Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Pope Francis, Romans 8, and the theme of theosis
Catholic World Report ^ | May 8, 2013 | Carl E. Olson

Posted on 05/09/2013 2:17:35 PM PDT by NYer

Pope Francis exchanges skull caps with a young girl after arriving for his weekly audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican May 8. (CNS photo/Alessia Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo) (May 8, 2013)

Pope Francis made some waves today when he spoke to the plenary assembly of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) about "men and women of the Church who are careerists and social climbers, who 'use' people, the Church, their brothers and sisters—whom they should be serving—as a springboard for their own personal interests and ambitions." It was another example of how the Holy Father—pick a cliché—pulls no punches and wastes no words.

We'll have more about that particular address and related matters soon, but I want to reflect a moment on Francis's general audience today, which focused on the work of the Holy Spirit, the gift of divine life, and the mystery of divine sonship. These are topics and themes that he has touched on several times already in the first weeks of his pontificate. A month ago, in his April 10th general audience, Francis asked, "What does the Resurrection mean for our life?" His answer, in part, is that the Resurrection (as the Apostle Paul explained) is not just freedom from, but freedom for: "we are set free from the slavery of sin and become children of God; that is, we are born to new life." This freedom is received in and through the sacrament of Baptism. Having received the sacrament,

the baptized person emerged from the basin and put on a new robe, the white one; in other words, by immersing himself in the death and Resurrection of Christ he was born to new life. He had become a son of God. In his Letter to the Romans St Paul wrote: “you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry ‘Abba! Father! it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom 8:15-16).

It is the Spirit himself whom we received in Baptism who teaches us, who spurs us to say to God: “Father” or, rather, “Abba!”, which means “papa” or [“dad”]. Our God is like this: he is a dad to us. The Holy Spirit creates within us this new condition as children of God. And this is the greatest gift we have received from the Paschal Mystery of Jesus. Moreover God treats us as children, he understands us, he forgives us, he embraces us, he loves us even when we err. In the Old Testament, the Prophet Isaiah was already affirming that even if a mother could forget her child, God never forgets us at any moment (cf. 49:15). And this is beautiful!

This gift of supernatural filiation goes by many names, including divinization, deification, and theosis, as it is widely known in the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox churches. It is a teaching that has long interested me. It was a key reason for becoming Catholic many years ago, and it is the focus of a book I am co-editing with Fr. David Meconi, SJ, editor of Homiletic & Pastoral Review and assistant professor of theological studies at Saint Louis University, whose doctoral dissertation was on St. Augustine’s use of deification. The book has fifteen chapters by fourteen contributors (as well as a Foreword by Dr. Scott Hahn) and it covers two thousand years of Catholic teaching on the topic of theosis, beginning with Scripture and concluding with the Catechism of the Catholic Church and recent papal documents. This week, I am finishing up the final section of the opening chapter, co-authored with Fr. Meconi, on theosis in Sacred Scripture.

And so today's audience by Francis caught my attention, as he returns to the same themes as he highlighted a month ago. For example:

But I would like to focus on the fact that the Holy Spirit is the inexhaustible source of God's life in us. In all times and in all places man has yearned for a full and beautiful life, a just and good one, a life that is not threatened by death, but that can mature and grow to its fullest. Man is like a traveler who, crossing the deserts of life, has a thirst for living water, gushing and fresh, capable of quenching his deep desire for light, love, beauty and peace. We all feel this desire! And Jesus gives us this living water: it is the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and who Jesus pours into our hearts. Jesus tells us that "I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly" (John 10, 10).

The Holy Father touches on a couple of passages in the Fourth Gospel, which is rich with the theme of mankind being called to share in God's divine life; the same can be said of 1 John. Speaking of the "living water" spoken of by Jesus to the Samaritan woman by the well, Francis remarks:

The '"living water," the Holy Spirit, the Gift of the Risen One who comes to dwell in us, cleanses us, enlightens us, renews us, transforms us because rendering us partakers of the very life of God who is Love. This is why the Apostle Paul says that the Christian's life is animated by the Spirit and by its fruits, which are "love, joy, peace, generosity, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Gal 5:22 -23). The Holy Spirit leads us to divine life as "children of the Only Son." In another passage from the Letter to the Romans, which we have mentioned several times, St. Paul sums it up in these words: "All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. And you… have you received the Spirit who renders us adoptive children, and thanks to whom we cry out, "Abba! Father. “The Spirit itself, together with our own spirit, attests that we are children of God. And if we are His children, we are also His heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we take part in his suffering so we can participate in his glory "(8, 14-17). This is the precious gift that the Holy Spirit brings into our hearts: the very life of God, the life of true children, a relationship of familiarity, freedom and trust in the love and mercy of God, which as an effect has also a new vision of others, near and far, seen always as brothers and sisters in Jesus to be respected and loved.

