28 June 2005

Witchhunt for Invocations of Irenaeus

Irenaeus: Are they Invoking You?

June 28: Feast of Iranaeus, Bishop of Lyons. As I read the description this morning in my handy Lesser Feasts and Fasts, I visualized Bishop I traipsing around Europe, defending Orthodoxy against the threats of Montanism and Gnositicism, helping to excommunicate the heretical bishops of Rome and elsewhere to protect the Church and Her God.

Are there traveling theologians in our Anglican Communion who see themselves as modern Irenaeii? Circling and networking with their theological bedfellows, no matter how they arrived at their same conclusions (read: strict definition of who can comprise a family, a single tradition of biblical interpretation, false assertions of "hate the sin, love the sinner").

In Lesser Feasts and Fasts, we are invited to laud the militant defense against "every blast of vain doctrine." I'm no gnostic or montanist, but what might I be in the eyes of the current orthodox army? It is a humbling, and yet inspiring question. If Bishops of the 3rd century were Montanists and Gnostics, what are the Bishops of the 21st? Relativists, Revisionists? All this grants orthodoxy to the establishment. Really, is that so far off? What can we assume is meant by the "true religion" to which Irenaeus so tenaciously clung?

PRAYER for Irenaeus (contemporary language) -- Almighty God, who upheld your servant Irenaeus with strength to maintain the truth against every blast of vain doctrine: Keep us, we pray, steadfast in your true religion, that in constancy and peace we may walk in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


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