Polycarp beliefs

Does anyone know how to debunked this ? Because I’ve read parts of his letters and I don’t remember anything of this

"Here is a summary of some of Polycarp’s beliefs and practices:

A Binitarian view, that acknowledged the Holy Spirit, was held by the apostolic and post-apostolic true Christian leaders, like Polycarp.
Hierarchical church governance was advocated by Polycarp.
The canon of the New Testament was known by Polycarp as he seemed to refer to all the books it in the famous Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians.
Christmas was not observed by Polycarp nor any professing Christ prior to the third century, or ever by those holding to early teachings.
Deification of Christians after the resurrection was taught by the early leaders of the Church, including Polycarp.
Easter per se was not observed by the apostolic church, and Polycarp fought against it.
The Fall Holy Days were observed by true early Christians, including Polycarp.
The Father was considered to be God by all early professing Christians, including Polycarp.
Polycarp taught against idols (and that would include icons).
Polycarp taught against the immortality of the soul.
Jesus was considered to be God by the true Christians, including Polycarp.
The Kingdom of God was taught by Polycarp.
Leavened Bread was removed from the homes of early Christians like Polycarp.
Lent was not observed by Polycarp.
Limbo was not taught by Polycarp.
Military Service was not allowed for true early Christians like Polycarp.
Millenarianism (a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth, often called the millennium) was taught by the early Christians who succeeded Polycarp.
Passover was kept on the 14th of Nisan Polycarp.
Purgatory was not taught by Polycarp.
The Resurrection of the dead was taught Polycarp.
The Sabbath was observed on Saturday by Polycarp.
The Ten Commandments were observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians, including Polycarp–and in the order that the Continuing Church of God claims they are in.

I am almost afraid to ask, but: what is the source of this nonsense?

You can read Polycarp’s writings here:

newadvent.org/fathers/index.html

A web search shows that the source is Herbert W. Armstrong’s ‘Worldwide Church of God’. It is just fantasy.

I think a clue comes from the last line: “in the order that the Continuing Church of God claims they are in.” <-- Why would anyone write that unless they were part of that church?

Here is one method of debunking it.

First, point out that this document cites no examples or quotes from his writings. It would be like me saying “C.S. Lewis held to Mithraist beliefs about the Eucharist, he believed in the reincarnation of Zoroaster before the End Times, and pianos, a satanic instrument, were avoided by all true Christians in C.S. Lewis’s time – C.S. Lewis included.” <-- I just made that all up, but it is indistinguishable from the bogus claims made by the Continuing Church of God author. Why are they indistinguishable? Because neither one provides sources. Neither one can, because it’s incorrect.

Second, this list can be divided into three categories: correct statements, contradictory statements, and statements that fall into the category of gratuitous assertion. (That’s where you make a general statement without backing it up with evidence, usually bigoted in nature. One example is “The Catholic Church has always been anti-science.” No evidence is provided, just a gratuitous assertion. That’s a fallacy and legitimate research does not work this way. This list about Polycarp contains several fallacies of gratuitous assertion.)

Here is a division into this list:

