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Flip Special
01-09-02, 12:25 PM
Hi Everyone! I'm brand spankin' new here, and I'm excited to meet new people and hopefully grow deeper in my walk with Christ.

I recently stumbled across an article which called the Roman Catholic church a cult. Although I do believe that the Catholic church is way off in many areas, I've never before heard it called a cult! I have some friends who are deeply committed Christians who happen to be Catholic, so I do not believe that all Catholics are lost.

Any opinions on the matter?

Christ_†_Alone
01-09-02, 01:56 PM
Greetings Flip, welcome to the zoo :D just kidding (love the Barney Rubble, by the way, he's very hip)...

Roman Catholicism a cult? YES, I do believe the system is quite cultish indeed.

When folks think of cults, then tend to think of some far out, wacked out group of bran eatin' politically bizarre folk in the hills somewhere (okay, so maybe that's just me, but you get the point).

Fact of the matter is, that's not really what a cult is. While that does loosely define one, so also does this:

Any religious organization that departs from Biblical Christianity.
Any religious group centered around a man or system, and not Jesus Christ.
Any religious group that promotes it's own writings and teachings over and above, and/or being on equal ground with Holy Scripture.

If you, or anyone else have ever been able to take the time to really study the teachings of the RC church, you'll find that they do indeed meet the definition of a cult.

Are there true, born again, blood bought, sold out for Jesus Christ believers, within the Catholic church? I have no idea, the only ones I've ever met that fit that description, LEAVE the Catholic church.

Same applies to folks that fit that description who also leave the JW organization, and the Mormon cult, and Eckankar, and any other cult out there. And they all say pretty much the same thing - once their eyes were opened to the false doctrines being taught, they could no longer stay (which makes perfect sense to me).

Just because I've never met a Biblical Christian that was indeed inside one of these groups, does not mean they aren't there, it just means I've never met one.

Debbiek
01-14-02, 09:45 AM
In my opinion most Christian denominations have faults which are not biblical. BUt having studied cults, I can assuredly tell you that none of these Christian denominations I am thinking of, including Catholic, are "cults". The Catholics just have more faults, according to scripture. A cult does not profess that JEsus Christ was the only begotten Son of God, who died on the cross for our sins, & rose from the dead. Catholics believe it!! I recently found out that JEhovah's Witnesses do not believe it, therefore they are a cult.

Flip Special
01-14-02, 11:12 AM
Debbiek, I haven't even looked up the definition of "cult," but I'm curious if you have. Do you believe that the making of a cult within the church deals only with that of Jesus' identity? It makes sense to me - I just want to get my mind straight on the matter. That word, 'cult' just scares me enough to want to be sure I know to what I throw the term at!!

So many things bother me about the Catholic church. Where do they get some of the things they teach? And, why in the world do they call their priests "Father"? Oof-da that bugs me!! Another major prob I have is that they believe that they are the only 'True' church, and that all other denom's will not be saved.

Christ _ Alone, I like what you said, that most born-again Christians who are Catholic do leave the church. It makes sense to me. In fact, I don't know why they would even want to stay in such a "dry" environment! When one becomes born-again, it seems to me that they would desire Charasmatic praise and worship. Maybe not all, but it seems to fit.

Debbiek
01-14-02, 11:57 AM
Very good points Flip & I'm with you on this. But not all Christians are Charismatic, and some Catholics ARE charismatic. I dont derive my definition of a cult from a dictionary. I have studied/joined cults in the past & I know what separates them from us=Jesus. So my definition is from personal experience. THe Catholic religion believes they are on the right church grounds because their church is built on site where Peter started his church. BUt the spot of dirt the church is built on is irrelevant, so I guess they consider the Pope an appointed apostle. There are 2 threads about false doctrine & deception & defilement under theology. I also want to know what things are not acceptable, according to Scripture. I have no quarrel with the catholics & other Christian denominations having faults, unless they add to or take away from scripture or Jesus or salvation. SOme matters are clear, some are debateable & circular. But I'm still studying the matter myself. I enjoy this scripture on the subject of these minor church faults: Romans 14:22 (NCV)- "Your beliefs about these things should be kept secret between you and God. People are happy if they can do what they think is right without feeling guilty".

Brandan
01-14-02, 12:08 PM
Catholicism is a cult because it teaches you are saved by works, and not grace alone / faith alone. They teach that you are saved by the grace of God plus works.

Catholics also teach that you have to be Catholic in order to be saved. Is that not an addition to the finished work of Christ?

Debbiek
01-14-02, 12:31 PM
I was raised Catholic ,years before I was born again, & I was never taught, nor was either of those things insinuated to me. They believe that a Christian SHOULD do good works for others & scripture backs this up. Your website here is a good works, but you are not doing it to gain salvation. HOnestly, they don't teach that.

Brandan
01-14-02, 01:50 PM
From Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994)

1129. The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation" (emphasis in original). [Sacraments are "necessary for salvation?" I think not.]

1213. .... Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: 'Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.'

1227. .... Through the Holy Spirit, Baptism is a bath that purifies, justifies, and sanctifies.

[Hmmm, Baptismal regeneration?]

1459. .... Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused. Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must 'make satisfaction for' or 'expiate' his sins. This satisfaction is also called 'penance.' [See! Works needed to "expiate" sins.]

I believe the above comments by the Vatican are enough to confirm them as heretics in my opinion.

Debbiek
01-15-02, 09:07 AM
Ah, penance yes is wrong . It's not the same as doing good for the needy. The sacrements, as they call them, are like baptism , communion, & marriage. Catholics believe in 3 types of baptism. Water is only one. For example, faith in Jesus, through grace is salvation, and if a person is on their deathbed & no water is near, they can still go to heaven & are considered baptized by fire/faith/holy Spirit, one of those I think ,it's been a long time. To say that a fornicator could go to heaven without the sacrement of marriage would be wrong, so the Catholics are right about that. Penance is totally wrong according to scripture, but to call them a cult, depends on your definition of a cult. My definition of a cult is one group that does not profess Biblical Jesus. Your definiton of a cult is different. Also, it depends on your definition of a Christian. Catholics believe in Biblical Jesus, so they are Christians. BUt my my definition of a cult, they are not a cult, yet by your definiton of a cult, they are a cult. And that's ok.

Flip Special
01-15-02, 03:33 PM
Debbiek, I think you're right. If a typical Catholic, one who believes that Jesus is the Christ, would die, I believe that he or she would go to Heaven. I think that's what it takes to be given a pass into Heaven: Acceptance and belief that Jesus is God's only remedy to sin. - the Messiah -. It's a bonus to be born-again, as it makes for a better life on earth, however, one may simply believe in Jesus and still be okay, eternally speaking.

Therefore, you have shaped my opinion, Debbiek. I do recognize many incorrect stances held by the Catholic church, but it is very difficult to deem them as cultish.

Christ_†_Alone
01-15-02, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by Flip Special
Debbiek, I think you're right. If a typical Catholic, one who believes that Jesus is the Christ, would die, I believe that he or she would go to Heaven. I think that's what it takes to be given a pass into Heaven: Acceptance and belief that Jesus is God's only remedy to sin. - the Messiah -. It's a bonus to be born-again, as it makes for a better life on earth, however, one may simply believe in Jesus and still be okay, eternally speaking.

Therefore, you have shaped my opinion, Debbiek. I do recognize many incorrect stances held by the Catholic church, but it is very difficult to deem them as cultish.

I'm a little confused here. First of all, a typical Roman Catholic, does NOT only believe that Jesus is the ONLY remedy to sin. RC doctrine teaches that the remedy was His death on the cross, PLUS works, PLUS time in purgatory. Right off the bat, the doctrine of salvation in the RC is not the doctrine of Scripture.

Secondly, being born again is the ONLY way to eternal life with the Father. Simply believing in Jesus is not enough. Even demons believe, and tremble - yet they certainly are not saved.

I find it striking, that folks find it so hard to see these truths about the RC church, when they're right there in plain sight.

Philo
01-18-02, 12:12 AM
Hi everyone,

As an EX-Catholic who saw the light and rejected the legalistic teachings of the RCC-believed the truth of my salvation through Christ, ALONE,: and who rejoices in his freedom from the slavery of Catholicism which only teaches the "wages of sin" without teaching "the free gift of eternal life" that belongs to all who are willing to have it, I can speak from my own experience. (By the way, BELIEVING the good news of one's salvation is NOT a work, Rom 4:1-5, Gal 2:16, Eph 1;13-14).

First off, I believe that there are Catholics who are born again believers, who will be with our Lord forever, perhaps far more than we realize.
I have communicated with several Catholics on other Christian forums. There is one in particular you would almost think she was Evangelical rather that Catholic.
I am not against individual Catholics, but I am against an institution that teaches a false gospel of salvation through human effort. That teaches that Christ's suffering, death and resurrection were insufficient to give us complete forgiveness and eternal life. I am against an institution that says that part of the New Testiment is true and part of it is false; that either denies or distorts the teachings of Christ and the Apostles as recorded in the New Testiment. That teaches that Christ's mother, who was a redeemed sinner just like the rest of us, is the "co-redemptorist" along with Christ; that according to the gospel according to the Vatican, our salvation requires Mary's intervention.

So, what is the RCC?
I think it has got to be one of Satan's cleverist schemes. Satan figured out that if you can just get a marriage of institutional Christianity and the state you can have far more power to confuse and delute Christ and His message than persecution could ever produce. The devil has had this "church", alive, running, and deceiving the world since the time of Constantine.

Is it a cult? Perhaps worse!

Christ_†_Alone
01-18-02, 06:49 AM
Philo,

thank you for that insight, from a "been there, been delivered" point of view.

Praise God, that He brought you out.

Deacon
01-24-02, 05:00 AM
Hi All,

Although there are many definitions of cult, virtually none that I know of would classify the Catholic Church as cult. From a sociology of religion point of view, a cult is a new religious movement, centered around and devoted to a living leader, that promotes unusual teachings and practices. Cults usually are aggressive in proseletysing and are somewhat coercive in keeping followers in line. The leaders often claim exclusive religious truth and demand absolute allegiance from their followers. Recent examples of cults would the Branch Davidians and Jim Jones outfit.

So you see that trying to pin the cult label on the Catholic Church just doesn't work and is just an attempt to deligitemize through name-calling. You can disagree with the Church and call her heretical and what not, but you cannot call her a cult. That is misinformed and an abuse of the term.

Philo, you said: "The devil has had this "church", alive, running, and deceiving the world since the time of Constantine." I assume then that you believe the Church before Constantine did not deceive the world. Have you ever delved into what the Church taught before Constantine? I think you will find some traditional (what you would consider heretical) Catholic doctrine there too. For example, the teaching on the Eucharist is very clearly articulated in the ancient Church.

Brandan
01-24-02, 08:03 AM
Below is a story of a saint executed by the cult of roman catholicism...

WEYNKEN, A WIDOW, DAUGHTER OF CLAES, OF MONICKENDAM, BURNT TO DEATH IN THE HAGUE, THE 20TH NOVEMBER, A, D. 1527

On the 15th of November, 1527, Weynken, daughter of Claes, was brought prisoner from the castle of Woerden to the Hague, whither on the 17th day of the same month, came also the count of Hooghstraten, Governor in Holland. On the 18th, the aforesaid Weynken was arraigned before the governor and the full council of Holland. There a woman asked her:

"Have you well considered the things which my lords proposed to you?"

Ans. "I abide by what I have said."

Ques. "If you do not speak differently, and turn from your error, you will be subjected to an intolerable death."

Ans. "If power is given you from above I am ready to suffer." John 19:11.

Ques. "Do you then, not fear death, which you have never tasted?"

Ans. "This is true ; but I shall never taste death, for Christ says: 'If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.' (John 8:51.) The rich man tasted death, and shall taste it forever." (Luke 16:23.)

Ques. "What do you hold concerning the sacrament ?"

Ans. "I hold your sacrament to be bread and flour, and if you hold it as God, I say that it is your devil."

Ques. "What do you hold concerning the saints?"

Ans. "I know no other Mediator than Christ." (I John 2:19.)

Ques. "You must die, if you abide by this."

Ans. "I am already dead." (Gal. 2:19.)

Ques. "If you are dead, how can you speak?"

Ans. "The spirit lives in me ; the Lord is in me, and I am in Him." (John 14:20.)

Ques. "Will you have a confessor, or not?"

Ans. "I have Christ, to Him I confess; nevertheless, if I have offended any, I would willingly ask them to forgive me."

Ques. "Who has taught you this opinion, and how did you come to it ?"

Ans. "The Lord, who calls all men to Him; I am also one of His sheep; therefore I hear His voice." (John 10:27.)

Ques. "Are you alone called?"

Ans. "No; for the Lord calls to Him all that are heavy laden." (Matt. 28:11.)

After many like words Weynken was led back to prison. During the two following days she was entreated and tempted by various persons, namely by monks, priests, women, and her nearest friends. Among others, a woman came to her, prompted by sincerity, who commiserated her after this manner:

"Dear mother, can you not think what you please, and keep it to yourself? then you will not die."

Weynken replied : "Dear sister, I am commanded to speak, and am constrained to do so ; hence I cannot remain silent about it."

Wom. "Then, I am afraid, they will put you to death."

Ans. "Though they burn me tomorrow, or put me into a bag, I care not; as the Lord has ordained it, so it must be, aud not otherwise ; I will adhere to the Lord."

Wom. "If you have done nothing else I hope you will not die."

Ans. "As for me, it matters not; but when I come down from the hall, I cry bitterly, and it grieves me to see that these good men are all so blinded; I will pray the Lord for them."

Two Dominican friars also came to her, the one as a confessor, and the other as an instructor. The latter showed her the crucifix, saying: "See, here is your Lord and your God." She answered : "This is not my God; the cross by which I have been redeemed, is a different one. This is a wooden god ; throw him into the fire, and warm yourselves with him." The other asked her in the morning of the day when she was to die, whether she would not receive the sacrament, adding that he would willingly administer it to her. She said: "What God would you give me? one that is perishable, and is sold for a farthing?" And to the priest or monk, who rejoiced that he had read mass that day, she said that he had crucified God anew. He said :

"It appears to me that you have fallen unto error?

Weynken replied: "I cannot help it, my Lord and my God, to whom be eternal honor, praise, and thanksgiving (Rev. 4:11), has thus given it unto me.

Ques. " What do you hold concerning the holy oil ?"

Ans. "Oil is good for salad, or to oil your shoes with." I Tim. 4:4.

In the middle of the week she was brought before the Court, and when she came into the hall, the monk went up to her, and held the crucifix before her face, saying: "Do recant before sentence is passed." But Weynken turned from the crucifix, saying: "I adhere to my Lord and God; neither death nor life shall separate me from Him." (Rom. 8:39.) As she stood before the judge, the monk whispered into her ear: "Fall down upon your knees, and ask the Lord for pardon." She replied : "Be still: did I not tell you, that you should not draw me from my Lord."

The Dean of Naeldwijck, subcommissary and inquisitor, read the sentence, in Latin, from a document, and repeating it in Dutch, said briefly, that she was found to be in error with regard to the sacrament, and that she immovably adhered to it; hence he decided that she was a heretic, and delivered Weynken to the secular arm, with the protest that he did not consent to her death. He then retired from the council, together with his two associate ecclesiastics.

The chancellor immediately read, that she, as reported, had been found obstinate, which could not be passed by without punishment, and that she should be burnt to ashes, and all her property be confiscated.

Then Weynken said: "Has all been done now ? I beg you all, that if I have harmed or offended any, you will forgive me."

The monk then said to her : "Now for once kiss your Lord and God."

She answered: "This is not my Lord."

As they were leaving the council chamber, the monk said to her that she should call upon our Lady to intercede for her.

She replied : "Our Lady is well content in God."

Monk: "Call upon her."

Weynken: "We have Christ, who sitteth on the right hand of His Father; He prays for us." (Romans 8:34.)

On her way from the hall to the scaffold or place of execution, the monk said : "Behold for once your Lord, who died for you."

Weynken: "This is not my Lord and my God; my Lord God is in me, and I in Him."

Monk: "Consider! will you condemn all these lambs, and are they all condemned?"

Weynken: "Not all; judgment belongs unto God." (Heb. 10:30.)

Monk: "Do you not fear the severe judgment of God?"

Weynken : "God comes not to condemn sinners, but to give them peace." (Luke 9:56.)

Monk : "Do you not fear the sentence which you must suffer in the fire?"

Weynken: "No, for I know how I stand with my Lord."

On the scaffold there stood one who said to Weynken: "Mother, turn to the people, and ask them to forgive you, if you have offended any." This she did. Then she assisted the executioners to put the powder into her bosom. Here the monk again tempted her with the cross; but she pushed it away with her hand, turned around, and said: "How you tempt me? My Lord and my God is above." She then went gladly, as though she were going to a marriage ; and her face did not once betoken fear of the fire.

The monk said : "Will you not always and firmly adhere to God?"

Weynken said: "Yes, indeed."

Monk: "Now you will have to go into the fire; do recant."

Weynken: "I am well content; the Lord's will must be done,"

Monk: "This is not the will of the Lord; the will of God is your sanctification."

The executioner said: "Mother, cleave to God and do not suffer yourself to be drawn away from Him."

In the meantime this pious heroine went alone undaunted to the bench, and stationed herself at the stake at which she was to be burned, saying, "Is the bench firm; will I not fall?"

The executioner then made ready the ropes with which he was to strangle her. The woman took off her neckerchief or veil, and put the strap around her neck.

Then the monk exclaimed, "Mother Weynken, will you gladly die as a Christian?"

Ans: "Yes, I will."

Ques: "Do you renounce all heresy?"

Ans: "I do."

Monk: "This is well. Are you also sorry that you have erred?"

Ans: "I formerly did err indeed, and for that I am sorry; this however is no error, but the true way, and I adhere to God."

When she had said this, the executioner began to strangle her, which when she felt it, she cast down her eyes and closed them, as though she had fallen into a sleep, and gave up the ghost, on the twentieth day of November, A.D. 1527.

countrymouse
01-24-02, 09:01 AM
We should humbly give God our thanks for Weynken and others like her who endured fire and sword for the truth. May we be found worthy disciples, accepting and treasuring the freedom they died to give us. We should also repent of all ingratitude and grumbling, all dissatisfaction for the lack of trivialities we cannot take with us when we leave these bodies. If any of us are called to martyrdom, may we go as graciously and bravely as she. I hope every member of this discussion forum will read and be touched by Weynken's story.

Deacon
01-24-02, 01:45 PM
Hi Kermie,

Despite my very enlightening and definitive explanation of the term cult, I see that you persist in calling the Catholic Church a cult. Oh well. Alas, there isn't anything more I can do.

But what is the point of your post?

jhamrick
01-24-02, 02:57 PM
"centered around and devoted to a living leader"
uh..the pope.

"that promotes unusual teachings and practices."
unusual is relative, but in light of the bible, praying to Mary, etc. is highly unusual.

"Cults usually are aggressive in proseletysing and are somewhat coercive in keeping followers in line."
Works based salvation and ritual confesion seem to fit this description.

"The leaders often claim exclusive religious truth and demand absolute allegiance from their followers"
Papal words, along with church tradition, words of early fathers and saints are held on equal ground with the Bible and not to be questioned.

"Have you ever delved into what the Church taught before Constantine? "
The early church didn't have the luxury of the cannonized New Testament, and therefore, did make some mistakes. Ignorant mistakes however, are a far cry from the purposeful departure from the gospel that the RCC has taken.

Deacon
01-24-02, 10:04 PM
Hi jhamrick,

"centered around and devoted to a living leader"
uh..John Calvin

"that promotes unusual teachings and practices."
unusual is relative, but in light of the bible, preaching double predestination is highly unusual.

"Cults usually are aggressive in proseletysing and are somewhat coercive in keeping followers in line."

As I recall Calvin's regime got so repressive that they kicked him out of town for a while. Oh, and what about Michael Servetus who got burned at the stake?....

But playing this kind of game doesn't get us anywhere does it? Take your pick of just about any Protestant denomination and you can apply all or part of the definition of a cult to it at some time in its history. The fact is that denominations coming out of the Reformed tradition are not cults. They are well established denominations by anyone's definition. By the same token, Catholicism cannot be a cult either. It is not a new movement. It goes back to the beginnings of Christianity. The fact is that no serious and reputable scholar of religion would call the Catholic Church a cult. Disagree with her doctrine and practices if you must, but don't engage in this silly name-calling.

jhamrick
01-25-02, 07:35 AM
1.) I'm no Calvinist
2.) I'm no serious reputable scholar of religion, but actually a great deal of them do call the RCC a cult. The cult of Mary? Ever Heard that term? I didn't make it up, serious reputable scholars did.


So what you are saying is, other than the loose condition of being a "new" movement(another relative term), The RCC acts exactly like a cult. Hmmm.

Debbiek
01-25-02, 01:37 PM
AS someone previously pointed out, there are different types of Catholics, many are born again, whether they are aware of the term or not. Some have spiritual gifts. The organization has it's faults, but many of their beliefs are founded on the BIble. I don't know of one Catholic who knows the story of Wyckman previously posted. DOing works is supported by the BIble. Now although I don't believe in prayer intercession being necessary, I do understand where they have misinterpreted scripture. But to call all those who misinterpret as cults, would be wrong. Penance comes from "repent" & they got it wrong. "confess your sins before men". Show men that you are sorry to God. Well they tried. The BIble says that Mary will be called "blessed" by all future generations. DO you think Jesus is going to appreciate your badmouthing his momma? No. Where do they get the idea that Mary is in heaven now? Although no verse says she bodily ascended to heaven, they think she did because of Rev.12 referring to the woman who was a wonder in heaven, gave birth to a man child whom satan tried to devour, the child sits at God's throne, she went into the wilderness on earth where God & his angels protected her, and we are the "remnants of her seed". Mary was the first Christian. But we do not need an intercessor.

Deacon
01-25-02, 01:47 PM
Hi Jhamrick

"1.) I'm no Calvinist "

I was just using Calvin as an example. What denomination do you belong to, if I may ask?

"2.) I'm no serious reputable scholar of religion, but actually a great deal of them do call the RCC a cult. The cult of Mary? Ever Heard that term? I didn't make it up, serious reputable scholars did. "

Who, for instance? Dave Hunt? Loraine Boettner? Regarding the "the cult of Mary", the word cult doesn't necessarily have a negative connotation. It could simply refer, even in Catholic writings, to Marian devotion. Now many Protestants would feel that any devotion to Mary is bad, and the phrase cult of Mary then would imply Mary worship, which the Catholic Church condemns.


"So what you are saying is, other than the loose condition of being a "new" movement(another relative term), The RCC acts exactly like a cult. Hmmm."

No, I didn't say that and you know it. Sociologically speaking, the term cult is something that a dominant religion applies to a new movement. AS the oldest and largest single group of Christians, the Catholic Church obviously cannot be called a cult.

jhamrick
01-25-02, 02:03 PM
Who badmouthed Jesus's momma? I truelly have all due respect for Mary, and think her story is a fascinating one. But the RCC refers to her as the co-redeemer, meaning Jesus + Mary = our redemption.
That is justified nowhere in scripture, in any way. Our redemption can be found in Christ alone.

This total deviation from the scripture puts them in the same boat as Mormons, JW's, and even Rastafarians.

.......all of which are cults.

If someone is in the RCC and becomes born-again, they should realize that the church is not founded in truth and leave.

jhamrick
01-25-02, 03:06 PM
Deacon said:"What denomination do you belong to, if I may ask?"

I have attended alot of different churches in my day, most recently Baptist, which I don't really like. I think God is actually calling me to start a home-church.

"Who, for instance?"

Dwight Knight is the only one I can think of right now.

"Mary worship, which the Catholic Church condemns. "

In word perhaps, but in actiion they definitely worship Mary.

Cephas
01-25-02, 08:36 PM
Christ Alone,


Fact of the matter is, that's not really what a cult is. While that does loosely define one, so also does this:

Any religious organization that departs from Biblical Christianity.

Christians before 390 AD didn't have a Bible. Were they a cult as well? Oh, and by the way, the Church that gave you the Bible was Catholic. Why do you accept their Bible but not their interpertation?


Any religious group centered around a man or system, and not Jesus Christ.

A Catholic is centered around Jesus Christ. Why are you centered around a book?


Any religious group that promotes it's own writings and teachings over and above, and/or being on equal ground with Holy Scripture.

Well how, pray tell, do you know that Scripture is inspired without the Church? You own feeling? The Muslim can do the same! Even the book you worship says the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth.

Face it man, once you base the Bible on your own individual interpertation, it becomes relativistic. And, once it becomes relativistic it makes one view just as good as another. So your calling the Catholic Church a cult doesn't mean a thing to anyone accept you.

Cephas
01-25-02, 08:59 PM
jhamrick,


Who badmouthed Jesus's momma? I truelly have all due respect for Mary, and think her story is a fascinating one. But the RCC refers to her as the co-redeemer, meaning Jesus + Mary = our redemption.
That is justified nowhere in scripture, in any way. Our redemption can be found in Christ alone.

As I pointed out to you before, co-redeemer does not mean equal too. As Paul says, we are all, as Christians, God's co-workers. Being a co-worker does not mean we are equal to God. So when Catholics say Mary is co-redeemer, it means she accepted the role as Mother of God, hence, co-redeemer. I do think Scripture has something to say about that.

Cheers

Brandan
01-26-02, 05:02 PM
"centered around and devoted to a living leader"
uh..John Calvin

The Reform Church of John Calvin was a cult in my opinion as well. There have been a few Catholic priests (Augustine)throughout history who have espoused a particular doctrine or two that I agree with, but that doesn't make me a catholic does it?


"Cults usually are aggressive in proseletysing and are somewhat coercive in keeping followers in line."

As I recall Calvin's regime got so repressive that they kicked him out of town for a while. Oh, and what about Michael Servetus who got burned at the stake?.... I believe Calvin was apostate and was out of line in burning Servetus at the stake. The Reform church in my opinion was just an extension of the Roman Catholic Church. During the Reformation, the followers of Luther and Zwingli simply changed their soteriology, and that was it. Ecclesiology barely changed (there was lip service given to new theology), and the church-state system was perpetuated. I believe the state church system is an abomination before God. Constantinianism is the root of the problem.

Brandan (your resident nonresistant calvinistic anabaptist)

Debbiek
01-26-02, 06:44 PM
What's an anabaptist? Hey what's an apologist?

Brandan
01-26-02, 07:51 PM
An apologist is one who makes an apology for their faith.

The anabaptists were the stepchildren of the reformation. They originally broke off from Zwingli and founded the swiss brethren movement.

Some of their beliefs included these:

Believers Baptism (revolutionary for the time), Separation of Church and State (revolutionary for the time - different than what most Christians in america would think though), nonresistance (never resisting evil with violence or physical force), and various ecclesastical practices.

The modern day descendents of the original anabaptists are mennonites, amish, hutterites, and quakers. Almost all of them are Arminian or Pelagian. However, they still hold to the doctrines of believers baptism, nonresistance, and separation of church and state. From my observations, they tend to be legalistic and works oriented. But I do agree with many of their philosophies.

Debbiek
01-26-02, 07:56 PM
thanks. I noticed you signed as one in previous post. So do anabaptists shop at the mall or make their own clothes? Just kidding, non resistance is their only similarity?

Brandan
01-26-02, 10:17 PM
Do I believe it's wrong to buy clothes from stores? Nope. In fact, I wear brand-name tennis shoes. I personally have been recently convicted that I should dress "modestly". But what is "modest"?

Most anabaptists groups make the terrible mistake of codifying their rules and regulations. For example, the Amish have the "ordung" which classifies what is sinful and what is worldly. Some of their rules have direct biblical support, while others do not. These form the basis for discipline and shunning.

I believe in liberty of conscience. I'm all for separation from the world in which we live. We are called to be salt and light in a largely unbelieving world. I have no problem with the typical anabaptist's desire to maintain a distinct and separate sub-culture, set apart and easily distinguishable from the pagans that surround us; in fact, I agree with that premise! The problem with most anabaptists today is their motive for doing what they do.

When the moment that discipleship is "contrived," codified, written down in a manual of discipline and imposed externally on an entire community (and sometimes enforced with a psychological force), then separation loses its meaning, its value and its power. It doesn't impress the world (by convicting them), and it impresses God even less.

So, in otherwords, I believe in separation from this pagan world.. Not by making my own clothes (which certainly is not wrong), but by voluntarily entering into a life of radical discipleship and practicing a high degree of moral separation because we are convinced in our own heart that this is the way we must conduct ourselves in order to best glorify God.

Like I said earlier, I believe the trademarks of an anabaptist are separation of church and state, believers baptism, a visible church, and nonresistance.

Brandan

aletheo
01-27-02, 07:28 PM
According to whose definition is the RCC considered a cult? If you say according to Scripture, then whose interpretation of Scripture are we talking about? You have to have a standard and a Book is not in itself a standard without an interpretation, and then it becomes your standard, my standard, John Calvin's standard, etc.

If you want to know who is and who is not Christian then follow the Church from Her beginning and you will see those who are condemned as heretics, those who broke away and became schismatic, and those who started their own movements outside the Church. And then you have the pagans and false religions.

The Roman Catholic Church is in error and schism but she should not be considered a cult.

David

Brandan
01-27-02, 07:36 PM
I stated why I thought the RCC was a cult, and if anyone has a problem with my opinion... TOO BAD! :D :D :D :D :D :D

Debbiek
01-27-02, 09:56 PM
Ignore me or post this elsewhere, but I have a dumb question. Of those who follow "resistance" (new to me), to what degree do you mean? Also, WHY is an apologist apologizing?

jerkar
01-27-02, 11:01 PM
Hi Aletheuo,
I've been reading through this thread. I don't reply often primarily because I don't like to argue 'my opinion'. That's not what I'm going to do now. I'm a little concerned with you calling the Bible a book though. The Bible IS God's word. It is the ultimate authority. Period.

II Timothy 3:16, "ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

II Peter 1:20-21, "...knowing this first, that no prophosy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (emphasis mine)

Romans 15: 4, "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scripture might have hope."

You said that you have to have a standard and a book is not a standard. I'm with you on that one except the Bible is NOT a book, it is GODS WORD. Any one can read it and find out exactly what God is saying. No interpretation, no appologetics needed. MY standard: God!

With all due respect, who is and who is not a Christian has nothing to do with Church history. The Bible explains emphatically who a Christian is.

Please be bery careful about how you treat the Bible. Accepting the Bible as God's word is foundational to being a Christian. If you say that it is not the authority, you may be bordering on the definition of 'cult'. Cults will believe that the Bible is not God's word or that there is more to God's word than the Bible. Both of which are inaccurate. I was going to say non-Biblical, but that would have sounded like circular reasoning.

Rev 22:21, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you (all). Amen.":p
Love In Him-

aletheo
01-27-02, 11:53 PM
Hello Jerkar,
Please do not mistake my earlier post to mean that I believe the Bible to be anything less than God's Holy Word. (I did capitalize the B in Book, and I did call it Scripture.) I meant only that the Bible does not speak for itself. If it did there would not be 30,000 denominations claiming to believe what the bible plainly says, plus cults like the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and many other groups. We not only need the Word of God we also need the interpretation. For example: the Apostles did not take individual copies of the Scripture and discern the message of Christ to be preached to every nation. What they did do was to take the Scriptures as interpreted to them by our Lord ("all things whatsoever I have commanded you") and preach the Gospel to every creature. Christ God Himself expounded the things concerning Himself to His Apostles beginning with the Law and the Prophets. This is exactly what the Word means in II Peter, that the Scripture is not of private interpretation. The Author is the ultimate Authority and not the book itself.

Yours,

jhamrick
01-28-02, 07:54 AM
"As I pointed out to you before, co-redeemer does not mean equal too. "

And as I pointed out to you before, I have no redeemer other than Jesus, no matter how big or small the part.

Christ_†_Alone
01-28-02, 09:51 AM
Originally posted by jhamrick
"As I pointed out to you before, co-redeemer does not mean equal too. "

And as I pointed out to you before, I have no redeemer other than Jesus, no matter how big or small the part.

Amen - the Bible, THE final authority in the life of the redeemed, tells us clearly, there is ONE mediator - never mentions a word about any helpers.

Any "extra" teachings on this, is NOT His word, and should be avoided at all costs.

countrymouse
01-28-02, 12:12 PM
Hi, aletheuo!

(How is that pronounced?)

Part of what you said was:
I meant only that the Bible does not speak for itself. If it did there would not be 30,000 denominations claiming to believe what the bible plainly says, plus cults like the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and many other groups. We not only need the Word of God we also need the interpretation.

For the sake of dialogue, let me offer this...

From Hebrews 4: (NASB, updated)
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.


From 1 Thessalonians 2:
13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

From John 14:
26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

From 1 John 2:
27 As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

Isaiah 54:
13 “All your sons will be taught of the Lord;
And the well-being of your sons will be great.

Isaiah 59:
20 “A Redeemer will come to Zion,
And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” declares the Lord.
21 “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from now and forever.”

Jeremiah 31:
33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
34 “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

=====

Do you think that tradition is on an equal par with Scripture, or would you say that tradition is judged by the Bible? Would you say that the regenerate mind is not capable of comprehending the truth, but must continually rely on ordained clergy for wisdom and understanding? If so, whose clergy are correct, since no two denominations or sects agree?


I will appreciate your reply.

Respectfully,
countrymouse

Brandan
01-28-02, 02:23 PM
Debbie,

Nonresistance is a principle of complete obedience to authority even if it is unjust. It means refusing to resort to force even in defense against violence.

Brandan


Matthew 5:9, (NASB), "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."

Matthew 5:39, (NASB), "But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also."

1 Peter 2:23, (NASB), and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;

aletheo
01-28-02, 08:51 PM
(al-ayth-yoo'-o)
In response:

On Hebrews 4:12 This Scripture is referring to God's Word spoken to His people in the wilderness - His Voice - not the written Revelation specifically. In fact, they had no written Revelation at that time. Many people read the Bible to no effect. It is not automatic. Witness the Pharisees. (also cf. John 8:39-40!)

On I Thessalonians 2:13 The "word of God" refers to the preaching of the Gospel message as in Acts. The "kerygma." As well, the Apostles did not just read the Scripture out loud and people were converted. They preached it. "which you heard from us"

On John 14:26 Absolutely! "...all that I said to you...;" not 'all that you have read in the Old Testament.'

On 1 John 2:27 He is writing to the church which has been given the revelation of Christ and should not be swayed by false teachers. Cf. Galatians 1:6-12, Jude 3, et al.

On Isaiah 54:13 Brought up in the Faith.

On Isaiah 59:20 The transmission of the Faith. Witness Paul entrusting the Gospel to Timothy, who would entrust the same to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
Cf. I Corinthians 4:15, II Timothy 3:14-15

On Jeremiah 31:33-34 Explain this to me in light of this present website! :)

When you say 'tradition' how do you define that? I think I know, but I want to be sure before I say anything.

All wisdom and understanding come from God. Ordained clergy do not tell us anything of themselves. They speak 1) as those entrusted by God to safeguard and pass on the Faith, and 2) as those who are trusted for spiritual counsel because they have experience in spiritual life (hopefully). A clergyman who lords it over others is wrong; they are shepherds and fathers.
Also cf. Hebrews 13:7,13

The regenerate mind is capable of comprehending truth as it is enlightened by the Holy Spirit and in so far as it is free from delusion. It is also capable of gross misunderstandings, errors, heresies, etc. How many Christians have gone off into error? The greatest spiritual delusion is to believe that one is free from spiritual delusion.

Your last statement is exactly my point. Which one of the myriads us who have the Holy Spirit and the Bible has the real truth? The fact is, the Faith does not start from the individual and his/her Bible, it starts from Christ and His Apostles. The Faith already IS, and we have to come into it, not discover it for ourselves. As the New Testament clearly shows, Christianity is a body of truth received and handed down.
cf. Philippians 4:9 "Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do"
II Thessalonians 2:15 "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle"

Sincerely,
:)

gsr
01-28-02, 09:14 PM
I suggest you compare these major points from the Catholic Encyclopedia with those you find in your Scriptures and history.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03744a.htm
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14250c.htm
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15464b.htm
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12260a.htm
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15401a.htm
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08374c.htm
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13407a.htm
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15276b.htm
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03449a.htm
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08026a.htm

Then decide for yourself.

Cephas
01-28-02, 09:25 PM
Original quoted by Christ Alone

Amen - the Bible, THE final authority in the life of the redeemed, tells us clearly, there is ONE mediator - never mentions a word about any helpers.

Any "extra" teachings on this, is NOT His word, and should be avoided at all costs.

I believe it does. In 1 Cor. 3:9 we read, "We are God's co-workers...". In other words, we help God do the work. That is what co-workers do. We aren't mindless meat robots having every thought and action controlled by some computer program. If the work I do helps bring someone to redemption, then I had a part in that persons redemption. Colossians 3:23,24 says "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

countrymouse
01-29-02, 04:50 PM
Hello again, aletheuo!

We do differ about a few things:


Originally posted by aletheuo

On Hebrews 4:12 This Scripture is referring to God's Word spoken to His people in the wilderness - His Voice - not the written Revelation specifically. In fact, they had no written Revelation at that time. Many people read the Bible to no effect. It is not automatic. Witness the Pharisees. (also cf. John 8:39-40!)


Hebrews 4:12 looks like a direct and clear doctrinal statement to me, about God's word, whether written or spoken. Notice that verse 7 refers to part of Psalm 95.

Many people do read the Bible to no effect, because they are not regenerate. Those same people also hear preaching and teaching to no effect.


Originally posted by aletheuo

On I Thessalonians 2:13 The "word of God" refers to the preaching of the Gospel message as in Acts. The "kerygma." As well, the Apostles did not just read the Scripture out loud and people were converted. They preached it. "which you heard from us"


Yes, and this gospel is about the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies in the Law and Prophets. The apostles were very much concerned to demonstrate that Jesus of Nazareth had indeed fulfilled the Scripture.


Originally posted by aletheuo

On John 14:26 Absolutely! "...all that I said to you...;" not 'all that you have read in the Old Testament.'


And Jesus constantly quoted and alluded to the Law and the Prophets as he spoke. Now we have the written record of the things he said, as well!


Originally posted by aletheuo

On 1 John 2:27 He is writing to the church which has been given the revelation of Christ and should not be swayed by false teachers. Cf. Galatians 1:6-12, Jude 3, et al.


And we still have the revelation, in the written Word, as well as the anointing that teaches us all.


Originally posted by aletheuo

On Isaiah 54:13 Brought up in the Faith.


I can agree.


Originally posted by aletheuo

On Isaiah 59:20 The transmission of the Faith. Witness Paul entrusting the Gospel to Timothy, who would entrust the same to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
Cf. I Corinthians 4:15, II Timothy 3:14-15


Transmission of the faith makes good sense, but not only through the hands (minds) of certain leaders.


Originally posted by aletheuo

On Jeremiah 31:33-34 Explain this to me in light of this present website! :)


Jab to the right? lol :) . Kermie owns the site and posts the articles, so I can't presume to speak for him. We all learn from each other, as well as from tradition, but we have to have a standard by which to judge what we hear and read. The written Word is that standard. Just as we should examine the church's traditions by holding them up to the standard of the written Word, we should not just accept anyone else's views lock, stock, and barrel, no matter where we find them.


Originally posted by aletheuo

When you say 'tradition' how do you define that? I think I know, but I want to be sure before I say anything.


In a formal sense, tradition would be the official creeds and confessions composed and approved by those who have gone before us. They are important, but I do not give them equal weight with the written Word of God. Otherwise, we would have to say that the canon of Scripture is not closed, and the church would still be adding to the Bible itself.


Originally posted by aletheuo

All wisdom and understanding come from God. Ordained clergy do not tell us anything of themselves. They speak 1) as those entrusted by God to safeguard and pass on the Faith, and 2) as those who are trusted for spiritual counsel because they have experience in spiritual life (hopefully). A clergyman who lords it over others is wrong; they are shepherds and fathers.
Also cf. Hebrews 13:7,13


Yes, all wisdom and understanding comes from God, and he has graciously and providentially given us his wonderful written revelation, and his Holy Spirit to guide us as we study it. Tying in your next paragraph below, I'd have to wonder whether only the regenerate layman's mind is not free from delusions?


Originally posted by aletheuo

The regenerate mind is capable of comprehending truth as it is enlightened by the Holy Spirit and in so far as it is free from delusion. It is also capable of gross misunderstandings, errors, heresies, etc. How many Christians have gone off into error? The greatest spiritual delusion is to believe that one is free from spiritual delusion.


Unfortunately, many clergymen from all Christian traditions have strayed from the truth. How can we know apart from knowing the written Word when one or more of them are leading us astray?


Originally posted by aletheuo

Your last statement is exactly my point. Which one of the myriads us who have the Holy Spirit and the Bible has the real truth? The fact is, the Faith does not start from the individual and his/her Bible, it starts from Christ and His Apostles. The Faith already IS, and we have to come into it, not discover it for ourselves. As the New Testament clearly shows, Christianity is a body of truth received and handed down.
cf. Philippians 4:9 "Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do"
II Thessalonians 2:15 "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle"


We would not know, apart from the written Word, what they had been taught. The church fathers, admirable as they were, did not prove to be 100% reliable in every point, even regarding major points. We know that Paul even rebuked Peter himself over a doctrinal conflict! Actually, the Faith began prior to Christ's incarnation, and many walked in it, as the gospel of the Messianic kingdom was gradually revealed in the Law and the Prophets. The true doctrines of the Faith are handed down primarily through the written Word. Does it help to know what educated leaders think? Yes! Does it help to know what the church has officially accepted throughout its history? Yes! Should we rely on those things alone, or accept them untested? Resoundingly NO!!!


Those are my thoughts, for what it's worth!

I would guess that you come from the Roman Catholic tradition; if not, simply apply this next question to the tradition you do come from. Has your church (your tradition) ever changed it's official stance on a doctrinal position?

Btw, why "unworthy reader?" Just curious!

Blessings to you,
countrymouse

aletheo
01-29-02, 07:14 PM
Countrymouse,

I can only post briefly for now because I have a lot to do tonight.

1) No, I am not Roman Catholic, I am Russian Orthodox. It seems similar to those who don't know, but they are worlds apart.

2) My argument about the Bible is about the authority of interpretation. It simply does not "speak for itself."
cf. Acts 8:26-35, II Corinthians 11:3-4, Galatians 1:6,
Luke 24:25-27.

3) Protestants have trouble believing the Faith was handed down by the Fathers through the Holy Spirit, but they have no trouble believing they themselves have the Holy Spirit guiding them and that they correctly understand the Scriptures apart from any man; and they do not realize that they themselves are but men (or women)?

4) St. Paul said "hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." II Thessalonians 2:15
and, Philippians 4:9 "Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do" The Faith is more than what is recorded and gathered into the Bible. That sounds strange, but think about it.

5) The Orthodox Church has not changed the doctrines of the Faith. Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and so is His Body, the Church. She has defined and expounded, but not changed or invented. The Nicean-Constantinopolitan Creed has always been know as the "Symbol of Faith," and is authoritative in the Church. This confession is non-negotiable. One of Rome's errors was to take it upon herself to change the Creed. Prtotestant's relegate it to "Patristic study."

I really have to go now. Thanks for "talking."

(I am a Reader in the Church. I read Psalms and prayers. It is a practice among clergy to use the term "unworthy" as a reminder that we are not worthy of the grace of ordination. Of course, none of us is worthy of the grace of God!)

Bye!

countrymouse
01-29-02, 09:19 PM
Aletheuo,

Thanks for the response! :) I will also have to be brief this evening; I've got a commitment to another discussion as well.

I do understand that there's a big difference between the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions. My family has participated in the United Methodist tradition for over sixteen years. My personal views don't line up precisely with some of its official doctrines, however. I was reared and educated as a Southern Baptist, but took my first church music position in a UM church. I was in seminary during some of the darkest days of the political/doctrinal controversy in the SBC; my husband and I did not want to rear our children in the middle of that, and we were grateful for the UMC's policy of tolerance.

But, I've gotten off topic, I suppose!

Just for the information, both SBC and UMC tradition have a hierarchy of authority, with the Bible being at the top, followed by (in different orders) tradition, reason, and experience. I do not disregard church tradition; I do however study the Bible personally, comparing tradition, the results of my reasoning, and my experiences with what I read there. Tradition, reason and experience do help me to understand; I believe the Holy Spirit uses all of those as tools in the believer's doctrinal education, and we must not disregard them. However, I cannot elevate any of the three to the same authority as Scripture.

quoting aletheuo:
3) Protestants have trouble believing the Faith was handed down by the Fathers through the Holy Spirit, but they have no trouble believing they themselves have the Holy Spirit guiding them and that they correctly understand the Scriptures apart from any man; and they do not realize that they themselves are but men (or women)?

I wouldn't claim to have it all down pat just yet! Ask me when I'm 99! ;) There's more than one earthly lifetime's worth of truth and wonder in the Word.

I value greatly the truths that those who have gone before have left for us. They haven't been 100% wrong all the time, even in this Protestant's opinion! I also rejoice in the "serendipity" of encountering those same truths in the written Word; I know that when I read and study it, the Holy Spirit teaches me as well. It does not matter how many times I pick it up; something becomes real to me in a way it never has before.


And the Faith is a community in covenant with God and with each other; we do not participate in it in isolation. What is the hymn that says we have "mystic sweet communion with those whose race is run?" They are the very ones whom God has used to preserve the written Word for us, as well as the various traditions, as we must preserve it all for the next generation. The traditions after all are part of our story.

Perhaps we can "converse" later on about what constitutes orthodoxy; I know that I would enjoy it!


Blessings to you,
countrymouse

highaim
02-01-02, 07:19 PM
These Catholic websites testify themselves of the horrendous "error" of the Catholic church......

http://www.catholic.org/media/news/vnbcurrent.html
http://www.insidethevatican.com/
http://www.vatican.va/special/assisi_20020124_en.html

http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p122a3p2.htm
http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p123a9p6.htm

GAG!

Here are some less neutral sites on the catholic church:

http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/anti1.htm
http://www.cuttingedge.org/articles/rome.html

Egoinos
02-08-02, 03:08 PM
\Cult\ (k?lt) n .[F. culte, L. cultus care, culture, fr. colere to cultivate. Cf. Cultus.] 1. Attentive care; homage; worship.

Every one is convinced of the reality of a better self, and of. the cult or homage which is due to it. --Shaftesbury.

2. A system of religious belief and worship.

That which was the religion of Moses is the ceremonial or cult of the religion of Christ. --Coleridge.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.


Protestants have trouble believing the Faith was handed down by the Fathers through the Holy Spirit, but they have no trouble believing they themselves have the Holy Spirit guiding them and that they correctly understand the Scriptures apart from any man; and they do not realize that they themselves are but men (or women)?

"In order to expound the Scriptures, and as an aid to pulpit studies, you will need to be familiar with the commentaries: a glorious army, let me tell you, whose acquaintance will be your delight and profit. Of course, you are not such wiseacres as to think or say that you can expound Scripture without the assistance from the works of the divines and learned men who have laboured before you in the field of exposition...It seems odd, that certain men who talk so much about what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others." C. H. Spurgeon

aletheo
03-17-02, 09:21 PM
thank you for the quote from spurgeon. very appropriate.

countrymouse
03-18-02, 06:38 AM
Can you believe a Baptist said that? lol. :)

On the other hand, aletheuo, is it proper or wise to simply accept all of the teachings of the church or the early fathers without question? without examining Scripture also to see whether "these things be true?" Paul praised the Bereans for searching the Scriptures rather than swallowing his message without question!

Grace and Peace to you,
cm

aletheo
03-18-02, 10:04 AM
Hello, Countrymouse,

I think there is probably a misunderstanding in the use of the Church Fathers. The fact that a person is called a "Father" or "Mother," or even a Saint, does not mean that everything they taught or practiced ought to be believed or followed. Those men and women of God sometimes are deemed worthy of the honor because of a certain event or teaching, sometimes for their exceptionally holy life and/or their asceticism, or maybe for their deep spiritual wisdom or shepherding of the Church.

There is one church Father who is revered as a great teacher on the spiritual life, yet he is believed to have hinted at the doctrine of apokatastasis, the reconciliation of all things. On the other hand, Origen may have lived a worthy life and taught some valuable things on prayer, but he did teach apokatastasis outright and also "mutilated" himself. Origen is NOT recognized by the Church as a Father, or as a Saint. I don't know if he was officially declared a heretic. Other Fathers may have defended against a particular heresy, or may have been a great preacher.

So when I refer to the Fathers, I am referring to the consensus of the Church, not to everything taught or practiced by anyone called a Father, Mother, and/or Saint. Some are recognized as Saints simply because of their martyrdom and nothing else. I have heard before that anyone whose blood is shed for the Name of Christ would be considered a "Saint." Sure, one Father is known for teaching a certain thing and may chiefly be referred to on that topic, and another Father on something else. There are many varying points of view on many issues. The phrase from St. Vincent of Lerins is generally true, "what has been believed by everyone, everwhere, at all times" (or something like that :) ). There is room for opinion in the Orthodox Church, but when a priest says "the Church teaches...," he is responsible to stay on the known path and not stray to opinion. He is responsible for preaching the Faith, not those things that are unclear.
He will, of course, teach on these differences in classes the church may have for education in the Faith. The classroom is the appropriate place for a more thorough and "independent" (if I may use that word in Orthodoxy) study of the Fathers.

I hope that helps!:D

countrymouse
03-19-02, 09:52 AM
Thank you, aletheuo, it does help! That approach is also generally paralleled in most Protestant churches and traditions; we have official doctrine, but we have varying degrees of open discussion in settings such as church school (or Sunday school). The main difference is that in Protestant denominations, there has been an ongoing process of reformation, sometimes moving forward, sometimes backward. Too many have abandoned the teaching of doctrine, opting for a devotional approach instead, leaving members vulnerable to deception, and having to fend for themselves. On the whole, we are a mess, but I don't think that means that God has abandoned us.

Grace and Peace,
cm

Mr. Burns (GW)
03-25-02, 04:38 PM
Hi all.

Doesn't it require some standard of orthodoxy and a unified authority of some sort to make words like "heresy" and "cult" meaningful? The words would seem to fully relative without these.


Thoughts?

countrymouse
03-26-02, 06:54 AM
Welcome, Mr. Burns!

Good point! If we have no accepted systematic theology, how can we define heresy? We can say that we rely on Sola Scriptura, which is as it should be. However, if we can't agree on what the Bible teaches regarding faith and practice, then what? Where and how do we draw the line between opinion (priesthood of the believer) and heresy?

Then again, what of the ongoing process of growth and reformation in the church?

Grace and Peace to you,
cm

Mr. Burns (GW)
03-26-02, 09:02 PM
Hi Countrymouse! Thanks for the welcome. It's a great board here.

Good points.

As for me, I get uncomfortable when people start throwing around the words "cult" and "heresy" without any well-defined criteria.

In the Christian context, those words have historically been determined by the Catholic creeds and enforced by the unified authority of the Catholic Bishops.

Since the reformation period, there has been "no ruling legal authority" (to quote Al Gore) in the protestant world by which such cults and heresies can be condemned and anathematized. To put it plainly, any attempt to condemn and anathematize by protestants is a toothless endeavor.

An excommunication out of the Anabaptist or Methodist sects, for example, would be like getting kicked off a single roller coaster ride at a giant amusement park. No biggie. Just go next door and ride the other rides.

This is a big issue in our Churches today that I don't see a solution for. When Christ is chopped up into thousands of tiny pieces that don't maintain one fellowship or communion then all authority is lost for executing some of the most basic New Testament functions. I suppose I'm making an argument for Christian unity of the Body, but who knows how it will be. Only God knows.

$.02,
GW

dogwood
03-28-02, 01:58 AM
Unity in the true body of Christ, yes! Unity with the RCC? no way. Not possible anymore than unity with Mormons. Sorry.

