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Catholic Mariology, Authority, and Various Other Qualms of Protestants Considering Conversion
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism ^ | 11 February 2004 | Dave Armstrong

Posted on 05/12/2008 8:08:07 PM PDT by annalex

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To: annalex
As to the theology, what is it exactly that you disagree with, that Christ conquered death, or redeemed the ancients, or what?

First, I agree that Jesus conquered death, and did that by the resurrection of his body from the dead. As a matter of fact, that is the GOSPEL message! I could write pages explaining the Gospel, but the writers of the Epistles did a much better job on that, yet people don't accept all that they taught. I have no disagrement on those things you said above.

It's the "or what" where I disagree. Let's start with the first thing I came to in my studies: the term "soul" as is used by Athanagoras, Origen, Tertullian, and Augustine who systemized it into church doctrine. Most of the church fathers before and during the time of the four individuals I named herein did not hold to the meaning of "soul" as those individuals did. All four of the above named people were philosphers who accepted the pagan belief of the "soul" as being an "immortal" entity within the body of man. When the man died, the "soul" was released and was spoken of as being "more alive than ever," a phrase heard at many funeral service about the deceased. One likes to think of these four individuals as being exceptionally intelligent, however, they were absolutely ignorant when it came to applying the scriptures to their teachings on this topic of an "immortal soul." They turned to Plato's idea of an immortal soul instead of what God in the OT said, Jesus in the four Gospel records, and the Apostles in the Epistles.

This is where I belive the churches of the second and third centuries started falling away from the truth. By the time of Augustine (late fourth to early fifth century), most of the churches had adopted Plato's theory of an immortal soul entity residing in man. It would benefit you greatly if you read Augustines "City of God," book 21. You will see that his argument for an immortal soul is strickly philosophical and almost direct from Plato. He does not try to use any scriptures to support it. And when he does use scripture to get a point across, he changes the definition of the terms used. Ex: death, when scripture says that "the wages of sin is death," or "the soul that sins shall die," he says that in regard to the "soul" that death is not death, but merely a "separation from God;" yet, when talking about the body, death means the total destruction of it, making it extinct. This, IMHO, is where the church falls away from the truth God revealed. Tradition is worthless on this topic.

I have read Augustines "City of God," and many of his other writings. And I agree with Edward Fudge when he says: "...it is a mark of Augustine's true greatness that in other places he urges us always to test what he says by the Word of God (scriptures) and to choose the teachings of scripture over anything he might say or write." Here is one of his statements, found in the preface of his "Treatise on the Trinity": "Do not follow my writings as holy scripture. When you find in holy scripture anything you did not believe before, believe it without doubt; but in my writings, you should hold nothing for certain." I take his advice very seriously, indeed! And I test everything he says against the scriptures! So should you.

Another thing that may benefit you is to visit the Web site kenfortier.com and read some of the articles he has available on many topics of scripture. His 35-40 years in his study of the scriptures has resulted in a very excellent harmonization of God's word. He even has a page dedicated to an exceptional man of God who wrote a monthly article for the last 40 plus years on the Gospel message - only 50 or so are posted, but he said he'd post more as he formats them for posting. The book Ken wrote on "Church Doctines: Right or Wrong? (You Decide)" is a powerful look at the topics he writes on - the soul and immortality, death, life, infant baptism, believer's baptism, resurrection and final judgment is, IMHO, great exegesis.

That's just one instance where I think the RCC has gone haywire in its teaching. And there are many other things also, many of them actually inconsequential to salvation. Hope this helps you to see where I'm coming from. BTW, my leaving the Catholic denomination was not influenced one bit by any of the other denominations of Christendom; just thought I'd let you know before anyone starts hurling accusations that I follow any man-made religion.

It is very sad that you left the Church that Christ founded for modern charlatans. You should come back.

Yes, it was very hard on me to admit I was following some false teachings that undermined the Gospel of Jesus. The Catholic church would have to really change some important teaching before I would ever entertain thoughts of re-joining it.

151 posted on 05/14/2008 9:06:42 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: BizarroNo1
Do you realize therefore that if someone is aware of the concept of the Assumption of Mary and doubts its truth, that person is not a Christian according to the RCC (Munificentissimus Deus)?

I'm not aware of ANY Catholic teaching that uses "aware of the concept" as a basis for conviction.

Could you be more specific with your citation?

152 posted on 05/14/2008 9:08:51 PM PDT by papertyger
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To: Petronski
You are wrong.

That's your opinion. But how about looking up the definition of "denominations" and then tell me I'm wrong!

153 posted on 05/14/2008 9:09:10 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: annalex
On another subject, How Catholicism Is Different - THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ISN'T JUST ANOTHER "DENOMINATION"

Only by ignoring the meaning of the word "denomination."

154 posted on 05/14/2008 9:11:44 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: BizarroNo1
Do you realize therefore that if someone is aware of the concept of the Assumption of Mary and doubts its truth, that person is not a Christian according to the RCC (Munificentissimus Deus)?

Yep, I realize that as I was once a member. But I now ignore it as just partisan egoism.

155 posted on 05/14/2008 9:14:23 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: annalex

Mary is the mother of Jesus.

The mother of the male child of Rev 12 who himself was caught up to the throne of God is a woman who was taken to the wilderness for a “time, times, and half a time” to escape the onslaught of Satan. She has “other” children who hold to the testimony of Jesus.

In order to understand the passage, it is biblically necessary to fit the many symbolisms of that passage to their contexts in the book of Daniel.

It is an absolute necessity to consider the entire passage and its connections.

“Mary” never appears in it. Her “assumption” never appears in it.


156 posted on 05/15/2008 2:51:28 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain -- Those denying the War was Necessary Do NOT Support the Troops!)
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To: papertyger
I asked, "Do you realize therefore that if someone is aware of the concept of the Assumption of Mary and doubts its truth, that person is not a Christian according to the RCC (Munificentissimus Deus)?" You replied, I'm not aware of ANY Catholic teaching that uses "aware of the concept" as a basis for conviction. Could you be more specific with your citation?

Yes. When I used "aware of the concept", I was responding to when you previously said, "That depends on the level of understanding they had informing that rejection."; I was pointing out that anyone who is aware of the "Assumption of Mary" concept and doubts its validity is not a true Christian, according to the RCC via Munificentissimus Deus and by your 'level of understanding' criteria; there simply is no way around that.

Assuming you'd agree with me that people were actually saved before the Assumption of Mary became official RCC doctrine (and maybe before The Church began even), would you like to take a stab at explaining why believing in the Assumption of Mary would become a necessary part of Salvation only so many hundreds of years after the actual event was supposedly acknowledged by many early Believers through apostolic tradition, yet was of no significance to them while they defined what it took to be Saved? Why do you think the Holy Spirit didn't convict those early Believers of the extreme importance of the Assumption of Mary back at the beginning of the Church, if it were indeed so necessary for Salvation?

Which scenario do you honestly believe to be more plausible: 1) God didn't care at first, but slowly realized over time that true Believers actually did need to believe in the Assumption of Mary as proof that they were properly convicted by the Holy Spirit; or 2) the RCC didn't receive that teaching from the Holy Spirit, but instead pulled that requirement for Salvation out of the ether to further its worship of Mary, Queen of Heaven?

