When discussing theology, I've come to realize that not only is personal study of doctrine a necessary component to faith, but it is something that shouldn't be kept to oneself. I want to share my journey, both past and ongoing, into the realm of theology. Through this, I hope that you will gain insight into the Christian faith as a whole. Before reading anything else, I suggest you read the introduction and definitions (found in the pages tabs above) so you may better understand where I am coming from in everything I write. Because many of my posts are on heresies, there is also a page above with a family tree of heresies and links to all the posts I have so far on the topic.

02 April, 2013

Heresy of the Week: Donatism

I'd consider this week's heresy to be a precursor to pietism and the Anabaptists, but that's just me.  
Donatism is a North African (Tunisia and Algeria-area) heresy of the 4th and 5th centuries. Donatists, like their predecessors of the Novatianism flavor, were rigorists (practicing Asceticism, and filled with Legalism) and held that the church must be one of saints, not sinners. It was considered that Sacraments performed by those deemed unworthy (the traditores—those who gave up the Scriptures to the authorities, turned over other Christians or gave incense offerings to Roman Gods to save their lives from martyrdom by the state, or those living with a great enough sin) were not valid—they even began to practice re-baptism of those baptized by “unworthy” individuals. They in particular revered martyrs and martyrdom. Donatism was condemned in 314 Synod of Aries, because by denying the Sacraments performed by some ordained bishops and priests, they were denying the authority of the Church. This heresy survived until the Arab conquest of North Africa in the 7th and 8th centuries.

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