On the Existence of Heresy

St. John Chrysostom ca. 349-407
 
If any now takes offense at the existence of heretics, let him remember that it was so from the beginning, the devil always setting up error by the side of truth. God from the beginning promised good, the devil came too with a promise. God planted Paradise, the devil deceived, saying, You shall be as gods. Gen. 3:5 For as he could show nothing in actions, he made the more promises in words. Such is the character of deceivers. After this were Cain andAbel, then the sons of Seth and the daughters of men; afterwards Ham and Japhet, Abraham and Pharaoh, Jacob and Esau; and so it is even to the end, Moses and the magicians, the Prophets and the false prophets, theApostles and the false apostles, Christ and Antichrist. Thus it was then, both before and at that time. Then there wasTheudas, then Simon, then were the Apostles, then too this party of Hermogenes and Philetus. In short, there was notime when falsehood was not set up in opposition to truth. Let us not therefore be distressed. That it would be so, was foretold from the beginning. Therefore he says, Know that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud,blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection. The unthankful then is unholy, and this is natural, for what will he be to others, who is not grateful to his benefactor? The unthankful man is a truce-breaker, he is without natural affection. (Homily 8 on 2 Timothy)

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