Skip to comments.Essays for Lent: The Rapture
Posted on 03/31/2012 8:03:04 PM PDT by Salvation
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In other words you dont have a clue as to what scripture teaches about the end times. Oh well, make sure your trust is in Jesus alone.
Two points here. One, this passage doesn't say, "rescues us from God's wrath", it just says "wrath". Thus, two, it could be taken as an encouragement to endure wrath upon Christianity, IOW, it could be taken as a prophecy of upcoming persecution, and an exhortation that such persecution will be prevailed upon, which of course did occur (early Christians were persecuted, but eventually were "delivered" from such "wrath" when Christianity became leagalized in the Roman Empire.) You may not agree with this alternate hypothesis, but I maintain it's at least as reasonable as yours, despite what you may say to the contrary.
And 2 Thessalonians 2: 6-7 says that the man of sin cant be revealed until theres a removal of a restraining power Church, body of Christ
I don't see where in that passage it says "the Body of Christ" must be removed in order to expose the man of sin. Maybe it's my translation. Post yours if you wish.
Heres another indication of two separate events:
The Gospels say Jesus Christ returns to the earth and conquers it, and the people will be gathered from the four corners of the earth, separating the sheep from the goats.
The event described here is different in nature then whats described in 1 Thess 4:15-18. If its the same event, there wouldnt be any sheep left on earth, only goats since the sheep have already been taken to the air to meet the Lord.
I don't see how this excludes the point I made earlier, considering also the fact that 1 Thess 4 doesn't necessarily exclude the possibility that Jesus may do something else before He raises the dead. Again, 1 Thess 4 doesn't say the *only* thing He will do is raise the dead, then assume all believers bodily into Heaven.
There certainly ARE Catholics who have decided that they will believe in some stuff and won't believe in other stuff...but there is no disagreement or uncertainly on what our Catholic Church believes and teaches. The Catholic catechism has our entire faith in it--has it all.
However, you very well may have been speaking with Catholics who are NOT versed in their faith at all. With THEM you will definitely have disagreements and uncertainly. It's like speaking with some of the 20,000-30,000+ different Protestant denominations....talk about disagreement and uncertainty.
It must be difficult for some people to see how fractured Christianity is (It's sad for me to see.): ONE Catholic Church and 25,000 (Give or take) different Protestant denominations...talk about disagreement and uncertainty.
I agree with much of what you say, and Salvation, I’ve only been registered a few months, so please pardon a highjack rather than a new thread, but Daniell212, could you provide early citations for the papal sanctions for torture.
I have Damasus about 383 AD, against a Spanish bishop Priscillian.
The earliest biblical justification for force against Christians I’ve seen is Augustine, bishop of Hippo, about 400 AD, citing Luke 14:23, which is a parable concerning compelling probable unbelievers.
Thanks for your help.
So tell me then. Do faithful Christians have to experience the wrath of God during the Tribulation? If they do, would you please show me from scripture where that has ever happened before.
While I appreciate your sincerity, you completely miss the point of my post, which was directed to a Catholic.
The traditional Catholic teaching is that the final end of man is a "spiritual" paradise and that the material universe G-d created in the beginning will be annihilated. This is related to their belief in a purely "spiritual messiah" (a contradiction in terms) and their rejection of a literal King Messiah who presides over a literal messianic kingdom on this earth, which will at some future point be rejuvenated into "the world to come."
My question was purely rhetorical, demanding a defense of this "spiritualism," not because I was soliciting advice on what to believe.
I never said I know everything about the end times, but since you have nothing else to offer in response to my replies other than a snide remark about perceived ignorance on my part, I'll take it as an unsaid agreement on your part that 1 Thess 4:16 clearly indicates the dead will be raised first, before all believers are "raptured" to Heaven. IOW, the notion of a mysterious whisking away of believers, before the very visible return of Jesus, and raising of the dead, is false.
Thanks for your "charity".
Deception is the ‘tribulation’, Matthew 24:3-6 Mark 13:3-— and Luke 21:7-—— recorded three times for emphasis. Christ NEVER uttered one word about a secret escape for the ‘church’, because He fully expects some to be delivered up to fulfill the prophecy of Joel the Prophet that Peter explains in Acts 2:16. Paul was only explaining where the ‘dead’ in the flesh are not an instruction about those getting left behind.