It is readily evident that Romans 8:15-17 is a passage with great significance for Francis, as he himself notes that he has mentioned it "several times." He does not, of course, use the term "theosis", but explicates the doctrine using language that is largely keeping with the Western way of referring to it. In fact, a quick search of the Vatican site turns up just a few uses of it among the documents accessible there, two of which are notable. First, Pope Benedict XVI made mention of it in a 2009 audience about John Scotus, and in the 2011, document, “Theology Today: Perspectives, Principles, and Criteria”, the International Theological Commission articulated a succinct and helpful definition:

The Mystery of God revealed in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit is a mystery of ekstasis, love, communion and mutual indwelling among the three divine persons; a mystery of kenosis, the relinquishing of the form of God by Jesus in his incarnation, so as to take the form of a slave (cf. Phil 2:5-11); and a mystery of theosis, human beings are called to participate in the life of God and to share in ‘the divine nature’ (2 Pet 1:4) through Christ, in the Spirit. (par 98)

The term "divinization" appears over thirty times in English texts on the site; it was used often by Bl. John Paul II, for whom the theme was of great importance, as I've shown elsewhere. Especially interesting is how Benedict XVI emphasized the connection between divinization, conversion, and spiritual growth, both individual and communal. In the October 2010 homily at the papal Mass for the opening of the special assembly for the Middle East, Benedict stated:

Without communion there can be no witness: the life of communion is truly the great witness. Jesus said it clearly: "It is by your love for one another, that everyone will recognize you as my disciples" (Jn 13: 35). This communion is the life of God itself which is communicated in the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ. It is thus a gift, not something which we ourselves must build through our own efforts. And it is precisely because of this that it calls upon our freedom and waits for our response: communion always requires conversion, just as a gift is better if it is welcomed and utilized.

Benedict pointed back to this remark in the opening paragraphs of of his September 2012 Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, writing:

In the context of the Christian faith, “communion is the very life of God which is communicated in the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ”. It is a gift of God which brings our freedom into play and calls for our response. It is precisely because it is divine in origin that communion has a universal extension. While it clearly engages Christians by virtue of their shared apostolic faith, it remains no less open to our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters, and to all those ordered in various ways to the People of God. The Catholic Church in the Middle East is aware that she will not be able fully to manifest this communion at the ecumenical and interreligious level unless she has first revived it in herself, within each of her Churches and among all her members: Patriarchs, Bishops, priests, religious, consecrated persons and lay persons. Growth by individuals in the life of faith and spiritual renewal within the Catholic Church will lead to the fullness of the life of grace and theosis (divinization). In this way, the Church’s witness will become all the more convincing. (par 3)

In other words, if I might try to summarize, we must grow in divine life so that the Church can be renewed, so we might better proclaim the Gospel, and we might give better witness to the Catholic Faith, the heart of which is the supernatural sonship granted in baptism, by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is already a focus of the pontificate of Francis, and it seems to me that one reason is that he wants to emphasize that real, substantial renewal comes from becoming—as John Paul II liked to say—what we are: children of God. And in this way, both are reiterating what the Apostle John wrote nearly two thousand years ago: "See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are" (1 Jn 3:1).


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS:
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-73 next last

1 posted on 05/09/2013 2:17:35 PM PDT by NYer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 05/09/2013 2:17:57 PM PDT by NYer (Beware the man of a single book - St. Thomas Aquinas)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer; All

“It is the Spirit himself whom we received in Baptism”


Water baptism in and of itself has no power to give the Holy Spirit. An example of this is with Cornelius and his family, who received the Holy Spirit prior to water immersion:

Act 10:44-47 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. (45) And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. (46) For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, (47) Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

If water baptism is necessary to receive the Holy Spirit, then every instance of the Holy Spirit filling/baptizing the believer must be at the instigation of water baptism. However, the scripture never teaches that the Spirit is bound to human activity. The Spirit, in all actuality, moves on man, reveals the person of Christ to man, and regenerates Him, all according to His own good purpose and will, and not on any foreseen works of the man.


3 posted on 05/09/2013 4:16:06 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
"If water baptism is necessary...

Show me in Scripture where you get the notion that everyone has exactly the same plan for Salvation and that all are equal?

Peace be with you

4 posted on 05/09/2013 4:21:36 PM PDT by Natural Law (Peace is not the absence of war, it is the completeness of communion with God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Natural Law

“Show me in Scripture where you get the notion that everyone has exactly the same plan for Salvation and that all are equal?”


If there are a diversity of plans for exactly how salvation occurs, then it aids my position which denies that water baptism is required to receive the Holy Spirit. Since if water baptism really does give the Holy Spirit, then salvation is “the same” for everyone.