For what fellowship hath light with darkness?

countrymouse
03-28-02, 07:48 AM
I think what GW and I are talking about is lack of unity among Protestants. (I'm not advocating for unity between Protestants and the RCC as the RCC stands at this time.) One could argue that we have unity in the Spirit; the problem is we do not have a working unity in terms of doctrine and practice. Perhaps this has become a subject for another thread in another forum. GW, do you want to start one?

Grace and Peace,
cm

dogwood
03-28-02, 08:15 AM
CM,

Then I agree. There are events going on around here all the time that bring differing Protestant groups together. We have for example:

Interfaith Hospitality Network, which provides host churches for the homeless and help with job searches,

Golden Harvest Foodbank, which provides low cost or free food for the needy in our community.

The Master's Table Soup Kitchen, which is open every day for a hot lunch in downtown Augusta. One denomination alone could not possibly staff that.

Augusta Cares Pregnancy Crisis Center, run by volunteers from varied denominations.

Mollys Militia Shelter Pet Rescue, run by volunteers of varied church backgrounds and a witness to volunteers of no church affiliation.

We have prayer rallies and praise services which the entire community is invited to.

BSF, Bible Study Fellowship, which encourages believers and non believers to study God's word together. Leaders are required to have made a personal commitment to Christ, but participants do not have to. It is completely open to any and all denominations.
( We even had 4 Catholic ladies last yr. Hopefully they saw the flaws of the RCC by studying God's word for themselves.)

Which brings us back to our origianl topic.

Victor Joseph
05-16-02, 12:48 PM
Greetings! I just happened to stumble on to this site and found it facinating.

First, I think we should all give thanks to God for our faith in Jesus Christ.

The topic is Catholicism a cult caught my attention. You see brothers and sisters I am a Catholic and dare I say "Born Again Christian". (more later).

As for the Catholic Church being a cult. . . there were so many definitions put forward but I must say Deacon's was closest to my understanding. . . agressive, proseletysing, coersive in keeping followers in line.

My experience as a Catholic has been rocky at times (stopped attending Mass for quite some time) and nobody came knocking at my door, to drag me back.
I have many Protestant friends (mostly Evangelicals) who often tell me stories of how they left this or that congregation and were 'excommunicated'.
Some had ministers come to the door to do so after they hadn't attended various church functions. They tell me of what seems to me a neverending cycle of what I'd call congregation shopping.

I too have 'looked around'. But I keep comming back to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Catholic Church. I also feel that I am now Catholic for a reason and many of you may find this ammusing, but I find it the most Biblical of faiths. The peace and love of the Lord Jesus crucified. Victor Joseph.

countrymouse
05-16-02, 01:15 PM
Hi, Victor Joseph, and welcome to 5solas!

You said:But I keep comming back to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Catholic Church. I also feel that I am now Catholic for a reason and many of you may find this ammusing, but I find it the most Biblical of faiths.

Would you be willing to explain? In what way is the Real Presence of Jesus there? In what way(s) is the Roman Catholic faith the most Biblical of all?

You can imagine that many of us find these claims to be quite interesting.

Grace and Peace,
cm

Victor Joseph
05-16-02, 02:24 PM
Hi countrymouse. Peace be to you.

Yes, I would be happy to address these and other topics of great importance.
Unfortunately it's way past my lunch time and I'm going to pass out if I don't get something soon. . . . But let me just start out by saying there is nary a doctrine in the Catholic Church that is not to be found on the face of Sacred Scripture or in Sacred Tradition. "What. . ." you may say! You name the topic and I will produce the evidence for you from the Bible. . .

eg. Tradition Condemned?
1 Cor 11:2 commends them for following Apostolic Tradition
2 Thess. 2:15 commands them to keep traditions
2 Thess. 3:6 shun those acting not according to Tradition

I'll be glad to go into depth on what way the "Real Presence" of Jesus is found in the Catholic Church. More later. In all humility. . . in Christ. V.J.

P.S. Archbishop Fulton Sheen, you may remember as a television pioneer and evangelist once said and I will attempt a quote ". . .There are not 100 people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. . . There are millions however, who hate the Catholic Church for what it does not teach."

countrymouse
05-16-02, 04:08 PM
eg. Tradition Condemned?
1 Cor 11:2 commends them for following Apostolic Tradition
2 Thess. 2:15 commands them to keep traditions
2 Thess. 3:6 shun those acting not according to Tradition


The tradition represented in these verses is not the tradition to which Protestants object! It is the very tradition we follow! We object to the R. Catholic/Orthodox doctrine of "Apostolic Succession," which essentially denies the priesthood of the believer.

Go on, though, V.J., when you have time. I'd like to hear the rest.

Grace and Peace,
cm

Victor Joseph
05-16-02, 05:21 PM
Hi Country Mouse. If we could discuss one subject at a time it might make things easier. Q. Could you please specify which traditions YOU personally object to? You see, there are over 30,000 'distinct' Protestant denominations. . . .and I think if I was to search hard enough I could probably find a whole subset of denominations that believe they are the true chuch established by christ and hold apostolic succession.

Q. What is the "very tradition" you mentioned that you follow?

Below is what the Catholic Church teaches on . . .
Apostolic Succession
The first Christians had no doubts about how to determine which was the true Church and which doctrines the true teachings of Christ. The test was simple: Just trace the apostolic succession of the claimants.
Apostolic succession is the line of bishops stretching back to the apostles. All over the world, all Catholic bishops can have their lineage of predecessors traced back to the time of the apostles, something that is impossible in Protestant denominations (most of which do not even claim to have bishops).
The role of apostolic succession in preserving true doctrine is illustrated in the Bible. To make sure that the apostles’ teachings would be passed down after the deaths of the apostles, Paul told Timothy, "[W]hat you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). In this passage he refers to the first four generations of apostolic succession—his own generation, Timothy’s generation, the generation Timothy will teach, and the generation they in turn will teach.
The Church Fathers, who were links in that chain of succession, regularly appealed to apostolic succession as a test for whether Catholics or heretics had correct doctrine. This was necessary because heretics simply put their own interpretations, even bizarre ones, on Scripture. Clearly, something other than Scripture had to be used as an ultimate test of doctrine in these cases.
Thus the early Church historian J. N. D. Kelly, a Protestant, writes, "[W]here in practice was [the] apostolic testimony or tradition to be found? . . . The most obvious answer was that the apostles had committed it orally to the Church, where it had been handed down from generation to generation. . . . Unlike the alleged secret tradition of the Gnostics, it was entirely public and open, having been entrusted by the apostles to their successors, and by these in turn to those who followed them, and was visible in the Church for all who cared to look for it" (Early Christian Doctrines, 37).
For the early Fathers, "the identity of the oral tradition with the original revelation is guaranteed by the unbroken succession of bishops in the great sees going back lineally to the apostles. . . . [A]n additional safeguard is supplied by the Holy Spirit, for the message committed was to the Church, and the Church is the home of the Spirit. Indeed, the Church’s bishops are . . . Spirit-endowed men who have been vouchsafed ‘an infallible charism of truth’" (ibid.).
Thus on the basis of experience the Fathers could be "profoundly convinced of the futility of arguing with heretics merely on the basis of Scripture. The skill and success with which they twisted its plain meaning made it impossible to reach any decisive conclusion in that field" (ibid., 41).

Pope Clement I
"Through countryside and city [the apostles] preached, and they appointed their earliest converts, testing them by the Spirit, to be the bishops and deacons of future believers. Nor was this a novelty, for bishops and deacons had been written about a long time earlier. . . . Our apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife for the office of bishop. For this reason, therefore, having received perfect foreknowledge, they appointed those who have already been mentioned and afterwards added the further provision that, if they should die, other approved men should succeed to their ministry" (Letter to the Corinthians 42:4–5, 44:1–3 [A.D. 80]). . . .note the date.
www.catholic.com tract.

countrymouse, apostolic succession is found right on the face of God's Word. . . . .
2 Chr. 19:11 high priest is over you in everything of Lord's
Mal. 2:7 seek instruction from the priest
Eph. 2:20 church is built upon foundation of the apostles and prophets
Eph. God gave some as apostles, others as prophets. . .
1 Cor.12:28-29 God designated in church: apostles,. . .
Acts 1:20 let another take his office. . .
(The Catholic Church can trace every Pope and Bishop back to the original 12.)
Acts 1 25-26 Mathias takes Judas' apostolic ministry
1 Tim. 3:1, 8; 5:17 we see the qualifications for bishops , priests, & deacons
1 Tim 4:14 gift is conferred with the laying on of hands
1 Tim 5:22 do not lay hands too readily on anyone
Acts 14:23 they appointed presbyters (priests) in each church
2 Tim 2:2 what you heard from me entrust to faithful teachers
Titus 1:5 appoint presbyters in every town, a I directed.
Note: There are tons of writings on this matter by the Early Church Fathers.

In all humility. . . I guess I don't understand why you would object to what the apostles did under the guideance of the Holy Spirit (or is it just the Catholic Church).?

Oh. . . the Catholic Church teaches that we, the layity, are a priesthood.

In Christ our Lord. <>< V.J.

disciple
05-16-02, 06:07 PM
Hope you all don't mind if I jump in for a little comment.


Originally posted by Victor Joseph
The test was simple: Just trace the apostolic succession of the claimants.
i don't think it was as simple as you make it. first they needed to establish which books were already accepted as Scripture (i.e., canon). this was the first step to the heresy that began to creep in after the apostles began to die out (e.g., Marcion et al). this took years and years and great debate and controversy. they were defined as heretics by what books (i.e., canon) they held to and not by a supposed apostolic succession. sure they may have checked to see if they were from among the believers but they didn't check their spiritual lineage or apostolic succession (acts 20:28-32; 1 john 2:19). it's obvious that those who were taught the truth were taught as such either directly from the apostles or ones who had been taught by them but this was not apostolic succession as the RC/Orthodox churches declare. notice carefully what paul says in acts 20:28-32:

Acts 20:28 "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 "Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. 32 "And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

it is God and the word of His grace (e.g., Scripture) to which Paul leaves the charge and which was able to build them up and give them an inheritance among all those who are sanctified and not apostolic succession.


Apostolic succession is the line of bishops stretching back to the apostles. All over the world, all Catholic bishops can have their lineage of predecessors traced back to the time of the apostles, something that is impossible in Protestant denominations (most of which do not even claim to have bishops).
could you give us an example? just pick a modern bishop and trace him back to peter if you would.


The role of apostolic succession in preserving true doctrine is illustrated in the Bible. To make sure that the apostles’ teachings would be passed down after the deaths of the apostles, Paul told Timothy, "[W]hat you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). In this passage he refers to the first four generations of apostolic succession—his own generation, Timothy’s generation, the generation Timothy will teach, and the generation they in turn will teach.
but what was the purpose? was this to establish a supposed apostolic succession to determine if they were of the faith? no, the Scripture answers, "entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." this speaks to discipleship. this speaks to Christ building His church through individuals. this is an illustration of Christ's parable of the mustard seed (mt 13:31ff). this is not a reference to apostolic succession.


and the Church is the home of the Spirit.
actually the home of the Spirit is in the lives of believers (i.e., the elect) who are the church (i.e., the called out ones). (acts 20:28; ro 8:9ff; 1 co 3:16, 6:17ff; eph 5:23ff; 1 tim 3:15)


Oh. . . the Catholic Church teaches that we, the layity, are a priesthood.
a priesthood? is there more than one priesthood in the New Covenant? please show from Scripture. and since when does the RC church teach this?

countrymouse
05-16-02, 08:04 PM
Victor Joseph,

I hope you don't think I'm being hostile to you; that's not what I intended to communicate. I honestly wish to understand your reasons for making the claims you made in your first post. I'll try also to answer your questions to the best of my ability.

You asked:
Could you please specify which traditions YOU personally object to?
What is the "very tradition" you mentioned that you follow?

I'll begin with the second question. The phrase "very tradition" was a reference to the Bible references you cited in your first post. I looked up the verses; for the sake of clarity, I'll post them here:


1 Corinthians 11:2 (NIV)
I praise you for remembering me in everything, and for holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you.

2 Thessalonians 2:15
So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

3:6
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you , brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.


These teachings, or traditions, must necessarily have been those things Jesus taught them during his earthly ministry, and the truths they received from the Holy Spirit - truths that also were Christ's. These are the "very traditions" to which I referred. I and everyone whom I count as my brothers and sisters in the body of Christ hold to these teachings.

Here's the rub, and disciple touched on some of this in his post. I fully recognize that during the apostolic period, what we know as the New Testament was in the process of being written. Furthermore, the canonization process took a few hundred years to complete. During the apostolic period, Peter, Paul, John, James, and the rest relied on the Holy Spirit to teach them and to remind them of the things Jesus had already taught. Again, for clarity, these are the teachings referred to in the verses you mentioned and which are quoted above. With the completion of the writings that were canonized by the church, all those traditions were recorded in writing. I have read much of the early post-apostolic literature, and aside from what is obviously ridiculous (ex., reference to the Phoenix) or in clear opposition to the New Testament Scriptures (what I would call "Judaistic teachings" or legalism), there is nothing new. I have heard many claims to the contrary; I have been told that there is a body of oral interpretive tradition that was never recorded and is handed down through apostolic succession and which ensures unity for the church. Both Roman Catholics and Orthodox make this claim. That is what I find objectionable. It smacks of the "traditions of men" for which Jesus' dressed down the leaders of the Jews. Their interpretations of the Law were unnecessarily burdensome for the people and favored the rich.

Yes, there are over 30,000 Protestant denominations. Those of us who belong to the older ones do not give recognition to denominations claiming themselves to be the only true church. With this I agree. As for the remainder, we do agree on essentials: mono-theism, God's triune nature, the virgin birth, Christ's death and resurrection, the gospel preached by Christ and the apostles, observing the Lord's Supper (or Communion or Eucharist), initiation into the church through baptism, salvation by grace through faith, the unity of the body of Christ, Christ's return in judgment and the resurrection. Granted, we have and still do debate specifics regarding many of those things; we allow some room for opinion.

You also said:
I guess I don't understand why you would object to what the apostles did under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (or is it just the Catholic Church).?

I don't object at all to what the apostles did. The Roman Catholic Church has heaped traditions (such as those regarding Mary) upon the pure apostolic teachings of the New Testament. I object only to those.

Respectfully,
cm

Victor Joseph
05-17-02, 11:47 AM
Hi countrymouse. The peace of our Lord be to you.

I do so want to respond to your objections. a lot of people have them for one reason or another. My work keeps me from responding in a timely manner so please try to bear with me. (And thank you for respecting me and my position . . . feel free to strongly disagree. . . as it's not up to me to 'convert' . . . that is for the Holy Spirit.

In response to your concern that the Catholic Church with 'Apostolic Succession' comes a 'denial' of the 'priesthood of believers' I put forth the following quote (which contains scriptural references you can look
up) is from Vatican II's "Lumen Gentium", and it talks about the common
priesthood of believers, and how it differs from the ministerial priesthood:

http://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/V2CHURCH.HTM
<<
10. Christ the Lord, High Priest taken from among men,(Cf. Heb. 5:1-5) made
the new people "a kingdom and priests to God the Father".(Cf. Rev. 1:6, cf.
5:9-10) The baptized, by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit,
are consecrated as a spiritual house and a holy priesthood, in order that
through all those works which are those of the Christian man they may offer
spiritual sacrifices and proclaim the power of Him who has called them out
of darkness into His marvelous light.(Cf. 1 Pet. 2:4-10) Therefore all the
disciples of Christ, persevering in prayer and praising God,(Cf. Acts 2:42,
47) should present themselves as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to
God.(Cf. Rom. 12:1) Everywhere on earth they must bear witness to Christ and
give an answer to those who seek an account of that hope of eternal life
which is in them.(Cf. 1 Pet. 3:15)

Though they differ from one another in essence and not only in degree, the
common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical
priesthood are nonetheless interrelated: each of them in its own special way
is a participation in the one priesthood of Christ. The ministerial priest,
by the sacred power he enjoys, teaches and rules the priestly people; acting
in the person of Christ, he makes present the eucharistic sacrifice, and
offers it to God in the name of all the people. But the faithful, in virtue
of their royal priesthood, join in the offering of the Eucharist. They
likewise exercise that priesthood in receiving the sacraments, in prayer and
thanksgiving, in the witness of a holy life, and by self-denial and active
charity.

So I guess I don't see this as a barrier in the acceptance of Apostolic succession because we are all priests

In Jesus. V.J.


P.S. More an the 'heap' of Traditions later.

disciple
05-17-02, 12:25 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
he makes present the eucharistic sacrifice, and offers it to God in the name of all the people. But the faithful, in virtue of their royal priesthood, join in the offering of the Eucharist.

my friend this is one of the very "traditions" that protestants object to.

Heb 7:27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

Heb 9:24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Heb 10:10 By this will we have been sanctified through the [b]offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, 16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart, And on their mind I will write them," He then says, 17 "And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. 19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Scripture is clear that there is no longer any offering and sacrifice for sin because God has sent His son to be the once and for all sacrifice at Calvary. the eucharist itself is not a reinactment of Calvary or a sacrifice and is never called such in Scripture. the RC and Orthodox at this point want to put themselves in the place of an OT priest which Christ came to fulfill (as is very clear in the book of Hebrews) and do away with. He is the High Priest of the New Covenant and He has already paid the price in His infinite sacrifice at Calvary. He does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices and does not need to stand daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins and nor would He would offer Himself often. His once and for all sacrifice is all that is needed and all that is required. any further sacrifice is to denigrate the perfect sacrifice of the Son.

the only sacrifices and offerings the people of God offer any longer are not for sin but are as follows:

Rom 15:16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

Phil 2:17 But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.

2 Tim 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.

Heb 13:15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. 16 And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

1 Pet 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Victor Joseph
05-17-02, 06:25 PM
Peace of Christ to you Disciple.

Re:Originally posted by Victor Joseph
he makes present the eucharistic sacrifice, and offers it to God in the name of all the people. But the faithful, in virtue of their royal priesthood, join in the offering of the Eucharist.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Forgive me I really new to how this website works. . . it's going to take some time to get used to all the bells & whistles.

We are still discussing the Catholic Church (Should we be dicussing Traditions under Cults?) Any way. If you can help. . .

About 'The Eucharist' . . . The Catholic Church has for nearly 2000 years proclaimed that Jesus christ is really and truly present in the Eucharist. Under the appearance of bread & wine, Christ is completely present in his body and blood as well as His soul and divinity. We Catholics adore Him in this form.
I will attempt to demonstrate that we Catholics are not worshiping a piece of bread but the God who created the universe by His Word. Who died and was sacrificed 'once for all' and whose sacrifice was 'sufficient.'

I guess I don't understand why you would see this as a 'tradition' in the negative sence. This belief is clearly taught in Scripture & history.

You will no doubt ask what is the Biblical Basis for the 'Real Presence'?
Here's a few. . .

1)Melchizedek. The bread and wine offered by the priest-king Melchizedek (Gen. 14: 18) prefigure the bread and wine offered by the eternal priest-king Jesus at the Last Supper. Heb. 6:20 calls Jesus "high priest" forever according to the order of Melchizedek."

2) The Paschal Lamb. The same victim that was offered up to save the lives of the first-born of Israel was also the victim consumed as food for bodily nourishment as the Israelites began their journey to the promised land (Ex. 12:1-20)This prefigures the Eucharist where the same victim, Jesus, who was offered up for our sins to save us from spiritual death is consumed in the Eucharist to provide spiritual nourishment for the journey to OUR promised land of heaven.

3) The Manna. This is one of the clearest symblols or (types) of the Eucharist in the Old Testament and one Jesus expressly applies to Himself (Jn. 6:32-51). The manna from heaven sustains the Israelites throughout their pilgimage in the desert, but ceased to fall when they entered the Promised Land (Ex. 16:35). Similarly, the Eucharist nourishes us spiritually in this life of pilgrimage, but ceases (as do all of the other sacraments) when we enter the promised land of heaven.

4) The Ark of the Covenant. This holiest of containers in the OT prefigures the tabernacles found in Catholic Churches because it contained 3 items, each of which prefigures the Eucharist:
(a) The written word of God on tablets (Ex. 25:16) which prefigures the living word contained in the Eucharist.
(b) A jar of manna (Ex. 16:34) This ordinary bread from heaven prefigures the Eucharist where Jesus. . . "the living bread that came down from heaven" (Jn. 6:51). . . comes to us under the appearance of bread.
(c) The rod of Aaron (Num. 17:25) which flowered and bore ripe almonds as a sign of the true priesthood of the Old Covenant. Aaron's priesthood prefigures the high priesthood of Jesus Christ in the New Covenant. Aaron's rod, the sign of his priesthood, prefigures the instrument of Christ's priesthood. . . HIS BODY. By assuming a human nature, Jesus was able to offer up his flesh and blood as a once and for all, perfect sacrifice for our sins. just as Aaron's rod miraculously brought forth almonds, so Jesus' body miraculously brought forth the sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist, signified by the blood and water that flowed from His wounded side.

We Catholics mearly take Jesus at His word when he says to eat His flesh and to drink His blood in Jn. 6:35-69. He clearly teaches that we, his disciples, must consume His flesh as food: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread I will give is my flesh for the life of the world" vs. 51.; Amen, amen (swareing a covenant oath) I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life in you." vs. 53. "My flesh is real food and my blood real drink." (He doesn't say My flesh is 'fake' food and my blood is 'symbolic' drink).

It is no accident that Jesus performs two of His most famous miracles prior to this Eucharistic discorse. Both of which emphasize FAITH:
*The multiplication of loaves and feeding of 5000 wherein He tests Philip's faith (Jn. 6:6).
*The calming of the storm at sea, where Jesus reprimands Peter for his lack of faith (Matt. 14:31).

This is all SO important. . . if we get this wrong one could be wrong about other things like who's teaching what and why. . .

FIVE REASONS WHY WE KNOW JESUS WAS SPEAKING LITERALLY AND NOT SYMBOLICALLY ABOUT HIS REAL FLESH AND BLOOD.

(1) This discouse takes place just after the miracle of the loaves or the "multi-location ' of the loaves . . . the 5 loaves feed thousands with leftovers! This clearly prefigures the one body of Christ being really and truely present to millions of people, without being divided or diminished.

(2) Jesus claims the superiority of his bread over the manna. (Jn 6:48-50).
Jesus said He will perform an even greater miracle than the manna (tons raining down daily (except the sabath) for 40 years! BUT mere earthly bread serving as a SYMBOL of Christ would be INFERIOR to the heavenly manna. The bread Christ speak of is more real and more miraculous than even the manna.

(3) Everyone who heard Jesus understood Him to be speaking LITERALLY of His own body and blood. "this saying is hard, who can accept it," declare the unbelieving disciples vs. 60 Many of them had been with Him for nearly two years. They spoke the same language as Jesus. They heard Him speak symbolically, using parables, allegories, and analogies (calling Herod a fox).. . . . . Yet these same disciples . . . many of whom quit following Christ. . . never even ask Jesus to EXPLAIN Himself. I seems obvious that they understood perfectly well what He said.

(4) Instead of explaining that the listeners were misunderstanding and calling them back (Hey! Come back! I was just kidding . . . speaking symbolically. . . you just need to feed on me spiritually. . .accept me as personal Lord and savior) . . . Jesus in the STRONGEST possible language emphatically REPEATS the literalness of His teaching, six times in six verses (vs. 53-58)! This is not the language of symbolism.

(5) Many can't accept the literalness of His teaching and LEAVE HIM. Judas leaves Him here. He doesn't call them back to explain as HE DID ON PREVIOUS OCCASSIONS. He alway cleard things up. eg. Jn 4:31 "I have food to eat of which you do not know. " His disciples take him literally, so he explains. "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me.." Matt.16:5-12 "beware of the leaven of the Parisees. . ." they think He's speaking literally and he corrects them and explains He's talking about real bread.

The entire audience who heard Jesus firsthand testified that He was speaking literally. How do we . . . reading 2000 years later . . . reasonably maintain that Jesus was speaking only symbolically? We can't.

Other passages where Jesus COSISTENTLY explains he was only speaking figuratively (see Jn 3:3-5), Jn 11:11-14, Mt.19:24-26, Jn 8:21-23, Jn 8:32-36.

On the other hand , whenever His audience rightly understands Him to be speaking literally and raises objections, Jesus constant practice is to REPEAT what He said. . . eg Mt. 9:2-6, Jn.8:56-59, and Jn. 6:42-51.

Q. When the Jews object to Jesus saying that the bread He will give is His flesh, does Jesus explain Himself or repeat Himself?

St. Ignatius of Antioch was a disciple and co- worker of the Apostle John. He was the 3rd bishop of Antioch. Around 110AD he wrote seven letters to various churches on his way to be martyred in Rome.

"Take note of those who hold heterdox opinions (private interpretation) on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the Flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His goodness, raised up again."

Disciple. . . there is more I could add. But let me say this. . . I WOULD have to consider LEAVING THE CATHOLIC FAITH if someone couldprove this not to be true.

Peace to you my friend. <>< V.J.

countrymouse
05-18-02, 08:00 AM
Victor Joseph,

With all due respect, there is something very important that you overlooked.

You said: Q. When the Jews object to Jesus saying that the bread He will give is His flesh, does Jesus explain Himself or repeat Himself?

Let's look at the passage itself.


John 6: (NASB)
51 "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh."
52 Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?"
53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
54 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
55 "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
56 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
57 "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.
58 "This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever."
59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.
60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, "This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?"
61 But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, "Does this cause you to stumble?
62 "What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?
63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.


If we take Jesus' words in verse 53 literally, we make the same mistake as the disciples that left Christ at that point. You said that they understood, but they did not. Neither did those who remained, but they had learned by that time to wait for an explanation! An understanding that is according to the flesh literalizes Christ's words here, but an understanding that is informed by the Holy Spirit does not.

It is not literally Christ's blood we drink or his flesh that we eat; in celebrating the eucharist, we eat the bread and drink the wine as an outward expression of our inward acceptance of Christ's sacrifice of himself. It is not in eating and drinking the bread and wine that we eat and drink Christ, it is in believing, in trusting him completely for having reconciled us to God, something we could never have done for ourselves, that we truly eat and drink Christ.

All the things you mentioned as prefiguring the eucharist actually prefigure Christ himself.

We object to the Roman Catholic tradition regarding the eucharist because it overliteralizes part of the word, and ignores completely the rest.

Respectfully,
cm

Victor Joseph
05-19-02, 12:58 PM
Peace to you countrymouse. You must forgive me if my responses seem scatterbrained. . . I'm just learning how to manipulate this site and for some reason I can't print your responses to reference properly the important issues you bring up. . .

Regarding Jn 6:63In vs. 63 "It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. the word I have spoken to you are spirit and life."
. . .somehow making void what was being said for nearly a chapter prior. . . it does not. Jesus is not speaking symbolically. Let me attempt to explain why.

1. Jesus Eucharistic discorse ends with verse 58 (see verse 59). the dialogue of verses 60-70 occurs later and deals with faith, not the Eucharist.

2. The word "spirit" is nowhere used in the Bible to mean "symbolic." The spiritual is everybit as real as the material.

3. In verse 63, Jesus is contrasting the natural or carnal man ("the flesh") with the spiritual or faith-filled man. 1 Cor. 2:14-3:4 offers a a good explanation of what Jesus means by "the flesh":
Quote: Now the natural person does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually. The spiritual person, however, can judge everything but is not subject to judgement by anyone. . . Brothers, I could not talk to you as spiritual people, but as fleshly people, as infants in Christ. I fed you milk, not solid food, because you were unable to take it. Indeed, you are still not able, even now, for you are still of the flesh. While there is jealously and rivalry among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving in an ordinary human way?

4. Notice that Jesus says "my flesh" when discussing the Eucharist. He says "the flesh" when refering to the carnal man who will not believe anything beyond his senses and reason. NO CHRISTIAN BELIEVES THAT JESUS' FLESH IS "OF NO AVAIL," for His flesh was the means of our redemptions.

5. The unbelieving disciples leave Jesus AFTER verse 63. In all humility. . THEY WOULD NOT HAVE LEFT AT THIS POINT IF JESUS HAD ASSURED THEM THAT HE WAS ONLY SPEAKING SYMBOLICALLY. This is the only time in the New Testament that any of Jesus' disciples abandon him because they find a doctrine of his too hard to accept.

This is THE Big issue for me countrymouse and it was a big issue for the Lord as well. More on this later.

Peace of the Holy Spirit to you. V.J.

countrymouse
05-19-02, 10:29 PM
Hello, Victor Joseph,

Don't get discouraged about learning to use vB Code. If you go to the F.A.Q. above, you'll find a section that will help. I find it easier to click on reply and use the ordinary copy-paste approach rather than clicking on "quote" below the post. It took me a while to get this much figured out; I don't try to get fancy with it!

You said:
1. Jesus Eucharistic discorse ends with verse 58 (see verse 59). the dialogue of verses 60-70 occurs later and deals with faith, not the Eucharist.


I have to disagree. Let's look again:


John 6: (NASB)
51 "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh."
52 Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?"
53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
54 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
55 "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
56 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
57 "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.
58 "This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever."
59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.
60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, "This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?"
61 But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, "Does this cause you to stumble?
62 "What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?
63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.


First, I stand corrected about when some of the disciples left; it was, as you said, after verse 63. So part of my defense is invalid.

In verse 60, "This is a difficult statement" can only be referring to Jesus' words about eating his flesh and drinking his blood, beginning with verse 51. Therefore, the question, "Does this cause you to stumble?" also refers to the same teaching, as does the sentence, "The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life." Verse 60 does not mark a change in subject matter.

Jesus was speaking of the spiritual outcome of accepting his sacrifice on our behalf. He was to become our Passover Lamb for all time. Not in the sense that we can literally eat his flesh or drink his blood; such a concept is a naturalization of his spiritual teaching. He does communicate his grace to us in the eucharist and in water baptism, and in praise, petition, confession, worship, fellowship, and service, as we have our being in him. These are his gifts to us! In all these things he renews his people.

I agree that "symbolic" is insufficient for expressing the spiritual nature of Jesus' words. I am not attempting to say that verse 63 in any way voids what preceded it. However, I do not think Jesus was speaking directly about the Eucharist in this chapter. The Eucharist, for one, is a reminder of what Christ accomplished for us; we remember that only through his death can we have life - real life, which is fellowship with God. We remember that he offered his flesh and poured out his blood, sparing us from God's righteous wrath. It is not about putting bread and wine in our stomachs; it is about humbly accepting and resting in what Christ provided for us on the cross.

Later on, at the last Passover Jesus ate with the twelve, he broke bread and passed the cup, saying, "This is my body...this is my blood of the new covenant." These were metaphorical expressions of the meaning of the sacrifice he was about to make. The bread was bread, the wine was just wine; Jesus was standing before them whole. The disciples didn't understand even as Jesus hung on the cross outside the city. They may not have understood until Pentecost, when he poured the Holy Spirit on his church.

Let me ask you this:

Jesus said that he was the door or gate of the sheepfold; do you not understand that as metaphor? He said that he is the vine, and we are branches. He said that we are the salt of the earth. He said that those who didn't hate their family members were not worthy of him (hyperbole).

Jesus was an expert in using literary devices, and I think this often gets ignored. I think that's the case with the doctrine of transubstantiation.

Respectfully,
cm

disciple
05-20-02, 12:35 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
1)Melchizedek. The bread and wine offered by the priest-king Melchizedek (Gen. 14: 18) prefigure the bread and wine offered by the eternal priest-king Jesus at the Last Supper. Heb. 6:20 calls Jesus "high priest" forever according to the order of Melchizedek."
not sure what this has to do with the "real presence." you also have not provided a verse that says that "The bread and wine offered by the priest-king Melchizedek prefigure the bread and wine offered by the eternal priest-king Jesus at the Last Supper."


2) The Paschal Lamb. The same victim that was offered up to save the lives of the first-born of Israel was also the victim consumed as food for bodily nourishment as the Israelites began their journey to the promised land (Ex. 12:1-20)This prefigures the Eucharist where the same victim, Jesus, who was offered up for our sins to save us from spiritual death is consumed in the Eucharist to provide spiritual nourishment for the journey to OUR promised land of heaven.
there's a huge different. Jesus is not merely an animal and the very nature of typology (e.g., prefigures) is that you have a physical picture and a spiritual reality. this also does not prove that in the anti-type that we're actually eating Jesus (literally). the other great difference is that the OT sacrifices didn't come back to life. Jesus on the other hand is alive and is seated at the right hand of the Father. perhaps this is why RC still have Jesus on the cross.


3) The Manna. This is one of the clearest symblols or (types) of the Eucharist in the Old Testament and one Jesus expressly applies to Himself (Jn. 6:32-51). The manna from heaven sustains the Israelites throughout their pilgimage in the desert, but ceased to fall when they entered the Promised Land (Ex. 16:35). Similarly, the Eucharist nourishes us spiritually in this life of pilgrimage, but ceases (as do all of the other sacraments) when we enter the promised land of heaven.
you still ignore the nature of typology. yes Jesus nourishes us but not physically but spiritually. He is everything we need and is the very meaning and essense and sustenance of our Christian life. the physical picture prefigured this spiritual reality. we do not need to consume Jesus flesh and imbibe His blood to have this happen and to be nourished for our pilgrimage here on earth. this is to misunderstand the whole meaning of the Old and New Covenants and to totally miss the mark on typology.


4) The Ark of the Covenant. This holiest of containers in the OT prefigures the tabernacles found in Catholic Churches because it contained 3 items, each of which prefigures the Eucharist:
(a) The written word of God on tablets (Ex. 25:16) which prefigures the living word contained in the Eucharist.
(b) A jar of manna (Ex. 16:34) This ordinary bread from heaven prefigures the Eucharist where Jesus. . . "the living bread that came down from heaven" (Jn. 6:51). . . comes to us under the appearance of bread.
(c) The rod of Aaron (Num. 17:25) which flowered and bore ripe almonds as a sign of the true priesthood of the Old Covenant. Aaron's priesthood prefigures the high priesthood of Jesus Christ in the New Covenant. Aaron's rod, the sign of his priesthood, prefigures the instrument of Christ's priesthood. . . HIS BODY. By assuming a human nature, Jesus was able to offer up his flesh and blood as a once and for all, perfect sacrifice for our sins. just as Aaron's rod miraculously brought forth almonds, so Jesus' body miraculously brought forth the sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist, signified by the blood and water that flowed from His wounded side.
again, no Scripture to prove your case. you assume that the RC practice is true and move from there. no NT Scripture proof of this typological relationship has been provided.


We Catholics mearly take Jesus at His word when he says to eat His flesh and to drink His blood in Jn. 6:35-69. He clearly teaches that we, his disciples, must consume His flesh as food: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread I will give is my flesh for the life of the world" vs. 51.; Amen, amen (swareing a covenant oath) I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life in you." vs. 53. "My flesh is real food and my blood real drink." (He doesn't say My flesh is 'fake' food and my blood is 'symbolic' drink).
i'll defer to CM's comments for this but i'll add several notes and some commentary.

first of all, are we to think that in the Last Supper that the bread and wine they were taking part of was transformed into His body and blood? He hadn't even died at this point yet. if you say, "yes," i say, "how?" if you say, "no," then you have no basis whatsoever to say that the proceeding practice of it was such (since we practice it based on His example and His command).

secondly, looking at John 6 isn't really helpful because in the context He is not talking about the Lord's Supper at all (though He may allude to His death in v. 51). He is talking about commitment, abiding (v. 56), and about partaking (not literally through eating) of Jesus, the bread of God, the true bread, as that which gives life (vv. 32-33). now is He talking about physical life here or spiritual life? you would have us think he's talking about physical life since we merely need to "take Jesus at His word." look at John 6:27 "Do not work for the food which perishes (physical food or literal bread ), but for the food which endures to eternal life (spiritual food), which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal." it's clear that the comparison is type/antitype, physical/spiritual, etc. i don't see why you cannot see it.

John 6 or the feeding that came before His discourse really has very little to do with the our Lord's death (only alluded to in v. 51)). the Lord's Supper pictures (prefigures) His death...PERIOD (1 co 11:26). this picture that Christ was using was much broader than just His death. the typology described by Jesus in John 6:26-71 is that the bread (i.e., manna) in the wilderness is the type and He is the anti-type. it is a clear type/antitype, physical/spiritual comparison. let's look at more evidence for this:


John 6:35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. is He talking physical hunger and thirst here? shall we take Him at His word? when He says, "he who comes to Me" is He talking about to consume His flesh literally or does He mean something else? look at the following verse for the very clear answer (vv. 36-40).

and look at the response:


John 6:41 Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, "I am the bread that came down out of heaven."

they had completely ignored His words as they were still hung up on the fact that He was saying He was from heaven (vv. 41-43). they couldn't believe that "this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother they knew" could have possibly been from heaven (the promised Messiah and Savior). i mean, come on, they knew Him and they had grown up with Him. they could see nothing special about this man.

then the Jews get hung up yet on another thing: John 6:52 Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?" they missed everything He was saying and were completely missing the spiritual truth to what He was saying because they were focusing on the literalness of His words rather than catching the typological nature of what He was saying (somewhat like you are doing and what dispensationalists do with many other Scriptures). and how does Christ answer:


John 6:53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. (this is the clearest statement that He is not talking about literally eating His flesh and drinking His blood; the thought is almost blasphemous and impossible to stomach [no pun intended] and i can understand their reaction if one were to take His words literally instead of figuratively)55 "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. 58 "This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever."

you cannot miss the figurative and typological nature of His words. He's using the physical picture of eating and drinking to teach a spiritual reality of partaking of Christ (coming to and believing in Him; vv. 35-40, 44-47, v. 54) and abiding with Him (being nourished by taking Him into our lives; v. 56ff). this is an amazing and beautiful picture. just as we eat and drink and it becomes part of us, so when we partake of Christ He becomes part of us. this is the clear meaning and what He's saying makes no sense if taken literally. this is the exact way that Christ always speaks and teaches and the way God has always spoken to us. Christ's parables are a great example of this. Christ's words are filled with figurative language. He used physical pictures to teach spiritual realities (do we think that Christ was telling the disciples that He would make them literal fishers of men or was using a physical picture to teach a spiritual reality?). God in the OT used physical pictures to teach spiritual realities (e.g., the feasts, temple, sacrifices, circumcision, passover, etc.). the whole Old Covenant economy was one big physical picture for the New Covenant. to God, what is real or reality is the spiritual but He communicates to us through physical words and pictures because that's how we learn (thus Christ's use of parables). that's why Christ says in v. 55 "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink". getting used to the fact that Christ almost always spoke in this way is a big step and is what is essential in truly understanding His words. coming to this understanding makes the Scripture and Jesus words come alive. it makes them real and makes them have profound meaning in our lives.

another NT figure also had this problem - nicodemus (it seems that Jews had a big problem with taken Jesus literally when He was clearly speaking figuratively, using physical pictures to teach a spiritual reality).


John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?"

this is obviously not what Jesus was saying. but nicodemus did not get it and Jesus rebukes Him for it:


John 3:10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? ...12 "If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

this is the very issue. we must not miss the true meaning of Jesus words and this applies to our current discussion. this is the human tradition that the RC church has added. this is the great error that the RC church has made at completely missing the true spiritual and heavenly meaning of the clear words of Jesus. we need to apply this to the Lord's Supper and Jesus words in it. it was another physical picture which teaches a spiritual reality. it is a memorial just as any physical picture given to Israel to remind them of a spiritual reality (Lk 22:19; 1 Co 11:24-26). contrary to what a RC would have us believe, the disciples did not think that they were actually eating His flesh or drinking His blood at their first Lord's Supper and nor should we presume that those who followed believed this either. the interpretation you are proposing is the false interpretation that was understood by the Jews in John 6:52. not a very good model for us who want to truly understand the reality of Jesus words.

Victor Joseph
05-20-02, 04:21 PM
Greetings countrymouse.

I appreciate your humility in your last response. It is, I'm finding, a prerequisite for doing this type of the Lord's work.

I see that you too hold that Jesus is our Passover Lamb.
If we look at Ex.12:17 we see that the Jews are to keep the feast (later the early church keeps it as well. . . the Eucharist). Jesus is indeed the Lamb of God sacraficed once and for all for the remission of sins. My question is . . . how did the Jews look at the passover? My understanding is that when they celebrate they are celebrating that 'same' passover of thousands of years earlier made 'present' in time and space. When Catholics celebrate the Eucharist Jesus' 'once and for all' sacrifice is made 'present' in time and space for 'all' generations to remember. . . forever.

Here's another important tie. . . God put some stipulations on how that Lamb was to be 'consumed'. "Break no bone= Jesus on the cross" & no uncircumcised= baptised. . . person shall eat it. I guess my point is that there are "types" to be found in the OT that help us to understand the NT.

Here's the deal . . . If you were a Jew and you wanted to avoid having your firstborn son slain by the Angel of Death "YOU HAD TO EAT THE LAMB."
Ask yourself , in context, what Jesus meant in Jn 6 when He said unless you eat MY flesh and drink my blood . . . you have not LIFE in you. What is that LIFE? Catholics would call this santifying grace. Without which we cannot enter heaven.

In your previous response you made reference to Our Lord using literary devices. . . Yes He did to great effect. But I think you are comparing 'apples and oranges' regarding the Eucharist. Allow me to clarify. Jesus did indeed use figurative terms to make His point about He being like a 'door' or 'light' or 'the root' or 'the rock' to describe Himself. But I'm afraid there is no logical parallel between the words 'This is my body' and 'I am the vine' or 'I am the door.' For the images of the vine and door can have, of their very nature, a symbolical sense. Christ is like a vine because all the sap of my spiritual life comes through Him. He is like a door since we go to heaven through Him.
. . .But a piece of bread is in NO WAY like His flesh. Of it's very nature it cannot symbolize the actual body of Christ. And he excludes that Himself by saying, 'The bread that I will give is My flesh for the life of the world, and My flesh is meat indeed.' That is, it is to be actually eaten, not merely commemorated in some symbolical way.

The above explanation is from a 3 volume set called 'Radio Replies' by Rumble & Carty. You can get it through a lay apostlate known a Catholic Answers should the Spirit move you to investigate further.
www.catholic.com

Here's something else that I think is quite telling from scripture about the issue of the Real Presence vs. the 'real absence' of Jesus in the Eucharist. If you go to 1 Cor. 11:26-30 "So it is the Lord's death that you are heralding, whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, until he comes. And therefore, if anyone eats this bread and drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily, he will be held to account for the Lord's body & blood." . . . shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord." Douay Rheims translation by St. Jerome. A man must examine himself first, and then eat of that bread and drink of that cup; he is eating and drinking damnation to himself if he eats and drinks unworthily, not recognizing the Lord's body for what it is."

countrymouse . . .What should it be recognized as. . . a mere metaphor? Then how can receiving unworthily be equated with being 'guilty of the body and blood of the Lord?" (or the cultural equivalent of murder during our Lord's lifetime and still is from what I understand). It seems plain and simple that the presence of Christ's body is neccessary for an offence committed against it. A man cannot be 'guilty of majesty' unless the majesty exists in the object against which his crime is committed. In a like manner, an offender against the blessed Eucharist cannot be described as guilty of Christ's Body and Blood if these are not really present. How could a person be guilty (of homicide) if he had merely eaten a littlebread and drunk a little wine, as a picture or representation or reminder of the Last Supper? St. Paul's words are meaningless without the dogma of the Real Presence. (From the book Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating. www.catholic.com

Let me conclude with a quote from St. Ignatius of Antioch (c.35-107AD) He was a Bishop and a martyr. . ."Make certain, therefore, that you all observe on e common Eucharist; for there is but one Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, and but one cup of union with His Blood, and one single altar of sacrifice--even as alsothere is but one bishop, with his clergy and my own fellow--servitors the deacons. This will insure that all your doings are in full accord with the will of God. Epistle to the Philadelphians 106AD

Curious what you think about this. . .?


God Bless, V.J.

countrymouse
05-20-02, 06:48 PM
Hi, Victor Joseph!

I appreciate your humility, too.

We do see the Eucharist differently, and perhaps the best we can hope for is that we will each come away with a better perspective regarding the other's position. I'll do the best I can to explain mine a little further and answer your objections.

One of the things you said was:. . .But a piece of bread is in NO WAY like His flesh. Of it's very nature it cannot symbolize the actual body of Christ. And he excludes that Himself by saying, 'The bread that I will give is My flesh for the life of the world, and My flesh is meat indeed.' That is, it is to be actually eaten, not merely commemorated in some symbolical way.

I believe (as do many Protestants) that Scriptural references to Christ's flesh and blood are meant to be understood as his death on the cross. It is his death and resurrection that give us Life, just as bread sustains the body of the one who eats it.

Let me back up even farther. You may be thinking that the Life Christ came to give us is eternal bodily life through a future physical resurrection. I do not think so. I believe that the Life he died to give us is eternal and intimate communion with God, by reconciliation through his sacrifice. The act of putting food in the body merely sustains the body; true belief in the death and resurrection of Christ, and a life lived on the basis of that provision, sustains the soul. So I have no trouble seeing the bread of the Eucharist as a holy symbol of Christ's body, which was broken for me, and the wine (grape juice for Methodists) as a holy symbol of his blood, shed for me. A holy symbol, not a mere, ordinary metaphor.
====
Yes, there are types in the OT to help us understand the NT. I do get the typology of the Passover Lamb, no bones to be broken, etc. I believe Christ instituted the Eucharist for the purpose of tying his death, in the minds of his disciples, to this Passover sacrifice. That's why he presented himself for that purpose during the Passover feast. He wanted them to know the full meaning of his death. But Passover only saved the Israelites from physical death, and the lambs nourished their bodies for the journey out of Egypt. Again, the Life Christ came to give us is spiritual life, and the ceremony we act out in and through our physical bodies is a holy picture, metaphor, symbol (whichever one prefers) of the spiritual reality. As I enjoy this holy symbol, I more richly enjoy God's fellowship, and I am nourished spiritually.
=========
How can one who eats and drinks unworthily be guilty of the body and blood of Christ? This is in 1 Corinthians 11. This chapter is one of the reasons that I agree with Kermie about how the apostolic church celebrated the Eucharist. Just as the OT sacrifices were shared as meals by the community, these believers also shared a meal when they met together to celebrate the resurrection. The problem Paul had to deal with them about was gluttonous disregard for the holy act of sharing this as a local church. One who treated it merely as any other meal ate unworthily and brought condemnation on himself, being judged by illness or untimely physical death. We know that in all the churches there were hypocrites, those who were only along for the ride. Some of them had recognized an opportunity for getting food and shelter without having to work for it; such people would have had no regard for the holiness of the Eucharist meal, and would have indeed been held guilty as conspirators in the death of Christ.
========

May I take a little more time over the quote by Ignatius?

And may I ask you this, some of which is repetitious:
(Ahead of time, forgive me if you answered it and I overlooked your answer.)

Christ said, as recorded in Matthew 26:

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.

1. How could they have been literally eating his body when his body was not yet broken? Or drinking his blood when it was not yet poured out? He was standing before them well and whole!

2. Furthermore, he must have eaten and drunk as well, for he said he would no longer drink of the fruit of that vine, which has to, by virtue of grammar and syntax, refer to the cup he had just offered them. He has no need of it!

=======

I fervently wish that all who name the name of Christ were of one mind, Victor Joseph. I surely do. But how could I compromise with what I believe to be error? I am in God's hands, and he will do what is right.

Respectfully,
cm

disciple
05-21-02, 11:09 AM
Yes He did to great effect. But I think you are comparing 'apples and oranges' regarding the Eucharist. Allow me to clarify. Jesus did indeed use figurative terms to make His point about He being like a 'door' or 'light' or 'the root' or 'the rock' to describe Himself. But I'm afraid there is no logical parallel between the words 'This is my body' and 'I am the vine' or 'I am the door.' For the images of the vine and door can have, of their very nature, a symbolical sense. Christ is like a vine because all the sap of my spiritual life comes through Him. He is like a door since we go to heaven through Him.
. . .But a piece of bread is in NO WAY like His flesh. Of it's very nature it cannot symbolize the actual body of Christ.
i'm sorry VJ but i don't understand this inconsistency. you will accept that when Jesus says, "I am the door," "I am the Light of the world," "I am the good shepherd," "I am the vine" that He is using a physical image to express a spiritual reality but you will not do so when He says, "I am the bread." this is completely illogical. if bread is in NO WAY like His flesh then why did he say, "I am the bread?" why didn't he say, "the bread is Him" since that would be more accurate? how is it that there is no logcial parallel here but there is in the other cases? the logical parallel and the typology is exactly the same in all cases. it is the use of a physical picture or image (something they were very familiar with; e.g., farming, fishing, shepherding, eating, drinking, etc.) to teach a spiritual reality. Christ's usage is vivid and amazingly logical. it seems to me that you have blinders on or something because you do not want the RC practice to be wrong (b/c as you said, "I WOULD have to consider LEAVING THE CATHOLIC FAITH if someone could prove this not to be true"). i'm not sure why you don't see this logical inconsistency in your argument. if you accept the other "I AMs" as figurative or typological you must also accept this one. the usage and grammar is no different. there is nothing whatsoever in the context that is different that would lead one to say that in the Eucharist that He means that the bread will literally transform into His physical body and the wine will literally transform into His physical blood. in order for one to read John 6 (which doesn't even really refer to the Lord's Supper which was still future and hadn't happened so there is absolutely no way they would have understood it this way) this way would be to commit eisegesis (putting the meaning or interpretation into the text rather than exegesis which is drawing the meaning out of the text through grammar, context, etc.). i don't want to unneccesarily offend and don't want to sound harsh but there is no compromising on this. this is why a protestant cannot have unity with RC or Orthodox. thanks for listening and understanding. may God help us to find the truth together.

Victor Joseph
05-21-02, 11:41 AM
Peace to you Disciple. . . Thank you for your responce concerning the Eucharist.

Try not to hold it against me for holding to the Catholic view on this subject. . . I just don't see any good reason to reject the Lord and His Church's teaching on this matter. Debating from scripture alone doesn't do it for me.
(. . .look for 21 good reasons to reject Sola Scriptura) eg. if I was on trial for murder and I knew I was innocent I'd want all the evidence of my innocence to be on hand.

Q. Have you read the Early Church Fathers? Their position appears undeniably Catholic. (Do you care?) I think it's valid.

Disciple. . . perhaps you can give me a brief synopsis of the history of the church and why I should reject the Catholic faith that by most objective acounts existed from the earliest times. In addition and perhaps more important to me. . . can you produce evidence of a total apostasy as Jesus said he would be with His church always and the ". . .gates of hell would not prevail against it."

I look forward to your response.

In all humility. . . V.J.

P.S. I am working on a response to a previous request for the lineage of a modern Catholic Bishop. . . stay tuned.

disciple
05-21-02, 11:47 AM
VJ-
before i respond to your last post (which was a subject i was planning to address next, even before you posted ;) ), would you say that someone can get saved and grow in Christ from just reading the Bible (on their own apart from going to a church)?

disciple
05-21-02, 12:21 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
Q. Have you read the Early Church Fathers? Their position appears undeniably Catholic. (Do you care?) I think it's valid.
yes i'm quite familiar with the Fathers in particular the Apostolic Fathers (which i've read in their entirety). it's not that i don't care and it's not about whether i think they were right about it but it's about what does Scripture teach and say. they were men just like us and just like the apostles themselves. in fact, even the apostles were wrong at times but not when writing inspired Scripture (just look at acts 10, gal 2). they were sinners and could interpret things wrong just like we can. just because they are apostles or that someone sat under the teaching of the apostles does not mean that the later practice was biblical.


