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Heaven and hell seem to be forgotten
Press Telegram ^ | 06/16/2006 | Richard N. Ostling

Posted on 06/21/2006 8:03:30 AM PDT by Between the Lines

Belief in hell is going to you-know-where. And belief in heaven is in trouble, too.

That's the concern of some Christian thinkers, including Jeffrey Burton Russell, an emeritus professor of history at UC Santa Barbara, and author of the new book “Paradise Mislaid: How We Lost Heaven and How We Can Regain It” (Oxford).

Russell and other fretters aren't impressed by fads like the sudden popularity of the girl's name Naveah (heaven spelled backward) or polls that show most Americans believe in some sort of heaven.

The growing problem, according to Russell and others, is that the way U.S. Christians conceive of both heaven and hell is so feeble and vague that it's almost meaningless — vague “superstition.”

It's “not that heaven is deteriorating,” he says. “But we are.”

Gallup reported in 2004 that 81 percent of Americans believed in heaven and 70 percent in hell. An earlier Gallup Poll said 77 percent of ever-optimistic Americans rated their odds of making heaven as “good” or “excellent.” Few saw themselves as hellbound.

“The percentage who say they believe in heaven has remained pretty constant the past 50 years, but what people mean by it has changed an awful lot,” Russell said in an interview.

Some people are so confused they believe in heaven but not God — “I suppose it's a New Age thing,” Russell said.

But if today's notion of paradise is off base, and sentimental images of clouds, harps and cherubs are the stuff of magazine cartoons, then what's the best way to think of heaven?

“For Christians, basically, heaven underneath all of the decorations means living in harmony with God and the cosmos and your neighbors and being grateful,” said Russell, who studied hell and Satan for 15 years before first turning his attention to heaven in a 1997 book.

To Russell, it's healthiest to see heaven as starting on earth, not an existence that “suddenly happens when you die.”

What about hell and its fire and brimstone? “There is a tendency to over-dramatize hell in order to get (it) across to people,” he said, but it's simply “the absence of God, the absence of heaven.”

“Heaven has gradually been shut away in a closet by the dominant intellectual trends,” Russell writes. Likewise with hell: Russell cannot remember the last time he's heard that unhappy subject treated in church or in religious literature.

What happened? Russell's book is largely a heartfelt appeal against “physicalism,” the modern claim that knowledge comes only through the physical senses and empirical science.

Such an outlook is arrogant and unprovable, Russell believes, because it ignores humans' moral sense and the supernatural— including heaven and hell.

Among Protestants who share Russell's angst, perhaps the most outspoken is the Rev. David F. Wells of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts. He has spent years bemoaning the erosion of Christian teaching, through books like last fall's “Above All Earthly Pow'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World.”

Wells said in an interview that western Christianity is on the defensive against religious skepticism, secularism, materialism and consumerism.

He said that when Christian truth collides with the dominant cultural belief, promoted by psychology, that individuals should choose whatever they want, then “something has to give. And in our world today, in America and much of the West, what is giving is Christianity.” That includes the faith in “ultimate right and wrong” that undergirds heaven and hell.

So, many who say they believe in heaven are “projecting from their very best therapeutic experiences into eternity,” not meeting God “on his own terms,” he thinks.

A related question is who enters heaven.

On that, Americans are predictably expansive. A Newsweek/beliefnet.com poll last year asked, “Can a good person who isn't of your religious faith go to heaven or attain salvation?” Fully 79 percent said yes, with somewhat lower percentages among evangelicals and among non-Christians.

In Catholicism, the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) declared that persons who do not know the Christian gospel but sincerely seek God “can attain to everlasting salvation.” The church decided that requiring explicit Christian faith was too pessimistic, said U.S. theologian Cardinal Avery Dulles, writing in First Things magazine.

But now, he cautioned, “thoughtless optimism is the more prevalent error,” with many Christians mistakenly assuming that “everyone, or practically everyone, must be saved.”

