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Is 'Ecumenism' a Bad Word?
Catholic Culture ^ | 7/27/2000 | Matt C. Abbott

Posted on 06/25/2009 9:21:29 PM PDT by bdeaner

I remember listening to a conversation among several “traditional” Catholics (you know, the anti-Vatican II/anti-John Paul II/anti-Novus Ordo Missae/Latin Mass only crowd!) when I heard one individual exclaim: “Ecumenism is a bad word!” The others quickly nodded in agreement. (Not exactly a surprising statement and response, considering the source.)

But seriously, ecumenism is a vital mission of the Church that needs to be understood more fully and correctly, especially as we enter this ostensibly pivotal third millennium. Is ecumenism really a bad word? Or, more to the point, does ecumenism require Catholics to compromise their faith? The answer lies in whether we are talking about authentic ecumenism (no) or false ecumenism (yes).

Contrary to what most “traditional” Catholics say, there is such a thing as authentic ecumenism – and it is essential for Christian unity. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Christ bestowed unity on His Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time. Christ always gives His Church the gift of unity, but the Church must always pray and work to maintain, reinforce, and perfect the unity that Christ will for her…. The desire to recover the unity of all Christians is a gift of Christ and a call of the Holy Spirit” (n. 820).

In Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II also speaks of the urgent need for Christian unity: “By the year 2000 we need to be more united, more willing to advance along the path toward the unity for which Christ prayed on the eve of His Passion. This unity is enormously precious. In a certain sense, the future of the world is at stake. The future of the Kingdom of God in the world is at stake.”

So why is ecumenism so controversial? One central issue is the oft-misinterpreted and misrepresented teaching extra ecclesiam nulla salus (“outside the Church there is no salvation”).

The Catechism quotes Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium on this subject: “Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation…. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or remain in it. This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and His Church” (nn. 846-847).

The Catechism goes on to quote Vatican II’s teaching on what is known as Baptism of desire: “Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation” (n. 847).

And in its section on Baptism, the Catechism teaches what is known as Baptism of blood: “The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament” (n. 1258).

In summary, we know that everyone’s salvation – Catholic and non-Catholic – is through the Catholic Church, either as faithful members of the Church (Baptism of water), or as persons who give their life for Christ (Baptism of blood), or who would belong to the Catholic Church if they knew it was the one, true Church founded by Jesus Christ (Baptism of desire). BR> There are, however, a considerable number of “traditional” Catholics, known affectionately as “Feeneyites” (followers of the late Fr. Leonard J. Feeney and his rigorist and thereby erroneous interpretation of extra ecclesiam nulla salus), who deny Baptisms of blood and desire. They often cite various quotations (mostly out of context) from early Popes, saints, and councils to “confirm” their erroneous position that Baptism of blood and Baptism of desire are false teachings.

Yet we see that this assertion is simply ludicrous. Indeed, Baptism of blood and/or desire was taught by such early Church fathers as Iranaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Cyril of Jerusalem, John Chrysostom, and Augustine, and also by the Council of Trent. And the teaching of Baptism of desire was reaffirmed by Pope Pius XII in his 1943 encyclical Mystici Corporis and by the Vatican’s Holy Office in 1949. So much for the false assertion that this teaching was “invented” by the Second Vatican Council!

It is also asserted by many “traditional” Catholics that ecumenism itself was an invention of Vatican II. This, needless to say, is not the case.

Consider Pope Leo XIII, who tried to encourage an attitude of respect and friendship with the Eastern Churches and with our Protestant brothers and sisters. He never referred to them as heretics, but rather as “separated Christians.”

And consider Pope Pius XII, whose ecumenical outlook in regard to Protestants is most striking. In his 1939 encyclical, Summa Pontificatus, he says that “we cannot pass over in silence the profound impression of heartfelt gratitude made on us by the good wishes of those who, though not belonging to the visible body of the Catholic Church, have given noble and sincere expression to their appreciation of all that unites them to us, in love for the person of Christ or belief in God.”

Also significant during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII was the publishing of On the Ecumenical Movement by the Holy Office in 1949. This document allowed Catholics, with the approval of their bishop, to engage in theological dialog and common prayer with Protestant Christians.

Examples such as these illustrate how ecumenism has profoundly developed over the years, especially since Vatican II and with the post-Vatican II pontificates.

Now there also is such a thing as false ecumenism, which seeks to promote religious indifferentism (all religions are of equal value and therefore it doesn’t matter which one you belong to), universalism (the heretical belief that all people are saved), and syncretism (the combining of various beliefs and practices of different religions as a “compromise”).