In addition and perhaps more important to me. . . can you produce evidence of a total apostasy as Jesus said he would be with His church always and the ". . .gates of hell would not prevail against it."
the thing about this verse and your use and interptretation of it is that you're reading into it what you understand about the church. also, "gates of hell (i.e., hades)" is a jewish euphemism for death. hades was the realm of the dead (those no longer living) and the gates were how you got in. so Christ was saying that death itself (e.g., persecutions that would indeed follow) would not hinder the building of His church (e.g., this was clearly shown because as the Christians were persecuted and killed the church actually grew; some said that persecution was the seed of the church). we also do not have unity in our understanding of what the church is. the Scripture says that the church is the fellowship of the saints (those justified and joined to Christ through faith alone). so when Christ says He's going to build His church it means that He is going to save individuals. it doesn't mean that He was going to build the RC church with its cathedrals and heirarchy (e.g., holy sees, bishops, archbishops, popes, etc.). so this verse really doesn't mean what you're taking it to mean in its context and with proper exegesis. as far as apostasy goes look at this:

2 Thess 2:3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

some have taken this to mean the RC or Orthodox church but i will not say this. but it is evident that some sort of apostasy (falling away) was to occur. but this is beside the point because what Jesus was saying wasn't what you are thinking. regardless of whether specific practice got corrupted people were still getting saved (justified). death wasn't preventing Christ from building His church. so i think the disagreement or the gap in mutual understanding is that we can't even agree on what the terms of Scripture mean.

Victor Joseph
05-21-02, 01:44 PM
Greetings Disciple. . .
Q. would you say that someone can get saved and grow in Christ from just reading the Bible (on their own apart from going to a church)?

Good question my friend. I would say in all humility. . . that what I think doesn't really matter regarding this issue. My understanding of what the Catholic Church teaches is that individuals can be 'saved' outside the Catholic Church by 'GRACE ALONE.'

There has been a lot of media attention about this. . . much of it distorted I'm afraid. Let me see if I can post a document that might clarify this issue for you so you can see for yourself that the Catholic Church is not out to 'condem to hell' all Protestants.

In the Lord Jesus, V.J.

Victor Joseph
05-21-02, 01:55 PM
Disciple. . . Here is an installment of a document that I hope would clarify your inquiry about salvation outside the Catholic Church. Do with it what you like.

In all humility. . . V.J.

CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH

DECLARATION
"DOMINUS IESUS"
ON THE UNICITY AND SALVIFIC UNIVERSALITY
OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE CHURCH


INTRODUCTION

1. The Lord Jesus, before ascending into heaven, commanded his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to the whole world and to baptize all nations: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16:15-16); “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the world” (Mt 28:18-20; cf. Lk 24:46-48; Jn 17:18,20,21; Acts 1:8).

The Church's universal mission is born from the command of Jesus Christ and is fulfilled in the course of the centuries in the proclamation of the mystery of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the mystery of the incarnation of the Son, as saving event for all humanity. The fundamental contents of the profession of the Christian faith are expressed thus: “I believe in one God, the Father, Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come”.1

2. In the course of the centuries, the Church has proclaimed and witnessed with fidelity to the Gospel of Jesus. At the close of the second millennium, however, this mission is still far from complete.2 For that reason, Saint Paul's words are now more relevant than ever: “Preaching the Gospel is not a reason for me to boast; it is a necessity laid on me: woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!” (1 Cor 9:16). This explains the Magisterium's particular attention to giving reasons for and supporting the evangelizing mission of the Church, above all in connection with the religious traditions of the world.3

In considering the values which these religions witness to and offer humanity, with an open and positive approach, the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on the relation of the Church to non-Christian religions states: “The Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions. She has a high regard for the manner of life and conduct, the precepts and teachings, which, although differing in many ways from her own teaching, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens allmen”.4 Continuing in this line of thought, the Church's proclamation of Jesus Christ, “the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6), today also makes use of the practice of inter-religious dialogue. Such dialogue certainly does not replace, but rather accompanies the missio ad gentes, directed toward that “mystery of unity”, from which “it follows that all men and women who are saved share, though differently, in the same mystery of salvation in Jesus Christ through his Spirit”.5 Inter-religious dialogue, which is part of the Church's evangelizing mission,6 requires an attitude of understanding and a relationship of mutual knowledge and reciprocal enrichment, in obedience to the truth and with respect for freedom.7

3. In the practice of dialogue between the Christian faith and other religious traditions, as well as in seeking to understand its theoretical basis more deeply, new questions arise that need to be addressed through pursuing new paths of research, advancing proposals, and suggesting ways of acting that call for attentive discernment. In this task, the present Declaration seeks to recall to Bishops, theologians, and all the Catholic faithful, certain indispensable elements of Christian doctrine, which may help theological reflection in developing solutions consistent with the contents of the faith and responsive to the pressing needs of contemporary culture.

The expository language of the Declaration corresponds to its purpose, which is not to treat in a systematic manner the question of the unicity and salvific universality of the mystery of Jesus Christ and the Church, nor to propose solutions to questions that are matters of free theological debate, but rather to set forth again the doctrine of the Catholic faith in these areas, pointing out some fundamental questions that remain open to further development, and refuting specific positions that are erroneous or ambiguous. For this reason, the Declaration takes up what has been taught in previous Magisterial documents, in order to reiterate certain truths that are part of the Church's faith.

4. The Church's constant missionary proclamation is endangered today by relativistic theories which seek to justify religious pluralism, not only de facto but also de iure (or in principle). As a consequence, it is held that certain truths have been superseded; for example, the definitive and complete character of the revelation of Jesus Christ, the nature of Christian faith as compared with that of belief in other religions, the inspired nature of the books of Sacred Scripture, the personal unity between the Eternal Word and Jesus of Nazareth, the unity of the economy of the Incarnate Word and the Holy Spirit, the unicity and salvific universality of the mystery of Jesus Christ, the universal salvific mediation of the Church, the inseparability — while recognizing the distinction — of the kingdom of God, the kingdom of Christ, and the Church, and the subsistence of the one Church of Christ in the Catholic Church.

The roots of these problems are to be found in certain presuppositions of both a philosophical and theological nature, which hinder the understanding and acceptance of the revealed truth. Some of these can be mentioned: the conviction of the elusiveness and inexpressibility of divine truth, even by Christian revelation; relativistic attitudes toward truth itself, according to which what is true for some would not be true for others; the radical opposition posited between the logical mentality of the West and the symbolic mentality of the East; the subjectivism which, by regarding reason as the only source of knowledge, becomes incapable of raising its “gaze to the heights, not daring to rise to the truth of being”;8 the difficulty in understanding and accepting the presence of definitive and eschatological events in history; the metaphysical emptying of the historical incarnation of the Eternal Logos, reduced to a mere appearing of God in history; the eclecticism of those who, in theological research, uncritically absorb ideas from a variety of philosophical and theological contexts without regard for consistency, systematic connection, or compatibility with Christian truth; finally, the tendency to read and to interpret Sacred Scripture outside the Tradition and Magisterium of the Church.

On the basis of such presuppositions, which may evince different nuances, certain theological proposals are developed — at times presented as assertions, and at times as hypotheses — in which Christian revelation and the mystery of Jesus Christ and the Church lose their character of absolute truth and salvific universality, or at least shadows of doubt and uncertainty are cast upon them.


Victor Joseph
05-21-02, 02:00 PM
cont. . .

I. THE FULLNESS AND DEFINITIVENESS
OF THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST

5. As a remedy for this relativistic mentality, which is becoming ever more common, it is necessary above all to reassert the definitive and complete character of the revelation of Jesus Christ. In fact, it must be firmly believed that, in the mystery of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God, who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6), the full revelation of divine truth is given: “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him” (Mt 11:27); “No one has ever seen God; God the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, has revealed him” (Jn 1:18); “For in Christ the whole fullness of divinity dwells in bodily form”(Col 2:9-10).

Faithful to God's word, the Second Vatican Council teaches: “By this revelation then, the deepest truth about God and the salvation of man shines forth in Christ, who is at the same time the mediator and the fullness of all revelation”.9 Furthermore, “Jesus Christ, therefore, the Word made flesh, sent ‘as a man to men', ‘speaks the words of God' (Jn 3:34), and completes the work of salvation which his Father gave him to do (cf. Jn 5:36; 17:4). To see Jesus is to see his Father (cf. Jn 14:9). For this reason, Jesus perfected revelation by fulfilling it through his whole work of making himself present and manifesting himself: through his words and deeds, his signs and wonders, but especially through his death and glorious resurrection from the dead and finally with the sending of the Spirit of truth, he completed and perfected revelation and confirmed it with divine testimony... The Christian dispensation, therefore, as the new and definitive covenant, will never pass away, and we now await no further new public revelation before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Tim 6:14 and Tit 2:13)”.10

Thus, the Encyclical Redemptoris missio calls the Church once again to the task of announcing the Gospel as the fullness of truth: “In this definitive Word of his revelation, God has made himself known in the fullest possible way. He has revealed to mankind who he is. This definitive self-revelation of God is the fundamental reason why the Church is missionary by her very nature. She cannot do other than proclaim the Gospel, that is, the fullness of the truth which God has enabled us to know about himself”.11 Only the revelation of Jesus Christ, therefore, “introduces into our history a universal and ultimate truth which stirs the human mind to ceaseless effort”.12

6. Therefore, the theory of the limited, incomplete, or imperfect character of the revelation of Jesus Christ, which would be complementary to that found in other religions, is contrary to the Church's faith. Such a position would claim to be based on the notion that the truth about God cannot be grasped and manifested in its globality and completeness by any historical religion, neither by Christianity nor by Jesus Christ.

Such a position is in radical contradiction with the foregoing statements of Catholic faith according to which the full and complete revelation of the salvific mystery of God is given in Jesus Christ. Therefore, the words, deeds, and entire historical event of Jesus, though limited as human realities, have nevertheless the divine Person of the Incarnate Word, “true God and true man”13 as their subject. For this reason, they possess in themselves the definitiveness and completeness of the revelation of God's salvific ways, even if the depth of the divine mystery in itself remains transcendent and inexhaustible. The truth about God is not abolished or reduced because it is spoken in human language; rather, it is unique, full, and complete, because he who speaks and acts is the Incarnate Son of God. Thus, faith requires us to profess that the Word made flesh, in his entire mystery, who moves from incarnation to glorification, is the source, participated but real, as well as the fulfilment of every salvific revelation of God to humanity,14 and that the Holy Spirit, who is Christ's Spirit, will teach this “entire truth” (Jn 16:13) to the Apostles and, through them, to the whole Church.

7. The proper response to God's revelation is “the obedience of faith (Rom 16:26; cf. Rom 1:5; 2 Cor 10:5-6) by which man freely entrusts his entire self to God, offering ‘the full submission of intellect and will to God who reveals' and freely assenting to the revelation given by him”.15 Faith is a gift of grace: “in order to have faith, the grace of God must come first and give assistance; there must also be the interior helps of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and gives ‘to everyone joy and ease in assenting to and believing in the truth'”.16

The obedience of faith implies acceptance of the truth of Christ's revelation, guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself:17 “Faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God. At the same time, and inseparably, it is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed”.18 Faith, therefore, as “a gift of God” and as “a supernatural virtue infused by him”,19 involves a dual adherence: to God who reveals and to the truth which he reveals, out of the trust which one has in him who speaks. Thus, “we must believe in no one but God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”.20

For this reason, the distinction between theological faith and belief in the other religions, must be firmly held. If faith is the acceptance in grace of revealed truth, which “makes it possible to penetrate the mystery in a way that allows us to understand it coherently”,21 then belief, in the other religions, is that sum of experience and thought that constitutes the human treasury of wisdom and religious aspiration, which man in his search for truth has conceived and acted upon in his relationship to God and the Absolute.22

This distinction is not always borne in mind in current theological reflection. Thus, theological faith (the acceptance of the truth revealed by the One and Triune God) is often identified with belief in other religions, which is religious experience still in search of the absolute truth and still lacking assent to God who reveals himself. This is one of the reasons why the differences between Christianity and the other religions tend to be reduced at times to the point of disappearance.

8. The hypothesis of the inspired value of the sacred writings of other religions is also put forward. Certainly, it must be recognized that there are some elements in these texts which may be de facto instruments by which countless people throughout the centuries have been and still are able today to nourish and maintain their life-relationship with God. Thus, as noted above, the Second Vatican Council, in considering the customs, precepts, and teachings of the other religions, teaches that “although differing in many ways from her own teaching, these nevertheless often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men”.23

The Church's tradition, however, reserves the designation of inspired texts to the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments, since these are inspired by the Holy Spirit.24 Taking up this tradition, the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation of the Second Vatican Council states: “For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 20:31; 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:19-21; 3:15-16), they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself”.25 These books “firmly, faithfully, and without error, teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures”.26

Nevertheless, God, who desires to call all peoples to himself in Christ and to communicate to them the fullness of his revelation and love, “does not fail to make himself present in many ways, not only to individuals, but also to entire peoples through their spiritual riches, of which their religions are the main and essential expression even when they contain ‘gaps, insufficiencies and errors'”.27 Therefore, the sacred books of other religions, which in actual fact direct and nourish the existence of their followers, receive from the mystery of Christ the elements of goodness and grace which they contain.


Victor Joseph
05-21-02, 02:05 PM
cont. . .

II. THE INCARNATE LOGOS
AND THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE WORK OF SALVATION

9. In contemporary theological reflection there often emerges an approach to Jesus of Nazareth that considers him a particular, finite, historical figure, who reveals the divine not in an exclusive way, but in a way complementary with other revelatory and salvific figures. The Infinite, the Absolute, the Ultimate Mystery of God would thus manifest itself to humanity in many ways and in many historical figures: Jesus of Nazareth would be one of these. More concretely, for some, Jesus would be one of the many faces which the Logos has assumed in the course of time to communicate with humanity in a salvific way.

Furthermore, to justify the universality of Christian salvation as well as the fact of religious pluralism, it has been proposed that there is an economy of the eternal Word that is valid also outside the Church and is unrelated to her, in addition to an economy of the incarnate Word. The first would have a greater universal value than the second, which is limited to Christians, though God's presence would be more full in the second.

10. These theses are in profound conflict with the Christian faith. The doctrine of faith must be firmly believed which proclaims that Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary, and he alone, is the Son and the Word of the Father. The Word, which “was in the beginning with God” (Jn 1:2) is the same as he who “became flesh” (Jn 1:14). In Jesus, “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16), “the whole fullness of divinity dwells in bodily form” (Col 2:9). He is the “only begotten Son of the Father, who is in the bosom of the Father” (Jn 1:18), his “beloved Son, in whom we have redemption... In him the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him, God was pleased to reconcile all things to himself, on earth and in the heavens, making peace by the blood of his Cross” (Col 1:13-14; 19-20).

Faithful to Sacred Scripture and refuting erroneous and reductive interpretations, the First Council of Nicaea solemnly defined its faith in: “Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only begotten generated from the Father, that is, from the being of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father, through whom all things were made, those in heaven and those on earth. For us men and for our salvation, he came down and became incarnate, was made man, suffered, and rose again on the third day. He ascended to the heavens and shall come again to judge the living and the dead”.28 Following the teachings of the Fathers of the Church, the Council of Chalcedon also professed: “the one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man..., one in being with the Father according to the divinity and one in being with us according to the humanity..., begotten of the Father before the ages according to the divinity and, in these last days, for us and our salvation, of Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, according to the humanity”.29

For this reason, the Second Vatican Council states that Christ “the new Adam...‘image of the invisible God' (Col 1:15) is himself the perfect man who has restored that likeness to God in the children of Adam which had been disfigured since the first sin... As an innocent lamb he merited life for us by his blood which he freely shed. In him God reconciled us to himself and to one another, freeing us from the bondage of the devil and of sin, so that each one of us could say with the apostle: the Son of God ‘loved me and gave himself up for me' (Gal 2:20)”.30

In this regard, John Paul II has explicitly declared: “To introduce any sort of separation between the Word and Jesus Christ is contrary to the Christian faith... Jesus is the Incarnate Word — a single and indivisible person... Christ is none other than Jesus of Nazareth; he is the Word of God made man for the salvation of all... In the process of discovering and appreciating the manifold gifts — especially the spiritual treasures — that God has bestowed on every people, we cannot separate those gifts from Jesus Christ, who is at the centre of God's plan of salvation”.31

It is likewise contrary to the Catholic faith to introduce a separation between the salvific action of the Word as such and that of the Word made man. With the incarnation, all the salvific actions of the Word of God are always done in unity with the human nature that he has assumed for the salvation of all people. The one subject which operates in the two natures, human and divine, is the single person of the Word.32

Therefore, the theory which would attribute, after the incarnation as well, a salvific activity to the Logos as such in his divinity, exercised “in addition to” or “beyond” the humanity of Christ, is not compatible with the Catholic faith.33

11. Similarly, the doctrine of faith regarding the unicity of the salvific economy willed by the One and Triune God must be firmly believed, at the source and centre of which is the mystery of the incarnation of the Word, mediator of divine grace on the level of creation and redemption (cf. Col 1:15-20), he who recapitulates all things (cf. Eph 1:10), he “whom God has made our wisdom, our righteousness, and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor 1:30). In fact, the mystery of Christ has its own intrinsic unity, which extends from the eternal choice in God to the parousia: “he [the Father] chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love” (Eph 1:4); “In Christ we are heirs, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will” (Eph 1:11); “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers; those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Rom 8:29-30).

The Church's Magisterium, faithful to divine revelation, reasserts that Jesus Christ is the mediator and the universal redeemer: “The Word of God, through whom all things were made, was made flesh, so that as perfect man he could save all men and sum up all things in himself. The Lord...is he whom the Father raised from the dead, exalted and placed at his right hand, constituting him judge of the living and the dead”.34 This salvific mediation implies also the unicity of the redemptive sacrifice of Christ, eternal high priest (cf. Heb 6:20; 9:11; 10:12-14).

12. There are also those who propose the hypothesis of an economy of the Holy Spirit with a more universal breadth than that of the Incarnate Word, crucified and risen. This position also is contrary to the Catholic faith, which, on the contrary, considers the salvific incarnation of the Word as a trinitarian event. In the New Testament, the mystery of Jesus, the Incarnate Word, constitutes the place of the Holy Spirit's presence as well as the principle of the Spirit's effusion on humanity, not only in messianic times (cf. Acts 2:32-36; Jn 7:39, 20:22; 1 Cor 15:45), but also prior to his coming in history (cf. 1 Cor 10:4; 1 Pet 1:10-12).

The Second Vatican Council has recalled to the consciousness of the Church's faith this fundamental truth. In presenting the Father's salvific plan for all humanity, the Council closely links the mystery of Christ from its very beginnings with that of the Spirit.35 The entire work of building the Church by Jesus Christ the Head, in the course of the centuries, is seen as an action which he does in communion with his Spirit.36

Furthermore, the salvific action of Jesus Christ, with and through his Spirit, extends beyond the visible boundaries of the Church to all humanity. Speaking of the paschal mystery, in which Christ even now associates the believer to himself in a living manner in the Spirit and gives him the hope of resurrection, the Council states: “All this holds true not only for Christians but also for all men of good will in whose hearts grace is active invisibly. For since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery”.37

Hence, the connection is clear between the salvific mystery of the Incarnate Word and that of the Spirit, who actualizes the salvific efficacy of the Son made man in the lives of all people, called by God to a single goal, both those who historically preceded the Word made man, and those who live after his coming in history: the Spirit of the Father, bestowed abundantly by the Son, is the animator of all (cf. Jn 3:34).

Thus, the recent Magisterium of the Church has firmly and clearly recalled the truth of a single divine economy: “The Spirit's presence and activity affect not only individuals but also society and history, peoples, cultures and religions... The Risen Christ ‘is now at work in human hearts through the strength of his Spirit'... Again, it is the Spirit who sows the ‘seeds of the word' present in various customs and cultures, preparing them for full maturity in Christ”.38 While recognizing the historical-salvific function of the Spirit in the whole universe and in the entire history of humanity,39 the Magisterium states: “This is the same Spirit who was at work in the incarnation and in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and who is at work in the Church. He is therefore not an alternative to Christ nor does he fill a sort of void which is sometimes suggested as existing between Christ and the Logos. Whatever the Spirit brings about in human hearts and in the history of peoples, in cultures and religions, serves as a preparation for the Gospel and can only be understood in reference to Christ, the Word who took flesh by the power of the Spirit ‘so that as perfectly human he would save all human beings and sum up all things'”.40

In conclusion, the action of the Spirit is not outside or parallel to the action of Christ. There is only one salvific economy of the One and Triune God, realized in the mystery of the incarnation, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, actualized with the cooperation of the Holy Spirit, and extended in its salvific value to all humanity and to the entire universe: “No one, therefore, can enter into communion with God except through Christ, by the working of the Holy Spirit”.41

disciple
05-21-02, 02:09 PM
Perhaps today this is so (the current pope embraces evolution) but this has not historically been the case:

Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent

CANONS CONCERNING JUSTIFICATION

Canon 9. If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone,[114] meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of justification, and that it is not in any way necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the action of his own will, let him be anathema .

Canon 11. If anyone says that men are justified either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost,[116] and remains in them, or also that the grace by which we are justified is only the good will of God, let him be anathema .

Canon 12. If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy,[117] which remits sins for Christ's sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, let him be anathema .

Canon 13. If anyone says that in order to obtain the remission of sins it is necessary for every man to believe with certainty and without any hesitation arising from his own weakness and indisposition that his sins are forgiven him, let him be anathema .

Canon 14. If anyone says that man is absolved from his sins and justified because he firmly believes that he is absolved and justified,[118] or that no one is truly justified except him who believes himself justified, and that by this faith alone absolution and justification are effected, let him be anathema .

from http://www.forerunner.com/chalcedon/X0020_15._Council_of_Trent.html

Victor Joseph
05-21-02, 02:11 PM
cont. . .

III. UNICITY AND UNIVERSALITY
OF THE SALVIFIC MYSTERY OF JESUS CHRIST

13. The thesis which denies the unicity and salvific universality of the mystery of Jesus Christ is also put forward. Such a position has no biblical foundation. In fact, the truth of Jesus Christ, Son of God, Lord and only Saviour, who through the event of his incarnation, death and resurrection has brought the history of salvation to fulfilment, and which has in him its fullness and centre, must be firmly believed as a constant element of the Church's faith.

The New Testament attests to this fact with clarity: “The Father has sent his Son as the Saviour of the world” (1 Jn 4:14); “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29). In his discourse before the Sanhedrin, Peter, in order to justify the healing of a man who was crippled from birth, which was done in the name of Jesus (cf. Acts 3:1-8), proclaims: “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). St. Paul adds, moreover, that Jesus Christ “is Lord of all”, “judge of the living and the dead”, and thus “whoever believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10: 36,42,43).

Paul, addressing himself to the community of Corinth, writes: “Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth — as in fact there are many gods and many lords — yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist” (1 Cor 8:5-6). Furthermore, John the Apostle states: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (Jn 3:16-17). In the New Testament, the universal salvific will of God is closely connected to the sole mediation of Christ: “[God] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all” (1 Tim 2:4-6).

It was in the awareness of the one universal gift of salvation offered by the Father through Jesus Christ in the Spirit (cf. Eph 1:3-14), that the first Christians encountered the Jewish people, showing them the fulfilment of salvation that went beyond the Law and, in the same awareness, they confronted the pagan world of their time, which aspired to salvation through a plurality of saviours. This inheritance of faith has been recalled recently by the Church's Magisterium: “The Church believes that Christ, who died and was raised for the sake of all (cf. 2 Cor 5:15) can, through his Spirit, give man the light and the strength to be able to respond to his highest calling, nor is there any other name under heaven given among men by which they can be saved (cf. Acts 4:12). The Church likewise believes that the key, the centre, and the purpose of the whole of man's history is to be found in its Lord and Master”.42

14. It must therefore be firmly believed as a truth of Catholic faith that the universal salvific will of the One and Triune God is offered and accomplished once for all in the mystery of the incarnation, death, and resurrection of the Son of God.

Bearing in mind this article of faith, theology today, in its reflection on the existence of other religious experiences and on their meaning in God's salvific plan, is invited to explore if and in what way the historical figures and positive elements of these religions may fall within the divine plan of salvation. In this undertaking, theological research has a vast field of work under the guidance of the Church's Magisterium. The Second Vatican Council, in fact, has stated that: “the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude, but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a participation in this one source”.43 The content of this participated mediation should be explored more deeply, but must remain always consistent with the principle of Christ's unique mediation: “Although participated forms of mediation of different kinds and degrees are not excluded, they acquire meaning and value only from Christ's own mediation, and they cannot be understood as parallel or complementary to his”.44 Hence, those solutions that propose a salvific action of God beyond the unique mediation of Christ would be contrary to Christian and Catholic faith.

15. Not infrequently it is proposed that theology should avoid the use of terms like “unicity”, “universality”, and “absoluteness”, which give the impression of excessive emphasis on the significance and value of the salvific event of Jesus Christ in relation to other religions. In reality, however, such language is simply being faithful to revelation, since it represents a development of the sources of the faith themselves. From the beginning, the community of believers has recognized in Jesus a salvific value such that he alone, as Son of God made man, crucified and risen, by the mission received from the Father and in the power of the Holy Spirit, bestows revelation (cf. Mt 11:27) and divine life (cf. Jn 1:12; 5:25-26; 17:2) to all humanity and to every person.

In this sense, one can and must say that Jesus Christ has a significance and a value for the human race and its history, which are unique and singular, proper to him alone, exclusive, universal, and absolute. Jesus is, in fact, the Word of God made man for the salvation of all. In expressing this consciousness of faith, the Second Vatican Council teaches: “The Word of God, through whom all things were made, was made flesh, so that as perfect man he could save all men and sum up all things in himself. The Lord is the goal of human history, the focal point of the desires of history and civilization, the centre of mankind, the joy of all hearts, and the fulfilment of all aspirations. It is he whom the Father raised from the dead, exalted and placed at his right hand, constituting him judge of the living and the dead”.45 “It is precisely this uniqueness of Christ which gives him an absolute and universal significance whereby, while belonging to history, he remains history's centre and goal: ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end' (Rev 22:13)”.46


disciple
05-21-02, 02:14 PM
Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent

ON THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST

CANON 1.-If any one denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema (i.e., damned).

CANON 2.-If any one saith, that, in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood-the species Only of the bread and wine remaining-which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation; let him be anathema .

CANON 3.-If any one denieth, that, in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist, the whole Christ is contained under each species, and under every part of each species, when separated; let him be anathema .

CANON 6.-If any one saith, that, in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, is not to be adored with the worship, even external of latria; and is, consequently, neither to be venerated with a special festive solemnity, nor to be solemnly borne about in processions, according to the laudable and universal rite and custom of holy church; or, is not to be proposed publicly to the people to be adored, and that the adorers thereof are idolators; let him be anathema .

CANON 8.-lf any one saith, that Christ, given in the Eucharist, is eaten spiritually only, and not also sacramentally and really; let him be anathema.

disciple
05-21-02, 02:22 PM
actually my purpose in bringing that question up was because i want to talk about what the authority is in the believer's life and to find out whether you feel that within Scripture is contained everything for life and godliness and all the instruction we need be saved and to live the Christian life. more later...

Victor Joseph
05-21-02, 02:53 PM
Hello Disciple. . . peace to you.

I need to say something in all humility. I'm not a claric just your garden variety Catholic who in the last couple of years decided to seriously look into the faith I'd professed, found TRUTH, and decided I wanted to learn to defend it.

I don't claim to have all the answers off the top of my head. Regarding the Council of Trent let me see if I can clarify. . . as it would seem on the surface to be quite mean spirited. I heard a tape recently called Catholicism Meets Calvary Chapel (Your responses to me sound a lot like Calvary Chapels to the Catholic apologists Tim Staples and Jesse Romero). It's quite a lively discussion/debate. You can get it from Saint Joseph Communications www.saintjoe.com

If I recall correctly that when the Council of Trent came up and the Evangelical took issue with these 'anathamas', the response was that the Church is the living body of Christ with the power 'given by Christ' to anathmatize those under its authority. Thus, when CATHOLICS like Luther, Calvin etc. began teaching heresy they were anathamatised. . . excommunicated. And that this didn't mean they couldn't return or repent privately and still gain salvation. . . we don't know. . . only God. They just couldn't remain Catholic and say what they did in the way they did it. In any case since you, disciple, are NOT Catholic, these anathamas DO NOT apply to you or your fellow Protestants. I'm sorry. . . I'll try to find out more if it's helpful.

In Jesus Name, V.J.

disciple
05-21-02, 03:08 PM
no that's ok. no need to get more info. i realized this but i know that many Catholics (historically) think that salvation is in the RC church and that you cannot be saved outside of it (you have to be in the Ark to be saved from the wrath and the Ark for the RC is the RC Church where it is Christ for the protestant). but this is not where i'm going with this. my question speaks to authority (apostolic authority to be precise). what is the actual and only authority for faith and practice? that's where i'm going with this. the protestant would answer Scripture while i'm not so sure that the RC would. herein lies the dilemma. i will attempt to show with Scripture that protestants, indeed any believer has access to apostolic authority in the Scripture and that Scripture itself is the only apostolic succession that matters. more later on this...

Victor Joseph
05-21-02, 05:21 PM
Disciple. . . just want to let you know that I am enjoying our discussions and I wish you peace.

Quote: i know that many Catholics (historically) think that salvation is in the RC church and that you cannot be saved outside of it (you have to be in the Ark to be saved from the wrath and the Ark for the RC is the RC Church where it is Christ for the protestant).

In all due respect and as far as I know this is a CORRECT statement. Any one who is to be saved will be saved through the Catholic Church that we believe Jesus established. That's whether he wants to be or not. My hope is that I will embrace every Protestant some day in heaven. Here's the rub. . . We believe what scripture and sacred tradition teach. . . that the Catholic Church is the BODY of Christ. It is NOT over and against Christ as you alude to above. Just as you cannot severe the head from the torso you cannot separate the church from Christ. Saul Saul. . . . . why do you persecute me? (the church).

<<(((>><<< (Like the fish?) In Jesus. V.J.

disciple
05-21-02, 05:55 PM
yes i believe that the church is the body of Christ but i believe that the church is composed of all who believe in Jesus Christ alone for salvation and who are therefore declared righteous having Christ's righteousness credited to their account (i.e., imputation) (rom 4:2ff; 2 co 5:19f). this is Christ's church--His body. this is the Catholic or Universal Church. so the protestant defines the church by all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 co 1:2).

here's the rub--the RC thinks that the church that Christ is building is the Roman Catholic Church (physical and visible i presume; based on their supposed Apostolic succession) is the body of Christ. therefore we start with different definitions on what the church is.

with all due respect, Jesus didn't establish a RC Church on the corner with the stained glass windows with supposed Apostolic succession and heirarchy (e.g., holy see, popes, bishops, diocese, etc.). the body of Christ is an organism not an organization. it's composed of all those who believe no matter where they are or where they go to church. this could be a RC church, a baptist church, a methodist church, and Orthodox church, a lutheran church, a presbyterian church, etc. it is all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. this, from what i understand, is very different from the RC and Orthodox views.

><>

gsr
05-21-02, 11:48 PM
What I find amazing is how so many Christian leaders overlook the nature of the church of Rome. Great cult experts like Walter Martin and Bob Larson never list them in any of their publications about cults. Great televangelists like TBN leadership, Jack Van Impe, and others are ready to call anyone who is "spirit filled" a Christian regardless of the false gods they pray to "in the name of Jesus".

Popular Christianity also tends to give Catholics a pass. Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, The Way, Moonies and others are quickly called cults. The largest cult of 1 billion, 1 out of 5 on earth, are hardly mentioned as cults by most churches these days. Maybe this is due to the Ecumenical Movement which has been proceeding over the last 200+ years. The World Council of Churches, the World Parliament of Religions, and other organizations have openned the door for compromise and for the children of the harlot to return to her.

disciple
05-22-02, 01:17 PM
True Apostolic Succession comes not through being taught by the right person or through being in the right church or by being able to trace your position back to an apostle. according to Scripture all that is required to give information necessary for salvation, sanctification, and to provide one with the apostle's teaching (and thus the teaching of Jesus) is provided for us in written form...in the Scriptures. first of all notice the importance placed on the OT Scriptures as the basis for the New Covenant and the Messiahship of Jesus. they never appealed to Sacred Tradition (the Mishnah or Talmud or the Rabbis) but always appealed to the written revelation of God.

Lk 24:27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures...44 Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
notice that He didn't appeal to anything other than what was written. nothing about Sacred Tradition, oral tradition, what the Fathers said and what was passed down...only what was written.

Jn 1:45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
notice that it's not what they said or what was passed down through oral tradition but what they wrote that was important.

Acts 17:2 And according to Paul's custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
Paul didn't use the oral tradition, Sacred Tradition, or what he learned from Gamileal (sp?) but only what was written in the Scriptures

Acts 17:11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
notice that the bereans were praised because they examined what was written in the Scriptures to check on whether or not what paul was saying was true. they didn't do a background check to see if he was authorized to use and correctly interpret the Scripture. they didn't check with the Rabbis or to see how the Sacred Tradition, oral law, mishnah, talmud, etc. interpreted it. they did an independent check with the OT Scriptures to see if what paul was saying lined up with what was already written and recorded. people can argue with oral tradition but they cannot argue with what is written in black and white and recorded in words.

Acts 18:24 Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures.

Acts 18:28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.

Acts 24:14 "But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets;

Acts 28:23 When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets (i.e., what was written there), from morning until evening.

Rom 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

1 Cor 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
notice that the very gospel (v. 1-2) is founded and grounded in what was previously recorded and written in the Scriptures. we don't appeal to what someone else taught us or how so and so interpreted it, we appeal to what is already written and recorded.

2 Tim 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
note what shows us approved of God and not ashamed. it's not our knowledge of the fathers or being acquainted with the oral or Sacred Tradition. it's not about who taught us or about what someone else said or how they interpreted the Scriptures. it's handling accurately the word of truth (e.g., the Scriptures).

2 Tim 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God (theopneustos - Literally God breathed) and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
notice what is able to give the wisdom that leads to salvation. notice what is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. notice what makes believers adequate and equipped for every good work. it isn't oral or Sacred Tradition. it isn't what someone else said about what was written. it isn't what church we attend or in who taught us or from where we got the teaching or interpretation. it's from the sacred writings (Scripture) that we find all we need for the Christian life. all that the believer needs is found in the written word of God (i.e., the Scriptures). we need nothing else, we use nothing else, and we rely on nothing else to instruct us about what we need for life and godliness.

concerning the NT Scriptures, the very word of Christ is the authority on which we say that He would have recorded what the New Covenant believer required for life and godliness. things did not change at this point to now require not only the written word of God but also oral or Sacred Tradition and the interpretation of that word through correct lineage. the written word remains what the New Covenant believer goes to find out what God has for them. to add anything or to say it has to come through the correct succession in order to be authoritative is to denigrate the finality and authority of God's written word.

John 15:26 "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, 27 and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

John 16:12 "I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear {them} now. 13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose {it} to you.
Christ here is not being ambigious, mysterious, or somehow telling this to all Christians. He is here speaking to the disciples (who would be the apostles), telling them that He will send His Spirit so that they may write the NT Scriptures. the Spirit will instruct the church through the apostle's hands in a written form to give us what else Christ had to teach them.

and it is evident from verses in the NT that the apostles realized that they were to record in written form that which Christ had taught them. it wasn't enough to pass down oral tradition or enough to just be under the teaching of the apostles. the words needed to be written and the teaching of Christ needed to be recorded as Scripture to be authoritative and to be carried on to future generations. this is because people are sinners, people change, teachings and interpretations change, even the apostles were subject to error (acts 10, gal 2), but the written word was sure (firm) and God's written word could not pass away (mt 5:18, lk 16:17).

Gal 1:12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
notice that Paul didn't appeal to the church he went to, he didn't appeal to oral or Sacred Tradition. he knew that what he taught and what he wrote was through divine authority and through a miraculous revelation to him.

2 Pet 1:16 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased" 18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
this is amazing! even though he had the awesome experience of seeing Jesus transfigured on the mountain (alluding to mt 17) Peter appeals to the written word as that which is more sure. so Peter elevates the word of God in authority even above his experience in seeing the glory of the Son of God. the written word is our authority.

2 Pet 3:15...just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
note here that peter recognized that Paul's written letters were Scripture, given by inspiration of God (2 tim 3:16) and by one who was moved by the Holy Spirit to speak from God (john 16:12ff; 2 pe 1:21).

so it is very clear to me that it is the written word which is our sure foundation and not Sacred Tradition, what the fathers said, whether one can trace their lineage to an apostle, etc. the written word of God, the sacred Scriptures, are the only thing a follower of Christ needs for life and godliness and this is an extremely clear teaching of the word of our Lord. in addition to this written word, God has given every believer His Spirit to teach them and lead them. but the foundation is still what is written down. the Spirit is given that the believer may have the mind of Christ.

1 Co 2:10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

1 john 2:17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. 18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.

Heb 1:1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

disciple
05-22-02, 01:56 PM
before you object or explain i want to add one more thing. i realize that the RC elevates the Scriptures to the highest authority and that they believe that the written word is the basis. what the RC argues with is in who has the authority to correctly interpret and teach that written word. since we're all subject to being wrong since we're human God gives the Church (through apostolic succession) the keys that they may have the authority to dispense the Scriptures and their interpretation. but Scritpure gives no indication that this is so. the OT and NT only appeal to what was recorded in written form as authoritative and give no indication that it must come through the right authority or through a certain succession.

the traditions to which the RC church refers to in the NT as proof to oral tradition (Sacred Tradition) is not even this. when reading these three verses one needs to remember that the NT canon wasn't complete and assembled yet. also, the tradition referred to was not some supposed apostolic succession but what was modeled and taught by the apostles. this was what was to be recorded in Scripture and what came through our Lord.

1 Co 11:1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. 2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.
notice here that not all books for the NT canon had even been written yet. to construe from this that he refers to passing his words and interpretation down orally is a little much to ask. why couldn't he be referring to that teaching which was given as a revelation to him that would eventually be recorded in written form in the NT? the traditions he refers to are clearly no different or something more than what we have in written form now in the NT. to say otherwise is presumption and speculation. no Scripture points to this (that we needed to not only have written Scripture but also oral tradition for life and godliness).

2 Thess 2:15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.
it must be recognized that the entire NT canon had not been even written at this point. of course he's going to appeal to what they taught by word of mouth at this point of time in history because he taught what he received through revelation.

2 Thess 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you
this does not refer to some sacred oral tradition or something spoken that was to be passed down orally to give extra instructions that aren't in written form in the NT. the tradition was their example and refers to what paul also wrote in Scripture.

it is clear to me that these traditions spoken of in Scripture (only in three places and only one verse that could be construed to mean what the RC church says [2 th 2:15]) are not something in addition to what is recorded in written form in the NT. this is no different from what the pharisees were doing when they set aside the commandments of God to observe their traditions (mt 15:2ff; mk 7:3ff). the traditions of the RC church are none other than the traditions of men (col 2:8) as they are not found anywhere in the authoritative written word of our Lord. this is the only and final authority on all practice and i stand with Luther to say:


"Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason -- I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other -- my conscience is captive to the Word of God. . . . Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise."

aletheo
05-22-02, 02:02 PM
The Scriptures in and of themselves are not the authority. It is Christ's interpretation of them that is the authority. That is what the Church carries - Scripture and its interpretation - in Christ, through the Apostles. Many people have the Bible, and many people have interpretations of the Bible. Even the Devil knows the Bible, does that make him an authority when he uses it?

If I can get back to it, I will post some Scriptures on this.

P.S. Apostolic succession is a fact. The Apostles ordained others. These others succeded the Apostles in leading the churches. There's nothing magical or secretive about it. That is just how it happened. The issue is whether or not one followed the apostolic authority/teaching, or instead became schismatic or heretical.

disciple
05-22-02, 02:15 PM
Originally posted by aletheo
The Scriptures in and of themselves are not the authority.
that is not what the verses say. you've ignored the Scriptures that speak clearly to this if you say that the word alone doesn't carry the authority. the fact that it's the word of the Lord (OT or NT) is authoritive. it is authoritative because of it's source, from the Lord (OT or NT). to ignore this is to ignore every Scripture i posted.


P.S. Apostolic succession is a fact. The Apostles ordained others. These others succeded the Apostles in leading the churches. There's nothing magical or secretive about it. That is just how it happened. The issue is whether or not one followed the apostolic authority/teaching, or instead became schismatic or heretical.
this is how you see it. this is not what Scripture says. i realize that there is nothing magical about it. but it is clear from the verses i quoted that the authority is on whether or not the teaching was found in the written word of God--the sacred Scriptures. one needs to go no further than acts 17:11 for this. it is plain and clear. to ignore it is to ignore what Scripture says.

also they rejected people as heretics on the basis of which canon they held to (e.g., marcionites and gnostics). that is why they eventually had to assemble all the books that all believers already accepted as Scripture and this on the basis of their apostolicity. they didn't appeal to the oral tradition or to whether or not they were taught by the right person but they appealed to the written word.

Victor Joseph
05-22-02, 03:46 PM
Peace to you disciple.

Reading your latest posts I'm wondering why you asked me a while ago if I could produce the 'lineage' of a modern Catholic Bishop back to apostolic times. Your understanding of apostolic succession is interesting but I'm afraid, in all humility brother . . .that it makes a mockery of historical facts.

I'm sure you are aware that Pope John Paul II is the Bishop of Rome. . . you can go to most college level encyclopedias and find his lineage back to St. Peter. If your talking about a modern bishop at randon an tracing him back this is more difficult.

Try this for starters. . . It may take you on an enlightening journey. . . If you are really, amd sincerely interested I could try to put in a request for you.

In Christ's Love V. J.

APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION & EPISCOPAL LINEAGES
My name is Charles Bransom. I have been engaged in research on apostolic succession and episcopal lineages for more than thirty years, in collaboration with colleagues in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. My published works include Ordinations of U. S. Catholic Bishops, 1790-1989 (National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1990); "Philippine Episcopology" (Boletin Eclesiastico de Filipinas); and "Franciscan Bishops" (Franciscan Studies). I have amassed a large data base on the episcopal ordinations of Roman Catholic bishops going back more than five centuries. A good resource for information on contemporary episcopal ordinations is the Revue des Ordinations Épiscopales (ISSN 1077-4459).



THE REBIBAN SUCCESSION
More than ninety percent of the more than 4,300 Roman Catholic bishops alive today trace their episcopal lineage back to one bishop who was appointed in 1541 - Scipione Rebiba. Why so many bishops trace their lineages to this one bishop can be explained in great part by the intense sacramental activity of Pope Benedict XIII, who ordained 139 bishops during his episcopate and pontificate, including many cardinals, papal diplomats, and bishops of important dioceses who, in turn, ordained many other bishops. The bishop who ordained Benedict XIII gives us the direct link to Scipione Rebiba. It is widely believed that Rebiba was ordained bishop by Gian Pietro Cardinal Carafa, who became Pope Paul IV. However, no documentary evidence has been found to verify this hypothesis. A word of caution regarding episcopal lineages: until 1965 the lineages prepared for many bishops showed Pope Alexander VII as the ordaining bishop of Cardinal Paluzzo Altieri in 1666, and those lineages went back to the early 1400`s. In the mid 1960`s, a contemporary account of Cardinal Altieri`s episcopal ordination was found in the "Gazette de France." This account revealed that Pope Alexander VII became ill shortly before the ceremony and was replaced by Cardinal Ulderico Carpegna. Any episcopal lineage which gives Pope Alexander VII as the consecrator of Cardinal Altieri is incorrect. The other active lineages include the Uchanski line, which ends in 1552 and includes many members of the Polish episcopate; the Gesualdo lineage, ending in 1564 and counting quite a few French bishops in its ranks; and the de Bovet line (1789) which includes several Asian prelates. The Maronite, Greek Melkite, Chaldean, and Ukrainian Catholic Churches account for the majority of Eastern Catholic lineages. However, there are several Eastern Catholic bishops who belong to the Rebiban succession and there are some Roman-rite bishops who belong to the Maronite and Chaldean lineages.



INFORMATION: REQUESTS & SUBMISSIONS
Requests for information regarding the episcopal ordinations of Roman Catholic bishops from bishops, dioceses, and other church personnel and institutions are welcome. Due to a very busy schedule, I am asking that requests be limited to one (1)bishop`s ordination. Likewise, information on the episcopal ordinations of newly appointed Roman Catholic bishops will be gratefully received. If you wish to forward the details of a bishop`s episcopal ordination, please send the following information: the date; the place of the ceremony, specifying city and church or other edifice; the name of the ordaining bishop (consecrator); and the names of the two principal co-ordaining bishops (co-consecrators). I do not provide information regarding the episcopal ordinations of bishops not in communion with the Holy See, nor do I venture any opinion as to the validity of such episcopal ordinations. Any inference to such an opinion on any other website is without foundation. If you wish to have information on useful research tools and publications, please contact me by e-mail. A sincere thank you and a greeting of peace to all who visit this web site. May God bless you all!


There are many excellent links to dioceses and episcopal conferences. I have found the following links to be interesting and informative:


The Holy See The Vatican`s Website

Christus Rex A wealth of information on the Roman Catholic Church

Iglesia Org Excellent Spanish language reference site

The Order of Saint Benedict A single source for information on the Order of Saint Benedict, with up-to-date news and excellent links to monastic sites around the world

FIDES International Service Information on the missionary activities of the Roman Catholic Church


cbransom@gte.net

disciple
05-22-02, 04:09 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
Reading your latest posts I'm wondering why you asked me a while ago if I could produce the 'lineage' of a modern Catholic Bishop back to apostolic times. Your understanding of apostolic succession is interesting but I'm afraid, in all humility brother . . .that it makes a mockery of historical facts.
i asked becuase i wanted to show that it would really be fruitless to do this. what does it matter who taught you? it is a vain and meaningless exercise because authority is found in the very inspired word of God. i'm not saying that this is the RC supposed apostolic succession but that it is the only apostolic succession and authority that we need (Holy Spirit inspired Scripture). pointing to some external succession should be meaningless and moot if what they say or teach is not found in the sure word of God. to ingore this fact is to ignore what Scripture says and to turn our heads away from what God's people believed and practiced within the OT and NT. for someone who wants to be a workman who is not ashamed he needs only to be schooled in the teachings of the written word of God. this is very evident from all the verses i provided. to focus the argument on visible apostolic succession and my understanding of it in the RC sense is pointless. dealing with what Scripture says about it is another matter altogether. let's focus our efforts and attention there, shall we?

Victor Joseph
05-22-02, 05:15 PM
Disciple. . . I though deception was not allowed on this site?

God is not the author of confussion. . .

If your real issue is the tradition of 'Sola Scriptura' . . . Ill bite on that for a while. But in the future. . . please DON'T WASTE MY TIME ON WILD GOOSE CHASES. . . just to make a point. I'll respect you and your time as well. OK?

In Christ Jesus. V.J.

more later. . .

aletheo
05-22-02, 09:27 PM
And it is the same today - either one accepts the apostolic Faith or one 'Protests' it.

The issue is not whether Scripture is the word of God, is Truth, or is authoritative. In fact, the debate over the Bible that rages within the Protestant denominations is non-existent within Orthodoxy.

The real question to be discussed here is interpretation. The Bible did not come down from heaven on a string. It came by the Spirit of God through the people of God. That is its context - the Church. It is not an object to be dissected, categorized, or theorized. It is part of the living, breathing life of the community of Faith, of the people of God. The Church knows its own Scripture, it knows its teachings, and knows the Author and His intent.

Jude 1:3 "My beloved, I write to you with all diligence concerning our common salvation, and it is needful that I should write and exhort you also to contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to the saints."

II Peter 1:12 "Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though you know them well and you rely on this very truth."

The Faith was not derived from the New Testament, the New Testament was written from the Faith which was already being believed, practiced, lived out. These kinds of texts could be multiplied. Most of the New Testament is occasional and practical. It is also didactic, but it is not evangelistic (excepts, perhaps, Luke-Acts, and the Gospel of John). By the Church, for the Church, in the Church.

Yours,

countrymouse
05-23-02, 06:00 AM
Good morning, aletheo!

I agree with you, in part, I think, but let me ask you something. In your estimation, are all Protestants outside the church?

As I said earlier to Victor Joseph, I wish that all who name the name of Christ were like-minded. There were factions among the Corinthians, but Paul did not tell them they had ceased to be God's elect.

Here's where you and I have some common ground. The Christian Faith is a covenant given to the community of believers (the covenant community, the church.) But we may be in disagreement about the limits of that community.

Respectfully,
cm

aletheo
05-23-02, 10:09 AM
Countrymouse,

Hi!

Historically, there is a physical reality to being "in the Church," and it has a very definite meaning. In a day of information, individualism, and global community this seems very harsh and unrealistic. Hence, the World Council of Churches and the Charismatic movement. Both seek to unite all "Christians," but under different banners, one by equality, the other by experience. I will have to write more when I get a chance.

Yours,

disciple
05-23-02, 10:34 AM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
Disciple. . . I though deception was not allowed on this site?

God is not the author of confussion. . .

If your real issue is the tradition of 'Sola Scriptura' . . . Ill bite on that for a while. But in the future. . . please DON'T WASTE MY TIME ON WILD GOOSE CHASES. . . just to make a point. I'll respect you and your time as well. OK?

In Christ Jesus. V.J.

more later. . .

VJ-
i assure you i wasn't trying to be deceptive. i also was not trying to send you on a wild goose chase. when i asked for you to trace a modern bishop back to the apostles i really meant it. i'd like to see it. but at the same time i think it is a vain exercise because it doesn't really prove anything. i'll try to clarify myself and intentions up front next time. again i apologize for the misunderstanding and for the miscommunication. thanks

disciple
05-23-02, 10:58 AM
Originally posted by aletheo
And it is the same today - either one accepts the apostolic Faith or one 'Protests' it.
i do not reject the apostolic faith i reject man's tradition that was added prior to it. i believe the apostolic faith is contained within the written word of God. as i said before the word of God does not and cannot change. this view that God puts His reveletion into written form to deliver the faith is heavily supported by Scripture as seen from the verses i quoted.


The issue is not whether Scripture is the word of God, is Truth, or is authoritative. In fact, the debate over the Bible that rages within the Protestant denominations is non-existent within Orthodoxy.

The real question to be discussed here is interpretation. The Bible did not come down from heaven on a string. It came by the Spirit of God through the people of God. That is its context - the Church. It is not an object to be dissected, categorized, or theorized. It is part of the living, breathing life of the community of Faith, of the people of God. The Church knows its own Scripture, it knows its teachings, and knows the Author and His intent.
that's why there is so much confusion and commonly no results or fruit from discussions between RC/Orthodox and protestants. i think the central issue is not interpretation (although that is related) but about what the final and only authority is. your argument is still meaningless and ignores what the Scriptures say and the example that was left by what Christ and the Apostles considered the final and only authority. i realize that the Bible did not come down from heaven on a string. but that's not the issue. the issue is what do we go to for all issues of faith and godliness. the RC/Orthodox would say Scripture and Oral Tradition (since Scripture doesn't give us rules about how to worship, liturgy, etc.). the RC/Orthodox would say we can only interpret that Scripture through someone else's (e.g., the Fathers) interpretation of it. the protestant believes that all things for life and godliness are contained within the written word of God. the protestant believes that the it is evident that even the Fathers (and councils) cannot agree amongst themselves so we must not trust their interpretation any more than we should trust any other man's. that is why all the faith was recorded in written form so that what God said and instructed was obvious and there for everyone to read and discover. the Holy Spirit is given to those who are in Christ not just to the heirarchy of the RC/Orthodox church. both RC and Orthodox have the same argument but yet they can't even agree with eachother. each one thinks that they have the true apostolic succession and thus hold the true and correct interpretation of the Scriptures.

the contemporary situation of the NT was quite similar. there were several different schools of interpretation of the OT (e.g., Pharisees, sadduccees, School of Hillel, School of Shammai, etc.) but it is evident that there were those who could rightly interpret God's written word no matter what school they belonged to (e.g., bereans in acts 17:11). that is why God has given His written word simply because it does not change. men change, churches change, times change, but the God and His word remain the same. that's the beauty of it. so it is about authority and about the sufficiency of the word of God and not just about interpretation (whether we belong to the right school or whether we read the right interpretation of it). is it all we need? is the written word sufficient? or do we need something else? i think Scripture is clear that all we need for faith and practice is contained within the written Word of God. the question is, will we each examine our traditions and practice in humility through the power of the Holy Spirit by searching the Scriptures (not the Fathers or the councils or someone's interpretation of it) daily to see whether it is so. this is the issue. this is what it's all about. deal with the Scriptures themselves not with an external criteria of who has a right to validly interpret them.
Amen

Victor Joseph
05-23-02, 12:58 PM
disciple. . . peace to you.

