Thursday, July 18, 2019

Early Christian Quotes on Hypocrites and Heretics

Early Christian Quotes on Hypocrites and Heretics

Justin Martyr’s Dialog with Trypho 

(Mid-2nd Century)

Chapter 35:


The fact that some men are confessing themselves to be Christians and admitting the crucified Jesus to be both Lord and Christ, yet not teaching His doctrines but their own, causes us who are disciples of the true and pure doctrine of Jesus Christ to be more faithful and steadfast in the hope announced by Him. For those things He predicted would take place in His name, these we do believe will be accomplished in our sight. For he said, 'Many will come in My name, clothed outwardly in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." And, 'There will be disagreements and error.' And, 'Beware of false prophets, who will come to you clothed outwardly in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.' And, 'Many false Christs and false apostles will arise and will deceive many of the faithful.' There are and were many coming forward in the name of Jesus, taught both to speak and act in unholy and godless ways; and we call these after the name of the men from whom each doctrine and opinion had its origin.


Some in one way, others in another, teach men to disrespect the Maker of all things, and Christ, who was foretold by Him as coming, and the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob. We have nothing in common with these men since we know them to be atheists, unholy, unrighteous, and sinful, and confessors of Jesus in name only, not true worshippers of Him. Yet they style themselves as Christians, just as certain people among the Gentiles write the name of God upon the works of their own hands, and partake in sinful and unholy rites.


Some are called Marcians, and some Valentinians, and some Basilidians, and some Saturnilians, and others by other names. Each is called after the originator of the individual opinion, just like each one of those who consider themselves philosophers thinks he must bear the name of the philosophy which he follows, named after the father of that particular doctrine.



Irenaeus’ Against Heresies, Book 5

(Late 2nd Century)

 Chapter 8, Paragraphs 2-4:


Those who reject the Spirit's counsel and are the slaves of fleshly lusts and lead lives contrary to reason, and who, without restraint, plunge headfirst into their own desires, having no longing for the Divine Spirit, live like pigs and of dogs; these men, the apostle very properly term "carnal," because they have no thought of anything else except fleshly things…This means that it is his own fault that he is likened to cattle, by rivaling their irrational life…


Now the law has figuratively predicted all these, characterizing man by the various animals: whatsoever of these, says the Scripture, have a double hoof and are ruminants, also known as herbivores, are considered clean; but whatsoever of them do not possess one or other of these properties is considered unclean. Who then are the clean? Those who make their way by faith steadily toward the Father and the Son. This is denoted by the steadiness of those that divide the hoof. They meditate day and night on God’s words so that they may be adorned with good works: this is the meaning of the ruminants.


However, the unclean are those who neither divide the hoof nor ruminate; that is, those who have neither faith in God nor meditate on His words: and such is the curse of the Gentiles. But as to those animals that do chew the cud but do not have a double hoof and are unclean, we have in them a figurative description of the Jews, who certainly have the words of God in their mouth but who do not fix their rooted steadfastness in the Father and in the Son. Therefore, they are an unstable people. Those animals that have the hoof all in one piece easily slip. Those that have it divided are more sure-footed, their cleft hoofs succeeding each other as they advance, and the one hoof supporting the other.


In the same way, those that have a double hoof but do not ruminate are unclean. This is plainly an indication of all skeptics and of those who do not meditate on the words of God, nor are adorned with works of righteousness. To these, the Lord says, "Why do you call Me Lord, Lord, and do not do the things I tell you to?" For men of this kind say they believe in the Father and the Son, but they never meditate as they should on the things of God, nor are they adorned with works of righteousness.


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