Ideas about Arianism/Adoptionism

I was reading about Arius the other day, and I saw that he used the verse " you would be glad I am going to the father, for the father is greater than I" to justify his view. But did he ever look at John 10;30 I wonder? I was also thinking of Semi-Arianism/adoptionism, and it seems to me like affirming Jesus’ divinity while denying his homoousis with the father is polytheism.

This is from a Catholic Answers Tract catholic.com/tracts/the-great-heresies

Arianism (4th Century)

Arius taught that Christ was a creature made by God. By disguising his heresy using orthodox or near-orthodox terminology, he was able to sow great confusion in the Church. He was able to muster the support of many bishops, while others excommunicated him.

Arianism was solemnly condemned in 325 at the First Council of Nicaea, which defined the divinity of Christ, and in 381 at the First Council of Constantinople, which defined the divinity of the Holy Spirit. These two councils gave us the Nicene creed, which Catholics recite at Mass every Sunday.

Here is an interesting link to an article about Stealth Arianism.
romancatholicman.com/stealth-arianism-the-pervasive-heresy-of-our-times/

Here is a link to an interesting article about Stealth Arianism.
romancatholicman.com/stealth-arianism-the-pervasive-heresy-of-our-times/

Scripture can be used to plausibly enough support Arian’s views with several verses, or to support the opposing, Christian, view. This is one reason why the use of Scripture alone fails as an adequate means of discerning the truths of our faith. The Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, provides the final authoritative pronouncement on such matters as necessary, as she did at Nicaea in this case.

This is correct – thank heavens! Considering the multiple interpretations of Sacred Scripture, I would fail in the battle.

It is not that I am disappointed in this article on Stealth Arianism. I would like to connect it to the Apologetics approach to the lack of attendance at the Sunday Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in some, not all, geographical locations.

From romancatholicman.com/stealth-arianism-the-pervasive-heresy-of-our-times/
“You see, once we diminish the identity of Christ as the Son of God, we are left to view Him as simply a historical figure that was a nice guy, a respectable teacher and a good example for how we are to live. Religion is then reduced to a nice organization that does nice things for people as we seek a kind of psychotherapy for self-actualization. And this is not only not what He came to give us, but it’s something He made sure to leave no room for.”

This “diminish the identify of Christ as the Son of God” is seen in the long time concept that Jesus is a human prophet among an international list of [human] prophets. Here is a key point from the article which, in my humble opinion, explains certain attacks, a few internal, on the Catholic Church.
“Students of history know that the Arian heresy – the worst crisis in the Church before our present age – was rooted in the belief that Jesus Christ was merely a created being, not equal to God the Father. Stealth Arianism follows the same fatal error, but with a twist: while the Arians of the fourth century openly denied Christ’s divinity, today‘s Arians will profess Jesus as God, and yet through their actions deny it. In other words, they don’t even know they are Arians.”

Starting as a child reading my first adult biography of Jesus Christ, I noticed that one of the divine attributes (working miracles) was whisked away in the book’s chapter based on chapter 6, Gospel of John. Jesus, as the great teacher/prophet had inspired everyone to share with others what little food they had. Decades later, in a conference workshop, I learned that skipping the reality of a miracle is known as modern Arianism.

In my humble opinion, it is important for Catholic Apologetics to include an understanding of Arianism, either modern or stealth. It really does not matter if people have no clue that they are wearing the clothes of an “Arian.” What matters is the chipping away at Christ’s Divinity, one truth at a time. It matters that the miracle of the five loaves and two fish, John 6: 9, is real because it introduces Transubstantiation which is what happens daily in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

If Jesus has to depend on people sharing their little food, what does that say about John 6: 35. “I am the Bread of Life.”

May all of you have a Merry Christmas
as we celebrate the joy of Christ’s birth.

[FONT=Arial]Lorenzo Lotto, 1523[/FONT]

May we all prepare our souls
for the true celebration of Christmas

[FONT=Arial]Lorenzo Lotto, 1523[/FONT]

My guess is that polytheism would not be involved with Semi-Arianism/adoptionism because there would be a period of time when Jesus would not be considered fully divine as required by polytheism.

In the 1970’s, there was the idea that such and such action, such as His baptism by John, made the human Jesus Divine etc. This could be considered adoptionism. The Catholic Church considers Matthew 3: 13-17 as public confirmation that Jesus is True God and True Man.