But none of these are taught – and could never be taught – by the Church or the Vicar of Christ. Yes, it is (unfortunately) true that some Catholics go too far in this arena and end up promoting erroneous doctrines and ideologies instead of authentic ecumenical dialog. Even a priest can be guilty of this, such as when he allows or encourages non-Catholics to receive Holy Communion – something ordinarily not permitted by the Church.

Yet, to say that the Magisterium itself is teaching and promoting heresy is preposterous, for we know that Christ’s Church is both infallible and indefectible. And all of Pope John Paul II’s ecumenical efforts stem the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, which – like the previous 20 ecumenical councils – was guided by the Holy Spirit and thus protected from doctrinal error.

Ultimately, true ecumenism does not require us to give up our Marian devotions (a big no-no in my book!) or in any way compromise our faith; it means joining hands with other Christians and people of goodwill to bring our nihilistic, hedonistic, anti-life, anti-family culture back to God, while at the same time acknowledging our obvious differences. Far from being a bad word, ecumenism is – in the words of John Paul II – “a response to the exhortation in the First Letter of Peter to ‘give an explanation of the reason for our hope’” (1 Peter 3:15).

Sources

1. “The Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

2. “Crossing the Threshold of Hope” by Pope John Paul II (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1994).

3. “Catholic Replies” by James J. Drummey (C.R. Publications, 1995).

4. “Pre-Vatican II Ecumenism” by Dave Armstrong (from his web site).

5. “Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus: Fr Feeney Makes a Comeback” by Michael J. Mazza (“Fidelity” magazine, December 1994).

6. Catholic Encyclopedia, edited by Fr. Peter Stravinskas (Our Sunday Visitor, 1991).


TOPICS: Catholic; Ecumenism; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: baptismofdesire; catholic; ecumenism; vaticanii
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1 posted on 06/25/2009 9:21:30 PM PDT by bdeaner
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To: bdeaner

Ecumenism is straight from Lucifer. No doubt about it.


2 posted on 06/25/2009 9:30:46 PM PDT by kingpins10
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To: kingpins10
Ecumenism is straight from Lucifer. No doubt about it.

LOL. Are you serious?
3 posted on 06/25/2009 9:33:12 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: bdeaner

Ecumenism, as put forth by Revelation, a.k.a: one world religion. Compromise over biblical things is never good.


4 posted on 06/25/2009 9:35:14 PM PDT by kingpins10
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To: kingpins10

“The Catechism goes on to quote Vatican II’s teaching on what is known as Baptism of desire: “Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation” (n. 847).”

Wrong. Salvation is through Jesus Christ’s work on the cross and his efforts alone.


5 posted on 06/25/2009 9:37:18 PM PDT by kingpins10
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To: bdeaner
This is ecumenicism...



(That's a Koran btw.)
6 posted on 06/25/2009 9:42:49 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: kingpins10
Ecumenism, as put forth by Revelation, a.k.a: one world religion. Compromise over biblical things is never good.

I think you jumped the gun a bit. First of all, the article is talking about CHRISTIAN ecumenism, not "one world religion." Secondly, the article is explicitly critical of the "one world religion" type of ecumenism -- in other words, without compromising -- yet nevertheless striving toward Christian unity.

Biblically, we are commanded to strive toward unity as a Church, but of course without compromise.
7 posted on 06/25/2009 9:43:46 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: bdeaner

Actually we’re not commanded to strive towards unity as a church. We are commanded to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ without dilution. We can’t get there on our own merits, Christ and Christ alone is the way.


8 posted on 06/25/2009 9:46:32 PM PDT by kingpins10
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To: kingpins10; bdeaner

“seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation” - Catholic Church

“...But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

- Jesus Christ

It seems that Jesus taught that the ignorant would have a lesser punishment - but not eternal life.


9 posted on 06/25/2009 9:47:46 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: bdeaner

I am a traditional catholic and belong to a parish under the FSSP. Their founding...

In 1988, Pope John Paul II established the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter as a society of apostolic life and approved its constitutions. The Fraternity was founded in response to the Holy Father’s call to ecclesial unity and the new evangelization. Hence, our name denotes a filial love and loyalty to the Supreme Pontiff.

Their mission...
The Fraternity of St. Peter seeks to respond to the Holy Father’s appeal through an active apostolate in the service of the Church. We seek to reunite those who have been alienated by liturgical abuse and theological dissent by offering the sacred liturgy in all of its solemnity according to the Latin liturgical books of 1962, and by offering the faithful sound catechetical teaching within the living Tradition of the Church

The Holy Father has called on all baptized faithful to participate in the new evangelization of the world, emphasizing the fact that all must use their unique charisms to full effect. The fraternity of St. Peter has as its charism the celebration of the sacraments according to the extraordinary from of the Roman rite. Through our liturgical identity, the Fraternity carries on the new evangelization in the living tradition of the Church that is ever ancient, ever new.


