Such a group can be called Biblicists, or something, but, in the terminology I am using here, I would describe them as practical atheists. Though they had great, even absolutist, faith in the Holy Scriptures, they had no relationship with a God who is living and active and directly involved in their world. Had their notion of a God died, and left somebody else in charge of His heaven, it would not have made much difference so long as the rules did not change.
If you want to be on the Catholic Theology for non-Catholics list but are not on it already, or if you are on it but do not want to be, let me know either publicly or privately.
I am at a different computer, adn may not have the up-to-date ping list. If I missed you, I apologize.
On Salvation Outside the Catholic Church
The Great Heresies
SALVATION PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
JUSTIFICATION IN CATHOLIC TEACHING
Hermits and Solitaries [Ecumenical]
THE PRIESTHOOD DEBATE
RIGHTEOUSNESS AND MERIT
A Well-Rounded Pope [Ecumenical]
A Monastery to Last 1,000 Years [Ecumenical]
Explaining Purgatory from a New Testament Perspective [Ecumenical]
In the Crosshairs of the Canon [How We Got The Bible] [Ecumenical]
'An Ordinance Forever' - The Biblical Origins of the Mass [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Church Authority In Scripture [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Catholic Tradition: Life in the Spirit [Ecumenical]
bump for later..
Is this open or ecumenical?
(Ulster Gunman): What religion are you?
(Traveler): I'm an atheist sir.
(Ulster Gunman): Catholic atheist or Protestant atheist?
Wonders for Oyarsa Says:
Wonderful post. I agreed with nearly everything you said, but was a little puzzled at this paragraph:
I would also suggest that the more secular the world becomes for Christians, the more political Christians will become. We will necessarily resort to the same tools and weapons as those who do not believe.
It seems that, as one moves towards a more wholistic view of the world, one is more inclined to see the political questions of the day as relevant to the gospel of Christ. Issues of the care for the earth, third-world debt, international justice, etc. become even more relevant as we realize just how much Gods loving presence fills our world, and how creation itself groans for the loving reign of the sons of God. That doesnt mean we use the same weapons and tools as unbelievers, but it does mean we consider political issues as within the bounds of what the church can speak to.
[...] I liked your speaking of some of our nations Founding Fathers as being Deists and not Christians. I, too, as an Evangelical would read Providence and assume I was hearing God. I assumed they were synonymous.
On another, separate note, it should be noted that many of our Founding Fahters were also Freemasons which would explain their opting for Deism, where the Supreme Being remains in shadow and has not become flesh, to be known amongst us as one of us.
Perhaps an interesting topic to pursue would be that if such is the case of our Founding Fathers, can America be considered to have been a Christian Nation?. As an Evangelical I used to believe(and preach) this but now, as you alluded to the use of believing in Concept rather than Person, I believe this may be closer to the truth.
Sophocles - excellent post! Thank you.
Wonders of Oyarsa - Yes, I think living on the first-storey with God does makes us far more aware of many things. But much that is political action or action by political bodies is only secular action, use of the power of the state for the ends of the state. Caesar will always be Caesar, I believe. We should care deeply about the things that matter, so deeply we do something and the something very likely should be more than vote. Though I do not advocate not voting. But voting and the Kingdom of God are not the same thing. When I think about these matters, I think about Christians becoming the answer rather than using the coercive power of the state to make someone else be the answer. Interestingly, one of the things I always liked best about St. Francis, was that during one of the Crusades, he simply took passage to the mideast and went to the court of the Sultan and witnessed to him about Christ. The Sultan listened and dismissed him, but did not kill him. It would be like looking for Osama Bin Laden in order to forgive him and tell him about Jesus. I cant help but like such people and think there is more there than we allow.
When Christians have become a serious political force in the various states they have inhabited they have as often been coopted by the state as they have had an influence on the behavior of the state. As my Archbishop says, On the whole, in Church State relations, we have not done so well when we were the state Church.
Interesting example - British evangelicals, led by W.Wilberforce, outlawed slavery in the British realm decades befoe the American Civil War. But the slaveholders in America, were almost to a man, professed evangelical Christians. John Woolman, a Quaker, had preached dynamically and prophetically in the South about the coming disaster unless repentance was forthcoming. No repentance came from people who should have known better, and their land was reduced to rubble and has been better than a century recovering if it has yet recovered in some areas. Of course, these were two-storey Christians. I just cant think of a lot of great examples of one-storey Christians who were political activists. Theres more conversation to be had
Christ said His Kingdom was not of this world.