Apology accepted. I will apreciate your effort to be clear in the future with your intent. The e-mail address of the gentleman who aparently dedicated 30 years of his life to tracing the lineage of Catholic Bishops has been posted. You may contact him. . . and my hope is that you can see one.

Hey. . . I haven't run across a response from you concerning your take on the history of the Church or Christianity in general if you prefer. (A synopsis is fine). I just want to better understand where you are coming from.

In another matter I'm frustrated. Regarding what I call 'verse slinging' and how to avoid it. . . if possible. . . can we look at one verse at a time (looking at the context)? It's frustrating because when I show verses supporting this or that doctrine (I feel like you are trying to 'shoot me down' with as many verses you believe to support your view). I had a discussion whith a friend of mine about salvation and his view was that the more verses he could produce on a subject the more he thought it backed his position; and the more he felt it validated it. (do you hold this as well)? You are quoted recently as saying your position was "heavily supported" in scripture, which seems to imply quantity. In all humility I don't understand this way of interpretation.

Just thought of something of a challenge on another subject we've touched on previously about the Eucharist. . . symbol or Real Presence of Christ. As I recall you and others said scripture didn't support this. . . My challenge is this. . . . what would Jesus have had to have said (in the scriptures) for you or anyone to to believe that we, as followers of Christ, were to literally "eat His flesh & drink His blood" as a condition of our salvation. I don't speak or read Greek but often run across a quote from someone who does and if I recall correctly the Greek word for 'eat' that is used is 'trogon' which means to 'gnaw' or to 'chew'. (is there and even stronger word you could use. . .?) Anyway I'd be really curious if you could show me how scripture would need to read for Protestants to believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the form of bread and wine. Jesus is God, the creator of the universe and I think you would agree. . . He could perform this miracle if he wanted to.

Forgive me if I sound like Ltnt. Columbo here. . . but one other thing. . . if you would argue from scripture alone. . . where in God's Word are Christians given permission to 'split-up' the body of Christ into denominations? I can't find any. (I recall that it's condemed in scripture) All I can find is talk of how important 'unity' is. . .whether it's Jesus, the apostles or the Early Church Fathers.

I'm sure you'll give this your best shot!

In Jesus. . . God's Son and Savior. V.J.

countrymouse
05-23-02, 02:01 PM
Thanks for your reply!


Historically, there is a physical reality to being "in the Church," and it has a very definite meaning. In a day of information, individualism, and global community this seems very harsh and unrealistic. Hence, the World Council of Churches and the Charismatic movement. Both seek to unite all "Christians," but under different banners, one by equality, the other by experience. I will have to write more when I get a chance.


I really think this discussion belongs in the Ecclesiology Forum; let's start a new thread, and call it "Defining the Church." Sound OK to you?

cm

disciple
05-23-02, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
Apology accepted. I will apreciate your effort to be clear in the future with your intent. The e-mail address of the gentleman who aparently dedicated 30 years of his life to tracing the lineage of Catholic Bishops has been posted. You may contact him. . . and my hope is that you can see one.
thank you. i appreciate it.


Hey. . . I haven't run across a response from you concerning your take on the history of the Church or Christianity in general if you prefer. (A synopsis is fine). I just want to better understand where you are coming from.
ok. what would you like? i've alluded to the early church and the assembling of the canon and on what basis was someone excluded from the fellowship. i've also alluded that there were early corruptions and such. what else do you want to know? do you want to talk about the entire history? do you want to focus on when changes really started happening (e.g., constantinian era)? let me know and i'll try to be as brief as possible.


In another matter I'm frustrated. Regarding what I call 'verse slinging' and how to avoid it. . . if possible. . . can we look at one verse at a time (looking at the context)? It's frustrating because when I show verses supporting this or that doctrine (I feel like you are trying to 'shoot me down' with as many verses you believe to support your view). I had a discussion whith a friend of mine about salvation and his view was that the more verses he could produce on a subject the more he thought it backed his position; and the more he felt it validated it. (do you hold this as well)? You are quoted recently as saying your position was "heavily supported" in scripture, which seems to imply quantity. In all humility I don't understand this way of interpretation.
this is not what i'm trying to do and i'm sorry it frustrates you. i'm not 'verse slinging' and saying 'i win' by virtue of the amount of verses nor do i think this is what makes a better argument or case. i believe that a cogent, succinct, and thorough argument supported by correct and consistent exegesis compared with the whole council of Scripture is what supports a view. only if it is clearly in Scripture is what i'll accept (and only what God will accept). no tradition and arguments from church history or logic will count for anything if it is not clearly supported by the written word of God.

however, do you want to look at a particular verse together? do you have a problem with any of the verses i've provided and do you object to my exegesis of them? if so, just point them out. they're all there in writing and you can look them up yourself. the problem i'm seeing is that you're providing no verses. so pick a verse and we'll look at it together.

more later...

Victor Joseph
05-23-02, 03:14 PM
Hi disciple.

quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hey. . . I haven't run across a response from you concerning your take on the history of the Church or Christianity in general if you prefer. (A synopsis is fine). I just want to better understand where you are coming from.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ok. what would you like? i've alluded to the early church and the assembling of the canon and on what basis was someone excluded from the fellowship. i've also alluded that there were early corruptions and such. what else do you want to know? do you want to talk about the entire history? do you want to focus on when changes really started happening (e.g., constantinian era)? let me know and i'll try to be as brief as possible.

I'd like an outlined synopsis showing me what in church history is important to you. When that begins is up to you. I'd like it to end with your selection of denomination. Does this sound reasonable?

eg.

A) Jesus (God) came into the world born of a virgin

B) Jesus establishes a Church with authority. . .but they "blew it" somehow.
. . .

Z) Therefore, I decided to attend this fellowship/church follow this leader. . .


quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
In another matter I'm frustrated. Regarding what I call 'verse slinging' and how to avoid it. . . if possible. . . can we look at one verse at a time (looking at the context)? It's frustrating because when I show verses supporting this or that doctrine (I feel like you are trying to 'shoot me down' with as many verses you believe to support your view). I had a discussion whith a friend of mine about salvation and his view was that the more verses he could produce on a subject the more he thought it backed his position; and the more he felt it validated it. (do you hold this as well)? You are quoted recently as saying your position was "heavily supported" in scripture, which seems to imply quantity. In all humility I don't understand this way of interpretation.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

this is not what i'm trying to do and i'm sorry it frustrates you. i'm not 'verse slinging' and saying 'i win' by virtue of the amount of verses. however, do you want to look at a particular verse together? do you have a problem with any of the verses i've provided and do you object to my exegesis of them? if so, just point them out. they're all there in writing and you can look them up yourself. the problem i'm seeing is that you're providing no verses. so pick a verse and we'll look at it together.

Sure, when applicable. disciple. . . I think what you mean to say is that I don't always supply chapter & verse. While this is often helpful I don't think its alway necessary to get my point across.

I assume that the 'more later' refers to the Eucharistic issue.

Peace & Joy. V.J.

aletheo
05-23-02, 03:41 PM
Disciple, do you really think that I have not read the Scriptures, and that I ignored your posts? In fact, I know the Scriptures very well (I speak as a fool, but you have driven me to it). It is not the Scriptures I trouble over, it is your understanding of them.

In fact, the Fathers and the Councils are unanimous in the Faith, where do you base your charge? And the Orthodox have never denied the Apostolic succession of the Bishop of Rome, only his claim of 'universal jurisdiction.' And no one has ever taught that the Spirit is given only to the hierarchy, where did you see that?

The verse in II Timothy 3:16 is commonly used as supporting an "all-sufficiency" teaching. That is only possible when it is isolated and interpreted as a proof text. In fact, the Scripture is not sufficient for the Church. What, you say? Aha! Heretic! But wait. The New Testament Scripture teaches that it is not sufficient. It teaches that we need the gift of the Holy Spirit. We need fellow believers. We need prayer. We need the gifts and fruit of the Spirit. We need the grace of God. We need obedience. We need all the many things Scripture teaches us are necessary to grow in grace and walk in the Lord.

II Timothy 3:16 says "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God..."

"...and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness..."

"...that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

Look closer. What makes the man of God 'perfect and throroughly furnished'? It is doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness. We are told the God-breathed Scripture is profitable (helpful, of service) for these things. We are not told Scripture is all-sufficient to 'grow into the stature of the fullness of Christ' (that's from Ephesians 4 where we are told it is the gifts God gives to the Church that does that. Hmmm.).

Even in verse 15, it says the holy Scriptures make wise unto salvation, it does not say Scripture, in itself is what saves us, or that it is sufficient to do such.

In fact, most times there is a human agent involved in our comprehending of Scripture, as in, say, for example, the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8. Philip asks, "Do you understand what you are reading?" The Eunuch responds, "Of course, this book is sufficient in itself. What need have I of you?"

Of course, it actually reads "How can I unless someone guide me?" There are human agents involved.

Of course, the Spirit is an agent, as are circumstances, and fellow believers, and experience.

So what do you really mean when you say Scripture is sufficient?

And do you really trust in the Bible, or in your interpretation of the Bible?

Yours,

disciple
05-23-02, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
Just thought of something of a challenge on another subject we've touched on previously about the Eucharist. . . symbol or Real Presence of Christ. As I recall you and others said scripture didn't support this. . . My challenge is this. . . . what would Jesus have had to have said (in the scriptures) for you or anyone to to believe that we, as followers of Christ, were to literally "eat His flesh & drink His blood" as a condition of our salvation. I don't speak or read Greek but often run across a quote from someone who does and if I recall correctly the Greek word for 'eat' that is used is 'trogon' which means to 'gnaw' or to 'chew'. (is there and even stronger word you could use. . .?) Anyway I'd be really curious if you could show me how scripture would need to read for Protestants to believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the form of bread and wine. Jesus is God, the creator of the universe and I think you would agree. . . He could perform this miracle if he wanted to.
of course God could do this if He wanted but God could do anything if He wanted to. unfortunately hypothetical arguments do nothing for an argument since only arguments from what is written and recorded in the Scriptures will do when talking about God. we've already seen that you will not allow a figure of speech or a figurative application of Jesus words (although you'll do so in many other cases) so what's the point of this exercise? Scripture either says it or it doesn't? in order for me to personally believe in transubstatiation and believe that Scripture teaches it is if Jesus explained the doctrine as the RC/Orthodox does. for example Jesus would have had to say such words in the context of establishing the supper (cf. mt 26, mk 14, lk 22). thus nothing He said in John 6 would apply since the supper hadn't even come yet. in the synoptics (i'll just pick matt) He would have said something like:

Mt 26:26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." 27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. I'm now speaking plainly and not figuratively (john 11:14, 16:25, 29). When you do this in remembrance of me, the bread will be transformed into My flesh and the wine will be transformed into My blood. This is why I saith, "This is My body and this is My blood." This the Father will do through a priest as you reinact My sacrifice at the Sacrifice of the Mass when I build My Church which is the Roman Catholic church.

ok that last part was a little sarcastic but you get the picture. the Scripture doesn't say what you believe it to say no matter what literalizing you try to impose on the Lord's words. the fact remains and the Gospels show that Christ always spoke in figurative language. He always used figures of speech and always employed physical pictures and realities to teach spiritual realities. to ignore this is to ignore the whole import of the record of the Lord's teaching on earth when He walked among us as Immanuel.


Forgive me if I sound like Ltnt. Columbo here. . . but one other thing. . . if you would argue from scripture alone. . . where in God's Word are Christians given permission to 'split-up' the body of Christ into denominations? I can't find any. (I recall that it's condemed in scripture) All I can find is talk of how important 'unity' is. . .whether it's Jesus, the apostles or the Early Church Fathers.
this is quite unfair. is this a trap or setup? you're asking this question already believing that when Jesus said that He would build His church that what He meant was that all churches (local fellowships) would be under one external heirarchical visible church--the RC church. so no matter what i say you won't accept it. my question to you is where do you find in Scripture that every single local fellowship will be exactly the same and be under the heirarchy of some mother organization? we only have to look at corinth to see that they were much different from others. each one had its own culture with its own problems. the fact of the matter is that if you ask any bible believing protestant questions on the essentials (e.g., how are you saved?) you would see complete unity. for those who answer anything outside of what Scripture says (particularly in romans and galatians) they would not be within the body of Christ. the problem with this whole exercise is that you define church, unity, etc. differently than i and differently than what Scripture defines it as. so this is a question that i could never answer to your satisfaction since i don't go to your church and follow your pope. further evidence of cultishness.

i will accept others from many other churches (i mean just look at this forum- you have methodists, reformed, baptists, charismatics, home churches, etc. and we all agree on the essentials-defined by answering the question of what is the gospel) in Christ's church because i believe that the church is defined by those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours (1 co 1:2). but yet to you this is no unity since we don't agree on everything. pretty narrow criteria if you ask me. this is terrible criteria since you all (just look at history; no fathers and councils have agreed on everything) can't even have unity. so give up the argument already...it proves nothing. mormons use the exact same argument.

disciple
05-23-02, 04:27 PM
Originally posted by aletheo
The New Testament Scripture teaches that it is not sufficient. It teaches that we need the gift of the Holy Spirit. We need fellow believers. We need prayer. We need the gifts and fruit of the Spirit. We need the grace of God. We need obedience. We need all the many things Scripture teaches us are necessary to grow in grace and walk in the Lord...Look closer. What makes the man of God 'perfect and throroughly furnished'? It is doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness. We are told the God-breathed Scripture is profitable (helpful, of service) for these things. We are not told Scripture is all-sufficient to 'grow into the stature of the fullness of Christ' (that's from Ephesians 4 where we are told it is the gifts God gives to the Church that does that. Hmmm.).

i meant sufficient to give us the instruction we need for life and godliness. i obviously know that there is human agents in the use and application of His word but His word is always the basis and tool with which to do this. my point was that we don't need additional data to live the Christian life. in Scripture is all the data one needs to be adeqaute. God did not fail to give us exactly what we need to serve Him. all doctrine, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness is found in the Scriptures (2 tim 3:15f). nothing additional in the form of data to us is required. and in eph 4:11-16 are you proposing that this happens apart from the written word? i'm not. this growth and equipping of the saints is done using His word. i'm not sure how this contradicts the sufficiency of Scripture. i don't believe Scripture works in a vacuum and outside the church (there we go again, we can't even agree on what the church is so i'm not sure how helpful these comments are). i think you're misunderstanding and misinterpreting my comments based on your own definitions. please don't read into my comments what i don't explicitly state.


Even in verse 15, it says the holy Scriptures make wise unto salvation, it does not say Scripture, in itself is what saves us, or that it is sufficient to do such.
nor did i say this. i did not say that Scripture all by itself is what does everything (see above). your reading that into my statements. please stop.


So what do you really mean when you say Scripture is sufficient?
explained above


And do you really trust in the Bible, or in your interpretation of the Bible?
is this a trick question? i trust in God who gave the Scriptures. i believe that He entrusted His church (there we go again) with the NT oracles just as He did Israel with the OT (ro 3:2, 9:4). it seems to me that the difference is that you trust someone elses interpretation. i do not and will not put my trust in any man. i also trust that God gave me His Spirit (1 co 2:10-16; 1 th 1:5, 4:8; 1 john 2:20-21) and that God will indeed teach me and grow me in His church (there we go again). so no i do not rely on my own interpretation of the Bible but i trust in the God who saved me and who teaches me.

Victor Joseph
05-23-02, 05:16 PM
disciple. . . looks like I struck a cord with you.

quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Forgive me if I sound like Ltnt. Columbo here. . . but one other thing. . . if you would argue from scripture alone. . . where in God's Word are Christians given permission to 'split-up' the body of Christ into denominations? I can't find any. (I recall that it's condemed in scripture) All I can find is talk of how important 'unity' is. . .whether it's Jesus, the apostles or the Early Church Fathers.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

this is quite unfair. is this a trap or setup? you're asking this question already believing that when Jesus said that He would build His church that what He meant was that all churches (local fellowships) would be under one external heirarchical visible church--the RC church. so no matter what i say you won't accept it.

Unfair? I think this is so germain to the issue. (and of course, so does the Catholic Church). You accuse me of setting a trap. . . guilty. Again in all humility . . . isn't the point of a forum like this to be reasonable and move toward the Truth that is Jesus Christ. (You mean to say that you wouldn't thank God if my next post from me read. . . "Thanks disciple. You really backed me into a corner on 'that issue'. That last response from you was so cutting and telling . . . I've decided to leave the Catholic CULT. That old man in Rome is just a man, has no authority from Jesus to bind & loose etc. etc. . .)
I just see tons of evidence that Jesus established an authoritative, infalible (not impecable) and quite visible, teaching Church.

Would you argue that you do not belong to a denomination? You say Protestants agree on the essentials. I beg to differ. What I see happening is whole denominations of "non- denominational' churches sprouting up. . . filled with sincere and Godly men but when it comes to uniformity in doctrine in such vital areas like where one says baptize another not. . . I could go on and on.

History seems to show Protestantism "splinters the body of Christ" into over 30K distinct groups. Didn't Luther lament as much saying something to the effect that when he saw this splintering taking place that now he had multiple Popes to deal with. I can't see truth residing distictly in each of these denominations.

I love you as a separated brother in Christ. V.J.

P.S. Is if possible to refrain from this 'cult' thing. It smacks of disrespect & name calling. . . perhaps it's a worn out issue with you. . .

aletheo
05-23-02, 05:18 PM
Disciple,

Yet you do trust in a man - yourself!

I learned a long time ago not to trust my understanding or experiences. Should I keep going back to the Bible and the Spirit till I agree with you? will I then finally have it right?

(BTW, 2 Tim. 3:15ff does not say "all doctrine, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness is found in the Scriptures," as you put it.)

I'll forbear from saying anything more.

We do have different paradigms. That's why I have characteristically been hesitant to go 'head to head' with the Scriptures. It usually amounts to a butting of heads.

Peace and Godspeed,

Yours,

disciple
05-23-02, 05:34 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
Would you argue that you do not belong to a denomination? You say Protestants agree on the essentials. I beg to differ. What I see happening is whole denominations of "non- denominational' churches sprouting up. . . filled with sincere and Godly men but when it comes to uniformity in doctrine in such vital areas like where one says baptize another not. . . I could go on and on.
you beg to differ...what you see? this is your opinion. then you point to some non-essential like baptism. i already said that unity is based on what gospel one believes. but if you asked the question to a handful of people on this board and we all agreed or gave the same definition you wouldn't accept it anyway since your definition of the gospel is entirely different. so what's the point? such a simple exercise would do nothing for you since you beg to differ...and you see this and that.


P.S. Is if possible to refrain from this 'cult' thing. It smacks of disrespect & name calling. . . perhaps it's a worn out issue with you. . .
i didn't mean to name call that's why i used the word cultish as opposed to saying "further evidence that the RC church is a cult." i won't say it's a cult. but when one says that only they hold the truth on all things and no one else does they exhibit an attribute of cultishness.

disciple
05-23-02, 05:47 PM
Originally posted by aletheo
Yet you do trust in a man - yourself!
of course. i trust in God and Him alone. i do not trust in my own abilities and wisdom. but i'm not going to cease studying and i'm not going to give up being a student of the word or give up reading and interpreting His word because of it.


(BTW, 2 Tim. 3:15ff does not say "all doctrine, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness is found in the Scriptures," as you put it.)
2 tim 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

don't see that there is anything else referred to here. are there any Scriptures that say that there is something else which is able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation and that is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training? the entire context only speaks of Scripture and sacred writings. perhaps you have something else in mind. what else does these things for us? Sacred tradition? what? the whole thrust of the passage is clear.


We do have different paradigms. That's why I have characteristically been hesitant to go 'head to head' with the Scriptures. It usually amounts to a butting of heads.
this is true and it is truly frustrating. i know what you mean and if i could find many of the interpretations and practices of the RC and Orthodox churches clearly in Scripture then i would attend one. but alas i cannot and i see so much that has been added to the Scripture as authoritive and binding for the communicant which is seemingly man made and not in the sure written word of God. not to mention a faulty view of the good news of Jesus Christ that He is our righteousness appropriated by faith alone. to add good works to the gospel alone is something which is anathema (gal 1:6-9). this is the main human false interpretation and tradition that i have a problem with that has been added by the RC and Orthodox churches. it is clear to me that both traditions are in error in the same place and this is where most protestant churches agree and is the essentials to which i refer (the gospel):

Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3 For not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

aletheo
05-23-02, 06:07 PM
Disciple,

On 2 Tim 3:15ff, see my earlier post. If what I said there doesn't do it for you, well...

As for me, perhaps if I could find some objective authority and teaching in the Protestant world, I would have stayed. You say that would be Scripture. Given the myriads of Protestants saying this and seeing the fragmentation, I know that the only practical authority is the individual and what he/she believes. Everyone is his/her own pope, and every pope is telling the other popes what the Bible truly says, and they can't agree. The only things they agree on are the characteristically Protestant teachings - historic Christianity is bad, individual Christianity is good. Demonize Constantine, and teach the opposite of what the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church taught.

However, even if Protestants say the Orthodox and Roman Catholic are going to hell, these two communions have never made such a statement concerning the Protestants. They are much more gracious.

Yours,

Victor Joseph
05-23-02, 06:10 PM
disciple. . . I'm truely shocked. . . baptism a non essential?

More later. I got to go to my sons's game.

God Bless. . . V.J.

countrymouse
05-23-02, 06:15 PM
Victor Joseph and aletheo,

Many Protestants do not believe that being either Orthodox or Roman Catholic is an automatic ticket to hell, or that you must leave either church to avoid condemnation. I am glad to know that neither of you seem to think that Protestantism is an automatic ticket to hell, either. There just are some doctrines in both camps, however, that I cannot see lining up with Scripture.

Grace and Peace to you,
cm

Victor Joseph
05-24-02, 10:32 AM
Hello countrymouse.

Thank you for your charitable response.

Yes, you're right (at least for me. . . I condemn no one). The Catholic position is one that is hopeful. . . and that God's grace is at work in the world healing divisions. I can't do it. . . this forum can't either. Be assured of my prayers to God almighty to heal and unite Christians to the Truth that is Jesus Christ.

Quote:
"There just are some doctrines in both camps, however, that I cannot see lining up with Scripture."

countrymouse. . . can you give me an example of of a few doctrines that don't line up with Scripture. I'm curious. . . what distinctly Protestan doctrines don't you see lining up with scripture?

God Bless. V.J.

P.S. Please forgive my spelling. . . is their a spell check on this site?

Victor Joseph
05-24-02, 06:29 PM
disciple. . .

You and I are not speaking the same language on the issue of the nature of the Eucharist and the implications of it. Perhaps we can bring in a third party?

Are you at all familiar with Dr. Scott Hahn? He was once very anti-Catholic and held many of the same views you seem to espouse. Over time he began to ask himself some questions. And this lead him on a long journey from being a Protestant minister and Bible Scholar to taking the Catholic view of things to heart.

You last post in response to my questions on the Eucharist made me think of a talk he gave on this sacrament called THE FOURTH CUP. I'd be curious what you thought of it.

You can read it at www.ewtn.com/library/answers/4thCup.htm

Many blessings to you. V.J.

Victor Joseph
05-27-02, 07:33 PM
peace to you disciple.

quote: disciple
". . .are there any Scriptures that say that there is something else which is able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation and that is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training?"

Yes my friend. 1 Tim. 3:15 calls the Church and not the Bible the "Pillar and Ground of the Truth." That's the living community of believers founded by Jesus Christ on Peter. . . the rock. . . and the powers of death were not to prevail against it. Remember. Jesus said we are to seek first the kingdom of heaven . . . And it's right here in Matt. 16:18 Jesus gives to Peter the keys of that kingdom.

Brother disciple. . . if you give me the keys to your house and tell me your going away for a while and to take care of it. . . I've been given the power by YOU to open the door for whome ever I want and to shut out whome ever I want. (you've given me authority to act in your name). Jesus tells Peter "what ever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matt. 16:19

I don't see the above quote excluding the possibility of the the founding of an authoritative, visable Church. . . as we also see Jesus praying for Peter (I think Jesus' prayer is effective. . .) in Lk 22:32 that his faith would not fail and he was to strengthen his brethren. "Feed my lambs. . ." "Tend my sheep. . ."
"Feed my sheep. . ." Jn 21:15-17 .

Again. . .don't think I'm discounting the use of scripture for teaching, reproof and correction. (I see the Catholic Church doing this all the time. . .) The above quote just says that it is profitable and not 'sufficient'. eg. If I wanted to become a lawyer. . . it would be profitable for me to take a course in contract law. However, it would not be sufficient for me to pass the Bar.

If the doctrine of sola scriptura were true then based on the Greek in verse 16 of 2 Tim 3:16-17 each and every book of the Bible could stand on its own as the sole rule of faith. . . this seems absurd.

The scripture that St. Paul is refering to here is the Old Testament a fact which is made plain by his reference to the scriptures being known by Timothy from infancy (vs. 15). The NT as we know it did not yet exist, at best it was incomplete so it couldn't have been included in Paul's understanding of what was meant by the term "scripture". If we take St. Paul's words at face
value, Sola Scriptura would therefore mean that the OT is the Christians' sole rule of faith. And this is a premise that all Christians would reject.

You may say that that Paul is not discussing the canon of the Bible but rather the nature of Scripture. There's some validity to this assertion. . . however the issue of canon is relevant here for the following reason: Before we can talk about the nature of scripture as being theopneustos or "inspired" (literally "God-breathed"), it is imperative that we identify with certainty those books we meanwhen we say "Scripture"; otherwise, the wrong writings may be labeled as "inspired". From the book Scripture Alone by Joel Peters.

I just don't see sola scriptura taught in scripture and it therefore it becomes a self- refuting doctrine.

Love in Christ Jesus V.J.

countrymouse
05-27-02, 09:12 PM
Hi Victor Joseph,

When I used the phrase "both camps," I was referring to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. One example of a doctrine I do not find in Scripture is Mary's eternal virginity; another is transubstantiation. (I haven't found them thus far in the 1st or 2nd century fathers, either, but I still have a lot of reading to do.) Said camps also deny eternal security, which Christ himself declared explicitly as recorded in chapters 6 and 10 of the gospel of John. And there are others, but those will suffice for now.

I found an interesting article regarding transubstantiation (on a Protestant website.) The link is:
http://www.mb-soft.com/believe/text/transub.htm

Would you be willing to provide us with some feedback, especially regarding the historicity of the doctrine? I would appreciate it. (Let me also say that I fully believe that Christ is present for his people in the Eucharist, but that the way in which he is present remains a mystery. We cannot know how, and we should not speculate.)

Respectfully,
cm

Victor Joseph
05-28-02, 11:36 AM
Peace to you countrymouse. . .

quote: countrymouse
". . .One example of a doctrine I do not find in Scripture is Mary's eternal virginity."

This will take some explaining. . . Mary seems to be a big topic of concern among my separated Protestant brothers and sisters. There are good answers and I will attempt to answer them from Scripture. (my contention is that nothing, taught by the Catholic Church contradicts Scripture). Words and phrases like "perpetual virgin" and "transubstantiaton" are not there as far as I know. But neither are "incarnation" and "Trinity". . . yet scripture teaches these implicitly. Mary's perpetual virginity is one of these.

countrymouse. Am I correct in assuming that you believe that Mary was a virgin only until the birth of Jesus and later had children?

Let me start out by prefacing my answer with the contention that what most modern day Protestants believe about Mary is rather new and didn't exist prior to the reformation.

Allow me to give you an example of what I mean . . .

"It is an article of faith that Mary is Mother of the Lord and STILL A VIRGIN. . . Christ, we believe, came forthfrom a womb left perfectly intact."
Martin Luther 'Works of Luther, v 11, pp. 319-320; v6 p. 510

"There have been certain folk who have wished to suggest from this passage (Matt. 1:25) that the Virgin Mary had other children than the Son of God, and that Joseph had them dwelt with her later; BUT WHAT FOLLY THIS IS! For the gospel writer did not wish to record what happened afterwards; he simply wished to make clear Josephs' obedience and to show also that Joseph had been well and truly assured that it was God who had sent His angel to Mary. HAD HE THEREFORE NEVER DWELT WITH HER NOR HAD HE SHARED HER COMPANY. . . And besides this Our Lord Jesus Christ is called the firstborn. This is not because there was a second or a third, but because the gospel writer is paying regard to precedence. Scripture speaks thus of naming the first-born whether or no there was any question of the second."
John Calvin 'Sermon on Matthew' 1:22-25, published 1562

"I firmly believe that Mary, acording to the words of the gospel as a pure Virgin brought forth for us the Son of God and in childbirth FOREVER REMAINED A PURE, INTACT VIRGIN."
Zwingli 'Opera v. 1, p.424


Again. . . I'd be glad to go through the apologetic for this belief (I'm short of time these days so it might take a while) but I don't understand why we both can't honor Mary as much as the founders of Protestantism did?

Love in Christ. V.J.

disciple
05-28-02, 11:55 AM
ok, VJ, bear with me as i attempt to lay out the history of the church as it relates to apostolic succession, etc. it will come in several posts.

the origin of apostolic succession arose because of the attack of the heretics on the truth coupled with the fact that the apostles were no longer around and the canon had not been decided upon unanimously. the nature and meaning of apostolic succession at this time (i.e, late 2nd c.) was not what it is today in either the RC or Orthodox traditions.

the idea of the tradition of the apostles was also introduced at this time (i.e., late 2nd c.) and for the same reasons (i.e., to ward off the heretics and establish the true apostolic faith). but it was not a living or Sacred tradition with equal authority as Scripture (as if set beside Scripture; or which was some supposed authority to rightly interpret the Scripture by the Church) nor was it a tradition which could change or alter in any way. it was the deposit of the faith which was once and for all delivered by the apostles (jude 1:3) and not just by one particular apostle but by all of them together. and this was delivered to them through the Scriptures they had and by virtue of their connection to the apostles and not with the dual vehicle of Scripture AND Tradition or through correct ordainment as the RC and Orthodox churches would claim.

the interests of the apostolic fathers (2nd-3rd centuries) was to preserve the original apostolic faith as delivered fully grown and with all the truths intact by the apostles. they did not approve of change or development of the faith...only establishing and defining what is already true and had already been delivered complete.

early on (perhaps late 1st or early 2nd centuries), teachers were corrupted by Greek philosophy, Gnosticism, Montanism, etc. while the essentials were still there, much of their interpretation and arguments for the faith were shaped by their culture and background. this took on different characteristics in the apologetics of certain fathers depending on the region they labored in and the background they came from. but the interest was always to preserve the deposit of the faith which did not change.

the marriage of the church and state under constantine secured and created many corruptions that entered the RC and Orthodox traditions. the church leadership became authorities in the state and became very rich and influential. the evils of the crusades and the inquisition are products of this terrible union. the RC and Orthodox churches would have everyone believe that the marriage of the church and state under constantine was a good thing but the history books are there for everyone to read.

then with the middle or dark ages the masses were left illiterate and the separation of the clergy from the laity secured an introduction of many more errors and allowed corruption to propogate unchecked. the RC and Orthodox church would have everyone believe that this never happened and that the dark ages were not really dark and the people were not really left ignorant but the history books are there for everyone to read. simply because they read the history books written by their traditions they refuse to believe what is readily available for everyone to investigate as to question it would be to deny the apostolic faith as they understand it.

this brought the need for reformation. the renaissance resurrected the study and investigation into the ancients and learning and literacy exploded exponentially. the study of the classics, philosphers, the ancient languages (Greek and Hebrew), etc. opened a whole new world of study that had been unavailable for over a thousand years. all the corruption and error that crept in during the dark ages and before was discovered and the reformation (actually the renaissance) brought new light and many who were previously in darkness got saved and the church began to grow again and life returned.

so the goal has always been the same--discover the true original apostolic faith that was once and for all delivered by the apostles. that was the apostolic fathers' goal, the reformers goal, and our goal today. the apostolic faith was not lost...it was always there to be found. but it is found in Scripture alone and when this was rediscovered after the dark ages the fulness of the light returned. the light was always there but at times was dimmer than others. but Christ was always building His church and was always causing men and women to call upon Him throughout all time. this fact did not change. death (i.e., the gates of Hades) did not prevail against the building of Christ's church (saving individuals).

quotes will follow for discussion...

disciple
05-28-02, 12:18 PM
True knowledge is [that which consists in] the doctrine of the apostles, and the ancient constitution of the Church throughout all the world, and the distinctive manifestation of the body of Christ according to the successions of the bishops, by which they have handed down that Church which exists in every place, and has come even unto us, being guarded and preserved without any forging of Scriptures, by a very complete system of doctrine, and neither receiving addition nor [suffering] curtailment ; and [it consists in] reading [the word of God] without falsification, and a lawful and diligent exposition in harmony with the Scriptures, both without danger and without blasphemy; and [above all, it consists in] the pre-eminent gift of love, which is more precious than knowledge, more glorious than prophecy, and which excels all the other gifts [of God].
Irenaeus (c. 180, E/W), Against Heresies, Book 4, Ch. 33.8

the key was the Scriptures. the apostolic succession and tradition was not something that was passed down that wasn't contained in Scripture but was derived from and consisted of Scripture. it wasn't some living or Sacred oral Tradition that gave us what wasn't contained in Scripture (e.g., liturgy) or that is something else which is also profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness.

In the Lord’s apostles we possess our authority; for even they did not of themselves choose to introduce anything [new], but faithfully delivered to the nations (of mankind) the doctrine which they had received from Christ. If, therefore, even “an angel from heaven should preach any other gospel” (than theirs), he would be called accursed by us.
Tertullian, (c. 197, W), The Prescription Against Heretics, Ch. 6
they were not allowed to introduce anything new. this is contrary to what has happened in both the RC and Orthodox traditions. new stuff was added all the time. the concept of a living Tradition and the RC concept of the papacy with the authority to speak [i]ex cathedra to establish new doctrine is directly contrary to the goal of the fathers.

You lay down a prescription that this faith has its solemnities “appointed” by the Scriptures or the tradition of the ancestors; and that no further addition in the way of observance must be added, on account of the unlawfulness of innovation.
Tertullian, (c. 213, W), On Fasting in Opposition to the Psychics, Ch. 13
see above comment

In this principle also we must henceforth find a presumption of equal force against all heresies whatsoever — that whatever is first is true, whereas that is spurious which is later in date.
Tertullian, (c. 213, W), Against Praxaes, Ch. 2
in their minds any change whatsoever is error. therefore the goal is to find the most ancient faith. the RC and Orthodox traditions think they've preserved it in their traditions but they can't even agree with their traditions. the best resource for the most ancient faith is found in the Scriptures directly from the Apostles and not from the developing and changing traditions of the RC and Orthodox churches.

some of the changes i'm thinking of on the top of my head are images and celibacy of the clergy. archaelogical excavations of early Christian sites show that they like the Jews did not have their god's (or God) in any images. that was one of basis for which the roman state persecuted the Christians because they accused them of being athiests on the basis of this (that they did not depict their God with images). yet both the RC and Orthodox traditions venerate images and icons and this from later additions to the faith. it is evident from Scripture and from the Ante-Nicene fathers that marriage was acceptable, even encouraged, for bishops. they affirm that the apostles themselves were married (1 co 9:5). yet the RC tradition have later additions that say that the clergy needs to be celibate. and look where this has got the RC church today. other traditions are the added sacraments, transubstantion, veneration of mary and saints, purgatory, perpetual virginity of mary, assumption of mary, mary as co-redemptrix, etc. all these are later additions and cannot in any way be said to be part of the true original apostolic faith that was once and for all delivered to the church.

disciple
05-28-02, 12:34 PM
Christian theology grew, indeed, as by inward necessity, from the demand of faith for knowledge. But heresy, Gnosticism in particular, gave it a powerful impulse from without, and came as a fertilizing thunder-storm upon the field. The church possessed the truth from the beginning, in the experience of faith, and in the Holy Scriptures, which she handed down with scrupulous fidelity from generation to generation. But now came the task of developing the substance of the Christian truth in theoretical form fortifying it on all sides, and presenting it in clear light before the understanding. Thus the Christian polemic and dogmatic theology, or the church's logical apprehension of the doctrines of salvation, unfolded itself in this conflict with heresy; as the apologetic literature and martyrdom had arisen through Jewish and heathen persecution. From this time forth the distinction between catholic and heretical, orthodoxy and heterodoxy, the faith of the church and dissenting private opinion, became steadily more prominent. Every doctrine which agreed with the holy scriptures and the faith of the church, was received as catholic; that is, universal, and exclusive. Whatever deviated materially from this standard, every arbitrary notion, framed by this or that individual, every distortion or corruption of the revealed doctrines of Christianity, every departure from the public sentiment of the church, was considered heresy. Almost all the church fathers came out against the contemporary heresies, with arguments from scripture, with the tradition of the church, and with rational demonstration, proving them inwardly inconsistent and absurd. But in doing this, while they are one in spirit and purpose, they pursue two very different courses, determined by the differences between the Greek and Roman nationality, and by peculiarities of mental organization and the appointment of Providence. The Greek theology, above all the Alexandrian, represented by Clement and Origen, is predominantly idealistic and speculative, dealing with the objective doctrines of God, the incarnation, the trinity, and christology; endeavoring to supplant the false gnosis by a true knowledge, an orthodox philosophy, resting on the Christian pistis. It was strongly influenced by Platonic speculation in the Logos doctrine. The Latin theology, particularly the North African, whose most distinguished representatives are Tertullian and Cyprian, is more realistic and practical, concerned with the doctrines of human nature and of salvation, and more directly hostile to Gnosticism and philosophy. With this is connected the fact, that the Greek fathers were first philosophers; the Latin were mostly lawyers and statesmen; the former reached the Christian faith in the way of speculation, the latter in the spirit of practical morality. Characteristically, too, the Greek church built mainly upon the apostle John, pre-eminently the contemplative "divine;" the Latin upon Peter, the practical leader of the church. While Clement of Alexandria and Origen often wander away into cloudy, almost Gnostic speculation, and threaten to resolve the real substance of the Christian ideas into thin spiritualism, Tertullian sets himself implacably against Gnosticism and the heathen philosophy upon which it rests. "What fellowship," he asks, "is there between Athens and Jerusalem, the academy and the church, heretics and Christians?" But this difference was only relative. With all their spiritualism, the Alexandrians still committed themselves to a striking literalism; while, in spite of his aversion to philosophy, Tertullian labored with profound speculative ideas which came to their full birth in Augustin. (pg. 398-399)

The danger of orthodoxy lies in the direction of exclusive and uncharitable bigotry, which contracts the truth; the danger of liberalism lies in the direction of laxity and indifferentism, which obliterates the eternal distinction between truth and error. The apostles, guided by more than human wisdom, and endowed with more than ecclesiastical authority, judged severely of every essential departure from the revealed truth of salvation. Paul pronounced the anathema on the Judaizing teachers, who made circumcision a term of true church membership (Gal. 1:8), and calls them sarcastically "dogs" of the "concision" (Phil. 3:2). He warned the elders of Ephesus against "grievous wolves" who would after his departure enter among them (Acts 20:29); and he characterizes the speculations of the rising gnosis falsely so called as "doctrines of demons" (1 Tim. 4:1; Comp. 6:3–20; 2 Tim. 3:1 sqq.; 4:3 sqq.). John warns with equal earnestness and severity against all false teachers who deny the fact of the incarnation, and calls them antichrists (1 John 4:3; 2 John 7); and the second Epistle of Peter and the Epistle of Jude describe the heretics in the darkest colors. (pg 402-403)

We must notice two important points of difference between the ante-Nicene and later heresies, and the mode of punishing heresy.
1. The chief ante-Nicene heresies were undoubtedly radical perversions of Christian truth and admitted of no kind of compromise. Ebionism, Gnosticism, and Manichaeism were essentially anti-Christian. The church could not tolerate that medley of pagan sense and nonsense without endangering its very existence. But Montanists, Novatians, Donatists, Quartodecimanians, and other sects who differed on minor points of doctrine or discipline, were judged more mildly, and their baptism was acknowledged.
2. The punishment of heresy in the ante-Nicene church was purely ecclesiastical, and consisted in reproof, deposition, and excommunication. It had no effect on the civil status.
But as soon as church and state began to be united, temporal punishments, such as confiscation of property, exile, and death, were added by the civil magistrate with the approval of the church, in imitation of the Mosaic code, but in violation of the spirit and example of Christ and the apostles. Constantine opened the way in some edicts against the Donatists, A.D. 316. Valentinian I. forbade the public worship of Manichaeans (371). After the defeat of the Arians by the second OEcumenical Council, Theodosius the Great enforced uniformity of belief by legal penalties in fifteen edicts between 381 and 394. Honorius (408), Arcadius, the younger Theodosius, and Justinian (529) followed in the same path. By these imperial enactments heretics, i.e. open dissenters from the imperial state-religion, were deprived of all public offices, of the right of public worship, of receiving or bequeathing properly, of making binding contracts; they were subjected to fines, banishment, corporeal punishment, and even death. See the Theos. Code, Book XVI. tit. V. De Haereticis. The first sentence of death by the sword for heresy was executed on Priscillian and six of his followers who held Manichaean opinions (385). The better feeling of Ambrose of Milan and Martin of Tours protested against this act, but in vain. Even the great and good St. Augustin, although he had himself been a heretic for nine years, defended the principle of religious persecution, on a false exegesis of Cogite eos intrare, Luke 14:23 (Ep. 93 ad Vinc.; Ep. 185 ad Bonif., Retract. II. 5.). Had he foreseen the crusade against the Albigenses and the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, he would have retracted his dangerous opinion. A theocratic or Erastian state-church theory—whether Greek Catholic or Roman Catholic or Protestant—makes all offences against the church offences against the state, and requires their punishment with more or less severity according to the prevailing degree of zeal for orthodoxy and hatred of heresy. But in the overruling Providence of God which brings good out of every evil, the bloody persecution of heretics—one of the darkest chapters in church history—has produced the sweet fruit of religious liberty.(pg. 403-405)

Tertullian demands scripture proof for every doctrine, and declares, that heretics cannot stand on pure scriptural ground. In Origen's view nothing deserves credit which cannot be confirmed by the testimony of scripture. (pg. 408)

Besides appealing to the Scriptures, the fathers, particularly Irenaeus and Tertullian, refer with equal confidence to the "rule of faith;" that is, the common faith of the church, as orally handed down in the unbroken succession of bishops from Christ and his apostles to their day, and above all as still living in the original apostolic churches, like those of Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, and Rome. Tradition is thus intimately connected with the primitive episcopate. The latter was the vehicle of the former, and both were looked upon as bulwarks against heresy. (pg. 413)

To estimate the weight of this argument, we must remember that these fathers still stood comparatively very near the apostolic age, and that the succession of bishops in the oldest churches could be demonstrated by the living memory of two or three generations. Irenaeus in fact, had been acquainted in his youth with Polycarp, a disciple of St. John. But for this very reason we must guard against overrating this testimony, and employing it in behalf of traditions of later origin, not grounded in the scriptures. Nor can we suppose that those fathers ever thought of a blind and slavish subjection of private judgment to ecclesiastical authority, and to the decision of the bishops of the apostolic mother churches. The same Irenaeus frankly opposed the Roman bishop Victor. Tertullian, though he continued essentially orthodox, contested various points with the catholic church from his later Montanistic position, and laid down, though at first only in respect to a conventional custom—the veiling of virgins—the genuine Protestant principle, that the thing to be regarded, especially in matters of religion, is not custom but truth. His pupil, Cyprian, with whom biblical and catholic were almost interchangeable terms, protested earnestly against the Roman theory of the validity of heretical baptism, and in this controversy declared, in exact accordance with Tertullian, that custom without truth was only time-honored error. The Alexandrians freely fostered all sorts of peculiar views, which were afterwards rejected as heretical; and though the paradosi apostolike plays a prominent part with them, yet this and similar expressions have in their language a different sense, sometimes meaning simply the holy scriptures. In the substance of its doctrine this apostolic tradition agrees with the holy scriptures, and though derived, as to its form, from the oral preaching of the apostles, is really, as to its contents, one and the same with there apostolic writings. In this view the apparent contradictions of the earlier fathers, in ascribing the highest authority to both scripture and tradition in matters of faith, resolve themselves. It is one and the same gospel which the apostles preached with their lips, and then laid down in their writings, and which the church faithfully hands down by word and writing from one generation to another.(pg. 414-415)

disciple
05-28-02, 12:37 PM
Although the canon of the NT and the incipient Creed [Apostles' Creed] were valuable instruments in the struggle against heresy, the debate finally came to the issue of the authority of the church. This was important, not simply because someone had to decide who was right and who was wrong, but because of the very nature of the issues at stake. All agreed that the true message was the one taught by Jesus. The Gnostics claimed that they had some secret access to that original message, through a succession of secret teachers. Marcion claimed that he had access to that message through the writings of Paul and Luke--which, however, had to be purged of what did not agree with Marcion's views regarding the OT. Over against Marcion and the Gnostics, the church at large claimed to be in possession of the original gospel and the true teachings of Jesus. Thus, what was debated was in a way the authority of the church against the claims of the heretics.
At this point, the notion of apostolic succession became very important. What was argued was simply that, had Jesus had some secret knowledge oto communicate to his disciples--which in fact he did not--he would have entrusted that teaching to the same apostles to whom he entrusted the church. If those apostles had received any such teaching, they in turn would have passed it on to those who were to follow them in the leadership of the church. Therefore, were there any such secret teaching, it should be found among the direct disciples of the apostles, and the successors of those disciples, the bishops. But the truth of the matter is that those who can now--that is, in the second century--claim direct apostolic succession unanimously deny the existence of any such secret teaching. In conclusion, the Gnostic claim that there is a secret tradition, and that they have been entrusted with it, is false.
In order to strengthen this argument, it was necessary to show that the bishops of the time were indeed successors of the apostles. This was not difficult, since several of the most ancient churches had lists of bishops linking them with the apostolic past. Rome, Antioch, Ephesus, and others had such lists. Present-day historians do not find such lists absolutely trustworthy, for there are indications that in some churches--Rome among them--there were not at first "bishops" in the sense of a single head of the local church, but rather a collegiate group of officers who sometimes were called "bishops" and somtimes "elders." But in any case, be it through actual bishops or through other leaders, the fact remains that the orthodox church of the second century could show its connection with the apostles in a way in which Marcion and the Gnostics could not.
Does this mean that only churches that could show such apostolic connections were truly apostolic? Not so, since the issue was not that every church could prove its apostolic origins, but rather that they all agreed on the one faith, and could jointly prove that this faith was indeed apostolic. At a later date, the idea of apostolic succession was carried further, with the notion that an ordination was valid only if performed by a bishop who could claim direct apostolic succession. When first developed, late in the second century, the principle of apostolic succession was inclusive rather than exclusive: over against the closed and secret tradition of the Gnostic teachers, it offered an open and shared tradition that based its claim, not on a single favorite disciple of Jesus, but on the witness of all the apostles.
The Story of Christianity, Volume 1: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation, Ch. 8, The Deposit of the Faith, The Response: Canon, Creed, and Apostolic Succession, pg. 64-66, Justo Gonzalez

disciple
05-28-02, 12:41 PM
note this quote from GreekPrincess. she is affiliates with the Orthodox tradition and here's what she has to say:

Originally posted by GreekPrincess
Ahhh.. the "us" and "them" philosophy. We are right, you are wrong doctrine. I grew up believing this for the longest time.

Yes, Orthodoxy can be traced back to the first century Christians. But think about how many humans have touched that doctrine in all those years? All the counsels, all the bishops, priests, archbishops, patriarchs got together and formed that doctrine. You cannot tell me that putting all those well intentioned human factors into making a doctrine doesn't have some faults? Put enough fingers in the mix and sooner or later, there will be something not scriptural. This goes for any denomination, not just Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy is just the oldest with the most hands in the pot.

I am not and never will bash the Orthodox faith. I am Orthodox and I love my faith and the church. Its where I feel "home" when I worship the Lord. My heart is in the church and I (and my family) have given many many years of service to it and will continue to do so.

I will not, however, say that the Orthodox church is infallible and perfect in its doctrine or the only true church. Likewise, I will not say that the doctrines of Calvin or Luther or any other person is the absolute truth.

You know a lot more about the reformed faiths then I do - and probably the Orthodox doctrine too. Those who convert to Orthodoxy know much more then those who grew up in it. However, as someone who has been in the "politics" of the Orthodox church, I want to remind you that the leaders, the saints and other influential people in the church are just that, human. They love the Lord and their church with their heart, soul and mind, but they are human.

What would I stake my life on? Christo! Christ! My Lord and Savior. My belief in Him as Savior! Would I risk my life for my church? Absolutely! But I will not say it is the only true church.

One final thought. One of Orthodoxy's beauties is that it isn't just a church you go to on Sunday and worship. It is a way of life. Just as being a Christian in any denomination should be. Orthodoxy has many traditions that form our walk with the Lord in life and I see such beauty in it. What I don't see and never have seen is the church leading us to a boxing match with other believers. Where does it say in Scripture, in the writings of the saints or any other doctrine, that we are to go into the ring with other believers? (Using your analogy) Where in all the writings about the saints does is show them fighting with others who believing in Him?? Jesus IS the Truth! That's who we take a stand for.

you see she appreciates her tradition (as i do mine) but recognizes what the central issue is--Christo! Christ! My Lord and Savior. i appreciate that type of spirit and i love her as a sister in our common Savior regardless of what tradition she decides to fellowship with.

Victor Joseph
05-28-02, 04:29 PM
disciple. . .

quote: disciple
"the origin of apostolic succession arose because of the attack of the heretics on the truth coupled with the fact that the apostles were no longer around and the canon had not been decided upon unanimously. the nature and meaning of apostolic succession at this time (i.e, late 2nd c.) was not what it is today in either the RC or Orthodox traditions.

the idea of the tradition of the apostles was also introduced at this time (i.e., late 2nd c.) and for the same reasons (i.e., to ward off the heretics and establish the true apostolic faith).


Brother disciple you can go to all kinds of history books that sprinkle truth with fiction. . . 1 Tim 3:15 says the Church & not scripture is the "pillar and foundation of the truth". So we are looking for a "Church" not some sort of proof involving canon of scripture. The reason for apostolic succession is debateable. The fact is WE SEE IT TAKING PLACE IN SCRIPTURE. ". . .they prayed and said, "Lord who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two (Justus & Mathias) THOU hast chosen to TAKE THE PLACE in this MINISTRY and APOSTLESHIP from which Judas turned aside. (Acts 1:24) This should have special meaning for you. Peter has a defined 'leadership role' in the fledgeling Church (Jesus prayed for Him specifically) . . . Brother. . . if Jesus prayed for me I believe what He prayed for is going to happen. . . in this case that Peter's faith would not fail and that he'd strengthen his brethren.
"And I say to you, you are Peter (ROCK), and upon this rock I will build my church." (singular). " . . .and the gates of the netherworld shal not prevail against it. (No heresy. . .political movement. . . individual . . .nothing!)
". . .I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. . . (sounds like Jesus is giving Peter authority) . . .Whatever you. . . (Peter). . .bind on earth shal be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matt. 16:13 -19

What did the 'keys' signify? Jesus is drawing this image of the keys from
Is. 22:19-22. From this context, at least 3 concepts are included. (1) The keys are a symbol of authority given to the chief official--- the Prime Minister--of the Kingdom of David. (2) The Prime Minister is a father-figure. Remember "Pope" comes from the Italian word for "Papa" . . . father. (3) The office implies dynastic succession. The office of Prime Minister continued as long as the Kingdom of David continued. Catholics believe that Christ is the King, and the Pope is the "Prime-Minister" of His heavenly kingdom, the church. Christ is the Head of the Church; the Pope is His earthly representative.