10 posted on 06/25/2009 9:58:04 PM PDT by Irisshlass
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To: PetroniusMaximus

I’m not Catholic. My Lord and Saviour is Jesus Christ, not works. My deeds can never be good enough to get to heaven. To say otherwise is denial of Christ.

“For by grace are you saved, not works, lest any man should boast.”


11 posted on 06/25/2009 9:58:04 PM PDT by kingpins10
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To: bdeaner

12 posted on 06/25/2009 10:04:49 PM PDT by Irisshlass
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To: kingpins10; All
Let the Scriptures speak for themselves.

Ephesians 4:1-16
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says:
"When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men." (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

John 17: 20-23
"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

1 Corinthians 12:13
For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Ephesians 1:23
And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

John 17:9-11
I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.

John 10:16
I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

John 17: 21-23
that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

John 15:5
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

1 Corinthians 1:10-16
I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas[a]"; still another, "I follow Christ."
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.)

Galatians 3:27-28
for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 4:1-6, 15-16
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all...
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Galatians 1:6-9
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

John 13:35
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

Acts 4:32
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.

Acts 20:29
I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.

13 posted on 06/25/2009 10:15:33 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: bdeaner

Your scriptures are not the same as mine. You choose to be Catholic, I choose to be Christian. Good day.


14 posted on 06/25/2009 10:20:13 PM PDT by kingpins10
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To: kingpins10
Evangelical and Catholic theologies both accept as the starting tenet of soteriology that we are saved by grace. God gives us his life as an act of generosity on his part. This is a not a point of disagreement between Catholics and Evangelicals. It is one of our glorious agreements! I'm sorry you do not appreciate that. Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification.

There are some differences in the ways Protestants, and in particular Evangelicals, define grace by referring primarily to its origin in God. Grace is typically defined as the free generosity of God through the self-giving of Christ. Catholics agree with this part of the definition but go on to define how the grace of God affects us when we are touched by it: grace is "any divine assistance given to persons in order to advance them toward their supernatural destiny of fellowship with God...Grace transforms a person's nature" (Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia). Catholics will go even farther, distinguishing between santifying grace (supernatural life) and actual grace (supernatural aid).

The problem that Catholics have with Protestant soteriology is not the claim that we are justified by faith but the claim that we are justified by faith alone. Works continue the justification after faith has begun it. In other words, justification is not complete without complete sanctification.

All the Catholic position needs is, first, any scripture that indicates works are essential for justification. And secondly, the absence of any statement in the Bible that we are justified by faith ALONE.

First, Scripture does clearly and emphatically teach that works are involved in the "by" of justification. The most obvious passage is in James:

James 2:14-26
14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[a]? 21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,"[b] and he was called God's friend. 24You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

25In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.


Faith without action/works is dead. He says a man is "JUSTIFIED by what he does." The Catholic interpretation is validated by the fact that reformers attempted to put James into an appendix in the Bible rather than in its historically accepted place. But it cannot be ignored.

Nevertheless James is not the only place to find verses to support the necessity of works (AND faith) for justification. The Catholic view of justification by faith AND works (faith comes first) is consistent with the gospel of Jesus!

Our Lord, Jesus Christ's ideal was that of a life of good works flowing outward from a vibrant inner faith. The parables of the wide and foolish builders (Mt 7:24-27), the two sons (Mt 21:28-32), the good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37), the talents (Mt 25:14-30), the sheep and the goats (Mt 25:31-46), and others all teach a unity of faith and works for salvation. The entire Sermon on the Mount is a discourse on Jesus' view of justification (justification and righteousness have the same root in Greek): "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER who is in heaven" (Mt 7:21). How much more explicit could Jesus have been?!?!?

In the Lord's Prayer (Our Father), Jesus teaches us to ask God to forgive us in the same measure that we have forgiven others. "Forgive us our debts [trespasses], as we also have forgiven our debtors [those who trespass against us]" (Mt 6:12). Catholics pray this prayer in every Mass. As a former Evangelical, I NEVER ONCE heard this prayer in an Evangelical Church! The theology of the Lord's Prayer just does not fit Protestant notions concerning salvation. For this reason, they feel it is better left unsaid. What a shame.

It is quite clear in Jesus' teaching that justification, and thus salvation, is accomplished in a unity of these two: faith and works. The whole process is made possible solely by grace. This is just what Catholic theology asserts.

