Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pride makes you susceptible to heresy

Something to ponder from Augustine (Confessions, Oxford World's Classics, p. 40) concerning the inner disposition of soul that opens one up to heresies.

Notice also that recurring theme of false meanings fixed to sound words. Heretics always use orthodox Biblical and creedal words but they ascribe to those words theological content alien to the teaching of Scripture:
My inflated conceit shunned the Bible's restraint, and my gaze never penetrated its inwardness.

Yet the Bible was composed in such a way that as beginners mature, its meaning grows with them. I disdained to be a little beginner.

Puffed up with pride, I considered myself a mature adult.

That explains why I fell in with men proud of their slick talk, very earthly minded and loquacious.

In their mouths were the devil's traps and a birdline compounded of a mixture of the mere syllables of your name, and that of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that of the Paraclete.

These names were never absent from their lips; but it was no more than sound and noise with their tongue. Otherwise their heart was empty of truth.

They used to say 'Truth, truth', and they had a lot to tell me about it; but there was never any truth in them. They uttered false statements not only about you who really are the Truth, but also about the elements of the world, your creation.

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