One of my favorite books is The Life of St. Antony by Athanasius.  It is not a long read, but chock-full of fascinating stories.  It is hard to know whether all the stories are true, but one thing is clear: there is much wisdom in it.

We modern-day Christians tend to think heretics pose the primary danger to a church’s integrity, but St. Antony added another category: schismatics.  These are folks who may be orthodox in doctrine, but divisive and so not committed to “preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:3)

Here is some of St. Antony’s last counsel to fellow monks.  By the way, St. Antony was nearly 105 years old!

“Don’t grow idle in your labors.  Live as though dying daily.  Stay away from heretics like the Arians and stay away from schismatics.”

(The Life of St. Antony by Athanasius)

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