Christ's commanded Christians in Mark 13:35 “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at the even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”
Nothing there about a quick time ticket out of here, because this earth belongs to the Heavenly Father and as it is Written He intends at His appointed time to clean house.
Only problem is that far too many people think they are going to escape to the mountains.
Those who live in rural areas with survivalist leanings already frequently take the view of denying access to anything in their domain except for locals or immediate family.
Logistics will change.
The best solution is to prepare in peacetime how to behave in adversity. Build the society we want now, today, in our own communities. Build it upon faith in Christ and witnessing to others.
Besides, God has a plan for each of us. He will place us where He wants us at the right place and time.
You sure were sure in post 13 however werent you. >> IOW, the notion of a mysterious whisking away of believers, before the very visible return of Jesus, and raising of the dead, is false.<<
Wrong! Those who are faithful believers will be ruptured to heaven prior to a seven year tribulation at the end of which Christ will return to the earth, which He doesnt do at the rapture, to defeat Satan and the armies that come against Israel in the battle of Armageddon.
You haven’t read the Book of Revelation?
I’ve understood that everyone, that is EVERYONE will experience the tribulations mentioned.
Actually looks like ‘373AD’ the Rapture was preached as follows..you might find this an interesting read:
In Grant Jeffrey’s book.. “Triumphant Return”,.. he writes that about.. 373 AD ...Ephraem taught in a sermon that there was a pre-tribulation rapture.
This writing can be found in Ephraem’s sermon... “On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World.”,... Ephraem said in this sermon, ...”For the saints and Elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins”.
Ephraem also taught in this same sermon that the war of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38-39 would precede the tribulation and he taught the imminent return of Jesus.
I neither know nor care. Why on earth would I know the answer to that question? It IS an odd question.
You ought to ask your own preacher/priest these questions. Or, you can go to Catholic answers.
Lol. Why on EARTH would you even THINK that I would know the answer to that??? I plan to AVOID God's wrath AT ALL TIMES. I will let others like you worry about the Tribulation. I have tomorrow to worry about and my bad hip.
Whenever a theology gets justification straight, they tend to develop a literal interpretation of Scripture. Later as they advance through other doctrines, the eschatology then becomes pretrib premil.
Even the Puritans before the end of the 17th century became premil, whereas their previous doctrines a century earlier were quite different.
As for bugging out to the mountains...he has a place there to bug out to so it's not like he doesn't have a destination nor without knowledge of who lives out there.
I think what I'm doing is determining if or not I myself am included with their plans and if so how to go about connecting....and or... do so in the year ahead so I'm closer should events heat up. If it would prove otherwise then I need to do what I can here and now....as my other plan failed to come to fruition as hoped...and the clock is ticking.
I never said in post 13 or anywhere that what I was describing was in perfect detail everything about the end times. I'll be the first to admit I don't know everything.. I was only asserting that what 1 Thess 4 seemingly clearly shows is that Christ will visibly return, and the dead will be raised (verse 16) before the believers are assumed bodily into Heaven (verse 17).
The last word is yours if you need it, but know this: I'm not interested in anything else you have to say here, unless you wish to explain how the dead are not raised before the "rapture" of believers, because that would be interesting. After all, as I did say in post 13, "Scripture SEEMS pretty clear on this" (not I "know" Scripture is pretty clear on this). "seems" doesn't mean "know". It means it appears, to me, but I'm willing to hear how I could be wrong. So, if you're willing to show how I'm wrong about 1 Thess 4, then I'm willing to listen. I'm not willing to listen if you're going to be insulting however.
And by the way, you won't convince me (and thus will be ignored), if you simply give other Scripture passages to "show" the "rapture" comes first, because quite frankly I'll never believe Scripture condradicts itself, and that's exactly what that kind of "argument" will necessarily imply.
>>I have tomorrow to worry about and my bad hip.<<
Theres your problem. Do a search in scripture on take therefore no thought for tomorrow. In fact, why dont you go straight to Matthew 6.
BTW I had polio when I was two and now have post polio so dont cry to me about your hip.