If scenario 2 is true, that would mean that the RCC is just the Jesus and Mary cult, and not the true Church of Christ, correct? It would then stand to reason that instead of being a necessary part of the Salvation process, the RCC would be a hindrance to it, wouldn't it? If scenario 2 isn't true, could you dispassionately explain why/how scenario 1 would be more plausible because admittedly, it looks to me that the RCC is an exclusive club started by arrogant control freaks who liked to exert power over others by claiming to have God's Stamp of Approval™ on their dogma i.e. the RCC is just your typical cult.

157 posted on 05/15/2008 4:20:46 AM PDT by BizarroNo1
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To: BizarroNo1
I was pointing out that anyone who is aware of the "Assumption of Mary" concept and doubts its validity is not a true Christian, according to the RCC via Munificentissimus Deus...

And I very clearly asked you for a more specific citation.

Is there a problem with that?

158 posted on 05/15/2008 5:02:24 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: Truth Defender
But they will not be resurrected from the grave until Jesus comes again

Bodily resurrected, yes, but those who have fallen asleep in Him are currently alive in Heaven!

the "church" is the "assembly of called out ones," the members: and they can and do "err." Even Popes "err." History is the evidence here. Your explanation that since the church is the body of Christ, and Christ is the truth, it will never "err," is a straw man waiting to be knocked down :-)

I don't claim that men cannot err or be sinners or fail in their attempts to imitate Christ. But, the Church was built on the Rock, and both the Keys and the Holy Spirit were given to it and, as an authority, is protected from declaring false dogma. I'm going to guess you try and claim that the "rock" of the Church is really St. Peter's declaration, not him - am I right?

159 posted on 05/15/2008 6:44:44 AM PDT by thefrankbaum (Ad maiorem Dei gloriam)
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To: papertyger
And I very clearly asked you for a more specific citation. Is there a problem with that?

I misunderstood what you meant by wanting a more specific citation. You seem to be short with me; am I right?

Do you mean you'd like me to post what Munificentissimus Deus states? Sure, no problem. It says, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.

The RCC clearly states here that God, through the RCC, demands acceptance of the Assumption of Mary on the word of the RCC alone. If you dare doubt the AoM, you are rejecting God. Not a lot of wiggle room for supposed Christians who refuse to believe in the Assumption of Mary, is there?

160 posted on 05/15/2008 7:24:10 AM PDT by BizarroNo1
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To: Iscool

Like I said, this is a good passage for our discussion. In fact, the entire passage of 1 Cor 1-3 (chapters 1-3) are good.

Basically, what I see when I read these chapters is St. Paul’s writing a function of Jesus’ statements, “those who love their life will loose it; those who hate their life for my sake will gain it.”(cf Matt 10:39, Matt 16:25, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, Luke 17:33, John 12:25) and, “what good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and loose his soul?” (cf Matt 16:26, Mark 8:36)

What Jesus showed us in those striking statements is, indeed, what St. Paul later goes on to elaborate upon in the passage contained in chapters 1-3, with the focus being 1 Cor 2:16 “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

We must “hate our life to gain it”. What does this really mean? Does this mean we must hate ourselves, that is, hate what God created, to gain life in Christ? Of course not. There are many other interpretations we could examine, some true, some not, but the point that relates to our discussion here is one that also compliments what St. Paul is writing in those 3 chapters. We must “hate” the ways of the world. We must “hate” our love for worldly things, if such love is put above our love for Christ and the Truth HE offers. When Christ says what He does in the passages above, what He’s saying is, (in relation to our discussion) is that we must not use the “wisdom of the world” in finding our own destiny, our own path in life, or, ultimately, in finding the truth.

That is, in many ways and in many cultures (including sadly the Christian culture), there exist many biases and preconceptions; these are the “wisdom of the world” that St. Paul warns against in his passage above, and indeed, what Jesus exhorts we deny ourselves in the passages above. We mustn’t let ourselves be hindered by these biases, in our search for the Truth, which is really, the search for our own destiny. This is a fundamental, human, question: What are we made for? What is our destiny? What *is* the ultimate truth about our existence? This question resides in every human heart.

Unfortunately, as I stated above, almost immediately after birth we are subjected to biases, biases that ultimately prevent our free search for the Truth. These biases can come in many forms, religious, economic, political, scientific. All of these are the “wisdom of the world” that St. Paul warns against. Our task, as true human beings is to *not* deny our heart what it really wants, which is ultimate Truth, infinite Truth, and thus, it is a “work” (as Fr. Guissani would put it) to rid ourselves of all the biases, the preconceived notions we have built up over our lifetime, to get to the Truth. This work is fundamentally a focus on a desire for the Truth, no matter what it means for our biases. IOW, we may have to put away some of these biases (these childish ways), and deny ourselves what was comfortable for us before (”milk”, the “wisdom of the world”, the “wisdom of the Greeks”), if we are to truly find what our heart desires.

If we are to truly find what our heart desires, we must have the “mind of Christ”. Note, this doesn’t deny a role for “wisdom” or say that “all wisdom is bad”. The main point to remember here is that what Jesus said, what St. Paul said, is that simply, we must not let any *man* teach us who is using his own biases, his own preconceptions, i.e., the “wisdom of the world”. This includes ourselves. We cannot approach God with any preconception, any *worldly* bias. We are to strive for the wisdom of God, and search for the Truth, because in that, and only in that, do we find our hearts satisfied. (cf Rom 12:2, 1 Th 5:21)


161 posted on 05/15/2008 8:25:45 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: thefrankbaum
I don't claim that men cannot err or be sinners or fail in their attempts to imitate Christ. But, the Church was built on the Rock, and both the Keys and the Holy Spirit were given to it and, as an authority, is protected from declaring false dogma. I'm going to guess you try and claim that the "rock" of the Church is really St. Peter's declaration, not him - am I right?

Most assuredly NOT! And the consent of the great majority of the church fathers agree with my understanding and exegesis of Mt. 16:18. These say that the "rock" is not Peter, nor his declaration, but the person of Jesus Christ. If you care to argue this, remember that the Papacy claim their "interpretation" is the "unanimous consent of the church fathers," which is demonstratably wrong. Thusly, your explanation above is wrong, which one could make the judgment that the Papacy's teaching here is false dogma!

162 posted on 05/15/2008 10:09:35 AM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: FourtySeven
We cannot approach God with any preconception, any *worldly* bias. We are to strive for the wisdom of God, and search for the Truth, because in that, and only in that, do we find our hearts satisfied. (cf Rom 12:2, 1 Th 5:21)

Well put! Now if only readers could accept it.

163 posted on 05/15/2008 10:24:59 AM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: papertyger

“All you did was reassert empty claims about what the Scripture does and does not do.”

Most of what I said was directly supported by scripture in my post. Is what the scripture says “empty” to you? Do you not accept the Bible as true?

“No they [scriptures] don’t [assert their own authority]. The Scripture doesn’t even list what IS Scripture.”

I already cited scriptures that do both: Luke 24:44-48 where Jesus named ALL of the divisions of what we know as the Old Testament which was ALL of the scriptures revealed up to that point. The early Church relied on these scriptures and on living witnesses who heard Christ’s teaching first-hand.

Jesus responded by quoting from Scripture when He was tempted by the Devil:

Deuteronomy 8:3
...man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by EVERY word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.

