Such concerns are worth noting and should not be callously rejected. Traditional/ conventional Christians have a valid point -- wandering off the orthodox path does make one vulnerable to Gnosticism and heresies of all kinds, some of which are chimerical enough to rival anything dreamed up by the most imaginative of fantasy writers.
Some of my explorations on this blog are indeed imbued with mystical ideas and language that appear to emanate from Gnosticism or other heretical doctrines, but this does not imply that I am card-carrying Gnostic or a dedicated heretic. Nor does it imply that I reject all orthodox doctrine as wrong while accepting all or some heretical teachings as right. On the contrary. I maintain a deep respect for orthodox doctrines and acknowledge their important role in Christianity.
Traditional/conventional Christians remain steadfastly loyal to orthodox doctrine because they are convinced that orthodoxy offers exactly what the name implies -- straight or correct opinion. Anything belief that strays from this correct opinion is rightfully branded as "unorthodox"; more severely, as heresy.
Heresy is an interesting term. Though it appears to carry purely negative connotations today, it actually springs from the ancient Greek hairesis, which means choice. Thus, from a purely literal understanding, heretics are people who have made a choice. Within the context of traditional/conventional Christianity, heretics are believers who have chosen to deviate from orthodox doctrine.
Traditional/conventional Christians understandably find such choices unsettling and confusing. After all, if orthodox doctrine is correct opinion, then there is no need dissent from it. Moreover, any departure from correct opinion and teaching is certain to lead to one place and one place only -- incorrect opinion and teaching.
Within a religious context, opinions are synonymous with assumptions. Hence, the orthodoxy of traditional/conventional Christianity is mostly concerned with inculcating, teaching, and promulgating correct assumptions about God, the universe, and everything, all within the framework of a church and its traditions, rites, doctrines, etc.
This is all fine and well in-and-of-itself, but one has to acknowledge that orthodoxy's emphasis on spiritual teaching has inevitable knockdown effects on spiritual learning. The main objective of orthodoxy is to ensure Christians learn the correct opinions espoused by orthodoxy itself. It is very much an external to internal process.
This does not entirely eliminate personal, experiential learning, but it does establish certain boundaries and limits, especially where matters of external spiritual authority -- denoted by clergy and churches -- are concerned.
Why is this important? Well, I believe we live in an era in which personal, experiential spiritual learning based on direct knowing is crucial. Traditional/conventional Christians should be aware of the fact that blindly or loyally submitting to external spiritual authority in the name of orthodoxy carries as much – if not more – risk today than choosing to adhere to a form of direct Christianity does, particularly in light of everything that has transpired over the past two years.
As stated in the title of this post, I appreciate the concerns of traditional/conventional Christians, many of whom are far more intelligent and learned than I am. I also feel the vast majority of the concerns traditional/conventional Christians have expressed are well motivated and sincere.
Conversely, I hope traditional/conventional Christians appreciate my concerns about them – and I hope they feel that these concerns of mine are also well motivated and sincere.