Ive not only read Revelation but studied it extensively. Faithful believers do not experience Gods wrath. Many promises are given in scripture to believers that they will escape the wrath to come. Its current unbelievers who will experience that wrath just as unfaithful Israelites were punished by God and then returned to Him. It will cause some to repent and be killed but current faithful believers are promised to be kept from that wrath.
Interesting..I didn't know that about the Puritans.
But I do tend to think that once an individual does see both sides of the issues and this with the 'literal' interpretation of scripture...they do move to pre-mil and pre-trib....For myself after studying the two it simply confirmed what I believed to begin with...but now I knew 'why' I believed it, not just because it was taught.
There are just too many holes which open wider when people "spiritualize" what's written.....and that gives way then to anything being possible...whatever one might "think" could be or imagine. In fact many of the false religions and cults today are deeply into "spiritualizing" text and thus mis-lead many.
Isnt it amazing.
Thank you for your kindness.
Tracking back, I do see I missed the sense of your post #15.
I’ll try to keep up.
The concept of the Rapture does not preclude that the dead in Christ rise first. They do rise first than those of us who are faithful believers will be caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air. Christ does not return to earth at the rapture. It’s after Armageddon that those who perished during the tribulation are raised.
I can't imagine someone thinking they're going to experience the tribulation period. That's 'like' not having the assurance of ones Salvation....or imagining themselves hanging in the purgatory mode. How awful to be seemingly hanging out there not knowing when Jesus made it so clear "that we may know".
Interesting, thank you. What you describe is possible given that the dead are raised first.
Now, let me make this question clear, as apparently I wasn’t clear before: Verse 16 also states that Christ will visibly return, “loudly”, before the dead are raised, doesn’t it? Thus, since we agree the dead are raised before the “rapture” of all believers, doesn’t this mean Christ returns visibly before all of this?
Again, seems pretty clear to me. It seems to be simple logic.
Not loudly for the unbeliever. Remember that they dont even hear His voice.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
It happens in the twinkling of an eye 1 Cor. 15:51-52. Unbelievers, if they hear anything at all, will deny just as they do many other things Christians talk about.
Alright, thanks. Goodnight.
I wouldn't be so sure about that if I were you. Read http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2006/08/imprimatur-watch-what-youre-reading-my.html for an eyeopening look at what that term actually means and DOESN'T mean.
cloud —> don’t be taken in by fancy tales from the various Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses or other cultists out here —> they will pass you false links, etc. anything to show their despise of Christ...
I wonder why so many people MISS this part of the verses from I Thessalonians 4:13-18
" Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lords word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words."
It seems to be quite clear that the souls of the redeemed who have died in Christ, will be brought back WITH Christ to be reunited with their glorified bodies. Their change happens first, then we who are alive are caught up together WITH them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and then be with him for eternity. We are told to encourage each other with this revelation. Then, in chapter 5 of I Thessalonians, Paul speaks about the Second Coming of Christ upon the earth where ALL eyes will see him and this happens at the end of the seven year Tribulation.
No, we don't learn from Apostolic Tradition. The early church fathers HAD no Apostolic Traditions. If you read their writtings they frequently used the inspired scriptures. When they veered off the path was normally when they interject their thoughts or opinions into something. That's not to say that we can't learn from others but things must be verified through scripture.
I've heard this "There is no line is Scripture that says the Scripture is the SOLE source of our teaching..." before, frequently from Catholics. This is a grave mistake. The early CHURCH fathers distinguish the difference between INSPIRED writing and UNINSPIRED writing. They called the INSPIRED writing the Bible. So what is really being said is that "We no longer believe the Scriptures to be solely the inspired word of God." This is completely against the teachings of the first 400 years of the Church.
Father Luther dumped the seven OT books because they were not acceptable to the early Church Fathers as inspired teachings-not because it was a whim of his.
And, currently, I'm a Baptist going to a Presbyterian church simply because I prefer a confessional church (one where we actually confess our sins). I have yet to hear them read from the Book of Wisdom. Where your friend went is most likely is the liberal branch of the Presbyterians. This should say something.
Christ said that all Christians would have troubles and tribulations but we should be of good cheer because He has overcome the world. So what more tribulation would there be or how would it be any different?
As you know, I’m always happy to provide it. ;O)
“It happens in the twinkling of an eye 1 Cor. 15:51-52. Unbelievers, if they hear anything at all, will deny just as they do many other things Christians talk about.”
