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Customer Reviews Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices
Amazon ^ | July 16, 2008 | The public

Posted on 01/21/2013 7:45:16 PM PST by narses

Some areas of disagreement:

1. First off, I disagree with the underlying premise of the entire book - a premise that says the early church was untainted and uncorrupted by human tradition. I often ask this question to those who want to get back to the early church: Which early church do you want to be like?

(Excerpt) Read more at amazon.com ...


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Ecumenism; History
KEYWORDS: earlychurch; paganchristianity
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Many reviews, worth reading. The book? Only if you enjoy trash, lies and polemics.
1 posted on 01/21/2013 7:45:18 PM PST by narses
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To: narses; Reaganite Republican; Clintons Are White Trash; HerrBlucher; mgist; raptor22; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

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Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

2 posted on 01/21/2013 7:45:58 PM PST by narses
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To: narses
Ahhh. George Barna.

Frankly, I don't trust him.

3 posted on 01/21/2013 7:47:50 PM PST by Lee N. Field ("You keep using that verse, but I do not think it means what you think it means." --I. Montoya)
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To: narses

As I have often written here and in other forums and said from time to time (with apologies to Santayana): Those who cannot remember Church history are condemned to make it up.


4 posted on 01/21/2013 7:50:22 PM PST by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know...)
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To: The_Reader_David

And they do!


5 posted on 01/21/2013 7:52:40 PM PST by narses
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To: The_Reader_David
Why not make up the history of the early churches? Someone has to.

There are a plethora of tantalizing clues that are open to many interesting interpretations. To think that early Christianity was unaffected by the practices and even the beliefs of ... o say ...Mithraism, the Isis Cult, Roman gods and goddesses, Greek myths, Judaism, etc. would just be plain stupid.

After all, Pope Benedict shares a title ... Pontifex Maximus ... with Julius Caesar who once held the job. None of this denigrates Christianity or weakens it. Protestants in the Calvinist line would love to believe that their sects are untainted by the Romans or Greeks, even while reading St. Augustine. Good luck with that!

Once St. Paul decided that one need not become Jewish before becoming Christian and decided to "market" Christianity to the Hellenistic and then the Roman World, who can say with certainty exactly how wildly differing groups of converts actually practiced the faith or what actually went on with their prayers and ceremonies in their churches? It was a good while ago!

After Constantine made Christianity the state religion of Rome, things may be a bit clearer because of somewhat improved record-keeping, or at least more consistent record-fudging. Though one always wonders just how many "pagan" priests just converted ... themselves and their temples to the new official faith. In like fashion, many a Roman Catholic priest became an "Anglican," ... and now vice-versa!

6 posted on 01/21/2013 8:16:22 PM PST by Kenny Bunk (Say, what the hell happened to Reggie Love? Who's in the playroom with Barry now?)
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To: narses
Many reviews, worth reading. The book? Only if you enjoy trash, lies and polemics.

Based on your "recommendation" I will now check it out. Thanks!!

7 posted on 01/21/2013 8:20:47 PM PST by plain talk
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To: Kenny Bunk; Reaganite Republican; Clintons Are White Trash; HerrBlucher; mgist; raptor22; ...

“After Constantine made Christianity the state religion of Rome,...”

And yet you want to be taken seriously? Who taught you that falsehood?


8 posted on 01/21/2013 8:22:32 PM PST by narses
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To: Kenny Bunk; Reaganite Republican; Clintons Are White Trash; HerrBlucher; mgist; raptor22; ...

“After Constantine made Christianity the state religion of Rome,...”

And yet you want to be taken seriously? Who taught you that falsehood?


9 posted on 01/21/2013 8:23:15 PM PST by narses
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To: Kenny Bunk

Pagan priests NEVER just converted to Catholicism. That is a Protestant thing. ONLY a bishop can give holy orders for priesthood. The record keeping was just fine prior to Constantine - that is why we have the bible today along with many other non-biblical documents and papal letters.


10 posted on 01/21/2013 8:25:02 PM PST by impimp
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To: Kenny Bunk

Why not make it up? Because if one studies the Ante-Nicene Fathers and reads Acts and the Epistles in light of them, one knows the history of the early Church. Start with St. Ignatius of Antioch (the third bishop of Antioch who knew the Apostles personally) and the martyrdom of Polycarp.

