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Question
Hello! What about this statment?

"...there are sins too ruinous, and too serious to receive pardon. Such are murder, idolatry, fraud, denial of Christ, blasphemy, and of course adultery and fornication...Christ will no more intercede for those: he who has been born of God will never commit them: if he has committed them he will not be a son of God." ?? Tertullian AD 200

what do you make of this statment by tertullian?? its hard to believe.

Answer
Hi Josh,
You need to keep Tertuillian's statement in context so as to understand where he's coming from.  This is not to say that one has to agree with such  a teaching
( of which I do not). His statement is based on his belief about Baptism. In fact, his belief is based on the teachings of the early Church Fathers - not the Bible!

The apostles taught that a person could be baptized immediately upon profession of faith. The Church Fathers set up their own rules and with a power grab, decided the person had to 'prepare' for baptism (fast & pray), for how long- who knows.  The Bishop was now the judge over you.  He would decide when and if you we're acceptable for baptism.

Tertullian was coming from another false teaching. The Church Fathers  decided that a person was NOT 'born again'  when they first believed! In Jesus, but only when they got baptized.  So, the Church Fathers, impressed by their own intellect and power, set themselves up as judge and jury. Only after the Bishop was pleased with your repentance, was it possible to be 'born again'.

Tertullian was a member of this select group, So he had a few thoughts on the subject. This is where his list of those who were not worthy came in.  He said the unwed, the virgins, the widowed- all were subject to temptation ( especially sexual temptation).  Baptism was now so serious, in their minds), that the person must be considered to be 'beyond' the possibility of these sins before they can receive it.  Coming from this belief, Tertullian  felt that there are ' sins so ruinous, and so serious, as to not receive pardon' from our Lord and Savior.  Baptism, as the Church Fathers understood and believed, only covered past sins.
As a result, Tertuillian's believed a true believer would never, could never, commit the sins that are so horrible.  And of course, the Bishop, NOT God, would make that judgment call.

What do I think of this kind of teaching?  Words fail me.  It's always sad to see or hear Man usurp God.  Man gets tripped up in his own intellect and forgets he is the 'created' not the Creator.  But there is justice in the end - "Every knee shall bow."

I hope this is helpful to you, my friend.
Rev. Ramona Stonecipher

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Reverend Ramona C. Stonecipher

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As a Pastor,and Bible scholar, I can help you find answers to questions of faith. We can explore the power of prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. I can help you cultivate a personal relationship with Jesus, the Christ of God. While I alone, can't solve your problems, I can lead you to the One who can. I can't make you believe, or have faith, but I can plant the seeds of faith and introduce you to the One who is the Gardener. I can also tell you, and show you, that God loves you, and our God is a God of second chances. I hope you'll accept my invitation to walk the Damascus Road together__. Welcome.

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35 35+ years teaching Biblical Studies 30 years preaching the Word of God 30+ years Public Speaking (Spiritual Retreats & Worship Experiences) Counselor, Suicide Prevention, Kansas City, Missouri

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Concerned Women of America

Education/Credentials
Ordained Minister: United Methodist Graduate: Saint Paul School of Theology, Kansas City, Missouri *Masters Degree in Theology *Bible Scholar/Teacher/Speaker CPA Degree, Baptist Medical Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri Graduate: University of Nebraska Graduate Studies: Fairleigh Dickenson University, New Jersey (Psychology)

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Harry Denman Evangelical Award Who's Who American Colleges and Universities 1982

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