Does Scripture anywhere state that "by faith alone" we are justified? The long and the short of it is--no. Those words are never, ever used in relation to justification anymore, by any of the NT authors. And no, not by Paul, who critized Jewish obligational works of law, e.g. circumcision, but not justification by good works. In fact, there are many passages in Paul's letters that support the necessity of good action for justification, including Philippians 2:12, Romans 2:6-8, etc.. And, by the way, the reformers tampered with the translation of Ephesians 2:8-10 -- it never said "faith ALONE," but rather that "BY GRACE" we "have been saved, through faith...for we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do GOOD WORKS."! In short, Paul agrees: grace makes possible justification through faith AND good works.
15 posted on 06/25/2009 10:22:57 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: kingpins10

“You choose to be Catholic, I choose to be Christian.”

Nice.

Freegards


16 posted on 06/25/2009 10:24:54 PM PDT by Ransomed (Son of Ransomed Says Keep the Faith!)
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To: kingpins10
Catholics are the original Christians, who canonized the Bible. The Church considers all Christians to be Christians, but not in full communion with the Mother Church.

God bless you, my Christian Brother. I will keep you in my prayers.
17 posted on 06/25/2009 10:25:33 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: Ransomed

God bless you, Christian Brother (or Sister, as the case may be). You may not recognize Catholics as Christians, but we are the original Christians. Without the Church, there would be no Bible. And we recognize all Christians as our brothers and sisters, only not in full communion with the Mystical Body of Christ that is the Church.


18 posted on 06/25/2009 10:28:51 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: bdeaner

We all need to get together somehow or other because what’s coming down the pike will need strong unity.


19 posted on 06/25/2009 10:36:21 PM PDT by bronxville
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To: bdeaner

Actually, you’re wrong about the original Christian brothers. They were called the apostles.

The Catholic Vulgate is from corrupted manuscripts from Alexandria, Egypt where followers of Origen inserted their own personal beliefs into the scripts. Among those are the belief that works are good enough to win salvation, which is false.

The ‘church’ is the local visible congregation of New Testament believers. That is why the Catholic church rounded up Christians by the millions, all through the ages, and murdered them. And now they are with the Lord.


20 posted on 06/25/2009 10:36:26 PM PDT by kingpins10
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To: bdeaner

Well, kingpin didn’t last long. All it took was a few scriptures and off he goes. :)


21 posted on 06/25/2009 10:37:36 PM PDT by bronxville
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To: kingpins10

Oops, you’re back. lol Could we have a source for your disinformation? Thanks.


22 posted on 06/25/2009 10:39:08 PM PDT by bronxville
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To: bronxville

Not disinformation, just trying to give some truth.

2 books are great sources, “Faith Undone” by Roger Oakland and also “While Men Slept” by Dr. Kerby Fannin. While Men Slept is a better book about the origins of ancient manuscripts and how they were used by the Catholic church and also the how and why we have so many ‘modern’ Bible versions at bookstores.


23 posted on 06/25/2009 10:44:07 PM PDT by kingpins10
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To: kingpins10

Not trying to offend anyone, just offering what I have studied. Gotta retire...on the east coast...


24 posted on 06/25/2009 10:52:28 PM PDT by kingpins10
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To: kingpins10
Your history is way off, my Christian Brother.

The first official Canon of the Bible was only discerned,by St Athanasius in his “Festal Letter” of 367 AD, by the bishops of the Catholic church at a Council held probably at Rome in 382 AD under Pope Damasus, and at the 4th century Councils of Hippo(393 AD) and Carthage(397 AD). The Catholic Church was preaching the good news of salvation for about three centuries before it discerned from among the many manuscripts in circulation which ones were truly inspired and were to become part of what we call the New Testament.

The Bible is a Catholic book nurtured within the influence of the Catholic Church who discerned the Canon. The first Bibles were all produced by Catholics. The first person to translate any part of the Bible into English was the priest, Bede, in the 8th century. Years later, even Martin Luther admitted that without the Catholic Church we would not even have a Bible.
25 posted on 06/25/2009 10:53:04 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: kingpins10
Actually, you’re wrong about the original Christian brothers. They were called the apostles.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. But the fact of the matter is that the Church IS Apostolic. If that's what you are trying to say, you are more Catholic than you might think!

St. Paul writes, "you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles" (Ephesians 2:19-20). St. John shows us that the Apostles are the "twelve foundations" of the walls of the heavenly Jerusalem" (Revelations 21:14). The household of God, the heavenly city--that is, the Church--rests upon the sure foundation of its apostolicity.

