Rev. Ed, a United Brethren pastor, writes about his experience as a heretic, and getting to know other heretics:
I was just called a heretic tonight over something I wrote at my Bible study blog a few months ago. Apparently I wasn't Calvinist enough. The commenter has something like 15 blogs, all taking on one heresy or another. One was entitled, Arminian Heresy, and once I saw that I didn't worry too much about what he thought.
Not that there is no such thing as heresy. Another of his blogs was about the heresies of the Watchtower Organization. Another was about Mormonism. But it seemed that, like Emo above, he wanted every last belief to be exactly as he saw it... or else.
I think there are some essential beliefs, but there are also doctrines that really don't qualify as "dealbreakers" so far as I can see. I may believe in 5-point Calvinism or 0-point Calvinism or Calvinism by a field goal on Monday Night Football, but it seems to me that crying heresy because someone else doesn't match all five TULIP points is a bit over the top.
My denomination is one of the few that doesn't draw a lot of doctrinal lines past the basics. I really like that. I have my own opinions about baptism, but if a brother has a different belief, I'm not out to push him off a bridge, yelling, "Die, heretic scum!" For that matter, I'm not about to push a Jehovah's Witness off that bridge with the same shout either, yet I cannot consider his beliefs to be either correct or orthodox.