The identification of what is Scripture is plain for the believer. The unbeliever cannot see it. And understanding the Bible presupposes a certain amount of knowledge on the part of the reader, not the least of which is language. “Scripture” is a Biblical term used to refer to the written word of God.

Your statement does not sound like anything Christ or the apostles ever said. It does have a striking semblance to the words of Satan though, namely “has God said...” See 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 which I noted before, and Genesis 3:1.

“Jesus left a Church to guide his people, not a book.”

Jesus left His people with the scriptures (there were no “books” technically speaking) AND the Comforter, Who is the Holy Spirit:

John 14:16-18, 26
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you... But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

He did not leave His people with a Church. His people ARE The Church:

Acts 2:47
And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

Hebrews 12:23
to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven...

“Again, if it’s so simple, why so many different ‘Bible’ Christians?”

Because God has hidden these things from many, and they do not have ears to hear:

Luke 10:21
In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.

Romans 11:8
Just as it is written: “ God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear, To this very day.”

And because the day of judgment, in which the wheat and tares will be separated, has not arrived.

Matthew 13:28-30

He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up? But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

“Correcting you could become a full-time job!”

I am making a sincere effort to correct myself by studying scripture to clarify and refine my beliefs with greater precision. Studying these topics serves this purpose for me even if you are not persuaded. However, I will add that you are in great error and have a great need for correction and repentance. You do not know God’s Word or His power, and you fail to discern the Lord’s body, which is the Church.

2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.


164 posted on 05/15/2008 11:31:06 AM PDT by unlearner (You will never come to know that which you do not know until you first know that you do not know it.)
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To: annalex

“Matthew 1:25 does not say anything about their relations after the birth of Jesus. “

What it says is that Mary and Joseph did not have marital relations before Christ was born. To expand this to include the remainder of her natural life is more than idle speculation, it is adding to scripture.

Proverbs 30:5-6
Every word of God is pure;
He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.
Do not add to His words,
Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

I will not post the entire contents of 2 Peter 1 which clarifies the role of scripture, but I will summarize certain major points. Peter’s conclusion of this chapter says that scriptural revelation is never of a private interpretation. He leads up to this point with an illustration. He follows the point with an explanation.

An example of a private interpretation would be cunningly devised fables (such as the unnecessary addition to the Biblical account you are advocating). Rather than being invented fables, the apostles were eyewitnesses of real events. And their experiences were openly proclaimed, not passed on in secret or hidden in parables. The meaning (i.e. interpretation) was declared plainly, and openly, i.e. not limited to a special class of privileged followers as the Gnostics claimed.

The thrust of this chapter can be summed in a few points. First, the recipients of Peter’s letter had EVERYTHING they needed for life and godliness, by knowing the Lord:

2 Peter 1:3
as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,

Secondly, Peter saw the need to write down the knowledge that had been verbally passed to these early believers so as to have a permanent written record after Peter’s death (which Christ had foretold).

Third, as I already pointed out, this knowledge of Christ, verbally shared by Peter, and now recorded for us here, is public rather than private information.

While I agree that the scriptures are silent on many things, understood in the proper context, this does not imply any insufficiency with regard to the knowledge needed for the Christian life and godliness which is found solely in the revealed knowledge of the Lord according to Peter.

Paul concurs by asserting the sufficiency of scripture to completely supply our needs for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

“If that woman were inimportant, she would not be named, her words would not be recorded, her presence at the foot of the Cross and her adoption of the disciple, her presence at Pentecost — would not be necessary to record.”

We agree that Mary was an important person written about in the Bible. This does not justify an imbalanced, over-emphasis on her role nor the practices of praying to her or her images.

“First, the Bible says a whole lot about her, including her veneration being approved and expanded to all saints by Christ (Luke 11:27-28).

This passage says nothing of the sort:

And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!” But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

The blessing on Mary is not denied by this passage or by me. Yet Jesus here says, in contrast with the statement, there is a greater blessing to be had by keeping God’s Word. I cannot for the life of me imagine how you support your claim pertaining Mary using this passage.

Mary is an important figure in the Bible. God has provided many significant details about many lives in the Bible. Many things are left out. While historical facts, learning more about the language used, learning facts about the times, places, etc. of the writings, are all helpful to the goal of meditating on scripture, they must not be exalted above measure. Every mountain is brought low in the presence of Christ Who is central to the meaning of all scriptures.

Look at John the Baptist. He was greater than Mary in their role of introducing Christ to the world. Mary gave birth to Him and nurtured him, but it was John who proclaimed Him to the world. According to Christ, no one (to that point) was greater of those born to women (Mary was born to a woman) than John:

Matthew 11:11
Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Yet, look at what John says about his own ministry:

John 3:30-31
He must increase, but I must decrease. He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.

While we can benefit from learning what the scriptures say about John and Mary, they only serve to draw our focus to the One Who is above all - Christ Jesus.

“The Church is a body of Christ, so no. It is possible for individual clergy to sin and err, yes. “

You are failing to discern the body of Christ. The body is made up of parts or “members”. If my right hand steals, my left hand must also go to jail. The Bible says clearly that believers are members of Christ’s body, and each is affected by the weaknesses, sufferings and sins of other members:

1 Corinthians 12:12-27
For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be?
But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

And in the Apocalypse, Christ repeatedly told churches to repent.

Churches do sin when their members sin.


165 posted on 05/15/2008 11:31:13 AM PDT by unlearner (You will never come to know that which you do not know until you first know that you do not know it.)
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To: annalex

“What do you do when the Scripture does not say anything?”

More often than not the Scriptures are far more relevant than we realize. They require more than half-hearted interest and vague familiarity. We are instructed to meditate on God’s Word day and night. When there is no specific command of scripture, the principles set forth in them still are our guide.

For example, the command not to murder applies to many situations. The Bible does not need to prohibit poisoning, hanging, or shooting to death a person in cold blood. The general command is broad enough.

But I think I see what you mean. The Bible does not specifically tell me what kind of car I should buy or drive. However, this decision can be based on Biblical teaching such as the importance of frugality, avoiding the financial entanglement of debts, humility, serving others, etc. God also has provided many resources to help us. We have the Holy Spirit. We have various authorities to guide and protect. These include family, government, and local church leaders. God often leads us to wise counselors and guides us through circumstances. He also gives us wisdom when we ask. (In His grace He often gives us when we don’t ask.)

“Our bishops are not apostles, but are descendants of them in a line of consecrations. This is a historical fact, test away.”

But you are answering to the fact that Scripture directs the followers of Christ to validate the legitimacy of the claims of divinely given authority. Titles are not the issue. Apostles, prophets, teachers, elder / bishops, or any other have tests that must be passed. The church has always had to defend against claims of divinely appointed spiritual authority up to and including false claims of writings claiming to be from an apostle such as Paul, as well as those who even claim “I am Christ”, which our Lord warned us of.

When the some in Corinth questioned Paul’s authority, he did not merely say he should not be questioned. He laid out the evidence. He was a witness of the resurrection. He was directly taught by Christ. He performed signs of an apostle. He performed the ministerial work of an apostle. He had the commendation of an apostle. He suffered as an apostle. His ministry produced the spiritual fruit of apostolic labor and teaching. Yet he still said that it would be the duty of believers to reject his message or the message of anyone else, including heavenly angels, if they ever contradicted the authorized message:

Galations 1:7-9
...there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed...