But what does this mean, "apostolic"? It means several things: the Church is founded on the Apostles, presedrves their teaching and traditions, continues to be guided by those teachings and traditions, and has recieved the entire patrimonyu of the Apostles, through a legitimate succession. Yes, succession!

Look at your Bible. The Apostles were careful to choose successors. St. Peter's quotation of Psalm 108:8, "His office let another take," is illuminating. The word "office" here is a translation of the Greek word episkopen (literally, "overseer"), from which we derive the English word "bishop." In fact, in the Protestant King James Version of the Bible, the line is rendered, "his bishopric let another take." Luke is discussing here the "office" of Apostle, which the Church even then understood under the title "bishop."

A close collaborator of Sts. Paul and Peter, St. Clement of Rome described how these men continued this practice in the later years of their apostolate. Clement also explains why his predecessors did this: "Our Apostles know through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be dissension over the bishop's office. That is why, having received complete foreknowledge, they appointed the aforesaid persons, and afterwards, they provided a continuance, that if these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in ministry."

And so the succession has continued unbroken. St. Irenaeus wrote in 190 A.D. about the earlier popes as if he were writing about ancient history--and he was!--but he was careful to include each and every name as he traced the chain of succession down to his own day.

We, too, can trace it down to ours. For the Church still today passes on its apostolic authority as the first Apostles show us in the pages of the Bible: by the laying on of hands (see 1 Tim. 5:22; 2 Tim. 1:6).

And it is not merely a matter of credentials--though credentials too are important. It is a matter of "the gift"--the charisms, the grace--conferred through the imposition of divinely qualified hands (1 Tim. 4:14). The clergy so ordained became "stewards of the mysteries of God" (1 Cor. 4:1), with the God-given power to exercise that stewardship.
26 posted on 06/25/2009 11:11:06 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: bdeaner

All the Saints you have posted came from the Latin Mass. :)


27 posted on 06/25/2009 11:22:42 PM PDT by Irisshlass
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To: bdeaner

You missed the sarcasm; there is nothing nice about claiming Catholics (I are one) are not Christian. The vast majority of the other sorts of Christians on FR know that, too. I’ll try to be clearer next time.

Freegards


28 posted on 06/26/2009 5:46:00 AM PDT by Ransomed (Son of Ransomed Says Keep the Faith!)
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To: bdeaner

My history is not way off, yours is. The origins of the Christian New Testament church was not organized. Jesus Christ himself would be furious with the Catholic Church and it’s faith based on works theology. The apostles spoke and wrote against these doctrines of devils in all throughout the New Testament.

And it goes back well before the 4th century A.D. People do not want to believe that faith is grace, a gift. We cannot get to heaven based on our ‘good deeds’.


29 posted on 06/26/2009 6:23:21 AM PDT by kingpins10
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To: bdeaner

Ecumenicalism with compromise is an attempt to compromise truth.

Ecumenicalism without compromise is merely a conversion attempt hidden by guile and deception.

Either way it is a dissipation of the gospel.

Now we see that after the disunity that was caused by Florence and Trent, among others, the Catholic Church is trying to bring together Christians that were driven forth from the united Church by those that were seeking to retain worldly power in the RCC, rather than spread the gospel. And those that were driven forth are blamed for it by the RCC’s most vocal apologists. Yeah, that is the way to bring Christianity back together.

The only way to bring the church back together is to repudiate all the councils and go back to those first seven and stick to those alone. Since that is not going to happen, the RCC has painted itself into a corner. Sorry, ain’t gonna happen. Pride is seriously a deadly thing.

Like Reagan, the Protestants can truly say “We didn’t leave the RCC, the RCC left us.” And now the RCC is trying to put the toothpaste back into the tube.

Soli Deo gloria


30 posted on 06/26/2009 6:58:22 AM PDT by Ottofire (Philippians 1:21: For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.)
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To: Ottofire
Ecumenicalism with compromise is an attempt to compromise truth.

Ecumenicalism without compromise is merely a conversion attempt hidden by guile and deception.


This is a false choice. All one needs to do is spend a few minutes exploring FR's Religion Forum, and it becomes obvious that the great majority of Protestants who criticize the Catholic Church are actually attacking a straw man, due to their ignorance and/or exposure to anti-Catholic propaganda. While Catholics these days seem to be relatively open to dialogue with Protestants, thanks in part to the ecumenical spirit of Vatican II, a lot of Catholics do not have a clear understanding of the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism--a problem that is in large part due to the diversity of Protestant beliefs, in contrast to one, unified doctrine of beliefs over the course of history in the Catholic Church. Both sides can learn something from each other without compromising. If nothing else, ecumenism among Christians is necessary in order to create a unified front politically and philosophically against the securalism and other anti-Christian forces taking root in our time -- which requires focusing on common ground rather than differences -- also very much a possibility, without compromising anything.