Brother disciple. . . Why would Jesus give this tremendous authority to St. Peter and not intend for it to be PASSED ON? If the early christians needed an authoritative leader, later Christians would need one even more. After all, many of the early Christians heard the Gospel from Christ Himself and knew the Apostles personally. After all the apostles died, the Church would have even greater need of the power of the keys when enemies (as you alluded to) would try to corrupt the teachings of Christ?

God bless you disciple. Come Holy Spirit. . . V.J.

P.S. Can you produce some "evidence" that the early church was "Protestant" in it's belief?

Victor Joseph
05-28-02, 05:00 PM
diciple & countrymouse. . .

Here is some more Scriptural evidence for upholding Apostolic Succession.

APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY AND SUCCESSION

I. Ordained Leaders Share in Jesus' Ministry and Authority
II. Authority is Transferred by the of Ordination
III. Jesus Wants us to Obey Apostolic Authority

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I. Ordained Leaders Share in Jesus' Ministry and Authority

Matt. 10:1,40 - he who receives you, receives Me, and he who rejects you, rejects Me and the One who sent Me.

Matt. 16:19; 18:18 - the apostles are given Christ's authority to make visible decisions on earth that will be ratified in heaven.

Luke 9:1; 10:19 - Jesus gives apostles authority over the natural and the supernatural (diseases, demons, serpents, and scorpions).

Luke 10:16 - he who hears you, hears Me. The Son's authority is transferred to the apostles. God exalts His children.

Luke 22:29 - Father gives the kingdom to the Son, and the Son gives the kingdom to the apostles. The gift is transferred.

Num 16:28 - the Father's authority is transferred to Moses. Moses does not speak on his own. This is a real transfer of authority.

John 5:30 - similarly, Jesus as man does nothing of His own authority, but He acts under the authority of the Father.

John 7:16-17 - Jesus as man states that His authority is not His own, but from God. He will transfer this authority to other men.

John 8:28 - Jesus says He does nothing on His own authority. Similarly, the apostles will do nothing on their own authority.

John 12:49 - Father's authority is transferred to the Son. The Son does not speak on his own. This is a transfer of divine authority.

John 13:20 - he who receives anyone who I send, receives Me. He who receives the apostles, receives Christ Himself.

John 14:10 - Jesus says the Word He speaks is not His own authority, but from the Father. The gift is from the Father to Jesus to the apostles.

John 16:14-15 - what the Father has, the Son has, and the Son gives it to the apostles. Authority is not lessened or mitigated.

John 17:18; 20:21 - as the Father sends the Son, the Son sends the apostles. The apostles have divinely appointed authority.

Acts 20:28 - apostles are shepherds and guardians / 1 Peter 2:25 - Jesus is the Shepherd and Guardian.

Jer. 23:1-8; Ezek. 34:1-10 - the shepherds must shepherd the sheep, or they will be held accountable by God.

Eph. 2:20 - the Christian faith is built upon the foundation of the apostles - "foundation" proves it does not die with apostles, but carries on through succession.

Eph. 2:20; Rev. 21:9,14 - household, Bride of the Lamb, the new Jerusalem = Church whose foundation is the apostles.



cont.

Victor Joseph
05-28-02, 05:04 PM
Scriptural evidence for Apostolic Succession cont.

II. Authority is Transferred by the Sacrament of Ordination

Acts 1:15-26 - the first thing Peter does is implement succession. Matthias is ordained with full apostolic authority.

Acts 1:20 - successor of Judas is chosen. The authority of his office (bishopric) is respected notwithstanding his egregious sin.

Acts 1:22 - literally, "one must be ordained" to be a witness with us of His resurrection. Apostolic ordination is required.

Acts 6:6 - apostolic authority is transferred through the laying on of hands (ordination). Authority transfers beyond the twelve.

Acts 8:17; 19:6 - Luke clearly states that the Holy Spirit is transferred beyond original apostles by the laying on of hands.

Acts 9:17-19 - even Paul, who was directly chosen by Christ, only becomes a minister after the laying on of hands by a bishop.

Acts 13:3 - apostolic authority is transferred through the laying on of hands (ordination). This must come from a Catholic bishop.

Acts 14:23 - the apostles and newly-ordained men appointed elders to have authority throughout the Church.

Acts 15:22-27 - preachers of the Word must be sent by the bishops in union with the Church. We must trace this authority to the apostles.

2 Cor. 1:21-22 - Paul writes that God has commissioned certain men and sealed them with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee.

Col 1:25 - Paul calls his position a divine "office." An office has successors. It does not terminate at death. Or it's not an office.

1 Tim. 3:1 - Paul uses the word "episcopoi" (bishop) which requires an office. An office has successors.

1 Tim. 4:14 - again, apostolic authority is transferred through the laying on of hands (ordination).

1 Tim. 5:22 - Paul urges Timothy to be careful in laying on the hands (ordaining others). The gift of authority is a reality.

2 Tim. 1:6 - Paul again reminds Timothy the unique gift of God that he received through the laying on of hands.

2 Tim. 4:1-6 - at end of Paul's life, Paul charges Timothy with the office of his ministry . We must trace lineage to a Catholic bishop.

2 Tim. 2:2 - transferring of authority to successors (Paul to Timothy to 3rd to 4th generation). It goes beyond the death of apostles.

Titus 1:5; Luke 10:1 - elders of the Church are appointed and hold authority. God has His children participate in Christ's work.

1 John 4:6 - whoever knows God listens to us (bishops and successors to apostles). This is the way we discern truth and error.

Exodus 18:25-26 - Moses appoints various heads over the people of God - hierarchy, transfer of authority and succession.

Exodus 40:15 - physical anointing shows God intended a perpetual priesthood with identifiable unbroken succession.

Numbers 3:3 - sons of Aaron were formally "anointed" priests in "ordination" to minister in the priests' "office."

Numbers 16:40 - shows intention of unbroken succession. Unless a priest ordained by Aaron and his descendants, he has no authority.

Numbers 27:18-20 - shows God's intention that, through the "laying on of hands," one is commissioned and has authority.

Deut. 34:9 - Moses laid hands upon Joshua, and because of this, Joshua was obeyed as successor, full of the spirit of wisdom.

Sirach 45:15 - Moses ordains Aaron and anoints him with oil. There is a transfer of authority through formal ordination.


Victor Joseph
05-28-02, 05:07 PM
Scriptural proof for Apostolic Succession cont.

III. Jesus Wants Us to Obey Apostolic Authority

Acts 5:13 - the people acknowledged the apostles' special authority and did not dare take it upon themselves.

Acts 15:6; 16:4 - teaching authority is granted to apostles and successors. Teaching authority must be traced to original apostles.

1 Cor. 5:3-5; 1 Tim. 1:20; Gal 1:8; Matt 18:17 - shows the authority of the elders to excommunicate / anathemize ("deliver to satan").

2 Cor. 2:17 - Paul says the elders are not just random peddlers of God's word. They are actually commissioned by God.

2 Cor. 5:20 - we are "ambassadors" for Christ. This means an actual participation in Christ's mission; it is not a passive representation.

2 Cor. 10:8 - Paul acknowledges his authority over God's people which the Lord gave to build up the Church.

1 Thess. 5:12-13 - Paul charges the members of the Church to respect those who have authority over them.

2 Thess. 3:14 - Paul says if a person does not obey what he has provided in his letter, have nothing to do with him.

1 Tim. 5:17 - Paul charges the members of the Church to honor the appointed elders of the Church.

Titus 2:15 - Paul charges Timothy to exhort and reprove with all authority, which he receive by the laying on of hands.

Heb. 13:7,17 - Paul charges the members of the Church to remember and obey their leaders who have authority over their souls.

1 Peter 2:18 - Peter charges the servants to be submissive to their masters whether kind and gentle or overbearing.

1 Peter 5:5; Jude 8 - Peter and Jude charge the members of the Church to be subject to their elders.

2 Peter 2:10 - Peter warns about despising authority. He is referring to the apostolic authority granted by Christ.

3 John 9 - John points out that Diotrephes does not acknowledge John's apostolic authority and declares that this is evil.

Num. 16:1-35 - Korah incited a "protestant" rebellion against God's chosen Moses, and Korah and his followers perished.

Sirach 7:29-30 - with all your soul fear the Lord and honor His priests, love your Maker and do not forsake His ministers.



You are all in my prayers. . . V.J.

countrymouse
05-28-02, 05:08 PM
Just a quick comment, Victor Joseph,

Matthias (Acts 1:20) did not succeed Judas, he replaced Judas.

cm

countrymouse
05-28-02, 05:17 PM
...which begs another question:

Since there are twelve apostles, would that be the first 11 plus Matthias, or the 1st 11 plus Paul? Did the others cast lots for a replacement prematurely? After all, they did this before Pentecost, before they were anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit. What do you think?

cm

Victor Joseph
05-28-02, 05:48 PM
contrymouse . . .I'm just heading out the door.

I think scripture is clear. . . Acts 8:17; 19:6 - Luke clearly states that the Holy Spirit is transferred beyond original apostles by the laying on of hands.


More tomoorow. . .God bless .... V.J.

disciple
05-28-02, 06:01 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
Brother disciple you can go to all kinds of history books that sprinkle truth with fiction. . . 1 Tim 3:15 says the Church & not scripture is the "pillar and foundation of the truth". So we are looking for a "Church" not some sort of proof involving canon of scripture. The reason for apostolic succession is debateable.
ok so you want to go back to Scripture now? that's fine. let's just try to stay here now...agreed? notice that it says that the church is the "pillar and support of the truth." does this mean that the church referred to is the RC church? no. does this mean that what is in mind here is a apostolic succession, papacy, etc.? no. we need to first define what Scripture means by church. more later as i'm short on time...


The fact is WE SEE IT TAKING PLACE IN SCRIPTURE. ". . .they prayed and said, "Lord who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two (Justus & Mathias) THOU hast chosen to TAKE THE PLACE in this MINISTRY and APOSTLESHIP from which Judas turned aside. (Acts 1:24) This should have special meaning for you.
ok. so what does this prove? God wanted and still wants leadership in His church. He desired apostles to be the sent ones who were eyewitnesses to carry the message, write Scripture, and deliver the faith. how does this prove that it is the Catholic church?


Peter has a defined 'leadership role' in the fledgeling Church (Jesus prayed for Him specifically) . . . Brother. . . if Jesus prayed for me I believe what He prayed for is going to happen. . . in this case that Peter's faith would not fail and that he'd strengthen his brethren.
and that he did. have you read 1 and 2 peter? did you read about him and what he did in acts? it sure did come true. does this imply that he was the first pope? no. does this imply that the RC church was to be born and led by him and his successor? no.


"And I say to you, you are Peter (ROCK), and upon this rock I will build my church." (singular). " . . .and the gates of the netherworld shal not prevail against it. (No heresy. . .political movement. . . individual . . .nothing!)
ok. perhaps a little grammar examination is in order.

Mt 16:18 "I also say to you that you are Peter (petros-small pebble or stone), and upon this rock (petra-bedrock; large stone) I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it."

first of all, Jesus is using a play on words. after peter's comment, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" Jesus says "I also say to you that you are Peter..." obviously addressing Peter whose name He changed (cf. Mk 3:16; lk 6:14; john 1:42). Jesus here is reminding Peter of this fact and that He has the sovereign right to do so. the next phrase makes it clear what He is not saying the rock upon He will build His church is. "and upon this (houtos) rock..." makes it clear that Peter is not the rock. grammatically the "this" can only be the antecedent of one of two things, 1) Jesus or 2) the confession of Peter. so the grammar completely rules out peter as the rock that Christ will build His church upon. also the fact that He is using a play on words the petra is different than the petros to whom He is speaking. your exegesis fails miserably at this point. also nowhere else in Scripture is Peter called the rock upon which the church is built. on the other hand, there is Scripture saying that Christ is the rock (acts 4:11ff; ro 9:33; 1 co 10:4; eph 2:20; 1 pe 2:4-8). and eph 2:20 says that all the apostles and prophets are the foundation not just peter.


". . .I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. . . (sounds like Jesus is giving Peter authority) . . .Whatever you. . . (Peter). . .bind on earth shal be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matt. 16:13 -19

What did the 'keys' signify? Jesus is drawing this image of the keys from Is. 22:19-22. From this context, at least 3 concepts are included. (1) The keys are a symbol of authority given to the chief official--- the Prime Minister--of the Kingdom of David. (2) The Prime Minister is a father-figure. Remember "Pope" comes from the Italian word for "Papa" . . . father. (3) The office implies dynastic succession. The office of Prime Minister continued as long as the Kingdom of David continued. Catholics believe that Christ is the King, and the Pope is the "Prime-Minister" of His heavenly kingdom, the church. Christ is the Head of the Church; the Pope is His earthly representative.
and you get this from the text alone? sorry...it's not there unless you put it there (eisegesis-putting the meaning into the text) because it doesn't come from Scriptural exegesis (drawing the meaning out of the text). it obviously is authority that is given here but it is not a necessary conclusion that by this is meant the RC church with all its heirarchy and the pope. this is reading later history back into this statement and not based on plain exegesis of the text. and uh...Isaiah 22:19ff is talking about Jesus Christ not Peter and is alluded to in Revelation 3:7. peter is never associated with David in Scripture. that is Christ's place. He is the fulfillment of David, not Peter.


Brother disciple. . . Why would Jesus give this tremendous authority to St. Peter and not intend for it to be PASSED ON? If the early christians needed an authoritative leader, later Christians would need one even more. After all, many of the early Christians heard the Gospel from Christ Himself and knew the Apostles personally. After all the apostles died, the Church would have even greater need of the power of the keys when enemies (as you alluded to) would try to corrupt the teachings of Christ?
this is an argument from your presuppositions and not Scripture. this is your logical (or illogical) argument and it is not a necessary conclusion that this authority passed in some supposed Roman Catholic church with heirarchy and papacy and such. anyway, it did pass on. it passed on in Scripture and in the churches and individuals who were faithful with what was entrusted to them. you're reading way too much of your views, presuppositions, and later history back into the Scripture or into your argument.


P.S. Can you produce some "evidence" that the early church was "Protestant" in it's belief?
what does this mean? the goal of many protestant denominations is to emulate the ancient apostolic church of acts as close as possible. i'm not sure what you mean by this question or what you're trying to show. can you show me "evidence" that the early church was "Roman Catholic" in its belief? of course not because you have to read later history back into Scripture.

more later...

disciple
05-28-02, 06:03 PM
http://www.biblestudytools.net/Commentaries/GillsExpositionoftheBible/gil.cgi?book=mt&chapter=016&verse=018&next=019&prev=017

And upon this rock will I build my church:
by the church, is meant, not an edifice of wood, stones… but an assembly, and congregation of men; and that not of any sort; not a disorderly, tumultuous assembly, in which sense this word is sometimes taken; nor does it design the faithful of a family, which is sometimes the import of it; nor a particular congregated church, but the elect of God, the general assembly and church of the first born, whose names are written in heaven; and especially such of them as were to be gathered in, and built on Christ, from among the Jews and Gentiles. The materials of this building are such, as are by nature no better, or more fit for it, than others: these stones originally lie in the same quarry with others; they are singled out, and separated from the rest, according to the sovereign will of God, by powerful and efficacious grace; and are broken and hewn by the Spirit of God, generally speaking, under the ministry of the word, and are, by him, made living stones; and being holy and spiritual persons, are built up a spiritual house: and these are the only persons which make up the true and invisible church of Christ in the issue, and are only fit to be members of the visible church; and all such ought to be in a Gospel church state, and partake of the privileges of it: these materials are of different sorts, and have a different place, and have a different usefulness in this building; some are only as common stones, and timber; others are as pillars, beams, and rafters; and all are useful and serviceable; and being put, and knit together, grow up as an holy temple to the Lord: and are called, by Christ, "my" church, because given him by the Father; and he has purchased them with his own blood; are built by him, and on him; inhabited by him, and of whom he is the head, king, and governor; though not to the exclusion of the Father, whose house they also are; nor of the Spirit, who dwells in them, as in his temple. This church Christ promises to "build". Though his ministers are builders, they are but under builders; they are qualified, employed, directed, encouraged, and succeeded by him; he is the wise, able, and chief master builder. This act of building seems to have a special regard to the conversion of God's elect, both among Jews and Gentiles, particularly the latter; and to the daily conversions of them in all ages; and to the building up of saints in faith and holiness; each of which will more manifestly appear in the latter day; and are both generally effected through the word, and ordinances, as means, the Spirit of Christ blessing them. By the rock on which Christ builds his church, is meant, not the person of Peter; for Christ does not say, upon thee Peter, but upon this rock, referring to something distinct from him: for though his name signifies a rock, or stone, and there may be some allusion to it; and he is so called because of his trust and confidence in the Lord, on whom he was built; but not because he was the foundation on which any others, and especially the whole church, were built: it is true, he may be called the foundation, as the rest of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are, (Ephesians 2:20) (Revelation 21:14) without any distinction from them, and preference to them; they and he agreeing in laying doctrinally and ministerially Christ Jesus as the foundation of faith and hope, but not in such sense as he is; neither he, nor they, are the foundation on which the church is built, which is Christ, and him only. Moreover, what is said to Peter in these, and the following words, is not said to him personally and separately from the rest of the apostles, but is designed for them, as well as him, as appears by comparing them with (Matthew 18:18) . As he spoke in the name of them all, to Christ; so Christ spake to him, including them all. Peter had no preeminence over the rest of the apostles, which he neither assumed, nor was it granted; nor would it ever have been connived at by Christ, who often showed his resentment at such a spirit and conduct, whenever there was any appearance of it in any of them; see (Matthew 18:1-3) (20:25-28) and though Peter, with James, and John, had some particular favours bestowed on him by Christ; as to be at the raising of Jairus's daughter, and at the transfiguration of Christ on the mount, and with him in the garden; and he appeared to him alone after his resurrection, and before he was seen by the rest of the disciples; yet in some things he was inferior to them, being left to deny his Lord and master, they did not; and upon another account is called Satan by Christ, which they never were; not to mention other infirmities of his, which show he is not the rock: and, after all, what is this to the pope of Rome, who is no successor of Peter's? Peter, as an apostle, had no successor in his office; nor was he bishop of Rome; nor has the pope of Rome either his office, or his doctrine: but here, by the rock, is meant, either the confession of faith made by Peter; not the act, nor form, but the matter of it, it containing the prime articles of Christianity, and which are as immoveable as a rock; or rather Christ himself, who points, as it were, with his finger to himself, and whom Peter had made such a glorious confession of; and who was prefigured by the rock the Israelites drank water out of in the wilderness; and is comparable to any rock for height, shelter, strength, firmness, and duration; and is the one and only foundation of his church and people, and on whom their security, salvation, and happiness entirely depend. Christ is a rock that is higher than they, where they find safety in times of distress, and the shadow of which is refreshing to them; and therefore betake themselves to him for shelter, and where they are secure from the wrath of God, and rage of men: he is the rock of ages, in whom is everlasting strength; and is the sure, firm, and everlasting foundation on which the church, and all true believers, are laid: he is the foundation of their faith, and hope, and everlasting happiness, and will ever continue; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The Jews speak of the gates of hell: sometimes of the gate of hell, in the singular number F16; and sometimes of the gates of hell, in the plural number. They say F17, that


``(Mnhygl vy Myxtp hvlv) , "hell has three gates", one in the wilderness, one in the sea, and one in Jerusalem.''

They talk F18 of

``an angel that is appointed (Mnhygd yert le) , "over the gates of hell", whose name is Samriel; who has three keys in his hands, and opens three doors.''

And elsewhere F19 they say, that

``he that is appointed over hell his name is Dumah, and many myriads of destroying angels are with him, and he stands (Mnhygd axtp le) , "at the gate of hell"; and all those that keep the holy covenant in this world, he has no power to bring them in.''

Our Lord may allude to these notions of the Jews, and his sense be, that all the infernal principalities and powers, with all their united cunning and strength, will never be able to extirpate his Gospel, to destroy his interest, to demolish his church in general, or ruin anyone particular soul that is built upon him. Again, the gates of "Hades", or hell, sometimes seem to design no other than the gates of death, and the grave, and persons going into the state of death; see (Job 38:17) (Isaiah 38:10) where the Septuagint use the same phrase as here; and then the sense is, that neither death, nor the grave, shall finally, and totally prevail over the people of God, and members of Christ; but they shall be raised out of such a state, and live gloriously with him for ever. By it here is not meant Peter himself; though it is true of him, that Satan, and his posse of devils that beset him, did not prevail against him, so as to destroy his grace, hurt his estate, and hinder his salvation: nor could death, in all its frightful appearances, deter him from holding, and preaching, and maintaining the doctrine of Christ; and though death, and the grave, have now power over him, yet they shall not always detain him: but rather, it designs the doctrine Peter made a confession of; which, though it may be opposed by hell and earth, by Satan, and his emissaries, by the open force of persecutors, and the secret fraud of heretics, it may be brought into contempt by the scandalous lives of professors; and though the true professors of it may die off, yet truth itself always lives, and defies the power of death, and the grave: or else the church in general is meant, and every true believer. These words do not ascertain the continuance of anyone particular congregated church, but secures the church universal, which will continue as long as the sun and moon endure, and the perseverance of everyone of God's elect; and assure that death, and the grave, shall not always have the dominion over the saints, but that they shall be rescued from them. Once more, this "it" may refer to Christ the rock, who, though he was brought to the dust of death, by the means of Satan, and the powers of darkness, yet to the ruin of him that had the power of death; and though death, and the grave, had power over him for a while, yet could not hold him; he rose victorious over them, and ever lives, having the keys of hell and death, to open the gates thereof, and let his people out when he thinks fit.

disciple
05-29-02, 09:30 AM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
...but I don't understand why we both can't honor Mary as much as the founders of Protestantism did?
b/c the background many of them came out of was RC. so they were still impacted by much of it. this cannot be substantiated from Scripture nor did the apostolic fathers believe this. this is a later invention. as i said before, the ante-nicene fathers were interested in going back to and preserving the apostolic faith and would not have ever tolerated any changes to the faith that was once and for all delivered.

disciple
05-29-02, 09:47 AM
all those verses are great about authority but i'm not sure why you believe they prove that peter and his successors are the pope. i too believe those verses and believe that there needs to be authority and submission in a church. i'm also not sure why you keep saying in the verses that it must come from a catholic bishop. for one catholic is not even in Scripture. for two where do you see that it must come from a bishop as we see in the RC church? what all those verses affirm is plurality in leadership not dictatorship. Christ is the Head of the church. all leaders in the church are under-shepherds (1 pe 5) and there is no master prophet or vicar of Christ on earth like your pope. Scripture never once shows this. just look at acts and the epistles. peter is not ever put in the position that the RC puts him in.

Victor Joseph
05-29-02, 12:03 PM
Peace to you disciple.

Here it is brother disciple. . .

quote:
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Originally posted by Victor Joseph
Brother disciple you can go to all kinds of history books that sprinkle truth with fiction. . . 1 Tim 3:15 says the Church & not scripture is the "pillar and foundation of the truth". So we are looking for a "Church" not some sort of proof involving canon of scripture. The reason for apostolic succession is debateable.
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quote: disciple
ok so you want to go back to Scripture now? that's fine. let's just try to stay here now...agreed? notice that it says that the church is the "pillar and support of the truth." does this mean that the church referred to is the RC church? no. does this mean that what is in mind here is a apostolic succession, papacy, etc.? no. we need to first define what Scripture means by church. more later as i'm short on time...

We Catholic Christians are not 'bound' to Scripture alone. I have come across 21 good reasons to reject the "man-made" doctrine of Sola Scriptura that I would like to share at some point.

I apreciate your zeal (and thank the Lord for your faith in Jesus) but what it gets down to is that . . .in all humility. . .you have no authority to interpret scripture. . . it's just your opinion. . . You reject apostolic succession & the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. Jesus didn't give you the "keys of the kingdom of heaven. . ." . . .nor the 'power to bind and to loose' people from their sins (In the person of Christ).

Again there are all sorts of "histories" of christianity out there and many of these authors have a bone to pick with the Catholic Church. We must search for an objective source. . . Eusebius (sic) I'm told is a good one.

Allow me to share with you a portion of a very ancient writing (perhaps older than some of the Gospels). . . The Didache (commonly known as the Teachings of the 12 Apostles). . .

Of Local Officials
15. You must choose for yourself bishops and deacons who are worthy of the Lord: men who are humble and not eager for money, but sincere and approved; for they are carrying out the ministry of the prophets and the teachers for you. Do not esteem them lightly, for they take an honourable rank among you along with the prophets and teachers.

Another early Christian writing is that of Ignatius (bishop of Antioch) just after Peter. . . "Abjure all factions, for they are the beginning of evils. FOLLOW YOUR BISHOP, (my emphasis) every one of you, AS OBEDIENTLY AS JESUS CHRIST FOLLOWED THE FATHER. (my emphasis) OBEY YOUR CLERGY TOO, AS YOU WOULD THE APOSTLES; GIVE YOUR DEACONS THE SAME REVERENCE THAT YOU WOULD TO A COMMAND FROM GOD. Make sure that no step affecting the church is ever taken by anyone without the bishop's sanction. The sole EUCHARIST (my emphasis) you should consider VALID (my emphasis)
(and why this importance on validity if it's just a symbol? Who celebrates it seems important as it can be done invalidly. Sounds like a transfer of power needs to have taken place) is one that is celebrated by the bishop himself, or by some person authorized by him. Where the bishop is to be seen, there let all his people be; just as whereever Jesus Christ is present, we HAVE (my emphasis) the catholic Church. Nor is it permissable to conduct baptisms or love-feasts without the bishop. On the other hand, whatever does have his sanction can be sure of God's approval too. This is the way to make certain of the soundness and validity of anything you do."
From "Early Christian Writings" Translated by Maxwell Staniforth


disciple. . . this sounds really Catholic to me. . . and Ancient. 21st century spin doctors' revisionist history just won't do. Shall we agree to look for the truth in an objective manner.

The love of Jesus Christ to you. V.J.

disciple
05-29-02, 12:33 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
We Catholic Christians are not 'bound' to Scripture alone. I have come across 21 good reasons to reject the "man-made" doctrine of Sola Scriptura that I would like to share at some point.
yes i know you're not. but jesus and the apostles and the ante-nicene fathers seemed to think they were. interesting that this idea of tradition as authoritative seems to be a later addition something that i'm sure would be objected to by the early followers of Christ.


I apreciate your zeal (and thank the Lord for your faith in Jesus) but what it gets down to is that . . .in all humility. . .you have no authority to interpret scripture. . . it's just your opinion. . . You reject apostolic succession & the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. Jesus didn't give you the "keys of the kingdom of heaven. . ." . . .nor the 'power to bind and to loose' people from their sins (In the person of Christ).
there you go again reading RC doctrine back into the Scripture. did the bereans have the authority to interpret Scripture? sounds to me like anyone who can read the words can read the words for what they say and get the message.


Again there are all sorts of "histories" of christianity out there and many of these authors have a bone to pick with the Catholic Church. We must search for an objective source. . . Eusebius (sic) I'm told is a good one.
friend i've read his entire work as well as all of the apostolic fathers. nowhere is the concept of the pope found. the concept of authority and submission and plurality of leadership is found of which i've already said i affirm and believe. both protestants and Orthodox object to the RC idea that the pope has sole authority and can act and speak ex cathedra outside of other leadership.


Allow me to share with you a portion of a very ancient writing (perhaps older than some of the Gospels). . . The Didache (commonly known as the Teachings of the 12 Apostles). . .

Of Local Officials
15. You must choose for yourself bishops and deacons who are worthy of the Lord: men who are humble and not eager for money, but sincere and approved; for they are carrying out the ministry of the prophets and the teachers for you. Do not esteem them lightly, for they take an honourable rank among you along with the prophets and teachers.
read the whole thing before. not sure how this proves the RC church and the pope. this is just 1 tim 3 and titus 1. this does nothing for your case my friend.


Another early Christian writing is that of Ignatius (bishop of Antioch) just after Peter. . . "Abjure all factions, for they are the beginning of evils. FOLLOW YOUR BISHOP, (my emphasis) every one of you, AS OBEDIENTLY AS JESUS CHRIST FOLLOWED THE FATHER. (my emphasis) OBEY YOUR CLERGY TOO, AS YOU WOULD THE APOSTLES; GIVE YOUR DEACONS THE SAME REVERENCE THAT YOU WOULD TO A COMMAND FROM GOD. Make sure that no step affecting the church is ever taken by anyone without the bishop's sanction. The sole EUCHARIST (my emphasis) you should consider VALID (my emphasis)
(and why this importance on validity if it's just a symbol? Who celebrates it seems important as it can be done invalidly. Sounds like a transfer of power needs to have taken place) is one that is celebrated by the bishop himself, or by some person authorized by him. Where the bishop is to be seen, there let all his people be; just as whereever Jesus Christ is present, we HAVE (my emphasis) the catholic Church. Nor is it permissable to conduct baptisms or love-feasts without the bishop. On the other hand, whatever does have his sanction can be sure of God's approval too. This is the way to make certain of the soundness and validity of anything you do."
yep read this before to. no surprise. is this Scripture? no. is it authoritative? no. is there a central pope here centered in rome? nope.


disciple. . . this sounds really Catholic to me. . . and Ancient. 21st century spin doctors' revisionist history just won't do. Shall we agree to look for the truth in an objective manner.
sure. but as i said before that only solid objective manner is through looking at Scripture. the fathers don't agree on all things and are not authority according to Scripture. also we also have to interpret their words. why not just cut out the middle men and go straight to Scripture.

later tradition is not something that i can accept. that's why i said as you came back to Scripture that we should agree to stay there. Scripture is the objective manner my friend. you seem happy to just hop back and forth to try and garner all the support you can for your views. it is evident to me that you are buying into a revisionist history since you constantly want to read later RC history back into Scripture and early church history. we need to keep things in their context and not just throw all this terminology around willy nilly.

disciple
05-29-02, 01:32 PM
i want to return again briefly to your use of mt 16:19 and 1 tim 3:15.

Mt 16:19 "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven."

is peter getting the sole authority here on earth and becoming the first pope and vicar of Christ? i highly doubt it. it is obvious that He is giving the apostles authority here (as he already did elsewhere, cf. mt 10:1) but what does this refer to and what type of authority is it? notice this same authority given to the church (not just peter) just two chapters later:

Mt 18:15 "If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 "But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17 "If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 "Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. 19 "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. 20 "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."

notice that it's not just the leadership or just peter or the pope but where two or three have gathered together in Christ's name (i.e., believers or members of the church presumably). this authority was given to all who believe in Him. the church is Christ's representative on earth and not just one person who is the vicar (i.e., the pope). you need to look at the whole of Scripture (i.e., analogy of faith) and not just one isolated verse to substantiate your views.

here's what JFB commentary has to say (http://www.biblestudytools.net/Commentaries/JamiesonFaussetBrown/jfb.cgi?book=mt&chapter=016):

Whatever this mean, it was soon expressly extended to all the apostles (Matthew 18:18); so that the claim of supreme authority in the Church, made for Peter by the Church of Rome, and then arrogated to themselves by the popes as the legitimate successors of St. Peter, is baseless and impudent. As first in confessing Christ, Peter got this commission before the rest; and with these "keys," on the day of Pentecost, he first "opened the door of faith" to the Jews, and then, in the person of Cornelius, he was honored to do the same to the Gentiles. Hence, in the lists of the apostles, Peter is always first named. thing is clear, that not in all the New Testament is there the vestige of any authority either claimed or exercised by Peter, or conceded to him, above the rest of the apostles--a thing conclusive against the Romish claims in behalf of that apostle.

and then later in chapter 20:

Mt 20:20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. 21 And He said to her, "What do you wish?" She said to Him, "Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left." 22 But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?" They said to Him, "We are able." 23 He said to them, "My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father."

if peter was just given the keys to the kingdom and he was the head cheese and vicar of Christ on earth the answer to this question should be quite easy. why wasn't it obvious to them? because they understood mt 16:19 much differently than a RC.

disciple
05-29-02, 01:43 PM
as far as 1 tim 3:15 he's using the picture and imagery of a house:

1 Tim 3:15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

what is the purpose of a house? what is the purpose of the pillars and supports? of course the church does this. the church as i said before is composed of all who in every place call upon Christ (1 co 1:2). those who trust in and follow Christ who is the truth (john 14:6) and whose word is truth (john 17:17) will uphold the truth. how does this prove a RC church with all its heirarchy and its vicar?

here's what JFB commentary says (http://www.biblestudytools.net/Commentaries/JamiesonFaussetBrown/jfb.cgi?book=1ti&chapter=003):
the pillar and ground of the truth--evidently predicated of the Church, not of "the mystery of godliness" (an interpretation not started till the sixteenth century; so BENGEL); for after two weighty predicates, "pillar and ground," and these substantives, the third, a much weaker one, and that an adjective, "confessedly," or "without controversy great," would not come. "Pillar" is so used metaphorically of the three apostles on whom principally the Jewish Christian Church depended (Galatians 2:9; compare Revelation 3:12). The Church is "the pillar of the truth," as the continued existence (historically) of the truth rests on it; for it supports and preserves the word of truth. He who is of the truth belongs by the very fact to the Church. Christ is the alone ground of the truth in the highest sense (1 Corinthians 3:11). The apostles are foundations in a secondary sense (Ephesians 2:20, Revelation 21:14). The Church rests on the truth as it is in Christ; not the truth on the Church. But the truth as it is in itself is to be distinguished from the truth as it is acknowledged in the world. In the former sense it needs no pillar, but supports itself; in the latter sense, it needs the Church as its pillar, that is, its supporter and preserver [BAUMGARTEN]. The importance of Timothy's commission is set forth by reminding him of the excellence of "the house" in which he serves; and this in opposition to the coming heresies which Paul presciently forewarns him of immediately after (1 Timothy 4:1). The Church is to be the stay of the truth and its conserver for the world, and God's instrument for securing its continuance on earth, in opposition to those heresies (Matthew 16:18, 28:20). The apostle does not recognize a Church which has not the truth, or has it only in part. Rome falsely claims the promise for herself. But it is not historical descent that constitutes a Church, but this only, to those heresies (Matthew 16:18, 28:20). The apostle does not recognize a Church which has not the intermediate; the "ground," or "basement" (similar to "foundation," 2 Timothy 2:19), the final support of the building [ALFORD]. It is no objection that, having called the Church before "the house of God," he now calls it the "pillar"; for the literal word "Church" immediately precedes the new metaphors: so the Church, or congregation of believers, which before was regarded as the habitation of God, is now, from a different point of view, regarded as the pillar upholding the truth.

Victor Joseph
05-29-02, 02:14 PM
disciple my brother . . . I need to respectfully disagree. You make some good points. . . I don't have all the answers. (It still seems to be your 'opinion and interpretation of the Bible against my attempt to explain the teachings of Jesus' Church). I can go to the Word of God to attempt to prove the Authority and Primacy of the Bishop St. Peter.

More later. . .

You're in my prayers. . . V.J.

disciple
05-29-02, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
(It still seems to be your 'opinion and interpretation of the Bible against my attempt to explain the teachings of Jesus' Church).
you make it sound as if it's my opinion and interpretation and what you're saying is not yours. words and contexts have very plain meaning. grammar is something that may not be easy for some but hard to argue against. yanking things out of context or putting things into contexts that aren't there is also a dead giveaway of opinion. perhaps it's my opinion and interpretation against yours. but it's not as if i'm the only one interpreting or possessing opinions. you imply that your words are the very teachings of Jesus and require no interpretion yet you cannot (and have not) substantiate them from the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles in the Scriptures.


I can go to the Word of God to attempt to prove the Authority and Primacy of the Bishop St. Peter.
you tried that and it's not there. reading in later history to the Scripture won't do it. Scripture does not teach the RC church or your supposed vicar of Christ...PERIOD. even our Orthodox friends here at the forum can agree with me here.

Victor Joseph
05-29-02, 02:49 PM
disciple. . .Re: Catholic Church "Cult or Real Deal?"


quote:
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Originally posted by Victor Joseph
...but I don't understand why we both can't honor Mary as much as the founders of Protestantism did?
------------------------------------------------------------------------

b/c the background many of them came out of was RC. so they were still impacted by much of it. this cannot be substantiated from Scripture nor did the apostolic fathers believe this. this is a later invention. as i said before, the ante-nicene fathers were interested in going back to and preserving the apostolic faith and would not have ever tolerated any changes to the faith that was once and for all delivered.

So WHY did the early Protestants follow such 'tainted' fellows?

Anyway. . . Peace and Joy to you. V.J.

Victor Joseph
05-29-02, 03:00 PM
disciple. . . there is much in the Word of God that is implied. . . like the Trinity. . . the Pope I would assert is one of them. . . yet somehow I fear you will twist this as well. . . still I humbly wish you peace.

THE PRIMACY OF PETER


Matt. to Rev. - Peter is mentioned 155 times and the rest of apostles combined are mentioned 130 times. Peter is always listed first except in 1 Cor 3:22 and Gal. 2:9 (exceptions to the rule).

Matt 10:2; Mark 1:36; 3:16; Lk 6:14-16; Act 1:3; 2:37; 5:29 - some of many examples where Peter is mentioned first among the apostles.

Matt. 14:28-29 - Peter has the faith to walk on water. What other man has walked on water? This faith ultimately did not fail.

Matt. 16:16, Mark 8:29; John 6:69 - Peter is first among the apostles to confess the divinity of Christ.

Matt. 16:17 - Peter alone is told he has received divine knowledge by a special revelation.

Matt. 16:18 - Jesus builds the Church only on Peter, the rock, with the other apostles as the foundation and Jesus as the Head.

Matt. 16:19 - only Peter receives the keys, which mandate leadership over the Church and dynastic succession.

Matt. 17:24-25 - the tax collector approaches Peter for Jesus' tax. Peter is the spokesman for Jesus. He is the Vicar of Christ.

Matt. 17:26-27 - Jesus pays the half-shekel tax with one shekel, for both Jesus and Peter. Peter is Christ's representative on earth.

Matt. 18:21 - in the presence of the disciples, Peter asks Jesus about the rule of forgiveness.

Matt. 19:27 - Peter speaks on behalf of the apostles by telling Jesus that they have left everything to follow Him.

Mark 10:28 - Peter speaks on behalf of the disciples by declaring that they have left everything to follow Him.

Mark 11:21 - Peter speaks on behalf of the disciples in remembering Jesus' curse on the fig tree.

Mark 14:37 - at Gethsemane, Jesus asks Peter, and no one else, why he was asleep. He will be the head of the apostles.

Mark 16:7 - Peter is specified by an angel as the leader of the apostles as the angel confirms the resurrection of Christ.

Luke 5:4,10 - Jesus instructs Peter to let down the nets for a catch, and the miraculous catch follows. The Pope is the "fisher of men."

Luke 7:40-50- Jesus addresses Peter regarding the rule of forgiveness and Peter answers on behalf of the disciples.

Luke 8:45 - when Jesus asked who touched His garment, Peter answers on behalf of the disciples.

Luke 8:51; 9:28; 22:8; Acts 1:13; 3:1,3,11; 4:13,19; 8:14 - Peter is always mentioned before John, the disciple whom Jesus loved.

Luke 9:28;33 - Peter is mentioned first as going to mountain of transfiguration and the only one to speak at the transfiguration.

Luke 12:41 - Peter seeks clarification of a parable on behalf on the disciples.

Luke 22:31-32 - Jesus prays for Peter alone, that his faith may not fail, and charges him to strengthen the rest of the apostles.

Luke 24:12, John 20:4-6 - John arrived at tomb first but stopped and waited for Peter. Peter then arrived and entered the tomb first.

Luke 24:34 - the two disciples distinguish Peter even though they both had seen the risen Jesus the previous hour. Luke 24:33.

John 6:68 - after the disciples leave, Peter is the first to speak and confess his belief in Christ after the Eucharistic discourse.

John 13:6-9 - Peter speaks out to the Lord in front of the apostles concerning the washing of feet.

John 13:36; 21:18 - Jesus predicts Peter's death. Peter was martyred at Rome in 67 A.D. Several hundred years of papal successors were also martyred. (seems the persecuting Roman empire knew who the head of the Church was. . .)

John 21:2-3,11 - Peter leads the fishing and his net doesn't break. The boat (the "barque of Peter") is a metaphor for the Church.

John 21:7 - only Peter got out of the boat and ran to the shore to meet Jesus. Peter is the earthly shepherd leading us to God.

John 21:15 - in front of the apostles, Jesus asks Peter if he loves Jesus "more than these (the other apostles)." Peter is the head of the apostolic see.

John 21:15-17 - Jesus charges Peter to "feed my lambs," "tend my sheep," "feed my sheep." Sheep = all people, even the apostles.

Acts 1:13 - Peter is first when entering upper room after our Lord's ascension. The first Eucharist and Pentecost were given in this room.

Acts 1:15 - Peter initiates selection of successor to Judas. If the Church needed a successor to Judas, wouldn't it need one to Peter? Of course.

Acts 2:14 - Peter is first to speak for the apostles after the Holy Spirit descended upon them at Pentecost. Peter is the first to preach the Gospel.

Acts 2:38 - Peter gives first preaching in the early Church on repentance and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.

Acts 3:1,3,4 - Peter is mentioned first as going to the Temple to pray.

Acts 3:6-7 - Peter works the first healing of the apostles.

Acts 3:12-26, 4:8-12 - Peter teaches the early Church the healing through Jesus and that there is no salvation other than Christ.

Acts 5:3 - Peter declares first anathema of Ananias and Sapphira which is ratified by God, and brings about their death. Peter exercises his binding authority.

Acts 5:15 - Peter's shadow has healing power. No other apostle is said to have this power.

Acts 8:14 - Peter is mentioned first in conferring the sacrament of confirmation.

Acts 8:20-23 - Peter casts judgment on Simon's quest for gaining authority through the laying on of hands. Peter exercises his binding and loosing authority.

Acts 9:32-34 - Peter is mentioned first among apostles and works healing of Aeneas.

Acts 9:38-40 - Peter is mentioned first among the apostles and raises Tabitha from the dead.

Acts 10:5 - Cornelius is told by an angel to call upon Peter. Angels are messengers of God. Peter has a divine vision.

Acts 10:34-48, 11:1-18 - Peter is first to teach about salvation for all (Jews and Gentiles).

Acts 12:5 - implies that the "whole Church" offered "earnest prayers" for Peter, their leader, during his imprisonment.

Acts 12:6-11 - Peter is freed from jail by an angel. He is the first object of divine intervention in the early Church.

Acts 15:7-12 - Peter resolves first doctrinal issue on circumcision at Church's first council at Jerusalem. After Peter the Papa spoke, all were kept silent.

Acts 15:12 - only after Peter (the Pope) speaks do Paul and Barnabas (bishops) speak in support of Peter's definitive teaching.

Acts 15:13-14 - then James speaks showing Peter's definitive teaching. "Simeon (Peter) has related how God first visited..."

Rom. 15:20 - Paul says he doesn't want to build on "another man's foundation" referring to Peter, who built the Church in Rome.

1 Cor. 15:4-8 - Paul distinguishes Jesus' post-resurrection appearances to Peter from those of the other apostles.

Gal.1:18 - Paul spends fifteen days with Peter privately before beginning his ministry, even after Christ's Revelation to Paul.

1 Peter 5:1 - Peter acts as the chief bishop by "exhorting" all the other bishops and elders of the Church.

1 Peter 5:13 - Peter writes from Rome (Babylon was a code name for Rome during these days of persecution).

2 Peter 1:14 - Peter writes about Jesus' prediction of Peter's death, embracing the eventual martyrdom that he would suffer.

2 Peter 3:16 - Peter is making a judgment on the proper interpretation of Paul's letters. Peter is the chief shepherd of the flock.

Rev. 14:8, 16:19, 17:5, 18:2,10,21 - Babylon = Rome. Rome was the only "great city" of the New Testament period.

Matt. 23:11; Mark 9:35; 10:44 - yet Peter, as the first, humbled himself to be the last and servant of all servants.

V.J.






disciple
05-29-02, 03:52 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
disciple. . . there is much in the Word of God that is implied. . . like the Trinity. . . the Pope I would assert is one of them. . . yet somehow I fear you will twist this as well. . .
thanks for reading evil motives into my posts. as i said, my goal is to discover the authentic apostolic faith. i could lay the same charge at your feet.


THE PRIMACY OF PETER


Matt. to Rev. - Peter is mentioned 155 times and the rest of apostles combined are mentioned 130 times. Peter is always listed first except in 1 Cor 3:22 and Gal. 2:9 (exceptions to the rule).
and? what does this prove? it certainly doesn't make him pope and vicar of Christ by virtue of counting the number of times he's mentioned in Scripture. not a good way to do hermeneutics.


Matt 10:2; Mark 1:36; 3:16; Lk 6:14-16; Act 1:3; 2:37; 5:29 - some of many examples where Peter is mentioned first among the apostles.
yes. but does this make him pope and vicar of Christ? certainly peter has an important place in the plan of God but why not paul? he wrote a lot more Scripture than Peter and labored in Rome as well. again nothing here alarms me to think that peter is now the vicar.


Matt. 14:28-29 - Peter has the faith to walk on water. What other man has walked on water? This faith ultimately did not fail.
so. his faith failed him when he took his eyes off of Jesus. why focus on his faith? seems like the focus is the object--Jesus and not peter's feeble faith. this also does not make him vicar.


Matt. 16:16, Mark 8:29; John 6:69 - Peter is first among the apostles to confess the divinity of Christ.
ok. what does this have to do with him being vicar? how does this make him supreme?


Matt. 16:17 - Peter alone is told he has received divine knowledge by a special revelation.
in this context. how about the disciples on the road to emmaus in lk 24? seems to me that the same happened to them. how about paul (gal 1:12)? why limit this to peter alone as if this context overrides and cancels out any others? seems like you're trying to draw more from this than is really there don't you think?


Matt. 16:18 - Jesus builds the Church only on Peter, the rock, with the other apostles as the foundation and Jesus as the Head.
uh...we talked about this one. grammatically peter cannot be the rock. any other verses teach that Peter is the rock? not that i can find.


Matt. 16:19 - only Peter receives the keys, which mandate leadership over the Church and dynastic succession.
uh...we talked about this too. read on to chapter 18 and 20. you missed some stuff. and wow! you've got dynastic succession! that's interesting didn't see that before ;)


Matt. 17:24-25 - the tax collector approaches Peter for Jesus' tax. Peter is the spokesman for Jesus. He is the Vicar of Christ.

Matt. 17:26-27 - Jesus pays the half-shekel tax with one shekel, for both Jesus and Peter. Peter is Christ's representative on earth.
hmmm...the vicar of Christ b/c the tax collector approaches Peter and because Jesus pays for both of them together? missed that one. i think you're trying a bit too hard. would anyone really get pope out of these verses? i highly doubt it.


Matt. 18:21 - in the presence of the disciples, Peter asks Jesus about the rule of forgiveness.

Matt. 19:27 - Peter speaks on behalf of the apostles by telling Jesus that they have left everything to follow Him.

Mark 10:28 - Peter speaks on behalf of the disciples by declaring that they have left everything to follow Him.

Mark 11:21 - Peter speaks on behalf of the disciples in remembering Jesus' curse on the fig tree.

Mark 14:37 - at Gethsemane, Jesus asks Peter, and no one else, why he was asleep. He will be the head of the apostles.

Mark 16:7 - Peter is specified by an angel as the leader of the apostles as the angel confirms the resurrection of Christ.

Luke 7:40-50- Jesus addresses Peter regarding the rule of forgiveness and Peter answers on behalf of the disciples.

Luke 8:45 - when Jesus asked who touched His garment, Peter answers on behalf of the disciples.

Luke 8:51; 9:28; 22:8; Acts 1:13; 3:1,3,11; 4:13,19; 8:14 - Peter is always mentioned before John, the disciple whom Jesus loved.

Luke 9:28;33 - Peter is mentioned first as going to mountain of transfiguration and the only one to speak at the transfiguration.

Luke 12:41 - Peter seeks clarification of a parable on behalf on the disciples.

Luke 22:31-32 - Jesus prays for Peter alone, that his faith may not fail, and charges him to strengthen the rest of the apostles.

Luke 24:12, John 20:4-6 - John arrived at tomb first but stopped and waited for Peter. Peter then arrived and entered the tomb first.

Luke 24:34 - the two disciples distinguish Peter even though they both had seen the risen Jesus the previous hour. Luke 24:33.

Acts 1:13 - Peter is first when entering upper room after our Lord's ascension. The first Eucharist and Pentecost were given in this room.

Acts 1:15 - Peter initiates selection of successor to Judas. If the Church needed a successor to Judas, wouldn't it need one to Peter? Of course.

Acts 2:14 - Peter is first to speak for the apostles after the Holy Spirit descended upon them at Pentecost. Peter is the first to preach the Gospel.

Acts 2:38 - Peter gives first preaching in the early Church on repentance and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.

Acts 3:1,3,4 - Peter is mentioned first as going to the Temple to pray.

Acts 3:6-7 - Peter works the first healing of the apostles.

Acts 3:12-26, 4:8-12 - Peter teaches the early Church the healing through Jesus and that there is no salvation other than Christ.

Acts 5:3 - Peter declares first anathema of Ananias and Sapphira which is ratified by God, and brings about their death. Peter exercises his binding authority.

Acts 5:15 - Peter's shadow has healing power. No other apostle is said to have this power.

Acts 8:20-23 - Peter casts judgment on Simon's quest for gaining authority through the laying on of hands. Peter exercises his binding and loosing authority.

Acts 9:32-34 - Peter is mentioned first among apostles and works healing of Aeneas.

Acts 9:38-40 - Peter is mentioned first among the apostles and raises Tabitha from the dead.

Acts 10:5 - Cornelius is told by an angel to call upon Peter. Angels are messengers of God. Peter has a divine vision.

Acts 10:34-48, 11:1-18 - Peter is first to teach about salvation for all (Jews and Gentiles).

Acts 12:5 - implies that the "whole Church" offered "earnest prayers" for Peter, their leader, during his imprisonment.

Acts 12:6-11 - Peter is freed from jail by an angel. He is the first object of divine intervention in the early Church.

so he speaks for the disciples. we've already established and agreed that he is first in many respects. but does this mean he is the vicar and sole representative of Christ on earth? not according to acts and the epistles. i think you're trying to draw way too much out of the fact that he is a representative in the gospels. just looking at acts and the epistles would clear all your misconceptions up though.


Luke 5:4,10 - Jesus instructs Peter to let down the nets for a catch, and the miraculous catch follows. The Pope is the "fisher of men."
oh yes..."The Pope is the 'fisher of men.'" and where is he called Pope in this text? please do not read later history back into Scripture. it doesn't make your case any better.


John 6:68 - after the disciples leave, Peter is the first to speak and confess his belief in Christ after the Eucharistic discourse.
we've already discussed this one to. the Eucharist doesn't even happen until John 13.


John 21:2-3,11 - Peter leads the fishing and his net doesn't break. The boat (the "barque of Peter") is a metaphor for the Church.

John 21:7 - only Peter got out of the boat and ran to the shore to meet Jesus. Peter is the earthly shepherd leading us to God.
and where do you get this from? not from Scripture. pretty metaphor but not one that is valid. allegorize Scripture all you want but it will not prove your case.


John 21:15 - in front of the apostles, Jesus asks Peter if he loves Jesus "more than these (the other apostles)." Peter is the head of the apostolic see.
there you go again reading later history back into Scripture. where is the apostolic see? and how does this make him head of them in any way?


John 21:15-17 - Jesus charges Peter to "feed my lambs," "tend my sheep," "feed my sheep." Sheep = all people, even the apostles.
this he did to the jews. have you read acts and his two epistles? no Pope here.


Acts 8:14 - Peter is mentioned first in conferring the sacrament of confirmation.
there you go again. stop reading later history back into Scripture. where is a sacrament here? and where do you find sacrament of confirmation in Scripture? just another later addition to Scripture through human tradition.


Acts 15:7-12 - Peter resolves first doctrinal issue on circumcision at Church's first council at Jerusalem. After Peter the Papa spoke, all were kept silent.
peter the Papa? ok...please stop.


