Arius’ Airings // Council Day 4

The canon on the reentry of the lapsed passed without excessive conflict. Coming into this last Council session, I had no serious opinion on whether the lapsed should be allowed back into the Church and what punishment if any should be given. I was swayed throughout the Council by both sides. However, the argument for allowing full forgiveness persuaded me more so. I find value in the words that Jesus Christ spoke to his disciples and to those around him while he was on earth. Hence why the Gospel of Thomas is so important to me. Therefore, if Jesus tells his disciples to forgive seventy times seven, then let us forgive the lapsed that many times as well. It was a pleasant, yet frightening change of pace to side with Alexander and his position on the lapsed. I likely will not find agreement with him in further discussions, but in regards to a position that I did not feel too strongly one way or the other, there was no harm done. The canon that eventually passed unanimously, I agree with wholeheartedly. Although I originally voted against a punishment for the lapsed, I find that having the lapsed re-baptized is a win-win for everyone. It can be seen as a consequence for their failure to hold up their faith, but also as a privilege that they get to reaffirm their faith through baptism. Baptism is a sacred act and should not be viewed as shameful. In a sense, it allows the lapsed to truly think about what they did wrong and reconsider their faith, which is something that was important to Augustine. I am pleased that we were able to come quickly and efficiently to a consensus on this canon.

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