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The Rise of a Counterfeit Christianity
The Church Jesus Built ^ | 1997? | Various

Posted on 07/08/2006 6:41:47 AM PDT by DouglasKC

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Controversial, but let's avoid personal attacks please and try to edify each other.
1 posted on 07/08/2006 6:41:51 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: Diego1618; kerryusama04; Harrymehome; Buggman; xzins; P-Marlowe

FYI...


2 posted on 07/08/2006 6:47:36 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC; AnAmericanMother; sionnsar; PetroniusMaximus; Alia

Well, the text certainly does suggest that the Church became wholly heretic by the time of Ignatius. This is very convenient as, if it were true, that would completely impeach the triple ministry of Bishops, presbyters and deacons and call the continuing Church Apostolicity into serious question.

But let us know who wrote this:

The organization sponsoring the site is the United Church of God. This group appears not to understand the concept of ousia/hypostasis, nor of the natures of Christ (they appear to have a subtle Arian attitude toward Him, implying eternal co-existence but never quite the unity proclaimed by the Church), nor of the Personhood of the Holy Spirit (who comes across as an powerful emanation, rather than a co-equal Person). Nor do they appear to recognize the validity or purpose of any Sacrament except that of Baptism, which they understand in a spiritual rather than complete (i.e., spiritual and bodily) sense. For instance, the Eucharist, directly commanded by our Lord and clearly explained and expounded by Paul (see I Cor 11:17 et seq.), is never even mentioned. Nor is the text John 6:41-51, where our Lord's words about being the bread of life and the key statement, "If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh" is also never stated.

On the other hand, they do insist upon ritual cleanliness in foods, observe Easter as Quartodecemians and hold their Sabbath on Saturday. In the former case, Matt 15:3-9 should have sufficed to erase the Levitical prohibitions on ritual cleanliness. As to 14 Abib, nowhere in the Catholic Church is this dating still used. It is true that the West and East do not agree on which date to set Easter, but both agree on the process, and neither use the Hebrew calendar. Maintaining Saturday as the Sabbath implicitly sets the ancient Hebrew celebration of the Creation ahead of the Resurrection of Christ. The Universal Church has decided otherwise.

I might also point out that they never do quite connect the local heresies in Galatia and Corinth with what eventually developed as the Eucharist and the Apostolic Ministry, yet they do assert that the whole Church languished in disorderly heresy until set right by Constantine.

This rather begs a great number of questions, not the least of which is where Constantine received his Apostolic mandate to regularize and institutionalize the Church. There happens to be a great literature on the subject, but none of that is cited here.

So while there is useful Scriptural citation here (and some felicitious translation), this whole article is a perfect example of exactly what Paul, Peter and John were prophesying against.

I thank you for bringing this to attention and am glad I read it. I do wish the authors were of the true Apostolic succession and joyful members of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. On the evidence of this and other articles at their website, I cannot come to that conclusion but rather that they have taken on Montanist, Seventh-Day-Adventist and even Lollard attitudes, perhaps out of fear and anxiety about the perilous times in which we live. But then again, all times are perilous until our Lord returns in glory. We are to hold up our eyes and look to the heavens whence comes our salvation and believe on Him, letting all eartly concerns be set aside as transient and of no account.


3 posted on 07/08/2006 7:49:41 AM PDT by BelegStrongbow (www.stjosephssanford.org)
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To: BelegStrongbow

Well said!


4 posted on 07/08/2006 7:54:53 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: BelegStrongbow

Very helpful edification. Thanks!


6 posted on 07/08/2006 8:09:00 AM PDT by Huber ("Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of classes - our ancestors." - G K Chesterton)
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To: DouglasKC

This document is very light on quotations from Christian writers of the period 100 AD to 300 AD. In fact, there is no documentation about any of his claims about the Church in that period. Actually, he has the history completely backwards. He refers to Scriptural passages about false religions and new doctrines creeping into the Church and then tries to identify those with early Catholicism. That is a completely inverted understanding of the development of the early Church. Most scholars, of whatever religious affiliation, would tell you that the kinds of false doctrines that are alluded to in the New Testament were forms of "gnosticism" and "docetism". The gnostic sects were amalgamations of Christianity (or Judaism) with eastern mystery cults. They had all sorts of wierd beliefs (which one can read about in many places) that had no counterpart in any modern form of Christianity, Catholic or Protestant.
The docetist sects (which overlapped the gnostics) taught that Jesus did not have a real physical body and was not really crucified. These heresies and sects persisted for quite a while, and they were bitterly fought against by the early bishops of the Church, like St. Ignatius of Antioch (died as a martyr 107 AD) and St. Irenaeus of Lyon (late 2nd century). Ignatius comndemns these sects in his famous letters to the Churches of Asia and Irenaeus wrote a long book attacking these heresies. By the way, St. Ignatius was a disciple of the Apostle John himself, and St. Irenaeus was a pupil of St. Polycarp, who was himself a disciple of the Apostle John.

