religion or that religion, creating a rather eclectic faith. Even believers do this, borrowing some things from Hinduism (Karma) and other things from paganism (astrology or having one's palm read at the carnival) without truly realizing what they are doing. In some ways such practices feel rather democratic and American. But as Allison suggests, this practice is quite damaging.
Being orthodox in one's faith seems so old fashioned. With the myriad belief systems that fill the airwaves, the internet, movies and such, why can't we just reach out and find something that is a bit more innovative and creative? Truth is truth. If we accept that, if we agree that truth is objective and not subjective (if it was true 2000 years ago, it will be true 2,000 years from now), then something happens to us when truth is distorted. What we thought was just being creative, ends up hurting us, it is "poison to our souls."
We might not always understand the depth and width of our faith. But the answer isn't to discard it. The answer is to dig deeper. We don't need innovations, we need clarity to what was once delivered to the saints.... and to us.