Of course, when I think of this question, I think in entirely different terms than you do. All those who receive the Holy Spirit, who are called, justified, and glorified, were predestinated by the sovereign will of God, and not according to any foreseen works, but rather that we should produce works:

Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Rom 9:11, 16 (11) (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)... (16) So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

2Ti_1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Therefore, it is impossible for me to see the filling of the Holy Spirit as anything but the sovereign movement of God on the undeserving sinner. And when I think “plan” of salvation, I think of predestination, which is God’s plan to save the elect in His own time.


5 posted on 05/09/2013 4:33:20 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: NYer; Old Sarge; NorthernCrunchyCon; UMCRevMom@aol.com; Finatic; fellowpatriot; MarineMom613; ...
+

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

Add me / Remove me

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

6 posted on 05/09/2013 4:34:10 PM PDT by narses
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

How can you say, “Water baptism in and of itself has no power to give the Holy Spirit”?

“Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.” -John 3:5


7 posted on 05/09/2013 4:45:35 PM PDT by MDLION ("Trust in the Lord with all your heart" -Proverbs 3:5)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: MDLION

By the example of Cornelius, who was baptized/filled by the Holy Spirit prior to water immersion. We can also add the Thief on the cross, yet you would say that it is impossible without water immersion. Water baptism, therefore, cannot be the agent of salvation, but the sign and the seal of a higher spiritual reality. When Christ speaks to Nicodemus, he does not harp on water, but instead harps on being born again “in the spirit.” It is the change in the heart of the man, the renewing of the soul by the sovereign will of God, that is really the most significant event in salvation. As Christ says, the Spirit moves, comparing it to the wind, “where it listeth.” IOW, the Spirit moves on man according to the sovereign will of God, thus gifting us the faith, and the power to do, and the will to proceed with an act of water baptism which you ascribe to the power of man.


8 posted on 05/09/2013 4:57:07 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: MDLION

Serious typo: Comparing HIM*, not it*, the Holy Spirit, to the Wind.


9 posted on 05/09/2013 4:58:44 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Romans 8

15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, "Abba! Father!"
16 it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.



10 posted on 05/09/2013 5:04:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
Do you understand the Sacraments of the Catholic Church?

A Sacrament:

An outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.

The Baltimore Catechism: Part Three: The Sacraments and Prayer, Baptism
The Baltimore Catechism: Part Three: The Sacraments and Prayer, The Sacraments

11 posted on 05/09/2013 5:10:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

“Do you understand the Sacraments of the Catholic Church?”


Of course I do. I simply reject them, since they propose that grace or the Holy Spirit can be delivered by the hand and will of man, when Christ says it is not by blood, or by the will of the flesh, or by the will of man, but by the will of God.

Being baptized Catholic (and rebaptized when I actually believed, as opposed to a child who neither believes or even knows anything), I know that baptism in and of itself does not regenerate a human being. Baptism does not bring about a rebith in the Spirit. Otherwise, I should have lived a regenerated life, and every Catholic child would grow up to be a good Catholic, as the scripture teaches that God, who starts a work in you, sees the work to its completion.

The sacraments of the Catholic Church, therefore, do not have any of the power that the scripture would suggest they should have. There is an absence of evidence for a difference between the baptized child and the unbaptized child when they grow up. The only real difference are in those who have been born again by the Spirit.


12 posted on 05/09/2013 5:20:34 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

Why even bother with baptism then?


13 posted on 05/09/2013 5:37:06 PM PDT by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
do not have any of the power that the scripture would suggest they should have

Wrote any better scripture yourself lately?

14 posted on 05/09/2013 5:49:26 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: D-fendr

“Why even bother with baptism then?”


To be baptized in the name of someone, in the Jewish 1st century context, is the same as saying that they are publicly agreeing to receive this person as their lawgiver and teacher. Hence, the Jews were baptized “unto Moses.” Hence the Jews required that converts to Judaism be baptized as a sign of their conversion. Hence all Christians are to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as a sign of their new commitment to Christianity. It is not therefore the cause of salvation, but is the result of it, as we see with Cornelius or the Thief on the cross.


15 posted on 05/09/2013 5:53:47 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: annalex

“Wrote any better scripture yourself lately?”


Let me correct that statement then. The sacraments, as they exist in Catholicism, do not exist in the scripture. But if they did exist in the scripture as agents of grace dispensing, they should have the power of Grace that is in the scripture. The lack of outward evidence for any spiritual change in the individual is damning, therefore, to Catholic pretensions about their church practices. The end result of salvation is always a change in the individual. If these carnal practices are not capable of producing fruit, it stands to reason then that they should be hewn down and a better way searched for.


16 posted on 05/09/2013 5:56:57 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
", then it aids my position which denies that water baptism is required to receive the Holy Spirit."