The bishops of the Catholic Church, in other words, were champions of apostolic doctrine against the very heresies that the New Testament condemns. There was indeed a growth of Church structures and Church authority in the first few centuries, but it was precisely as a defense mechanism against the very heresies that the New Testament condemns. Many of the gnostic and other heretics were going around preaching their own alternative gospels. In reaction to this, the orthodox Christians emphasized that their own doctrines (a) came in an unbroken line of teachers from the Apostles themselves (as we see was the case with Ignatius and Irenaeus) --- this is the idea of "apostolic succession" and (b) that the real orthodox churches throughout the world
were all preaching the same doctrines in a consistent way, where as the heretics were all disagreeing with each other and teaching many different alternative gospels. The idea here was the since the real churches all got their doctrine from the same source, they all were consistent with each other, whereas the heresies were all newly sprouted weeds and therefore did not even agree with each other. This is why the early Christians began to emphasize that the true doctrines were the ones taught by "the catholic (=universal) Church" throughout the world. The first recorded use of the term "Catholic Church" was in the letters of St. Ignatius (Ad 107). One finds it used several times in "The Martyrdom of St. Polycarp" (written 155 AD). So the emphasis on "apostolic tradition" and "apostolic succession" and the catholicity of the Church, were all ways the early Church defended herself against the very heresies that St. Paul condemned.

Also the authority of bishops and the compiling of approved (or "canonical") books of Scripture were ways that the Church defended against these same early heresies. All this happened LONG before the Roman emperors had anything to do with the Church. The Roman emperors did not try to interfere in the Church's affairs until the fourth century. All one has to do is read the "ante-Nicene fathers", i.e. the ones who wrote before 300 AD, and one sees that all the distinctively Catholic doctrines are there : the authority of bishops, the visible unity of the "Catholic Church" as a divinely established institution, the real presence of Christ's body and blood in the Eucharist, the Eucharist as the central act of worship of Christians, the Eucharist as a "sacrifice", the one foretold by the prophet Malachi that would be offered in every place from the rising of the sun to its setting by the gentiles, the special place of the bishop of Rome (=pope) among the bishops, and so on.

This document that someone posted is just wishful thinking and speculation with no documentation (because none is possible) from actual early Christian writings. My advice: read the early Church fathers, and you will see that they were biblical Christians defending biblical truths.


7 posted on 07/08/2006 8:18:36 AM PDT by smpb (smb)
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To: BelegStrongbow
This group appears not to understand the concept of ousia/hypostasis, nor of the natures of Christ (they appear to have a subtle Arian attitude toward Him, implying eternal co-existence but never quite the unity proclaimed by the Church), nor of the Personhood of the Holy Spirit (who comes across as an powerful emanation, rather than a co-equal Person). Nor do they appear to recognize the validity or purpose of any Sacrament except that of Baptism, which they understand in a spiritual rather than complete (i.e., spiritual and bodily) sense. For instance, the Eucharist, directly commanded by our Lord and clearly explained and expounded by Paul (see I Cor 11:17 et seq.), is never even mentioned. Nor is the text John 6:41-51, where our Lord's words about being the bread of life and the key statement, "If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh" is also never stated.

Thanks for your response. There are a number of mistatements here, but I'm going to confine the discussion as to how they pertain to the point of the article.

You mention the Eucharist. One of the ways in which traditional Christianity has strayed from the truth is in WHEN the bread and wine are supposed to be eaten and drank in remembrance of Christ. In remembrance:

1Co 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
1Co 11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

The partaking (and I'm sure you'll agree), is done in remembrance of Christ and his sacrifice. It's memorial to his death.

What has been lost is that this was done on Passover, a festival instituted by God:

Lev 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's passover.

Passover, the Lord's passover, is a yearly event. Memorials are held on a yearly basis. Christ changed the way Passover is celebrated by illuminating it's true meaning. He did NOT change the fact that Passover, and all of the Lord's festivals, still exists.

Traditional Christianity has removed those festivals and instituted their own. This is just one way that it has deviaed from the bible.

1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

On the other hand, they do insist upon ritual cleanliness in foods, observe Easter as Quartodecemians and hold their Sabbath on Saturday.

A couple of points that are mistaken on this. I do not, and nor does UCG, insist upon "ritual cleanliness" of foods. Again, this is another area in which traditional Christianity as deviated from God's word. God created certain animals as food for humans, and many animals as not acceptable for food. These are clearly listed in Levitucus:

Lev 11:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.

God tells his children what animals to eat and what not to eat.

It's possible that you're confusing the ritual eating habits of the Jewish religion with what's in the bible. Christ agreed that this ritual is a manmade custom:

Mat 15:2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. Mat 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

You quoted Matthew 15, but the verses quoted show that Christ was addressing traditions of the Jewish "church", not what was written in scripture. The traditional Christian church is in the same circumstance today, elevating tradition over scripture.

Concerning the sabbath, guilty. The Lord's sabbath is on the 7th day, from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset:

Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exo 20:9 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:
Exo 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

The Lord blessed the sabbath and day and made it holy. Good enough for me.

This rather begs a great number of questions, not the least of which is where Constantine received his Apostolic mandate to regularize and institutionalize the Church. There happens to be a great literature on the subject, but none of that is cited here.