Still, the New Testament teaches “the absolute necessity of faith for salvation” and says that each of us faces just two possibilities, either “everlasting happiness in the presence of God” or “everlasting torment in the absence of God.”


TOPICS: Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: catholicbashing; heaven; hell
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1 posted on 06/21/2006 8:03:32 AM PDT by Between the Lines
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To: Between the Lines

I stopped here:

"Russell and other fretters aren't impressed by fads like the sudden popularity of the girl's name Naveah (heaven spelled backward) or polls that show most Americans believe in some sort of heaven."

Heaven spelled backwards is Nevaeh; not Naveah.


2 posted on 06/21/2006 8:08:46 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) !)
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To: Between the Lines
In Catholicism, the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) declared that persons who do not know the Christian gospel but sincerely seek God “can attain to everlasting salvation.” The church decided that requiring explicit Christian faith was too pessimistic, said U.S. theologian Cardinal Avery Dulles, writing in First Things magazine.

That is a misrepresentation of Catholic doctrine and of the Second Vatican Council's teaching. It's probably a misrepresentation of Dulles as well.

The Church teaches that God alone grants salvation and He grants it to whomever it pleases Him to grant it to. The Church reaffirmed in the document Dominus Iesus the Scriptural essential that Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

3 posted on 06/21/2006 8:10:12 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: Between the Lines
"He said that when Christian truth collides with the dominant cultural belief, promoted by psychology, that individuals should choose whatever they want, then “something has to give. And in our world today, in America and much of the West, what is giving is Christianity.” That includes the faith in “ultimate right and wrong” that undergirds heaven and hell."

God forbid if you correct misguided beliefs of those that claim to be "Christian" with what the Bible states! Geesh!
If yo do this, then you're "bashing" whatever their religious denomination is.

Today you cannot criticize even if you are trying to NOT have the person go to hell.
4 posted on 06/21/2006 8:12:24 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) !)
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To: Between the Lines
each of us faces just two possibilities, either “everlasting happiness in the presence of God” or “everlasting torment in the absence of God.”

Lots of folks are going to be in for the shock of their lives (deaths), including this author...

5 posted on 06/21/2006 8:18:53 AM PDT by Iscool (I spent MOST of my MONEY on cold beer and hot women...The REST, I just wasted ...)
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To: Between the Lines
In Catholicism, the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) declared that persons who do not know the Christian gospel but sincerely seek God “can attain to everlasting salvation.” The church decided that requiring explicit Christian faith was too pessimistic, said U.S. theologian Cardinal Avery Dulles, writing in First Things magazine.

The Church has infallibly defined doctrine on salvation and that ain't it. This is:

"There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved." (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215.)

"We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.)

"The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church." (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.)

6 posted on 06/21/2006 8:30:07 AM PDT by murphE (These are days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed but his own. --G.K. Chesterton)
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To: nmh
Heaven spelled backwards is Nevaeh; not Naveah.

Interestingly enough both spellings are used and for the exact same reason, backward spelling of Heaven. My guess is there is a lot of people who can't spell backwards.

7 posted on 06/21/2006 8:33:24 AM PDT by Between the Lines (Be careful how you live your life, it may be the only gospel anyone reads.)
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To: Between the Lines
My guess is there is a lot of people who can't spell backwards.

B - A - C - K - W - A - R - D - S

8 posted on 06/21/2006 8:52:45 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (Colossians 4:6)
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To: murphE

You are correct in one sense, but I think you're wrong in another.

Salvation is only through the Catholic Church, however, you are discounting the power of God to provide the dying soul with enough enlightenment at the moment of death to choose or reject the Church. It's not defined, but certainly a theological possibility, since it does not nullify the words of Pope Boniface that salvation comes through the Catholic Church.

St. Dismas seems to be a type of this grace offered at time of death...

What are your thoughts?


9 posted on 06/21/2006 9:00:01 AM PDT by Rutles4Ever
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To: Between the Lines

Since they are beliefs....How does it matter what someone's conception of it is?

