And their word will eat as does a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
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Alexander of Alexandria
And indeed, although we grieve at the destruction of these men, especially that after having once learned the doctrine of the Church, they have now gone back; yet we do not wonder at it; for this very thing Hymenaeus and Philetus suffered,
And what they now write proceeds not from any regard for the truth, as I said before, but rather they do it as in mockery and by a subterfuge, for the purpose of deceiving others. They hope that by sending about their letters they may engage the ears of the people to listen to these notions and so put off the time when they will be brought to trial. By concealing their impiety from observation, they try to make room to extend their heresy, which, “like a gangrene,” eats its way everywhere.
“Let the wickedness of sinners be brought to nought.” He who says this prayer is obviously a disciple of the evangelical precepts. He prays for those who treat him maliciously, asking that the wickedness of the sinners be circumscribed by a definite limit and boundary. Just as if someone, when praying for those who are suffering in body, would say, “Let the disease of those who are suffering come to an end.” In order that the sin slowly creeping farther may not spread like cancer, since he loves his enemy and wishes to do good to those who hate him, and for this reason prays for those who treat him maliciously, he begs of God that the further outpouring of sin may cease and have definite bounds.
From such men come those who, without divine appointment, set themselves over their rash associates, make themselves prelates without any lawful ordination and call themselves bishops though no one gives them a bishopric. The Holy Spirit portrays them in the Psalms “sitting in the seat of pestilence,” plagues and blights to faith, snakemouthed traitors, scheming to pervert truth, spewing deadly poisons from their pestiferous tongues. Their words “spread like a canker.” Their teaching pours fatal venom into men’s hearts and breasts.
But if we consider what the apostles thought about heretics, we shall find that they, in all their epistles, execrated and detested the sacrilegious wickedness of heretics. For when they say that "their word creeps as a canker".
Flee from such men as much as you can; avoid with a wholesome caution those who adhere to their mischievous contact. Their word doth eat as doth a cancer;.
Also in the second to Timothy: "Their word doth creep as a canker."
Rom being able to raise the dead, as the Lord raised them, and the apostles did by means of prayer, and as has been frequently done in the brotherhood on account of some necessity-the entire Church in that particular locality entreating
It is an evil not to be restrained, not curable by any medicine, it destroys the whole frame. He shows that novelty of doctrine is a disease, and worse than a disease. And here he implies that they are incorrigible, and that they erred not weakly but willfully.
To deceive the first human beings, the devil claimed the serpent as his tool. So to seduce the hearts of orthodox, he armed the tongues of these with the poison of his falsehood. With pastoral care, however, we oppose these snares, dearly beloved, to the extent that the Lord helps us. To prevent any of the holy flock from perishing, we advise you with fatherly admonitions to turn away from “wicked lips and treacherous tongue,” from which the prophet asks that his soul “be kept free,” since “their talk crawls like a crab,” as the blessed apostle said. They creep in low to the ground, take hold softly, squeeze gently and kill undetected.