Re: Another heresy

From: Janice Matchett <>
Date: Mon Dec 12 2005 - 10:35:27 EST

At 10:13 AM 12/12/2005, George Murphy wrote:
>Janice et al -
>Good grief! You really seem determined to miss
>my point! & that point - I hate to bore others
>with repetition & this will be my last - that
>point was just that Athanasius & other
>theologians great & small have often failed to
>observe the broader sense of the 8th Commandment
>by being unwilling to put the best construction
>on their opponents arguments & by unnecessary
>personal remarks. I intended that simply as a
>reminder to those on the list: If the shoe
>fits, wear it. I was not taking issue with
>Athansius' theological arguments (with which, as
>I said, I agree) so your thinking that I was
>when I said I wasn't missed the point squared.
>Some people are too wishy-washy & hesitant in
>defending the Christian faith, too concerned
>with being PC, fail to let the law do its proper
>task of pointing out sin, are unconcerned about
>issues of truth & falsity in doctrinal matters
>&c. Some go to the other extreme, being
>unwilling to allow for more than one form of
>theological expression, refusing to make any
>allowances for human weaknesses (except maybe
>their own!), finding heresy where it doesn't
>exist, & using nasty names for people they don't
>agree with. Few people always maintain exactly
>the right balance in these matters. My own
>temptation is toward the latter extreme so I
>know what I'm talking about here - I could hold
>my own in a theological polemic contest. I do
>think though that 22 years of pastoral ministry
>have taught me a bit about when to get tough & when to speak softly.
>I'm going to be away for a few days & in any
>case think that all that needs to be said has
>been said on this topic, so won't comment further. ~ Shalom George

# "Athanasius & other theologians great & small
have often failed to observe the broader sense of
the 8th Commandment by being unwilling to put the
best construction on their opponents arguments &
by unnecessary personal remarks."

  Nooooo kidding. :)

So was WISDOM unwilling to follow His own "rules"
and put the best construction on the arguments of
the Pharisees -- even going so far as to make
"unnecessary" personal remarks against them?

~ Janice

>----- Original Message -----
>From: <>Janice Matchett
>To: <>George Murphy ;
><>Vernon Jenkins
> ; <>Carol or John Burgeson
>Sent: Monday, December 12, 2005 9:45 AM
>Subject: Re: Another heresy
>At 07:49 AM 12/12/2005, George Murphy wrote:
>"I wouldn't have replied to Vernon's post itself
>but your long citation of Athanasius went well
>beyond "robust argument" about the theological
>issues in dispute & descended to just the type
>of personal attack I referred to. All quite sequitur. ..." ~ Shalom George
>### You just proved my point!! My "citation
>of Athanasius" had nothing to do with
>"theological issues in dispute". (I was not
>commenting on his UNorthodox numerology ideas, which I in no way agree with).
>My post was clear (see below) - I was only
>commenting on Vernon's complaint about being
>perceived on this board as being uncivil,
>impertinent, and malicious, and merely made the
>point that even Athanasius' words would be
>perceived that way by some on this list.
>Athanasius isn't the only one whose personal
>choice of words would be unacceptable to leftist
>fascists who would try to silence him - many of
>them are even trying to get "the Word of God", itself banned as "hate speech".
>~ Janice
>>----- Original Message -----
>>From: <>Janice Matchett
>>To: <>George Murphy ;
>>Jenkins ;
>>u ; <>Carol or John Burgeson
>>Sent: Sunday, December 11, 2005 10:34 PM
>>Subject: Re: Another heresy
>>At 08:26 PM 12/10/2005, George Murphy wrote:
>>>How does that affect the point that I
>>>made? (& in case you want more support for that point, Mt 5:44 should do.)
>>Vernon 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..."
>>I responded: "Picture this: What if Athanasius
>>was on this list. No doubt even he would be
>>called, "unChristian" and offensive to some here: ..." [snipped examples]
>>You tried to change the subject with your
>>non sequitur "point", that's why I brought you back to it. :) ~ Janice
>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. ~ Shalom
>### 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"? ~ Janice
>>----- Original Message -----
>>From: <>Janice Matchett
>>To: <>Vernon
>>Jenkins ;
>>u ; <>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 Mon Dec 12 10:36:17 2005

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