If Paul insists on such a test of authority, do you think those who claim even less authority are exempt?

What if a bishop disqualifies himself from service? There are essential requirements of the bishopric laid out in scripture. If one apostatizes do you claim he keeps the authority of his office?

1 Timothy 3:2
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;

Titus 1:7
For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,

If the Bible commands believers to separate from professed believers who commit sins against the body of Christ (such as fornication and idolatry), do you think bishops or other church leaders are held to a lower standard?

James 3:1
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.

Luke 12:48
...For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

(See also 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 mentioned in my previous post.)

“When there are two reasonable interpretations, you have to recourse to something extra scriptural.”

You would have to be more specific for me to know how you intend to apply this approach for me to either agree or disagree. While a statement like this could be true in a certain context, it is also possible to make true statements that are used to later justify actions that are not originally intended. If Satan can twist and use scripture, our words can certainly be misused even if they are true, correct and well-intentioned.

“Your claims of being ‘willing to be obedient to the Holy Ghost’ is a meaningless phrase, which anyone, including — with greeater authority — any Catohlic prelate can make.”

It is not meaningless, since it represents what Christ said about our willingness to obey and what He said about the ministry of the Holy Spirit. However, you have a valid point about anyone being able to SAY they are willing and guided by God’s Spirit. That being the case, this claim does not alone carry authority. It is similar to Christ forgiving sins. Anyone could say “your sins are forgiven”, but it would not necessarily be true. On the other hand, He validated His power to forgive sins by a display of supernatural healing. Likewise, we can examine the fruit of the lives of those making a claim to be led of the Holy Spirit.

“nowhere does it say that Christ could not alsoo save His mother from any sin”

Well that is kind of my point. All evidence supports that Mary was a true believer and disciple of the Lord. Christ’s sinlessness was due to His intrinsic righteousness and holiness - His divine nature. It was not due to Mary. Mary was made perfect by the Saving blood of Christ in the same way we, who also have faith in Christ, are made perfect.

No one will enter Heaven except those who are as sinless as Christ. Fortunately, His righteousness is imputed to us through the channel of faith and on the basis of God’s grace. Mary, as we know, was partaker of that same grace.

Matthew 5:20
For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Revelation 21:27
But there shall by no means enter [the heavenly city] anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.


166 posted on 05/15/2008 11:31:13 AM PDT by unlearner (You will never come to know that which you do not know until you first know that you do not know it.)
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To: BizarroNo1
Do you think Christ and Christ’s body i.e. the Church are distinct entitities?

There is the Eucharistic Christ present in the body, as well as the the Church being His mystical body. There is a distinction between the two.

I think you asked me a leading question so I will presume you wanted to talk about how Catholic ecclesiology relates to Catholic soteriology. I will make a few comments in that direction, and if it indeed interests you, we can take it up further. Also, you asked what I think, but both you and I should be primarily interested in what the Church teaches. I try to reflect the Church's teaching in what I post. Now, I may misunderstand it, and then someone with greater knowledge should correct me, but I try to avoid personal speculation even if I have some such.

You should know that two principles overrule any of the discussion: the sovereign ability of Christ to have extraordinary mercy on anyone based on the condition of the man's heart; and our inability, and direct commandment not to attempt, to judge souls. All we can do is see how the revealed Word of God applies and reach conclusions based on outward signs and behaviors. The operative word for that process is "ordinary". For example, we say that baptism is necessary for salvation "ordinarily": that is, we have revealed doctrine according to which baptism is necessary. What happens in exceptional circumstance when baptism is desired but unavailable is not ordinary process of salvation, and all we can do is hope and speculate.

I should also probably mention that we do not use the word "saved" (or "justified") in the same sense as most Protestants (who routinely talk about "being saved" as an event in their life). We are saved, or not, at the end of our lives. Baptism puts us on the road to salvation, and our whole life we work toward it under grace. So, when a Protestant hears that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church he thinks that he has just been damned to hell, while in fact he has been told that we don't know if he will be saved or not when his hour of death and judgement comes. Conversely, when we say that sacramental absolution and the Eucharist save, we mean that one who received these sacraments has the certainty to be saved if he commits no future sins till he dies.

With this said... There is but one visible Church into which all Christians are baptized. That is the Catholic Church: everyone: a Protestant, an Orthodox, a Roman Catohlic, so long as he is validly baptized, is at that point Catholic and he is justified at that point.

"Validly" here means by water, in the name of the three persons of the Holy Trinity, and with serious intention of Christian sponsors. If the baptisee is of adult sound mind, he should repent of his sins. The method -- sprinkling, immersion, etc. is not important, and the age of the baptisee is not important. Christ -- not the baptisee and his state of mind -- is Who makes baptism work.

If one is baptized and immediately afterwards dies, he goes to heaven. "Baptism now saves you", teaches St. Peter. Of course, in most cases he goes on living at makes various decisions. He might commit personal sin. If he is privileged to receive Catholic or Orthodox sacraments he should go to confession and strengthen himself with the Holy Eucharist and penitential work, and so, gradually, defeat sin, stay on the road to sanctity and die justified, "making his calling and election secure" (2 Peter 1:2-11).

But what if he is not Catholic or Orthodox (simplifying things let's call him Protestant)? Then his ability to repair sin is gravely limited: he can repent of it but the supernatural cleansing of a sacramental absolution is not there, and the supernatural strengthening of the Eucharist is not there either. At this point he relies on the mercy of Christ; his eventual salvation is in peril. The road to salvation on which his Baptism placed him is barely stepped upon. Further, typically he is separated from the Catholic Church not only by instances of personal sin, but also habitually -- he never considered himself Catholic, his faith does not include the faith in the Chruch or her sacraments. His Catholic baptism wears off quickly and he is no longer in the Church.

Now, he still can do much to advance his sanctification: he can follow the strong moral code his pastor will teach him, and he can get sanctified through the study and love of the Holy Scripture. He can do much with these extraordinary means of salvation, and put us lukewarm Catholics to shame with his love for the Lord and heroic virtues. One thing, however is necessary for us to say that his salvation is not far: a desire to find and unite with the One Holy Apostolic Catholic Church that Christ set up on the rock of Peter (Mt. 16:16-19).

What of his culpability for leaving the Church? It is only there if it was an act of informed will. If someone grew up in a Protestant environment, and his Protestant culture lead him to his Protestant community of faith, he is not culpable. If on the other hand he spent his time insulting the Church or her saints, then such Protestant condemns himself and destroys the kernel of truth that his branch of Christianity taught him.

What of a non-baptized? Well, the same principle applies: did he follow the Divine Law to the extent known to him? Did he wish to know God by name? Did he wish to unite with what he does not know enough to call Catholic Church? On the other hand, did he reject Christ? Fight a war on His Church? Hate Christians for their faith?

As you can see, this doctrine is at the same time hopeful and Catholic-centered. The salvation comes from nowhere but the Catholic Church, yet paths people take to that Church may be very circuitious.

167 posted on 05/15/2008 12:03:10 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Truth Defender

Thank you.

God bless,


168 posted on 05/15/2008 12:10:48 PM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: Truth Defender

Thank you for an interesting sidebar. I only have a few comments.

