Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ig: Warning against Vain Doctrine

He finishes his letter to the Magnesians by his constant appeal to beware of false doctrine.  It creeps into the church and compromises with non-believers who may be wise but who do not have Christ's hope.  Without Christ's hope, they have no hope.  He gives a few creeds to remind them of the true doctrine.

Ignatius did have this hope because it was no problem to face wild beasts in an arena.  He ends his letter saying, "I am not worthy to be called bishop."  As much as he calls the churches in his addresses to follow their bishop, he does not demand people treat him as a bishop. 

Then, he starts his letter to the Trallians.  Tralles is now the city of Aydin in Turkey.  It was in the region of Lydia and was controlled by the Greeks until it was captured by Persia and later the Turks.

In the letter to the Trallians, Ignatius continues his usual chorus of being subject to the bishop and do nothing without him.  Be subject to the presbyters, too, as they rule the church.  Christ does nothing without the Father, and so we should do nothing without the bishop.  The person who does is not pure of conscience.

Mostly he focuses on his impending execution.  He struggles to not perish through boasting and remembering he is not worthy to die as a martyr to the Lord.  He reminds the people of the reason for his death: because Christ truly died and truly came back to life.  "If he only seemed to suffer then why am I in bonds?"  Because Christ conquered death and hell, so can Ignatius and all other people who stand up for Christ's exclusive right to be worshiped and revered.

No comments:

Post a Comment