I see two major flaws in the father’s writing. One, he uses the term “practical atheist.” The definition of atheist by its very nature means a person who does not believe in God or any supreme being in any form. The individuals he is critiquing may be many things, but atheists they are not. If a person believes there is a God but that this God does, or does not, do thus and such, that in no way means they do not believe in God, only that they do not believe in God in the way orthodox Christians (and when I say orthodox I include Catholics and Protestants)believe. We can call them pagans or many other terms, but atheist is the improper term.
Two, he states that the more secular the world becomes for Christians, the more political Christians will become. Scripture tells us, “When the foundations crumble, what will the righteous do?” God wants us to keep our foundations strong and I believe with all my heart that the United States was brought about by divine, yes, providence; meaning that we would not be without God’s hand in this; and the only reason we are even what we are is because God has allowed it towards His good purposes. Just as He allowed the Holocaust to work towards His good purposes; one of which was the establishment of Israel as a nation.
There is a host of problems that go with being either only political or only religious. I would not want our political system to be run by ecclesiastical law for the simple reason that men are corrupt, whether secular or not.
I watched so many so-called Christians and Catholics do awful things over the years, the only reason it DOES NOT shake my faith is that it is not God who does these things and I know that. My husband’s sister threatened to sue him for some trivial matter(of course this was after her husband just graduated from law school this past year). In fact, we joked the other day that they have threatened to sue so many people, we have compiled a list of those they have NOT threatened to sue. So far, the list comprises the Pope and Casper. She has criticised me in the past because I am not a Catholic, yet she does not even know what the Catholic church teaches. She is, in fact, what I call a “cultural Catholic.” There are cultural Lutherans, cultural Jews and so on. They practice it only insofar as it occupies a certain realm in their life but they have no real understanding of the God who is living and active, the “God-Who-is-among-us” as this author states. These people occupy every denomination that ever existed.
Furthermore, after watching the debacle that occurred within the Catholic Church, wherein the Church moved priests they knew were practicing debauchery to unsuspecting parishes where these evil men could damage forever the souls of children, some of whom will NEVER go back to the Catholic church or any other church.
The deeper my faith, the more political I become. When I see what the 5 of the 9 judges on the SCOTUS are doing, I am going to be working very hard to stop more of these people from getting a lifetime appointment to destroy all that is good and sacred in this country. Of course, I pray, but like that one quote says, “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good.”
I think the father has it all wrong here. I think the deeper your faith becomes in God, the more you care and the more you see what is going on - how families are turning on each other; the natural affections they have are no longer there and so on. Yes, I am political and it is BECAUSE I love my Lord. It is no different than why I care for the hungry, those in prison, widows and orphans, and all other things Christ taught us to care about.
A person doesn't have to look any further than the Constitutions of the original States to understand the mood of the people as a whole and how much they believed in state's rights. That is why there is so little mention of Christianity in the Federal Constitution.
Here is some samples with just a little bit of digging on the net. If I can find this info, how come no one else seems to have a clue? Maybe it is because they know they have to get rid of God to get rid of those pesky God given rights in the Constitution!
" I, A B. will bear true allegiance to the Delaware State, submit to its constitution and laws, and do no act wittingly whereby the freedom thereof may be prejudiced."
And also make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit:
" I, A B. do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration."
And all officers shall also take an oath of office
XVIII. That no person shall ever, within this Colony, be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping Almighty God in a manner, agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; nor, under any presence whatever, be compelled to attend any place of worship, contrary to his own faith and judgment; nor shall any person, within this Colony, ever be obliged to pay tithes, taxes, or any other rates, for the purpose of building or repairing any other church or churches, place or places of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes to be right, or has deliberately or voluntarily engaged himself to perform.
XIX. That there shall be no establishment of any one religious sect in this Province, in preference to another; and that no Protestant inhabitant of this Colony shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil right, merely on account of his religious principles; but that all persons, professing a belief in the faith of any Protestant sect. who shall demean themselves peaceably under the government, as hereby established, shall be capable of being elected into any office of profit or trust, or being a member of either branch of the Legislature, and shall fully and freely enjoy every privilege and immunity, enjoyed by others their fellow subjects.
XXXII.(5) That no person, who shall deny the being of God or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit in the civil department within this State.