And they’ll be left in great delusion (2 Thessalonians 2:11)
Revelation 19: 11And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
17And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
18That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
19And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
20And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
21And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
I don,t see any rapture, paul says in 1 cor 15:51 and 52
Many people has deliberately twisted these scriptures around because they know that most people do not take the time to understand the meanings and it is easy to see that most people would like to get out of dieing if possible.
And would,nt it be great to be so worthy to be in the first resurrection?
Well we are about two thousand years late to be in the first resurrection, jesus lead the first resurrection the 144000 went with him and it plainly says so in rev.
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.”
It does not say they will be redeemed , it says they were ( past tense ) redeemed.
You very well may have been speaking with Catholics who are NOT versed in their faith at all.
We have all heard the poorly cathechised excuse for the widespread disparity of belief among Roman Catholics, but which means that that kind of liberalism is what Rome produces, as that is what is most typical, and it is not effectively disciplined but is fostered. The old Inquisitions would have plenty of work, but having lost its unScriptural use of the sword of men then Rome has largely adopted a policy of implicit accommodation. Ask Ted Kennedy if you see him.
What we really teach is not what we may officially say, but what we effectually convey.
Moreover, your response does not interact with the details of the argument. As you present yourself as one who is versed in the faith, why did you choose not to answer the questions posed, or at least not tell me if such examples of stamped, church-supported teaching are what you support, or that your assurance of doctrine even enables certainty as to how many infallible teachings there are, (as you need to know in order to give the required assent of faith, while non-infallible teachings can allow some disagreement (http://www.catholicplanet.com/TSM/general-magisterium.htm)?
Moreover, as magisterial teachings can require some interpretation, where is your infallible interpreter for your supreme authority (the magisterium)?
With THEM you will definitely have disagreements and uncertainly.
Actually, you have just insulted priests and far more knowledgeable and well known apologists than i think you should present yourself as being, who testify to disparity of belief and to disagreements with each other on what Rome teaches.
One-third of surveyed priests said they do not waver from their vow of celibacy, while 47% described celibacy as an ongoing journey and 14% said they do not always succeed in following it. 2% said celibacy is not relevant to their priesthood and they do not observe it. not celibate. Los Angeles Times (extensive) nationwide survey (2002). http://www.bishop-accountability.org/resources/resource-files/reports/LAT-Priest-Survey.pdf http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1141/is_2_39/ai_94129129/pg_2
71 percent of priests responded that it always was wrong for a woman to get an abortion, 19 percent that it often was, and 4 percent seldom/never. ^
28 percent judged that is always was sin for married couples to use artificial birth control, 25 percent often, 40 percent never. ^
49 percent affirmed that it was always a sin to engage in homosexual behavior, often, 25 percent; and never, 19 percent. ^
To take one's own life if suffering from a debilitating disease: always, 59 percent; often, 18 percent; never, 17 percent. ^
And James Swan documents, regarding Roman Catholic apologists,
Robert Sungenis recently stated Rome's scholars are worse than Protestant liberals. Jimmy Akin recently chastised the interpretation of his priest saying, "This isn't exegetical rocket science." Steve Ray had some similar problems with a priest and concludes the church is "Always reforming, always in need of reform." Mark Shea accuses Robert Sungenis of lying. Sungenis says Scott Hahn misunderstands of the whole issue of justification. Over on the Catholic Answers forum, they recently had a heated discussion as to whether Scott Hahn teaches "prima scriptura." Tim Staples says he went to a mass in which the priest led the church in "the wave." Jimmy Akin says you can pray to whoever you want to, even if they aren't saints. Art Sippo says Mary should be Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix of all Graces. Patrick Madrid disagreed with him. Karl Keating states, "Many Catholics are confused because some priests tell them contracepting is immoral, while others tell them the practice is morally neutral; some priests speak as though Mary had only one child, while others imply that she was the mother of the 'brethren of the Lord', some priests correctly explain the meaning of the Real Presence, while others refer to the Eucharist as only a symbol. Priests are authority figures, and lay people expect them to know and teach the faith accurately- not a safe assumption nowadays." Jim Burnham stated on Catholic Answers that Seventy percent of Roman Catholics do not understand the Eucharist.