Athenagoras, Origen, Tertullian, and Augustine are a strange cast of characters. All four were given to heresies (Augustine corrected his), only St. Augustine is a canonized saint, but he is also a late Church father of somewhat limited appeal, despite his brilliance.

Is your theory that the soul is immortal if saved but undergoes destruction if condemned? That seems to contradict, for example, Mt 25:46. I don’t think the consensus of the fathers ever veered off this concept, that the soul is eternal both if saved and if condemned, based on the very clear teaching in Mt 25.

I couild not find kenfortier.com or any Ken fortier who would seem to be a scholar of scripture.


169 posted on 05/15/2008 12:15:37 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: xzins
The mother of the male child of Rev 12

Don't be comical. "Male child"? Rev 12 tells us Who He is, does it not?

170 posted on 05/15/2008 12:21:10 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

1 A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6 The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. 7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” 13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.


171 posted on 05/15/2008 12:26:20 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain -- Those denying the War was Necessary Do NOT Support the Troops!)
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To: BizarroNo1
I misunderstood what you meant by wanting a more specific citation. You seem to be short with me; am I right?

I apologize for being short, insofar as it seemed you were perhaps avoiding the question or preparing to discount any response short of complete surrender ;o)

Anyway...I think it's possible you may not quite appreciate just how profound an effect "informed consent" has in mitigating the severity of sin. You can see the kernel of this in your citation with the inclusion of the term "willfully." Bear in mind this document was written to the Catholic faithful, and not necessarily formulated with an eye toward Protestant sensibilities.

For a fuller treatment of the Catholic understanding of the culpability of the separated brethren, please see the, admittedly later written, Vatican ll documents.

The RCC clearly states here that God, through the RCC, demands acceptance of the Assumption of Mary on the word of the RCC alone.

Well, the notion that word is insufficient is what divides us, now isn't it?

172 posted on 05/15/2008 12:51:03 PM PDT by papertyger
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To: annalex
Athenagoras, Origen, Tertullian, and Augustine are a strange cast of characters. All four were given to heresies (Augustine corrected his), only St. Augustine is a canonized saint, but he is also a late Church father of somewhat limited appeal, despite his brilliance.

:-) All four of these fathers promoted Plato's theory on the immortal soul, and eventually the churches accepted that theory (although not quite like Plato taught). Augustine never corrected this heresy of his; and I agree that he is of limited appeal to the RCC.

Is your theory that the soul is immortal if saved but undergoes destruction if condemned? That seems to contradict, for example, Mt 25:46. I don’t think the consensus of the fathers ever veered off this concept, that the soul is eternal both if saved and if condemned, based on the very clear teaching in Mt 25.

Your question is leading, and so is your supposition. I completely agree with Mt. 25:46, but most likely not to your liking. Matthew 25:46, to be understood correctly, has to harmonize with all the other scriptures on that topic. And there are multiple scriptures that speak on it. I'll have to get back to you on this as I have some business to take care of right now. It will probably be Sunday afternoon before I'm able to do so.

I couild not find kenfortier.com or any Ken fortier who would seem to be a scholar of scripture.

Hmmm... click on this, Link to Ken's Web Site to find it. Ken does not put himself forth as a "biblical scholar" by any means, just a "biblical student." Click on the Menu item "Articles" and/or "C. Dickinson Articles" and a list will come up with the names of files; they are all in Adobe format.

173 posted on 05/15/2008 12:52:30 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: Truth Defender
Sorry about the mixup link, here is the correct one.

Link to Web site

That should work better...

174 posted on 05/15/2008 1:00:55 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: unlearner
Most of what I said was directly supported by scripture in my post.

No, most of what you said is supported by your interpretation of scripture. Don't confuse your word with God's Word.

I already cited scriptures that do both...

No, you didn't. There simply is nothing in the Bible that tells a reader the "Gospel of Mark" is Holy Writ, and the "Gospel of Peter" is not.

The identification of what is Scripture is plain for the believer.

Where does the Bible say that?

Your statement does not sound like anything Christ or the apostles ever said. It does have a striking semblance to the words of Satan though...

Same to ya, pal; I'm not the one twisting Scripture.

Jesus left His people with the scriptures (there were no “books” technically speaking) AND the Comforter, Who is the Holy Spirit...

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

And where does it say you WILL follow His lead?

He did not leave His people with a Church. His people ARE The Church

If that were true, He would not have told "His people" to go to "the Church" to settle disputes as in Matt 18:17.

Because God has hidden these things from many, and they do not have ears to hear:

Then which Bible Christians are these things NOT hidden from?

Furthermore, using Romans 11:8 the way you have is like using a shoe to drive a nail...you can do it, but don't expect anyone with a lick of sense to follow your example.

However, I will add that you are in great error and have a great need for correction and repentance. You do not know God’s Word or His power, and you fail to discern the Lord’s body, which is the Church.

FRiend, I appreciate the sincerity of your sentiments, but you couldn't be more wrong. I spent over twenty years as a "Bible Christian" and I hold these convictions not because I "don't" have knowledge of God's Word and Power, but because I "do!"

No doubt you'll think that boasting, but it is not. The simple fact is I was still a slave to sin as described by Paul in Romans 7 when I was "saved." It wasn't until I submitted myself to the Church Jesus founded and received His Body and Blood in the Eucharist that I was granted the grace to be set free from my torment under the law of sin and death.

There simply is no amount of Bible study that can take the place of the Holy Spirit!

175 posted on 05/15/2008 1:59:59 PM PDT by papertyger
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To: unlearner
What it says is that Mary and Joseph did not have marital relations before Christ was born. To expand this to include the remainder of her natural life is more than idle speculation, it is adding to scripture.

No it isn't, but it is a common enough mistake made by Protestants and those unfamiliar with language and Scripture.

For example, as it says in ll Sam 6:23 "Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death." Is that supposed to mean she had a child after the day of her death?

Of course not.

Similarly, in Acts 23:1 says "And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day."

What concerns me is not simple unfamiliarity with Scripture, but the formation of accusations based on that misapprehension. Perhaps you should be a bit more cautious about drawing conclusions from such a limited knowledge of Scripture.

176 posted on 05/15/2008 2:24:41 PM PDT by papertyger
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To: unlearner
To expand this to include the remainder of her natural life is more than idle speculation, it is adding to scripture.

Who is adding what? No one is saying that Mary remained a virgin because the scripture says so. I just got done telling you, and you agreed with me, that the scripture is silent on that matter.

While I agree that the scriptures are silent on many things, understood in the proper context, this does not imply any insufficiency with regard to the knowledge needed for the Christian life and godliness which is found solely in the revealed knowledge of the Lord according to Peter.

The scripture does not say that it alone is sufficient for Christian life. 2 Peter 1 does not say it, not 2 Timothy 3, nor any other scripture. You just make it up. I agree with St. Peter that the entire revelation of God given to Peter and other Apostles is sufficient, but that is not limited to the Scripture. I also agree with St. Paul that clergy will profit from studying the scripture, which should round off their education. None of this has anything to do with the matter of historical fact such as Mary's lifelong virginity.

does not justify an imbalanced, over-emphasis on her role

In whose view is it imbalanced? What authority do you have to decide for others where that balance is? In my opinion you have an under-emphasis. Now go on your knees and pray to Our Lady to correct it. What? I shouldn't order you around? Should you?

