Ignatius and the Church fathers are to blame...?


#1

Alright this may take a while to explain:

I was talking to someone (he is an elder at a non-Denom church) who said that the early Christians were in complete disarray. No one could read and so everyone fell into error (because they couldn’t read the bible). He said he blamed the, “so called church fathers” for this because they were all power hungry and they wanted people to stay illiterate and unknowledgeable about Scripture and Christ.

He specifically called out Ignatius and said that he was power hungry and suppressed the real Christians and their writings. The writings of the real Christians were covered up in favor of the letters written by men like Ignatius (other than the NT letters of course… I guess the Church some how forgot to torch those :rolleyes: ).

I didn’t really want to get into it with him but I did say in Ignatius’ defense that he was a hearer of John and a Martyr and I don’t think he would willing be a martyr for something that he knew was false (I hope I was right in saying he was a martyr to be honest I cant remember?). Also I told him I didn’t recall any letters where Ignatius himself claims to have power (or being power hungry) but rather I had read letters where he diverted “power” to the Bishop of Rome.

As a response I got that he may have been a hearer of John but he must not have heard very well.

My question is just how would we answer this kind of assertion, that the early Church fathers were power hungry and suppressed the real Christians?

I know there is no proof of any underground “real” Christians, but this person would expect that because all their writings were supposedly torched by the Catholic Church.

God bless


#2

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

Didn’t you realise that the early Christians who hid in the catacombs, did so to escape from the early Catholics who were trying to wipe them out?


#3

This is a very good point :thumbsup: If the Church was so in error so early, how did they get the Bible right? How did they get the Trinity right? How did they get the Divinity of Christ right? :smiley:


#4

I’m a newbie here, so I’ll try to give you a perspective from the Baptist side of the fence.
For years I was involved in the Fundamentalist movement. Among the many problems with the movement is the inability to rightly discern church history. Some adhere to a little booklet called ‘The Trail of Blood’, which is so full of factual errors, its amazing how anyone can defend it. It explains that Baptists had their beginnings in the first century, and grew apart from the church for centuries. There are many that still believe this despite the fact that it is easily disproven.
Rejecting the teachings of the early church is a very easy way of simply not confronting certain issues, such as baptism, the Eucharist, even confessional creeds. It’s much easier to simply dismiss the early church completely and assert that nobody ‘got it right’ until ‘we’ came along.
I have been studying the early church for several years and it has proven to be quite a blessing to me.


#5

I think you did okay with your response.
When someone has believed what that elder does, it’s almost impossible to have any sort of logical discussion - they’ve knowingly chucked all historical evidence, which is what would have to be relied on to show the continuity of the Church since the time of Christ.

What amazes me is that they reject a conclusion based on real evidence (writings and churches that are Catholic and go back to the apostles) — and yet accept a conclusion for which NO EVIDENCE exists. It seems Protestants are always asking us to prove everything; why don’t you ask the elder to “prove” his assertions. Ask him to show you the writings Ignatius suppressed that were written by the “real” Christians, etc.

I guess I wouldn’t waste a whole lot of breath at this point trying to tell him the truths, but instead ask him to prove any assertions he makes with some hard evidence (and that means more than just what some current writer is publishing, or speaker is speaking).

Nita


#6

[sign][size=5]Bingo![/sign][/size]


#7

Welcome to the forums! :slight_smile:


#8

He said he blamed the, “so called church fathers” for this because they were all power hungry and they wanted people to stay illiterate and unknowledgeable about Scripture and Christ.

He specifically called out Ignatius and said that he was power hungry and suppressed the real Christians and their writings. The writings of the real Christians were covered up in favor of the letters written by men like Ignatius (other than the NT letters of course… I guess the Church some how forgot to torch those ).

Since I’m presuming he failed to offer you any documented direct evidence, how does he say he knows all this?

It’s incredibly ignorant and unfair to ascribe motives to other people, especially those that lived 2000 years ago. I won’t judge your friends motivations either, but the proofs for his assertions are, as far as I know, nonexistent.


#9

And it’s also very hypocritical to ascribe improper motives to someone who is willingly going to their death as a Martyr for Christ without supporting evidence.

Yes, OP, I know these aren’t your accusations. I don’t mean to implicate you in my accusation! :slight_smile:


#10

Does this elder realize that anybody who believes what he believes cannot possibly be a bible-believing Christian? It is impossible to have a trustworthy bible under the scenario he paints.


#11

Does he realize that the Early Fathers lived before the Dark Ages? Or that, before the Dark Ages, we had civilization, education, and that most people could read and write in more than one language - that to be “illiterate” simply meant that you could only speak, read, and write in two languages, instead of the more usual three?

He specifically called out Ignatius and said that he was power hungry and suppressed the real Christians and their writings. The writings of the real Christians were covered up in favor of the letters written by men like Ignatius (other than the NT letters of course… I guess the Church some how forgot to torch those :rolleyes: ).

St. Ignatius was “power hungry”? So, he joins this really tiny little backwater cult whose founder got crucified and whose main leaders have all been arrested, convicted, and sentenced to death? Yeah, that sounds like a retirement plan I’d like to get in on. NOT. :rolleyes:

I didn’t really want to get into it with him but I did say in Ignatius’ defense that he was a hearer of John and a Martyr and I don’t think he would willing be a martyr for something that he knew was false (I hope I was right in saying he was a martyr to be honest I cant remember?).