XXXVIII. That all persons and religious societies who acknowledge that there is one God, and a future state of rewards and punishments, and that God is publicly to be worshipped, shall be freely tolerated. The Christian Protestant religion shall be deemed, and is hereby constituted and declared to be, the established religion of this State. That all denominations of Christian Protestants in this State, demeaning themselves peaceably and faithfully, shall enjoy equal religious and civil privileges. To accomplish this desirable purpose without injury to the religious property of those societies of Christians which are by law already incorporated for the purpose of religious worship, and to put it fully into the power of every other society of Christian Protestants, either already formed or hereafter to be formed, to obtain the like incorporation, it is hereby constituted, appointed, and declared that the respective societies of the Church of England that are already formed in this State for the purpose of religious worship shall still continue incorporate and hold the religious property now in their possession. And that whenever fifteen or more male persons, not under twenty-one years of age, professing the Christian Protestant religion, and agreeing to unite themselves In a society for the purposes of religious worship, they shall, (on complying with the terms hereinafter mentioned,) be, and be constituted a church, and be esteemed and regarded in law as of the established religion of the State, and on a petition to the legislature shall be entitled to be incorporated and to enjoy equal privileges. That every society of Christians so formed shall give themselves a name or denomination by which they shall be called and known in law, and all that associate with them for the purposes of worship shall be esteemed as belonging to the society so called. But that previous to the establishment and incorporation of the respective societies of every denomination as aforesaid, and in order to entitle them thereto, each society so petitioning shall have agreed to and subscribed in a book the following five articles, without which no agreement fir union of men upon presence of religion shall entitle them to be incorporated and esteemed as a church of the established religion of this State:
1st. That there is one eternal God, and a future state of rewards and punishments.
2d. That God is publicly to be worshipped.
3d. That the Christian religion is the true religion
4th. That the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are of divine inspiration, and are the rule of faith and practice.
5th. That it is lawful and the duty of every man being thereunto called by those that govern, to bear witness to the truth.
And that every inhabitant of this State, when called to make an appeal to God as a witness to truth, shall be permitted to do it in that way which is most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience. And that the people of this State may forever enjoy the right of electing their own pastors or clergy, and at the same time that the State may have sufficient security for the due discharge of the pastoral office, by those who shall be admitted to be clergymen, no person shall officiate as minister of any established church who shall not have been chosen by a majority of the society to which he shall minister, or by persons appointed by the said majority, to choose and procure a minister for them; nor until the minister so chosen and appointed shall have made and subscribed to the following declaration, over and above the aforesaid five articles, viz: "That he is determined by God's grace out of the holy scriptures, to instruct the people committed to his charge, and to teach nothing as required of necessity to eternal salvation but that which he shall be persuaded may be concluded and proved from the scripture; that he will use both public and private admonitions, as well to the sick as to the whole within his cure, as need shall require and occasion shall be given, and that he will be diligent in prayers, and in reading of the same; that he will be diligent to frame and fashion his own self and his family according to the doctrine of Christ, and to make both himself and them, as much as in him lieth, wholesome examples and patterns to the flock of Christ; that he will maintain and set forwards, as much as he can, quietness, peace, and love among all people, and especially among those that are or shall be committed to lids charge. No person shall disturb or molest any religious assembly; nor shall use any reproachful, reviling, or abusive language against any church, that being the certain way of disturbing the peace, and of hindering the conversion of any to the truth, by engaging them in quarrels and animosities, to the hatred of the professors, and that profession which otherwise they might be brought to assent to. To person whatsoever shall speak anything in their religious assembly irreverently or seditiously of the government of this State. No person shall, by law, be obliged to pay towards the maintenance and support of a religious worship that he does not freely join in, or has not voluntarily engaged to support. But the churches, chapels, parsonages, globes, and all other property now belonging to any societies of the Church of England, or any other religious societies, shall remain and be secured to them forever. The poor shall be supported, and elections managed in the accustomed manner, until laws shall be provided to adjust those matters in the most equitable way.
III. That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship ALMIGHTY GOD, according to the dictates of their own consciences and understanding, regulated by the word of GOD; and that no man ought, or of right can be compelled to attend any religious worship, or erect, or support any place of worship, or maintain any minister, contrary to the dictates of his conscience; nor can any man who professes the protestant religion, be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right, as a citizen, on account of his religious sentiment, or peculiar mode of religious worship, and that no authority can, or ought to be vested in, or assumed by, any power whatsoever, that shall, in any case, interfere with, or in any manner controul, the rights of conscience, in the free exercise of religious worship: nevertheless, every sect or denomination of people ought to observe the Sabbath, or the Lord's day, and keep up, and support, some sort of religious worship, which to them shall seem most agreeable to the revealed will of GOD.
SECTION IX. A quorum of the house of representatives shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of members elected; and having met and chosen their speaker, shall, each of them, before they proceed to business, take and subscribe, as well the oath of fidelity and allegiance herein after directed, as the following oath or affirmation, viz.