Jesus here [Luke 11:27-28] says, in contrast with the statement, there is a greater blessing to be had by keeping God’s Word

Right, but Mary is among those who are keeping the Word. In fact, while another saint might keep the word in the sense of obeying the gospel, Mary certainly did that, but she also kept the Word Himself, -- Jesus -- in the literal sense, under her heart. This passage does two things: It redirects the veneration of Mary from venerating her as a physiological mother of God to venerating her as an instrument of giving us the Word in the flesh. Secondly, it urges veneration of all saints for the work of obedience that they do.

Churches do sin when their members sin

Does not follow form what you said. We are all affected by the sins of the clergy, but sin is an individual thing, not collective.

177 posted on 05/15/2008 4:15:15 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: unlearner
this decision can be based on Biblical teaching such as the importance of frugality, avoiding the financial entanglement of debts, humility, serving others, etc.

Right. So we can apply biblical principles and factual knowledge with reason and reach solid conclusions. So why is it, again, that we cannot apply biblical principles and factual knowledge with reason and reach solid conclusions about Mary's immaculate conception, lifelong virginity, and assumption into heaven?

test of authority

St Paul also says that he who hasn't been sent cannot preach (Romans 10:15), and in fact Christ did send His Apostles (Mark 16:15) as himself (Luke 10:16, John 20:21). Further, St. Paul urges Titus and Timothy to consecrate others. Hence, valid apostolic succession is a part of that test. Naturally, obedience to the gospel is another part of the test, and prelates who fall to heresy are removed from office. Protestant ministers fail the first part to the one; they fail the second part if they preach unscriptural fantasies such as salvation by faith alone, authority of the Bible alone, or various Calvinist fallacies.

You would have to be more specific for me to know how you intend to apply this approach for me to either agree or disagree

This is a general logical proposition: if X is not sufficient to answer Y then the answer to Y is to be sought outside of X.

can examine the fruit of the lives of those making a claim to be led of the Holy Spirit.

Right. On this basis a teaching by a canonized saint whose life was martyred or was an example of holiness, and was examined thouroughly for obedience to the gospel has a greater weight than speculation of someone who made no sacrifices to teach, and often makes a comfortable living doing so.

Christ’s sinlessness was due to His intrinsic righteousness and holiness - His divine nature. It was not due to Mary

I never heard anyone suggest otherwise.

178 posted on 05/15/2008 4:36:31 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: xzins

Yeah...

Mother of Christ: verses 2, 5 and 10.

Not a symbolic mother but a physiological mother: 2.

Assumed: verse 14 (given wings)

To a place which Satan cannot reach: 14

Other children by spiritual adoption: 17.


179 posted on 05/15/2008 4:41:47 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Truth Defender

Interesting. My only comment to Ken Fortier’s assertion is that Mt. 10:28 does not contradict Mt 25: in Mt. 10 Jesus says that God has power to destroy a soul but He does not say that God will actually do so. In Mt. 25 Jesus says that both the reprobate and the elect will have their judgement for all eternity.


180 posted on 05/15/2008 4:46:07 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

You were concerned with the “male child” part. I posted the NIV translation I was using in which “male child” appears.

After the ascension, when did Mary hide in the wilderness for 1260 days?

Where is the bible account of it?


181 posted on 05/15/2008 4:54:08 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain -- Those denying the War was Necessary Do NOT Support the Troops!)
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To: xzins

The natural reading of it is that there is the ascension of Christ (v.5), an exile of Mary for 1260 days (6) and then the assumption (14). The span of time since the assumption that she is to be taken out of Satan’s reach is given in imprecise terms because that is the era still continuing, till the Second Coming of Christ of which hour we are not to be informed.

There could, I am sure, be other ways to read this, — there are certainly readings that complement this and give us a view of the Church Militant, and I am not wholly unsympathetic to the reading of Israel into that — but for anyone who asks where the Church found the assumption of Mary, that is the answer.


182 posted on 05/16/2008 6:51:17 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

Annalex, I think we’ve had a good discussion up to this point, and I don’t want to give you a canned answer.

The short of it is that Mary fell off the chart after the Ascension. Except for a tradition of her being cared for by John, a tradition that could easily be nothing more than a conjecture based on Jesus’ ‘behold your Mother’, there is no mention of Mary.

There is no record of an exile. There is no record of an assumption.

There are no witnesses.


183 posted on 05/16/2008 10:04:44 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain -- Those denying the War was Necessary Do NOT Support the Troops!)
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To: xzins

Historical evidence is very scarce and can easily be dismissed as legendary. But the same can be said of any figure of the early Church except Sts. Paul and Peter, and even in their case the record of their martyrdom is preserved only through tradition. The absence of a relic, however, points to the assumption — or at least to some unusual circumstance of death.


184 posted on 05/16/2008 10:13:55 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

Or to the type of significance that Protestants tend to assign to Mary.

Importance and respect, but no human is worthy of reverence.


185 posted on 05/16/2008 10:20:53 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain -- Those denying the War was Necessary Do NOT Support the Troops!)
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To: xzins

I need to correct you — last appearance of Mary in Gospel narrative, — not counting Apoc. 12, that is, — is at Pentecost or at least right before it (Acts 1:14).

For nearly all figures of the Early Church we have relics, including quite minor ones. We have, for example, relics of Mary’s parents Joachim and Anna, — and I was able to venerate them last year.


186 posted on 05/16/2008 12:39:14 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
Mary...Acts 1:14

You are right. I stand corrected.

187 posted on 05/16/2008 2:24:11 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain -- Those denying the War was Necessary Do NOT Support the Troops!)
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To: papertyger; annalex

Thanks for both of your lengthy and thoughtful replies.

Though we may not reach an agreement, I will respond later when I have more time to study and reply.

Take care.


188 posted on 05/17/2008 3:48:45 PM PDT by unlearner (You will never come to know that which you do not know until you first know that you do not know it.)
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To: unlearner

My pleasure, thank you for your questions.


189 posted on 05/17/2008 5:02:32 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
I'm back from my weekend jaunt. It was great to speak to other Christians who spend a lot of time reading and studying the Bible to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ Jesus. This is going to be quite long... Is your theory that the soul is immortal if saved but undergoes destruction if condemned? That seems to contradict, for example, Mt 25:46. I don’t think the consensus of the fathers ever veered off this concept, that the soul is eternal both if saved and if condemned, based on the very clear teaching in Mt 25.

Your question above is not what I’m saying at all. In fact, I have never said anything like that, especially saying that it is a “theory.” Your next statement is a straw man nature because of your question preceding it. The third sentence is strictly your own opinion that shows me you are not all that acquainted with the early church fathers and a very poor exegesis of Mt. 25:46 in the context it is spoken in and in many other statements of Scripture on that topic. Now having said that, let me clear up what I believe is the true meaning of that verse in respects to everything else said on what that verse teaches us.
The verse of Mt. 25:46 is the last verse of Jesus’ parable of the Sheep and the Goats, which is found in Mt. 25:31–46. Verse 46 cannot be separated from its context if one wishes to speak as Jesus spoke. So, what is the context?
Verse 31–45 tells us the “time period” this parable refers to, which is the Day of Judgment and the day that Jesus comes the second time. One cannot read it otherwise and stay in context! Verse 46 is the kicker, and the verse that causes confusion to those who hold to the teaching that man has a soul and it is immortal, i.e., not subject to death. It says: “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Note: I have absolutely no problem in accepting this verse literally and saying that I wholeheartedly accept it without any doubt. It says just what I preach and teach!
However, also being a student of the Koine (street usage) Greek language of the 1st century, I like the way the Greek manuscripts record it word for word into our English language of today. “and will go away these (the ones spoken of in verse 45) into punishment (kolasin) eternal (aionion), but the righteous unto life (zoen) eternal (aionion).” Punishment and life are equated here, as is the duration of each. The result of punishment (death) and the result of life (immortality) are of the same duration. Both last the same amount of time, if we can speak of time in a place of timelessness.