And you’ve fallen into (or for) making up stuff even when contrary facts are known: Constantine didn’t make Christianity the state religion of Rome, just made it legal (and gave it a boost up by having a newly built Christian city — in the sense it had lots of churches and no pagan temples — made the new capital). The Empire didn’t become formally a Christian state until decrees of Theodosius I in 380.

Quite frankly, I’ve always regarded the horror among some protestants of the idea that the Church might have blotted out a pagan feast by scheduling a Christian one opposite it — as was most assuredly done in the West with All Saints — or “baptized” a pagan custom — as was done in the East with the offering of wheat as a memorial for the dead — as a sort of new Judaizing heresy. Contrariwise, we Orthodox sing about Christ delivering us from the delusion of idols down to the present day.

Actually, if anyone wants to object to Greek elements in Christianity, they’ve got a big problem: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. . .” The Holy Apostle John, the Disciple whom Jesus loved, when he sat down to give his account of who Jesus is, didn’t stick to Jewish sources. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, he spoke of Christ as the Divine Logos, “baptizing” a notion from pagan neoplatonism.


11 posted on 01/21/2013 8:43:26 PM PST by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know...)
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To: impimp
The record keeping was just fine prior to Constantine - that is why we have the bible today along with many other non-biblical documents and papal letters.

You tell 'em.

This is what happens when pop culture meets Christianity.

This is what happens when the Discovery Channel or the History Channel attempts to interpret Christianity. People walk away badly misinformed, but thinking they've learned a lot. Bad information is more dangerous than no information at all!

Google: Didache. Sort of a handbook the early Christians used to standardize practices.

Better yet, if you are really serious about early church history, go ask an Orthodox Christian priest for more information.

They have a saying in the OC: "How many Orthodox priests does it take to change a light bulb." "CHANGE?!" I learned more about Christianity than I suspected I would when I made the (small) step from being an evangelical protestant to an orthodox christian. It's like...Christianity Lite versus Christianity. And I never knew.

I was a member of an apologetics group that investigated humanism, Islam, Wicca, Buddhism, New Age, etc., ad nauseam, and by chance we made contact with an Orthodox priest. Long story, that.

Suffice it say my intention was never to do anything other than "kick the tires."

12 posted on 01/21/2013 8:45:42 PM PST by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: impimp
Pagan priests NEVER just converted to Catholicism.

And you know this how?

ONLY a bishop can give holy orders for priesthood.

And on what day did that first Bishop do that? The Apostolic Succession is a wonderful thing. To claim one knows exactly how it came about is a bit far-fetched. I would imagine that the earliest assistants of the Apostles as named in the NT were the first bishops ... but then again I imagine.

The record keeping was just fine prior to Constantine - that is why we have the bible today along with many other non-biblical documents and papal letters.

Miraculously indeed we have the New Testament, but the official version of today took a while to develop. But to claim that Church records of the first 3 centuries "are fine" is simply preposterous. Surely, there are some records, perhaps even enough to give a fairly accurate chronology of the papacy, but let's not push our luck!

BTW, scholars of church history have plenty of differences of opinion about these matters, none of which are matters of dogma.

13 posted on 01/21/2013 8:53:56 PM PST by Kenny Bunk (Say, what the hell happened to Reggie Love? Who's in the playroom with Barry now?)
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To: impimp

Show me that from the Bible.


14 posted on 01/21/2013 9:08:27 PM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: Kenny Bunk

By definition you can’t just convert to be a Catholic priest. You need to receive Holy Orders by a bishop. Below is an example from Acts of a diaconate ordination, but you get the point:

And the plan met the approval of the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip and Prochorus and Nicanor and Timon and Parmenas and Nicholas, a proselyte from Antioch. These they set before the Apostles, and after they had prayed they laid their hands upon them.
(Acts 6:5-6)

Obviously you have not read Jimmy Akin’s book on Church Father quotes. It is not a small book. There are many letters and documents from the first 300 years of the Church. It is Roman history that is often suspect at various times as they were not good at hiding or copying their records (they didn’t think they needed to) so they often got burned during various sackings. The Church, on the other hand, copied their documents and spread them to the various churches and that is why the record is so well preserved today.


15 posted on 01/21/2013 9:16:59 PM PST by impimp
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To: narses

Indeed they do make up church history. I get the biggest kick out of non-Catholics trying to tell us what we believe or should believe. LOL!


