Re: Another heresy

From: Janice Matchett <>
Date: Sat Dec 10 2005 - 18:43:42 EST

At 06:15 PM 12/10/2005, George Murphy wrote:
>Yes, & you can find similar language from many
>of the great theologians (as well as many not so
>great) down through history. As one of my
>seminary profs pointed out, many theologians
>seem to have thought that the 8th Commandment
>(9th for most Protestants) doesn't apply to
>theological debate. It does. & that
>commandment does not just forbid lying in the
>elementary sense but also requires us to "put
>the best construction on everything," as Luther
>put it in the Small Catechism. (Unfortunately
>Luther himself didn't always observe this in
>theological polemic.) Theological error should
>be called what it is (& of course on the issues
>in question Athanasius was right & Arius wrong),
>but that is no excuse for personal ridicule,
>namecalling, attribution of the worst motives
>possible, &c. Insinuations that a person's
>Christian faith is defective or lacking because
>he or she doesn't agree with one on a peripheral
>religious matter is also included here.

### So what if I wrote: "..[so and so on this
list] has copied the weak and effeminate
character of [so and so], writing..." :)

How many do you know in today's feminized,
politically correct, victimology-oriented
society, who wouldn't call it "hate speech"?


>----- Original Message -----
>From: <>Janice Matchett
>To: <>Vernon
>Jenkins ;
> ; <>Carol or John Burgeson
>Sent: Saturday, December 10, 2005 5:50 PM
>Subject: Re: Another heresy
>At 05:13 PM 12/10/2005, Vernon Jenkins wrote:
>>robust argument should not be interpreted as
>>incivility, impertinence or personal
>>malice. ASA, surely, is a forum for grown-ups
>>- and one in which plain speaking is encouraged.
>Picture this: What if Athanasius was on this
>list. No doubt even he would be called,
>"unChristian" and offensive to some here:
>"Arius himself has copied the weak and
>effeminate character of Sotades, writing the
>'Thalia'. He has emulated the dancing of
>Herodias, dancing about and jesting in his
>slanders against the Savior. The result is that
>those who fall into heresy are perverted in
>mind, act foolishly, and exchange the name of
>the Lord of glory for 'the likeness of the image
>of mortal man'. Thus, instead of Christians they
>are called Arians and have this mark of impiety. (Ag. Ar. 1:2)
>"How can non-Christians be Christians? Rather,
>they are Ario-maniacs! How are those who have
>shaken of the apostolic faith part of the
>Catholic Church? They are inventors of new
>evils; they have abandoned the words of Holy
>Scripture, calling Arius's 'Thalia' a new
>wisdom. They state this in fairness, for they
>are announcing a new heresy. Therefore anyone
>may have cause to wonder that although many
>individuals have written many works and the
>greatest number of homilies on the Old and New
>Testaments, a 'Thalia' is discovered in none of
>them. It is found not among the serious Greeks
>but only among those who sing such things with
>their drink, clapping and joking so that others
>may laugh. The 'marvelous' Arius copied nothing
>stately, not knowing the things of serious
>individuals. He stole the greatest number of
>things from other heresies and emulated the
>jests of Sotades alone. What was more fitting
>for him to do, wishing to dance against the
>Savior, than indicate in loose and dissolute
>songs his wretched words of impiety? As Wisdom
>says, 'A man is known from the utterance of his
>word.' Thus from Arius's words the unmanly
>character of his soul and the perdition of his
>thought should be known. (Ag. Ar. 1:4)
>"But after this, as a successor of the devil's
>reckless haste, Arius wrote in his 'Thalia',
>"The Father is invisible even to the Son, and
>the Word is able neither to see nor to know
>perfectly and accurately his Father." … These
>are the words this impious fellow spoke. He said
>that the Son is distinct in himself and that in
>all respects he does not share in the Father.
>These are parts of the fables Arius written down
>in a laughable document. (Ag. Ar. 1:6)
>"Who, hearing such things and the melody of the
>'Thalia', does not justly hate Arius's jesting
>about such things as if he were on a stage? …
>And who, reading his words one after another,
>does not see his impiety as the serpent's error
>into which that clever snake misled the woman?
>Who is not astonished at such blasphemies? As
>the prophet said, 'heaven was astounded, and the
>earth shuddered at the transgression of the
>law.' … Will not all human nature be struck
>speechless at Arius's blasphemies and shut its
>ears and close its eyes, so that it would be
>able neither to hear such things nor to see him
>who wrote these things? (Ag. Ar. 1:7)
>"… is it not worthy to obliterate and expunge
>both the other words and the Arian 'Thalia' as
>an image of evil, filled with every impiety in
>which anyone falling 'does not know that giants
>perish with her and assemble at the trap of
>hell'? … They profess the patronage of friends
>and the fear of Constantius, so that those who
>join them through hypocrisy and promise will not
>see the filth of the heresy. Is not this heresy
>worthy of hate for this very reason? (Ag. Ar. 1:10)
>"It is necessary that the nature of the image be
>of such a kind, such as is its Father, even if
>the Arians, being blind, would see neither the
>image nor anything else … Deprived of the
>thoughts of their hearts, rather than of their
>derangements, they take refuge again and again
>in the literal sense of the Holy Scriptures, but
>they fail, in their usual way, to understand even that." (Ag. Ar. 1:52)
>"If a decision was made by the bishops, what
>concern had the emperor with it? Or if it was
>but a threat of the emperor, what need then was
>there of the designated bishops? When in the
>world was such a thing ever before heard of?
>When did a decision of the Church receive its
>authority from the emperor? Or rather, when was
>his decree even recognized? (The Monks History of Arian Impiety, 52)
>"What hell has vomited the statement that the
>Body born of Mary is coessential with the
>Godhead of the Word?, or that the Word has been
>changed into flesh, bones, hair, and the whole
>body, and altered from its own nature? Or who
>ever heard in a Church, or even from Christians,
>that the Lord wore a body putatively, not in
>nature; or who ever went so far in impiety as to
>say and hold, that this Godhead, which is
>coessential with the Father, was circumcised and
>became imperfect instead of perfect; and that
>what hung upon the tree was not the body, but
>the very creative Essence and Wisdom? Or who
>that hears that the Word transformed himself a
>passible body, not of Mary, but of his own
>essence, could call him who said this a
>Christian? Or who devised this abominable
>impiety, for it to enter even his imagination,
>and for him to say that to pronounce the Lord's
>body to be of Mary is to hold a tetrad instead
>of a Triad in the Godhead?-those who think thus,
>saying that the body of the Savior which he put
>on from Mary, is of the essence of the Triad. Or
>whence again have certain vomited an impiety as
>great as those already mentioned, saying,
>namely, that the body is not newer than the
>Godhead of the Word, but was coeternal with it
>always, since it was compounded of the essence
>of Wisdom? Or how did men called Christians
>venture even to doubt whether the Lord, who
>proceeded from Mary, while Son of God in essence
>and nature, is of the seed of David according to
>the flesh, and of the flesh of Saint Mary? (Epistle to Epictetus, 9)
>~ Janice :)
Received on Sat Dec 10 18:48:32 2005

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