With good reason. The authority of scripture is superior to any opinions or treatises that man has written concerning it. That's why the article focuses on scripture rather than historical opinions of men.

thank you for bringing this to attention and am glad I read it. I do wish the authors were of the true Apostolic succession and joyful members of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

I thank you for your respectful tone. Obviously I don't share your belief that the Catholic church IS the church established by Christ, although I'm sure there are members, or at least future members of God's church within that organization.

8 posted on 07/08/2006 8:18:38 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: smpb; Huber; Jerry Built; AnAmericanMother

Sorry, I should have pinged you to post 8.


9 posted on 07/08/2006 8:20:57 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

But . . . who established the canon of scripture?


10 posted on 07/08/2006 8:22:48 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: AnAmericanMother
But . . . who established the canon of scripture?

God. Canonical scripture was well established before it was formalized as part of traditional Christianity.

11 posted on 07/08/2006 8:24:31 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

That's a major historical error. There were a lot of sacred writings floating about until the Church (inspired of course by the Holy Spirit) decided what was in and what was out.


12 posted on 07/08/2006 8:33:20 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: BelegStrongbow

I have studied saints and miracles. I feel sad when I encounter someone like this, because I think their religion does not have history or the strenght of being part of the mystical body of Christ. Becausre their focus is always exclusively on the first century, they do not see what majesty the Holy Spirit has accomplished through his church. They are suceptible to da Vinci code type challenges because they do not see the living God renewing his work in every century including ours.


13 posted on 07/08/2006 8:33:28 AM PDT by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: DouglasKC
It's a good post... thanks.

Wow...
This will take some study and contemplation --

Glad you brought the article to FR

14 posted on 07/08/2006 8:33:39 AM PDT by Wings-n-Wind (All of the answers remain available; Wisdom is gained by asking the right questions!)
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To: AnAmericanMother
That's a major historical error. There were a lot of sacred writings floating about until the Church (inspired of course by the Holy Spirit) decided what was in and what was out.

You make it sound like the men knew better than God what was to be canonized. :-) The canonization happened long before any man was involved. Putting a stamp of approval on something doesn't mean you were it's author.

15 posted on 07/08/2006 8:39:53 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: Wings-n-Wind
It's a good post... thanks. Wow... This will take some study and contemplation --

I'm glad you found it interesting and hope you find your study gratifying.

17 posted on 07/08/2006 8:55:03 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC
Controversial, but let's avoid personal attacks please and try to edify each other.

lol.

18 posted on 07/08/2006 9:04:24 AM PDT by Invincibly Ignorant
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To: DouglasKC

This article is crap. Can anyone here actually provide any evidence, any evidence at all, and by that I mean actual documented cause and effect, that shows pagans entering the Church (which would mean they became Christians!) changed a single Church teaching?

I have heard this claim before, and not surprisingly it always seems to come from Protestants (wishful thinking) or rationalists (hoping against hope) just as with the two "scholars" mentioned in this article. But where's thr proof? Why isn't there a single document anywhere in the world which says something along the lines of, "Ever since we started letting those pagans, gee, they've changed the Church's teachings"?


19 posted on 07/08/2006 9:12:52 AM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: DouglasKC

Nice post. But what I was really looking to see was examples of how modern day churches are turning from the truth of the gospel. Such as ordaining homosexuals, accepting homosexuality, redefining marriage, etc. Any articles on that? Thanks


20 posted on 07/08/2006 9:18:53 AM PDT by InHisService (God bless our military. Bye-bye Zarqawi.)
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To: InHisService
Nice post. But what I was really looking to see was examples of how modern day churches are turning from the truth of the gospel. Such as ordaining homosexuals, accepting homosexuality, redefining marriage, etc. Any articles on that? Thanks

I think those are just symptoms of further falling away. When some segments of Christianity turned toward a gospel of the freedom to violate God's laws under the guise of grace, this was the natural outcome.

21 posted on 07/08/2006 9:22:43 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

You are welcome, to be sure. I would suggest you also attempt to address the points spmb raises, which are the background to which I referred in extreme compression.

Like that commentator, I firmly believe that the Church is both Apostolic and Catholic precisely because she has remained under the godly rule and admonition of her Apostolic bishops. Wherever the bishops have gone wrong, they have taken people into heresy and schism. Also, whenever 'prophets' have proclaimed a new revelation (or at best unknowingly repeated an already-ancient one, which is what this article does), they also lead people into heresy and schism. I need only mention the names Montanus, Nestorius, Paul of Samosata among Church elders who developed a novel understanding of Scripture and inaugurated heresies both long-lasting (that is, right up to today) and divisive. To reject the Holy Catholic Church in all her parts is equally divisive, no matter how much Scripture is cited in the process.


