Today, June 12, 2019, is a special day of the year because of a phenomenon you can witness in the night sky. You can also reluctantly or enthusiastically learn depending on your attitude a spiritual lesson of a lifetime.
Here's the story: Galileo in 1610 made a discovery which flew in the face of the all-powerful Church orthodoxy and set the stage for his life and death threat. The Church held to the concept that the earth was the center of celestial motion. Galileo's scientific discovery and exposure is a reminder and of the similar weight and impact of Martin Luther's theological "95 Theses". Tonight you can see what Galileo saw even better than he could because of better telescopic lenses. You can see Jupiter, the giant planet (diameter 11 times that of the earth) and with binoculars its four brightest of the 79 moons (Galilean Satellites). The best view will be when the planet is almost due south.
Minds unfettered by traditional, religiously correct limitations, might experience an epiphany. One of my favorite descriptions of a hero is a "heretic who's been dead a hundred years." Galileo is a good example.
King James First, head of the Anglican Church (Church of England) insisted that the ecclesiastical word "church" (appearing over 100 times in the NT) be kept and not translated "congregation" in his 1611 King James Version as in earlier versions. King James' action helped bolster the powerful "Clergy" over the religious populace, much like the political elite in civil government. In short, he set in place a word that would perpetuate the power inherent in the institutional church. So, when you read the NT, you get the impression that church refers to an institution rather than a community relationship Jesus had in mind as per Matthew 16:18. Ask yourself whether He was referring to a community or an institution.
Let's view the phenomenon tonight and remember the price and persecution connected to struggle for fact and truth in the face of the powers that be. I don't know about you, but I side with any so-called "heretic" whose agenda is to place truth above tradition. That's integrity! Sometimes the popular stance is wrong when measured by fact.
I identify with Galileo concerning heresy. My own experience as a heretic has cut off my equality and acceptance in my spiritual heritage. The honor goes to anyone who seeks truth and does not back down in the face of brutal threats.