Correct statements
Hierarchical church governance was advocated by Polycarp – true because St. Polycarp teaches this in his Letter to the Philippians Chapters 5-6, which speak of “being subject to the presbyters and deacons,” and describes the duties of presbyters, including enjoining instructions on others (chapter 11). The Catholic Church still teaches this today.
Deification of Christians after the resurrection was taught by the early leaders of the Church, including Polycarp – true because he taught this using the word “glorified” in Chapter 3 of his Letter to the Philippians. The Catholic Church still teaches this today, when properly understood. (Like St. Polycarp, we tend to use the word “glorification” today rather than “deification,” but it’s the same concept so long as you understand that the blessed in heaven get to Share the divine nature, but do not become worthy of adoration as God.)
The Father was considered to be God by all early professing Christians, including Polycarp – true because St. Polycarp teaches this in his Letter to the Philippians Chapter 12: “…the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…” The Catholic Church still teaches this today.
Jesus was considered to be God by the true Christians, including Polycarp – true because St. Polycarp teaches this in the prayer he said before his execution: “I praise You for all things, I bless You, I glorify You, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, with whom, to You, and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen.” Martyrdom of Polycarp Chapter 14. The Catholic Church still teaches this today.
The Kingdom of God was taught by Polycarp - true because the Martyrdom of Polycarp, which was composed by his students and represents his teachings, mentions the Kingdom of God several times in Chapters 20-22, and he also mentions it in his Letter to the Philippians Chapters 2 and 5 (in quotations from the New Testament). The Catholic Church still teaches this today.
Passover was kept on the 14th of Nisan [by] Polycarp – true because St. Irenaeus, who knew St. Polycarp personally, mentions that St. Polycarp observed Easter (which was called Passover) on the same day as the Jews. (This is in St. Irenaeus’s letter to Pope St. Victor, the text of which is included in Eusebius’s Church History Book 5 Chapter 24.) St. Polycarp also indicated that it was okay to celebrate it when the pope did, which was not on the 14th of Nisan but always on the nearest Sunday to that. The fact that he was okay with this is mentioned by St. Irenaeus in the same document which discusses St. Polycarp’s custom of observing Easter on the 14th of Nisan. The Catholic Church still allows Eastern churches to follow a different custom from the pope on this subject. (In fact, this is a great early example of the distinction between doctrines and disciplines: there was only a Discipline regarding when to celebrate Easter/Passover, but on matters of Faith there was no disagreement.)
The Resurrection of the dead was taught Polycarp - true because he very strongly condemns the opinion that there is no resurrection in his Letter to the Philippians Chapter 7. Also, he mentions the resurrection of the dead in Chapter 2 of his Letter to the Philippians and in the prayer he said before his execution. (Martyrdom of Polycarp Chapter 14) The Catholic Church still teaches this today.
The Ten Commandments were observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians, including Polycarp – true because he mentions keeping the Ten Commandments in his Letter to the Philippians Chapter 4. The Catholic Church still teaches this today.

Contradictory statements
A Binitarian view, that acknowledged the Holy Spirit, was held by the apostolic and post-apostolic true Christian leaders, like Polycarp – not true because St. Polycarp contradicts this view in the prayer he said before his execution, as recorded in Martyrdom of Polycarp Chapter 14. The divinity of the Holy Spirit is also taught in Chapter 22 of the Martyrdom of Polycarp, which was composed by his students and represents his teachings.

[cont’d next post]

[Cont’d from last post]

Easter per se was not observed by the apostolic church, and Polycarp fought against it – not true because St. Polycarp did observe Easter. This is mentioned by St. Irenaeus, who knew St. Polycarp personally, in his letter to Pope St. Victor, the text of which is included in Eusebius’s Church History Book 5 Chapter 24.
Polycarp taught against the immortality of the soul – not true because the immortality of the soul is taught in Chapter 19 of the Martyrdom of Polycarp, which was composed by his students and represents his teachings.

Gratuitous Assertions
The canon of the New Testament was known by Polycarp because he seemed to refer to all the books it in the famous Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians – actually he does not cite John, Colossians, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 2 John, 3 John, or Revelation. Also, he cites the Book of Tobit as Scripture in Chapter 10 of his Letter to the Philippians, so this is evidence for Catholicism.
Christmas was not observed by Polycarp nor any professing Christ prior to the third century, or ever by those holding to early teachings – not only does this commit the fallacy of gratuitous assertion, but St. Polycarp says nothing about whether or not Christmas existed.
The Fall Holy Days were observed by true early Christians, including Polycarp – this commits the fallacy of gratuitous assertion because it is asserted without supporting evidence of any kind. However, St. Polycarp did observe some Holy Days. Easter was one, as mentioned earlier, and the day of his own death became a Holy Day as recorded in the Martyrdom of Polycarp Chapter 18. The Catholic Church still keeps both of these Holy Days to this day.
Polycarp taught against idols (and that would include icons) – this is a fallacy of gratuitous assertion because it is asserted without providing any evidence that icons would be included as idols.
Leavened Bread was removed from the homes of early Christians like Polycarp – this is a fallacy of gratuitous assertion because it is asserted without providing any evidence. Also, neither Polycarp nor the Martyrdom of Polycarp ever mentions leavened or unleavened bread.
Lent was not observed by Polycarp – this is a fallacy of gratuitous assertion because it is asserted without providing any evidence. Also, there is indirect evidence that St. Polycarp observed Lent, because he is one of the examples St. Irenaeus gives in his letter to Pope St. Victor of the diverse ways that people celebrated Easter in various parts of the world…and St. Irenaeus mentions that part of this diversity was the different ways people observed Lent. (This is in St. Irenaeus’s letter to Pope St. Victor, the text of which is included in Eusebius’s Church History Book 5 Chapter 24.)
Limbo was not taught by Polycarp – this is a fallacy of gratuitous assertion because it is asserted without providing any evidence. Also, the Catholic Church has never taught Limbo and still does not to this day, though Catholics are permitted to believe in it if they want (and were allowed to in St. Polycarp’s time as well).
Military Service was not allowed for true early Christians like Polycarp – this is a fallacy of gratuitous assertion because it is asserted without providing any evidence.
Millenarianism (a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth, often called the millennium) was taught by the early Christians who succeeded Polycarp – this is a fallacy of gratuitous assertion because it is asserted without providing any evidence.
Purgatory was not taught by Polycarp – this is a fallacy of gratuitous assertion because it is asserted without providing any evidence.
The Sabbath was observed on Saturday by Polycarp – this is a fallacy of gratuitous assertion because it is asserted without providing any evidence.
The Ten Commandments were observed by…Polycarp…in the order that the Continuing Church of God claims they are in – this is a fallacy of gratuitous assertion because it is asserted without providing any evidence.