Acts 15:12 - only after Peter (the Pope) speaks do Paul and Barnabas (bishops) speak in support of Peter's definitive teaching.

Acts 15:13-14 - then James speaks showing Peter's definitive teaching. "Simeon (Peter) has related how God first visited..."
i think you need to go back and reread the account. while peter speaks first james has the final word and it is the entire group that comes to the decision together thus affirming what i said about plurality of leadership. read it again carefully and you'll see that you cannot get out of it that peter is the ringleader or vicar of Christ.

Acts 15:2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question...6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter..13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:...22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company....23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia...25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord...28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us,

i'm tired. this is pointless. none of these verses establish peter as the sole vicar of Christ. plurality of leadership (apostles and elders not apostle and elder) is the biblical model not one dynastic rule. Christ is the only head of the church. there is not a vicar on earth. only undershepherds and under-leaders of the one and only head of the church--Jesus Christ.

countrymouse
05-29-02, 04:25 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
disciple. . . there is much in the Word of God that is implied. . . like the Trinity. . . the Pope I would assert is one of them. . . yet somehow I fear you will twist this as well. . . still I humbly wish you peace.
Victor Joseph, many of the verses you cited reveal that the other disciples looked to Peter as a leader, and that God gave him great responsibility. But there is also much eisegesis in many of your interpretations, as well as many omitted details. For instance,



Matt. 16:18 - Jesus builds the Church only on Peter, the rock, with the other apostles as the foundation and Jesus as the Head.

Let's give Scripture a chance to help interpret Jesus' declaration regarding the rock upon which he would build his church. It is true that Peter confessed the truth because God revealed the truth to him. And Jesus said Simon's name would be "Rock." But was Peter himself this rock, or was Jesus signifying the greatness of Peter's confession by renaming him, according to an ancient middle eastern custom?

Is Peter himself the focus, or is faith and confession that rock upon which Jesus built the church, with the apostles being the first to receive faith?


KJV Revelation 21:14
14. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

In the New Jerusalem, which is indeed the Church, there are twelve foundation stones, and no mention of one being superior. How curious!

Did you also read further in Matthew 16 and notice that Peter put his foot in his mouth, as was his general habit, and Jesus called him "Satan." So much for Peter's infallibility.


Matt. 16:19 - only Peter receives the keys, which mandate leadership over the Church and dynastic succession.
Peter did receive the keys on behalf of the Church. The keys belong to the whole church, not to a single dynastic sucession. Neither does this give the Church license to override truth established in Scripture through the Holy Spirit.



Matt. 17:24-25 - the tax collector approaches Peter for Jesus' tax. Peter is the spokesman for Jesus. He is the Vicar of Christ.

Matt. 17:26-27 - Jesus pays the half-shekel tax with one shekel, for both Jesus and Peter. Peter is Christ's representative on earth.

Matt. 18:21 - in the presence of the disciples, Peter asks Jesus about the rule of forgiveness.

Matt. 19:27 - Peter speaks on behalf of the apostles by telling Jesus that they have left everything to follow Him.
These (and many other) verses simply do not have the signifigance that you read into them.


Mark 16:7 - Peter is specified by an angel as the leader of the apostles as the angel confirms the resurrection of Christ.
KJV Mark 16:7
7. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.

Really???


Luke 9:28;33 - Peter is mentioned first as going to mountain of transfiguration and the only one to speak at the transfiguration
KJV Luke 9:28-33
28. And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.
29. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.
30. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:
31. Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.
32. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.
33. And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said.


Luke 22:31-32 - Jesus prays for Peter alone, that his faith may not fail, and charges him to strengthen the rest of the apostles.

KJV Luke 22:31-34
31. And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
33. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
34. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
What really happened here? One of the other gospel accounts reveals that Jesus had just finished telling the disciples that they were all about to abandon him. But Peter boldly declared that he would lay down his own life for Jesus, even if all others ran away. Peter had a lesson to learn about making such rash claims without authorization; Jesus had not asked Peter to go and die with him at this point. This was something that Christ alone could do. Peter learned his lesson the hard way.


John 13:6-9 - Peter speaks out to the Lord in front of the apostles concerning the washing of feet.
Yes he did, and it was another case of foot going into mouth. You know what is unique about the Holy Bible? The characters are real and their humanity and frailty is never covered up.


John 13:36; 21:18 - Jesus predicts Peter's death. Peter was martyred at Rome in 67 A.D. Several hundred years of papal successors were also martyred. (seems the persecuting Roman empire knew who the head of the Church was. . .)
This would indeed be significant if it were only true of Peter and his successors, but we both know that Peter was not the first martyr, and that most of the Christian martyrs held no ordained office in the churches.


John 21:15-17 - Jesus charges Peter to "feed my lambs," "tend my sheep," "feed my sheep." Sheep = all people, even the apostles.

Check this out:

KJV Galatians 2:7
7. But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
There must be at least two popes, according to your reasoniing!


Acts 1:15 - Peter initiates selection of successor to Judas. If the Church needed a successor to Judas, wouldn't it need one to Peter? Of course.

To even claim that Judas had a successor could be a serioius error.

JV Acts 1:15-20
15. And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)
16. Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
17. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
18. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
19. And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
20. For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.



Acts 15:7-12 - Peter resolves first doctrinal issue on circumcision at Church's first council at Jerusalem. After Peter the Papa spoke, all were kept silent.

Acts 15:12 - only after Peter (the Pope) speaks do Paul and Barnabas (bishops) speak in support of Peter's definitive teaching.

Acts 15:13-14 - then James speaks showing Peter's definitive teaching. "Simeon (Peter) has related how God first visited..."
And Peter was faithful to that teaching? No...


KJV Galatians 2:11-14
11. But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
12. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
13. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
14. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?


Rom. 15:20 - Paul says he doesn't want to build on "another man's foundation" referring to Peter, who built the Church in Rome.

The verse you cited itself proves you wrong:


KJV Romans 15:20
20. Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation:

Paul preached where Christ had not yet been preached, building on no other apostle's foundation, including Peter's.

Clearly there is enough suspect interpretation within Roman Catholic hermeneutics to warrant great caution.

Victor Joseph, I have no ill will toward you or other Roman Catholics. But I will not have non-essential doctrines based on questionable hermeneutics imposed upon me.

You know that the Roman See does not have a pristine history. I pray that the whole church will move towards unity, but there must never be compromise of essential truth or imposition of non-essentials. You are welcome at the communion table of my church (United Methodist), but I am not welcome at yours apart from accepting questionable doctrines. Which church, then, is being schismatic? I think it would be yours, wouldn't it?

Grace and Peace to you,
cm

Victor Joseph
05-29-02, 07:04 PM
countrymouse & disciple. . . We seem to be speaking a different language. . . I want you to know that I do the best with what the Holy Spirit has given me.
And I am in disagreement with much of what you are saying. Some of your responses are beyond my understanding. . . I claim no scholarly knowledge. I mearly try to state the Catholic Churches position. . . I am a missionary (only).

countrymouse. . . I sense sincerity and kindness about you. but. . .

re: quote
You know that the Roman See does not have a pristine history. I pray that the whole church will move towards unity, but there must never be compromise of essential truth or imposition of non-essentials. You are welcome at the communion table of my church (United Methodist), but I am not welcome at yours apart from accepting questionable doctrines. Which church, then, is being schismatic? I think it would be yours, wouldn't it?

The "un pristine history" of the Catholic Church . . . do you really want to go there. . . The Catholic Church makes no claims of impecability (We are a church of sinners) and some are allowed to reach a high level. And yet with all the 'scandal's'throughout the last 2000 years the visible Church Jesus established still stands as He said it would . . . and will till the end of time.

I too pray for unity. . . but here is something to ponder. . . a Catholic once approached a Baptist with the comment that Jesus wants us all in one BIG Church. The Baptist woman was delighted with the idea. . . as long as it was one BIG Baptist Church. . . and so it continues.

I'm sure the vast majority of Methodists are sincere people. There are sincere people in every church. But I would maintain that the Methodist Church cannot be the true Church of Christ. Traced back historically, it merges into Anglicanism. In 1728 John Wesley was ordained as an Anglican clergyman. He gathered together a group of earnest Anglicans who met for study and prayer, and who lived according to such strict rules that they were called "Methodists." They had no intention of leaving the Church of England. In 1738 John Wesley began his campaign as a revivalist preacher, and the hostility of Anglican authorities who resented his unorthodox ways led to the establishment of the separate "Wesleyan" or "Methodist" Church. Methodists teach salvation by faith in Christ and an experienced interior conversion. Apart from that they do not stand for any distinctive point of teaching or Church discipline. Formal Creeds and set forms of worship have little appeal for the Methodist. . .

Is this a fare asessment countrymouse? I'm just trying to understand. . . OK?

I'm sorry there is not the unity that Christ desires and that we cannot at this time share in the Real Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no snobbery on the Catholic Churches part. . . and my understanding is that for a non-Catholic to partake of the Body & Blood of the Lord withour recognizing the Body and Blood of the Lord is detrimental to that person and to do so. . . would be to lie with ones' body (Questionable doctrine???? Boy. . . let me try one last thing here. . . can I apeal to reason and the scriptures.

1 Cor. 11:27 ". . .whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily sins against the body and blood of the Lord."

I am told that in the Aramaic language that Our Lord spoke , to symbolically "eat the flesh" or "drink the blood" of someone meant to persecute and assault him. Se Ps. 27:2 ; Isaiah 9: 18-20; Isaiah 49:26; Micah 3:3; 2 Sam 23: 15-17; and Rev 17:6, 16. Thus, if Jesus were only speaking symbolically about eating His flesh and drinking His blood as you would say, then what He really meant was "whoever persecutes and assaults me will have eternal life." This makes nonsense out of the passage!

Curious what you think of this. . .

What it comes down to for me is JESUS. I want HIM, All of Him. Not a symbol of Him, ALL of Him. I have an experiece and knowledge of Him in the Catholic Church. I've been to lots of Protestant Churches over the years and they just don't do it for me. He's right where I need Him. In all His Majesty and Glory in any Catholic Church.

Less drama . . . more love. . .LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

God Bless. V.J.










Grace and Peace to you,



disciple. . . brother . . . a great deal of misdirected hostility. (I'm sure you'll disagree).

countrymouse
05-29-02, 08:04 PM
The Peace of Christ to you, Victor Joseph...

I long for unity in the body of Christ as much as you do. And there is no doubt misinformation on both sides. We're doing the best we can to understand each other. If I make a claim about the Roman Catholic tradition that isn't true, I certainly want you to correct me. Neither am I afraid to examine what I believe or what you believe, to see whether it is true. I hope you would not have me be dishonest or unwilling to examine your claims carefully, or point out your discrepancies. There is no reason for hurt feelings over disagreements; my comments were not meant to be taken as personal insults.

You said:Methodists teach salvation by faith in Christ and an experienced interior conversion. Apart from that they do not stand for any distinctive point of teaching or Church discipline. Formal Creeds and set forms of worship have little appeal for the Methodist. . .

That does not accurately represent the United Methodist Church, although there are branches of the Wesleyan legacy that do fit your description. We do not teach or believe that salvation is normally available outside Christ's kingdom, the Church catholic, although we do not deny that God may work without us in special circumstances. Remember, the thief on the cross was saved under no other ministry than that of Jesus himself, and God may work as He wills. There are examples of exceptions to rules throughout the Bible; Enoch, Job, Noah, Moses, Deborah, Paul, etc.

The UMC believes and teaches everything covered under the Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed. Each congregation does have some leeway within a structure of worship, but not as much as your information leads you to think. The only distinctive official doctrine John Wesley left to us came from Arminius, the doctrine of prevenient grace. But we do not make this essential. (Incidentally some of us prefer a Calvinistic view of grace.) Our doctrinal statements regarding the essentials tend to be simpler than those of many other denominations, but we do hold to those essentials that are covered by the two creeds I mentioned. Neither is baptism optional for us, or observing the Eucharist, although most of us observe it monthly rather than weekly, and at Christmas, Maundy Thursday, World Communion Sunday, and other days we deem special. We have an episcopal polity.

John Wesley fell from the favor of the Anglican Church for ordaining priests here in the colonies after pleading with the Church to send priests or a bishop to ordain them. There were many colonists who had no one to perform baptisms, offer the Eucharist, sanction marriages, etc. The Anglican Church was unresponsive to his request, and Wesley saw no other way to take care of the people than to ordain ministers for them himself, which he did. The Anglican Church didn't like it, and said so, but Wesley died an Anglican priest, never having left his church. We did not leave the Anglican church behind, they simply neglected us!

By the way, we are in fellowship with the Episcopal Church, the American church officially established by the Church of England. You can read about it here. You will also notice that there are several other churches involved, including some Baptist ones.
http://www.eden.edu/cuic/cuic.htm

We offer the Eucharist to all baptized Christians, and do not conceive of ourselves as the only true Church. Our pastors do explain its meaning before serving it, so that everyone knows it must be received in faith. We have a higher view of faith than either the Roman Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church seems to have. The same is true in many other Protestant denominations.

We do not have a pristine history either, but we are growing in grace, as I believe the whole body of Christ is doing and will continue to do.

I do not condemn you for your beliefs, but I cannot with good conscience accept them all for myself or teach them to my children. Unity cannot be had at the expense of truth. May our children and our children's children see better times.

Respectfully,
cm

countrymouse
05-29-02, 08:34 PM
VJ, you also said:
I am told that in the Aramaic language that Our Lord spoke , to symbolically "eat the flesh" or "drink the blood" of someone meant to persecute and assault him. Se Ps. 27:2 ; Isaiah 9: 18-20; Isaiah 49:26; Micah 3:3; 2 Sam 23: 15-17; and Rev 17:6, 16. Thus, if Jesus were only speaking symbolically about eating His flesh and drinking His blood as you would say, then what He really meant was "whoever persecutes and assaults me will have eternal life." This makes nonsense out of the passage!

Curious what you think of this. . .

Again, I will say that symbolism is not an adequate word; I should say that what happens in the Eucharist is a spiritual reality. I do not reject the idea that Jesus is present for us in the Eucharist (and neither does my church); however, I will not speculate about how he is present or accept a doctrine based upon speculation.

As to the parallel between the Passover as type and the Eucharist as fulfillment, there is a qualitative change I've never seen a comment on. Under the law of Moses the drinking of blood was forbidden, "for the life is in the blood." I believe that this foreshadowed the real, Spiritual Life the New Covenant brings, as opposed to the inability of the Old Covenant to give this Life, which is full and never-ending fellowship with God with each individual among his people. Even eating the passover lamb of the Old Covenant could not give this Life. In the Eucharist, we do not sprinkle the wine (or juice) over our doorposts, we drink it, for Jesus' sacrifice does give Life to the one who accepts it in faith (under God's authority). By the way, Protestant churches serve the wine (or juice) to all their members. Does the Roman Catholic Church not serve only the bread to the general membership? Correct me if I'm mistaken.


What it comes down to for me is JESUS. I want HIM, All of Him. Not a symbol of Him, ALL of Him. I have an experiece and knowledge of Him in the Catholic Church. I've been to lots of Protestant Churches over the years and they just don't do it for me. He's right where I need Him. In all His Majesty and Glory in any Catholic Church.

Less drama . . . more love. . .LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

I realize that many Protestant denominations go on the offensive against Catholics. My parents (Baptist) were reared to be very suspicious of any other denominations. Times are changing, and there has been progress. Nevertheless, true worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth, equally. There simply cannot and must not be any compromise of truth.

Jesus is what it all comes down to for me, too, Victor Joseph. My deepest desire is to be in pure and full fellowship with Him, for that is Life. He has commanded his people to love each other, and to correct each other in love, when the need arises. And that we shall do, for if we love Him, we will obey Him!

Grace and Peace,
cm

Victor Joseph
05-30-02, 12:52 PM
countrymouse. . . thank you for you kind response.

quote: countrymouse
"I long for unity in the body of Christ as much as you do. And there is no doubt misinformation on both sides. We're doing the best we can to understand each other. If I make a claim about the Roman Catholic tradition that isn't true, I certainly want you to correct me. Neither am I afraid to examine what I believe or what you believe, to see whether it is true. I hope you would not have me be dishonest. . ."

Beautiful . . . unity in the body of Christ is a core issue. Truth. . . paramount.
No. I do not wish you to be dishonest.

May I quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. . . to help clarify the Catholic position on unity. . . 1396 The unity of the Mystical Body: the Eucharist makes the Church. Those who receive the Eucharist are united more closely to Christ. Through it Christ unites them to all the faithful in one body--the Church. Communion renews, strengthens, and deepens this incorporation into the Church, already achieved by Baptism. In Baptism we have been called to form one body. cf.1 Cor. 12:13. The Eucharist fulfills this call: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because ther is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread." 1 Cor. 10:16-17.

If you are the body and membership of Christ, then it is your sacrament that is placed on the table of the Lord; it is your sacrament that you receive. To that which you are to respond "Amen" ("yes it is true") and by responding to it you assent to it. For you hear the words , "the Body of Christ" and respond "Amen." Be then a member of the Body of Christ that your Amen may be true.
St. Augustine, Sermo 272:PI.38,1247

You see the Eucharist we proclaim . . . unites us to Christ.

quote: countrymouse

"Again, I will say that symbolism is not an adequate word; I should say that what happens in the Eucharist is a spiritual reality. I do not reject the idea that Jesus is present for us in the Eucharist (and neither does my church); however, I will not speculate about how he is present or accept a doctrine based upon speculation."

OK. I accept where you're at with this. But do you have any suggestion as to how we can dispense with speculation and get to to Truth of the matter?
I have attempted sacred Scripture but how we're interpreting scripture seems to be dividing us. . . I don't think that Jesus commanded anyone to drop Bibles on everyone and said. . . 'you figure it out.'

I'm not sure you meant to but in all honesty I feel you side stepped the issue put forth below.

quote: Victor Joseph
I am told that in the Aramaic language that Our Lord spoke , to symbolically "eat the flesh" or "drink the blood" of someone meant to persecute and assault him. Se Ps. 27:2 ; Isaiah 9: 18-20; Isaiah 49:26; Micah 3:3; 2 Sam 23: 15-17; and Rev 17:6, 16. Thus, if Jesus were only speaking symbolically about eating His flesh and drinking His blood as you would say, then what He really meant was "whoever persecutes and assaults me will have eternal life." This makes nonsense out of the passage!

I am trying to approach this issue from a 'reasonable' point of view rather than quoting a passage and having it come across as 'triumphalistic'. . . understand that I am new to this ministry and have much to learn and would very much apreciate you patience with my approach. If you would read each of the above citations regarding this phrase to "eat the flesh" and "drink the blood" and what it meant to Our Blessed Lord and indeed to the middle eastern culture to this day! If I am correct. How does this make sense when inserted ". . .me will have eternal life."?

Peace and blessings to you. V.J.






I guess the next question is . . .is there such a thing as a 'valid' Eucharist?

Victor Joseph
05-30-02, 01:21 PM
countrymouse. . .

re: the "true" nature of the Eucharist and whether just any one can confect it. . . I would like to submit the following letter. It was written by a friend of mine who loves the Lord in the same way I do. He told me that it came about in response to his beloved sister's challenge (she's left the Catholic Church) to explain the 'sacrificial nature' of the Catholic Priesthood and the Mass. He was told to read Hebrews and get back to her.

I think it's a really good explaination and I'd be curious what you think of it.
V.J.

Letter to a sister. . .

"I know that you have many questions about the Catholic Church and it's claims. One question that comes up in Reading the Epistle to the Hebrews is the issue of the daily Sacrifice of the Mass offered in Catholic Churches all around the world. For nearly 2000 years the sacrifice of the Mass has been offered on altars in every Catholic Church. But how does this square with Holy Scripture that apparently condemns a Priest offering sacrifice at an altar? St. Paul says very clearly throughout Chapter 9 that Christ entered the sanctuary once and sacrificed himself once for all. He does not sacrifice himself daily like the Priests of the Old Covenant and he does not continually have to suffer over and over every day to atone for our sins. Christ's Sacrifice cannot be repeated. To do so would deny the perfect salvific sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.

The Epistle to the Hebrews was most likely written in 67 AD. This was 3 years before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. At that time, daily sacrifices of animals were still being offered at the one Temple by Levitical Priests of the old Covenant. They performed the Sacrificial Liturgy of the Temple. At the same time, The Liturgy of the Word was celebrated by Rabbis in the Synagogues all over. After the destruction of the Temple, the Levitical (sacrificial) Priesthood could no longer continue until another Temple would be built (which has still never happened. A Mosque now stands on the spot of the old Temple). Meanwhile, the Liturgy of the Word continues in every Jewish Synagogue to this day.

St. Paul writes this letter to Hebrew Christians. He tells them in Chapters 9 and 10 that Christ offered himself not repeatedly with blood that was not his own, but once for all. He says that the sacrifices of the old law could never take away sins. They were but a copy of the true sacrifice of Christ Jesus. Jesus' sacrifice of himself is above any sacrifice of a cow or a goat.

Before this, though in Chapters 5-8, St. Paul makes an interesting comparison. He compares Jesus to Melchizadek. This is a very important comparison which brings up many questions. Why does St. Paul compare Jesus to Melchizadek? Well, there is the prophecy of Christ in Psalm 110 that says, "Thou art a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizadek". But here is what really strikes me as interesting. Melchizadek was not a Jew. Melchizadek did not offer sacrifice in atonement for sin. Melchizadek offered to God bread and wine as a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.

Jesus offered to God a bloody sacrifice in atonement for Sin. The Lamb of God (as John the Baptist identified Jesus) was sacrificed like the passover lamb was sacrificed. He was both High Priest and victim. He wore a seamless linen garment. He had no broken bones. He was innocent as a lamb is innocent. His death was offered in atonement for our sins. That is why St. Paul says to the Corinthians, "Christ our passover has been sacrificed". In all these ways, Jesus resembles the Levitical Priesthood within the Mosaic Covenant.

So how is Jesus like Melchizadek? The Sacrifice that Jesus offered on the cross has nothing to do with the Sacrifice that Melchizadek offered at the altar in front of Abraham with Bread and Wine. The Sacrifice that Jesus offered was the fulfillment of the bloody sacrifice prefigured in the Aaronic (Levitical) priesthood. St. Paul tells the Hebrews that this sacrifice cannot be repeated. Fine. But...in the Old Testament there are prophecies that point toward a different kind of sacrifice that will come when the Gentiles acknowledge Yahweh as their God.

In the year 155 AD, a Christian philosopher named Justin, from Palestine wrote to a Jewish Rabbi named Trypho. He sought to explain the Christian faith to this Rabbi. Justin was later beheaded along with 6 other companions as martyrs for the Christian faith. A manuscript survives, in Paris, of most of this letter. In this letter, he says to the Rabbi..."God speaks by the mouth of Malachi, one of the twelve (minor prophets), as I said before, about the sacrifices at that time presented by you: 'I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord, and I will not accept your sacrifices at your hands; for from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, my name has been glorified among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering, for my name is great among the Gentiles...' (Mal. 1:10-11). He then speaks of those Gentiles, namely us (Christians) who in every place offer sacrifices to him, that is, the bread of the Eucharist and also the cup of the Eucharist" (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew. Chapter 41. A.D. 155)

This document tells us something of the belief of Christians in the years immediately following the death of the last Apostle. It also helps us make the connection between Melchizadek and Jesus. Melchizadek offered up Bread and Wine. Jesus also offered up Bread and Wine at the last supper as a memorial sacrifice of the Passover, but also as a memorial sacrifice of the Cross. The sacrifice of Bread and Wine that Melchizadek offered was acceptable to God. Why? Because it was a sacrifice not in atonement for sin, but a sacrifice freely given in praise and love and thanksgiving.

From the passage in Malachi (and many others in the Old Testament) we know that the Sacrifice of the Levitical Priests did not please God? We also know that the sacrifice of the Gentiles will please God. We know that it will be acceptable to God. What are some other sacrifices made by Gentiles that were acceptable to God? We see from almost the very beginning of Genesis a pattern. Cain and Abel both offer sacrifice to God. Abel's sacrifice is acceptable. Cain's is not. Why? Abel offers his first fruits out of love to God. It is a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving and it is acceptable to God. Cain offers a sacrifice but he keeps the best for himself. He offers the seconds to God. It is an unclean and unacceptable sacrifice.

Noah erects an altar and offers sacrifice in praise and thanksgiving to God after the Ark settles back on dry ground. This is an acceptable sacrifice.

Abraham offers his only beloved son with great faith and obedience because he loves God and he trusts God. This is an acceptable sacrifice and God offers to Abraham a Ram in place of his son.

Melchizadek offers bread and wine along with Abraham's tithing as a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to God. This is an acceptable sacrifice.

These are all acceptable sacrifices to God. He is pleased with a sacrifice that comes from the heart. Psalm 51 says, "For you do not desire sacrifice; a burnt offering you would not accept. My sacrifice, God, is a broken spirit; God, do not spurn a broken, humbled heart." Isaiah chapter one, repeats this sentiment saying, " Bring no more worthless offerings; your incense is loathsome to me." (verse 13). The context here is that the people are living evil lives and offering sacrifices without humbled hearts. They are called, "Sinful nation, people laden with wickedness, evil race, corrupt children!" (Is.1:4)

So, what is this sacrifice of the Gentiles that would come? The clean sacrifice that would be offered forever by the Gentiles? St. Paul in his letter to the Romans says, "I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship." (Rom 12:1) He continues by explaining that we though many are one body in Christ. (verses 4-5) I conclude that we offer ourselves, our humbled broken hearts with Christ on the Cross as a living, holy and pleasing sacrifice. We unite ourselves with the sacrifice of Christ.

Wait a second. Did I just blaspheme? How can I dare to unite myself with the suffering of Christ? Who am I? I am unworthy to loosen the strap on his sandal. How do I, a sinner, dare to say that I can add to the sacrifice of Christ by offering myself, a worthless sinner? Well... if we read some of St. Paul's other letters, there are more clues. As I pointed out above from Romans, St. Paul asks us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. In another place, St. Paul says, "in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's suffering for the sake of his body, the Church." (meaning that in his body, he was experiencing suffering that he could unite with Christ's suffering and offer it up to God the Father, through Christ for the sake of the Church). In Romans Chapter 8, He says that "as heirs of God and Co-heirs with Christ, we must share in his suffering in order to share in his Glory. " Jesus offers himself to us in a complete, intimate way. He invites us to become one with him. He invites us to be grafted on to his vine and share everything with him. This includes his suffering but also his glory. He offers himself to us in the Mass so that we may "Lift up our Hearts" to the Lord, as we say in the Mass, so that we may truly be in communion with him.

Now, Why do we believe that the Bread and Wine are actually his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity? Why do we believe that we are actually consuming his flesh and blood? Why do we call this a Sacrifice?

In the upper room, on the night before he died. He celebrated the passover with his disciples. He holds up a piece of unleavened bread and tells them that it will be sacrificed for them. He equates it with his own body. Then he holds up a cup of wine and tells them that it will be sacrificed for them as well. Not only will it be sacrificed but the sacrifice will establish a new covenant with them. He tells them that the sacrifice will be his blood and that they must drink it. This is the basis for the Liturgy of the Eucharist in the second part of the Catholic Mass.

In the Catholic Mass, the priest asks us to lift up our hearts to the Lord and offer ourselves, along with the gifts of bread and wine. The priest asks God to send his Holy Spirit to change the gifts into the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. In this way, we can unite our bodies as a holy and living and acceptable sacrifice to the Body of Christ. We ask God to find our sacrifice acceptable as he once accepted the sacrifices of Abel, Abraham and Melchizadek. There is nowhere any mention of Moses, Aaron or Levi. This is the eternal oblation and sacrifice of the Gentiles prophecied in Malachi.

This only makes sense, however if we equate the bread and wine as being sacrificial elements on the part of Jesus. Jesus himself tells us that the bread and wine will be offered for us as his flesh and blood. He then instructs the disciples to "do this as a memorial offering for me." The words of Jesus are remarkably close to the words that Yahweh told to Moses instructing him in the observance of the Passover memorial offering that would be offered forever. Is that why St. Paul tells us that Jesus is our passover? Is the clean offering of the Gentiles actually the continuation of the passover offering thus guaranteeing that the memorial offering truly would be offered forever.

An important element to note is that the passover memorial is a celebration. It is not a sin offering. It is an offering of praise and thanksgiving to God in remembrance for our deliverance from slavery...For the Israelites, slavery to Egypt. For the Christians, our slavery to sin.

St. Paul says, "This cup that we drink, is it not a communion with the blood of Christ?" (1 Cor 10:16) "Therefore everytime we eat this bread and drink this cup we proclaim his death until he comes. (1 Cor 11:26)

In the words of St. John Chrysostom in AD 403..."What then? Do we not offer daily? Yes, we offer, but making remembrance of his death; and this remembrance is one and not many. How is it one and not many? Because this sacrifice is offered once, like that in the Holy of Holies. This sacrifice is a type of that, and this remembrance a type of that. We offer always the same, not one sheep now and another tomorrow, but the same thing always. Thus there is one sacrifice. By this reasoning, since the sacrifice is offered everywhere, are there, then, a multiplicity of Christs? By no means! Christ is one everywhere. He is complete here, complete there, one body. And just as he is one body and not many though offered everywhere, so too is there one sacrifice" (Homilies on Hebrews 17:3. AD 403)


Helene, I finally draw to a close. I invite you to come to Mass again and again. Experience the beauty and the dignity and the splendour of the Liturgy of the Word united with the Liturgy of the Eucharist. What a beautiful gift the Mass is. It is a gift from God that we offer back to God. It is a gift worthy of God. How could we ever build a Church beautiful enough to honor God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in one. What a gift the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist is. It is the gift of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ under the appearance of Bread and Wine. How could we ever be worthy of this gift? And yet, Christ need only say the word and we are made worthy. It is a gift given to the Apostles and handed down to us in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ and guaranteed by him forever. "

All my love to you dear Sister, Helene.
Humbly and obediently your brother, Eric.

disciple
05-30-02, 03:33 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
He compares Jesus to Melchizadek. This is a very important comparison which brings up many questions. Why does St. Paul compare Jesus to Melchizadek? Well, there is the prophecy of Christ in Psalm 110 that says, "Thou art a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizadek". But here is what really strikes me as interesting. Melchizadek was not a Jew. Melchizadek did not offer sacrifice in atonement for sin. Melchizadek offered to God bread and wine as a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
notice that the writer compares Jesus to Melchizedek and not us or any other priesthood which we partake (officiate) in. that's important. Jesus is the fulfillment of all OT Scripture. He is the new Moses, the new David, the new priesthood, the new Melchizedek, the new Lamb, the new Sacrifice, the new Offering, etc. so we cannot just willy nilly apply or compare this Melchizedek to us and our situation. also Scripture is clear as to why and how Melchizedek is a type of Jesus and it is not as your friend asserts.

Heb 7:2...king of Salem, which is king of peace. 3 Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually....11 Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also. 13 For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. 15 And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is attested of Him "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek." 18 For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. 20 And inasmuch as it was not without an oath 21 (for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him, "The Lord has sworn And will not change His mind, 'You are a priest forever'"); 22 so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. 23 The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, 24 but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. 25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. 26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.

so it's not ambigious as to what the comparison is and it has nothing to do with some supposed bread and wine offering. it has all to do with the fact that Jesus is a priest and king who like Melchizedek is Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually who always lives as a priest forever who is able to save forever because of His once for all offering and sacrifice. this has nothing to do with any priesthood that we officiate in and the Supper that He gave is not this offering or sacrifice. this is just another poor attempt (as if grasping at straws) to substantiate a very unscriptural practice and belief. also the Scripture does not say that this bread and wine that Melchizedek brought was an offering or sacrifice. all it says it this:

Gen 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.

as to what type of offerings he offered or what his daily duties were we do not know. in fact the word offering and sacrifice are absent from Scripture here. Melchizedek is left very mysterious in every way possible. so much so that it is said that he is without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually. but most importantly we know that he is a king (of Salem=peace from which we get jeru-salem), he is a priest of God Most High, and that his true geneology cannot be traced. this is how Christ is compared to Melchizedek. and so the main argument this friend of yours makes is not used by Scripture and appears to be from complete speculation, not derived from exegesis from the text of Scripture.


Jesus also offered up Bread and Wine at the last supper as a memorial sacrifice of the Passover, but also as a memorial sacrifice of the Cross. The sacrifice of Bread and Wine that Melchizadek offered was acceptable to God. Why? Because it was a sacrifice not in atonement for sin, but a sacrifice freely given in praise and love and thanksgiving.
never in Scripture is the Lord's Supper called a memorial sacrifice or offering. the word offering or sacrifice is never applied to the Lord's Supper in Scripture. nor is it called a sacrifice given in praise and love and thanksgiving. these terms and ideas are simply and clearly foreign to Scripture.


He then instructs the disciples to "do this as a memorial offering for me."
He never said that! where do you get memorial offering from the text? it's just not there! this terminology is foreign to the very text of Scripture and were never spoken by Jesus. you cannot subtly change the words of our Lord and call it good just because it supports your practice and belief. this is adding to the word of God. notice no mention of it being an offering or sacrifice itself. it did point to or picture the sacrifice and offering but it was not an offering or sacrifice. there is no hint whatsoever in Scripture that this is a sacrifice or offering (notice the absence of it below).

Mt 28:26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." 27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 29 "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."

Mk 14:22 While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it and gave it to them, and said, "Take it this is My body." 23 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And He said to them, "This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 "Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."

Lk 22:17 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, "Take this and share it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes." 19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. "

1 Co 11:23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.

countrymouse
05-30-02, 03:59 PM
Victor Joseph,

The letter you shared is a lovely expression of a brother's love, and Eric wrote many things in it that are true.

Nevertheless, the body of Christ is scattered across the world's nations and includes Protestants and Orthodox, as well as Roman Catholics. That is the present reality. Even during the apostolic period, the churches were not always in agreement.

If our Protestant clergy do not offer the Eucharist daily, do we sin? Did Christ command us to do this every day? Forgive me for asking rhetorical questions; Christ, at the Last Supper, told the disciples to share in the bread and the wine in remembrance of Him, as often as they did so. The common practice during the time of the apostles was to celebrate the Lord's Supper weekly. God's people in all the churches offer prayers of praise and thanksgiving daily, and sacrifices of their time, talents, and gifts every hour, and our bodies are living sacrifices as we live God's way and not the world's way. We are not slaves to any ceremonies or formulas; the Lord's Supper is a gift to us as is baptism.

Again, how Christ is present for us in these things is beyond understanding, but if we receive them with faith and gratitude, that is enough.

=========

May we take one more look at Peter's supposed supremacy? Here are some passages from Galatians that I think you should consider.



NAS Galatians 1:1
1. Paul, an apostle (not {sent} from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),

NAS Galatians 1:11-19
11. For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
12. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but {I received it} through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
13. For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it;
14. and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.
15. But when God, who had set me apart {even} from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, was pleased
16. to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood,
17. nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.
18. Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days.
19. But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord's brother.

NAS Galatians 2:1-2
1. Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also.
2. It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but {I did so} in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.

NAS Galatians 2:7-9
7. But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter {had been} to the circumcised
8. (for He who effectually worked for Peter in {his} apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles),
9. and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we {might} {go} to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.


Paul's authority was equal to Peter's. He heard the gospel not from any human lips, but from Christ himself. Neither did his commission to preach to the Gentiles come through the other apostles, but from Christ alone. That is why Paul is the twelfth apostle, and not Matthias, who was chosen before Pentecost by the casting of lots.

Protestants are just as much under apostolic authority as Catholics and Orthodox. In fact, our beliefs and practices are a purer and simpler expression of New Testament faith and practice.

Victor Joseph, I do not reject you or condemn you for remaining Roman Catholic; but I do not agree that the Roman Catholic churches are superior or closer to Christ. I assure you that my communion with Christ and with his people is very sweet and satisfying!

Grace and Peace,
cm

disciple
05-30-02, 04:07 PM
notice too, that it is James and Peter and John, who were reputed to be pillars and not just Peter (cf. gal 2:9). he is not placed above the rest in Paul's mind. in fact, Paul has to rebuke Peter in vv. 11-21, where after he makes this statement (vv. 7-10) he says, "But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. (v. 11)"

Victor Joseph
05-30-02, 04:59 PM
disciple . . .brother . . .

re: quote: disciple
"Jesus is a priest and king who like Melchizedek is Without father, without mother, without genealogy. . ."

Q. What do you mean Jesus is 'Without father?' (Sounds blasphemous. . . of course you know he had a FATHER as in 'God The Father.' Right?).

Q. What do you mean Jesus is without mother. . .? (We can't agree that Jesus had a mother and her name is Mary?). Would you make the 'Mother of God' into a mere incubator?

Q. What do you mean Jesus had no geneology. . .? What are we to make of the first Chapter of Matthew?

Q. How is it you seem to have such ready Protestant answers to virtually every passage in the Bible? Have you a book. . . (software). . .perhaps that you'd like to share. I'd love to own one to "consider" on my own at my leisure and thus bypass the 'tone' of you Posts. They are really rubbing me the wrong way. . . and I don't think that it's your intention. . . I'm trying to be kind here.

You probably think I'm being sarcastic. . . I'm not. I really would like to sit down with your source and contemplate.

Peace disciple. V.J.

disciple
05-30-02, 05:40 PM
My Source = Scripture

i just use the bible search engine above in this forum.

obviously Jesus has a father and a mother, etc. but the point of the type/antitype relationship is that Jesus is eternal (He lives forever to make intercession and His priesthood lasts forever) and as infinite Creator and King of the universe does not have a father, mother, genealogy, or beginning of days nor end of life as we do but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually. it's not as if i pulled the type/antitype out of a hat for my own use and twisted it. it is in the very text of Scripture. Christ is the antitype to the type which is Melchizedek. it seems that you have a trouble on differentiating when something should be taken literally and when something should be taken figuratively...

disciple
05-30-02, 05:48 PM
and i'm sorry if my tone is rubbing you the wrong way. i'm just getting a little frustrated (as you picked up from my tone) because it seems that you constantly read RC terminology back into Scripture and add words to the text of Scripture that are foreign to it and absent from it. it makes for almost impossible communication. also it seems that our communication has degraded because of this fact and because our method of hermeneutics is so vastly different. perhaps i'll just humbly 'bow out' and allow CM and you to continue. again, my apologies for my attitude and frustration. thanks for your time.

aletheo
05-30-02, 09:05 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by countrymouse
Victor Joseph,

The letter you shared is a lovely expression of a brother's love, and Eric wrote many things in it that are true.

Nevertheless, the body of Christ is scattered across the world's nations and includes Protestants and Orthodox, as well as Roman Catholics. That is the present reality. Even during the apostolic period, the churches were not always in agreement.

This is a Protestant definition of the "Church."


We are not slaves to any ceremonies or formulas; the Lord's Supper is a gift to us as is baptism.

Yes, Baptism and Communion are gifts - gifts for our salvation. I will gladly be a 'slave' to Christ's Body and Blood. Reading the epistles of the holy Apostle Paul, I think he would agree.



Paul's authority was equal to Peter's. He heard the gospel not from any human lips, but from Christ himself. Neither did his commission to preach to the Gentiles come through the other apostles, but from Christ alone. That is why Paul is the twelfth apostle, and not Matthias, who was chosen before Pentecost by the casting of lots.

Where do we read Paul is the twelfth Apostle? Matthias filled up the number, and Paul was 'born out of due season.'


Protestants are just as much under apostolic authority as Catholics and Orthodox. In fact, our beliefs and practices are a purer and simpler expression of New Testament faith and practice.

One cannot be 'protest'-ant and under apostolic authority at the same time; and Protestant beliefs and practices are not an expression of the Faith, but of a misguided interpretation of a text without its context.

The Church that gave us the Canon of Scripture is the Church, the Body of Christ. If it is supposedly 'corrupt' then so is the Canon not to be trusted.

countrymouse
05-30-02, 10:34 PM
aletheo,

I understand that you are saying these things because you believe them and because you think all who are outside the Orthodox churches are in grave danger. I do appreciate your concern.

However, I disagree with your reasoning.

But I don't want to bicker about it.

Grace and Peace to you,
cm

GreekPrincess
05-31-02, 05:36 AM
Originally posted by aletheo
One cannot be 'protest'-ant and under apostolic authority at the same time; and Protestant beliefs and practices are not an expression of the Faith, but of a misguided interpretation of a text without its context.

The Church that gave us the Canon of Scripture is the Church, the Body of Christ. If it is supposedly 'corrupt' then so is the Canon not to be trusted. [/B]

I have to ask this. What's the big deal about being "under apostolic succession or authority"? Does it matter? I don't see anywhere in Scripture where Christ said, "You must be in direct line or succeed from these here people and you will be saved." Or does this mean that I am more saved then someone who isn't Orthodox? Is my brother (an Orthodox Priest), more saved then I am?

These are traditions not to be mixed with salvation. It is tradition that talks about succession, not Christ. Christ outlined very clearly what was needed for our Salvation. There's nothing wrong with traditions as long as they don't contradict our Lord's Word.

Had to get my two cents in. lol

countrymouse
05-31-02, 07:14 AM
The canon of Scripture was written by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and it is 100% trustworthy. The books that were later recognized as canonical by the churches are the books that had already been in common use for hundreds of years.

It stands to reason that God, having taken great pains to give us these books, also took great pains to get them recognized!

aletheo, you take the low view and I'll take the high view, and when this life is over, we'll talk about it.

Grace and Peace to you,
cm

Victor Joseph
05-31-02, 12:00 PM
disciple. . . my brother.

apology accepted. . .

You are right. . . I do understand Scripture differently as my background is Catholic as yours is Protestant. It must be frustrating for you as I'm just you average Catholic in the pew. I have an understanding of what Jesus taught but my knowledge of Scripture (chapter & verse) is limited. Picking it apart is not my gift.

You obviously love the Word of God and are an excellent apologist for the Protestants. But, you should know that there are some very excellent Catholic apologists as well. If you ever feel the Spirit move you to debate some of the issues you've attempted with much frustration with this neophite get in touch with a fellow named James Akin at Catholic Answers. He is a convert to the Catholic faith (was once quite anti-Catholic with a Calvinist background) www.catholic.com www.jamesakin.com He's written some interesting books as well. Another guy you may have heard of is Dr. Scott Hahn (he puts an interesting spin on a variety of subjects that we've only touched on. . .) www.scotthahn.com

Both of these gentlemen, I might add, look back at their Protestant upbringing with the highest of regards.

It's probably best that you do bow out as neither of us seems to edify the other.

God bless. V.J.

aletheo
05-31-02, 08:59 PM
cm,

no bickering.

just thought i would mention a few things.

countrymouse
06-08-02, 08:40 PM
And no offense taken, aletheo. :)

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by aletheo

The Church that gave us the Canon of Scripture is the Church, the Body of Christ. If it is supposedly 'corrupt' then so is the Canon not to be trusted.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This is an assumption, and it is erroneous. Israel was corrupt, but that did not cause the Old Testament Scriptures to be corrupt as well. God has always revealed himself to his people through real humans whom he selected. Only when these people spoke through the Holy Spirit did they speak infallibly and with authority. We have this infallible and authoritative revelation recorded in the Holy Bible as God's provision for his people; I trust Him implicitly to have gotten the job done right, in spite of human shortcomings.

Aletheo, the visible Church consists of fallible human beings, in both its leaders and its people, some of which are hypocrites. It has been that way from the beginning. How marvelous that God is glorified through our weakness! The Church has no right to boast of herself, but only of God's mercy and faithfulness. Perhaps the body of Christ must be fragmented at this time because of a lack of humility; God has permitted it for some very good reason. However, I am fully and unswayingly convinced that God feeds all his own throughout this fragmented body from the same table, and that the baptism of his own is one baptism despite the present condition. God is more than able.

Soli Deo gloria,
cm

aletheo
06-08-02, 10:06 PM
So God can preserve the Bible, but He can't preserve the Church at the same time? He had to superintend the Canon until a thousand years later when mankind would determine what it really meant?

The question has never been God's ability, it has always been human weakness and sinfulness. No one has ever claimed the Church is composed of people whose hearts are not "desperately wicked," as the Prophet says.

The Church does not boast of herself, but only of Christ Who is its Head and its Perfection. Some accuse Orthodox believers of being arrogant and claiming to be the only ones with the truth. No doubt, as ones "subject to like passions," (as the Apostle says of Elijah) we are; and, in fact, much worse.

But as an Orthodox Christian I have to realize that the truth is not about me, and not about you. It is about Christ and the Faith.

I am not right - it is not about me being right. It is all about me not being right, and Christ and His Church being right.

Truth is something greater than me and you, greater than our understanding of the sacred Book. Truth is the "stone cut from the mountain without hands" that breaks into pieces the iron, brass, clay, silver, and gold, as God says by the mouth of His Prophet.

So it is not about us, our Bible, our Holy Spirit, our understanding. We must fall on the Rock and be broken, or it will fall on us and crush us to powder, as our Lord says - us and our cherished beliefs.

Amen,

countrymouse
06-09-02, 12:57 PM
[i]So God can preserve the Bible, but He can't preserve the Church at the same time?[i]

Whoa! When did I say God hasn't preserved the Church? She still lives, whether or not she is perfect in every doctrine! And there is a central body of doctrine to which she has clung, even though she is presently fragmented.

It is also a misconception that Protestants protest the Church. You can only come to that conclusion if you believe that the Church only exists as the Orthodox communion (or the RCC communion, etc.). As I read the anf's (ante-Nicene fathers), my understanding of schism is that schismatics are those who leave the Church because the schismatics have embraced false doctrine. This applied to heretics such as gnostics, Montanists, and Marcionites. Martin Luther didn't leave to form a new church; the RCC extended to him the left boot of fellowship because they were unwilling to reform, and Luther's 95 theses outlined genuinely necessary reforms. It was the stubborness of the Western Church that spawned the Reformation. While there was a counter-reformation in the RCC, she has not reformed to an acceptable degree.

While the OC never overstepped the Scriptures to the same degree as the RCC, it has nevertheless overstepped them. Many of the ante-Nicenes made too much of freedom of will and too little of the effects of original sin. (Read Clement of Alexandria :eek: ). And "the Holy Spirit is in the waters of baptism?" Can't even find that in the anf's.

You have been led to believe that the Church cannot exist unless she is infallible; that if she ever makes a corporate mistake she ceases to exist and nullifies what Christ has accomplished. I think you have been led down a primrose path! What does the Scripture say?


(NIV) 2 Timothy 2: 11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us;
13 if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

Nowhere does the Scripture say that the Church would be always infallible in her doctrine or practices. But Peter himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, claimed infallibility for the Scriptures!

You have no idea, aletheo, how much I'd like to believe that there is one perfect sect of the Church that I could just go join and get answers for all my questions! I have searched and researched, lol! But the truth is, there isn't one, not even the OC. Even so, I can still trust Christ for everything he has done for all of his people, including me. I do not need to fear that he will fail to finish what he has begun, either in me, or in his Church. I still see him with us, now and always.

Grace and Peace to you, beloved brother,
cm

disciple
06-09-02, 05:58 PM
Originally posted by aletheo
This is a Protestant definition of the "Church."
no this is a Scriptual definition.


One cannot be 'protest'-ant and under apostolic authority at the same time; and Protestant beliefs and practices are not an expression of the Faith, but of a misguided interpretation of a text without its context.
this is a bit unfair, don't you agree? you have not accurately represented what truly transpired historically. none of the reformers were protesting apostolic authority. they wanted to reform what was corrupt and false. no different that what happened in the NT with Jesus and Apostles. the religious establishment had drifted much and much of what Jesus said was a correction and reform to the misconceptions held among the religious establishment about God and the truth of His word.

looking at it historically, it is clear that what they were protesting was the abuses of the papacy. if you read the 95 theses and were honest with your representation about what happened in the reformation you'll see that what they protested were papal abuses (mainly indulgences, penance, purgatory and such) and perverted unscriptural doctrines and what they wanted, was to return to the true apostolic model and apostolic authority. they weren't protesting apostolic authority as you claim. this may be the way you interpret it or the way you see it but is not a supported statement by what actually happened historically and was not their intention.

aletheo
06-09-02, 10:46 PM
cm ,

In my statement about preserving the Church/Bible I was referring to the 4th-6th centuries. Generally those who believe the Bible was preserved believe the Church at that same time to be corrupt, so that the Bible was preserved in spite of the Church instead of because of the Church in God's providence.

Again, I must state, I never said the Church in her m embers is perfect. Go to any Orthodox church and you will see what I mean. The Church is correct in her belief and worship.

You take it upon yourself to judge the Church and the Fathers according to your understanding. I think we are hitting a wall here.

The Church's hymns and prayers in the service for the mystery of baptism is where you will find the references to the waters of baptism. Also reference the service for the feast of Theophany.


disciple, if you read my posts on the 'defining the church' thread you may see that I understand very well what transpired with Luther and I have expressed sympathy for his plight. Indeed, he even sought out Apostolic authority from Constantinople. Later, the Tubingen theologians sought validation from Constantinople but walked away from 'the table' rather than come into agreement with the Church.

aletheo
06-09-02, 11:02 PM
Thanks for the lively discussions. However, as I have an increasing amount of homework and church responsibilities, I am afraid I will have to bow out for a while. I am spending my time here and being distracted from my responsibilities! I'll pop in when I can.

cm, I will try to find the material I was mentioning on baptism and post it on the other thread. I'll stay on there a bit longer.

VJ, I have enjoyed your posts immensely. Forgive me for providing 'ammo', but it is unavoidable. May I recommend the book "The Primacy of Peter," John Meyendorff (ed.), St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. Peace be to you also.

Yours in Christ,

countrymouse
06-10-02, 07:51 AM
Thank you, David,

And we will look forward to continuing the discussion when you have more time.

Blessings to you,
cm
:)

disciple
06-10-02, 05:07 PM
Originally posted by aletheo
disciple, if you read my posts on the 'defining the church' thread you may see that I understand very well what transpired with Luther and I have expressed sympathy for his plight. Indeed, he even sought out Apostolic authority from Constantinople. Later, the Tubingen theologians sought validation from Constantinople but walked away from 'the table' rather than come into agreement with the Church.
then why have you misrepresented history as above? you make it sound as if they purposed and set out to oppose and contradict apostolic authority. you make it sound as if the purpose of the reformers was for mal intent when it is clear that they were just seeking to return to the simplicity of the apostolic church that is portrayed in Scripture and wanted to purge the corruption and unscriptural doctrines that crept into the church through the abuse of the papacy and the RC heirarchy.

countrymouse
06-15-02, 12:15 PM
I ran across something interesting recently in Dr. Alfred Edersheim's Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah:


And, lastly, as closely connected with all this, and marking the climax of conrariety: Rabbinism started with demand of outward obedience and righteousness, and pointed to sonship as its goal; the Gospel started with the free gift of forgiveness through faith and of sonship, and pointed to obedience and righteousness as its goal.

What the RCC, the Orthodox Communion, and even some Protestant denominations teach about salvation appears to fall much closer to the Rabbinical model than to the Gospel model. That is what concerns me most. The emphasis on baptismal regeneration, the transformation of bread and wine in the Eucharist into the body and blood of Christ, refusal to recognize Christ's own words regarding the security of believers and the effectual call of God for the elect: these things are matters of great concern. I can't explain why the traditions of the Church departed so quickly from the true apostolic teachings we find in Scripture, but it's obvious that they did.

Not only that, but the idea that Scripture cannot be understood apart from a separate, oral, and equally inspired tradition is found in both Rabbinism and gnosticism, as well as the idea that only those who prove themselves worthy through works will gain eternal life in the end. Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons are among the pseudo-Christian groups who will not read Scripture without the commentaries of their founders alongside to tell them how to interpret what they're reading.

