Sunday, July 06, 2014

heretical systems

From James R. Payton Jr.'s Irenaeus on the Christian Faith:
This system of theirs is something which the prophets did not proclaim, the Lord did not teach, and the apostles did not pass on. Nevertheless, these false teachers boast that they have a more perfect knowledge than all of them. These heretics gather their views from other sources than the Scriptures. To use a common proverb, they try to "weave ropes out of sand" when they attempt to present their peculiar notions as the meaning of the parables of the Lord, the sayings of the prophets, and the words of the apostles. They do this in order that their scheme may not seem altogether without support. But to do so, they have to disregard the order and the connections within the Scriptures, and as far as they are able, they dismember and distort the truth. By moving passages from one place to another and inventing new meanings for them, they have adapted the oracles of the Lord to their notions and so have deceitfully deluded many people. They act like those who, when a beautiful mosaic of a king has been made by some skillful artist out of precious jewels, then dismantle that likeness and rearrange the gems into the form of a dog or a fox (and even that poorly done!) ... Similarly, these heretics patch together old wives' tales and then, by grossly misinterpreting the words, expressions, and parables which they find, they make the oracles of God fit what they have concocted ... (1:8,1) 
In this way, these people deceive themselves, abusing the Scriptures to force them to support their own system of ideas ... (1:9,1)
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. ~ Ecc 1.9

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