Tertullian on Idolatry

The seduction of idolatry.

The early Church Father Tertullian (c. 160-c. 220 AD) was raised in Carthage and was an apologist of the early church who fought against the heresy of Marcion as well as Christian Gnosticism. In his writings “On Idolatry” he wrote,

“The principal crime of the human race, the highest guilt charged upon the world, the whole procuring cause of judgment, is idolatry.

Set aside names, examine works, the idolater is likewise a murderer. Do you inquire whom he has slain? If it contributes ought to the aggravation of the indictment, no stranger nor personal enemy, but his own self. By what snares? Those of his error. By what weapon? The offense done to God. By how many blows?

The essence of fraud, I take it, is, that any should seize what is another’s, or refuse to another his due; and, of course, fraud done toward man is a name of greatest crime. Well, but idolatry does fraud to God, by refusing to Him, and conferring on others, His honours .”

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James and Elizabeth Stephens

James and Elizabeth Stephens presently live in Southern California and have been married since 1978. In 1999, James completed a MA in Intercultural Studies specializing in Leadership Development and in 2010 Elizabeth completed an Associate in Science in Business Information Technology.

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