One size does not fit all. We know that for some water baptism is not required for some, but that does not mean it is not required for others. Presumption is every bit as much of a sin against hope as is despair.

Peace be with you

17 posted on 05/09/2013 6:09:31 PM PDT by Natural Law (Peace is not the absence of war, it is the completeness of communion with God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

Why or why would you want to rejct the power of the priest given in his ordination (another Sacrament).

This is the power of Jesus.

I can’t believe that you reject the power of Jesus. At least that is what you are seeming to say.


18 posted on 05/09/2013 6:13:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
The lack of outward evidence for any spiritual change in the individual is damning, therefore

It is damning of the people who leave the One Holy Apostolic Church to pursue their own theological fantasies.

Men reject God and make "shipwreck concerning the faith" (1 Timothy 1:19) all the time. Doesn't prove anything about the Holy Sacraments.

19 posted on 05/09/2013 6:15:08 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

**The sacraments of the Catholic Church, therefore, do not have any of the power that the scripture would suggest they should have. **

LOL!

I can’t believe that you are saying these words, rejecting the Scriptures that you build sola scriptura on.

Oh my!


20 posted on 05/09/2013 6:16:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Natural Law

“One size does not fit all. We know that for some water baptism is not required for some, but that does not mean it is not required for others. Presumption is every bit as much of a sin against hope as is despair.”


An illogical position, since you state that baptism is required while presuming that those verses which indicate salvation without water baptism are simply exceptions to your rule, a rule that is simply not found in the scripture if read without the prism of Catholic theology.

You also ignore the scriptures which utterly refute the concept since, as has been shown before, salvation depends upon the Will of God. Therefore, if it is by the will of God, predestinated before the foundation of the world, it cannot be upon a baptism of water, or any other carnal act, since those can only be the “willing” and “running” of God Himself, and not the “willing” and “running” of the individual, who is chosen by Christ but yet did not choose Christ.


21 posted on 05/09/2013 6:18:08 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

22 posted on 05/09/2013 6:18:49 PM PDT by narses
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

“I can’t believe that you are saying these words, rejecting the Scriptures that you build sola scriptura on.”


Please see my post to the other fellow. I did not concede that Roman Catholic theology is found in the scripture. My argument is, that if sacraments dispense grace or the Holy Spirit (only grace is taught in the scripture), then it ought to have the power that the scripture ascribes to it (that is, to grace, or the Holy Spirit). Since baptizing children in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit still leaves half, or even more of them, as the children of Satan, who have no real advantage over the unbaptized in terms of holy living and coming to belief in Christ, then this proves that there is no spiritual regeneration at work in a mere baptism by water.


23 posted on 05/09/2013 6:22:33 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
From the Bible, the words of Jesus -- I'll take it. The words from Acts and John -- why don't you believe these?

"Do penance and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins."    (Acts 2:38)
 
Jesus Christ said: "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."    (John 3:5)
 
"Why tarriest thou?  Rise up, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins."    (Acts 22:16)
 
        "And there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.  This man came to Jesus by night, and said to Him:  Rabbi, we know that Thou are come a teacher from God; for no man can do these signs which Thou dost, unless God be with him.  Jesus answered, and said to him:  Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again, He cannot see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus saith to Him:  How can a man be born when he is old?  Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born again?  Jesus answered:  Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."  (John 3:1-5)
 

24 posted on 05/09/2013 6:25:43 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: annalex

“It is damning of the people who leave the One Holy Apostolic Church to pursue their own theological fantasies.”


“But these brethren of ours, about whom and on whose behalf we are now discoursing, say, perhaps, that the Pelagians are refuted by this apostolical testimony in which it is said that we are chosen in Christ and predestinated before the foundation of the world, in order that we should be holy and immaculate in His sight in love. For they think that “having received God’s commands we are of ourselves by the choice of our free will made holy and immaculate in His sight in love; and since God foresaw that this would be the case,” they say, “He therefore chose and predestinated us in Christ before the foundation of the world.” Although the apostle says that it was not because He foreknew that we should be such, but in order that we might be such by the same election of His grace, by which He showed us favour in His beloved Son. When, therefore, He predestinated us, He foreknew His own work by which He makes us holy and immaculate. Whence the Pelagian error is rightly refuted by this testimony. “But we say,” say they, “that God did not foreknow anything as ours except that faith by which we begin to believe, and that He chose and predestinated us before the foundation of the world, in order that we might be holy and immaculate by His grace and by His work.” But let them also hear in this testimony the words where he says, “We have obtained a lot, being predestinated according to His purpose who worketh all things.” [Eph. 1.11.] He, therefore, work-eth the beginning of our belief who worketh all things; because faith itself does not precede that calling of which it is said: “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance;” [Rom. 11.29.] and of which it is said: “Not of works, but of Him that calleth” [Rom. 9.12.] (although He might have said, “of Him that believeth”); and the election which the Lord signified when He said: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.” [John 15.16.] For He chose us, not because we believed, but that we might believe, lest we should be said first to have chosen Him, and so His word be false (which be it far from us to think possible), “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.” Neither are we called because we believed, but that we may believe; and by that calling which is without repentance it is effected and carried through that we should believe. But all the many things which we have said concerning this matter need not be repeated.” (Augustine, A
Treatise On The Predestination of the Saints, Chapt. 38)

Did Saint Augustine fantasize all of this teaching from scripture?