I only have two additional points to make:

The Eucharist is the mystical communion of the faithful, believing partaker with Christ, who is mystically present in the bread and wine. He told us to eat of His flesh and to drink His blood. I take that as a direct order which I humbly obey. My basic difficulty in this is how to find bread and wine which are mystically His Body and Blood. Our Lord consecrated bread and wine at the Last Supper, broke the bread and gave it to His Apostles and told them to do likewise. He did not say 'this is a memory of Me'. He said 'This is an anamnesis of Me', that is, the bringing into the present of that which existed in the past. At the end of His earthly ministry, He then ordained the Apostles, laying His hands upon them and breathing the Holy Spirit into them and directed them to go into the world, baptizing all people and teaching them to follow all of His commandmenets. That He comannded them to celebrate the Eucharist must certainly be one of those commandments. That He ordained them AND NO OTHERS to do this meant that they were empowered through Him to do this. That we must always do this is why we inferred that the authority to do so could be passed on, SO LONG AS IT WAS PASSED ON IN THE SAME WAY AS IT WAS ORIGINALLY GRANTED. The Apostolic ministry in the Catholic/Orthodox/Anglican Church has always done this. And so there is today an access to the Body and Blood, so long as faithful Christians partake of bread and wine consecrated by authentically consecrated bishops or their delegate presbyters. There is no other way to obey this command. We sin if we wilfully disobey what cannot be taken as other than a direct order from our Lord and Savior.

Is the Eucharist also a memorial? Yes, but that is the least important facet of this holy mystery. As I say, the Eucharist is an anamnesis rather than a memory, despite many faulty translations suggesting the two words are synonyms. They are not.

The other point relates to the Canon of Scripture. You have stated that God canonized Scripture long before men did. This probably has significant analysis behind it, but for humans to know that a given text is canonized or not, some human or group of humans is going to have to say that the text is canonized, so everybody else will know. That group is going to have to have authority to say that this text is canonized while that one is not and the Church as a whole is going to have to then ratify that the decision is valid.

This all happened, but it happened in historic time by humans we can name. It was generally ratified at Councils we can also name and date. Now, does this eliminate God's authority? I suppose it could, if the humans performing the canonization ever suggested they were trying to personally take credit for having identified canonical text. They never did and no one has ever accepted a text as canonical that has not been repeatedly validated and authenticated by a wide variety of Church bodies. So the Body has spoken under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as to what constitutes the true Word of God as written for our salvation and edification.

To suggest otherwise is to suggest that someone, somewhere had a special revelation that made them personally the witness of God in these matters. Do you have such a candidate to advance? If not, then the authority must have been the various Apostolic witnesses, Church councils and Church Fathers who have attested that they agree that the books we receive as the Old and the New Testament are indeed all that is necessary for salvation and the Canon of Scripture for all time.

Thanks again for the discussion and may God bless you in all your ways and may His Holy Spirit lead you into all truth and to final salvation.


22 posted on 07/08/2006 9:24:22 AM PDT by BelegStrongbow (www.stjosephssanford.org)
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To: vladimir998; DouglasKC

This article is crap. Can anyone here actually provide any evidence, any evidence at all,
and by that I mean actual documented cause and effect, that shows pagans entering the Church
(which would mean they became Christians!) changed a single Church teaching?

I have heard this claim before, and not surprisingly it always seems to come from Protestants
(wishful thinking) or rationalists (hoping against hope) just as with the two "scholars" mentioned
in this article. But where's thr proof? Why isn't there a single document anywhere in the world
which says something along the lines of,
"Ever since we started letting those pagans, gee, they've changed the Church's teachings"?

19 posted on 07/08/2006 10:12:52 AM MDT by vladimir998

The Council of Nicea was summoned, and presided over, by the Emperor Constantine.

Constantine, Pontifex Maximus of the Roman state religion.

He called all the bishops of the eastern and western churches to attend.

The bishop of Rome was invited to attend but he chose not to attend.

One of the titles of the Roman Emperor was Pontifix Maximus,
a title given to the Roman Emperor by the king of Ephesus
who had inherited the title from Babylon

This title goes all the way back to Babylon and the beginnings of the mother-child
cult under Nimrod of Genesis 10 and his wife Sumerimus. Later,
Julius Caesar was elected Pontifex Maximus and when he became Emperor,
he became the supreme civil and religious ruler and head of Rome
politically and religiously with all the power and functions of the Babylonian pontiff.

Here was the magnificent temple of Esculapius, a pagan god
whose idol was in the form of a serpent.
The inhabitants were known as the chief temple keepers of Asia.
When the Babylonian cult of the Magians was driven out of Babylon,
they found a haven in Pergamum.

The title of the Magian high priest of Babylon was "Chief Bridge Builder"
meaning the one who spans the gap between mortals and Satan and his hosts.
In Latin this title was written "Pontifex Maximus,"

Y'shua spoke to the church at Pergamus when he said:

Revelation 2:12 "And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:

Revelation 2:13 'I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is;
and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith
even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one,
who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.

Revelation 2:14 'But I have a few things against you, because you
have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam,
who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block
before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed
to idols and to commit {acts of} immorality.

Revelation 2:15 'So you also have some who in the same way
hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.

b'shem Y'shua
23 posted on 07/08/2006 9:30:38 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Hosea 6:6 I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings)
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To: BelegStrongbow
Thanks again for the discussion and may God bless you in all your ways and may His Holy Spirit lead you into all truth and to final salvation.

Thank you and I extend the same prayer for you. I'll try to respond a little later tonight. I'll be leaving soon to attend sabbath services.

24 posted on 07/08/2006 9:44:10 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: XeniaSt

The problem with your historical analysis is the fact that the Council of Nicea decided against Constantine's leanings, which were towards Arianism, which was condemned by the Council.