Lastly, I’d like to note all the DOCUMENTED ways in which St. Polycarp taught Catholic stuff.

Catholic stuff in St. Polycarp’s teachings
The Name “Catholic” – this appears as the name of the Church in Chapters 8, 16, and 19, and in the Greeting, of the Martyrdom of Polycarp, which was composed by his students and represents his teachings.
Holy Days – these were observed by Polycarp as documented above.
Ongoing Miracles – these were believed in by Polycarp and are mentioned in Chapters 15-16 of The Martyrdom of Polycarp, which was composed by his students and represents his teachings.
Private Revelation – St. Polycarp had private revelations which are mentioned in chapter 5 of The Martyrdom of Polycarp, which was composed by his students and represents his teachings.
Hell – St. Polycarp believed in hell because it is mentioned in Chapter 2 of The Martyrdom of Polycarp, which was composed by his students and represents his teachings.
The Three Persons of the Trinity – all three Persons of the Trinity were worshiped by St. Polycarp as is documented above.
The Canon of Scripture – he believed in the inspiration of the Book of Tobit as is documented above.
Offering Penances for Self and Others – he mentions this in his Letter to the Philippians Chapter 7.
The Resurrection of the Body – he believed in the resurrection as is documented above.
The Antichrist – he professes the Catholic view of the antichrist in his Letter to the Philippians Chapter 7.

With all that Catholic stuff, why don’t these guys who like St. Polycarp so much join the Church he was in???

Here are his writings

[LIST]
*] Polycarp [SAINT]
[/LIST]

Re: Binitarian

That not only denies God is Trinity of persons but it denies what Polycarp actually wrote. After that I didn’t bother to read the rest of what they believe.

From the ***"***The Martyrdom of Polycarp"

**Chapter 22. Salutation (all emphasis mine)
**

We wish you, brethren, all happiness, while you walk according to the doctrine of the Gospel of **Jesus Christ **with whom be glory of God the Father and the Holy Spirit, for the salvation of His holy elect after whose example the blessed Polycarp suffered, following in whose steps may we too be found in the kingdom of Jesus Christ …I have collected these things, when they had almost faded away through the lapse of time, that the Lord Jesus Christ may also gather me along with His elect into His heavenly kingdom, to whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

There were indeed some early Christians who taught Millenarianism. St Justin Martyr, for instance, writing about 155, was himself a supporter of Millenarianism but he said there were other true Christians who did not share his opinion. (St Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, chapter 80) Because of this diversity of opinions on the subject among early Christians, one can only conclude that it was never a defined article of the Christian faith. In the Western Church, the matter seems to have remained unsettled until the time of St Augustine of Hippo. St Augustine, an early supporter of Millenarianism, later rejected it as being incompatible with the Church’s teaching that there will be only one universal resurrection from the dead followed immediately by the final judgment. Since then, because St. Augustine’s arguments against it were apparently so convincing, Millenarianism has found few supporters in the Western Church. (source)

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