25 posted on 05/09/2013 6:27:15 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

**The sacraments, as they exist in Catholicism, do not exist in the scripture.**

Oh, but they do!


26 posted on 05/09/2013 6:27:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

“Why or why would you want to rejct the power of the priest given in his ordination (another Sacrament).”


I don’t reject the power of the Priest, since I myself am a Priest and a King in the sight of God, as is every member of the elect (Rev 5, 1 Peter 2). I simply deny the power of carnal works to facilitate Grace, since grace is the free and unmerited gift of God.

Grace is, by definition, the unmerited favor of God on sinners. It is utterly independent of all works, which cannot add to it or take away from it without destroying its very meaning.

Rom_11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

One cannot “obtain” grace, since that’s the same thing as saying that you are justified by works, because your works are what succeeded in “earning” grace. But grace is always unmerited:

2Ti_1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Eph_1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Or as Augustine says:

“We know that God’s grace is not given to all men. To those to whom it is given it is given neither according to the merits of works, nor according to the merits of the will, but by free grace. To those to whom it is not given we know that it is because of God’s righteous judgment that it is not given.”
Augustine - On Rebuke and Grace

You cannot “cooperate” with grace, because that is the same thing as saying that unmerited grace depends on you retaining your merits.

Rom_4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

Therefore grace cannot be hindered or supported by works. While the scripture teaches that we ought to work out our salvation, a sentence later it says that it is God who works in us both to will and to do:

Php 2:12-13 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (13) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Isa_26:12 LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.

Salvation, therefore, is the entire work of God from start to finish. Both works and faith must bow to the will of God who chose us, not because He foresaw we would do good, but so that we would do good, as the Bishop of Hippo explained in my previous post to the other fellow.


27 posted on 05/09/2013 6:31:33 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

That people might receive the sacrament and the sacrament may work to their damnation we see right from the Holy Scripture, 1 Cor. 11:29.

Predestination has nothing to do with it.


28 posted on 05/09/2013 6:32:30 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

“”Do penance and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins.” (Acts 2:38)”


Let me fix this mischievous Catholic quote. The proper translation is repentance, not Catholic penance, which implies doing works to make up for a sin (sin is made up for by Christ’s perfect work on the cross, and cannot be bought by human action).

Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The word is metanoeo, defined thusly:

1) to change one’s mind, i.e. to repent
2) to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence
of one’s past sins

And to be baptized in the name of Jesus means to take on His religion, to accept Him as lawgiver, to embrace His religion, as Christ teaches that:

Joh_11:26 ... whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Those who are baptized are not saved by baptism, but are rather those who were saved by the direct intervention of God who predestinated them before the world began:

Act_13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

Therefore belief and works cannot be attributed to man, but to the God who “wills and works in them to do.”


29 posted on 05/09/2013 6:43:10 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: annalex

“That people might receive the sacrament and the sacrament may work to their damnation we see right from the Holy Scripture, 1 Cor. 11:29.

Predestination has nothing to do with it.”


Predestination has everything to do with it, because it takes away the worth or unworthiness of the individual who eats or drinks and places it on the sovereign will of God who makes a man worthy or leaves Him to be unworthy.

This predestination IS the plan of God to give His grace to those who do not deserve it. What you must do is break away from the Catholic definition, which speaks of so many graces as if it were an inanimate object to be dispensed and then either lost or found by those fortunate enough to go through physical gestures or to chew with their teeth or be sprinkled as a child when they did not even believe (and the scriptures say, one must BELIEVE and be baptized, and those who BELIEVE not are damned. Why then is belief taken out of the equation altogether by the Catholics?). Salvation either belongs in the hand of God, or it belongs in the hand of men, it cannot be both, and the scripture testifies of the former.


30 posted on 05/09/2013 6:50:30 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

31 posted on 05/09/2013 7:18:04 PM PDT by narses
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

Cornelius and his family are not the norm, but the exception that proves the norm. Meaning, Peter and those with him were shocked to see that the Holy Ghost came upon Cornelius because he was Gentile and not Jew.

It was because of this that Gentiles were accepted as believers.

