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Frank1
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Donatism
Dec 2nd, 2018 at 11:35pm
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So I have begun to study St. Augustine and one of the things Augustine fought throughout his life as a church leader was the Donatist heresy.

This heresy began when some members of the early church refused to except back into the fold church members who had denied Christ under the threat of Roman persecution.

The Donatists especially did not want to take communion or direction from priests and Bishops who had been accepted back into the church after temporarily withdrawing under the threat of persecution.

This view was eventually declared heretical by the wider church, who said the Donatists were denying the mercy of God.  Donatism was especially strong in N. Africa, which is where St. Augustine lived and worked and thus he dealt with these heretics on a regular basis.

Now, though a heresy might die out as a unified movement the tendencies that led to particular heresies may often still exist among separated individuals.

For instance, the type of person who leaves church because they think the other members of the church are not holy enough is in some way commiting the error of the Donatists.  We do not go to church because we believe the other people in church are perfect, or because we believe our minister is perfect.  As long as they are trying to better themselves in Christ, as long as they accept the fundamental precepts of the church, they are members, in spite of their failings. 

What should discourage one far more than an individuals failings is heresy.  For example, if I find out one of the members of my church gets drunk and gambles every Saturday, but then find out another, who seems totally upright, supports homosexual marriage, I should be far more bothered by the one who supports gay marriage, in spite of his otherwise good behavior.  Both of these people need to change, but one simply needs to improve personal behavior while the other has imbibed heretical ideas, which may do far more damage in the long run both to that individual and to those he comes in contact with.

The basic Donatist tendency is to focus on the personal failings of church members and leaders.

  


Christ Pantocrator

To say homo sapiens, is to say Homo religiosus; there is no man without God. ~Frithjof Schuon
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fair-minded know it all
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Re: Donatism
Reply #1 - Dec 8th, 2018 at 11:11am
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We had an interesting Sunday school class concerning this movement. 
  

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