I could go on and on. I didn't even mention any of my "We Have Apostolic Tradition"- The Unofficial Catholic Apologist Commentary " posts. In those posts, you can see that Catholic apologists disagree with each other when they interpret the Bible. Then there are the big issues, like evolution. If you want to see diversity of opinion, simply try and nail down a Catholic apologist or a Catholic theologian on it. You would think Catholic theologians could at least be unified on Luther and the Reformation. Some say Luther was sent by Satan, others think he wasn't such a bad guy.
It must be difficult for some people to see how fractured Christianity is (It's sad for me to see.): ONE Catholic Church and 25,000 (Give or take) different Protestant denominations...talk about disagreement and uncertainty
Which statement is simply more evidence that devotion to Rome disallows seeing evidence that refutes them, including that evangelicals testify of far greater uniformity in basic Biblical moral beliefs and core truths than RCs, as you prefer to uncritically repeat a canard (among others) that wiser or more honest Roman Catholic apologists know better than to repeat (http://www.pugiofidei.com/unsound.htm) and ignore what i said and which links provide, and that Catholicism it itself fractured in beliefs, even if it seldom results in formal divisions, with unity in error.
I do perceive that you seem to be new to these debates (and new to FR), but here is a link to one of many posts in one of the many extended exchanges on this issue on FR. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2834915/posts
It was first authorized by Innocent IV in his Bull "Ad exstirpanda" of 15 May, 1252, which was confirmed by Alexander IV on 30 November, 1259, and by Clement IV on 3 November, 1265. The limit placed upon torture was citra membri diminutionem et mortis periculum i.e, it was not to cause the loss of life or limb or imperil life. Torture was to applied only once, and not then unless the accused were uncertain in his statements, and seemed already virtually convicted by manifold and weighty proofs...
Had this papal legislation been adhered to in practice, the historian of the Inquisition would have fewer difficulties to satisfy. In the beginning, torture was held to be so odious that clerics were forbidden to be present under pain of irregularity. Sometimes it had to be interrupted so as to enable the inquisitor to continue his examination, which, of course, was attended by numerous inconveniences. Therefore on 27 April, 1260, Alexander IV authorized inquisitors to absolve one another of this irregularity. Urban IV on 2 August, 1262, renewed the permission, and this was soon interpreted as formal licence to continue the examination in the torture chamber itself. The inquisitors manuals faithfully noted and approved this usage. The general rule ran that torture was to be resorted to only once. But this was sometimes circumvented first, by assuming that with every new piece of evidence the rack could be utilized afresh, and secondly, by imposing fresh torments on the poor victim (often on different days), not by way of repetition, but as a continuation...
But what was to be done when the accused, released from the rack, denied what he had just confessed? Some held with Eymeric that the accused should be set at liberty; others, however, like the author of the "Sacro Arsenale" held that the torture should be continued, because the accused had too seriously incriminated himself by his previous confession. When Clement V formulated his regulations for the employment of torture, he never imagined that eventually even witnesses would be put on the rack, although not their guilt, but that of the accused, was in question. From the pope's silence it was concluded that a witness might be put upon the rack at the discretion of the inquisitor. Moreover, if the accused was convicted through witnesses, or had pleaded guilty, the torture might still he used to compel him to testify against his friends and fellow-culprits. Catholic Encyclopedia>Inquisition; http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08026a.htm
Pope Innocent IV, Bull Ad Exstirpanda (May 15, 1252). This fateful document introduced confession-extorting torture into tribunals of the Inquisition. It had already been reinstated in secular processes over the previous hundred years, during which Roman Law was being vigorously revived. Innocents Bull prescribes that captured heretics, being "murderers of souls as well as robbers of Gods sacraments and of the Christian faith, . . . are to be coerced as are thieves and bandits into confessing their errors and accusing others, although one must stop short of danger to life or limb." Bull Ad Extirpanda (Bullarium Romanorum Pontificum, vol. 3 [Turin: Franco, Fory & Dalmazzo, 1858], Lex 25, p. 556a.)
Pope Innocent IV, Ad extirpanda (named for its Latin incipit):
A papal bull, promulgated on May 15, 1252, by Pope Innocent IV, which explicitly authorized (and defined the appropriate circumstances for) the use of torture by the Inquisition for eliciting confessions from heretics.