But, Scripture notes that immediately following, Cornelius and his family were baptized. Peter says, how could we deny or forbid water that they should not be baptized. In other words, who are we to deny them the saving waters of baptism if the Spirit has chosen to come to them?

So, clearly, Peter would not have baptized Cornelius without having first witnessed the Holy Ghost coming to him.

God is not bound by human actions, but humans are bound by God’s commands. Jesus says one must be baptized and that is the norm, but there are exceptions which only God can make.


32 posted on 05/09/2013 7:30:14 PM PDT by Jvette
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Jvette

“Cornelius and his family are not the norm, but the exception that proves the norm.”

....

“But, Scripture notes that immediately following, Cornelius and his family were baptized.”


If water baptism imputes the Holy Spirit, as Francis claims, then the water baptism that followed after the infilling/baptism of the Holy Spirit is redundant. The Holy Spirit already fell on them, thus demonstrating that they were regenerated, washed, and made clean by the power of God already. If, on the other hand, the purpose of baptism is the first act of a convert publicly confessing His inward faith and determination to follow God, then it is logical that it should be done either way, as it is the entry way to public membership in the body of Christ, a fact that is already secured by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit done (normally, in our age) invisibly.

Peter was not surprised at it, but the Jews were, as Peter had already been told that salvation should be to the Gentiles also. It was not to convince Peter to baptize them, since he already had the commands of God backing him up. If water baptism is necessary for salvation, then the rule should be kept on every occasion. If the “rule” is broken so easily at the whim of God, it is more likely that your rule is a figment of your imagination.


33 posted on 05/09/2013 7:38:07 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

Rules are from God and of God and for man. Man does not hold God to account, but is rather held to account by God.

That being said....

The norm is that one receives the Holy Spirit for the first time in baptism, but obviously there are instances in Scripture where that is not the case.

In the upper room, following His resurrection, Jesus breathes on the Apostles and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit” and yet the Holy Spirit comes upon them at Pentecost as well.

In baptism, one is born again, into a new life with Christ, becoming the temple of the Holy Spirit. One is also cleansed of all sin and becomes a child of God.


34 posted on 05/09/2013 8:05:07 PM PDT by Jvette
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Jvette

“Rules are from God and of God and for man. Man does not hold God to account, but is rather held to account by God.”


A statement which hurts your position, because if God is not bound to come upon the person who is or isn’t baptized in water, then it is the same thing as saying that the physical act has no power over God at all. The Roman Catholic position is that spiritual graces are dependent on Roman Catholic sacraments.

“In baptism, one is born again, into a new life with Christ, becoming the temple of the Holy Spirit. One is also cleansed of all sin and becomes a child of God.”


Since your arguments about Peter needing to be convinced were refuted, the basis of your argument is founded entirely upon Roman Catholic theology outside of scripture. As has been shown in other posts, salvation is by the sovereign will of God, and it is this understanding which explains why God is able to save Cornelius or the Thief on the cross prior or even without water baptism entirely. God is not bound to the actions of men, but rather moves according to His own grace and purpose given to us before the world began. There are no “exceptions” to this system, only wonderful rules which declare that salvation is of the LORD.

“In the upper room, following His resurrection, Jesus breathes on the Apostles and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit” and yet the Holy Spirit comes upon them at Pentecost as well.”


Act 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

Peter states they had received the Holy Ghost in the same way they have. Unless you believe that the Holy Spirit only stays with the believer temporarily, or that the Holy Spirit filling a man is not the same as His being regenerated and baptized by the Spirit as promised by Christ Himself?

As for previously, it is clear that there is a tremendous difference between the Apostles before and after Pentecost. Before Pentecost, there were things they could not even understand. Even Peter played the coward and denied Christ three times. Yet, after Pentecost, that same Peter is boldly declaring the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament period, the Holy Spirit’s presence with the individual was dependent and temporary. In the New Testament period, the Holy Spirit takes up permanent residence in the believer.


35 posted on 05/09/2013 8:19:07 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

“he does not harp on water, but harps on being born again ‘in the spirit.’”

How do you know what His emphasis was? You can’t just lightly dismiss Christ’s plain, straightforward word about the necessity of water baptism. Since we disagree, who is the authority we can go to to resolve our differing opinions?


36 posted on 05/09/2013 8:26:41 PM PDT by MDLION ("Trust in the Lord with all your heart" -Proverbs 3:5)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

I don’t understand this response in 9, you’ll have to be more specific.


37 posted on 05/09/2013 8:31:55 PM PDT by MDLION ("Trust in the Lord with all your heart" -Proverbs 3:5)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: MDLION

“How do you know what His emphasis was?”


