Monday, July 28, 2014

irenaeus the continuationist

Was Irenaeus a charismatic?
  • Against Heresies 2.31 - Christians still heal the blind, deaf, and chase away all sorts of demons. Occasionally the dead are raised. Gnostics and other non-Christians can't chase away demons - except those demons that are sent into others by themselves, if they can even do so much as this.
  • Against Heresies 2.32 - Some Christians do certainly and truly drive out devils, so that those who have thus been cleansed from evil spirits frequently both believe in Christ, and join themselves to the church. Others have foreknowledge of things to come: they see visions, and utter prophetic expressions. Others still, heal the sick by laying their hands upon them, and they are made whole. Yea, moreover, as I have said, the dead even have been raised up, and remained among us for many years. The church does not perform anything by means of angelic invocations, or incantations, or by any other wicked curious art; but directing her prayers to the Lord.
  • Against Heresies 4.9 - In 1 Corinthians 13, "that which is perfect" and "face to face" refer to the second coming. 
  • Against Heresies 5.6 - Those who are "perfect" are those who have received the Spirit of God, and who through the Spirit of God do speak in all languages, as He Himself, used  also to speak. In like manner we do also hear many brethren in the church, who possess prophetic gifts, and who through the Spirit speak all kinds of languages, and bring to light for the general benefit the hidden things of men, and declare the mysteries of God, whom also the apostle terms "spiritual," they being spiritual because they partake of the Spirit, and seek spiritual understanding to become purely spiritual. 
From James R. Payton Jr.'s Irenaeus on the Christian Faith:

... The heretics cannot raise the dead, as the Lord raised them, and as the apostles did by prayer, and as has been frequently done in the brotherhood because of some necessity. At times, the entire church in a particular locality has entreated for this extraordinary gift by mush basting and prayer of the saints. But the heretics do not even believe this can be done ... (2:31,2)

If, however, they maintain that the Lord, too, only appeared to perform miraculous works, we will direct them to the prophets' writings, and prove from then that such miraculous things were predicted about him, that they unquestionably took place, and that he is the only Son of God. So also, those who genuinely are his disciples receive grace from him to perform miracles in his name for the welfare of others - all according to the gift which each has received from him [cf. Rom 12.6-8; 1 Co 12.7, 10]. Some exorcise demons, and many who have thus been cleansed from evil spirits come to believe in Christ and join the Church. Others have foreknowledge of things to come: they see visions and utter prophecies. Still others heal the sick by laying their hands upon them, and they are mdd well. Moreover, as I have said, even the dead have been raised, and have remained among us for many years.

What else should I say? It is not possible to number all the gifts which the Church, throughout the whole world, has received from God, in the name of Jesus Christ (who was crucified under Pontius Pilate), and which she exercises day by day for the benefit of the nations, without practicing deception toward anyone, and not taking any reward from them for these miracles. As she has received freely from God, she also freely ministers to others [Mt 10.8]. (2:32,4)

The Church does nothing by angelic invocations or incantations or any evil art. Her practice is to direct her prayers in a pure, sincere, and honest spirit to the Lord who made all things, calling on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is the way the Church works miracles for humanity's advantage. She does not mislead them, for even now the name of our Lord Jesus Christ grants benefits to human beings and thoroughly and effectively cures, anywhere, all who believe in him. ... From this, it can readily be seen that, when he was made man, he had fellowship with his creation and did everything through the power of God, according to the will of the Father of all - as the prophets had foretold. (2:32,5)

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