The bull was issued in the wake of the murder of the papal inquisitor of Lombardy, St. Peter of Verona, who was killed by a conspiracy of Cathar sympathizers on 6 April 1252.
The bull argued that as heretics are "murderers of souls as well as robbers of Gods sacraments and of the Christian faith ...", they are "to be coercedas are thieves and banditsinto confessing their errors and accusing others, although one must stop short of danger to life or limb."  The following parameters were placed on the use of torture:
that it did not cause loss of life or limb (citra membri diminutionem et mortis periculum)
that it was used only once
that the Inquisitor deemed the evidence against the accused to be virtually certain.
The requirement that torture only be used once was effectively meaningless in practice as it was interpreted as authorizing torture with each new piece of evidence that was produced and by considering most practices to be a continuation (rather than repetition) of the torture session (non ad modum iterationis sed continuationis).
The bull conceded to the State a portion of the property to be confiscated from convicted heretics. The State in return assumed the burden of carrying out the penalty. The relevant portion of the bull read: "When those adjudged guilty of heresy have been given up to the civil power by the bishop or his representative, or the Inquisition, the podestà or chief magistrate of the city shall take them at once, and shall, within five days at the most, execute the laws made against them."
Innocents Bull prescribes that captured heretics, being "murderers of souls as well as robbers of Gods sacraments and of the Christian faith, . . . are to be coerced as are thieves and bandits into confessing their errors and accusing others, although one must stop short of danger to life or limb." Bull Ad Extirpanda (Bullarium Romanorum Pontificum, vol. 3 [Turin: Franco, Fory & Dalmazzo, 1858], Lex 25, p. 556a.)
Tertullian (3rd century): [S]hall the son of peace take part in the battle when it does not become him even to sue at law? And shall he apply the chain, and the prison, and the torture, and the punishment, who is not the avenger even of his own wrongs?" (De Corona, 11)
St. Augustine lives under and comments upon in The City of God:
[The accused] is tortured to discover whether he is guilty, so that, though innocent, he suffers most undoubted punishment for crime that is still doubtful; not because it is proved that he committed it, but because it is not ascertained that he did not commit it. Thus the ignorance of the judge frequently involves an innocent person in suffering [and even in death, when the accused falsely confesses a capital crime out of sheer terror of unendurable pain]. The City of God, 19: 6 ("Of the error of human judgments when the truth is hidden").
Catholicism has now been explicitly and emphatically the Roman state religion since the imperial edict of February 28, 380,6 but the laws remain to a great extent in fundamental continuity with the old pagan legislation including its reliance on interrogatory torture (quaestio) as a standard part of judicial practice for serious crimes. It was even prescribed, under certain circumstances, for witnesses, not just those accused of a crime.7 Infliction of severe bodily pain is also included in the Code as punishment for those duly convicted of crime. We read, for instance, that corrupt public officials are to suffer "the punishment of flogging and torture".8 As for those guilty of crime against the Emperor in person (lèse-majesté), "tortures shall tear them to pieces".9 All in all, the Theodosian Code provides for torture, either as quaestio or as punishment for convicted criminals, in no less than 40 legally specified situations.10 However the higher clergy are exempt: bishops and priests (but not "clerics of a lower grade") "shall be able to give their testimony without the outrage of torture, that is, without corporal punishment"11
The treatment of heretics and schismatics in this original Christian respublica was severe, but milder than in subsequent mediaeval times. They were not put to death, but were reduced to poverty by the confiscation of their property, and were subject to legal disabilities (incapable of making testaments)...
Only Catholic houses of worship, however, could be dignified with the name of "churches"...
It is declared in the Constitutions that torture should be considered neither as always trustworthy, nor as always untrustworthy. And as a matter of fact it is a fickle and dangerous business that ill serves the cause of truth (etenim res fragilis est et periculosa, et quae veritatem fallat). For there are not a few who are possessed of such powers of endurance, or such toughness, that they scorn the pain of torture, so that there is no way the truth can be wrung from them. Others, however, have so little resistance that they will make up any kind of lie rather than suffer torment; and that can lead them to keep changing their story, even incriminating others as well as themselves. (Justinian; Digest, 48: 18, article 23 - translation).