God bless.
31 posted on 06/26/2009 7:28:14 AM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: kingpins10
Jesus Christ himself would be furious with the Catholic Church and it’s faith based on works theology.

Baloney.

Jesus Christ Himself would understand that the theology of the Catholic Church is not "faith based on works."

You are beating up a straw man.

32 posted on 06/26/2009 7:31:05 AM PDT by Petronski (In Germany they came first for the Communists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist...)
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To: kingpins10
Among those are the belief that works are good enough to win salvation, which is false.

Of course it's false.

It's also not Catholic teaching.

That is why the Catholic church rounded up Christians by the millions, all through the ages, and murdered them.

You have a rather significant proof problem.

33 posted on 06/26/2009 7:33:14 AM PDT by Petronski (In Germany they came first for the Communists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist...)
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To: kingpins10
I’m not Catholic.

There's still time to fix that.

My Lord and Saviour is Jesus Christ, not works.

The same is true of Catholics.

My deeds can never be good enough to get to heaven. To say otherwise is denial of Christ.

Thus, it's a good thing Catholics don't say that.

34 posted on 06/26/2009 7:35:16 AM PDT by Petronski (In Germany they came first for the Communists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist...)
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To: Ransomed

Okay! Sorry for the misinterpretation. God bless.


35 posted on 06/26/2009 7:38:17 AM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: bronxville
We all need to get together somehow or other because what’s coming down the pike will need strong unity.

Exactly right. In the West, make no mistake, Christianity is under attack, and this is just the beginning. What is happening in Massachusetts to the Catholic hospitals, and the attempts by the gay lobby to silence the Church, are good examples of what more is to come. In the UK, there is a full frontal assault on Christianity, and the children are falling for it hard. A recent survey in the UK found that the majority of UK adolescents do not believe in God. That is alarming.
36 posted on 06/26/2009 7:50:44 AM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: Petronski

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs


37 posted on 06/26/2009 8:19:22 AM PDT by kingpins10
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To: bdeaner

it’s bs...and an argument you get from libs who hateb social conservatism constantly


38 posted on 06/26/2009 8:22:51 AM PDT by wardaddy (Proudly Anti-Abortion, not and will never be Pro-Life...........Sarah Palin, there is no substitute)
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To: kingpins10

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs is self-serving unsubstantiated propaganda. Any resemblance it might bear to history is purely coincidental and highly rare.


39 posted on 06/26/2009 8:23:50 AM PDT by Petronski (In Germany they came first for the Communists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist...)
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To: Petronski

Not true. So you’re telling me that the Catholic church did not torture any Christians? Am I correct in stating your opinion?


40 posted on 06/26/2009 8:25:49 AM PDT by kingpins10
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To: kingpins10
So you’re telling me that the Catholic church did not torture any Christians?

No.

Why don't you capitalize Catholic Church? It's a proper noun, why don't you capitalize it?

41 posted on 06/26/2009 8:27:03 AM PDT by Petronski (In Germany they came first for the Communists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist...)
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To: Petronski

Wow. Are you serious? You’re angry because I didn’t capitalize?


42 posted on 06/26/2009 8:35:08 AM PDT by kingpins10
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To: kingpins10

I’m not angry. I asked a question.


43 posted on 06/26/2009 8:36:07 AM PDT by Petronski (In Germany they came first for the Communists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist...)
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To: wardaddy

As I have learned the hard way, any “potty talk” or reference to it is against the rules of the Religion Forum on FR. Otherwise, beyond that, I have no clue what you are blabbering on about. What does Christian ecumenism have anything to do with liberals who hate social conservatism? The point is just the opposite: social conservative Christians, irregardless of their differences on doctrinal matters, need to work together to protect our culture from being destroyed by the liberals. Get it?


44 posted on 06/26/2009 8:39:07 AM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: kingpins10

That was very NOT Christian. I am also Catholic and can tell you one thing,I am a Christian. Our Sacred Liturgy is Christ centered. We Catholics know and recognize who our savior is,not you.


45 posted on 06/26/2009 8:41:00 AM PDT by red irish (Gods Children in the womb are to be loved too!)
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To: kingpins10
My history is not way off, yours is. The origins of the Christian New Testament church was not organized.