Or, on the other hand, the Baptism caused Jesus to recognize His own Divinity. That is the version I heard. In any case, the Arianism error is in removing the full Divinity, including self-knowledge, of Jesus during His young life.

Cornelius a Lapide:

This was the great stronghold of the Arians, by which they sought to prove that the Son was not God, but the highest creature of God; but SS. Athanasius, Augustine, Basil, and the rest of the Fathers, admirably reply to them, that Christ is here speaking of Himself not as God, but as man. For as such He was less, not only than the Father, but even than the angels. And that Christ is speaking thus is plain from hence, that He gives the reason why He is going to the Father:*because,He saith,My Father is greater than I.Now Christ goeth to the Father, in that, as man, He ascendeth intoheaven. For as God He is alway inheavenwith the Father. Wherefore S. Augustine saith, “He went,in that He was in one place: He remained, in that He was everywhere.” That is, He went through His Humanity, He abode through His Divinity. Therefore His Father was greater than He in respect to His Humanity, not His Divinity. The meaning then is, Ye must rejoice, 0 ye Apostles, at My departure, because I go to the Father, and ascend intoheavento greater honour and dignity, that I may obtain from the Father, for Myself and for you, the rewards of My Passion, even a seat at the Father’s right hand, and the empire of the universe, the adoration of all the angels, and the conversion of all nations to My faith and worship: and for you the Holy Ghost and all His gifts, armed with which ye shall conquer the whole world for Me and for yourselves, and bring it with you to celestial glory. For those things, which are far greater than what ye have as yet seen and received, I will ask and obtain when I go to the Father.

Some fathers, moreover, in order to give a complete answer to the Arians, answer more subtilly, but intricately, that the Father is greater than the Son not only as He is man, but also as He is God, because the name of Father seems among men to be more honourable than the name of Son. For a father is the beginning and cause of a son. The Father therefore is greater than the Son, not in magnitude, nor time, nor virtue, nor dignity, nor adoration, but in respect of a certain honour amongst men,*i.e., in respect of origin, because the Father is the origin of the Son. So S. Athanasius (Serm. cont. Arian), S. Hilary (lib. 9,*de Trin.), &c. Although with reference to Divine things, filiation, from whence is derived the idea of sonship, is something as excellent and as honourable as is the idea of paternity in the Father. Indeed, as the Son hath from the Father that He is the Son, so in turn the Father hath from the Son that He is the Father. For the Father is He who hath the Son. Wherefore in this case, that passive origin which is in the Son is in itself as worthy and as honourable as that active origin which is in the Father. For it is as great to be Begotten God as it is to beget God. Therefore it is as great to be the Son as to be the Father. Lastly, each hath altogether in personality the same Divine Essence, the same majesty and omnipotence. Wherefore one cannot be greater than the other. “Greater,” says S. Hilary, “is He who gives by the authority of a giver, but He is not less to whom it is given to be One (with the Giver).”*Greater, i.e.,*in the estimation of men, not of God. Wherefore Maldonatus thinks that Hilary and some others have conceded too much to the Arians. And Damascene (lib. 1,*de Fid.) corrects them thus, “The Father is greater, not in nature, nor in dignity, but only in origin. (See Suarez, lib. 2,*de Trin. cap.*4.) And in my opinion this was the teaching of S. Hilary.

Moreover, the analogy of the Divine compared with human generation is so entirely different as to refute the Arians. For in things human the father is greater than his son. 1st. Because he is prior, and senior to the son. 2d. Because he is greater in stature and bulk, for a grown-up man generates a little infant. 3d. Because he produces a nature numerically different from himself, which he communicates to his son. Wherefore he is greater than that nature as being its author. 4th. Because of his own free will he begets a son. For it was possible to him not to have begotten. But in things Divine the manner is altogether different. For the Father is greater than the Son neither in age nor size: neither does He beget a Deity different from His Own, but communicates to the Son the same Deity which He Himself has. Neither does He beget of His own will, so to say, but of the natural fruitfulness of the Divine Nature He produces a Son the equal of Himself, nor can He produce another. Lastly, S. Cyril, in the Council of Ephesus, proves that the Father is greater than Christ in so far as Christ is man, but not in that He is God, after this manner:—“We acknowledge Him (the Son) to be in all respects as the Father, to be incapable either of turning, or of change, and to have need of nothing, a perfect Son, like unto the Father, and differing from Him only in this respect that the Father is unbegotten. For He is the perfect and express Image of the Father. And it is certain that the Image ought fully to include all those things in which the Pattern itself, which is greater, is perfectly expressed, even as the Lord Himself hath taught, saying,the Father is greater than I.”

sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/gospel-of-john-commentary/cornelius-a-lapide-on-john/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14

[FONT=Arial]This was the great stronghold of the Arians, by which they sought to prove that the Son was not God, but the highest creature of God; but SS. Athanasius, Augustine, Basil, and the rest of the Fathers, admirably reply to them, that Christ is here speaking of Himself not as God, but as man. For as such He was less, not only than the Father, but even than the angels. And that Christ is speaking thus is plain from hence, that He gives the reason why He is going to the Father:*because,He saith,My Father is greater than I.Now Christ goeth to the Father, in that, as man, He ascendeth intoheaven. For as God He is alway inheavenwith the Father. Wherefore S. Augustine saith, “He went,in that He was in one place: He remained, in that He was everywhere.” That is, He went through His Humanity, He abode through His Divinity. Therefore His Father was greater than He in respect to His Humanity, not His Divinity. The meaning then is, Ye must rejoice, 0 ye Apostles, at My departure, because I go to the Father, and ascend intoheavento greater honour and dignity, that I may obtain from the Father, for Myself and for you, the rewards of My Passion, even a seat at the Father’s right hand, and the empire of the universe, the adoration of all the angels, and the conversion of all nations to My faith and worship: and for you the Holy Ghost and all His gifts, armed with which ye shall conquer the whole world for Me and for yourselves, and bring it with you to celestial glory. For those things, which are far greater than what ye have as yet seen and received, I will ask and obtain when I go to the Father.[/FONT]

skip due to character limitations. Please read the entire post 8.

[FONT=Arial]Moreover, the analogy of the Divine compared with human generation is so entirely different as to refute the Arians. For in things human the father is greater than his son. 1st. Because he is prior, and senior to the son. 2d. Because he is greater in stature and bulk, for a grown-up man generates a little infant. 3d. Because he produces a nature numerically different from himself, which he communicates to his son. Wherefore he is greater than that nature as being its author. 4th. Because of his own free will he begets a son. For it was possible to him not to have begotten. But in things Divine the manner is altogether different. For the Father is greater than the Son neither in age nor size: neither does He beget a Deity different from His Own, but communicates to the Son the same Deity which He Himself has. Neither does He beget of His own will, so to say, but of the natural fruitfulness of the Divine Nature He produces a Son the equal of Himself, nor can He produce another. Lastly, S. Cyril, in the Council of Ephesus, proves that the Father is greater than Christ in so far as Christ is man, but not in that He is God, after this manner:—“We acknowledge Him (the Son) to be in all respects as the Father, to be incapable either of turning, or of change, and to have need of nothing, a perfect Son, like unto the Father, and differing from Him only in this respect that the Father is unbegotten. For He is the perfect and express Image of the Father. And it is certain that the Image ought fully to include all those things in which the Pattern itself, which is greater, is perfectly expressed, even as the Lord Himself hath taught, saying,the Father is greater than I.”
[/FONT]

For me, this is difficult reading. Still, I highly recommend it.

The key to understanding seems to be the paragraph which begins “Moreover, the analogy of the Divine compared with human generation is so entirely different as to refute the Arians.” I laughed at the obvious in 2d. in this paragraph.

I used an orange marker to highlight some thoughts which were important to me. The very first highlighted thought from the first paragraph is so appropriate for this Christmas season.
"…Christ is here speaking of Himself not as God, but as man. For as such He was less, not only than the Father, but even than the angels."

Hebrews 2: 9 Scripture link. usccb.org/bible/hebrews/2
9
but we do see Jesus “crowned with glory and honor” because He suffered death, He Who “for a little while” was made “lower than the angels,” that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.f

We need to bend our knees to the Infant Savior, not only at Christmas, but on every day of the year. How sad it is that the Arians did not see the Divine Glory in the Babe of Bethlehem. Unfortunately, while they are not Arians per se, many people have better things to do …

Note to men. Forget the dumb blonde jokes. I printed post 8 before I used the orange marker. :wink:

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