Having said that, the charge that non-Protestants make about Protestant disunity is not entirely unfounded; it is a problem. However, creating a Christian melting pot by compromising truth is not the solution.

cm

aletheo
06-15-02, 03:14 PM
cm,

Respectfully, I see that it is not profitable for me to continue posting, on the other thread either. I am tired of tip-toeing through the TULIP. You insult me when you say I refuse to accept our Lord's words. You know very well better than that, and you know very well it is a matter of your interpretation of those words, and your dogmatic scheme of the elect. You unhesitatingly claim to abide by the apostolic teachings of the Scripture two thousand years later, and that the next generation of Christians after Christ changed the very gospel and Way of life, of which you know better. You use the polemic term "baptismal regeneration" which came about against the Campbellites, and refuse, if I may use such a word, to accept what the apostolic Church taught and practiced long before the Campbellites, because you don't understand it that way or interpret the Bible that way.

Very well. After all our conversation I wonder if you have been sincere with me or simply engaging in apologetics to bolster your dogmatic presuppositions. I am sorry it turns out this way.

Yours,

disciple
06-15-02, 04:41 PM
Originally posted by aletheo
After all our conversation I wonder if you have been sincere with me or simply engaging in apologetics to bolster your dogmatic presuppositions. I am sorry it turns out this way.
the pendulum swings both ways my friend. as CM said, it is obvious from looking at history that many false doctrines crept into the post apostolic church which grew in complexity and remained until the reformation. i would say that you know better as well. but you as well insist on interpreting history through the lens of your tradition and refuse to see certain things. but i'm not really sure that it is accurate to say that you should know better since you consider anything outside of that tradition you embrace as aberrant. perhaps you are trying to bolster your dogmatic presuppositions as well. i mean just look at our old Orthodox friend peter who seemingly started a thread for that very purpose (this might even have been seen as trolling, See "Core Doctrine" thread located here http://www.predestinarian.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=744).

as i posted earlier:

the origin of apostolic succession arose because of the attack of the heretics on the truth coupled with the fact that the apostles were no longer around and the canon had not been decided upon unanimously. the nature and meaning of apostolic succession at this time (i.e, late 2nd c.) was not what it is today in either the RC or Orthodox traditions.

the idea of the tradition of the apostles was also introduced at this time (i.e., late 2nd c.) and for the same reasons (i.e., to ward off the heretics and establish the true apostolic faith). but it was not a living or Sacred tradition with equal authority as Scripture (as if set beside Scripture; or which was some supposed authority to rightly interpret the Scripture by the Church) nor was it a tradition which could change or alter in any way. it was the deposit of the faith which was once and for all delivered by the apostles (jude 1:3) and not just by one particular apostle but by all of them together. and this was delivered to them through the Scriptures they had and by virtue of their connection to the apostles and not with the dual vehicle of Scripture AND Tradition or through correct ordainment as the RC and Orthodox churches would claim.

the interests of the apostolic fathers (2nd-3rd centuries) was to preserve the original apostolic faith as delivered fully grown and with all the truths intact by the apostles. they did not approve of change or development of the faith...only establishing and defining what is already true and had already been delivered complete.

so to add anything to the faith later or to have anything of the faith change was anathema and rejected by those who you claim as your heirs (also read the quotes i provided on page 9; 5/28/02). yet everyone has the ability to look at things and see that there were changes and later additions and developments within the traditions you espouse as inerrant and perfect in their teachings. therefore because of your presuppositions and the tradition you choose to embrace you cannot acknowledge what all historians accept as factual (for to do so would deny the very tradition you choose to embrace and make its most powerful argument null and void). you must interpret the constantinian era as "good" and beneficial for the church, you must accept the marriage of the church and state and the persecution that resulted (Crusades, Inquisitions, church and the sword, etc.) as something "good" and perhaps commanded by Christ, and you must view all the changes and additions to the faith as ex post facto or as taught in the ancient faith even though neither Scripture nor history bear this out. there are a myriad of things that you must ignore and reinterpret because of the tradition you choose to embrace and the presuppositions that come inherent with that tradition and it is my opinion that you are embracing a revisionist history. so please don't act like you've got it all figured out, that your faith is exactly the same as the Apostle Paul's, and that we are all here (all excluding you and VJ of course) just to "bolster our dogmatic presuppositions." you know better.

aletheo
06-15-02, 08:10 PM
disciple, your invective has not changed; thank you.

Are you so sure that all historians agree on history? are you that naive? I never did say everything in the history of the Church is blameless. Neither did I say the bond of Church and State is an unlimited good. And as you mention the Inquisition, are you not aware that it was spearheaded by Jesuits priests in Western Europe and did not include the Orthodox? And as you mentioned the Crusades, are you not aware that this was Western Christendom coming into the East, and that the Fourth Crusade devastated Constantinople and the Church?

Surely you know better, friend!

Let's let it lie. I'll not post again. Say what you will.

The burden of proof rests with the Protestant movement, not with the historic Church, nor with a supposedly "Scriptural" view, which amounts to each one believing what is right in his own eyes.

As for the other guy formerly on the list - Peter, I cannot speak to that situation. That is up to the moderators. I don't believe I have been "trolling," as it is put, and I have not been made aware of such. If I have, please forgive me.

Also, I do not deny that I have basic presuppositions and dogmatic viewpoints. But, friend, they are not mine, I did not make them up - they are the Church's. Take that as you will. Twist it, turn it, expose it...whatever.

And as I said before, thank you for the discussion. And don't say that I ever called you heretic, apostate, or unbeliever. Nor have I ever said you were not "saved." Nor have I said you didn't believe the Bible. Please allow me the same courtesy, especially as I will not be here to defend myself.

Yours,

disciple
06-15-02, 08:47 PM
Originally posted by aletheo
Are you so sure that all historians agree on history? are you that naive? I never did say everything in the history of the Church is blameless. Neither did I say the bond of Church and State is an unlimited good. And as you mention the Inquisition, are you not aware that it was spearheaded by Jesuits priests in Western Europe and did not include the Orthodox? And as you mentioned the Crusades, are you not aware that this was Western Christendom coming into the East, and that the Fourth Crusade devastated Constantinople and the Church?
obviously not all historians agree, but pick up any encyclopedia and you'll find the same thing. and isn't this thread called "Catholicism Cult?" surely there is much shared history between RC and Orthodoxy and there was much persecution and death of so-called heretics by sword inflicted by both sides (east and west) under the church-state system before the final split in 1054 or whenever it was. and that really is a side issue taking back seat to the unscriptural doctrines (e.g., veneration of Mary, veneration of saints, veneration of icons, perpetual virginity of Mary, additional ordinances or what you call mysteries, the the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, prayers to the dead, confounding of justification with sanctification, justification by faith+works before God, priests and division of clergy/laity, liturgy, etc.) that crept into the post-apostolic church and are still embraced by the Orthodox and RC traditions.


The burden of proof rests with the Protestant movement, not with the historic Church, nor with a supposedly "Scriptural" view, which amounts to each one believing what is right in his own eyes.
of course you think the burden of proof rests with the Protestant movement when you couch it in such terms as to pit it against the "historic Church." what chance does any other explanation than the one you already subscribe to even have? and as far as invective goes i sense it just as much from you and your disdain for anything Protestant (or non-Orthodox for that matter). please pull the plank out of your own eye first my friend.


As for the other guy formerly on the list - Peter, I cannot speak to that situation. That is up to the moderators. I don't believe I have been "trolling," as it is put, and I have not been made aware of such. If I have, please forgive me.
i wasn't trying to imply that you were trolling. but what he did bordered on it. i have not seen any posts by you that are clearly trolling but i'll let you know if i think something is. thanks for your concern though. i appreciate you being sensitive to it.


Also, I do not deny that I have basic presuppositions and dogmatic viewpoints.
i'm glad you said that. i was beginning to think that you believed that you had none.


But, friend, they are not mine, I did not make them up - they are the Church's.
i figured you would say that. and i recognize that it is your church's and this is the case with most people's presuppositions. they usually get them from their tradition and their leaders.


And as I said before, thank you for the discussion. And don't say that I ever called you heretic, apostate, or unbeliever. Nor have I ever said you were not "saved." Nor have I said you didn't believe the Bible. Please allow me the same courtesy, especially as I will not be here to defend myself.
thank you. i appreciate your willingness to put up with us (me in particular). i hope you didn't get the impression that i was calling you heretic, apostate, or unbeliever (actually you implied that i was an apostate in your comments to the end that i have left or never come to Mother Church). if you read differently please forgive me. my zeal to defend the faith and what i believe the Bible to teach sometimes offends and for that i am sorry. please don't disregard my words on the basis of my inadequacies to present.

thanks for your time david and take care. i hope we can discuss more again later and that you do not leave because you cannot convince us and because we seem to be butting heads. perhaps that is just iron sharpening iron. whatever it is i have benefited from it and appreciate all that you have shared. thanks again.ds

GreekPrincess
06-16-02, 06:35 AM
Aletheo..

I hope that you do not feel that you have to leave this forum. What I have seen in this and other threads is your love for the Church and the Lord. I don't think anyone would question that.

In my humble opinion, all who read and participated in these threads have learned something from each other.

I want to point out something else. The Orthodox Church has changed many times in the last 200 years. Original Greek Orthodox Churches in Greece differe drastically from those in the US. Those churches in Greece do not have pews and seperate men from women during services. In the US, you'll see choirs and organs in addition to canters. You'll see pews and everyone standing where they please. In Greece, the priests are part of the government and very much disliked. In the US, priests are paid by the parish.

Then there are the old calendar Orthodox who have ill feelings toward the new calendar Orthodox. They adamently believe in following the old calendar to the point where they have severed any ties with new calendar Orthodox.

I point these out because if these fundamental changes can occur in 200 years or so, think of what had changed in the early days of the Church. Does that mean that they didn't love the Lord or the Church? Absolutely not.

Maybe these are just things to think about. I don't think we can put a steak in the ground and say that things of man can be absolutely perfect without looking to what the Lord said is Truth. And to do that, you have to go to the Source - the Word.

Just some thoughts of mine.

countrymouse
06-16-02, 10:47 AM
GreekPrincess, how I do appreciate your honesty and humility! I would be grateful for any light you can shed about Eastern Orthodox doctrine.

David,

I expressed my personal concerns about the Church, and you took it as a personal attack against you. You know what? It's my Church too. Every Christian congregation that exists on this planet today must trace its roots back through the Church as she existed before the East-West divide. All of us. There is no way around it. I am not interested at all in laying out accusations, but may I not express honest concerns without being rejected? I certainly do not reject you for disagreeing.

I have been completely sincere with you. I respect you immensely, and I am not at all trying to proselytize you away from your church.

I do not want to misinterpret anything you have said, so may I ask you some questions?

Since you said that the Holy Spirit is in the water of baptism, how am I in the wrong in using the term "baptismal regeneration?"

If, as I think you would say, the bread and wine are in some way transformed into the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist, then wouldn't that logically lead to the concept of Eucharistic regeneration? Or am I completely in left field about that? I could be. :confused:

Can you not understand how these things might look like teaching that faith is a change from the outside in rather than from the inside, out?

If someone says that Scripture can only be understood by using a separate, infallible tradition, does not Scripture become subordinate to that tradition? Is that not the same thing that Rabbinical Judaism taught? Is there no such similar doctrine in gnosticism?

These are real and honest concerns I have about what I hear from some members of the RCC and Orthodox and even some Protestant churches. As I've said before, I yearn for unity and I pray for unity. I don't think that I have a unique corner on the truth. But there are a few things that seem so clearly and directly taught in Scripture.


Might I offer my own interpretation of TULIP?

Total depravity:Original sin, passed down from Adam, resulting in the fact that we all sin if we live long enough, and we are all tainted by Adam's disobedience. All people do at least some morally upright things, but even if everyone were capapble
of living decent, moral lives with sufficient effort, such living cannot please God, apart from faith in Christ.

Unconditional election:self-explanatory, I think, and well-substantiated by Christ's teachings in parables and plain sayings, and in the letters of Paul.

Limited atonement: Christ's atonement is sufficient for every person, past, present and fiuture. No argument from me. But we have learned from Christ and Paul that God knew his own from the beginning. Even if we were to say that God's foreknowledge is like looking into a crystal ball to see who would freely choose to believe the Gospel, and that He chose those he saw doing so, then we would say that before Christ died God knew who would benefit from His death. It would be silly to say that God's purpose in atonement was universal.

Irresistable grace: Once God has foreseen it, who can change it?
I believe election is unconditional; nevertheless God does not make robots of us. We still have to respond to God's call. God's call being efficacious does not in any way imply that we are forced to believe. God's call to his elect through the Gospel opens our eyes to our predicament and the sure solution to it; I cannot imagine how we could refuse!

Perseverance of the Saints: again, self-explanatory, mostly. Good works are the necessary outcome of real faith, as is perseverance.

I know this isn't the way those doctrines are usually understood by those who oppose them, and even by some who align themselves with Calvin's soteriology. But that's how I find them presented in Scripture.

I want to believe, and I truly hope that, our differences are basically a matter of emphasis. Tell me what you think.

cm

Victor Joseph
06-17-02, 04:32 PM
disciple & All. . .

I've been quite busy of late. . .so I've had not time to add. . .

disciple quote:
"(e.g., veneration of Mary, veneration of saints, veneration of icons, perpetual virginity of Mary, additional ordinances or what you call mysteries, the the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, prayers to the dead, confounding of justification with sanctification, justification by faith+works before God, priests and division of clergy/laity, liturgy, etc.) that crept into the post-apostolic church and are still embraced by the Orthodox and RC traditions. "

There is so much here to discuss. I have come to know your position better over the last several weeks and I have done what I can to explain the Catholic position (not very well at times. . .).

Would all of you make a better effort to "understand" what the Catholic Church really teaches. . . and not regurgitate what you have been taught or read in anti-Catholic publications & books like Loraine Boettner's 'Roman Catholicism'. . .

My aim is to humbly try to understand better, the varying positions out there but I will not deny the work of the Holy Spirit in me that keeps me faithful to Rome. . . I would leave the Catholic Church if it were revealed to me as false and thus ultimately useless. . . disciple. . .Would you renounce sola scriptura likewise?

Check out www.catholic.com. (There are some tracts there that explain far better than I can the Catholic position). Know that I try to look at your recomended sites as well.

Peace in Christ Jesus. V.J.

disciple
06-17-02, 06:06 PM
thanks for your continued concern and discussion.


Would all of you make a better effort to "understand" what the Catholic Church really teaches. . . and not regurgitate what you have been taught or read in anti-Catholic publications & books like Loraine Boettner's 'Roman Catholicism'. . .
i'm not sure what you're referring to that i don't understand. i don't claim to be an expert of catholicism but i have done a bit of studying on it and my mother is ex-RC. perhaps you could be more specific. and that list mostly addressed aletheo and what is common between RC and Orthodoxy.


My aim is to humbly try to understand better, the varying positions out there but I will not deny the work of the Holy Spirit in me that keeps me faithful to Rome. . . I would leave the Catholic Church if it were revealed to me as false and thus ultimately useless. . . disciple. . .Would you renounce sola scriptura likewise?
do you really mean that? would you really consider the evidence that would reveal it to you as false and useless? thus far you have dismissed all that i have offered. and the very reason i believe sola Scriptura and find it true and useful is because Scripture itself declares it to be so and i have faith that God has given us His revelation and word to us in its pages. if this is so, then there is no need for tradition or some heirarchy to tell us what it means by what it says. as i said before, God's word is perspicuous. His word is living and active and i believe it because i believe the writers of Scripture and the God who inspired their words. i will not renounce it based on logic nor will i renounce it based on your interpretation of three verses (1 co 11:2; 2 th 2:15, 3:6; which is the very tradition contained within the pages of the NT and does not say what you think it says). if i reject Scripture and its authority then i must reject my faith (for it gives me the objective truth which i must believe to be saved) and the God who gave them (since rejecting His the sole authority of His words is tantamount to rejecting Him). there's really no middle ground here. and who's to say that your tradition is really the apostles'? what if you have incorrect tradition. there is more on false tradition in Scripture than on some supposed apostolic tradition. simple relation or tracing back to the apostles doesn't guarantee a thing. people can be corrupted you know. but if you could show through Scripture that it is false and useless on its own then i would renounce it.

Victor Joseph
06-18-02, 01:32 PM
brother disciple. . .


quote disciple

"do you really mean that?" (Leave the catholic Church if the Holy Spirit revealed it to not be true. . .)

Yes. And I do not want you to think that I am dismissing all you have offered. There are just some things I have a better grasp on than others and my aim is not to slam any one. I'm listening. . . but I don't know what you expect to happen . . . I've heard good Catholic responses to all the issues you bring up. . . I can only begin to respond given time restraints and my limited knowlege of Scripture. Someone like Scott Hahn or James Akin or Steve Ray with a Protestant backgrounds could go head to head with you from Scripture and give some believable testamony as to why they had no choice but to enter the Catholic Church. In Mr. Ray's case he wrote a letter to his father. . . a devout, Bible only Baptist if my memory serves me. This letter written with much respect became a book called 'Crossing the Tiber'. It is thourghly documented and deals with the issues of sola scriptura, baptism, the Eucharist and Tradition. It's all quite logical.
www.catholic.com
www.jamesakin.com

www.scotthahn.com

quote:disciple
"His word is living and active and i believe it because i believe the writers of Scripture and the God who inspired their words. i will not renounce it based on logic nor will i renounce it based on your interpretation of three verses (1 co 11:2; 2 th 2:15, 3:6; which is the very tradition contained within the pages of the NT and does not say what you think it says). if i reject Scripture and its authority then i must reject my faith (for it gives me the objective truth which i must believe to be saved)"

I'm not asking you to renounce Scripture or its' divine origen. From what I've read it came to us through men. . . and was not dropped from heaven.
The Catholic Church reveres it as God Breathed. But uses sacred Tradition and the proptings of the Holy Spirit in the Magesterium to interpret it correctly. . .

I don't know why you would say you'd have to reject your faith to reject Sola Scriptura. . . many former Protestants say they were tired of all the rankor amongst denominations concerning interpretation. . . a breathe of fresh air!

And about not being willing to look at these issues using logic. . . you seem to be using logic quite well to defend your take on Protestantism and 5 Solas???
Why not use it to CAREFULLY look into the Catholic position. If you won't be open to another possibility . . .???

quote: disciple
"i don't claim to be an expert of catholicism but i have done a bit of studying on it and my mother is ex-RC."

I have said before that you are a very good apologist for the Protestant position . . . I have opinions as do you about how scripture reveals GOD.
My point is that the Catholic Church makes claims no other 'Church' or as you would say. . . denomination. . . makes. . . that the Catholic Church IS JESUS CHRIST"S very BODY and has exististed . . . and developed and defined doctrine. . . not on its own. . . but as revealed by the Holy Spirit over the last 20 centuries.

Again disciple . . . I don't doubt that if you were to die right this instant that you would go to heaven. . . GOD is LARGE and in charge. I don't know what is in your heart. . . and neither does the Pope for that matter. The issue seems to be about freedom (are we free to reject God's gift of eternal life with HIM?). I would say yes as would the Catholic Church. And yes, we can know we have eternal life as scripture says.

The Catholic Church is a 'hospital for sinners' of which I belong. And the evidence that it has been from 33 AD is evident from Scripture and Sacred Apostolic Tradition. Have you read 'The Didache'? Which was commonly known as the "Teaching of the 12 Apostles". It . . . I believe. . . is a church document that most historians agree is from the 1st Century. It speaks to believers about a "Way of Life" and a "Way of Death" . . . "in every way fraught with damnation. In it are murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolitries, witchcraft, sorceries, robberies. . etc. " Why are these issues so vital to the Church (the people)? . . . if they are 'all' saved based on one act of faith. . . why make any of this an issue at all if this is the case? You could probably argue whether they had full experiencial knowledge. . . but again why did these early christians make avoiding these things an issue at all?

The writer of the Didiche concludes. . . "Take care that nobody tempts you away from the path of this Teaching, for such a man's tuition can have nothing to do with God. If you can shoulder the Lord's yoke in it's entirety, then you will be perfect; but if that is too much for you, do as much as you can."

There is an ancient Church Manual that speaks of Baptism and it's 'procedure'
. . . if it does nothing. . . why make an issue of it? Why have a procedure? The writer talks about fasting for the 'baptizer' and 'baptized'. Why, if not effective? Later it talks of Fast-Days and Prayer. . . and The Eucharist and the eucharistic prayer. Why, if just symbolic? Then it goes on to say that no one is to eat or drink of your Eucharist but those who have been baptized in the Name of the Lord. . . then they were to give thanks. . . for a symbol? (I don't recall seeing a response from you on what it meant to be "guilty of the body and blood' of someone in Jesus' culture) SURE this is logical. . . but I WANT THE TRUTH that is JESUS. This doesn't seem to make sense with out the Catholic understanding.


Back to the Didiche' . . .Then it talks about Local Officials and about how they. . . must. . . choose. . . for themselves. . . bishops and deacons. . . who are worthy of the Lord. (This sounds like Apostolic Succession) These offices exist in the Catholic Church and have since the first century. Then it goes on to say we are to (keep) ourselves (always) in readiness for the Lord's coming. And. . . we are to come together often for (spiritual improvement); because all the past years of YOUR FAITH my emphasis. . . will be no good to you at the end, unless YOU have made yourself perfect. . . (sounds like the believer had to cooperate with God's grace and DO something) Why. . . as you say we are justified once? It sounds like these early christians were Catholic in their beliefs.

Oh sure you can make an argument the Didiche is not canon. . . but my understanding is that there are both Protestant AND Catholic scholars who believe this document to be a legitimate, first century christian work explaining how believers were to behave in the family of God. I know of one Pentacostal pastor named Alex Jones (in Detroit) who when he read these early writings lead most of his people to the only Christian body that honestly made sense. I hear the Catholic Parish most of his people joined is quite 'alive with the Spirit'! Unity is a good thing.

For me I have to look at ALL the evidence. . . then make a reasonable decision. God GAVE us intellects.

If I was on trial for murder, and I knew I was innocent. . . I'd want ALL the evidence on the table that proved such. . . . not just what the state put forth.

disciple. You don't have to be an expert in Catholicism. I can't twist your arm or hold a sword to your throat. (some wrongly have) . . . all I'm saying is that this ancient christian body. . . makes a claim unlike any other on the planet. Get the facts from the horses mouth. Read a Catholic history of the Constantine era. . . the Protestant Reformation. Read about the history of your beliefs. . . LOOK for gaps. Pray about it. (no warm fuzzy fealings) will suffice. You'll KNOW. And IF you come to KNOW that the Catholic Church is true. . . GO FOR IT brother.

As for your Mother who left the Catholic Church ask her this. . . when she was Catholic. . . did she believe that the Eucharist was the body, blood, soul and divinity of the Lord? And if she did. . . why did she reject it? Just curious.

To the glory of God. V.J.

P.S. I didn't see a response to any of the 21 reasons not to accept Sola Scriptura that I posted a while back? Logic?

disciple
06-18-02, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
I'm not asking you to renounce Scripture or its' divine origen. From what I've read it came to us through men. . . and was not dropped from heaven.
yes it came through men but it was from God. He gave us His word and it is perspicious. the problem most people have is not that they don't understand it but that the sayings are too hard and they refuse to do it or accept what it is saying. so in a sense it did come to us out of heaven. while the humans are instruments they are God's word through the human agents.

2 Pe 1:20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.



...uses sacred Tradition and the proptings of the Holy Spirit in the Magesterium [sic] to interpret it correctly. . .
again this concept is nowhere in Scripture. magisterium? where is that in the pages of the NT? do you believe that all believers possess the Holy Spirit? do you believe He helps us understand His word?


And about not being willing to look at these issues using logic. . . you seem to be using logic quite well to defend your take on Protestantism and 5 Solas???
Why not use it to CAREFULLY look into the Catholic position. If you won't be open to another possibility . . .???
what i'm saying is that simply pointing to the fruit of all the division within Protestantism as evidence enough that sola Scriptura is unscriptural is bogus. if you say something is useless at least prove it from an objective basis rather than subjective. that's what i'm saying.


Have you read 'The Didache'?
yes, several times.


For me I have to look at ALL the evidence. . . then make a reasonable decision. God GAVE us intellects.

If I was on trial for murder, and I knew I was innocent. . . I'd want ALL the evidence on the table that proved such. . . . not just what the state put forth.
i agree. but the thing is that some things carry much more weight than others. and you are reading your modern day understanding of RC theology and terminology back into the Scripture and even these early documents. also the problem is that this other evidence needs interpretation as well. it really doesn't clear up anything. IMHO it only serves to confuse when we try to take later writings which are not inspired nor are they ever claimed to be and use them to interpret earlier writings which are inspired. why don't you just take out the middle man?


Get the facts from the horses mouth. Read a Catholic history of the Constantine era. . . the Protestant Reformation. Read about the history of your beliefs. . . LOOK for gaps. Pray about it. (no warm fuzzy fealings) will suffice. You'll KNOW. And IF you come to KNOW that the Catholic Church is true. . . GO FOR IT brother.
why do you treat me like i'm ignorant? are you assuming that i haven't read catholic history and documents? are you assuming i haven't read and considered early documents and evidence (i've read all the apostolic fathers, the apocrypha, Eusebius' church history, and many others)? are you assuming i haven't prayed? your advice sounds amazingly like the Mormon missionary's advice. they give their talks and then ask the communicant to pray to see if the Mormon church is the true church. (i'm not implying that you are part of a cult by this comment, i'm just making a statement).


As for your Mother who left the Catholic Church ask her this. . . when she was Catholic. . . did she believe that the Eucharist was the body, blood, soul and divinity of the Lord? And if she did. . . why did she reject it? Just curious.
my mother left because she found no Savior there. all she saw was a works based system than never gave her peace or forgiveness. there was no life. all she saw was a performance based religion where she had to say her hail marys, go to mass, go to confession, etc. and she had no relationship whatsoever with Christ. when my brother and I got saved, she saw something she did not see in her church experience and she got saved as well. her parents asked us why we read our bibles. they said that that's for the clergy and not for us regular folk. and they said that they were born catholic and they were going to die catholic. they do not know the Savior. but yet some RC's might say that they are in a state of grace since they're doing the right things and they're saying their hail mary's, going to mass, and going to confession. she left the church and rejected not Christ but a dead lifeless group of people who were trying to get to heaven based on their own personal worth and righteousness. she left so that she could embrace Christ and experience the life that He offers. i'll ask her for more details and get back to you later...


P.S. I didn't see a response to any of the 21 reasons not to accept Sola Scriptura that I posted a while back? Logic?
neither have you answered my post about Scripture as understood and used by Jesus and the apostles. i'll get to it. i'll answer this and your didache thingy later.

Victor Joseph
06-18-02, 06:07 PM
disciple. . . I'm running short of time but. . .

re: 2 Pe 1:20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.



quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
...uses sacred Tradition and the proptings of the Holy Spirit in the Magesterium [sic] to interpret it correctly. . .
------------------------------------------------------------------------

again this concept is nowhere in Scripture. magisterium? where is that in the pages of the NT?

Steve Ray gives a pretty good response in his book 'Crossing the Tiber. . . Evangelical Protestants discover the History of the Church'

When I was a Fundamentalist, I believed that the catholic Church had dreamed up new doctrines and revelations that were considered equal to, or above the Bible. . . In his fundamentalist classic 'Is Romanism Christianity?' . . . T.W. Medhurst asserts, "First, Christianity is founded upon the clear teachings of the NT scriptures. But Romanism does not profess to be founded on scripture alone. . . 'The Bible, the whole Bible, nothing but the Bible' is the standard and rule of Christianity. . . But Romanism denies this and therefore Romanism is not christianity." This is revisionist view of the first centuries. Early Christianity had not compiled a NT until 393AD and could never have made the statement Medhurst made. Medhurst also misrepresents the catholic Church's teaching. the Second Vatican Council stated in Dei Verbum, no. 4 "The Christian dispensation as the new and definitive covenant will never pass away, and we now await no further new public revelationbefore the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ." Public revelation revelation ceased with the death of the last apostle, and the Magisterium is not able to "create" new revelation. the Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, as it clearly stated in section 10 of Dei Verbum:"This teaching office is not above the word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit."

This is kind of interesting. . . Mr Ray goes on ". . . Wasn't it common knowlege that the Catholics had innumerable human doctrines added to the Word of God? He goes on . . . As an Evangelical Protestant I joined the bandwagon, denouncing Catholics for adding things to the Bible. The Catholic rightly acknowleges the need for doctrinal development and readily looks with confidence to the doctrines developed durring the first centuries: the doctrine of the Trinity, the deity and humanity of Christ, etc. The development of these doctrines over the centuries is readily accepted as foundational in Evangelical circles as well. Upon further reflection, I realized that Protestants, myself included, had added many unbiblical words, doctrines, and practices to their repertoire--doing so with joyful abandon. eg. "age of accountability", "total depravity of man", "as Jesus into your heart" (can you recall Paul emphasizing this concept?), "the Rapture" (from a prophetic revelation in Scotland in the 19th century, "clothed in the righteousness of Christ" (a phrase never found in the NT), cf. Rev. 19:8), "invisible Church", emphasis on a "personal relationship with Christ", "accepting Christ as personal Lord and Savior", enthoning the Bible in your heart", limited attonement, the "altar call", rededication, tent revivals, inerancy, eternal security, denominations, "folding hands" to pray, faith 'ALONE', Sola Scriptura, devotions, misssionaries, full-time ministry, seminaries, church buildings (NT worship was in private homes, e.g. Rom. 16:5) with building referred to as "church, baptism and Eucharist as mere symbols, Sunday School, the Christian Flag, and many more. And since the NT canon itself is never mentioned in the Bible, the NT (as book) is, in reality, an unbiblical addition.

So I guess the point I'm trying to make is Catholic Doctrine is found on the face of Sacred Scripture (if you LOOK for it) and it developes . . . and is refined over time with the help of the Holy Spirit. And there appears to be real 'additions' in Protestantism if Mr. Ray is right.

More later.

God Bless. V.J.

SnowDrift
06-19-02, 09:34 AM
Is Catholicism a cult? I’ve always pondered this question with an open outlook. Every time it comes up in conversation I tend to lean toward a positive answer. Having grown up in a Christian family and attending private catholic grammar school has given me much insight from a youth’s perspective, although now I am 24.
The important thing to remember is that there are many Christian Catholics and to label them as members of a cult would be wrong. If you grew up in a Catholic family would that make you a non – Christian? No of course not. Everyone makes there own personal decisions inside no matter what there religious background may be.
Now the Catholic Church in general can seem to be cult like in many ways. The first being the separatist rules that they have made for their own personal reasons. For example Confession to a priest, or praying to the Virgin Mary. Nowhere in our Christina bible does it say we must confess our sins to anybody except God, although of course it can be very helpful with somebody you trust for the sake of not bottling things up, but that is a different topic. And nowhere in our bible does it say we must pray to the holy virgin. God is the answer to all our prayers, and God only. Changing the origin of God’s word can be considered cult like, and that is exactly what this is, a distortion of God’s word from a human perspective of how it should be changed to benefit a religious organization that borderlines Christianity. Another example would be the topic of sex. God teaches us that sex is a beautiful gift that should be enjoyed after two people whom love each other are married, even in the case of preachers. So why do catholic priests believe sex is a sin? Leading off topic a little, this is by far part of the cause for all the sexual charges being brought up on the church. I mean if they were having sex with there wives whom they loveed, they wouldn’t need to resort to children to hide there temptatons, would they?
It seems that the Catholic Church has taken the origin of Christianity and transformed it to there liking, so yes this is symbolic of a cult as a whole, but not as an individual person whom was raised catholic.

Brandan
06-19-02, 09:44 AM
Welcome to the forum Snowdrift! Quite an excellent first post I might add. Although I would like to think that if there are true christians in the catholic church they would recognize that the church as a whole is a cult and run from it!

countrymouse
06-19-02, 10:17 AM
Welcome, Snowdrift! I agree with Kermie; an excellent first post.

Victor Joseph,

Some of the Protestant ideas you named in your previous post are man-made, but not all of them. Some of them are founded upon the truths expressed in Scripture. What I perceive you have done in your reaction against fundamentalism is that you have fallen off the other side of the fence into other errors. You have also equated all of Protestantism with the fundamentalism you were once part of. You misunderstand the meanings of many Protestant doctrines, and you reject them without really knowing what you reject. I do not deny that you have been having mystic experiences of something since embracing Roman Catholicism, but if your experiences lead you into error, they cannot be experiences of Christ. That's not intended as a personal attack at all; I am very concerned about the things you've been led to believe.

Respectfully,
cm

Fledge
06-19-02, 10:58 AM
Since we are talking about the Catholic "Church", I have 2-cents worth to put in as well.

I won't attack their doctrines, MANY of which are blatantly non (even anit) biblical.

What gets me right now is how anybody in their right mind, and with a clear conscience can remain in the Roman Catholic Church.
With all that is going on with the pedophile priests, the cover-ups, the "looking the other way" and the simply moving one pedophile priest from one parish to the other...how can they do that?
How can anybody remain in a so-called church that is so obviously corrupt to the core, corrupt clear up the heirarchy to the "man" himself, the pope?
The Pope, the man who is on nearly equal terms as God, who can speak infallibly, who speaks for God, who runs the whole show...why is he not defrocking and firing and pressing charges galore against the sick priests who get their jollies fondling innocent children...and then they simply get moved to a new parish with a whole new batch of victims?
These men need to be in jail, not in a priesthood role.
The men who simply turn a blind eye need to be right there with them in jail.

It is obvious that the RCC is a corrupt system that neither takes disciplinary action against heinous crimes, nor do they take legal action.

How, or why any individual can remain in such a corrupt "church", and keep a clear conscience, is beyond me.

Then again, looking at the governmental system of the RCC, the doctrines, the practices...many people would clearly call them the Roman Catholic Cult. And I am tempted to agree with them...but that is another story, another post, and a different day.

Nay Nay
06-19-02, 12:10 PM
Not an expert by any means on Catholicism, either Reformed or otherwise but I have this one question to ask anyone who calls themselves "Catholic"

Was it a religion you found or that you just inherited from your families religious background?

I ask because I grew up with a Christian family, Bible believing, church going etc...yet when I got old enough I found that I needed to seek for myself the truth they spoke of, and find out on my own if "Christianity" was what I wanted, and not just want I was told I had to be involved in.

I found out on my own there was a few non-biblical doctrines or practices that I grew up believing were right and I have since stopped practicing them or going to a church which does.
I am still a Christian, I read my Bible and pray to the Lord daily but it isn't a ritual it is a pleasure and an honor to serve God now that I have tasted for myself and seen that He is indeed good.

Victor Joseph: I totally understand what you mean by Christian Catholic and I praise God that you do too ;)

Alan Stevens
06-19-02, 12:40 PM
Hi

I've stayed away from this discussion, as i have thought over this for a few weeks.

Still, here's a few thoughts, please accept them in the humble spirit they are delivered. (I know most of you will).

The difficulty i have in calling Catholisum a Cult is that there are still(in my opinion at least) real christians within the 'Movement'
I would look at say, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists etc as Cults were i would not expect to find anyone saved in their midst.

As a good reformed chap, of coruse, i do not agree with many of there doctrines or practices, but on meeting some, i do find that their faith is 'real'.

Also two of my 'hero's' (for want of a better word) had Catholic 'faith'. Augustine (pre-reformation) and Pascal (post reformation). On reading their works, which have blessed me, i would 'hope' they were both saved, both both were in the Catholic Church.

So, what i am really saynig, is that i keep an open mind. Some doctrines are defintalty wrong, nut, some great hristians have been Catholics and they have enhanced out understanding to day.

So therefore.............................

"What was that scipture about a doulble minded person" ?

It's back to the drawing board again for me!!

Cheers

Victor Joseph
06-19-02, 01:21 PM
Fledge. . .

re: quote: Fledge
"What gets me right now is how anybody in their right mind, and with a clear conscience can remain in the Roman Catholic Church.
With all that is going on with the pedophile priests, the cover-ups, the "looking the other way" and the simply moving one pedophile priest from one parish to the other...how can they do that?

I think your hatered for what you BELIEVE to be the Catholic Church is blinding you from the real issue which is 'chastity'.

I, as a Catholic Christian. . . in right mind. . . and with a clear conscience find the behavior of anyone, clergy or layity involved sexually with minors more than deplorable. . . it's a crime and a sin. . . Sin hurts the whole BODY of Christ. . . However, our Lord teaches us NOT to judge (Mt. 7:1). . . that's His job. . . NOT ours.

The fact is if all of us looked at the sins of our Fathers in faith (eg. David the murderer & adulteror) and pointed to their mis-deeds as reasons to reject the Truth we wouldn't be Christians today. The issue is TRUTH and I find the fullness of Christian Truth in the Catholic Church. . . remember the sheeps and the goats will be together . . . And it's true that some goats have reached high rank in the Catholic Church. Still, I won't leave my family because of the sins of my brothers.

Fact: There are close to 60 thousand Catholic Priests in the United States.
. . . one half of one percent have been accused of sexual misdeeds with minors. . . is this a problem?. . . you bet it is. . . especially with the victims of such a crime. . . cover-up. . . seems there was. . . Is the Catholic Church doing something to alleviate the problem? YES!!! Is it helping the victims? YES!!! . . . . . through counciling and monetary compensation. THE MEDIA and how this story has been handled has been deplorable. . . and often irresponsible. . . . and grossly overstated. What's going to happen when your branch of Christianity is attacked?. . . . . . (Have you read about Cardinal George of Chicago and his willingness to sell the Bishops residence to help compensate the victims. . .??? Sure it's not enough. . . but we care.
Again, the issue is chastity. . . not the priesthood, not celibacy (would you abolish marriage because some break their vows and commit adultery?) I don't think so. . . This makes no sense!

Fledge brother. . . let's both seek the Truth that is Jesus.

V.J.

Fledge
06-19-02, 02:14 PM
First point, I don't hate the catholic church. I hate some of the practices, some of the crimes, but in no way to I hate the members nor the denomination as a whole.

And honestly, I think the real issue isn't chastity, nor is it sex even.
The real issue is sin. The real issue is taking advantage of innocent children. The real issue is bishops and cardinals covering it up.
Perhaps it isn't "as bad" as it appears. BUT, one instance of it happening is too much. Priests should know better even more than your average layman. Priests study the Word, priests teach and preach the Word, priests "should" have a better understanding of the fundamentals of the Christian faith than your average churchgoer. So we can't even use ignorance as an excuse. (as if it could be anyway)

It is just obvious that covering up such dastardly deeps extends not just to your local congregations and parshies, but to the Vatican itself.

We are called to judge. NOT to juddge the spiritual condition of a person, not to judge the final destination of their souls, but to judge their actions, their deeps, their words, their ministries.
You cited Matthew 7:1
Look further...the next several verses, ending with verse 5

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Jesus also commanded us to judge with a righeous judgment, which follows very closely with the passage in Matthew I noted.
John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

WOuld I abolish marriage because some are unfaithful?
By no means. HOWEVER, if it were MY marriage, and my wife is being unfaithful...that IS, most definitely, grounds for divorce. Biblical grounds.

Likewise, would I abolish Christianity becasue of a few pedophile priests? NO! Why? First...Christianity is not limited to the Catholic church. And I know there are most likely priests/preachers in other denominations that are just as bad as the catholic guys we see on the evening news. What I WOULD do however, is abolish those people...i.e fire them on the spot, take their robes and call the police and press every charge imaginable. They have committed a CRIME, not an accident, but a premeditated crime.
I don't throw the baby out with the dirty water. But it is high time to wash the tub!

I praise God for people, priests, preachers, cardinals and bishops, etc...who have enough conscience and faith to do the right thing and make a stand for Truth.

Victor Joseph
06-19-02, 04:09 PM
brother Fledge. . .

quote: Fledge "First point, I don't hate the catholic church. I hate some of the practices, some of the crimes, but in no way to I hate the members nor the denomination as a whole."

Glad to hear that you don't hate the Catholic Church as you understand it.
As for the practices you hate . . . I would recomend that you look into what the Catholic Church 'really' teaches. Archbishop Fulton Sheen . . . probably the first televangelist said "Their are not 100 people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. . . .there are millions however who hate it for what it doesn't teach." And I would disagree with you that the Catholic church is a 'denomination'. We believe it is 'the' one visable church established by Jesus.

quote: Fledge
"Likewise, would I abolish Christianity becasue of a few pedophile priests? NO! Why? First...Christianity is not limited to the Catholic church".

The above quote makes true the Bishop's quote exactly. The Catholic church does not teach that christians are limited to the Catholic Church.
Perhaps you can check out www.catholic.com to clear up some of these misconceptions?

quote: Fledge: "And honestly, I think the real issue isn't chastity, nor is it sex even.
The real issue is sin. The real issue is taking advantage of innocent children. The real issue is bishops and cardinals covering it up.
Perhaps it isn't "as bad" as it appears. BUT, one instance of it happening is too much. Priests should know better even more than your average layman. Priests study the Word, priests teach and preach the Word, priests "should" have a better understanding of the fundamentals of the Christian faith than your average churchgoer. So we can't even use ignorance as an excuse. (as if it could be anyway)

You're right. . . I was heading out to lunch and I realized I should have put the issue of sin ahead of chastity.

Can YOU forgive as out blessed Lord did the woman caught in adultery or would you cast the first stone? Jesus showed great compassion and mercy toward those who committed sexual sins. . . a said . . ."Go and sin no more."

Cover-up? . . . don't believe all you read and hear in the papers and on T.V..
A lot of these priests accused of these acts committed them years before the word pedophile existed in the anuls of medicine and psychology. Many were thought 'treatable' . . . obviously some weren't. . . mistakes were made.

quote: Fledge:
"Priests should know better even more than your average layman.

PRIESTS ARE HUMAN AND ARE TEMPTED JUST LIKE THE REST OF US.
AND OCCASIONALLY. . . THEY DO STUMBLE AND FALL.

quote: Fledge
"Priests study the Word, priests teach and preach the Word, priests "should" have a better understanding of the fundamentals of the Christian faith than your average churchgoer.

I think you put priests on a higher pedastle than your average Catholic.
And you and I study the Word. . . that doesn't make us 'imune to temptations and sin. Am I right?

quote: Fledge:
"It is just obvious that covering up such dastardly deeps extends not just to your local congregations and parshies, but to the Vatican itself. "

It could. . . but what does this prove? Nothing! The Catholic Church is a "hospital for sinners" and we hate it when we fall . . . it hurts the God we serve and the Body of Christ . . .His Church.

quote: Fledge
"We are called to judge. NOT to juddge the spiritual condition of a person, not to judge the final destination of their souls, but to judge their actions, their deeps, their words, their ministries.
You cited Matthew 7:1
Look further...the next several verses, ending with verse 5

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. "

quote: fledge:
"We are called to judge. NOT to juddge the spiritual condition of a person, not to judge the final destination of their souls, but to judge their actions, their deeps, their words, their ministries."

Sure . . . you can judge someone that way. We have a court system in these United States. . . and as I said before. . . things aren't always what they seem. . . so be careful you have all the facts before you point that righteous finger. I'm careful. . . because I'm a sinner too.

Q. What would your denomination if this kind of sin landed on your doorstep? I really don't know. . . help me out here.

quote: Fledge
"WOuld I abolish marriage because some are unfaithful?
By no means. HOWEVER, if it were MY marriage, and my wife is being unfaithful...that IS, most definitely, grounds for divorce. Biblical grounds.

Again, what would your denomination do differently (biblically???) that the Catholic Church isn't already doing OR (in motion) to do? (biblically?) recall that proceedings are not by any means done. . . As for your divorce analogy I'm not exactly sure what you mean? Jesus prohibits divorce. Perhaps you are refering to 'except on the grounds of unchastity' (In the Greek the word used hereappears to refer to marriages which were not legally marriages, because they were either within the forbidden degrees of consanguinity (Lev. 18:6-16) or contracted with a Gentile. And except on the grounds of unchastisty does not occur in the parallel passage in Lk 16:18. Check out 1 Cor. 7:10-11 which shows that prohibition is 'unconditional.' All this sounds pretty biblical to me.

quote: Fledge
"Likewise, would I abolish Christianity becasue of a few pedophile priests? NO! Why? First...Christianity is not limited to the Catholic church. And I know there are most likely priests/preachers in other denominations that are just as bad as the catholic guys we see on the evening news. What I WOULD do however, is abolish those people...i.e fire them on the spot, take their robes and call the police and press every charge imaginable. They have committed a CRIME, not an accident, but a premeditated crime.
I don't throw the baby out with the dirty water. But it is high time to wash the tub!"

"I praise God for people, priests, preachers, cardinals and bishops, etc...who have enough conscience and faith to do the right thing and make a stand for Truth."

I agree with you for the most part but I was not involved in any of these cases so I don't know the details and neither do you. "Fire them on the spot. . . ." I don't think it's all as simple as you make it. . . I think the Bishops are looking at individual cases carefully. (the criminality is not being overlooked) . . . I mean What do you do with a homosexual priest (which is no sin by the way. . . it's the practice) who fell 30 years ago to the temptation of the flesh and has lived a chaste life in service to the Lord since? Would you say defrock him? There seems to be a grey area here. . .

Pray for the members of the Body of Christ. . . would you fledge?

God bless. V.J.

disciple
06-19-02, 04:11 PM
1 Co 6:2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?

1 Pet 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

disciple
06-19-02, 04:23 PM
Notice that the bible does say practicing homosexuals but just homosexuals. We are not allowed to arbitarily divide it between practicing and non-practicing homosexuals. God designed us for a certain purpose and people are not born homosexual or heterosexual. No one is born a homosexual. Homosexuality, even if you don't commit the act, is a result of sin and what the catholic church does with their teaching on this is separate the act from the heart and in essense nullify Jesus' words on the nature of sin and the heart.


Mt 5:21 "You have heard that the ancients were told, 'You shall not commit murder' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.' 22 "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell....27 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery'; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

1 Co 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Victor Joseph
06-19-02, 04:27 PM
disciple. . .

I think I understand.

You make a good point for canon law, lawyers and tribunals which help pass judgement every day in the Catholic Church. However, these crimes have become civil matters as well. Changes are in the works and it's unfortunate they didn't occur earlier. V.J.

Victor Joseph
06-19-02, 05:10 PM
disciple. . .

quote: disciple
"Notice that the bible does say practicing homosexuals but just homosexuals. We are not allowed to arbitarily divide it between practicing and non-practicing homosexuals."

"No on is born a homosexual. Homosexuality, even if you don't commit the act, is a result of sin and what the catholic church does with their teaching on this is separate the act from the heart and in essense nullify Jesus' words on the nature of sin and the heart."

You are SO sure about this subject . . . tell me about the research and case studies you've done on this subject. . . from what I've read there are a lot of factors involved . . . genetics is one of them along with environment etc.


My Lord is merciful and just.

2357 "Homosexuality referes to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predoninant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. it has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, cf. Gen19:1-29 Rom 1:24-27 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. THEY DO NOT CHOOSE THEIR HOMOSEXUAL CONDITION (my emphasis) for most of them IT IS A TRIAL. They must accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from teir condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
(CCC)

This makes much more sense to me. . . It sounds more like the Lord I know.

V.J.

disciple
06-19-02, 05:26 PM
sounds like a way to be politically correct to me. much like the current pope's embracing of evolution and other such things. he also thinks that other religions such as buddhism and hinduism can offer salvation (or just through being good for that matter). it all sounds a little too fishy for me.

Victor Joseph
06-19-02, 06:04 PM
disciple. . .

Get the facts from the horses mouth. Read a Catholic history of the Constantine era. . . the Protestant Reformation. Read about the history of your beliefs. . . LOOK for gaps. Pray about it. (no warm fuzzy fealings) will suffice. You'll KNOW. And IF you come to KNOW that the Catholic Church is true. . . GO FOR IT brother.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

why do you treat me like i'm ignorant? are you assuming that i haven't read catholic history and documents? are you assuming i haven't read and considered early documents and evidence (i've read all the apostolic fathers, the apocrypha, Eusebius' church history, and many others)? are you assuming i haven't prayed? your advice sounds amazingly like the Mormon missionary's advice. they give their talks and then ask the communicant to pray to see if the Mormon church is the true church. (i'm not implying that you are part of a cult by this comment, i'm just making a statement).

All I'm saying here is that if one sees the truth of the catholic church they should go for it. . . .

I don't know what you've read disciple. . . I wouldn't call you ignorant . . . You have some very strong opinions. . . and I am in disagreement with some of what you say. . . I am in agreement on a lot of what you say. . . .I don't doubt you've read Church history . . . but by what source?

I don't know how anyone could read the Early Church Fathers and see Protestantism at work???? You talk about how what you believe is Apostolic . . . Do you have a Bishop above you? Do you esteem them highly? The Didiche offers a Church Manual on Baptism, Fast Days & Prayer, The Eucharist and the prayers to confect it . . . Does your congregation have any stipulations on who is allowed to partake? These Christians in the 1st century apparently did. And this is just the didiche. . .

Any way . . . I don't mean to be hostle. . . I just don't understand where you're comming from here.

Peace & good will. V.J.

Nay Nay
06-19-02, 06:47 PM
I have heard many argue that you can be born a homosexual. My problem is this: How can you know you're a homosexual from birth when you don't even know what SEX means until you are much older?

Does an infant really have sexual desires towards other infants? or a toddler another toddler? No of course not, they may imitate what they have seen but they do not get aroused or decide that they like boys more than girls at this point.

This comes much later in life and it becomes their choice to be gay or not. But how they are treated and raised and what they are subjected to will help to influence their choice.

I don't think however we should oust the Catholic's because their Priests were caught doing wickedness. Condoning it is anothr story entirely but you don't throw out the baby with the bath water.

Oh geesh I sound like my mother... :p

Victor Joseph
06-19-02, 07:24 PM
quote: NA/NA

"I have heard many argue that you can be born a homosexual. My problem is this: How can you know you're a homosexual from birth when you don't even know what SEX means until you are much older?

Does an infant really have sexual desires towards other infants? or a toddler another toddler? No of course not, they may imitate what they have seen but they do not get aroused or decide that they like boys more than girls at this point.

This comes much later in life and it becomes their choice to be gay or not. But how they are treated and raised and what they are subjected to will help to influence their choice. "

We don't know for sure. . . but some children are 'acting out' at a very early age. True. . . at some point the decision can be made to act out and live a 'gay' lifestyle. Others with this tendency Love and serve the Lord and just bare the trial. . . I know of several who do just this. The disposition is always there but they seek mastery of self BUT only with God's Grace.

"God. Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
The courage to change the things I can. . . and the wisdom to know the difference. . . . " Serenity Prayer

I think this is a pretty good attitude for a homosexual or sex addict to address his or her issue of recovery. Seems to be helping a lot of people that I know.

"I don't think however we should oust the Catholic's because their Priests were caught doing wickedness. Condoning it is anothr story entirely but you don't throw out the baby with the bath water.

Oh geesh I sound like my mother... "


Amen NA/NA would you mind expounding on this a bit?

In the Spirit. . . V.J.

Victor Joseph
06-19-02, 07:57 PM
disciple. . . did it ever occur to you that God is not limited in what he can do. . . . . but I think God could have had creatures 'evolve' and then at some point in that evolution imbued it with a soul. . .??? Politically correct??? I don't know if I've ever heard anyone call the Catholic Church politically correct. It's being attacked right and left. . . and we rejoice in it. . . Just watch. . . The Catholic Church will only become stronger. . . . salvation outside christianity. . ? again
my God is mercyful. . . I don't see the world in terms of black and white.

Have you read 'Dominus Iesus' . . . there is some truth in other religions that cannot be ignored though it differs from christianity.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000806_dominus-iesus_en.html

In Christ Our Lord. V.J.

Fledge
06-19-02, 11:11 PM
If you are going to believe in evolution in ANY way...fine...feel free. But do NOT blame God for it.