Have you ever read Acts? Have you read Paul's letters? Of course the early Church was organized. It doesn't even require reference to anything outside of Scripture to understand that. But then once you have some understanding of the early Church, the organized nature of the early Church is an undeniable fact.

For now, I will just provide you with one example from Scripture. See your Bible. In Matthew 18:15-18, we see Christ instructing His disciples on how to correct a fellow believer. It is extremely telling in this instance that Our Lord identifies the Church as the final authority to be appealed to. He Himself says that if an offending brother "will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican" (Matt. 18:17)--that is, as an outsider who is lost.

Moreoever, Our Lord then solemnly re-emphasizes the Church's infallible teaching authority in verse 18 by repeating His earlier statement about the power to bind and loose (Matt. 16:18-19), directing it this time to the Apostles as a group rather than just to Peter: "Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven." (Matt. 18:18).

Implicit in this passage from Matthew is the fact that the Church must have been a visible, tangible entity established in a hiearchical fasnion. Otherwise, how would anyone have known to whom the wrongdoer should be referred? If the Protestant definition of "church" were correct, then the wrongdoer would have to "hear" each and every believer who existed, hoping that there would be unanimity among them regarding the issue at hand. The inherent absurdity of this scenario is readily apparent. The only way we can make sense of Our Lord's statement here is to acknowledge that there was a definite organization, with positions of authority readily identifiable, to which an appeal could be made and from which a decisive judgment could be had.

Jesus Christ himself would be furious with the Catholic Church and it’s faith based on works theology. The apostles spoke and wrote against these doctrines of devils in all throughout the New Testament.

That statement is ridiculous. Catholic soteriology -- the Church's understanding of grace through faith and good deeds -- was the standard doctrine up until the Reformation. The Reformation theology is a rationalization for breaking away from the Church, and a distortion of the Scripture and a violation of Christ's command that the Apostles appeal to the infallible teaching authority of the Church in theological matters. It's all in the Scriptures, but one requires the eyes to see it and the ears to hear it.

And it goes back well before the 4th century A.D. People do not want to believe that faith is grace, a gift. We cannot get to heaven based on our ‘good deeds’

You are mounting a STRAW MAN argument. Please go up in the thread and the post I sent to you on Catholic soteriology and read it again. Catholics DO NOT believe that we get to heaven based only on our good deeds. We cannot merit our own Salvation. Only through the Lord's gratuitous sacrifice, the gift of Himself as the Lamb of God, can we be saved. And it is through that saving act that we are capable of having the faith and obedience (good deeds) to merit heaven. All the glory is the Lord's. This is Catholic teaching. And it is all Scriptural, as I have shown you above.
46 posted on 06/26/2009 8:43:53 AM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: bdeaner

>This is a false choice. All one needs to do is spend a few minutes exploring FR’s Religion Forum, and it becomes obvious that the great majority of Protestants who criticize the Catholic Church are actually attacking a straw man, due to their ignorance and/or exposure to anti-Catholic propaganda.

How can there be unity when there are unreconcilable differences? Trent laid down the law and evicted many that were rightly in the church of the West who a few hundred years earlier were considered orthodox (small o). After Trent, the line was laid that cannot be erased without 1) Rome admitting it was wrong, 2) wholesale conversion of Protestants from what we see as Biblical truth to what we see as man-made tradition. Either side must reject their beliefs to unify.

As for straw-men and anti-X propaganda, there are plenty of them on both sides. This is why I prefer to watch debates betwixt the sides, rather than just read the literature that either side puts out. The arguments placed side by side, passionately discussed and challenged by those that who really know their stuff is greatly illuminating.

As for those Vatican II, I just simply point out the the writings of Trent and Florence are pretty clear. Any outside the RCC are under the anathema. Unless you are saying that Trent and Florence have changed their clear meaning. It is pretty clear that those in the time of Trent and Florence believed that we are not separated brethren who might have a bit more time in purgatory, but heretics doomed to hell.

>While Catholics these days seem to be relatively open to dialogue with Protestants, thanks in part to the ecumenical spirit of Vatican II, a lot of Catholics do not have a clear understanding of the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism—a problem that is in large part due to the diversity of Protestant beliefs, in contrast to one, unified doctrine of beliefs over the course of history in the Catholic Church.

Um, actually I find that within those that actually hold to the teachings of the Reformation, there is little diversity in the essentials, where when I look to the RCC I find a diversity that is so great I can hardly see how it retains unity. I see many such as are found here, being conservative and then there is the Kennedy, Pelosi and the liberal ilk. When over 70% of Ecumenicals vote for McCain and over 50% of Catholics vote for Obama, where is the unity? Is Life is an issue with the magisterium only, but not so much with those that sit in the pews? Is that your definition of unity?

