Rebuttal of a Church Father, Origen of Alexandria
By Christine Egbert
The Greek theologian Origen of Alexandria (185-254 A.D.), also known as Origen Adamantius, is called the “greatest genius the early church ever produced.” Joseph Ratzinger, known best as Pope Benedictus XVI, on April 4th, 2007, in his meditations on the great figures of the early Church, said, “Origen of Alexandria was a figure crucial to the whole development of Christian thought.”
Tragically, I agree! Origen was indeed crucial in the development of Christian thought during the second and third centuries. AND that is the PROBLEM! Origen paved the way for Roman Emperor Constantine, in the 4th century to divorce believers in Israel’s Messiah from the Hebraic roots of their faith, creating a whole new system. In his address on April 4th, 2007, the Pope went on to declare, “He (Origen) gathered up the legacy of Clement of Alexandria … and launched it for the future in a way so innovative that he impressed an irreversible turning point on the development of Christian thought.”
Who was Clemet of Alexandria? He was another Greek! According to historians, Clemet of Alexandria (whose legacy Origen gathered and launched into the future, thereby creating an irreversible turning point on the development of Christian thought) was influenced by Hellenistic philosophy more than any other Christian thinker of his day. What in Origen’s theology created this irreversible turning point in Christian thought? The answer can be found in many of his writings:
“Hence we may see how after the advent of Jesus the Jews have been entirely forsaken, and retain none of their traditionally sacred possessions, nor even a hint of the divine presence among them.”
“For how was the Bridegroom, the Logos, not going to leave the adulterous generation and depart from it? But you might say that the Logos of God, leaving the synagogue of the Jews as adulterous, departed from it, and took a wife of fornication, namely, those from the Gentiles.”
“When (God) rejected Israel, grace was poured out on the Gentiles. The calling of the Gentiles took its start from the fall of Israel.”
“We may thus assert in utter confidence that the Jews will not return to their earlier situation, for they have committed the most abominable of crimes, in forming this conspiracy against the Savior of the human race…hence the city where Jesus suffered was necessarily destroyed, the Jewish nation was driven from its country, and another people was called by God to the blessed election.”
Origen’s unbiblical, antisemitic rhetoric, as well as that of many other so-called Church Fathers, severed Christians, followers of Israel’s Jewish Messiah, from the biblical Hebraic roots of their faith.
What Does Scripture Say?
In rebuttal to Origen, “the greatest genius the early Church ever produced”, who “asserted in utter confidence that the Jews will not return to their earlier situation” I will quote Scripture itself, for God is not a man that He should lie.
Amos 9:14-15 And I will turn the captivity of my people of Israel, and they will rebuild the waste cities and inhabit them. They will plant vineyards and drink the wine. They shall make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant them on their land, and they will never again be plucked up out of the land that I have given to them.” YHVH, your God, has said it.
If his sons (Israel) forsake My TORAH, and do not walk in My judgments; if they profane My statutes and do not keep My commandments, then I will visit their transgressions with the rod, and their sins with stripes. But I will not annul My mercy from him, and I will not be false in My faithfulness. I will not profane My covenant, nor change what goes from My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. His Seed (Israel) shall be forever, and his throne as the sun before Me. Like the moon, it shall be forever; and a faithful witness in the sky.
I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn and grow as the vine. The scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.
Jeremiah 30:24 & 31:1-10
The glow of Jehovah’s anger will not turn back until He has executed, and until He has established the purposes of His heart. In latter days you will understand it. At that time, says Jehovah, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people. So says Jehovah, Israel, the people, the survivors of the sword, have found grace in the wilderness, I will go to give rest to him. Jehovah has appeared to me from far away, saying, Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love! On account of this, with loving kindness I have drawn you. Again I will build you, and you shall be built again, O virgin of Israel. You will again put on your tambourines and go forth in the dance of those making merry. You shall yet plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria, the planters shall plant and shall treat them as common. For there shall be a day when the watchmen on Ephraim’s hills shall call out, Arise and let us go up to Zion, to Jehovah our God.
“For so says Jehovah, Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the head of the nations. Cry out, give praise and say, ‘O YHVH, save Your people, the remnant of Israel.’ Behold! I will bring them from the north country and gather them from the recesses of the earth. Among them the blind, and the lame, the pregnant one, and the travailing one together, a great company shall return here. They shall come with weeping, and I will lead them with prayers. I will cause them to walk by rivers of waters, in a right way; they will not stumble in it.
For I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is My first-born. Hear the Word of Jehovah, O nations, and declare in the coastlands far away, and say, ‘He Who scattered Israel will gather him and keep him, as a shepherd keeps his flock. For Jehovah has redeemed Jacob and ransomed him from the hand of the one stronger than him.’”
For I am to Ephraim as the lion, and as the young lion to the house of Judah; I, even I, tear and go; I take away, and no one rescues. I will go; I will return to My place until they confess their guilt and seek My face. In their affliction, they will seek Me diligently.
In that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the SECOND time to recover the remnant of his people (Israel)…And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.
“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Thus saith the LORD, who gives the sun for a light by day and the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who divides the sea when the waves roar; YHVH of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, says YHVH, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. Thus, says YHVH, If heaven above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, then I will cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says YHVH.”
The TRUTH is this: Many of the departures from Apostolic doctrine enacted by Gentiles during the 2nd through the 4th centuries, although accepted by mainstream Christianity as foundational to the Christian faith, are glaring departures from Biblical truth! The Catholic Church’s reactionary, anti-Semitic trajectory severed Christianity from its God-ordained form. Motivated by pure hatred for the Jewish people, Church Fathers distanced their followers from everything they associated with being Jewish, even those instructions ordained by the Most High Himself.
We followers of Israel’s Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, have ears to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying: “Come out of her My people!” As the prophet Jeremiah long ago foretold would happen, we in the nations are crying out, “YHVH, my strength, my stronghold, You are our refuge in the day of affliction. From the ends of the earth, we return to YOU declaring, “Our (CHURCH) fathers have inherited nothing but lies, futility, and useless things!” (Jeremiah 16:19)