25 posted on 07/08/2006 9:44:56 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If you wish to go to extremes, let it be in... patience, humility, & charity." -St. Philip Neri)
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To: Pyro7480
The problem with your historical analysis
is the fact that the Council of Nicea decided
against Constantine's leanings,
which were towards Arianism,
which was condemned by the Council.

25 posted on 07/08/2006 10:44:56 AM MDT by Pyro7480

I think the question was on the introduction of Paganism

ON THE KEEPING OF EASTER.

From the Letter of the Emperor to all those not present at the Council.
(Found in Eusebius, Vita Const., Lib. iii., 18-20.)

When the question relative to the sacred festival of Easter arose, it was
universally thought that it would be convenient that all should keep the
feast on one day; for what could be more beautiful and more desirable,
than to see this festival, through which we receive the hope of
immortality, celebrated by all with one accord, and in the same
manner? It was declared to be particularly unworthy for this, the
holiest of all festivals, to follow the custom [the calculation] of the
Jews, who had soiled their hands with the most fearful of crimes, and
whose minds were blinded. In rejecting their custom,(1) we may
transmit to our descendants the legitimate mode of celebrating Easter,
which we have observed from the time of the Saviour's Passion to the
present day[according to the day of the week].
We ought not,
therefore, to have anything in common with the Jews, for the Saviour
has shown us another way; our worship follows a more legitimate and
more convenient course(the order of the days of the week); and
consequently, in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire, dearest
brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the
Jews, for it is truly shameful for us to hear them boast that without
their direction we could not keep this feast. How can they be in the
right, they who, after the death of the Saviour, have no longer been led
by reason but by wild violence, as their delusion may urge them? They
do not possess the truth in this Easter question; for, in their blindness
and repugnance to all improvements, they frequently celebrate two
passovers in the same year. We could not imitate those who are openly
in error. How, then, could we follow these Jews, who are most
certainly blinded by error? for to celebrate the passover twice in one
year is totally inadmissible. But even if this were not so, it would still
be your duty not to tarnish your soul by communications with such
wicked people[the Jews]. Besides, consider well, that in such an
important matter, and on a subject of such great solemnity, there ought
not to be any division. Our Saviour has left us only one festal day of
our redemption, that is to say, of his holy passion, and he desired[to
establish] only one Catholic Church. Think, then, how unseemly it is,
that on the same day some should be fasting whilst others are seated
at a banquet; and that after Easter, some should be rejoicing at feasts,
whilst others are still observing a strict fast. For this reason, a Divine
Providence wills that this custom should be rectified and regulated in a
uniform way; and everyone, I hope, will agree upon this point. As, on
the one hand, it is our duty not to have anything in common with the
murderers of our Lord; and as, on the other, the custom now followed
by the Churches of the West, of the South, and of
the North, and by some of those of the East, is the most acceptable, it
has appeared good to all; and I have been guarantee for your consent,
that you would accept it with joy, as it is followed at Rome, in Africa,
in all Italy, Egypt, Spain, Gaul, Britain, Libya, in all Achaia, and in the
dioceses of Asia, of Pontus, and Cilicia. You should consider not only
that the number of churches in these provinces make a majority, but
also that it is right to demand what our reason approves, and that we
should have nothing in common with the Jews. To sum up in few
words: By the unanimous judgment of all, it has been decided that the
most holy festival of Easter should be everywhere celebrated on one
and the same day, and it is not seemly that in so holy a thing there
should be any division. As this is the state of the case, accept joyfully
the divine favour, and this truly divine command;
for all which takes
place in assemblies of the bishops ought to be regarded as proceeding
from the will of God. Make known to your brethren what has been
decreed, keep this most holy day according to the prescribed mode; we
can thus celebrate this holy Easter day at the same time, if it is granted
me, as I desire, to unite myself with you; we can rejoice together,
seeing that the divine power has made use of our instrumentality for
destroying the evil designs of the devil
, and thus causing faith, peace,
and unity to flourish amongst us. May God graciously protect you, my
beloved brethren.

from DOCUMENTS FROM THE FIRST COUNCIL OF NICEA [THE FIRST ECUMENICAL COUNCIL] A.D. 325

This is the Decree from the first Pontiff of the Roman church to all the world.

Emperor Constantine, Emperor of the Roman Empire

He had issued an Edict making Sunday the day of rest

In 321 CE, while a Pagan sun-worshiper, the Emperor Constantine
declared that Sunday was to be a day of rest throughout the Roman Empire:

"On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest,
and let all workshops be closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture
may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day
is not suitable for gain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment
for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost."
Council of Laodicea circa 364 CE ordered that religious observances were
to be conducted on Sunday, not Saturday. Sunday became the new Sabbath.

They ruled: "Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday, but shall work on that day."

b'shem Y'shua

26 posted on 07/08/2006 10:10:59 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Hosea 6:6 I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings)
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To: XeniaSt

Another historical error: Constantine may have held the title of "Pontifex Maximus" with regard to being emperor of the Roman Empire, but he was not a pontiff of the Catholic Church.


27 posted on 07/08/2006 10:19:15 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If you wish to go to extremes, let it be in... patience, humility, & charity." -St. Philip Neri)
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To: DouglasKC

Hello Douglas. I appreciate this thread.
I have personally experienced some of this and now currently fellowship in homes vs. man-made "churches" (buildings).


28 posted on 07/08/2006 10:36:20 AM PDT by MeekMom
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To: DouglasKC

Hidden deep within this web page is this statement...

"Many of the current ministers and members of the United Church of God were once members of the Worldwide Church of God, a nonprofit corporation under the leadership of Herbert W. Armstrong until his death in 1986. A subsequent unwarranted shift toward nonbiblical practices and beliefs led numerous ministers and members to leave the fellowship of that organization."

Leftovers from the defunct Herbert and Garner Ted Armstrong churches.

Now we know what their agenda is.

The "unbiblical" practices mentioned is when their church accepted Trinitarian Christianity and moved into real biblical beliefs and deserted the H D Armstrong positions.


29 posted on 07/08/2006 10:54:07 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (I was going to jump on you till I saw you donated to FR! Now I can't.)
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To: Pyro7480
I think the question on the table was the introduction of Paganism.
b'shem Y'shua

30 posted on 07/08/2006 11:15:38 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Isaiah 26:4 Trust in YHvH forever, because YHvH is the Rock eternal.)
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To: DouglasKC

One should not be in a church which espouses homosexuality, the ordination of gay priests or bishops, or the marriage of same sex couples. Such practices stem from the new Counterfeit Christianity which is sweeping the world. If you belong to such a church, you should leave it immediately, stating your reasons why. If everyone did that, these "churches" would fall apart and these abominable practices would end.


31 posted on 07/08/2006 11:22:19 AM PDT by my_pointy_head_is_sharp (Evil never sleeps...)
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To: XeniaSt

If the question you're trying to prove is to be validated, it helps that the information being used is accurate.


32 posted on 07/08/2006 12:05:56 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If you wish to go to extremes, let it be in... patience, humility, & charity." -St. Philip Neri)
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To: XeniaSt

If the question you're trying to prove is to be validated, it helps that the information being used is accurate.


33 posted on 07/08/2006 12:05:57 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If you wish to go to extremes, let it be in... patience, humility, & charity." -St. Philip Neri)
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To: DouglasKC

Can someone just let me know if this is more Judaizer propaganda? That way I know I can skip the thread and not waste my time.


34 posted on 07/08/2006 12:24:41 PM PDT by Conservative til I die
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To: XeniaSt

You wrote:

"The Council of Nicea was summoned, and presided over, by the Emperor Constantine."

Irrelevant. That is not proof, nor have you documented it, of a pagan intrusion into Christianity.

“Constantine, Pontifex Maximus of the Roman state religion.”

Again, irrelevant. Constantine was emperor. All emperors were in charge of the state religion in pagan times. That is not proof, nor have you documented it, of a pagan intrusion into Christianity.


“He called all the bishops of the eastern and western churches to attend.”

Again, irrelevant. A Christian emperor, and in belief Constantine made it clear he was Christian at that time, had the right to call together any assemblage of citizens he wanted. That is not proof, nor have you documented it, of a pagan intrusion into Christianity.


“The bishop of Rome was invited to attend but he chose not to attend.”

He did not have to attend. He sent delegates. That is not proof, nor have you documented it, of a pagan intrusion into Christianity.


“One of the titles of the Roman Emperor was Pontifix Maximus,
a title given to the Roman Emperor by the king of Ephesus
who had inherited the title from Babylon “

Wrong. It is an exclusively Roman title and some from Rome alone. There was a PM before Ephesus was a kingdom! Read Françoise Van Haeperen, Le collège pontifical (3ème s. a. C. - 4ème s. p. C.) in series Études de Philologie, d'Archéologie et d'Histoire Anciennes, no. 39.) and you’ll avoid making this “Hislopian” mistake. And in any case, that is not proof, nor have you documented it, of a pagan intrusion into Christianity.

“This title goes all the way back to Babylon and the beginnings of the mother-child
cult under Nimrod of Genesis 10 and his wife Sumerimus. Later,
Julius Caesar was elected Pontifex Maximus and when he became Emperor,
he became the supreme civil and religious ruler and head of Rome
politically and religiously with all the power and functions of the Babylonian pontiff. “

Uh, Hislop was wrong. You do realize that don’t you? You see, those of us who actually are Church Historians know that to be true. Even Ralph Woodrow, a former Hislop adherent figured that out. And no information about Caesar is proof, nor have you documented it, of a pagan intrusion into Christianity.


Look, when you actually want to talk about REAL Church history and not Hislop let me know. No reputable Church historian alive today takes Hislop seriously. There’s a reason why. He was wrong.



35 posted on 07/08/2006 2:22:44 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: vladimir998
Would you not consider the introduction of Easter
in place of Passover or the introduction of Christmas
as Paganism?

The Traditions of man replacing the Holy Word of G-d.
The sabbath as outlined in the Holy Word of G-d in
Leviticus 23 is replaced by man's tradition of Sunday,
the day to worship the Sun god as directed by Constantine.

b'shem Y'shua

36 posted on 07/08/2006 7:54:04 PM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Isaiah 26:4 Trust in YHvH forever, because YHvH is the Rock eternal.)
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To: XeniaSt

You wrote: "Would you not consider the introduction of Easter in place of Passover or the introduction of Christmas
as Paganism?"

No, since that isn't what happened. As anyone, who has ever actually studied Church history knows, Christmas, for instance, was set at the date it was to combat paganism not become it. Don't believe me? Read Manfred Clauss' THE ROMAN CULT OF MITHRAS where he quotes an early Christian author who gives ample evidence of exactly that.

"The Traditions of man replacing the Holy Word of G-d."

No, just your silly assertions without evidence.

"The sabbath as outlined in the Holy Word of G-d in
Leviticus 23 is replaced by man's tradition of Sunday,
the day to worship the Sun god as directed by Constantine."

Oh, please learn some history! The Church began worshipping on Sundays LONG BEFORE CONSTANTINE WAS EVEN BORN. Even other anti-Catholics get this right: http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/qworshipsunday.html

Look, you're just embarrassing yourself here. DO YOU HAVE ANY EVIDENCE OR NOT?


37 posted on 07/08/2006 8:46:58 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: DouglasKC

So if I'm reading this correctly, only about 10 people will be raptured - and those will be folks who've read scripture in every original language and managed to get every detail exactly right along the way.


38 posted on 07/08/2006 9:27:05 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: DouglasKC; Larry Lucido
The apostles repeatedly warned Jesus' followers to beware of false teachers who would introduce counterfeit-Christian beliefs. Jesus Himself warned: "Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name . . . and will deceive many" (Matthew 24:4-5).

Early on in the article, this is a curious bit of editing. What was left out?

4 Jesus said to them in reply, "See that no one deceives you.
5 For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Messiah,' and they will deceive many.

Oh, my.

Can't very well claim that they are saying 'I am the Messiah', can we?

It's curious to begin an article by "helping" Jesus to say what he "really" meant by modifying the word of God.

A Scriptural absolutist might take that as a hallmark of counterfeit teaching.

39 posted on 07/09/2006 6:37:16 AM PDT by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: siunevada
Early on in the article, this is a curious bit of editing. What was left out?
4 Jesus said to them in reply, "See that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Messiah,' and they will deceive many. Oh, my. Can't very well claim that they are saying 'I am the Messiah', can we? It's curious to begin an article by "helping" Jesus to say what he "really" meant by modifying the word of God. A Scriptural absolutist might take that as a hallmark of counterfeit teaching.

It wasn't left out for any nefarious reasons. I'm sure it was omitted because it wasn't salient to the point and watered down the message.

That being said, it could easily have been left in:

Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

The phrase "I am Christ" could be understood two ways. Jesus could have been saying that they would claim that they are Christ OR he could have been saying that they will say that HE (jesus) was Christ. In other words, these deceivers would come in the name of Jesus, and say that Jesus was the Christ in order to advance their agenda.

40 posted on 07/09/2006 6:47:34 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: Larry Lucido
So if I'm reading this correctly, only about 10 people will be raptured - and those will be folks who've read scripture in every original language and managed to get every detail exactly right along the way

No. God has a plan for those who may have been deceived. Scripture indicates that the number of those ultimately saved will be a great number:

Rev 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

41 posted on 07/09/2006 6:49:45 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: Conservative til I die
Can someone just let me know if this is more Judaizer propaganda? That way I know I can skip the thread and not waste my time.

It's not, so read away.

42 posted on 07/09/2006 6:50:31 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: smpb
This document that someone posted is just wishful thinking and speculation with no documentation (because none is possible) from actual early Christian writings. My advice: read the early Church fathers, and you will see that they were biblical Christians defending biblical truths.

If you're Roman Catholic then I understand that you hold the traditions of your church to be more of an authority than scripture because you do consider your church to be the one, true, church. Is that a correct understanding? If it is, then I liken it to the Jewish religion of Christ's time. They too considered their interpretations of scripture and the traditions passed down by their elders as a higher authority than scripture. Not surprisingly, Jesus chastisted them for this and tried to explain to them that scripture, not their tradition, should be the authority.

The premise of the article is that Christianity started to become corrupted during biblical times and that it's corruption continues to this day. The evidence of that corruption is astoundingly apparent. Homosexual priests, both in the Catholic and Protestant church, women in authority over men in a vast majority of Protestant churches, sexual immorality run amuk. Acceptance and embracement of homosexuality by many sects. Acceptance of abortion by Christians. The examples are too numerous to mention. It all stems from trusting in the judgement and authority of men, rather than the judgement and authority of God as passed down in his holy scriptures.

Pro 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

43 posted on 07/09/2006 7:07:06 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: InHisService
Nice post. But what I was really looking to see was examples of how modern day churches are turning from the truth of the gospel. Such as ordaining homosexuals, accepting homosexuality, redefining marriage, etc.

I had to read through most of the article just to find out if they were denouncing the immorality of modern "mainstream" denominations, or if it was just another attempt at Catholic bashing. Unfortunately it was the latter. What's that saying about the hammers of the bashers blunting themselves over the centuries against the anvil of the Church? I wish I could remember the saying.

44 posted on 07/09/2006 7:40:50 AM PDT by ichabod1 (Let us not flinch from identifying liberalism as the opposition party to God.)
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To: BelegStrongbow
Is the Eucharist also a memorial? Yes, but that is the least important facet of this holy mystery. As I say, the Eucharist is an anamnesis rather than a memory, despite many faulty translations suggesting the two words are synonyms. They are not.

I really don't want to rehash this subject and take the thread off course. I understand what you're saying and I agree completely. However, that's a long way from the concept of transubstantiation no matter how you define anamesis.

My point was that the symbols of wine and bread WERE established on Passover, a festival of God. God had a reason for creating the days he considers holy. Traditional Christianity, by bypassing the example of Christ, has lost the meaning and purpose of these days.

The other point relates to the Canon of Scripture. You have stated that God canonized Scripture long before men did. This probably has significant analysis behind it, but for humans to know that a given text is canonized or not, some human or group of humans is going to have to say that the text is canonized, so everybody else will know. That group is going to have to have authority to say that this text is canonized while that one is not and the Church as a whole is going to have to then ratify that the decision is valid.

Again, I want to address this but only so far as it pertains to the point of the article.

My view, based upon scripture, is that the books that became the new testament were compiled by the first disciples and deemed authoritative. Since the disciples actually personally knew Christ while in the flesh, and/or were taught by him after the resurrection, there was no question that they had the authority to deem what was God breathed AND to be used for the future edification of the church. The canon was closed after that.

By insisting on the view that men 300 years later "canonized" scripture a subtle subverting of the authority of scripture and of the teaching of the original disciples began to creep into theology.

45 posted on 07/09/2006 7:45:07 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

Not quite. It's threefold:. Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magesterium. Like a checks and balances system. Any one of these three on their own is insufficient. One area cannot be in conflict with another. So a pope can't decree that homosexuality is now 'okay', this would be against scripture. Scripture cannot be interpreted without the light of Sacred Tradition. It's about as oderly as it can get... Sola scriptura scares the daylights out of me... one, because the bible does not teach Sola scriptura and two, because I believe it is what causes anarchy!!! If someone doesn't like the way scripture is interpreted they go start their own church, and then another, and another, and another...etc. It's how we ended up with certain denominations okaying homosexual leaders... this is clearly their own interpretation of scripture. Homosexuality is just one example.

Personally, I don't think it really matters to argue these points. I don't believe that this is what Jesus intended us to be doing. And I don't think it does anything for spreading the Good Word. People on the fence, who hear this kind of thing, will run for their lives! :)


46 posted on 07/09/2006 8:04:15 AM PDT by Krista33
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To: Krista33
Scripture cannot be interpreted without the light of Sacred Tradition.

I would say that scripture can't be interpreted or understood without the guidance of the holy spirit. Your understanding, as stated, relies more on the interpretation of men who may or may not have had God's spirit.

It's about as oderly as it can get... Sola scriptura scares the daylights out of me... one, because the bible does not teach Sola scriptura and two, because I believe it is what causes anarchy

I don't believe in soloa scriptura either because salvation only comes through Christ. And I do believe that teachers are a good thing...BUT, scripture does say that scripture alone CAN make one wise to salvation:

2Ti 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus

Personally, I don't think it really matters to argue these points. I don't believe that this is what Jesus intended us to be doing. And I don't think it does anything for spreading the Good Word. People on the fence, who hear this kind of thing, will run for their lives! :)

I think Jesus intended us to make discples out of all nations and to preach the gospel. If there's a difference of opinion on what that gospel is, we should follow Paul's advice:

2Ti 4:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
2Ti 4:4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myth

47 posted on 07/09/2006 8:42:00 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: BelegStrongbow; DouglasKC
"...At the end of His earthly ministry, He then ordained the Apostles, laying His hands upon them and breathing the Holy Spirit into them and directed them to go into the world, baptizing all people and teaching them to follow all of His commandmenets. That He comannded them to celebrate the Eucharist must certainly be one of those commandments. That He ordained them AND NO OTHERS to do this meant that they were empowered through Him to do this. That we must always do this is why we inferred that the authority to do so could be passed on, SO LONG AS IT WAS PASSED ON IN THE SAME WAY AS IT WAS ORIGINALLY GRANTED..."

Unless I misunderstand what you are saying you miss the exceptions of Paul and James (Acts 15). How were they "ordained"? When" By whom?
48 posted on 07/09/2006 8:47:12 AM PDT by OLD REGGIE (I am most likely a Biblical Unitarian? Let me be perfectly clear. I know nothing.)
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To: DouglasKC

All these people who complain about about pagan influences in the early church have obviously never read or never understood the Nicene Creed. That is the core of Catholic teaching, and I can't find anything even close to pagan influence in it.


49 posted on 07/09/2006 9:00:51 AM PDT by DarkSavant
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To: DarkSavant
All these people who complain about about pagan influences in the early church have obviously never read or never understood the Nicene Creed. That is the core of Catholic teaching, and I can't find anything even close to pagan influence in it.

The holy bible is the core of my teaching. Creeds postulated by men don't particulary hold much weight, imo. But maybe you just worded it wrong.

50 posted on 07/09/2006 9:17:18 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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