Joh 3:5-15 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (8) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (9) Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? (10) Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? (11) Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. (12) If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? (13) And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. (14) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: (15) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Because, right afterwards, Christ discusses entirely on being born again in the Spirit, on the nature of the Spirit, and the necessity of faith in Himself. In Christ’s sense, to be born of water is to be entirely converted, as that is what the Jews understood baptism to be. Not that the water itself led to spiritual results. This latter conclusion would force one to utterly ignore Christ’s constant emphasis on spiritual regeneration, real fruits of the Spirit wrought by God, throughout the Gospels.

“Since we disagree, who is the authority we can go to to resolve our differing opinions?”


Spiritual truths can only be understood spiritually. Therefore, until the Holy Spirit reveals it to you, you will not believe the scriptures which declare that salvation is entirely the work of God.

1Co_2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


38 posted on 05/09/2013 8:36:33 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: MDLION

“I don’t understand this response in 9, you’ll have to be more specific.”


I suggest reading through all my posts in this thread as one single argument, this way I won’t have to go over the same thing multiple times.


39 posted on 05/09/2013 8:44:07 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

No, my position is completely supported. God is not bound to come upon the person who is or isn’t baptized in water. God says to man, I will do this and you must do that. God makes promises which HE keeps and man is called to obey God’s commands. So, God is bound by HIMSELF and not man.

It’s not complicated.

You are correct, I should not have included Peter as one who was shocked, but that does not negate the fact that Cornelius is being used here as a lesson to the others. Remember, that Peter had just seen the vision when he was called to go to Cornelius and was not sure why.

So, okay, he wasn’t shocked. More like he was a little unsure. Cornelius was the first of the Gentiles. Peter needed to be shown God’s intent, which was made known to him first through the vision, then through Cornelius.

One cannot describe baptism as “the actions of men” without affirming that that very action was commanded by God. The Apostles and the Church did not invent baptism, nor do they command God to come upon one being baptized. The Apostles and the Church obey what they were commanded.

_____________________________________________________

Peter states they had received the Holy Ghost in the same way they have. Unless you believe that the Holy Spirit only stays with the believer temporarily, or that the Holy Spirit filling a man is not the same as His being regenerated and baptized by the Spirit as promised by Christ Himself?

As for previously, it is clear that there is a tremendous difference between the Apostles before and after Pentecost. Before Pentecost, there were things they could not even understand. Even Peter played the coward and denied Christ three times. Yet, after Pentecost, that same Peter is boldly declaring the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

_____________________________________________________

This is all a red herring.

Did Peter and the others receive the Holy Spirit twice? If not, what did they receive when Jesus breathed upon him? Because Jesus said receive the Holy Spirit.

Why were they only changed men at Pentecost and not after receiving the Holy Spirit in the upper room 40 days before?

This is what happens when one reads Scripture a verse at a time instead of seeing the whole picture. What one has with this method of eisegesis is a small piece of the puzzle which could be anything or nothing according to the one handling the piece.

The Church fits the pieces together under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit to form a cohesive theology rooted in Scripture so that her doctrines are sound and not subject to piecemeal confusion.

__________________________________________________
In the Old Testament period, the Holy Spirit’s presence with the individual was dependent and temporary. In the New Testament period, the Holy Spirit takes up permanent residence in the believer.
___________________________________________________

Jesus said, If you abide in me, I will abide in you. Or as some translate it, If you remain in me, I will remain in you. What happens if one decides to no longer abide/remain in Jesus?


40 posted on 05/09/2013 9:00:20 PM PDT by Jvette
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Jvette

“So, God is bound by HIMSELF and not man.”


And I agree with you, which is why I reject your theology.

“Remember, that Peter had just seen the vision when he was called to go to Cornelius and was not sure why.”


This simply isn’t true. Here is what Peter was saying before the Holy Spirit fell on Cornelius and his family, demonstrating that he knew that the Gentiles also should be converted.

Act 10:28-36 And he (Peter) said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean... (34) Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: (35) But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. (36) The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

“Did Peter and the others receive the Holy Spirit twice? If not, what did they receive when Jesus breathed upon him? Because Jesus said receive the Holy Spirit.”


Unless you hold that the Holy Spirit comes and goes, and that there is no difference between New Testament infillings and Old Testament infillings, then you are in quite a theological conundrum.

“Why were they only changed men at Pentecost and not after receiving the Holy Spirit in the upper room 40 days before?”


They received the Holy Spirit in the upper room on Pentecost:

Act 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. (2) And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. (3) And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. (4) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

This is the same event that occurs to the Gentiles prior to water baptism in Acts 10.

“Jesus said, If you abide in me, I will abide in you. Or as some translate it, If you remain in me, I will remain in you. What happens if one decides to no longer abide/remain in Jesus?”