Thrown to the lions in 110 AD. (To put that into context, St. John completed the Book of Revelation in 90 AD, about 20 years earlier.)

Also I told him I didn’t recall any letters where Ignatius himself claims to have power (or being power hungry) but rather I had read letters where he diverted “power” to the Bishop of Rome.

As a response I got that he may have been a hearer of John but he must not have heard very well.

My question is just how would we answer this kind of assertion, that the early Church fathers were power hungry and suppressed the real Christians?

At the time that St. Ignatius was writing his famous seven letters, he had already been arrested and was on his way to the Colloseum to be thrown to the lions. He already knew that he would be killed there. So, anything he wrote in those letters cannot have had anything to do with amassing power for himself - he was already well past any chance of using it for any kind of selfish gain.

I know there is no proof of any underground “real” Christians, but this person would expect that because all their writings were supposedly torched by the Catholic Church.

If such people existed, how come nobody else knew about them? Does he really think that the Catholic Church in 110 AD had the power to censor every history book, every lady’s private diary, every court record, etc.? :shrug: (While being dragged off to be eaten by lions, yet?)


#12

It’s incredibly ignorant and unfair to ascribe motives to other people, especially those that lived 2000 years ago

This is a great point I wish I would have thought about it. :shrug:

Since I’m presuming he failed to offer you any documented direct evidence, how does he say he knows all this?

Nope no evidence and he even admitted to me (when he found out that I had read some of Ignatius writings and knew something about him) that he hadn’t done a thorough reading on his and he probably shouldn’t have pointed anyone out by name, but that in the books he had read by contemporary historians this was the view he got.

And it’s also very hypocritical to ascribe improper motives to someone who is willingly going to their death as a Martyr for Christ without supporting evidence.

This is kind of what I was getting at when I mentioned that he was a Martyr but he only answered my point of Ignatius being a hearer of St. John to which he said he must not have heard very well. My point was that he was a hearer of John, so he knew full well whether what he was teaching was wrong or not, and I find it very very hard to believe that he would willing become a martyr for something that he knew was not taught by John.

Does this elder realize that anybody who believes what he believes cannot possibly be a bible-believing Christian? It is impossible to have a trustworthy bible under the scenario he paints.

We talked about this is where our conversation started… His answer was he defers to people more knowledgeable on the matter as to where we got the canonization of the Bible, but to him this is not a tradition of man, there’s just smarter people out there than him he said. Obviously I don’t agree with this but I have to hand it to someone who is readily willing to admit this.

Thanks guys, I feel better that I was kind of on the right track with what I was saying. I was in a room full of his family and I was invited over for dinner and I didn’t want to get to far into it. They are very respectful of my beliefs, very nice people, never have tried to get me to leave the Church and I would never label them as anti-Catholic or anything, so I only said the couple things about him being a Martyr and a hearer of John but I felt awful afterwards that I didn’t put up a better defense for a Martyr of the Church and of our Lord. But it sounds like after reading this that I had the right idea.

God bless


#13

At the time that St. Ignatius was writing his famous seven letters, he had already been arrested and was on his way to the Colloseum to be thrown to the lions. He already knew that he would be killed there. So, anything he wrote in those letters cannot have had anything to do with amassing power for himself - he was already well past any chance of using it for any kind of selfish gain.

See I knew this, why can’t I remember this stuff when I need it! This comment would have ended the conversation fast :shrug:

God bless


#14

Au Contraire!!! It sounds like the perfect retirement plan to me!!

The retirement benefits are heavenly!!!


#15

Yes, but only if it’s true. What gain would there be if it wasn’t actually true, as this person is claiming? :shrug:


#16

Yes, but you and I know…! :highprayer:


#17

This is why I am a Christian, and a Catholic, today, because those early Christians believed so strongly they were willing to die for their Faith.

I tried to explain to someone not so long ago that if I weren’t a Catholic, I wouldn’t be a Christian at all. She wanted me to consider being a Baptist. LOL


#18

I tried to explain to someone not so long ago that if I weren’t a Catholic, I wouldn’t be a Christian at all. She wanted me to consider being a Baptist. LOL

This is how I feel. People get the idea that you add something to protestantism by attacking Catholicism but it doesn’t work like that for me. If Catholicism were ever to be proven wrong (I obviously don’t see this happening), as far as I am concerned that person just proved Christianity wrong for me. This would mean that Hell would have prevailed even though Christ promised it wouldnt.

god bless


#19

I’ve heard stories about the Christians that were killed by the lions and tigers in the Roman Circus. There were reports of people in the stands that, after seeing the joy and serenity in the Christians as they faced their pending death, would jump into the circus to be eaten by the animals as well.

Wow!


#20

:eek: GREAT HORNY TOADS! I am gonna fall over in a dead faint!

Thank God for an honest man!

I’ve also seen many cults come along and use this line of argument to lend credence to their new winds of doctrine.
It is really strange, and totally fictitious.

Thank you for your kind and wise post.
Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.


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