“And lest we forget that the early history of the Catholic Churchs efforts to spread Christianity was through the sword and through the assimilation of local pagan religious practices into the regular practice of The Church.” —> oh, that is hilarious. You mean that The Church spread Christianity to the Roman Empire through the sword? And we worship Thor and Odin? That’s historically so inaccurate, it makes the 9/11 conspiracy theory sound sane
Who said anything about worshiping Thor and Odin?
But I did say the Church spread via the sword. Remember the whole “Holy Roman Empire”? When the Catholic Church became one with the “government”, imperialism was used (and the sword/stake/etc) to “keep” the “faith”.
There is a pretty extensive list of pagan practices adopted by the Catholic Church as part of their method of assimilation. Many of our no generally accepted traditions around Christmas and Easter are prime examples.
I grew up Episcopalian (what I consider the kissing-cousin of Catholicism. I grew up with a fairly heavy respect for the Catholic Church. But then I discovered such books at Fox’s Book of Martyrs, and began studying the inconsistencies in the version of Christian history I had grown up hearing.
I began to ponder why some very faithful Christians I know did not celebrate the “traditional” way at Christmas, Easter, and so-on.
And most importantly, I began to regularly and faithfully read the Bible.
We scream here on FR about liberal revision of US History - yet so many won’t even consider digging into the history of Christianity. They are simply content to take centuries of “official” and very controlled history and tradition and don’t question anything.
There is still enough of history that the Catholic Church wasn’t able to completely destroy, burn, conceal, or re-write if one simply is willing to be open to the possibility that the truth is out there.
And please understand - that while I may come across as a Catholic hater because of my frequent posts on Catholic-related threads, that could not be farther from the truth. I try to speak in love as Christ would have His disciples do. Salvation is not directly linked to a denominational label, but specifically and ONLY in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Not in our works (that none may boast/brag). Not in any other. The desire of God’s heart is that none should perish, but all would come to eternal life. Those of us who truly believe the Word of God, also have such a desire. Anything that teaches “another Gospel” is clearly warned about in God’s Word.
For it is by Grace you are saved, not of yourselves (nothing you can do for yourself), it is a Gift of God, that none may boast.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. That whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.