190 posted on 05/18/2008 8:27:21 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: annalex
I'm back from my weekend jaunt. It was great to speak to other Christians who spend a lot of time reading and studying the Bible to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ Jesus. This is going to be quite long...

Is your theory that the soul is immortal if saved but undergoes destruction if condemned? That seems to contradict, for example, Mt 25:46. I don’t think the consensus of the fathers ever veered off this concept, that the soul is eternal both if saved and if condemned, based on the very clear teaching in Mt 25.

Your question above is not what I’m saying at all. In fact, I have never said anything like that, especially saying that it is a “theory.” Your next statement is of a straw man nature because of your question preceding it. The third sentence is strictly your own opinion that shows me you are not all that acquainted with the early church fathers and a very poor exegesis of Mt. 25:46 in the context it is spoken in and in many other statements of Scripture on that topic. Now having said that, let me clear up what I believe is the true meaning of that verse in respects to everything else said on what that verse teaches us.

The verse of Mt. 25:46 is the last verse of Jesus’ parable of the Sheep and the Goats, which is found in Mt. 25:31–46. Verse 46 cannot be separated from its context if one wishes to speak as Jesus spoke. So, what is the context?

Verse 31–45 tells us the “time period” this parable refers to, which is the Day of Judgment and the day that Jesus comes the second time. One cannot read it otherwise and stay in context!

Verse 46 is the kicker, and the verse that causes confusion to those who hold to the teaching that man has a soul and it is immortal, i.e., not subject to death. It says: “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Note: I have absolutely no problem in accepting this verse literally and saying that I wholeheartedly accept it without any doubt. It says just what I preach and teach!

However, also being a student of the Koine (street usage) Greek language of the 1st century, I like the way the Greek manuscripts record it word for word into our English language of today.
“and will go away these (the ones spoken of in verse 45) into punishment (kolasin) eternal (aionion), but the righteous unto life (zoen) eternal (aionion).” Punishment and life are equated here, as is the duration of each. The result of punishment (death) and the result of life (immortality) are of the same duration. Both last the same amount of time, if we can speak of time in a place of timelessness.

Future punishment for the sins of the present life is universally allowed to be taught in the scriptures of the New Testament, but with respect to its nature and duration, very different opinions have been and are entertained as being each of them the doctrine (teaching) of God’s revelation. I speak only of punishment to be inflicted subsequent to the General Resurrection as recorded by Jesus in John 5:28–29 and the Day of Judgment (John 12:48, see also Mt. 12:36).

Let me reveal some results of my studies: Before the preaching of the Gospel, the highest order of pagan philosophy had framed for its satisfaction a theory of the immortality of a soul within mankind. While the great mass of mankind had absolutely no hope of any future life in the body (Plato, Phaedo, par. 29); and while by far the greater number of philosophers taught that death was for all an eternal sleep (Athenagoras, Plea for Christians, C. XII; Tatian, Address to the Greeks, C.SSV; Tertullian, De Anima, C. III, ibid., De Spectaculis, S. 30; Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, I. 31); these were “high spirits of old” that strained their imaginations to see beyond the clouds of time the dawning of immortal life of the soul. Unable to connect it with God as its source, and with an assurance, they framed the idea of an immortal self-existing in the human body. Egypt, the prolific mother of religious error, appears, from the best authorities in our hands, to have been the source of this idea (Perowne, J. J. S., Immortality, page 37; Herodotus, Book II, S. 23; Bunsen, Egypt’s Place in Universal history, IV, 639; Witmore, Immortality, C. I). But it was extracted from the tombs and the hieroglyphics of Egyptian priests by the brilliant and restless curiosity of Greece. Socrates, and his pupil, Plato, presented it to the human mind wherever the Grecian intellect penetrated, and the language of Greece was known. Cicero recommended the theory of the Academy to his contemporaries in his “Tusculan Questions.” They did not teach it at all consistently, nor do they appear themselves to have relied with any firmness on its reality (Perowne, J. J. S., Immortality, preface CII, page 45). It was with them a great hope fitfully entertained, rather than a sober conviction. “I have perused Plato,” Cicero sadly complains, “with the greatest diligence and exactness, over and over again; but know not how it is, while I read him I am convinced; when I lay the book aside and begin to consider by myself of the soul’s immortality, all the conviction instantly ceases.” It is indeed doubtful whether any of the great minds of antiquity in their esoteric or inner faith held more than the tenet of Buddhism, which teaches that the soul, originally derived from Deity, is at length to be re-absorbed and lost in Deity again.

However this may be, those of whom we speak presented to the common mind an idea not so vague as this. The conception of it kindled their imagination, and the discussion of it afforded a theme for their logical powers. According to it, the soul was possessed of an inherent immortality; it had no beginning and could have no end. What was true of one soul was equally true of all souls, good or bad. They must live somewhere, be it in Tartarus, or Cocytus, in Pyriphlegethon, or the happy abodes of the purified. This idea, sublime for a pagan, passed readily and early into the theology of the Christian Church. Philosophers, converted to Christianity, brought with them into their new service too much of their ancient learning. Heedless of Paul’s warning voice against philosophy in general (Col. 2:8), they considered that a considerable portion at least of Plato’s philosophy must be exempted from the apostolic condemnation. We find accordingly the Platonic philosophy of the soul’s immortality running through and blending with the theological reasoning of Athenagoras and Tertullian, of Origen and Augustine (Athenagoras, p. 31 A, 53 D., Edition Paris, 1615; Tertullian, De Anima; Origen, Vol. I, 483 B, ibid., Vol. II 108, C. E. Rothomagi, 1668; Augustine, De Civ. Dei. 21 3). Teachers who should have consulted only the teachings of God, leaving behind them the pagan lore as Moses left behind him the learning of Egypt, supplemented those scriptures with theories drawn from a brilliant Greek Philosophy, which was in its turn suggested by the priest-craft taught in Egyptian temples. Their theory was that the life of the wicked must be as eternal as the life of those redeemed and brought to Christ, because every soul of man was immortal.

A moment’s reflection will show that a dogma of this kind could not remain idle. It must influence irresistibly in one direction or another this whole question of future punishment. It must mould the entire doctrine of the Church upon the subject. Accordingly, as men connected it with one truth of Scripture to another, it must give rise to two opposite schools of thought. Connect the immortality of the soul with the scriptural doctrine of the eternal result of punishment, and you inevitably create the dogma of eternal life in misery, i.e., of Augustine’s hell. Connect it with another great truth of scripture, the final extinction of evil and restitution of all things, and you as inevitably create Origen’s Universal Restoration. For each of these opposing theories there is exactly the same amount of proof, viz: Plato’s dogma and a dogma of the Bible; and if Plato’s dogma could be proved to be a scriptural doctrine, then, by every law of logic, Scripture would be found supporting two contradictory theories, or, in other words, would itself destroy all its claims to authority.