THEISTIC EVOLUTION AND THE GOSPEL

Creation versus Evolution. As the debate rages, there remain those who contend that they can subscribe to modern evolutionary theory and, at the same time believe in God's Good News as revealed in the Bible. Is this truly possible?
Theistic evolutionists claim that God created man by evolutionary processes; that is, man is said to have evolved from lower forms of life. If this were the case, then all life, including man and his presumed ancestors, would have been subject to death throughout history. This is because evolution depends on death
to weed out lesser fit organisms to make room for the development and refinement of surviving species. However, the Bible tells us that death came about as a result of sin. If Adam had not eaten of the forbidden fruit, if he had not fallen into a life of constant sin terminated by death, what need is there for
redemption? None! What all of this means is that we cannot give up the Genesis account of creation, but we could the doctrine of Geocentrism and get along.
Genesis 3 unmistakably asserts that death overcame man when he transgressed God's command. Death, according to Scripture, had no hold on man until some later period following his creation. This flies directly in the face of evolutionary theory. Still, theistic evolutionists may try to skirt these passages by regarding the opening portion of Genesis as non-historical. But such
recourse can only lead them to even more disastrous avenues. Theistic evolutionists can allegorize Genesis as much as they want, but to do so, they have to contend against Scripture itself. Paul, in such passages as Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15, clearly treats the Genesis account in historical terms and he speaks of human death as God's judgment on sin. It was for this very reason -- to answer for God's punishment for our sin -- that Christ died. This is the very heart of the Gospel. Quite frankly, Theistic Evolution, in my opinion, is a contradiction in terms, somewhat like talking about burning snowflakes.
But if human death were not God's judgment on sin, as theistic evolutionists would have to maintain, what then did Christ die for? Those clinging to evolutionary dogma would have to admit that Jesus lied when He claimed to die for our sins. Consequently, the atonement is robbed of all meaning, while the Gospel is hollowed to an empty shell. In their attempt to fuse evolutionary
theory with Scripture, theistic evolutionists only wind up perverting God's Good News into no news, as we remain dead in our sins.

Livinloud316
06-19-02, 11:59 PM
I don't see the world in terms of black and white.

seeing the world in gray can be a very dangerous thing Victor joseph, it can often lead to half-measures ad indifferance to sin

Livinloud316
06-20-02, 12:04 AM
and as to my opinion on catholicism, i bealieve that there are many ritualistic, sunday catholics, but there are also "sunday christians. 2 of the people i have grown up trusting with all matters close to my heart and spiritual are catholic. i did not even know until a few months ago that they were, and it changes nothing. so just because someone professes catholocism, it doesn't mean that their walk with the lord is and weaker than ours. it is the heart that God will view from the Bema seat, and none of us can look there. in the end, i would be willing to bet that as many "christians" will be in Hell as catholics, but that we wont find out till Judgement Day

disciple
06-20-02, 10:33 AM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
but by what source?
as many as possible since writings are tainted and biased by the perspective of the recorder. if you just read RC historians you'd obviously only get their persective. just look at the Mormon's (i keep bringing them up b/c my wife is ex-Mormon), they believe that J. Smith was a martyr (although one of their unread histories records that he went down with a six-shooter in hand). humans have an amazing knack for re-writing history and for giving revisionist histories to bolster their own position and beliefs. as i've told you, i've read Eusebius' church history, the apostolic fathers, much of the ante-nicene fathers, some post-nicene fathers, justo gonzalez (methodist i believe) church history, much of schaff's (presbyterian i believe) church history, and many many articles on the internet from numerous sources. i would wager that you've only read RC history from RC sources. if this is not accurate then i apologize. if it is, you should broaden your horizons.


I don't know how anyone could read the Early Church Fathers and see Protestantism at work???? You talk about how what you believe is Apostolic . . . Do you have a Bishop above you? Do you esteem them highly? The Didiche offers a Church Manual on Baptism, Fast Days & Prayer, The Eucharist and the prayers to confect it . . . Does your congregation have any stipulations on who is allowed to partake? These Christians in the 1st century apparently did. And this is just the didiche. . .
see there you go again. please cut the condescension. i never said i saw protestantism at work in the ECFs. that statement by itself really makes no sense. but what i do see is development and addition of new doctrines as the years go by. please tell me in the didache where you might find infant baptism. you won't and you can't because it's not there unless you put it there by reading later doctrines back into it. as i tried to make clear that apostolic is what is recorded by the apostles and by them alone. apostolic is what is recorded in the pages of the NT. that's where we get the clearest and best picture of what apostolic is and what the church is to do. we need no further clarification, no further revelation, and no external group to interpret it for us. it's there in plain black and white. to add anything to it is to denigrate it. why insert a middle man when we have the documents to read ourselves? plus the middle man you've inserted requires additional interpretation (where you need to consider the author, the audience, the context, the grammar and language, etc.). why not cut out the middle man and you'll get a much clearer picture. that's all that tradition does. it serves to muddy the waters. just look at Jesus words to the pharisees and their tradition. you approach this whole discussion believing you have the correct tradition...but do you?

Victor Joseph
06-20-02, 11:35 AM
disciple. . . I thought we we going to make an effort to find 'thicker skin."

quote: V.J.
quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
"I don't know how anyone could read the Early Church Fathers and see Protestantism at work???? You talk about how what you believe is Apostolic . . . Do you have a Bishop above you? Do you esteem them highly? The Didiche offers a Church Manual on Baptism, Fast Days & Prayer, The Eucharist and the prayers to confect it . . . Does your congregation have any stipulations on who is allowed to partake? These Christians in the 1st century apparently did. And this is just the didiche. . ."
------------------------------------------------------------------------

This question is heart felt and honest. . . I think I could pose this question to 100 Protestants and have but a handfull think I asked it with condescencion.

You have accused me of calling your position 'evil' in past posts or something a kin to it. I DO NOT. I'm not the best writer or speller and my tone it seems is often misinterpreted.

Infant Baptism. . . ? . . .perhaps another Thread is in order here. But I would reccomend Steve Ray's book 'Crossing the Tiber' for and excelent explanation
of Baptism in Scripture and the ancient Church.

quote: disciple
"humans have an amazing knack for re-writing history and for giving revisionist histories to bolster their own position and beliefs. "

You bet. . . I agree with you. We see it being re written every day in all kinds of media. "Hitler's Pope" is a good example. So it seems your position here is that no historical writtings have validity. . . or . . . just the ones that line up with your beliefs and prejuduces. We all have them. I'll admitt to mine.

You also ask me to broaden my horizons. . . why? All of it is tainted so some degree by time & intententions of the writer. How does anyone descern what is true? Sure I'd be open to reading multiple sources. But at this point the Holy Spirit has me doing other things.

Love in Christ Jesus. V.J.

P.S. By chance did you read 'Doninus Iesus'?

disciple
06-20-02, 11:48 AM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
Infant Baptism. . . ? . . .perhaps another Thread is in order here. But I would reccomend Steve Ray's book 'Crossing the Tiber' for and excelent explanation
of Baptism in Scripture and the ancient Church.
we're just talking about the didache here which you seem to emphasize so much. i know much about the history and progression of baptism and infant baptism. it's not this that i'm addressing but your readiness to put so much stock in a document of who's authorship is not even known. there are several other threads on this topic already.


So it seems your position here is that no historical writtings have validity. . . or . . . just the ones that line up with your beliefs and prejuduces. We all have them. I'll admitt to mine.
nice try. please don't attempt to interpret my position. if you want to know it just ask. i never said that historical writings have no validity. if i believed that then why would i care at all and why would i read any. i read a broad spectrum of history (and usually the source documents if possible) to try to get a good picture on what actually happened. my position is that they do not hold authority or at least authority from God. only Scripture carries this authority. so do you read more than your own tradition's history? and if you have read or read others do you read them with an open mind or do you approach them skeptically?


You also ask me to broaden my horizons. . . why? All of it is tainted so some degree by time & intententions of the writer. How does anyone descern what is true? Sure I'd be open to reading multiple sources. But at this point the Holy Spirit has me doing other things.
you read a broad spectrum to get a larger picture and a truer picture. reading history from one source is not helpful for this. it's like just trusting your 1st grade history book to give you all the correct and accurate details. there's way more to it than that.


P.S. By chance did you read 'Doninus Iesus'?
never heard of it (him).

Victor Joseph
06-20-02, 03:26 PM
disciple. . . you make an interesting point.

quote: disciple

"we're just talking about the didache here which you seem to emphasize so much. i know much about the history and progression of baptism and infant baptism. it's not this that i'm addressing but your readiness to put so much stock in a document of who's authorship is not even known. there are several other threads on this topic already. "

Baptism is an issue brought up in the Didiche. . . and thus topical.

I'm sure you know a lot. . . but I don't think you claim to know everything about Batptism or do you? I'm mearly suggesting a book by a man who I've heard talk, who holds no rancor toward his Evangelical roots. It's well documented and accurately footnoted.

As for putting stock in a document with of who's authorship is not known. . . Of course you know several books of the Bible fit that bill brother disciple. . . I think all we christians have to look to Tradition in order to see those names. . .. . . I think the real issue is authority and who had the authority to compile those books.

More later. <{{< In all humility V.J.

Victor Joseph
06-20-02, 04:00 PM
disciple. . .

quote: disciple

"nice try. please don't attempt to interpret my position. if you want to know it just ask. i never said that historical writings have no validity. if i believed that then why would i care at all and why would i read any. i read a broad spectrum of history (and usually the source documents if possible) to try to get a good picture on what actually happened. my position is that they do not hold authority or at least authority from God. only Scripture carries this authority."

"nice try". . . what does that mean?

As for interpreting positions. . . you seem to ascribe evil intent on my part.
Fact: You speak a foreign language to me. . . I trying to understand it.
Thus far. . . I don't see the logic to it. Its foundation seems vague and those who speak it seem to mean something different depending who I'm speaking with. . . Keep talking disciple. . . I'm listening and I'm asking.

quote: disciple
"my position is that they (early christian writings) do not hold authority or at least authority from God. only Scripture carries this authority."

The Bible doesn't say this.

I've put forth what seem like 21 good Reasons to reject Sola Scriptura. . . Why not pick the one you are best prepared to defend.

Here's a good site: www.cin.org/users/james/files/necessit.J

Peace of Christ. V.J.

disciple
06-20-02, 04:45 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
"nice try". . . what does that mean?
if you are unsure what i'm exactly saying just ask. i never said history has no validity whatsoever. i would just appreciate you asking next time instead of stating it as if it is fact and as if i said it. it seemed that you were trying to interpret what i said and this you did incorrectly. anyway, sorry for the sarcasm.


The Bible doesn't say this.
where does the Scripture say that history and other writings carry authority from God? where do we find that this is authority? and i don't think the three verses about tradition cut it. are there any others?


I've put forth what seem like 21 good Reasons to reject Sola Scriptura. . . Why not pick the one you are best prepared to defend.
i thought i'd already addressed in the Scripture. you also have failed to answer my treatment of the Scriptures on this matter. i'll see if i can't find your 21 reasons and answer them for you. please give me a bit.

Victor Joseph
06-20-02, 05:33 PM
disciple. . .

I too beg patience from you. . . I'm not trying to evade. . . I may not have a good answer at the moment you ask a question or bring up a good point.
Remind me if I forget something.

quote: disciple
"i thought i'd already addressed in the Scripture. (Sola Scriptura) you also have failed to answer my treatment of the Scriptures on this matter."

I don't see it (Sola Scriptura) taught explicitly in the Word of God. Perhaps a good analogy would be when I asked you a while back what the Bible would have to say for you to believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
It's just not there for me. . . Thought another rout was in order. . . so let's look at the 21 Reasons and see if you or any one else finds some validity in them.

Peace and Joy. V.J.

countrymouse
06-20-02, 05:52 PM
Victor Joseph,

Would you be willing to provide a link to your post containing the 21 reasons? I spent several minutes looking for it, with no luck. I'm sure we would all appreciate it!

Thanks,
cm

countrymouse
06-20-02, 06:02 PM
I just found an article with some encouraging news about the Catholic rank and file membership:

http://www.tompaine.com/feature.cfm/ID/5823

Looks as though the people are speaking up!

Nay Nay
06-20-02, 08:00 PM
Amen NA/NA would you mind expounding on this a bit?


Sure thing Victor Joseph, but first tell me what "expounding" means ;)



:D

Victor Joseph
06-21-02, 12:35 PM
Hello NA/NA

If you could go into more detail, clarify. . .

Peace and Joy in knowing the Lord. V.J.

Nay Nay
06-21-02, 12:39 PM
Is sarcasm dead?









ok I will elaborate, expound, clarify but not right now I don't have the time....


Oh the anticipation!!!!!!!!

Victor Joseph
06-21-02, 01:00 PM
Hello countrymouse.

I did go to that website. . .

As much as Protestants would like to see the Catholic Church go away. . . and as much as many would want to believe that the the Catholic Bishops are corrupt from the top down and care about nothing but filling coffers . . . my experience is that the vast majority of them are 'humble sevants of God'. . . . . and are often 'embarassed' by what they've inherrited in terms of worldly surroundings. . . It does take money to pay the light bills etc. The reality is that many Catholic archdiocese were cash poor before scandle landed on our doorstep. No doubt the Catholic People would like to see change implimented. . . how some are going about it is questionable and may harm to the needy. . .no one wants to see children abused. . . however the CC is not a democracy. . . it's a Theocracy. God will take care of things. . .

21 Reasons is not a website as far as I know. . . It is a booklet by Joel Peters entitled Scripture Alone? 21 Reasons to Reject Sola Scriptura. TAN press.

Later. . . peace . V.J.

Victor Joseph
06-21-02, 02:40 PM
disciple. . .

quote: disciple
"where does the Scripture say that history and other writings carry authority from God? where do we find that this is authority? and i don't think the three verses about tradition cut it. are there any others?"

This quote begs 'Sola Scriptura'. . . the Bible itself is an historical document in many respects. . . Your issue appears to be with the authority who wrote, compiled it and declared it 'Scripture' and has defended and guarded the 'Word' in all its forms for nearly 2000 years.
. . . and there is plenty of evidence for a visible Church and Sacred Traditon.
Get all the facts available. . .decide for yourself.

Got to go. . .V.J. <{{<

Victor Joseph
06-21-02, 03:29 PM
disciple. . .

Please don't think I'm defending the Gay lifestyle. . .but I will attempt to defend a 'homosexual' living chastely.

re: quote :disciple
"Notice that the bible does say practicing homosexuals but just
homosexuals."

King David was an adulterer. . . persistent? Does it matter? Was he forgiven? Fornicators???? . . . persistent or repentant??? Can repentant fornicators be justified. . . how about repentant homosexuals???

Paul goes on to say ". . .though I formerly blasphemed and persecuted (he received mercy & grace) vs. 15 (Christ came into the world to save sinners). . . foremost of sinners" (he hopes for Jesus' patience).

I pray for that same patience for myself and someone who struggles with homosexuality.

Be kind in the Lord. V.J.

Chris
06-21-02, 03:47 PM
Cult translates as what in the New Testament? The closest I can find is translated as sect or heresy in the KJV. The Greek word is haireesis where we get our English word heresy from. That would be Strongs # 159 in the concordance. Acts 5:17, Acts 15:5, Acts 24:5, Acts 24:14, Acts 26:5, Acts 28:22, 1 Cor 11:19, Gal 5:20 Work of the flesh), 2Peter 2:1.The word is applied to a sect of the pharisees that believed who promoted circumcision in the church. Paul refers to the worship of the god of his fathers as being called a heresy. (cult?) The Saducees are also called a sect. Jude makes general reference to those crept in unawares (in the church) who are like Balaam, Cain or Core but not specifically as a sect. Jesus illustrates how to meet the wickedness of such in the church. Leaving the church seems to apply to Babylon the Harlot as a church or ekklesia who is drunk with the blood of the saints that men may not be partakers of her sins as she prostitutes herself with the kings of the earth. Aholilah and Aholibah of Ezekiel are prostitutes who resemble Israel and Judah and have no failing passing resemblance to the Harlot of Revelation. It appears that we can only be a remanent saved by grace living in the world but not of the world. The road to salvation is the way of Jesus Christ with the cleansing baptism of the spirit of truth. Catholicism has made many martyrs but cannot canonize or hallow them all because the father, son and holy spirit seal them apart from man's whim. Like Babylon of old was the instrument of God's punishment for Israel, so all denominationalism must beware that the instrument must not think itself greater than it's wielder or creator. Righteousness does not come through denominalationism but by faith in the son of God as Sola Scriptura indicates but if God does not forget a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, his memory by far exceeds mine and the glory I give to him, for every denominalationist who offers that water. The righteous have no need of salvation.

countrymouse
06-21-02, 05:23 PM
Hi, V.J.

I misunderstood and thought that perhaps you had previously posted a list or copy of the 21 reasons.

I find the news that Roman Catholic laity are finally beginning to demand accountability refreshing and encouraging. I agree that God takes care of things such as this. Where we differ has to do with how He might go about it. Exposing the corruption may, in fact, be the way God is taking care of it! I feel the same way about corruption among fundamentalist clergy and t.v. evangelists.

Under the New Covenant, all believers are accountable to one another; the leaders are accountable to the people just as much as the people are accountable to the leaders. That's what I find both in the New Testament and in the writings left to us by the early Church. The New Covenant Theocracy is not identical to the Old Covenant one.

Grace and Peace,
cm

Chris
06-22-02, 09:05 AM
Jude 12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you feeding themselves without fear; clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;.............

These are not salvable people in the judgement of God but as I judge, so will I be judged and at least they are some kind of undesireable company if not actual church members.

1Tim 1:15..This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Paul goes on to say why he received mercy.

Re Samaria and Jerusalem and the Catholic church or the protestant churches,see Ezekiel 16 and 23 and Revelation 17 and 18.
Particularly Ezekiel 16:49 says:
Eze 16:49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.



To much riches, idolatry, mammonism (luke 16) and the final result quoted is neglect of the poor and the needy.



God reiterates his theme throughout OT and new. Not to forget the needy.
It is said re Sodom and Gomorra, Samaria, Jerusalem, to Nebuchadrezzar by Daniel, in Torah and throughout. To gentile nations and Israel alike without racial prejudice.
Instead each so called Christian sect mainly chooses the path of the flesh.
The goats are cast into the lake of fire reserved for the devil and his angels.
In the parable of the sheep and the goats, God judges on a case by case basis. So I expect we must judge which are the doctrines of devils but leave the final judgement to him on a case by case basis. Revelation does not mention churches being thrown en masse into the lake of fire but whosever was not found written in the book of life.

Paul traces the seed of promise as "as a tender plant and as a root out of dry ground". (Is53:2) If any church falls, Catholic or Protestant, it would not be suffering an unusual theological fate since Jerusalem and Samaria suffered that fate in common because they failed in their covenant promises.

Victor Joseph
06-22-02, 12:50 PM
Hello Chris. . . I think I would tend to agree with you about individuals being judged. . . but I guess I'm not sure where you're going with the

quote: Chris
"To much riches, idolatry, mammonism (luke 16) and the final result quoted is neglect of the poor and the needy.



God reiterates his theme throughout OT and new. Not to forget the needy. "

Is there some group you are pointing a finger at?

Peace and Joy in Christ Jesus. V.J.

Chris
06-23-02, 08:33 AM
Isa 58:9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I [am]. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
Isa 58:10 And [if] thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness as the noonday:
Isa 58:11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

Verse 9 makes it clear I should not be an oppressor or put forth my finger or speak vanity. Verses 10 and 11 reinforce my previous point about the proper relationship between God's church and the hungry and afflicted soul.

The word says I would be a sinner to point the finger if I did not first point it at myself. 1Cor 5:13, Matt7:1-5

Re the hungry and afflicted soul: Dan4:1-37, specifically
Dan 4:27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and [B]break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.
Daniel most solicitously seeks the welfare of the King of Babylon, at the same time interpreting the kings dream in 25 and 26.
Apparently this standard of righteousness is even applied to judgment of the kingdoms of this world. How much moreso will God apply it to us that profess to believe in him.




To stay on topic re catholicism ,whether it is a sect or not, there would be a point where discourse would amount to speaking vanity. The works of Sister Theresa or the inumerable canonized and uncanonized saints of catholicism speak for themselves. Those works largely reveal the righteousness of God. They were not "going about to establish their own righteousness". Rom10:3
Their works sprang from the word of faith.
Also the works of the self appointed inquisitors and tormenters speak for themselves as them being "drunken with the blood of the saints". eg The Pope apologized to Judaism for the unrighteous acts of countless Catholics.

Again remnant theology (Romans 11:1 >11:5) must prevail. The works of those persecutors speak for themselves. The judgment of God came on Jerusalem in 70 AD. for not knowing "the time of their visitation" Luke19:44
but a remnant was saved. Matt24:37
Matt. 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
When we pray "thy kingdom come" , bear in mind that the blessing is for the poor and the riches are from God. "A rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of god" Matt 19:23 because no man can serve 2 masters. Luke 16:13. He will either hate one or love the other.

Nay Nay
06-23-02, 05:55 PM
Vic-Jo:

Expounding away...

(Nay's quote)
I don't think however we should oust the Catholic's because their Priests were caught doing wickedness. Condoning it is anothr story entirely but you don't throw out the baby with the bath water.


I'm not sure what wasn't clear but maybe it's just because I understand myself :p

Ok, first of all I meant that the sort of immorality that occured within a particular Catholic Church by a Priest, doesn't mean the whole Catholic Religion is bad, we could say the same for any other denomination/Religion that has been caught and exploited by the media for their sinful acts to children.

Don't get me wrong I think it's beyond evil and God will surely judge the individuals who practice such things.

I have heard (though not by my own ears) that some of the churches are justifying or condoning what the Priest's did, THAT (if true) I have a problem with. Even though the person has truly repented and is forgiven by God and the congregation, does not mean the consequences should be swept under the carpet and the Priest should get a slap on the wrist. He should be fired from his position because he has forsaken the origin of his calling. Not to mention he should go to jail for the crime just as anyone else would. (obeying the laws of the land)

My problem with any Religion is the "doctrine" if it isn't Biblical (sound), I don't buy it and I am not going to rely on some man telling me that I need a separate book to fully understand what I believe because I think no book is more complete than the Holy Word of God and it needen't any help from someone elses theory or opinions. I don't care if Billy Graham or John Calvin said it, it must stand up and be tested by the Word of God, there is no other authority worthy.

Victor Joseph
06-24-02, 12:45 PM
Peace to you NA/NA

Thank you for your sympathetic stance.

Any church leader with authority will be 'judged' more harshly.

re: quote: NA/NA
"I have heard (though not by my own ears) that some of the churches are justifying or condoning what the Priest's did, THAT (if true) I have a problem with."

What 'churche(s)' are you refering to? I don't know of any who are. And as for the Catholic Church condoning such sinful behavior. . . no way! Let's all be careful about what we say. . . trying to get our information from the horses mouth.

re: quote: NA/NA

"My problem with any Religion is the "doctrine" if it isn't Biblical (sound), I don't buy it and I am not going to rely on some man telling me that I need a separate book to fully understand what I believe because I think no book is more complete than the Holy Word of God and it needen't any help from someone elses theory or opinions. I don't care if Billy Graham or John Calvin said it, it must stand up and be tested by the Word of God, there is no other authority worthy."

Are you saying you 'fully' understand by reading just the Bible. . . my hunch is that you read other sources as well that influence your thinking re: doctrine.

re: some 'man' . . . dare I say you are refering to the Pope? If Jesus established this office . . . which I believe he did. . . looking at Biblical and historical evidence. . . giveing Peter the "keys" to His Kingdom and the "power to bind on Earth and in Heaven and ensuring that the power of hell wouldn't prevail over His Church. . . which it hasn't in 2000 years in spite of the sins of it's members. . . perhaps one should dig deeper for Truth."

I would contend that no christians used the Bible alone theory prior to the Protestants comming on the scene.

Can you point to some some Catholic doctrine that you believe not to be Biblically sound?

And can someone please explain to me why the word 'religion' seems to be a 'four letter word' in many Protestant circles. . .




Know we have peace in Christ Jesus. V.J.

aletheo
06-24-02, 02:02 PM
and no Protestants, practically speaking, use the 'sola scriptura' theory since then either!

disciple
06-24-02, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by aletheo
and no Protestants, practically speaking, use the 'sola scriptura' theory since then either!
??

disciple
06-24-02, 02:43 PM
VJ- could you please repost those 21 reasons to reject sola scriptura again? i looked a little and couldn't find them (and i think that CM did too). thanks!

Victor Joseph
06-24-02, 04:42 PM
disciple . . . here are the 21 reasons you requested I repost.

I know you have touched on some of these in the past. . . but in all honesty it seems like you. . . at times, make some pretty big 'jumps' and it's hard for me to follow. . . I'd be glad to follow them up a bit at a time.

Peace in the Lord. V.J.

21 REASONS TO REJECT 'SOLA SCRIPTURA'

1. It's not taught anywhere in the Bible

2. The Bible Indicates that in Addition to the Written Word, we are to Accept Oral Tradition.

3. The Bible Calls the 'Church' and not the Bible the Pillar and Ground of the Truth"

4. Christ Tells us to submit to the Authority of the Church.

5. Scripture itself states that it is insufficient of itself as a teacher, but rather needs and interpreter.

6. The first Christians did not have a complete Bible.

7. The Church produced the Bible and not vice-versa.

8. The idea of Scriptures' authority existing apart from the authority of the teaching church is utterly foreign to the early church.

9. Heresiarchs and heretical movements based there doctrines on Scripture interpreted apart from tradition and the Magesterium.

10. The Canon of the Bible was not settled until the 4th century.

11. An 'extra-Biblical' Authority identified the Canon of the Bible.

12. The belief that Scripture is 'self authenticating' does not hold up under examination.

13. None of the original Biblical Manuscripts is extant.

14. The biblical manuscripts contain thousands of variations.

15. There are hundreds of Bible versions.

16. The Bible was not available to individual believers until the 15th century.

17. The doctrine of Sola Scriptura did not exist prior to the 14th century.

18. The doctrine produces 'bad fruit'. . . division and disunity.

19 The Doctrine of Sola Scriptura does not allow for a final, difinitive interpretation of any given passage of Scripture.

20. The Protestant Bible is missing 7 entire books.

21. The Doctrine of Sola Scriptura had its source in Luther's own emotional problems.

disciple
06-24-02, 05:04 PM
thanks VJ. i appreciate your patience...

Nay Nay
06-25-02, 01:51 PM
VictorJoe:

My point about "what I have heard" was just that. I haven't heard it for myself from the churches only from the media on television. So I agree with you, I don't believe it unless I hear it straight from the accused.

As for my earlier comment:

re: quote: NA/NA

"My problem with any Religion is the "doctrine" if it isn't Biblical (sound), I don't buy it and I am not going to rely on some man telling me that I need a separate book to fully understand what I believe because I think no book is more complete than the Holy Word of God and it needen't any help from someone elses theory or opinions. I don't care if Billy Graham or John Calvin said it, it must stand up and be tested by the Word of God, there is no other authority worthy."

Are you saying you 'fully' understand by reading just the Bible. . . my hunch is that you read other sources as well that influence your thinking re: doctrine.

To answer you, No of course I am not saying that. I do read other books or sources that could be of some use in my walk with Christ and I use concordances in Greek/Hebrew and I even read other material written by Christian authors.

Do I fully understand the Bible? The Gospel is simple to me, and yes I do fully understand it. However just like Paul I can not say that I have obtained all understanding, I only have it in the measure God grants it to me just like His grace. But as God says "If any lacks wisdom, let him ask and he will receieve" Wisdom is the ability and understanding of how to apply Biblical principles to our daily lives" and of course God can lead me towards other books that compliment the Bible but not change or alter it's doctrine.

My comment was directed towards "theological doctrines" which don't fully follow Biblical doctrinal truth but rather are mere opinions and interpretations by mere man.

Aboslutely NOT, I wasn't referring to "the Pope" however much I don't quite understand the need for one, I do very much respect him as a person because of the integrity the position has held for the Catholic Religion.

Once again to clarify what I think you misunderstood, I was referring to just the common person that has been elevated through certain religious circles like "Billy Graham" "John Calvin" "Brigham Young" etc... these are people who have greatly influenced others to believe what they do. Their words, their quotes, their prophecies (if you will) must all be tested by the Word of God. I can tell you aboslutely for certain that "Brigham Young/Joseph Smith" have come up way short when it comes to proving their theories by using the Word of God, so much in fact their religion requires a totally separate book "The Book of Mormon" to validate their theology.
I still need to do more research on John Calvin, I don't find too many resources on him that are current. Billy Graham of course is alive and kicking and I have yet to hear him preach unsound doctrine according to using the Bible as the "scale of truth" so I am fine with what he has said so far (although I wouldn't say he isn't failable).

Well I have said a mouthful or is that a keyboard full? anyways...
until next time...

Be Blessed....

disciple
06-25-02, 02:43 PM
21 REASONS TO REJECT 'SOLA SCRIPTURA'

1. It's not taught anywhere in the Bible
this begs the question. you have not responded to what i posted about how Jesus and the Apostles viewed the written word of God.

2. The Bible Indicates that in Addition to the Written Word, we are to Accept Oral Tradition.
i assume you're referring to 1 Co 11:2, 2 Th 2:15, 3:6. well you haven't really shown that this tradition is the tradition your hold to and you haven't shown that this tradition is something in addition to or separate from the written word. again, this begs the question.

3. The Bible Calls the 'Church' and not the Bible the Pillar and Ground of the Truth"
yes but the Scripture also calls Christ (john 14:6) the truth and God's word the truth (john 17:17). we can't just pick the one we like. of course the church is going to uphold the truth. but this also begs the question and neither have you defined Church. church to you is the RC church and not the fellowship of believers and all who in every place call upon the Lord (1 co 1:2).

4. Christ Tells us to submit to the Authority of the Church.
again this begs the question what is the Church. to you it is the RC church or some visible heirarchy. Scripture sees it as the gathering of believers and individuals which He purchased with His blood (acts 20:28; 1 co 1:2; 1 co 11:18). the church in Scripture is the assembly of the faithful. you see this as having to submit to the authority of the RC or what you see has the historical Church heirarchy...correct? please show this from Scripture.

5. Scripture itself states that it is insufficient of itself as a teacher, but rather needs and interpreter.
where? if you're referring to acts 8 with the ethiopian eunuch it is not Scripture that is deficient but the eunuch's understanding. Scripture is sufficient but our understanding of it is what is deficient. a very important distinction.

6. The first Christians did not have a complete Bible.
then what did the OT saints do? of course they didn't have a complete bible but it is the revelation that God has given in His written word that is sufficient and not the current Bible. in fact, paul in 2 tim 3:15 tells timothy that the OT writings were able to give the wisdom that leads to salvation. so there is nothing that suggests that the word of God is somehow deficient and impotent to provide the believe with what he/she needs.

7. The Church produced the Bible and not vice-versa.
God produced the Bible through human authors who were believers. also this is a lose-lose argument (as is this whole 21 questions) because what you believe the Church is.

8. The idea of Scriptures' authority existing apart from the authority of the teaching church is utterly foreign to the early church.
this begs the question. you have not answered my post of the way Jesus and the Apostles viewed the written revelation of God. the word of God has its own authority because it is the word of God. His word is truth. the Scripture is clear in its testimony about its own validity and authority. it is authoritative not because of the people who interpret it but because of the God who gave it. i'm at a loss as to what you don't understand about this.

9. Heresiarchs and heretical movements based there doctrines on Scripture interpreted apart from tradition and the Magesterium.
they also had their own books or took away books that were accepted by all as apostolic and inspired. also, many of them could show that they were taught by an apostle. just look at the church at galatia. they were denying and distorting the very gospel that Paul gave to them. they could show apostolic succession. what do you do with that situation?

10. The Canon of the Bible was not settled until the 4th century.
see #6

11. An 'extra-Biblical' Authority identified the Canon of the Bible.
to silence the heretics, they settled on the collection of apostolic writings that were already accepted by the community of faith. it was a confirmation of what was already accepted. i'm not sure how this negates Sola Scriptura.

12. The belief that Scripture is 'self authenticating' does not hold up under examination.
why not? this again begs the question.

13. None of the original Biblical Manuscripts is extant.
and? do we need the originals to know that it is actually God's word? God gave His word to us in written form and He is able to preserve it. i'm not sure how this negates Sola Scriptura.

14. The biblical manuscripts contain thousands of variations.
true. but among all those very minor grammatical differences (many of which are just accents, capitals, etc.) not one biblical doctrine is affected. there are thousands of manuscripts and fragments and they agree 98%. some scholars even give a number closer to 99%. this does nothing to Sola Scriptura.

15. There are hundreds of Bible versions.
i'm not sure why this is here. who cares how many different translations there are (if this is what you mean)? this does nothing whatsoever to Sola Scriptura.

16. The Bible was not available to individual believers until the 15th century.
really? do you have evidence of this? i think you're mistaken here (in fact there were even english versions in the 13th or 14th century i believe; before this there was the Greek in the east and the Latin Vulgate in the west).

17. The doctrine of Sola Scriptura did not exist prior to the 14th century.
this begs the question. i'm not sure why this is even here. Sola Scriptura as far as i can tell was held by even the apostolic fathers (see my earlier posts).

18. The doctrine produces 'bad fruit'. . . division and disunity.
i don't think i even need to answer this one. this is totally subjective. i see something completely different than you. on this board alone we have baptists, methodists, home church, presbyterians, reformed, charismatics and we all agree on such essentials and interpretation of the Scriptures as to who God is, how one is saved, and what the gospel is. so where you see disunity i see perfect unity in the essentials and liberty in the nonessentials. it's like melanchthon said, "in essentials, unity. in non-essentials, liberty. in all things, charity."

19 The Doctrine of Sola Scriptura does not allow for a final, difinitive interpretation of any given passage of Scripture.
why not? besides the doctrine of Sola Scriptura has nothing to do with our deficiency in understanding or coming to a definitive interpretation of it. Scripture is sufficient whether or not we understand it fully or not. just looking at our exchange here it seems that you even struggle with this (interpretation) even though supposedly all those questions should be answered by your church authority.

20. The Protestant Bible is missing 7 entire books.
uhh...lemme guess: the apocrypha. these are not of inspired by God and were never accepted as inspired until some time around the reformation. they are filled with errors and false doctrine. Jesus and the apostles never quote from them and neither do the apostolic fathers as far as i know. these were also never accepted by OT saints as authoritative and inspired. this also does nothing to Sola Scriptura.

21. The Doctrine of Sola Scriptura had its source in Luther's own emotional problems.
hmmm. really? so this was only held by Luther? what about people like hus, tyndale, wycliffe, zwingli, calvin, the anabaptists, etc. and the swiss reformation? there's way more to the reformation that just luther...i hope you can understand and appreciate that much. and it was not invented by him either. i'm not sure how this is even accurate and why it is even here as a reason to reject Sola Scriptura. this does nothing to Sola Scriptura.

disciple
06-26-02, 11:42 AM
VJ-
i asked my mom why she left the RC church the other day and asked specifically about the "real presence" bit. the gist of what she said was that it was a process. she married a non-catholic (who really wasn't religious) whose parents were protestant. she kept returning to the RC church off and on all my years growing up. she said the reason she kept going back was because of the guilt and works. the reason she finally left is because she grew weary of the ritual and the deadness of it. she constantly had guilt that was never removed by going to the priest, mass, etc. so she said the "real presence" was not hard for her to leave as the biggest problem was the dead ritual and that it didn't offer true forgiveness and freedom from guilt. she felt that the "real presence" was found elsewhere and not in the RC church. hope this answers your question. thanks.
doug

Victor Joseph
06-26-02, 12:30 PM
disciple. . .

re; your mother. I hear this a lot from people who have left the Catholic Church. Often times they become the most ardent of anti-Catholics. My guess is that if you take a poll where you attend perhaps up to half are ex-Catholics.

As for the guilt factor. . . explain this to me. . . what do you do when you have offended God? What is your . . . dare I say 'ritual' for this matter? Are you going to tell me that once a person accepts Jesus as personal Lord and Savior you never experience 'guilt?' I would find this hard to believe. . . that walking an aisle. . . saying a prayer. . . etc. does it for most Protestants. In fact I know of a Protestant pastor. . . Steve Wood (who later converted along with Scott Hahn and others). . . would attest to the fact that many in his congregation were racked with guilt about all kinds of issues.

I could go on and on about the peace I experience after partaking of the sacrament of Reconcilliation. . . I believe that since Jesus was both God and man He understood 'completely' the universal human need to hear the words. . . 'you are forgiven. . . go in peace." Knowing that it is Jesus doing the forgiveing and not the man. Any burden of guilt I was carrying literally 'drains' from me. . .

The Mass is another matter. . . I don't believe it to be an empty ritual at all. In fact what takes place is patterned after the worship in the Book or Revelation.

Is it true that this book was targeted for removal by some of the reformers?

What do you have against the Mass as you understand it?

Peace in Christ Jesus. V.J.

disciple
06-26-02, 12:57 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
re; your mother. I hear this a lot from people who have left the Catholic Church. Often times they become the most ardent of anti-Catholics. My guess is that if you take a poll where you attend perhaps up to half are ex-Catholics.
i doubt it. there are actually very few. just a small handful out of 600+ i think. anyway, i was just relaying to you what she said in answer to your question. i don't want to argue about it or didn't expect justification...i was just relaying what my mother said. and she's not anti-catholic and neither am i.


what do you do when you have offended God? What is your . . . dare I say 'ritual' for this matter?
prayer. crying. confession and reconciliation to the person offended. different every time but always involves confession because that is the vehicle for forgiveness through the blood of Christ.


Are you going to tell me that once a person accepts Jesus as personal Lord and Savior you never experience 'guilt?'
again, i was just relaying to you what my mother said in answer to your question. this is what she said...there's no sense arguing about it is there?


I could go on and on about the peace I experience after partaking of the sacrament of Reconcilliation. . . I believe that since Jesus was both God and man He understood 'completely' the universal human need to hear the words. . . 'you are forgiven. . . go in peace." Knowing that it is Jesus doing the forgiveing and not the man. Any burden of guilt I was carrying literally 'drains' from me. . .
well she seemed to believe that no guilt was removed. she alluded to the fact that it was was a system of works and there was no relationship and no removal of guilt no matter how much she said her hail marys, went to confession, and attended mass. nothing to argue about...this is just what she said.


The Mass is another matter. . . I don't believe it to be an empty ritual at all. In fact what takes place is patterned after the worship in the Book or Revelation.

Is it true that this book was targeted for removal by some of the reformers?
i have no idea. do you have evidence that they did? but i cannot see how you can see eating Jesus' literal body and drinking His literal blood in this book. that's an amazing assertion IMHO. in fact, He said He'd eat and drink it together with them in the kingdom. is He going to be eating His own flesh and drinking His own blood? i really doubt it...again i think you've missed the metaphor.


What do you have against the Mass as you understand it?
haven't we been through this before? there is only one sacrifice and that was the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. it's done, over, complete, etc. and it fully paid the price for sin once and for all. no need for some re-enactment or more atonement/propitiation. God's holy requirement has been met and His wrath is turned aside for His own. do you want to go over this again?

Nay Nay
06-26-02, 01:09 PM
VictorJoseph:

This isn't exactly following the last couple of discussions we have had here but I had a question for you about the "catholic beliefs"

I ran into a young lady online at another MB who says she is of
the Catholic faith and she believes that Mary was sinless, is it just what some teach or is this a general belief?

Victor Joseph
06-26-02, 02:49 PM
disciple. . .

You don't want to discuss matter. . . this seems evidence of a great deal of pride and condescention on your part. . . "I have spoken on this matter. . . nothing more need be said. . ." I thought this was a forum for discussion to arm the believer in Christ etc. I was merely trying to connect with you on this subject. . . and forgive me if I sounded sarcastic. I'm trying to make a point.


quote: disciple
"prayer. crying. confession and reconciliation to the person offended. different every time but always involves confession because that is the vehicle for forgiveness through the blood of Christ."

Are you saying that prayer comes before a feeling of 'guilt'. . . I'm sorry. . . I don't think you're being honest with yourself here. The issue of guilt and how it's aleaviated. . .. is pertinant to our discussion from my perspective. . . . And Confession to whome. . .?
Could you explain?

As for my quote about a large number evangelical protestants being ex-Catholics I could probably come up with some statistics on this. . . but I'm not sure this matters much to you. But it seems that you are quite aware of this not beeing the case where your attend.


quote: disciple etc.
"Is it true that this book was targeted for removal by some of the reformers?
------------------------------------------------------------------------

"i have no idea. do you have evidence that they did?"

I could look it up. . . but I've heard that Luther wanted to remove a number of books from the canon . . . I think it's the "September Bible". . . and a fellow named (Philip Ma-lang-ton) . . . changed his mind because the people who were reading this 'new' version were upset. . . any way that's what this Catholic Christian heard.

disciple
06-26-02, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
You don't want to discuss matter. . . this seems evidence of a great deal of pride and condescention on your part. . . "I have spoken on this matter. . . nothing more need be said. . ." I thought this was a forum for discussion to arm the believer in Christ etc. I was merely trying to connect with you on this subject. . . and forgive me if I sounded sarcastic. I'm trying to make a point.
i'm not sure what you're referring to here. all i'm saying is that i thought we already talked about this very thing and we discussed it in much depth. we went through the book of hebrews, etc. i just was wondering if you remembered. i'm just sensing a bit of defensiveness from you and not sarcasm.


Are you saying that prayer comes before a feeling of 'guilt'. . . I'm sorry. . . I don't think you're being honest with yourself here. The issue of guilt and how it's aleaviated. . .. is pertinant to our discussion from my perspective. . . . And Confession to whome. . .?
Could you explain?
sorry...obviously the prayer of confession follows a feeling of guilt. i didn't intentionally leave it out...just thought it is implied in confession. but as a Christian we shouldn't feel guilt to the point that we must atone for our own sins. Christ did all the atoning necessary and anything we try to do to atone for our sins will just serve to blaspheme God and be an attempt to denigrate the finished work of Christ.


I could look it up. . . but I've heard that Luther wanted to remove a number of books from the canon . . . I think it's the "September Bible". . . and a fellow named (Philip Ma-lang-ton) . . . changed his mind because the people who were reading this 'new' version were upset. . . any way that's what this Catholic Christian heard.
the only book i know of is the book of james which he called an epistle of straw. the person you're thinking of is philip melanchthon. still not sure what the book of revelation has to do with the RC mass. perhaps you could fill us in.

Victor Joseph
06-26-02, 04:20 PM
Hello Na Na:

re: quote:
"Nay Nay

"I ran into a young lady online at another MB who says she is of
the Catholic faith and she believes that Mary was sinless, is it just what some teach or is this a general belief?"

You are touching on what I hear is the toughest issue for a Protestant inquiring about Catholic Beliefs & Practices. . .

This is officially defined Dogma. On Dec. 8, 1854 Pope Pius IX officially defined that "the most Holy Virgin Mary was, in the first moment of her conception, by a unique gift of grace and privilage of Almighty God and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ the Redeemer of mankind, preserved free from all stain of original sin." Bull Ineffabilis Deus.

Let me try to explain. . .

1) Mary was preserved from original sin from the first moment of her existence.

2) The Immaculate Conception only deals with original sin. However, the Church also teaches the doctrine that Mary was never touched by personal sin.

3) This privilege was given to Mary in view of Christ's merits. Jesus was Mary's Savior. She was redeemed by Jesus Christ just as we are, except that Mary's redemption was unique: it was 'proactive' redemption. The fruit of Christ's redemption was applied to 'preserve' Mary from sin, as it applied to us to remove sins contracted.. . . so we are talking about 2 types of redemption. . .one that preserves from sin and one that cleanses from sin.

Peace & Joy in Christ Jesus. V.J.


__________________

Victor Joseph
06-26-02, 05:55 PM
disciple. . . Know that I want to see you in heaven. . . and my intentions are good. . .

I know we've gone over some of this stuff ie. Hebrews but I'm not always prepareded fore a response. . . try not to assume that because I haven't responded right away that there is no good Catholic answer. . . scriptural or other wise.

quote: disciple
"sorry...obviously the prayer of confession follows a feeling of guilt. i didn't intentionally leave it out...just thought it is implied in confession. but as a Christian we shouldn't feel guilt to the point that we must atone for our own sins. Christ did all the atoning necessary and anything we try to do to atone for our sins will just serve to blaspheme God and be an attempt to denigrate the finished work of Christ."

There's a lot here. . . can I jump ahead here and assume that you believe the Catholic Church 'blasphemes' God. . . perhaps by the Mass as you understand it?

You read a lot. . . have you read Scott Hahn? How about the conversion story of Rosalind Moss. . .?

Mr. Hahn as you probably know was a Protestant pastor who converted to the Catholic faith after a gut wrenching struggle with Scripture and his peers. He has helped countless protestants understand the Catholic Church better and thus reduces the 'heat' of several hundred years of misunderstanding and anymosity. . . might I suggest you take a look at some of his stuff.
I stumbled accross this transcript not long ago. . .
www.ewtn.com/library/answers/4thcup.htm



Peace in Christ our Savior.

Nay Nay
06-26-02, 06:12 PM
VictorJoseph:

Thank you for answering the question, although I feel like I have even more questions now. :confused:

This individual that I spoke to said that Mary was born sinless, perfect as Christ. From what I have gathered from your reply she has a misconception of what her own religion teaches. Thankfully so, because I find it blasphemous to say that Mary was totally without sin and perfect as the Son of God.

Thank you for clearing that up... at least for the most part. I obviously don't speak the same religious language as you do.


BTW: I am not Protestant, nor Arminian... I prefer to just be called "Christian" :)

Respectfully

Victor Joseph
06-26-02, 07:13 PM
Peace to you Na/Na

re: quote: Na/Na "From what I have gathered from your reply she has a misconception of what her own religion teaches. Thankfully so, because I find it blasphemous to say that Mary was totally without sin and perfect as the Son of God."

Be patient with me Na/Na. . . are you objecting to the Immaculate Conception. . . born without sin (you said as perfect as the Son of God) I wouldn't use that term in that way. . . perfect and by no means equal to God. . . NO. . . . NO. . . NO! She is not a deity. Remember Jesus was Mary's savior. . . god just saved her in a different way than you and I.

I'll jump ahead here to Rom. 3:23 "All have sinned and are deprived of the glory or God." Some folks, perhaps yourself might say . . . "see, the Bible says all have sinned so the Catholic doctrine is false." Let me ask you this . . Can a retarded or mentally challenged person sin? How about very young children.? . . of course not. So this verse cannot pertain to the Catholic doctrine about Mary's sinlesness.

More later. . .

God Bless. V.J.

Nay Nay
06-27-02, 02:07 PM
Victor Joseph:

No I totally believe in the Immaculate Conception in regard to Mary being a virgin and conceiving Jesus by the Holy Spirit not the seed of a man.

Jesus was Mary's Savior, that I believe as well... the girl I spoke to online however was saying that "Mary" was Jesus' mother and is exalted with Jesus.

I understand that Mary was (although spectacular circumstances) a vessel that God chose to use, just like Noah, Abraham etc.
Yes Mary was without sin in respect of virginity, but certainly she was not the offspring of God's implanted Holy Spirit, as Jesus was in her. Mary had both and earthly mother and father so she automatically is born into the flesh which creates her need for a Savior.

Victor Joseph
06-28-02, 11:10 AM
Na/Na. . . peace to you.

re: quote Na/Na
"No I totally believe in the Immaculate Conception in regard to Mary being a virgin and conceiving Jesus by the Holy Spirit not the seed of a man."

Once again. . .The doctrine of the Imaculate Conception refers to Mary being 'preserved' by God from the stain of original sin. What you are refering to above is the 'Virgin Birth' . . .Jesus being concieved by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin.

quote: Na/Na
"Jesus was Mary's Savior, that I believe as well... the girl I spoke to online however was saying that "Mary" was Jesus' mother and is exalted with Jesus."

Yes, Jesus was Mary's savior. . . and Yes. . . Mary was certainly Jesus' mother. . . . Jesus IS God. . . thus Mary is the 'Mother of God."

. . . Exalted 'with' Jesus? Could you explain to me what you mean? Are you saying that you believe Catholics place Mary on the same level as Jesus?
I've never been taught this. . . The Catholic Church doesn't teach this and never has. . . We 'honor' her. . . as Jesus did.

quote: Na/Na
"certainly she was not the offspring of God's implanted Holy Spirit, as Jesus was in her. Mary had both and earthly mother and father so she automatically is born into the flesh which creates her need for a Savior."

This is correct.

Genesis 3:15 "I wil put emnity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel."

In Christ Jesus. V.J.

Nay Nay
06-28-02, 06:22 PM
Victor Joseph:

(Quote from VJ)
Yes, Jesus was Mary's savior. . . and Yes. . . Mary was certainly Jesus' mother. . . . Jesus IS God. . . thus Mary is the 'Mother of God."

Of course I know that Mary was the earthly mother of Jesus but certainly NOT the mother of God the Father nor Jesus in His exalted state now.
Jesus refers to Mary as "Woman" not "Mother"

The young girl I spoke with doesn't understand in depth the Catholic doctrine concerning Mary. She is Catholic by family and just goes with whatever they tell her and doesn't question it, that's why she is unable to explain to me about what she believes because she herself doesn't know.

I see that this is most common in young people and is usually what drives us when we are older to search for the Truth for ourselves instead of accepting what was said by our family we trusted.

Thank you once again for helping me to better understand the Catholic doctrine better, I feel much better knowing that I was misled by this young lady and that the church doesn't teach that Mary is as perfect as Jesus.

Chris
06-29-02, 12:23 AM
Victor Joseph: re

Jhn 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Jhn 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

NB One may wholely rely on scripture for eternal life but miss Jesus come in the flesh. The scripture witnesses re Jesus as does the spirit of truth :

Jhn 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Jhn 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Jhn 16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
Jhn 16:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
Jhn 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
Jhn 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
Jhn 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Jhn 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.
Jhn 16:15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.


How else can we know Christ and call ourselves Christian if we do not refer to his words. Yes, many scholars refer to his words in error and bring judgment on themselves but that is no reason to let go the reliable witness of scripture.
Paul even refers to those that follow "another Jesus" which he never taught them. 2 Cor 11:4. Matt 24:24 tells us of false Christs. Only scripture gives us the definitive and consistent account of Christ from Genesis to Revelation. From scripture and by scripture we may recognize him in the flesh
on the last day.
And it will turn out that he has always been with us.


Matthew 25:31>46

Victor Joseph
07-04-02, 12:01 PM
disciple. We touched on the topic of the priesthood a while back. . . thought this might help explain the Catholic position better.

Q. Does the Catholic Church teach that the layity are a kind of
priesthood? Is this found in Scripture?


Yes. The following quote (which contains scriptural references you can look
up) is from Vatican II's "Lumen Gentium", and it talks about the common
priesthood of believers, and how it differs from the ministerial priesthood:

Check this out. . .

http://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/V2CHURCH.HTM
<<
10. Christ the Lord, High Priest taken from among men,(Cf. Heb. 5:1-5) made
the new people "a kingdom and priests to God the Father".(Cf. Rev. 1:6, cf.
5:9-10) The baptized, by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit,
are consecrated as a spiritual house and a holy priesthood, in order that
through all those works which are those of the Christian man they may offer
spiritual sacrifices and proclaim the power of Him who has called them out
of darkness into His marvelous light.(Cf. 1 Pet. 2:4-10) Therefore all the
disciples of Christ, persevering in prayer and praising God,(Cf. Acts 2:42,
47) should present themselves as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to
God.(Cf. Rom. 12:1) Everywhere on earth they must bear witness to Christ and
give an answer to those who seek an account of that hope of eternal life
which is in them.(Cf. 1 Pet. 3:15)

Though they differ from one another in essence and not only in degree, the
common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical
priesthood are nonetheless interrelated: each of them in its own special way
is a participation in the one priesthood of Christ. The ministerial priest,
by the sacred power he enjoys, teaches and rules the priestly people; acting
in the person of Christ, he makes present the eucharistic sacrifice, and
offers it to God in the name of all the people. But the faithful, in virtue
of their royal priesthood, join in the offering of the Eucharist. They
likewise exercise that priesthood in receiving the sacraments, in prayer and
thanksgiving, in the witness of a holy life, and by self-denial and active
charity.

God bless. V.J.