Isn't a humans' moral sense and the supernatural, including heaven and hell, equally arrogant and unprovable....as these are relative to a person's belief.


10 posted on 06/21/2006 9:04:43 AM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: murphE

What ever happened to good old biblical truths....

John 14:6 I am the way the truth and the life and no man comes to the father but by me.

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved

I'd say it's pretty simple and easy to understand that. Notice there were no references to the Pope or to people who just really love God. I don't know about you but I'll stick with the Bible, thank you very much.


11 posted on 06/21/2006 9:25:45 AM PDT by Markdb
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To: murphE; Between the Lines; Gamecock; Dr. Eckleburg
"We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.)

If anyone needs a date for the apostacy of the Roman Church I think 1302 AD would be a good place to start.

Subject to the Roman Pontiff? Not bloody likely.We have no king but Christ!

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12 KJV)

12 posted on 06/21/2006 9:27:08 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (((172 * 3.141592653589793238462) / 180) * 10 = 30.0196631)
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To: murphE
This is what Russell is referring to:

I am not saying he is right or wrong and I have heard Catholics argue it both ways. Personally, I think this is an argument best left to be hammered out among the Catholics.

13 posted on 06/21/2006 9:27:17 AM PDT by Between the Lines (Be careful how you live your life, it may be the only gospel anyone reads.)
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To: Between the Lines
Thank our educrats that find anything acceptable in out public schools. Deaf, dumb and blind. Even the author of this article doesn't see it.
14 posted on 06/21/2006 10:29:30 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) !)
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To: Iscool

I think every last one of us will be extremely surprised by a lot of things, not least of which will be who made it ("Say, didn't I see you with shaved head selling books at the airport?" "Yeah, I came across this Gideon's New Testament someone left laying around about a week before the truck hit me.").


15 posted on 06/21/2006 10:30:05 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Rutles4Ever
Salvation is only through the Catholic Church, however, you are discounting the power of God to provide the dying soul with enough enlightenment at the moment of death to choose or reject the Church. It's not defined, but certainly a theological possibility, since it does not nullify the words of Pope Boniface that salvation comes through the Catholic Church.

For folks teetering on the edge of accepting the call to God, DON'T FALL FOR THIS LIE...It will send you straight to Hell...

Find a local Bible believing church...Skip the fancy, ornate church buildings and people wearing robes...The Bible warns against these things...

Jesus said "Come onto ME, and I will give you rest"...Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, the life...No man can come unto the Father (God) but by ME"...

Call on Jesus...He will save you, without a church...But find a small local church anyway...

16 posted on 06/21/2006 10:30:55 AM PDT by Iscool (I spent MOST of my MONEY on cold beer and hot women...The REST, I just wasted ...)
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To: Iscool
It will send you straight to Hell...

I'm not Catholic, but, no it won't. Catholics who believe in Jesus are saved. But you're partly right. The minefield of rules and regulations will just make it seem like you're in Hell. :-)

17 posted on 06/21/2006 10:37:42 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: stuartcr
Since they are beliefs....How does it matter what someone's conception of it is?

If one believes that conservatism is not so good and liberalism is not so bad, then he is less likely to be politically motivated. If someone believes in a lesser Heaven and a lesser hell, he will be less likely to pursue either.

18 posted on 06/21/2006 10:49:55 AM PDT by Between the Lines (Be careful how you live your life, it may be the only gospel anyone reads.)
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To: Between the Lines

How does that matter if they are just beliefs? We don't really know what will happen after we die. I don't believe that people act according to their belief in the afterlife, otherwise, how could someone that actually believes in heaven and hell, ever commit a crime...I think they would do it anyway.


19 posted on 06/21/2006 11:01:18 AM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: Larry Lucido

I'm sure there are many saved Christians that attend Catholic churches...Why they would stay there is a mystery to me, tho...


