On May 30, 1431, Joan of Arc, the peasant girl who became the saviour of France, was burned at the stake for heresy.
No doubt, those who believed they were up holding the orthodox Christian faith must have felt they were doing the right thing! This is a perfect illustration of how perspectives can change in the long lens of history. These days, we are far more civilised in allowing people to hold a viewpoint that may not be mainstream. We can choose to disagree without burning people at the stake. Earlier this month the Kirk’s General Assembly affirmed its traditional line on same sex relations, but it permitted more liberal congregations to adopt a different viewpoint if they so desired. To some that may have appeared too much of a compromise – but it’s far better than doing the theological equivalent of burning someone at the stake because they happen to possess a different interpretation of Scripture. It has never been wrong to agree to disagree, but it’s wrong to tear God’s people apart!