16 posted on 01/21/2013 9:37:44 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: sauron

***This is what happens when the Discovery Channel or the History Channel attempts to interpret Christianity. People walk away badly misinformed,****

My Brother-in-law (If you know him he probably owes you money) knows more about Christianity than anyone! If you don’t believe it just ask him! He gets all his info from the History Channel and Discovery Channel.

When you talk with him you realize how the Philistines felt when they were slain by the jawbone of an ass.


17 posted on 01/21/2013 10:14:06 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Click my name! See new paintings!)
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To: Kenny Bunk
>"None of this denigrates Christianity or weakens it. "

I disagree. Do you recall something about two masters, how about lukewarm water?

Half pagan/satanic isn't that bad? C'mon!!!

18 posted on 01/21/2013 10:21:14 PM PST by rawcatslyentist ("Behold, I am against you, O arrogant one," Jeremiah 50:31)
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To: narses

Trying to deny the intertwining of paganism and Christianity is a fool’s errand. The evidence is everywhere, including St. Peter’s Basilica.

Take the Scavi Tour at the Vatican. It’s not easy to get a ticket, but you can take a 360 degree virtual tour at the Vatican website.

The tour is of the second level below the main floor of the Basilica. There are many interesting things on this level, including pagan mausoleums complete with receptacles for animal blood sacrifice as well as the grave of St. Peter.

The Church itself accepts the connection, no reason to have hysteria over it. The evidence below St. Peter’s was found in the 1950’s when one of the pillars of the main altar sank and repairs were attempted from below. At first the wonders were covered up. But Pope Pious XII ordered the entire level excavated and it is now open for 12 person tours, always with a guide/lecturer. The tour is most informative and educational.


19 posted on 01/21/2013 11:53:39 PM PST by SaxxonWoods (....Let It Burn....)
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To: SaxxonWoods

Yes—St. Peter’s is built over an old burial site which includes not only St. Peter’s tomb but the tombs of others as well. Many of these people were pagan. But it is not as if St. Peter’s location was selected for the purpose of being over pagan tombs and treating St. Peter’s as one among many. Yes, the Church burial place was in the same general area as pagan burial places. However, unless by “intertwined” you mean “existed at the same time and place,” (which is quite a stretch for the word), Christianity and paganism are not shown to be intertwined by your example.


20 posted on 01/22/2013 2:54:45 AM PST by Hieronymus ( (It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged. --G.K. Chesterton))
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To: SaxxonWoods

This is not an intertwining of Christian and pagan beliefs.

It show how Christianity took over the GROUND formerly occupied by pagan religion.

The so-called Pagan influences on Christianity are, in most cases, just the opposite: the Church deliberately plopped down her own Holy Days on pagan holy days IN ORDER TO OBLITERATE THE LATTER.

How does one take over, convert, Christianize a culture? By eliminating its deeply embedded practices and beliefs.

How best to do that? Put your own beliefs in their place.

How do post-Christian, secular, Church-haters seek to destroy the cultural embeddedness of Christianity? By plopping down their neo-pagan, post-Christian, anti-Christian practices and holidays and beliefs over the top of Christian practices, holidays and beliefs.

The French revolutionaries did this. The Bolsheviks did it. The Kwanza-cranks tried it. The secular Power-Worshiping chattering-class elitists are doing it right now.

This book is part of the effort to eliminate Christian culture and it does so by turning on its head what actually happened back then.

Christianity pushed pagan culture aside. Not forever. Weakened by the state take-over of the Church in Protestant Europe of the 1500s, we are now being pushed to the side.

Bu they can’t and won’t obliterate us. Force us underground, yes, obliterate us, no.


21 posted on 01/22/2013 4:53:50 AM PST by Houghton M.
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To: Kenny Bunk
After Constantine made Christianity the state religion of Rome,

... an event that happened only in fictional "histories".

22 posted on 01/22/2013 5:11:48 AM PST by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
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To: svcw

And the plan met the approval of the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip and Prochorus and Nicanor and Timon and Parmenas and Nicholas, a proselyte from Antioch. These they set before the Apostles, and after they had prayed they laid their hands upon them.
(Acts 6:5-6)


23 posted on 01/22/2013 5:54:22 AM PST by impimp
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To: Campion
an event that happened only in fictional "histories".

Tibi gratias. The_Reader_David puts it a bit more smoothly: Constantine didn’t make Christianity the state religion of Rome, just made it legal (and gave it a boost up by having a newly built Christian city — in the sense it had lots of churches and no pagan temples — made the new capital). The Empire didn’t become formally a Christian state until decrees of Theodosius I in 380.

I apologize for over vividly remembering the story of the Milvian Bridge. But I really do not apologize for reminding people that Christianity ... a Divine Intervention in Human History ... did not eliminate it. Furthermore, the pagans did not go all that quietly, and had a revival or two of their own along the way.

Personally, I have always been rather proud of the church's connection to the classical world. To deny that the Roman Catholic Church is Roman, or that the Greek Orthodox Church is Greek, and that both subsumed elements of pre-Christian practice strikes me as the height of religious prudery.

Perhaps it is an over-reaction to those Catholic-hating early Protestant divines who sought to remove every practice they considered "pagan" from their new churches. For example, the Puritan leaders of the Bay Colony made the celebration of Christmas a crime.

24 posted on 01/22/2013 6:27:03 AM PST by Kenny Bunk (Say, what the hell happened to Reggie Love? Who's in the playroom with Barry now?)
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To: SaxxonWoods

I’ve taken the Scavi Tour and it is clear that the pagan cemetary was emptied of bodies by the pagans BEFORE IT WAS HANDED OVER TO CHRISTIANS. Christians then seized the tombs, buried their dead, and all of the area was buried. After all that, the first basilica was constructed on top of it. In other words, the place was Christianized BEFORE the basilica was constructed. Did you conveniently forget that part of the tour?


25 posted on 01/22/2013 6:59:13 AM PST by vladimir998
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To: impimp

That says nothing about bishops or priests.


26 posted on 01/22/2013 8:38:58 AM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: impimp; svcw

That passage is actually the institution of the diaconate. The offices of “bishop” (overseer) and “priest” (elder) are mentioned a bit later in the NT.


27 posted on 01/22/2013 9:27:22 AM PST by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
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To: narses

I disagree with a few things, history itself is only evidence of how things were done, it does not prove that it was done the way Jesus taught.

The verses below show that Jesus did not intend for the Apostles to start a hierarchy.

Mat 20:25
But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

26
But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

27
And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

28
Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Also
Mat 23:5
But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

6
And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

7
And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

8
But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
9
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

10
Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

11
But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

12
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.


There is no need to point out the hypocrisy in many of the Churches.

The people who followed the Apostles did it out of trust.

In view of what Jesus said, how could any real believer trust some one that had just the opposite attitude?


28 posted on 01/22/2013 9:32:36 AM PST by ravenwolf
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To: ravenwolf; Reaganite Republican; Clintons Are White Trash; HerrBlucher; mgist; raptor22; ...
The verses below show that Jesus did not intend for the Apostles to start a hierarchy.
Wrong. But nice try.
29 posted on 01/22/2013 5:28:14 PM PST by narses
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To: ravenwolf; Reaganite Republican; Clintons Are White Trash; HerrBlucher; mgist; raptor22; ...
The verses below show that Jesus did not intend for the Apostles to start a hierarchy.
Wrong. But nice try.
30 posted on 01/22/2013 5:28:43 PM PST by narses
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To: ravenwolf
The verses below show that Jesus did not intend for the Apostles to start a hierarchy.

Not sure how you get that out of those passages. "Whoever would be chief among you" sounds like it assumes the possibility of a "chief among you" which doesn't sound like complete egalitarianism to me. The whole passage is a warning against the misuse of authority, not a rejection of authority itself.

Besides, are you saying that the Apostles fumbled the ball when they, as St Paul writes, "appointed elders in every town" (cf Titus 1:5)?

31 posted on 01/22/2013 6:12:28 PM PST by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
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To: ravenwolf
The Office of New Testament Priest
32 posted on 01/22/2013 7:46:29 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: D-fendr

Bottem line is that The words of Jesus are the Gospel,

Jesus brought in Gods new covenant which was told of by Jerimiah.

That changed many things.

The tithing system for instance, stoped with the destruction of Israel, it was brought back by the gentile Church but had nothing to do with the state of Israel.

Kings and priests are foretold in rev but that does not make void what Jesus said.

All other scripture can be adjusted for the sake of religion but the words of Jesus are not religion but they are what we live and die by.


33 posted on 01/23/2013 5:05:30 AM PST by ravenwolf
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To: narses

The verses below show that Jesus did not intend for the Apostles to start a hierarchy.

Wrong. But nice try.


I am not trying any thing, what i wrote was just what Jesus said.


34 posted on 01/23/2013 5:13:59 AM PST by ravenwolf
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To: Campion

Not sure how you get that out of those passages. “Whoever would be chief among you” sounds like it assumes the possibility of a “chief among you” which doesn’t sound like complete egalitarianism to me. The whole passage is a warning against the misuse of authority, not a rejection of authority itself.


Maybe you and i have a different view of what a hierarchy is.

In my view Hitler and Stalin were the leaders of a hierarchy.


35 posted on 01/23/2013 5:24:40 AM PST by ravenwolf
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To: ravenwolf

It seems like you are rejecting quite a bit of Holy Scripture by this post. This would mean Christ’s Church went wrong from the get-go.

Also, Jesus established a hierarchy: Peter, the Apostles, Disciples.

Aside from these problems, you position has a practical problem: there would be no consistent doctrine and teaching without some authority to determine orthodoxy of the universal Christian Church - One Lord, one faith, one baptism.

thanks for your reply...


36 posted on 01/23/2013 10:18:07 AM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: ravenwolf
ravenwolf wrote:
I am not trying any thing, what i wrote was just what Jesus said.
Nope, what you wrote (you, NOT Our Lord) was:
The verses below show that Jesus did not intend for the Apostles to start a hierarchy.
And of course what you posted said no such thing. You simply misread Holy Scripture.
37 posted on 01/23/2013 5:08:35 PM PST by narses
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To: ravenwolf; Campion
Hierarchy: from ta hiera "the sacred rites" (neuter plural of hieros "sacred") + arkhein "to lead, rule".

Thus, hierarchy=leaders of sacred rites.

By contrast --- if I may pun badly --- Hitler and Stalin were leaders of "lowerarchies."

38 posted on 01/23/2013 5:58:34 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts." - Sergeant Joe Friday)
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To: D-fendr

It seems like you are rejecting quite a bit of Holy Scripture by this post. This would mean Christ’s Church went wrong from the get-go.


Actually it appears to me it is you that is rejecting the Gospel.

It went the way it was supposed to go, the object was for The Gospel of Jesus to be preached to all the world.

And that has been the case, People can believe it or they can try to turn it into a big scheme for power.


39 posted on 01/24/2013 3:53:27 AM PST by ravenwolf
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To: narses

ravenwolf wrote:

Nope, what you wrote (you, NOT Our Lord) was:

The verses below show that Jesus did not intend for the Apostles to start a hierarchy.


Like i said i was not trying anything, as you can see i did it, i simply wrote what appears to me common sense that the people who are saying that Jesus started a hierarchy is not backed up by his words.

The power the Apostles had came from the Holy spirit, they had no power to force any one to believe nor to do what they taught .

The Church they set up was based on faith, as you can see by Pauls writings to the churches, he was disturbed because they were in many things going against his teaching, and there was nothing he could do about it but to scold them.


40 posted on 01/24/2013 4:18:52 AM PST by ravenwolf
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Hierarchy: from ta hiera “the sacred rites” (neuter plural of hieros “sacred”) + arkhein “to lead, rule”.

Thus, hierarchy=leaders of sacred rites.

By contrast -— if I may pun badly -— Hitler and Stalin were leaders of “lowerarchies.”


Lead and rule are not the same but i don,t think i like archie, hi or low.


41 posted on 01/24/2013 4:29:52 AM PST by ravenwolf
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To: ravenwolf

If you don’t like “archies” -— correctly defined and operating properly, as ordained by God and reflected even in the natural creation -— you’re not going to find much to like in heaven above, or earth below.


42 posted on 01/24/2013 5:49:08 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts." - Sergeant Joe Friday)
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To: ravenwolf
I think we've found some agreement:

It went the way it was supposed to go, the object was for The Gospel of Jesus to be preached to all the world.

Yes, through the Church Christ established.

Pax tecum...

43 posted on 01/24/2013 9:26:18 AM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

If you don’t like “archies” -— correctly defined and operating properly, as ordained by God and reflected even in the natural creation -— you’re not going to find much to like in heaven above, or earth below.


I did not just arrive here on earth, not last night any way.

As far as heaven is concerned i may know as much as any one else which realistically is nothing at all, but hope through faith.

The church can not force me to believe a certain way, and they can not force me to worship a certain way which is what they could do if they were a heirarchy.


44 posted on 01/24/2013 11:08:50 AM PST by ravenwolf
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To: D-fendr

Yes, through the Church Christ established.


You have no argument from me on that.


45 posted on 01/24/2013 11:11:03 AM PST by ravenwolf
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To: ravenwolf
I strongly agree with your important point, that no one ought to force anyone to believe in a certain way, or to worship in a certain way. Force cannot produce sincere belief or meaningful worship.

However, this has nothing to do with hierarchy. Let me show what I mean. There is no church hierarchy in Islam: no deacons, priests, ministers, bishops, no "official ordination" of preachers or pastors. And yet Muslims are some of the most coercive "religionists" on earth, and they threaten people with beatings, floggings, or death if they do not submit to Islam.

So you see amongst the Muslims NO hierarchy, but lots of violence.

On the other hand, when Jesus established his Church, He appointed 12 Apostles and 72 disciples who were sent out to preach; in the Acts of the Apostles we also see that Apostles consecrated other co-workers and successors called overseers ("bishops") like Titus and Timothy. They also appointed elders (presbyters, now called "priests"), as well as designating deacons by the laying on of hands. All of them were in fellowship with Peter, whom Jesus renamed the "Rock" on whom He would build His Church.

So there you have the Biblical beginning of an official hierarchy (deacons, priests, bishops, pope) --- and yet there is no record in the New Testament of them using force or violence.

So a religion without a hierarchy could be quite aggressive(Islam); and yet the Church with an Apostolic hierarchy, following Jesus' example, was peaceful.

So the problem isn't "having a hierarchy". Linking "force" and "hierarchy" results in a false or misleading definition.

46 posted on 01/24/2013 12:43:30 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts." - Sergeant Joe Friday)
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To: ravenwolf

I *think* then our disagreement is on authority. Who corrects - as St. Paul did - false doctrine and liturgy and by what authority.

You likely disagree, but I believe that as a practical matter without authority - apostolic for example - the Christian faith and gospel is not transmitted to us.


47 posted on 01/24/2013 2:24:14 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: D-fendr; Mrs. Don-o

You likely disagree, but I believe that as a practical matter without authority - apostolic for example - the Christian faith and gospel is not transmitted to us.


No, i don,t think i disagree on that point, i just believe the Gospel is the words that Jesus spoke and what he spoke was to be spread to all of the world.

And i see nothing that jesus said about who was to be greatest among the Apostles.

Some one needs to be in charge at a Church just like some one needs to be in charge at a dinner but i don,t see how that can make it a heiarchy no more than just one person digging a ditch can be called an anarchist.

The gospel could have been and actually has been taught by truck drivers as well as fishermen, and possibly by a few people who went to college to become ministers.


48 posted on 01/24/2013 3:45:39 PM PST by ravenwolf
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To: ravenwolf

We agree again, the gospel can be taught by truck drivers.

But which gospel? According to whom? What happens when the truck driver teaches a different gospel - and a different Christ - than the fisherman?

Sola scriptura breaks down in practice; without an authority such as the bishops and councils, the gospel of Jesus and the Apostles would be lost.

IMHO, that is why Christ established His Church, gave it authority and created the hierarchy he did - which we see in Acts and continuously since.

thanks for your reply.


49 posted on 01/24/2013 4:06:51 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: D-fendr

that is why Christ established His Church, gave it authority and created the hierarchy he did - which we see in Acts and continuously since.


I am only aware of one Church which appears to mould itself in the manner described in acts.

Below describes rhe early Church and members, is this whar you were referring to?

Act 2:44
And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

Act 2:45
And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all [men], as every man had need.

Act 2:46
And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

Act 2:47
Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

And
Act 4:32
And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any [of them] that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

Act 4:33
And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

Act 4:34
Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

Act 4:35
And laid [them] down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

Act 4:36
And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, [and] of the country of Cyprus,

Act 4:37
Having land, sold [it], and brought the money, and laid [it] at the apostles’ feet.


50 posted on 01/25/2013 3:34:28 AM PST by ravenwolf
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