20 posted on 06/21/2006 11:28:59 AM PDT by Iscool (I spent MOST of my MONEY on cold beer and hot women...The REST, I just wasted ...)
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To: Iscool
DON'T FALL FOR THIS LIE...It will send you straight to Hell...

God has spoken! Hallelujah!

21 posted on 06/21/2006 11:29:01 AM PDT by Rutles4Ever
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To: Iscool
I'm sure there are many saved Christians that attend Catholic churches...Why they would stay there is a mystery to me, tho...

Oh, well thank goodness at least you're sure. Thank you for putting my feeble mind at ease.

22 posted on 06/21/2006 11:35:22 AM PDT by Rutles4Ever
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To: Between the Lines

Paul is dead. I am the walrus. :-)


23 posted on 06/21/2006 11:47:01 AM PDT by Invincibly Ignorant
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To: Rutles4Ever
Oh, well thank goodness at least you're sure. Thank you for putting my feeble mind at ease.

Not only that; I'm sure I'm going to Heaven...Can you say that for yourself???

24 posted on 06/21/2006 11:48:48 AM PDT by Iscool (I spent MOST of my MONEY on cold beer and hot women...The REST, I just wasted ...)
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To: stuartcr
Isn't a humans' moral sense and the supernatural, including heaven and hell, equally arrogant and unprovable....as these are relative to a person's belief.

Everybody seems to want to make all of God's decisions for him. I guess if most on this thread can't feel like they have it all figured out they get nervous. :-)

25 posted on 06/21/2006 11:50:03 AM PDT by Invincibly Ignorant
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To: Rutles4Ever
Salvation is only through the Catholic Church

Weird, my bible says:

1 Thessalonians 5:9 - For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ

2 Thessalonians 2:13 - But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.

2 Timothy 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.

Hebrews 2:10 - For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings (of Jesus Christ).

It's not defined, but certainly a theological possibility, since it does not nullify the words of Pope Boniface that salvation comes through the Catholic Church.

I couldn't find Mr. Boniface in my bible.
26 posted on 06/21/2006 11:53:48 AM PDT by Sopater (Creatio Ex Nihilo)
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To: Invincibly Ignorant

Trying to figure it all out, seems like such a waste of this great life that we've been given.


27 posted on 06/21/2006 11:55:57 AM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: stuartcr
Trying to figure it all out, seems like such a waste of this great life that we've been given.

I've been able to relax much more since I've ceased with efforts of trying to handle God's job for him. lol.

28 posted on 06/21/2006 11:59:04 AM PDT by Invincibly Ignorant
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To: Invincibly Ignorant

Got that right, I don't mind at all, just going along for the ride.


29 posted on 06/21/2006 12:02:09 PM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: Sopater
I couldn't find Mr. Boniface in my bible.

I couldn't find the word "Bible", either. That must mean the canon is an arbitrary concoction of man.

30 posted on 06/21/2006 12:29:36 PM PDT by Rutles4Ever
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To: Sopater

What's even funnier, is that God doesn't offer salvation through the Catholic Church, but He chose to offer the Bible through it. That's ironic, don't you think?


31 posted on 06/21/2006 12:31:22 PM PDT by Rutles4Ever
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To: Iscool
Not only that; I'm sure I'm going to Heaven...Can you say that for yourself??

Strange. What do you make of this from Paul?

Philllipians 2:12

"Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation."

Let's see what Jesus thinks...

Matthew 7:21

"Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven."

Seems to me that just telling everyone you're saved isn't going to fly. What you do, however, will matter.

32 posted on 06/21/2006 12:38:43 PM PDT by Rutles4Ever
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To: Sopater
"I couldn't find Mr. Boniface in my bible."

Neither will you find the word "Trinity"....but, nonetheless, you believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, don't you?
33 posted on 06/21/2006 12:59:08 PM PDT by dollars_for_dogma
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To: nmh

I did too. Couldn't take any more of the ramblings. However, I did not catch the incorrect backwards spelling of Heaven. This so-called prof. emeritus, is just out to make a name for himself. Thinks he's got the whole scenario all wrapped up in a package, and tied with a nice red bow...


34 posted on 06/21/2006 1:28:26 PM PDT by Mrs. Darla Ruth Schwerin
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To: Rutles4Ever
"Salvation is only through the Catholic Church"

LOL!

Salvation is through Jesus Christ, not the "Catholic church" or any other "church". In many "churches" Christ is NOT present nor the Holy Spirit.

John 3:14-19

[14] And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

[15] That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

[16] For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

[17] For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

[18] He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

[19] And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

I could NEVER be Catholic because it violates what God states. I elevate God's Word over the words of ANY fallible mortal or fallible "church". You've just provided an additional example of such a violation.
35 posted on 06/21/2006 1:56:05 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) !)
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To: Markdb

"What ever happened to good old biblical truths....

John 14:6 I am the way the truth and the life and no man comes to the father but by me.

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved

I'd say it's pretty simple and easy to understand that. Notice there were no references to the Pope or to people who just really love God. I don't know about you but I'll stick with the Bible, thank you very much."

EXACTLY!

It's as clear as the nose on their faces, yet they won't believe God. Again, I take the Word of God over ANY fallible mortal or "church".



36 posted on 06/21/2006 1:57:49 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) !)
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To: Rutles4Ever

Matthew 7:21

"Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven."

Yes, indeed!

DO keep that statement in mind when you profess salvation is ONLY through the Catholic church.

When you read the Bible you will see the fallacy of believing the Catholic church is the way to salvation through works.

Eph. 2:8-9

8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

[9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.


37 posted on 06/21/2006 2:00:24 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) !)
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To: Rutles4Ever

"God has spoken! Hallelujah!"

Yes, God was quoted here in Bible verses, if ONLY you'd heed what HE says. Perhaps your are of the kind entertained by your own foolish sarcasm? Never mind. I'm really not interested in pursuing that ... .


38 posted on 06/21/2006 2:02:37 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) !)
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To: murphE

So I guess we Prots are really not 'separated brethren' after all.


39 posted on 06/21/2006 2:15:16 PM PDT by Binghamton_native
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To: dollars_for_dogma

Not if you are Episcopalian. Then you profess Mother, child, womb. ;-)


40 posted on 06/21/2006 2:30:13 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: nmh
When you read the Bible you will see the fallacy of believing the Catholic church is the way to salvation through works.

Why is it no one wants to address what St. Paul said? What's with all the fear and trembling and "WORKING it out" if salvation is "in the bag" if you just believe? Responding with a different doesn't address the verse in question. Do you know the difference between what you "do" and what you "say"? "Doing" something is a work. Those who "do" the will of God will enter heaven. Are you calling Jesus a liar?

41 posted on 06/21/2006 2:52:57 PM PDT by Rutles4Ever
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To: nmh
I could NEVER be Catholic because it violates what God states. I elevate God's Word over the words of ANY fallible mortal or fallible "church". You've just provided an additional example of such a violation.

It only violates what your personal view of Scripture is. You have no teaching authority, but the Church does. And, um, no, don't crack out the old "well the Holy Spirit interprets it for me" line because as far as I can tell, no two Protestant sects are talking to the same Holy Spirit.

If you think there's no room for heirarchy in the Church, you'll have to explain why Jesus bothered separating the Apostles from the rest of the disciples.

Frankly, your view of Sola Scriptura is closer to Islam's view of the Koran than traditional Christianity. In other words, if the Bible is the only source of your faith, then why did Jesus have a ministry at all?

I'm pretty sure you're going to sidestep these questions.

42 posted on 06/21/2006 2:59:12 PM PDT by Rutles4Ever
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To: nmh
It's as clear as the nose on their faces, yet they won't believe God. Again, I take the Word of God over ANY fallible mortal or "church".

Gee, but I'm supposed to take the word of fallible old you? By what authority do you interpret scripture?

43 posted on 06/21/2006 3:01:12 PM PDT by Rutles4Ever
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To: Rutles4Ever

"Why is it no one wants to address what St. Paul said? What's with all the fear and trembling and "WORKING it out" if salvation is "in the bag" if you just believe? "

People are just trying to be kind to you when you take verses out of context.


"Responding with a different doesn't address the verse in question."

Works don't get anyone to heaven. Again the Bible states differently than what you wish to believe.

"Do you know the difference between what you "do" and what you "say"? "Doing" something is a work. Those who "do" the will of God will enter heaven."

Yes, works will NOT get you to heaven. THAT is why I added that verse from the Bible. You believe that works WILL get you to heaven.

"Are you calling Jesus a liar?"

No, you are.

The Bible is consistent. Works will NOT get you to heaven and belonging to the "Catholic church" or any other "church" will NOT give you eternal life.


44 posted on 06/21/2006 3:20:42 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) !)
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To: Rutles4Ever
Me: I could NEVER be Catholic because it violates what God states. I elevate God's Word over the words of ANY fallible mortal or fallible "church". You've just provided an additional example of such a violation.


You: It only violates what your personal view of Scripture is. You have no teaching authority, but the Church does. And, um, no, don't crack out the old "well the Holy Spirit interprets it for me" line because as far as I can tell, no two Protestant sects are talking to the same Holy Spirit.

Me: I don't have a "personal view". I have a Biblical view that bears me out in the Greek and Hebrew. It's as clear as the nose on your face. The "church" you refer to is NOT teaching what God clearly states. It's NOT an "interpretation issue".

You: If you think there's no room for heirarchy in the Church, you'll have to explain why Jesus bothered separating the Apostles from the rest of the disciples.

ALL are sinners. I suppose you also deny that. Christ is the ONLY ONE Who was not a sinner. Abraham sinned. Moses sinned. Paul sinned. Peter sinned. God used these men and women as instruments to convey proper teachings.

Rom.3:10

[10] As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Rom.3:23

[23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

That includes ANYONE in a "church" and any human being heading a "church".

You: Frankly, your view of Sola Scriptura is closer to Islam's view of the Koran than traditional Christianity. In other words, if the Bible is the only source of your faith, then why did Jesus have a ministry at all?

Me: When boxed into a cornor why is it people like yourself have to resort to unseemly name calling?

The Bible is the ministry of Jesus. GEESH! The hope was to educate and have folks follow HIM rather than fallible mortals.

You: I'm pretty sure you're going to sidestep these questions.

Me: No, all you did was move away from your original statement that salvation is ONLY from the Catholic Church and works will get you to heaven. Clearly WRONG on both counts.

John.6:44

[44] No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

It's not through the "Catholic church".

Eph 2:8-9

[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

[9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Yes, works will NOT get you to heaven. You are saved through faith under grace. It is the gift of God. Please take it while there is time!

I can only hope and pray that repeating God's Word has some impact on you.
45 posted on 06/21/2006 3:37:09 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) !)
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To: Rutles4Ever
Me: It's as clear as the nose on their faces, yet they won't believe God. Again, I take the Word of God over ANY fallible mortal or "church".


You: Gee, but I'm supposed to take the word of fallible old you? By what authority do you interpret scripture?


Me: I'm quoting DIRECTLY from the Bible - very CLEAR verses in their proper context and you still don't get it! There is no "interpretation issue" going on here. The Greek bears me out and the Hebrew bears out the truth in the Old Testament. I use God as my Authority. I'm concerned about your "authority".

Perhaps another verse from the Bible inspired by GOD could help you out:

2Tim.3:16

[16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Just trying to help you out with a gentle reproof and correction as directed by God from His most Holy Book.

Have you ever wondered why you find the Bible so offensive? Perhaps you need to think about that and Who you are really rejecting.