By the time Augustine wrote The City of God (between 413 and 427), Catholic Christianity had been emancipated for over a century and had been the official and dominant religion of the Empire for nearly half of that period. In trying to discern what, if anything, the Churchs magisterium said about torture in the patristic era, we must add to Augustines explicit shoulder-shrugging resignation the silence of other successors of the Apostles before and after him, including, it seems, all the Bishops of Rome for as long as the abominable practice remained legal. It seems that as long as the old Western Empire lasted, many of its basic legal procedures and institutions including slavery, of course, as well as judicial torture were generally accepted without protest as facts of life and/or necessary evils by most of the Churchs pastors and faithful.
Pope St. Nicholas I, Response Ad Consulta Vestra, November 13, 866. If a [putative] thief or bandit is apprehended and denies the charges against him, you tell me your custom is for a judge to beat him with blows to the head and tear the sides of his body with other sharp iron goads until he confesses the truth. Such a procedure is totally unacceptable under both divine and human law (quam rem nec divina lex nec humana prorsus admittit), since a confession should be spontaneous, not forced. It should be proffered voluntarily, not violently extorted. After all, if it should happen that even after inflicting all these torments, you still fail to wrest from the sufferer any self-incrimination regarding the crime of which he is accused, will you not then at least blush for shame and acknowledge how impious is your judicial procedure?
St. Thomas Aquinas (13th century). The Angelic Doctor never treats of torture in secular judicial inquiries. However, without mentioning the word, he does justify the contemporary Inquisitions use of torture (recently introduced in 1252 by Pope Innocent IV... in considering whether unbelievers may be "compelled" to the faith, he first acknowledges that those who have never been Christians (i.e., Jews, pagans and Muslims) may not be forced to embrace the faith, but then continues: "On the other hand, there are unbelievers who at some time have accepted the faith, and professed it, such as heretics and all apostates: such should be submitted even to bodily compulsion, that they may fulfil what they have promised, and hold what they, at one time, received".22
Cardinal Juan De Lugo (17th century). Nevertheless, against the kinds of arguments advanced by the aforesaid writers, this renowned Spanish Jesuit possibly the most respected Catholic moral theologian of his century maintains in his 1642 treatise De iustitia et iure (37: 13) that worse evils to the common good would follow if torture were not allowed. (Many other lesser known Catholic writers of this period continue to argue on similar lines.)..
St. Alphonsus Liguori (18th century). This saint and doctor of the Church the "prince of moral theologians"... cites a total of ten earlier approved Catholic authors (de Lugo and others) whose teachings he synthesizes in this section of his own classic work. St. Alphonsus considers three questions: (a) Under what conditions can a judge proceed to have an accused person tortured (#202)? Answer: the judge may only "descend to torture" as a last resort, i.e., when full proof cannot be obtained by non-violent means; next, there must already be "semi-complete proof"...and finally, certain classes of persons are to be exempt from torture..(c) Whether one who has already been tortured may be tortured again (#204)? Answer: not if he refuses to confess during the first torture session (unless new independent evidence against him subsequently comes to light). In that case he must be set free. But if he confesses under torture, and then retracts that confession before the judge, he may be tortured again and even a third time if the same thing happens after the second torture session. But if he confesses under torture a third time, and yet again subsequently retracts in the presence of the judge, he must be released. For the judge then must presume that his three confessions were all forced and involuntary and therefore invalid.
Pope John Paul II, Address to the International Red Cross (Geneva, June 15, 1982)... And as for torture, the Christian is confronted from infancy onward with the account of Christs Passion. The memory of Jesus stripped, flogged, and derided right up until the sufferings of his final agony should always make him resolve never to see analogous torments inflicted on any one of his brothers in humanity. Spontaneously, the disciple of Christ rejects every recourse to such methods, which nothing could justify, and by which the dignity of man is as much debased in the torturer as in his victim. . . .
Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992), on "Respect for bodily integrity".
#2298. In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture.
► The Church has the right, as a perfect and independent society provided with all the means for attaining its end, to decide according to its laws disputes arising concerning its internal affairs, epecially as to the ecclesiastical rights of its members, also to carry out its decision, if necessary, by suitable means of compulsion, contentious or civil jurisdiction. It has, therefore, the right to admonish or warn its members, ecclesiastical or lay, who have not conformed to its laws and also, if needful to punish them by physical means, that is, coercive jurisdiction. Catholic Encyclopedia Jurisdiction http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08567a.htm
You need to give me some space until after the election.
"numerous rules and regulations"??? Like the 10 commandments? I would say that yes, I am trying to follow those. They ARE commandments, not suggestions.
Salvation isn't a given for simply believing. That was the heresy that got Doctor/Father Martin Luther excommunicated. One must do more that simply believe. One must act. One must try to live according to God's laws, avoid sin, do good works, pray and live the best life s/he can. Being a passive believer isn't enough. But, then that is a Catholic belief, the faith from Jesus. Martin Luther decided that belief was enough. After 1500 years of Catholic faith, HE decided that the Church fathers for all those years were wrong. Believing was sufficient. Hmmmm. Good luck with that one.
Jesus' saving grace is all I need? I don't have to obey the Lord's commandments? I don't have to DO anything except trust in Jesus' saving grace?
Do you really think you can live anyway you want, not pay attention to the commandments and ONLY trust in Jesus' saving grace? Oh dear. Good luck with that one yourself.
Thank you for that detailed response. There may be a pattern of behavior and attitude that calls for watchfulness.
Is this enough???
I appears that you have a wrong opinion of many things, not the least of which is the doctrine of justification by faith apart from works. As much as I would love to dialog about the simplistic view of Martin Luther and the need for the Reformation, I would rather speak to what is the MOST critical subject. When you talk about the need to "do more than simply believe" in order to have eternal life, you leave out the important truth that Scripture, in literally hundreds of verses, states that faith IS what brings righteousness. Look at Hebrews 11, at all the Old Testament saints and their examples of faith. Read Galatians 3, where God made a promise to Abraham that, "All nations will be blessed through you.", and that, "So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith." (verse 9). In the example of Abraham as well as the others, it is always speaking of God granting them righteousness BECAUSE of their faith and, this is important, they ACTED out of their faith. What you want to call mere "passive" belief is NOT what Scripture, nor Luther, nor we are talking about. Real, true faith is demonstrated by actions. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac because God told him to. His obedience was an act of his faith. But Abraham was justified by faith LONG before Isaac was even born.
What is critical to understanding Biblical justification is in realizing that there is NOTHING we can do to merit or deserve or earn eternal life. Mankind can't perform good works which are capable of earning his justification on some kind of a quid pro quo basis, but what he can do is totally abase himself, and cry out to God for grace. It is when we realize our true condition before God, that His grace can work. If we believe that our good deeds and works can supplement our faith in the economy of salvation, then we are canceling out grace. Scripture says it is by grace and NOT works that we are saved. "And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace." (Romans 11:6)
Jesus' saving grace is all I need? I don't have to obey the Lord's commandments? I don't have to DO anything except trust in Jesus' saving grace?
The grace of God IS all we need because faith in God's grace is the ONLY things that can save us. When Jesus shed his precious blood on the cross, he was making propitiation for ALL our sins. Only blood makes atonement for the soul. (Leviticus 17:11) If we could be good enough to merit eternal life, then why did Christ have to die? "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2:21)
Do you really think you can live anyway you want, not pay attention to the commandments and ONLY trust in Jesus' saving grace? Oh dear. Good luck with that one yourself.
Nobody is even hinting at that preposterous idea but it is curious that it is used so many times as a kind of insurmountable argument. The Apostle Paul probably got hit with that same things and that is why he says:
We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:15-19)
We have become a new creation when we receive Christ and believe on Him. We are born again into the family of God and are indwelt with the Holy Spirit. All that happens at the moment of faith. It isn't something that must gradually be done in dribs and drabs, but we are at that moment redeemed, justified, made righteous and sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ. Anyone who really grasps what they have begun with God, does NOT take it lightly or glibly but knows from within that our lives should now be lived FOR Christ. But by the same token, we are NOT justified by our works in God's sight. Only faith in what HE has done brings it to us. God sees our hearts, He knows if the faith is genuine. People look at the outside, God looks at the heart. All we can do is trust in God's grace to deliver us and He WILL!