Monday, September 28, 2015

Tertullian on the Vicar of Christ Around 207CE

Our Lord Christ has surnamed Himself Truth, not Custom. If Christ is always, and prior to all, equally truth is a thing everlasting and ancient. Let those therefore look to themselves, to whom that is new which is intrinsically old. It is not so much novelty as truth which convicts heresies. Whatever savors of opposition to truth, this will be heresy, even (if it be an) ancient custom. …

The rule of faith, indeed, is altogether one, alone immoveable and irreformable; the rule of believing in one only God omnipotent, the Creator of the universe, and His Son Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, crucified under Pontius Pilate, raised again the third day from the dead, received in the heavens, sitting now at the right (hand) of the Father, destined to come to judge quick and dead through the resurrection of the flesh as well (as of the spirit). …

For what kind of (supposition) is it, that, while the devil is always operating and adding daily to the ingenuities of iniquity, the work of God should either have ceased, or else have desisted from advancing? On the contrary, the reason why the Lord sent the Paraclete was that, since human mediocrity was unable to take in all things at once, discipline should, little by little, be directed and ordained and carried on to perfection by that Vicar of the Lord, the Holy Spirit. “Still,” He said, “I have many things to say to you, but you are not yet able to bear them: when that Spirit of truth shall come, He will direct you into all truth, and will report to you the things that must take place.” 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Tertullian on the Dark Forces Behind Abortion around 198CE

Argument: The Story About Christians Drinking the Blood of an Infant that They Have Murdered is Barefaced Slander. But the Gentiles, Both Cruelly Expose Their Children Newly Born, and Before They are Born Destroy Them by a Cruel Abortion. Christians are Neither Allowed to See Nor to Hear of Manslaughter.

“And now I wish to meet him who says or believes that we are initiated by the slaughter and blood of an infant. Do you think that it can be possible for so tender, so little a body to receive those fatal wounds; for any one to shed, pour forth, and drain that new blood of a youngling, and of a man scarcely come into existence? No one can believe this, except one who can dare to do it.

And I see that you at one time expose your begotten children to wild beasts and to birds; at another, that you crush them when strangled with a miserable kind of death. There are some women who, by drinking medical preparations, extinguish the source of the future man in their very bowels, and thus commit a parricide before they bring forth. And these things assuredly come down from the teaching of your gods.

For Saturn did not expose his children, but devoured them. With reason were infants sacrificed to him by parents in some parts of Africa, caresses and kisses repressing their crying, that a weeping victim might not be sacrificed. Moreover, among the Tauri of Pontus, and to the Egyptian Busiris, it was a sacred rite to immolate their guests, and for the Galli to slaughter to Mercury human, or rather inhuman, sacrifices. The Roman sacrificers buried living a Greek man and a Greek woman, a Gallic man and a Gallic woman; and to this day, Jupiter Latiaris is worshipped by them with murder; and, what is worthy of the son of Saturn, he is gorged with the blood of an evil and criminal man. …

They also are not unlike him who devours the wild beasts from the arena, besmeared and stained with blood, or fattened with the limbs or the entrails of men. To us it is not lawful either to see or to hear of homicide; and so much do we shrink from human blood, that we do not use the blood even of eatable animals in our food.”

Monday, September 14, 2015

Commodianus on Inter-dimensional Visitors Before the Days of Noah in 260CE

In the law, the Lord of heaven and earth and sea has commanded, saying, “Worship not vain gods made by your own hands out of wood or gold, lest My wrath destroy you for such things.” The people before Moses, unskilled, living without law, and ignorant of God, prayed to gods that perished, after the likenesses of which they fashioned vain idols. The Lord having brought the Jews out of the land of Egypt, subsequently imposed on them a law; and the Omnipotent enjoined these things, that they should serve Him alone, and not those idols. Moreover, in that law is taught concerning the resurrection, and the hope of living in happiness again in the world, if vain idols be forsaken and not worshipped.

When Almighty God, to beautify the nature of the world willed that that earth should be visited by angels, when they were sent down they despised His laws. Such was the beauty of women that it turned them aside; so that, being contaminated, they could not return to heaven. Rebels from God, they uttered words against Him. Then the Highest uttered His judgment against them; and from their seed giants are said to have been born.

By them arts were made known in the earth, and they taught the dyeing of wool, and everything which is done; and to them, when they died, men erected images. But the Almighty, because they were of an evil seed, did not approve that, when dead, they should be brought back from death. From there, wandering, they now subvert many bodies, and it is such as these especially that you this day worship and pray to as gods.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Cyprian on Obeying God Over Caesar and Taking Oaths Around 250CE

It is written, “You cannot serve two masters,” … he has been more obedient to human authority than to God. … Be that as it may, he will not be able to escape and avoid God as his judge. … God cannot be mocked, nor deceived, nor deluded by any deceptive cunning. Yes, he sins even more, who, thinking that God is like man, believes that he evades the penalty of his crime if he has not openly admitted his crime. Christ says in His precepts, “Whosoever shall be ashamed of Me, of him the Son of man will be ashamed.” And does he think that he is a Christian who is either ashamed or afraid to be a Christian? How can he be one with Christ, who either blushes or fears to belong to Christ? …

In Solomon: “A man that swears much shall be filled with iniquity, and the plague shall not depart from his house; and if he swears vainly, he shall not be justified.” Of this same matter, according to Matthew: “Again, you have heard that it was said to them of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform unto the Lord your oaths.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, because it is God’s throne, nor by the earth, because it is His footstool, nor by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King. Neither shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your yes be yes; and your no be no. For whatever is beyond these is of evil.” Of this same thing in Exodus: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.”