Frankly I see no need in continuing this exchange. No one ever saved a lost soul in your mind current frame. You need to calm down and spend some time with His Word. Read it for yourself. I can't force you to acept what God states in the Bible nor can I argue you to eternal life through words. It all must come from your heart.
46 posted on 06/21/2006 3:43:46 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) !)
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To: nmh

"...I'm quoting DIRECTLY from the Bible - very CLEAR verses in their proper context and you still don't get it! There is no "interpretation issue" going on here."

John 6:51-71 is also very clear....How do you interpret these verses in their proper context?


47 posted on 06/21/2006 4:43:23 PM PDT by dollars_for_dogma
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To: nmh
I'm quoting DIRECTLY from the Bible

Quoting from the Bible is not interpretation.

There is no "interpretation issue" going on here.

Because there's no interpretation going on, just regurgitation.

Perhaps another verse from the Bible inspired by GOD could help you out:

That would be the Bible given to the world through the Catholic Church, if I'm not mistaken. But let's not let facts get in the way.

2Tim.3:16

[16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

It still needs to be interpreted. Latin is a wonderful language, but if you don't understand it, it's worthless to you. If the Bible alone were sufficient, then everyone would come to the exact same conclusions.

I use God as my Authority.

So do I. Teaching through the successor to Peter, not "the Church of 'nmh'".

I'm concerned about your "authority".

Don't bother. She won't fall before the gates of hell.

Have you ever wondered why you find the Bible so offensive?

Please quote where I stated the Bible is offensive.

Frankly I see no need in continuing this exchange.

Because you won't/can't address my questions. Apparently St. Paul is not your kind of Christian, and Jesus was a liar.

You need to calm down and spend some time with His Word.

I'm perfectly calm. I'm not the one having a problem with the caps lock.

I can't force you to acept what God states in the Bible nor can I argue you to eternal life through words.

But but but - I thought all we need is words and we're saved.

48 posted on 06/21/2006 4:46:51 PM PDT by Rutles4Ever
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To: nmh
ALL are sinners. I suppose you also deny that. Christ is the ONLY ONE Who was not a sinner. Abraham sinned. Moses sinned. Paul sinned. Peter sinned. God used these men and women as instruments to convey proper teachings.

Because people are fallible there can't be a church? That's strange, because it didn't stop Jesus from having Apostles even though He chose a betrayer to be in His midst.

The Bible is the ministry of Jesus. GEESH! The hope was to educate and have folks follow HIM rather than fallible mortals.

So what was the ministry of Jesus for the roughly 400 years before the Catholic Church discerned the canon?

I have a Biblical view

Who had authority to discern the canon, again?

Rom.3:23

[23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

That includes ANYONE in a "church" and any human being heading a "church".

I'm not sure where I said that every member of the Catholic Church isn't a sinner. What does that have to do with the legitimacy of the Church? Jesus hand-picked Judas. Did that de-legitimize Christ's authority?

Me: When boxed into a cornor why is it people like yourself have to resort to unseemly name calling?

It's not name-calling. It's a comparison. Good news is, you don't have to be an English major to be "saved".

Yes, works will NOT get you to heaven. You are saved through faith under grace. It is the gift of God. Please take it while there is time!

I can only hope and pray that repeating God's Word has some impact on you.

No works, no faith. It's pretty cut and dry, unless you don't accept James.

49 posted on 06/21/2006 5:06:30 PM PDT by Rutles4Ever
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To: Rutles4Ever
with fear and trembling work out your salvation.

So then what??? You're going to throw out half the New Testament because you don't know what to do with that verse???

"Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven."

So tell us, what is the will of the Father for these Jews living under the law of Moses in Matthew chapter 7 ???

You guys admittedly don't even believe the Bible and yet you pick bits and pieces of it to convince someone they don't know if they're going to heaven...That won't work with a Bible believin' Christian...

50 posted on 06/21/2006 5:47:50 PM PDT by Iscool (I spent MOST of my MONEY on cold beer and hot women...The REST, I just wasted ...)
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