" I ____ do solemnly swear, by the ever living God, (or, I do solemnly affirm in the presence of Almighty God) that as a member of this assembly, I will not propose or assent to any bill, vote, or resolution, which shall appear to me injurious to the people; nor do or consent to any act or thing whatever, that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge their rights and privileges, as declared in the Constitution of this State; but will, in all things' conduct myself as a faithful, honest representative and guardian of the people, according to the best of my judgment and abilities."
And each member, before he takes his seat, shall make and subscribe the following declaration, viz.
" I ____ do believe in one God, the Creator and Governor of the Diverse, the rewarder of the good and punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the scriptures of the old and new testament to be given by divine inspiration, and own and profess the protestant religion."
And no further or other religious test shall ever, hereafter, be required of any civil officer or magistrate in this State.
SECTION XXVIII. That no person, shall be capable of holding any civil office, in this State, except he has acquired, and maintains a good moral character.
SECTION XLI. Laws for the encouragement of virtue and prevention of vice and immorality, shall be made and constantly kept in force; and provision shall be made for their due execution; and all religious societies or bodies of men, that have or may be hereafter united and incorporated, for the advancement of religion and learning, or for other pious and charitable purposes, shall be encouraged and protected in the enjoyment of the privileges, immunities and estates which they, in justice, ought to enjoy, under such regulations; as the General Assembly of this State shall direct.
SEC. 15. That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.
SEC. 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.
More clarification as to why ministers were more important as teachers of the gospel then to be in government.
XXI. And whereas the ministers of the gospel are by their profession dedicated to the service of God and the cure of souls, and ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their function, therefore no minister of the gospel or public preacher of any religious persuasion, while he continues in the exercise of his pastoral function, and for two years after, shall be eligible either as governor, lieutenant-governor, a member of the senate, house of representatives, or privy council in this State.
You will have a hard time finding a hint of deism or atheism in these people but it does show how well the brainwash media and education system has worked that few if any will ever hear of this..
I had to laugh when I found a site that stated that all of these mentions of Christianity only showed just how intolerant the founders were while trying to say we aren't a Judaeo-Christian nation..
Christian and atheism are oxymornic.
Can’t exist, in my opinion.
Biblical inerrantists are atheists. And higher critical "theistic evolutionists" are the true mystics of our day! [/sarcasm]
From the Wikipedia Jefferson_Bible:
Jefferson arranged selected verses from the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in chronological order, mingling excerpts from one next to those of another in order to create a single narrative. Thus he begins with Luke 2 and Luke 3, then follows with Mark 1 and Matthew 3. He provides a record of which verses he selected and of the order in which he arranged them in his Table of the Texts from the Evangelists employed in this Narrative and of the order of their arrangement.
The Jefferson Bible begins with an account of Jesuss birth without references to angels, genealogy, or prophecy. Miracles, references to the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus, and Jesus' resurrection are also absent from the Jefferson Bible. The work ends with the words: Now, in the place where he was crucified, there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus. And rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. These words correspond to the ending of John 19 in the Bible.
As sonme of you know, I grew up and received education in the Soviet Union. The school books are not in front of me, but being a good student with good memory, I remember what they said about Christianity well.
In 1c Palestine, a province of Roman Empire, legends began to spread about a mysterious teacher called Jesus whom his followers called "Christ". He taught against the authority of the day but he did not call for a revolution; instead he believed that social change can be brought about by peaceful means. He was executed on the cross, the capital punishment of the time. Religious people of his time considered him a son of god and also believed that he "rose from the dead". So a new religion appeared called after his nickname christianity. The Roman authority suppressed the new religion brutally, but the religion grew because it answered the desires of the oppressed masses in the slaveholder society. Roman emperor Constantine (4c) recognized the value of christianity as a religion that taught obedience to the ruling class and since then the kings emperors and clergymen all used christianity to oppress working people.
Historical science does not point to existence of Jesus, but it is of course possible that such a man indeed existed and taught somethign similar. Teachings of several religious men, including the legendary Jesus, were combined together in the book called the Bible.
Plain people often rebelled against the clergimen and their rule. They would rise up and smash the churches and burn the icons (illustration: people burning icons). But the lack of proper grasp on the workings of society and superstition limited their success. Especially strong was the rebellion of the peasants in Englant under Wat Tyler, and in Czechoslovakia under Zizka and Hus (illustration: peasant army). Finally, in 16c religious leaders emerged that threw away the yoke of roman papacy. Their leader was Martin Luther (illustration: Luther burning the papal Bull). This movement is called Reformation. But the leaders of the Reformation did not understand that in order to overthrow the oppression of the masses it was not enough to free themselves from the church. They were themselves religious men and so they started their own church and continued to be an instrument of oppression in combination with the kings, princes and emperors.