Excerpt From Newsletter
COMMENTARY: Folks in the Church today see no need to pay any special attention to oral tradition. Their foggy brains must think our generation has figured out the meaning of the Scriptures all by ourselves. That is, they must have somehow come to believe that “they have discovered the unadulterated truth” concerning the Scriptures without any help from previous generations. So if you try to tell them the Apostles handed down an oral tradition that the Church has long since lost, they will either vehemently deny it or casually say, “So what?” They are absolutely blind to the fact that they are themselves busy handing down an oral tradition that some fool thought he “discovered.”
Did you notice what Irenæus said about “the unadulterated truth” and “the hidden mystery”? He is talking about the claims the Gnostics made concerning the oral tradition that they claimed to have handed down from the Apostles. If those claims were completely absurd, Irenæus would have dismissed them outright. He doesn’t do that. Instead, he rejects the Gnostics’ basis for those claims by arguing that they do not pay attention either to the Scriptures or oral tradition. And now he is going to argue that Christians are doing exactly what he insists the Gnostics are not doing.
TEXT: 3. Such are the adversaries with whom we have to deal, my very dear friend, endeavouring like slippery serpents to escape at all points. Wherefore they must be opposed at all points, if perchance, by cutting off their retreat, we may succeed in turning them back to the truth. For, though it is not an easy thing for a soul under the influence of error to repent, yet, on the other hand, it is not altogether impossible to escape from error when the truth is brought alongside it.
(Irenæus, “Against Heresies,” Book III, Chap. II, in Roberts and Donaldson (Eds.), The Ante-Nicene Fathers (1867), Vol. 1.)
COMMENTARY: Pay close attention to what Irenæus says here! It may not be easy for you to admit that you have been duped into believing a lie. But if you have even the slightest inkling that I have said something that rings true, you had best keep listening until your pride allows you to humbly acknowledge that Satan has deceived you along with everybody else.
“Why Leave Any Wiggle Room for Proud Protestants or Pious Pontification?” The Voice of Elijah®, July 2000, pp. 3–4
|Larry Dee Harper
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