I see a church that apparently has no real authority, and has to ignore or compromise continually to maintain this unity. The lack of church discipline in the RCC does not argue for its truthfulness. The claim of unity just does not hold water. Maybe if the teachings of the Magisterium were more clear. Maybe there needs to be an infallible interpreter for it... oh wait. Sorry.

Then again, it is also clear that from the beginning there is no one teaching of the church, that there really was no unity. You will find that in each of the councils there were people that disagreed. Each council pared off believers from the unity of the church. And since the paring of the Orthodox (big O) you have to admit there were those that deserve the title Christian whom were separated from the ‘one true universal church’, BY the ‘one true universal church’. As such, the church divided itself from the unity that the later RCC is trying to reclaim. Does Athanasius Contra Mundum suggest that there was unity?

In the bedrock issue of the Canon of Scripture, the matter was not settled for some 1500 years after Christ!

One unified doctrine of beliefs indeed.

The problem with both the Protestant and RCC is that there are a majority of people that have no clue and no interest in finding out, what their churches teach. In the Protestant churches, whole churches wander from the clear teaching of the bible to liberalism, legalism and heresy. In the RCC there are those that think it is okay to be a cafeteria Catholic, picking and choosing what is okay to believe and what is okay to ignore. And then there is the RCC ignoring that to maintain a semblance of unity. In both cases there is no want to know doctrines, and in too many cases, no real spiritual rebirth in those that sit in the pews. Thus the problem with both is the lack of real believers changed by the Spirit of Truth.

>Both sides can learn something from each other without compromising. If nothing else, ecumenism among Christians is necessary in order to create a unified front politically and philosophically against the securalism and other anti-Christian forces taking root in our time — which requires focusing on common ground rather than differences — also very much a possibility, without compromising anything.

As for unifying for political and social issues, I agree. HOWEVER we cannot agree to do so under the banner of faith due to the fact we are not united in faith. I would not allow a Catholic to lead my children in prayer in school. Why? What if that prayer included references to Mary or the Saints? Would you allow a Mormon or a JW lead your children in prayer? I hope that sets your teeth on edge.

Such unity must be under where we are unified. Such as here, as fellow Freepers. As I stated prior, not all that are of your faith tradition agree with me on 5% of what you and I do. Thus they are embarrassed by you standing arm and arm with me, and would argue that the RCC does not stand for social conservative issues.

I know, I was all over the place on this, but I have only had one cup of coffee, so I apologize for the meandering response.

I understand the desire to unify, but again, it is impossible, outside God. Until He returns there is going to be disunity, unfortunately.

May God bless you, bdeaner, and I pray we will be united in Christ after He is proclaimed King by all people.


47 posted on 06/26/2009 8:43:57 AM PDT by Ottofire (Philippians 1:21: For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.)
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To: bdeaner

Oh lord...I eschew relativism...
but good luck with all that

i had an article with a lib last nite in which he equated all the usual garbage about Islam and Christianity being equivocal and all Christianity’s bad history and what not

I replied that since i did not believe in Islam why should I care?

the answer WFB often gave when asked essentially the same thing.

ecumenical pandering leads to the same (you fill it in for me hoss)

Jesus ain’t relative with apostate watered down be nice dogma and the Old Covenant still matters

btw in case you missed it, most Christians are no longer socially conservative, they have been brainwashed the past 40 years like most other folks

the only socially conservative under 40s I know came from like parents


48 posted on 06/26/2009 8:45:27 AM PDT by wardaddy (Proudly Anti-Abortion, not and will never be Pro-Life...........Sarah Palin, there is no substitute)
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To: bronxville

I also believe the same thing. But there are those who are so arrogant to believe because they say who is Christian and who is not is rude and lacks all Christian charity. It’s like the Mary thing,over and over and over and over trying to tell Catholics they worship Mary. Telling people they know a person’s relationship with Christ? Of all the gifts of the spirit my favorite is the fear of the Lord,more people should desire it. In our country there are Christian churches who have embraced sins such as abortion,50 million deaths mean nothing,acceptance of homosexuality as equal to heterosexuals. Yes we need each other in prayer and fasting.


49 posted on 06/26/2009 8:55:18 AM PDT by red irish (Gods Children in the womb are to be loved too!)
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To: red irish

Wow, the attacks. Liturgy is paganism and not Biblical. To say that I am not saved is risible.


50 posted on 06/26/2009 9:01:41 AM PDT by kingpins10
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