When God gives a command, it does not imply that we have the moral ability to perform it of ourselves. Christ commands us to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect, but yet none of us are perfect. Paul famously describes his own war with his flesh in Romans, doing that which he does not want to do, and not being able to do that which he would like to do. Is Paul in and out of abiding with Christ? He certainly is not perfect, as Christ commanded.

Christ, instead, teaches that salvation depends entirely on God. He declares, for example, that it is impossible to come to Him unless it is given to us by the Father:

Joh 6:64-65 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. (65) And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

We are told that it is not the Christian who chooses Christ, but rather it is Christ who chooses us and ordains us for good (and abiding!) works:

Joh_15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Yes, we are told to “work out our salvation,” but right afterwards we are told that it is God who works in us for to will and to do:

Php 2:12-13 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (13) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Isa_26:12 LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.

Therefore, no man can claim to abide in Christ by His own obedience, power or merits, but must ascribe all of it to the power and glory of God alone.


41 posted on 05/09/2013 9:14:10 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: MDLION

In truth you are correct.


42 posted on 05/09/2013 11:42:56 PM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

Did not Jesus say at the end of Mathew’s Gospel to go and baptized all people?


43 posted on 05/09/2013 11:44:03 PM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: NYer; All

Remember Jesus commands that all be baptized at the end of the Gospel of Mathew. That is when the Holy Spirit comes when the person is baptized.


44 posted on 05/09/2013 11:46:28 PM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: narses

AMEN.


45 posted on 05/09/2013 11:51:23 PM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
If water baptism is necessary to receive the Holy Spirit, then every instance of the Holy Spirit filling/baptizing the believer must be at the instigation of water baptism.

Fundamental logical error. Just because God has prescribed something as "necessary" for us, it does not follow that he is bound by that rule -- unless He wishes to be. He's the boss; he gets to call the shots.

Or, as St. Thomas Aquinas pithily put it, "God is not bound by the sacraments".

46 posted on 05/10/2013 5:10:56 AM PDT by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
The Roman Catholic position is that spiritual graces are dependent on Roman Catholic sacraments.

Wrong. Saying that sacraments objectively do something is not the same as asserting that that "something" can only be accomplished through the sacraments. God is perfectly capable of making other arrangements as he sees fit, and he does so where he chooses to. However, the ordinary means of conferring grace, which he instituted and gave to us, are the sacraments.

47 posted on 05/10/2013 5:25:23 AM PDT by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
This predestination IS the plan of God

True enough, but you (speaking collectively of anyone) don't know it. Whatever your predestination is, your works of faith are included in it, and so are the sacraments you receive -- or the sacraments you flee.

the Catholic definition, which speaks of so many graces as if it were an inanimate object to be dispensed

Grace is uncreated so not properly an "object". Read the Fathers of the Church with this in mind, and you will understand them better. It takes practice and study.

48 posted on 05/10/2013 5:27:45 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Campion

“Fundamental logical error. Just because God has prescribed something as “necessary” for us, it does not follow that he is bound by that rule — unless He wishes to be. He’s the boss; he gets to call the shots.”


The “fundamental logical error” is the assumption that the examples of the Thief and Cornelius are exceptions to a Roman Catholic rule instead of the norm. After all, the “rule” that you are basing it on is never actually spelled out in the scripture at all. It’s simply Roman theology based on the assumption that water baptism has power to give the Holy Spirit taking it to such an extreme that “belief” is removed from the equation altogether and the focus placed on the work, instead of the Jewish view that rather saw Baptism as a sign of new birth and a declaration to follow the teachings of whomever you are being baptized “in the name” of. It also exists in contradiction to Christ’s and the Apostles’ teachings on salvation by the grace of God, which is every described as sovereign favor on an undeserving sinner, and a spiritual regeneration that is superior to the flesh.


49 posted on 05/10/2013 2:59:07 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: annalex

“True enough, but you (speaking collectively of anyone) don’t know it. Whatever your predestination is, your works of faith are included in it, and so are the sacraments you receive — or the sacraments you flee.”


You are misunderstanding predestination. Predestination is defined not as God foreseeing your works and rewarding you in advance, but rather that God has chosen to give to you His favor despite the fact that you do not deserve it, even before you have done good or evil, and inspite of your evil even, according to His own good purpose and will to save you (Rom 9:10-16, 2 Ti 1:9, Eph 1:4).

There is only one type of grace that God offers in scripture, and it is this grace which, by definition, is given to you despite the fact that you do not deserve it. Speaking of grace as “uncreated so not properly an object” is like saying that an emotional or mental state is an uncreated object. You might as well believe in magic, or the dark side or the light sight of the force, speaking like this. Grace is God’s favor, and because that is exactly what it is, it cannot be dispensed like cokes from a machine for a $1.25.


50 posted on 05/10/2013 3:05:44 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-73 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson