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An open letter to Mr. Stephen A. Baldwin, Actor, and “born again” Christian.
The Evangelization Station ^ | Victor R. Claveau, MJ

Posted on 08/11/2008 4:58:31 PM PDT by annalex

An open letter to Mr. Stephen A. Baldwin, Actor, and “born again” Christian.

Dear Mr. Baldwin,

Praise God, you have become a strong voice in winning souls for Jesus as one who has experienced the saving grace of the Redeemer. May you always use your notoriety to spread the Good News.

It has been my experience that when an individual submits themselves to Christ, they undergo a deep conversion of heart. A tremendous weight is lifted, and they receive a sense of inner peace and joy. There is also the need to share this wonderful experience with others in the hope that they too will come to know Him intimately.

“Jesus said to them, … “For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40).

What an extraordinary promise — Believe in Him and we will have eternal life.

But, what does it mean to truly believe in Him? Does it not mean that we must believe that everything He said is true? Does it not mean that we must be in total submission to His will in our lives? Does it not mean that we must obey His every command?

Many Christians believe that when Jesus died on the Cross he paid the ultimate price for all of man’s sins and therefore nothing is required of us except making a “personal commitment to a personal savior.” Let’s take a more in-depth look at what the New Testament Scriptures teach on this subject.

Belief is necessary.

Rom. 10:9, “Because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

We must do God’s will.

Matt 7:21, "Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

We must obey Jesus.

John 3:36, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.”

Baptism is necessary for salvation.

John 3:5, “Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

See also: Mark 16:16; Titus 3:5-8.

We must also love God completely and our neighbor as ourselves.

Luke 10: 25-28, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read?" And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live."

We must keep the Commandments.

John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

See also: Matt. 19:16-17,

Good works are necessary for salvation.

Romans 2:7, “For he will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.”

See also: James 2:14,26; Phil 2:12.

We must hold out to the end.

2 Tim 2:12-13, “If we endure, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful-- for he cannot deny himself.”

See also: Mark 13: 13; 1 Cor 10:12, 27.

I write to you as one Christian to another in order to share with you the opportunity to experience a deeper dimension of intimacy with our Lord and Savior.

We must also eat His body and drink His blood.

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 you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever." (John 53-59).

Would Jesus command us to do something impossible? Jesus would have had to have made some provision for His followers to carry out the command to “eat His flesh and drink His blood”.

One of the fundamental differences between Catholics and the hundreds of different denominations is how the above verses are understood.

Isn't it true that all Christians are taught to interpret the Bible literally, except where the use of symbolic or figurative language is obvious? So the issue is: “Did Jesus really mean that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood?”

“The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (John 6:52).

The fact that the Jews questioned the words of Jesus tells us that they understood Jesus’ words literally.

The Catholic Church has always taught that Jesus was speaking literally, and this can it be proved by the Bible and Church history.

Let us begin with the creation story in Genesis 1:1-31:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. And God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.

And God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." And God made the firmament and separated the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so.

And God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so.

And God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth." And it was so.

And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds." And it was so.

Everything God said came to pass.

"So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).

Jesus, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, is the Word, and the Word was and is God (John 1:1).

As God, Jesus performed numerous miracles. He cured the sick, gave sight to the blind, made the deaf to hear, and raised people from the dead. Whatever he declared came to pass.

Jesus declared that His flesh is real food: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh" "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 you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed” (Jn. 6:51; 53-55).

During the Last Supper, as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples saying, "This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me." And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you” (Lk. 22:19-20).

Who, not what, was Jesus holding in His sacred hands at that moment? He was holding Himself! At that moment, the bread became His Body, simply because He said it was His Body.

He then took a cup of wine and declared it to be His Blood.

Once again, Jesus held Himself in His own hands! At that moment, the wine became His Blood, simply because He said it was so.

I repeat, As soon as he declared the bread and wine to be His Body and Blood, they became His Body and Blood. As you may know, Catholics call this food Eucharist.

He then commanded His disciples to do the same, “Do this in remembrance of me”, thereby empowering them to do so. This was the beginning of the New Covenant Priesthood.

St. Paul was certainly a believer in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist:

And St. Paul said, “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?” (1 Cor. 10:16-17).

And St. Paul said, “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Cor. 11:27).

And the Early Church Fathers said,

Ignatius of Antioch was a disciple of the Apostle John for over thirty years, before suffering a martyr’s death in the arena in Rome.

And St. Ignatius of Antioch said, “Pay close attention to those who have wrong notions about the grace of Jesus Christ, which has come to us, and note how at variance they are with God's mind. They care nothing about love: they have no concern for widows or orphans, for the oppressed, for those in prison or released, for the hungry or the thirsty. They hold aloof from the Eucharist and from services of prayer, because they refuse to admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins and which, in his goodness, the Father raised [from the dead]. Consequently those who wrangle and dispute God's gift face death” (Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 6, 19-20, [ca. A. D. 104 / 107]).

And St. Ignatius of Antioch said, “You should regard that Eucharist as valid which is celebrated either by the bishop or by someone he authorizes. Where the bishop is present, there let the congregation gather, just as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church”. (Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 8, [ca. A. D. 104 / 107]).

And St. Ignatius of Antioch said, “Be careful, then, to observe a single Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and one cup of his blood that makes us one, and one altar, just as there is one bishop along with the presbytery and the deacons, my fellow slaves. In that way whatever you do is in line with God's will” (Letter to the Philadelphians, 4, [ca. A. D. 104 / 107]).

And St. Ignatius of Antioch said, “Try to gather together more frequently to celebrate God's Eucharist and to praise him. For when you meet with frequency, Satan's powers are overthrown and his destructiveness is undone by the unanimity of your faith” (Letter to the Ephesians, 13, [ca. A. D. 104 / 107]).

The Teaching:

“You must not let anyone eat or drink of your Eucharist except those baptized in the Lord's name. For in reference to this the Lord said, ‘Do not give what is sacred to dogs’" (The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, Commonly Called the Didache, [ca. 70 / 80 A. D.]).

St. Justin Martyr:

Justin Martyr, an early Church Father (105-165 A. D.) is the first person to furnish us with a complete description of the Eucharistic celebration (c. 150). He speaks of it twice, first in regard to the newly-baptized and secondly in regard to the Sunday celebration.

And St. Justin Martyr said, “But we, after we have thus washed him who has been convinced and has assented to our teaching, bring him to the place where those who are called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common for ourselves and for the baptized [illuminated] person, and for all others in every place, that we may be counted worthy, now that we have learned the truth, by our works also to be found good citizens and keepers of the commandments, so that we may be saved with an everlasting salvation. Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss. There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to ge'noito [so be it]. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion” (I Apol. 65).

Justin goes on to specify that the bread that has been consecrated by the prayer formed from the words of Christ.

“And this food is called among us Eucharisti'a [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body;" and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is My blood;" and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn” (I Apol. 66).

A second description of the Eucharist complementing the first is found a little later in his Apology with regard to the Sunday liturgy.

“And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succors the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration” (I Apol. 67).

St. Irenaeus of Lyons

And St. Irenaeus of Lyons said, “And just as the wooden branch of the vine, placed in the earth, bears fruit in its own time-and as the grain of wheat, falling into the ground and there dissolved, rises with great increase by the Spirit of God, who sustains all things, and then by the wisdom of God serves for the use of men, and when it receives the Word of God becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ-so also our bodies which are nourished by it, and then fall into the earth and are dissolved therein, shall rise at the proper time, the Word of God bestowing on them this rising again, to the glory of God the Father” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, [Inter A. D. 180 / 190]).

It is clear from the words of Jesus, St. Paul, and the Early Church Fathers that Jesus meant it when He said that we must eat His body and drink His blood.

There is an avalanche of evidence is support of the Catholic understanding and absolutely none to support the Protestant contention. Jesus was not speaking symbolically. The only refutation offered by Protestantism is opinion, as no proof exists.

To be fully Christian is to believe in these words of Jesus and come home to the Catholic Church. There is no greater intimacy than eating His flesh and drinking his blood.

I invite you return to your Catholic roots and invite all “Bible Christians” to explore the truth of Catholicism.

Jesus came that we may have life, and have it abundantly. This can only be fully experienced in the Catholic Church.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of Christian service.

In the Sacred Heart of Jesus,

Victor R. Claveau, MJ

760-220-6818


TOPICS: Catholic; Ecumenism; Evangelical Christian
KEYWORDS: catholic; davidcloud; ecumenism; evangelical; stephenbaldwin
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1 posted on 08/11/2008 4:58:31 PM PDT by annalex
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To: andysandmikesmom; Antoninus; ArrogantBustard; celticfreedom; CTK YKC; dan1123; DaveMSmith; ...
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.

Previously posted:

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]
Christian Atheism
Vatican plea to uncover Virgin Mary and show her breast-feeding baby Jesus
Why do Catholics have to confess their sins to a priest instead of praying straight to God? [Ecu]
Our Times: The Age of Martyrs
The Eucharist - the Lord's Sacrifice, Banquet and Presence
Beginning Catholic: Catholic Morality: Life in Christ [Ecumenical]
Chosen In Him: The Catholic Teaching on Predestination [Ecumenical]
The Sacraments [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: A Strong Start in the Faith: The Catholic RCIA Stages [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: The RCIA Inquiry Stage In the Catholic Church [Ecumenical]
Catholic Art
Evangelicals: Change of Heart toward Catholics
Beginning Catholic: The Creed Of The People Of God: The Essentials/Catholic Belief [Ecumenical]

2 posted on 08/11/2008 4:59:21 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

lol good luck with that.


3 posted on 08/11/2008 5:00:21 PM PDT by ovrtaxt (This election is like running in the Special Olympics. Even if McCain wins, we're still retarded.)
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To: annalex

Why is this addressed to Stephen Baldwin, of all people?


4 posted on 08/11/2008 5:06:57 PM PDT by iowamark ("not smart enough to make it as a writer, not pretty enough to model or act")
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To: ovrtaxt

True, the Catholic Church, though a repository of wonderful Christian Thought and History, is rather poor at Evangelism.

For my view, this is a function of the broken offices of the Church today, a Evangelist leads to Christ, a Teacher instructs, today there is a gulf between the two...sadly.


5 posted on 08/11/2008 5:08:55 PM PDT by padre35 (Conservative in Exile/ Romans 10.10/Eze 11.2)
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To: annalex

I’m sorry; I just looked at this a few times and don’t see what the problem is. What did Baldwin do/not do to p*ss off the author?


6 posted on 08/11/2008 5:17:41 PM PDT by Joann37
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To: padre35

I’m a former Catholic, and have been yelled at (so to speak) on this site many times. But I have a question I’d like answered, if anyone cares to respond.

Does the Catholic church stand by John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man come to the Father but by Me”?

So many so-called Catholics I know state that it doesn’t really matter what one believes, as long as you’re a “good person” and believe in “something”. I kid you not. And these are regular churchgoers.

Can anyone tell me what the Catholic Church actually believes/teaches on this subject (which, of course, should be central to the Christian faith)? I am hoping the Catholics I know are just dolts and not indicative of today’s Catholic faith.

Thanks in advance.


7 posted on 08/11/2008 5:22:08 PM PDT by Joann37
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To: Joann37

I’m sure Baldwin is quaking with fear at the thought that some anonymous internet poster doesn’t think he’s a good Christian.


8 posted on 08/11/2008 5:23:59 PM PDT by jude24 (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: Joann37

I’m not sure Joann37, I’m not a Roman Catholic.


9 posted on 08/11/2008 5:27:46 PM PDT by padre35 (Conservative in Exile/ Romans 10.10/Eze 11.2)
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To: Joann37

Yes I agree. Singling out someone like Baldwin for what purpose? To suggest he isn’t a “true” Christian? To suggest unless he becomes a Catholic he isn’t entitled to God’s full grace or indeed that he isn’t truly Christian? Nonsense. This kind of sectarianism is counter-productive. To pit “Protestantism” against Catholicism in this fashion is unhelpful and smacks of religious chauvinism of the worst kind. I’d say to the writer: please write a letter to the other Baldwin (we all know which one) encouraging him to seek Christ rather than “outing” a Christian man who lives and works in very difficult and anti-Christian industry.


10 posted on 08/11/2008 5:28:37 PM PDT by Lent
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To: Joann37

Joann37,

The Catholics you know are just dolts.

You wrote:

“Does the Catholic church stand by John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man come to the Father but by Me”?”

Yes. The Church has always stood by that. Anyone who gets to heaven gets there because of Christ and His grace and no other reason.

“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”

“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”
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000806_dominus-iesus_en.html


11 posted on 08/11/2008 5:34:41 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: padre35

You think? Interesting analysis of the inner workings of the Catholic Church.

In my particular stream of Christianity, I see a gulf between teachers/ pastors/ evangelists, and prophets/ apostles. Many in the first camp don’t even recognize the existence of those in the second camp!

I guess we all have our issues. Meanwhile, some prefer to criticise guys like Stephen Baldwin instead of joining him in communicating the grace of Christ to the lost.


12 posted on 08/11/2008 5:38:07 PM PDT by ovrtaxt (This election is like running in the Special Olympics. Even if McCain wins, we're still retarded.)
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To: Lent

Singling out Stephen Baldwin makes perfect sense and doesn’t smack of chauvinism at all:

1) He is already a Christian, a recent convert, and has expressed an opneness to dialogue on Christian issues.

2) To bring someone to the fullness of Christian truth is not chauvinism - it’s just common sense and charitable.

3) As the letter says, “I write to you as one Christian to another in order to share with you the opportunity to experience a deeper dimension of intimacy with our Lord and Savior.” That is not chauvinism. It is a desirable Christian charity.

4) Also, your last point about converting the other Baldwins is off base. The Baldwin family is clearly a dissenting Catholic family. If Stephen Baldwin were to return to Catholicism with the zealousness of a convert, he would strongly encourage his whole family to return to the faith they clearly have abandoned. It would be a faith they are familiar with, but have fallen away from. Convert Stephen Baldwin and the whole family might convert. No joke. A friend of mine wanted to know why I was so interested in his conversion (he was a fallen away Mormon turned atheist). I told him plainly: if he converted, not only would mean all the difference in the world to him, but he would convert hundreds of others in his life time. He was taken aback. He later converted. He is now heading up a Catholic radio ministry and is converting others.


13 posted on 08/11/2008 5:45:28 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: vladimir998

Vladimir, thank you so much for your response.

I am going to write to the local archdiocese and tell them what these clowns I know are saying. I am going to name the churches each of these people attend, so that the powers that be can notify these people that there was a true purpose for Jesus dying on the cross for us.

I know this should be obvious to Christians of ALL denominations, but it apparently is not. Again, thanks for your response.

Joann


14 posted on 08/11/2008 5:53:06 PM PDT by Joann37
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To: Joann37
What did Baldwin do/not do to p*ss off the author?

He didn't roll over immediately and convert to Catholicism.

15 posted on 08/11/2008 5:54:27 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: annalex

Loon!


16 posted on 08/11/2008 5:55:07 PM PDT by TheGunny
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To: vladimir998
1) He is already a Christian, a recent convert, and has expressed an opneness to dialogue on Christian issues.

Respectful dialogue is done man to man not by playing politics over a magazine or the internet. True dialogue doesn't need impersonal letter writing. I question the sincerity and purpose of someone who doesn't have the integrity to speak to him personally or write him personally before he engages in advertising his position.

2) To bring someone to the fullness of Christian truth is not chauvinism - it’s just common sense and charitable.

Again, sincerity of dialogue is achieved by personal association not some advertising campaign for Catholic theology.

3) As the letter says, “I write to you as one Christian to another in order to share with you the opportunity to experience a deeper dimension of intimacy with our Lord and Savior.” That is not chauvinism. It is a desirable Christian charity.

Christian charity is achieved through a letter published openly and now on the Internet? Is that what you call charity? I call it propaganda and impersonal despite the putative sincerity.

4) Also, your last point about converting the other Baldwins is off base. The Baldwin family is clearly a dissenting Catholic family. If Stephen Baldwin were to return to Catholicism with the zealousness of a convert, he would strongly encourage his whole family to return to the faith they clearly have abandoned. It would be a faith they are familiar with, but have fallen away from. Convert Stephen Baldwin and the whole family might convert. No joke. A friend of mine wanted to know why I was so interested in his conversion (he was a fallen away Mormon turned atheist). I told him plainly: if he converted, not only would mean all the difference in the world to him, but he would convert hundreds of others in his life time. He was taken aback. He later converted. He is now heading up a Catholic radio ministry and is converting others.

I guess it would be redundant for me to answer this one given my position above.

17 posted on 08/11/2008 5:56:42 PM PDT by Lent
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To: Joann37
Can anyone tell me what the Catholic Church actually believes/teaches on this subject (which, of course, should be central to the Christian faith)? I am hoping the Catholics I know are just dolts and not indicative of today’s Catholic faith.

Funny you should ask...
Just about every religious group gets a path to Heaven from the Catholic Church, but at the same time you'll find that anti-Catholics and "seperated brethren" are hell-bound.

18 posted on 08/11/2008 6:00:55 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Joann37

I would write to the people involved. The archbishop isn’t going to know you from Adam. You might come across as a crank to be honest. The best thing to do is to write to the people you know, explain what’s going on, and invite them to read the Church’s own catechism or the document I linked to. Also, pray for them. Everybody needs prayers.


19 posted on 08/11/2008 6:07:07 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: Joann37
If being a good person (Jesus said none was “good” save God) and having a belief in something was enough, why did Jesus preach? Why did his disciples? He said the gospel or good news would be preached in the entire inhabited earth, were there no good people believing in something in the whole world?
What are the “regular church goers” learning when they go?
20 posted on 08/11/2008 6:07:44 PM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Joann37
There's also a long-running thread that discusses the views in detail:
Catholics & Salvation; And the answer is: Maybe.
21 posted on 08/11/2008 6:20:31 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Lent

You wrote:

“Respectful dialogue is done man to man not by playing politics over a magazine or the internet.”

Incorrect. Respectful dialogue is done in a respectful tone not in a particular medium. Ever read the respectful WRITTEN debates of Joad, Lunn, and others?

“True dialogue doesn’t need impersonal letter writing.”

True dialogue comes from the heart and mind. Impersonality is irrelevant.

“I question the sincerity and purpose of someone who doesn’t have the integrity to speak to him personally or write him personally before he engages in advertising his position.”

I don’t in this case. 1) The motives are clear - evangelization. 2) More conversions may result this way. 3) More personal communications may simply be impossible.

“Again, sincerity of dialogue is achieved by personal association not some advertising campaign for Catholic theology.”

Your either/or is simply nonsensical. 1) This open letter might be the beginning of a more personal association that might otherwise never happen. That’s what happened in the past with others. 2) Sincere dialogue is from a sincere mind and heart and exists irrespective of medium used to communicate.

“Christian charity is achieved through a letter published openly and now on the Internet?”

Yes, if it is charitable in intent and method.

“Is that what you call charity? I call it propaganda and impersonal despite the putative sincerity.”

What you call it is irrelevant. Again, the intent was charitable, the method was charitable under the circumstances. There is no logical reason to doubt the sincerity of the letter. Please remember that St. Paul wrote to the Romans even though he had never visited them yet. Was what he wrote propaganda when he wrote: “For I really want to see you and give you the gift of the Spirit, so that you may be justified through Him, And as one we become justified through faith, yours and mine”?

“I guess it would be redundant for me to answer this one given my position above.”

I don’t think you can answer it. Apparently all you can do is complain about it.

Remember, Paul wrote a letter to the Romans and he didn’t even know them.


22 posted on 08/11/2008 6:22:20 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: annalex

Mr. Stephen A. Baldwin.......“born again”????.

.......through synergism or monergism? Just curious......


23 posted on 08/11/2008 6:30:44 PM PDT by Hardshell
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To: vladimir998
ncorrect. Respectful dialogue is done in a respectful tone not in a particular medium. Ever read the respectful WRITTEN debates of Joad, Lunn, and others?

Medium counts. But now I would be repeating myself. I question impersonal letter writing done through a magazine.

True dialogue comes from the heart and mind. Impersonality is irrelevant.

So if he published his letter in, let's say, Penthouse, that would be ok? Medium and methodology do count. Indeed part of the message you intend to make depends in how it's delivered not just what is stated. I question the motive and sincerity of the method you don't.

I don’t in this case. 1) The motives are clear - evangelization. 2) More conversions may result this way. 3) More personal communications may simply be impossible.

The motives are not evangelization. He is not preaching to the lost. What you mistate as evangelization is actually an intention to teach or potentially to disciple at least that's a known secondary and maybe even primary definition. But that is quibbling over definitions. And how can you state personal dialogue "may simply be impossible"? Had the author attempted personal dialogue with Mr. Baldwin? I guess not. So instead of honestly reaching out to communicate, a magazine is used with his famous name in the process. To do what? Gain some readership? Cynical yes. But justifiably so.

Your either/or is simply nonsensical. 1) This open letter might be the beginning of a more personal association that might otherwise never happen. That’s what happened in the past with others. 2) Sincere dialogue is from a sincere mind and heart and exists irrespective of medium used to communicate.

Or it might be the beginning of a personal offense. Did the writer attempt to contact Baldwin and advise he would be writing a letter to him and publishing it in his magazine likely aware that same could be published all over the internet? Indeed, would it not be absurd for him to have actually spoken to Baldwin and stating to him I'm publishing an open letter to you - read it in the next edition? The absurdity is not mine.

What you call it is irrelevant. Again, the intent was charitable, the method was charitable under the circumstances. There is no logical reason to doubt the sincerity of the letter. Please remember that St. Paul wrote to the Romans even though he had never visited them yet. Was what he wrote propaganda when he wrote: “For I really want to see you and give you the gift of the Spirit, so that you may be justified through Him, And as one we become justified through faith, yours and mine”?

Your understanding of St. Paul's letter as the medium for delivery is deficient. It was a personal letter delivered personally by Christian brothers not published in the daily Roman press.Furthermore, he had actual physical reasons why he could not be there personally - related to his mission and facility of access. I can imagine Paul taking a flight and being there if we were to translate some kind of analogy to present day. That wasn't possible then. So what is the deficient physical ability of the writer here? Too busy evangelizing in China or India? I think not.

24 posted on 08/11/2008 6:54:51 PM PDT by Lent
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To: annalex

Why are you in judgement of him?


25 posted on 08/11/2008 6:56:43 PM PDT by DainBramage
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To: vladimir998
“To bring someone to the fullness of Christian truth is not chauvinism - it’s just common sense and charitable.”

Common sense and charitable to be doing this on the internet? IF you have a problem with Stephen Baldwin and feel he is going astray, go to HIM! This is between the writer and Baldwin. This is no one's business and I am appalled that Christians are doing this to him.

26 posted on 08/11/2008 6:57:29 PM PDT by imskylark
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To: annalex
...now what did he do...whistle in the Church?! Don'tcha think this is an overkill?!
27 posted on 08/11/2008 7:06:08 PM PDT by danmar (Tomorrow's life is too late. Live today!)
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To: annalex
15"(M)If your brother sins[b], 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 (N)BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED.

17"If he refuses to listen to them, (O)tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, (P)let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Of course, in this case Stephen didn't sin, or commit an error. It's just that the author disagrees with Stephen on the Eucharist.

28 posted on 08/11/2008 7:17:47 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: annalex

As to “Baptism is necessary for salvation. “.

Jesus told the thief on the cross that he was saved. He was not baptised.

There is no record that Mary was baptised, but I imagine there is some “tradition” that says she was.

Baptism was, of course, something done to believers, involving washing. If it is necessary, then we should have to do it correctly. If it’s just a sign, it’s not as important.


29 posted on 08/11/2008 7:20:17 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: vladimir998

He’s hardly a recent Christian. He’s been one for years, he has a major evangelical ministry, and has brought many people to Christ.


30 posted on 08/11/2008 7:22:38 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Joann37
I’m a former Catholic

Have you formally defected from the Church? Formally renounced the faith to your parish pastor or your bishop?

If not, you're still a Catholic (even though you may worship elsewhere or not at all). You're welcome to come home at any time.

If so, you can still come home.

So many so-called Catholics I know state that it doesn’t really matter what one believes, as long as you’re a “good person” and believe in “something”. I kid you not. And these are regular churchgoers.

I'd love to hear where you heard that. I've seen enough in my short life that it wouldn't surprise me...but I'd still like to know where to watch out for!

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

74 God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth":29 that is, of Christ Jesus.30 Christ must be proclaimed to all nations and individuals, so that this revelation may reach to the ends of the earth:

God graciously arranged that the things he had once revealed for the salvation of all peoples should remain in their entirety, throughout the ages, and be transmitted to all generations.31

459 The Word became flesh to be our model of holiness: "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me." "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me."74 On the mountain of the Transfiguration, the Father commands: "Listen to him!"75 Jesus is the model for the Beatitudes and the norm of the new law: "Love one another as I have loved you."76 This love implies an effective offering of oneself, after his example.77

1698 The first and last point of reference of this catechesis will always be Jesus Christ himself, who is "the way, and the truth, and the life."24 It is by looking to him in faith that Christ's faithful can hope that he himself fulfills his promises in them, and that, by loving him with the same love with which he has loved them, they may perform works in keeping with their dignity:

I ask you to consider that our Lord Jesus Christ is your true head, and that you are one of his members. He belongs to you as the head belongs to its members; all that is his is yours: his spirit, his heart, his body and soul, and all his faculties. You must make use of all these as of your own, to serve, praise, love, and glorify God. You belong to him, as members belong to their head. And so he longs for you to use all that is in you, as if it were his own, for the service and glory of the Father.25

For to me, to live is Christ.26

You may wish to look into what the Church actually teaches: the Catechism of the Catholic Church. If you were surrounded by people who preached the "nice person" theory of salvation, I have no idea what other pap you were taught (let me stress, the blame for that rests with the person who taught you, not with you!!!!!)

Or, alternatively, if you have questions, ASK!!! There are a lot of well-educated Catholics around these parts who would love nothing more than to answer any questions you might have!

31 posted on 08/11/2008 7:28:25 PM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: iowamark

I believe the author is evangelizing. Inviting Baldwin to join him in Catholicism.


32 posted on 08/11/2008 7:43:20 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lent

You wrote:

“Medium counts. But now I would be repeating myself. I question impersonal letter writing done through a magazine.”

Okay, question it. You have not been able to make much of a case that it matters that it is an open letter. All you’ve said so far is that you don’t like it because you feel it’s impersonal.

“So if he published his letter in, let’s say, Penthouse, that would be ok?”

No. I said medium. That means type of communication here, not type of porn.

“Medium and methodology do count. Indeed part of the message you intend to make depends in how it’s delivered not just what is stated. I question the motive and sincerity of the method you don’t.”

I don’t because both the motive and method are obvious.

“The motives are not evangelization. He is not preaching to the lost.”

Evangelization is not just preaching to the lost. It can and is preaching to those who identify themselves as Christians but who lack the fullness of the faith.

“What you mistate as evangelization is actually an intention to teach or potentially to disciple at least that’s a known secondary and maybe even primary definition.”

No, this is evangelization.

“But that is quibbling over definitions. And how can you state personal dialogue “may simply be impossible”?”

Because it may be impossible.

“Had the author attempted personal dialogue with Mr. Baldwin?”

Maybe yes, maybe no. You don’t know and neither do I.

“I guess not. So instead of honestly reaching out to communicate, a magazine is used with his famous name in the process. To do what? Gain some readership? Cynical yes. But justifiably so.”

No, it is done to evangelize - just as it is obvious.

“Or it might be the beginning of a personal offense. Did the writer attempt to contact Baldwin and advise he would be writing a letter to him and publishing it in his magazine likely aware that same could be published all over the internet?”

You don’t know. And it is not essential. Thankfully Justin Martyr did not follow your tact.

“Indeed, would it not be absurd for him to have actually spoken to Baldwin and stating to him I’m publishing an open letter to you - read it in the next edition? The absurdity is not mine.”

That would be absurd - much like your hand-wringing angst over this simple letter.

“Your understanding of St. Paul’s letter as the medium for delivery is deficient.”

No, there is nothing deficient about my understanding of St. Paul’s letter.

“It was a personal letter delivered personally by Christian brothers not published in the daily Roman press.”

1) There was no such thing as the Roman press, and if there was, Paul - with his great zeal for souls - would have used it.

2) It was not a personal letter because it was not written to one person but to “all who are beloved of God in Rome”. He wrote the letter to the whole CHURCH of Rome.

3) He wrote the letter in secret. It was not a personal letter. It was a secret letter. It was written in secret to protect the faithful. And it still wasn’t a personal letter of the sort you imagine.

“Furthermore, he had actual physical reasons why he could not be there personally - related to his mission and facility of access. I can imagine Paul taking a flight and being there if we were to translate some kind of analogy to present day. That wasn’t possible then. So what is the deficient physical ability of the writer here? Too busy evangelizing in China or India? I think not.”

How would you know? Also, there doesn’t have to be a physical reason impeding a meeting. That’s just your personal oddity on this. The open letter is about evangelization. Souls will be converted no matter what. The author probably composed the letter because bringing fallen away Catholics back to the Church has been a special concern of his: http://books.google.com/books?id=rXnd43pXAt4C&pg=PA3&lpg=PA3&dq=Victor+R.+Claveau+biography&source=web&ots=GAwxWiyunK&sig=DxBdIvyEql0lwKRjSfoHv-MWX8g&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result


33 posted on 08/11/2008 7:43:29 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: Joann37

**Does the Catholic church stand by John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man come to the Father but by Me”?**

Absolutely.


34 posted on 08/11/2008 7:44:43 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Joann37

**I’m a former Catholic,**

No such thing as a former Catholic — UNLESS you filled out piles of paperwork and had a hearing in front of a panel.

You are still a Catholic and we welcome you home at any time.

Many churches have Returning Catholics classes and I am sure you would be most welcome. Our program is entitled, “Catholics Can Come Home Again.”


35 posted on 08/11/2008 7:46:54 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Joann37
**Can anyone tell me what the Catholic Church actually believes/teaches on this subject (which, of course, should be central to the Christian faith)?**

These threads for Beginning Catholics have these basic beliefs all explained for you.

Beginning Catholic: Basic Tenets of Catholicism [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: The Creed Of The People Of God: The Essentials/Catholic Belief [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Creeds: Apostles, Nicene, Athanasian [Ecumenical]

36 posted on 08/11/2008 7:49:36 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: imskylark

You wrote:

“Common sense and charitable to be doing this on the internet?”

Yes. This is not an inappropriate use of the internet.

“IF you have a problem with Stephen Baldwin and feel he is going astray, go to HIM!”

Where does the author say that he has a problem with Stephen Baldwin? Where does the author say Baldwin has gone astray.

“This is between the writer and Baldwin.”

No, this is between Baldwin and the fullness of the faith. Claveau is merely the instrument.

“This is no one’s business and I am appalled that Christians are doing this to him.”

Nothing is being done to him. It’s an open letter. He can just ignore it. You make it sound like he’s being stabbed or beaten in the street.


37 posted on 08/11/2008 7:50:16 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: Joann37

If you have additional specific questions, I’ll be glad to answer them either here or in FReepmail. (Sometimes that works better.)


38 posted on 08/11/2008 7:50:24 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: CharlesWayneCT

You wrote:

“He’s hardly a recent Christian. He’s been one for years, he has a major evangelical ministry, and has brought many people to Christ.”

No, he himself says his conversion came about after 9/11. That means he has been serious about Christianity for less than 7 years. That’s a relatively recent conversion.


39 posted on 08/11/2008 7:54:27 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: annalex

“I invite you return to your Catholic roots and invite all “Bible Christians” to explore the truth of Catholicism. “

If this article is an example of “the truth of Catholicism”,
it falls short of the Bible.


40 posted on 08/11/2008 7:57:32 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: vladimir998
 "Remember, Paul wrote a letter to the Romans and he didn’t even know them."
 
... then perhaps you can explain Chapter 16 of Romans...?
 
 
     3     Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus,
     4     who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles;
     5     also greet the church that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia.
     6     Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you.
     7     Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
     8     Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord.
     9     Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys my beloved.
     10     Greet Apelles, the approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus.
     11     Greet Herodion, my kinsman. Greet those of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord.
     12     Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, workers in the Lord. Greet Persis the beloved, who has worked hard in the Lord.
     13     Greet Rufus, a choice man in the Lord, also his mother and mine.
     14     Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brethren with them.
     15     Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.
 

41 posted on 08/11/2008 8:05:36 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: aMorePerfectUnion

You wrote:

“If this article is an example of “the truth of Catholicism”, it falls short of the Bible.”

Not according to St. Peter:

Acts.4
[1] And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,
[2] Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
[3] And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.
[4] Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
[5] And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,
[6] And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.
[7] And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
[8] Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
[9] If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
[10] Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
[11] This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
[12] Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
[13] Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
[14] And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
[15] But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,
[16] Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.
[17] But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.
[18] And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
[19] But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
[20] For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
[21] So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.
[22] For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.
[23] And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.
[24] And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:
[25] Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
[26] The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
[27] For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
[28] For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
[29] And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
[30] By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
[31] And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
[32] And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
[33] And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
[34] Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
[35] And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
[36] And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
[37] Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

Peter took a beating or two for his preaching in the early days. Claveau seems to be taking quite a cyber beating.


42 posted on 08/11/2008 8:07:59 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: aMorePerfectUnion

You wrote:

“... then perhaps you can explain Chapter 16 of Romans...?”

What is there to explain? Paul had never been to Rome and did not know the Roman Church. He did know some members whom he sent on ahead.

Again, what is there to explain?


43 posted on 08/11/2008 8:10:54 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: vladimir998

Peter took a beating. Agreed. That does little to improve the
weakness of Claveau’s article.

Claveau deserves the beating he received!


44 posted on 08/11/2008 8:11:38 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: vladimir998

v,
1. He didn’t send them all ahead
2. He knew at least 28 by name
3. Those are just the ones he mentioned
4. You specifically said he didn’t know the Romans

He did.

That’s all.


45 posted on 08/11/2008 8:13:20 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: aMorePerfectUnion

You wrote:

“Peter took a beating. Agreed. That does little to improve the weakness of Claveau’s article.”

There is no weakness in Claveau’s article. It is simply a brief letter when one considers all the details covered.

“Claveau deserves the beating he received!”

The viciousness of people here is astounding. Clearly this bizarre reaction to his simple letter is purely emotional. It certainly isn’t based on rational thought or any great knowledge of Christianity or evangelization.


46 posted on 08/11/2008 8:14:20 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: vladimir998

“There is no weakness in Claveau’s article.”

Thanks. It was a tough day. You brightened it up with that
comment.

“Clearly this bizarre reaction to his simple letter is purely emotional.”

Love it! Thanks!


47 posted on 08/11/2008 8:16:29 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: aMorePerfectUnion

Thanks for admitting your “tough day”. See, it is just an emotional response on your part.

Thanks for the assist.


48 posted on 08/11/2008 8:19:26 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: iowamark

People and their “open” letters are such posers. Stephen has all he needs through Jesus Christ.


49 posted on 08/11/2008 8:28:50 PM PDT by rabidralph (Watch out for the Obamakazis.)
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To: vladimir998
Okay, question it. You have not been able to make much of a case that it matters that it is an open letter. All you’ve said so far is that you don’t like it because you feel it’s impersonal.

I have and you disagree. I don't know how you convinced me otherwise because I didn't see it.

No. I said medium. That means type of communication here, not type of porn.

The medium, platform, methodology, let's not quibble over the point of the assertion. You would object to his using the platform/medium/methodolgy of communication through Penthouse. I'm assuming he could skip all the dirty articles and pictures and get right to the letter. I simply stated that medium or the how and the manner of communication does make a difference. You said it doesn't as long as the writer is sincere. I gave you the reductio ad absurdum of that argument. You missed the point or maybe you were not prepared to accept the inevitable result of that argument.

Evangelization is not just preaching to the lost. It can and is preaching to those who identify themselves as Christians but who lack the fullness of the faith.

Actually, without getting in Biblical hermeneutics, or parsing Greek, or an explicitly Protestant/Catholic source let's take the good old Wikipedia definition:

Evangelism is the Christian practice of preaching the Gospel of Jesus to non-Christians. I thought the author admits he was Christian?

Because it may be impossible.

Where. Where do you get "it may be impossible." Either it is or it is not.

Maybe yes, maybe no. You don’t know and neither do I.

And you don't care and I do

No, it is done to evangelize - just as it is obvious.

No it isn't "obvious".

You don’t know. And it is not essential. Thankfully Justin Martyr did not follow your tact.

It's not essential to you and you don't care you already stated that.

That would be absurd - much like your hand-wringing angst over this simple letter.

Not hand wringing over anything. I question the motive and you don't. If I'm hand wringing why spend this time responding? Likely because you believe you need to provide an apologetic for it.

No, there is nothing deficient about my understanding of St. Paul’s letter.

1) There was no such thing as the Roman press, and if there was, Paul - with his great zeal for souls - would have used it.

Indeed there wasn't. My comment was made to suggest that public responses akin to the internet were possible. In fact like Luther he could have had his Christian brothers nail it on a piece of wood in town (or a door to stay with the historical analogy) so that the Roman Christians could find out that he was writing to them. Instead it's hand delivered.

2) It was not a personal letter because it was not written to one person but to “all who are beloved of God in Rome”. He wrote the letter to the whole CHURCH of Rome.

It was a personal letter to the Church. What? Do you want to call it an impersonal letter to the church?

3) He wrote the letter in secret. It was not a personal letter. It was a secret letter. It was written in secret to protect the faithful. And it still wasn’t a personal letter of the sort you imagine.

Now you're contradicting yourself. Either it was ok to make it public or not. You just stated above that Paul would have used the Roman press openly if it was available.

How would you know? Also, there doesn’t have to be a physical reason impeding a meeting. That’s just your personal oddity on this. The open letter is about evangelization. Souls will be converted no matter what. The author probably composed the letter because bringing fallen away Catholics back to the Church has been a special concern of his:

So he and you are reckless as to the distribution and publishing of this letter. You could care less whether Baldwin prefers to have personal communication rather than be called out? I see. Thanks for the subtle methodology. And by the way, his use of quotation marks over born again" is rather crude and cynical shot at that phrase in the context of Baldwin. Baldwin states he is a born again Christian and the author, instead of accepting the genuiness of that phrase to Baldwin prefers to treat it in a patronizing way. Nice.

50 posted on 08/11/2008 8:30:58 PM PDT by Lent
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