Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Interesting Moments in Church History

How important is sound, orthodox Christian faith? Read an early church father, Irenaeus, on the matter:

"There are also those who heard from [Polycarp] that John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, exclaiming, 'Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within.'"

Despite the gravity of the situation, I find it funny that the Apostle John would yell, "Hey, let's get out of here before this place caves in!"

Irenaeus continues:

"And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, 'Do you know me?' 'I do know you, the first-born of Satan.'"

Marcion is my favorite historical heretic; I mean, that guy really knew how to be a false prophet! With Polycarp's zinger I have to judge that he had one of the best one-liners in eccleciastical history!

Irenaeus then comments:

"Such was the horror which the apostles and their disciples had against holding even verbal communication with any corrupters of the truth; as Paul also says, 'A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sins, being condemned of himself.'" (Tit 3:10) (Against Heresies, Book 3, Chapter 3.4)

May the gospel be so clear to us that we know from whom to run!