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Keep from Idols

Tertullian | August 18

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. —1 John 5:21

When the apostle Paul commands, “Flee idolatry,” he certainly means everything related to Idolatry. Think about how many thorns are hidden in idolatry—what a thicket it is. Nothing must be given to an idol, nothing must be taken from one. If it is inconsistent with faith to recline in an idol’s temple, what is it to appear in an idol’s dress? What communion have Christ and Belial? Therefore flee from it, for John urges us to keep at a distance from idolatry— to have no close dealings of any kind with it. Even an earth­ly serpent sucks in men at some distance with its breath. Going still further, John says, “My little children, keep yourselves from idols,”— not now from idolatry, as if from the service of it, but from idols— that is, from any resemblance to them, for it is an unworthy thing that you, the image of the living God, should become the like­ness of an idol and a dead man.


All Scripture references are taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version. Excerpts from the early Church Fathers are in the public domain, but were organized and arranged for daily reading in Day by Day with the Early Church Fathers, © 1999 by Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts. (No longer in print). Used by permission and in accordance with sections 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5 of Hendrickson’s “Rights and Permissions”. All rights reserved.

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