Unfortunately, this philosophical idea of Plato is found influencing powerfully and most unfairly the understanding of Scripture from the mid-second century down to our own time. It is true, indeed, that while the church fathers (so called) from the mid-second century by the four brilliant philosophers named previously, and after Augustine, as a general rule considered the question of future punishment under the impression that every soul of man was immortal, But I give them credit in that they did not attach to the soul the idea of an essential immortality and an existence from all eternity as Plato did. Their higher notions of the Deity prevented their going to this length; and they generally acknowledged the soul as the creation of God, having a beginning in time, and allowed that He who had given it existence, could take that existence away. But in supposing that God gave to the soul an inalienable existence, i.e., an immortality not affected by any conduct upon man’s part, of which no creature could deprive it, and of which God would not deprive it, they in effect laid down a dogma which had the very same influence upon their views of future punishment as if they had adopted the dogma of Plato to its fullest extent. An immortality that never would be taken from the soul, and an immortality that never could be taken from it, would have precisely the same bearing upon the future of man. In either case he must live on for ever, whether in misery or in happiness.

Now the immortality of the soul, whether as held by Plato, or by the fathers in general, was an imagination of the human mind. As to any essential immortality which belonged to it of its own proper nature there is no Christian writer or thinker of any weight who now dares to maintain it. It was, as Pliny justly called it, a figment; and even Socrates, with all his noble language, evidently feared that his favorite notion was no sounder than the figment which the Epicurean Pliny contemptuously called it (Pliny, Natural History, book 7, chapter 56; Apology of Socrates, chapters 32 and 33). Scripture denies it altogether: an essential immortality it does not allow to be the attribute of any creature, however exalted. To one Being only, God, does it allow to have “life in Himself;” of one Being only, God, does it allow such an immortality to be an attribute (John 5:26; I Tim. 6:16).

The idea that God has bestowed upon men, or upon any part of human nature, an inalienable immortality finds absolutely no sanction in the Scriptures. The expression “immortality of the soul,” so common in theology, is not once found in the Bible from beginning to end. In vain do men, bent on sustaining a human figment, ransack Scripture for some expressions which may be tortured into giving it an apparent support. The phrase, “living soul,” applied to man at his creation, has been used by many Christian writers, utterly ignorant of the Hebrew, supposedly to imply such an immortality. The very same phrase, however, in the original language of Scripture, had been applied to the creatures of the sea, the fowl of the air, the animals of the land, and of all creatures that breath. The threefold description of man, as having body, soul, and spirit, has been supposed significant of his inalienable immortality. Whatever is meant by this distinction, it cannot in any measure support the inference based upon it; as the lives of all creatures lower than man are also allowed in Scripture to be possessed not merely of body and soul but of spirit likewise (Gen. 7:15-22, Psa. 106:29; Eccl. 3:19–21).

An inalienable immortality, according to Scripture, was not put into man at creation, as many suppose was done. I do not deny that man was made in God’s image; and that a very important part of this resemblance consisted in man’s not being subject to death as all creatures below him were created to be. Immortality was made available to Adam and Eve through their eating of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden. This immortality was not a part of the pair, period. They could remain immortal strictly by partaking of the fruit of the tree. God had warned them that if they didn’t obey him in not partaking of the tree of good and evil, they would loose the availability of the tree of life, and that dying, they would surely die. Man sinned, and lost access to immortality. As Irenaeus expresses it, “Man, disobedient to God, was cast off from immortality” (Against Heresies, book III, s. II; Landis, Immortality of the Soul, p.i., e. III, s. 26). Adam and Eve were not created with a natural immortality, but were strictly mortals; and by sinning lowered themselves to the level of the beasts that perish. If immortality is to be gained, it must be as a gift restored, and not inherited. It must become man’s by virtue of some new provision of God’s friendly disposition (His grace) which reinstates access to immortality. This was the Gospel of Christ! As Ignatius said to the Ephesians, c. xix; Landis, Immortality, p.i., c. 3. s. 21: “God was manifested in human form for the renewal of eternal life.”

Subsequent examination of the Scriptures will, however, show us that Christ has not, as some suppose, bestowed this priceless gift on all; but only on those who believe and obey Him. It is only the believer who can say with David, “He redeemed my life from destruction” (Psa. 100:3–4, 102:28, John 5:20, 40).

Heb 9:27 says, “And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment;” mentions the first death, and what comes after. This is a perfect analogy, the first death versus the “second death” as spoken of in Rev. 2:11, 20:6, 14, 21:8. And this pertains to Mt. 25:46 also, among many, many other verses spoken by Jesus and His Apostles. From the earliest records of our race capital punishment has been reckoned as not only the greatest but also the most lasting of all punishments; and it is only reckoned the greatest because it is the most lasting. A punishment of life-imprisonment on a criminal inflicts more pain than execution inflicts upon a murderer. Why? Because it has deprived the sufferer of every hour of that life which he would have had. Augustine says, “…do not estimate the punishment of a criminal by the brief period during which he is being put to death; but by their removing him for ever from the company of living men” (City of God, book 21, chapter two).

The wages of sin is death! This is not in reference to that death that all men are appointed to have; the wages of sin that were suffered by all mankind since Adam and Eve. Because of the promotion of the idea of an immortal soul teaching since Augustine systemized it as church doctrine, writings, preaching, and teachings made it a common practice to declare that the wages of sin is “spiritual death,” meaning “separation from God.” The Bible never says that! The word “spiritual” has been added to evade the reality of death as the wages of sin! The fact is that the “separation from God” contributes to the final result of death. The apple, plucked from the tree which is its source of life, ultimately deteriorates and dies as a result of the separation. So it is with the man who is severed from God by sin. Without God, the source of life (“in whose hand thy breath is” [Daniel 5:25]) man cannot live. Unless that sin that severs the two is removed, that severance becomes permanent and in the Day of Judgment the death becomes final, total and irrevocable.

Therefore, “separation” from God is a result of sin, but the final and ultimate outcome of sin and separation is death!

One man who was a writer, preacher and theologian, Curtis Dickinson by name, wrote a summary in his book, “Man and His Destiny.” I reproduce it here by permission. You may see some of the many articles he produced over 40+ years of writing at Ken's Web Site.

Summary: Man is mortal, under the sentence of final death, and unable to save himself from it. His body, like beasts and plants, returns to dust and his spirit (call it “soul” or “being”) is held in a place or condition called Sheol (O.T.) or Hades (N.T.) until Judgment Day. These words are often translated “hell” or “grave,” but in the Hebrew and Greek simply meant a hidden or unseen place. The consistent teaching in both the Old and New Testaments as to the state of man in Sheol/Hades is to refer to it by the figure “sleep,” indicating a condition of oblivious of the passage of time but subject to the sovereign command of Christ (the “shout” of the archangel in I Thess. 4:16) to return to life.

Being created in the image of God and for His purpose, every soul must be recalled from this first death to stand before God in the Judgment, where each will hear the final sentence for eternity from Christ Himself (Acts 17:30). The outcome of this judgment will be eternal life in a perfect environment for those who are redeemed, but eternal death by fire for the unsaved. This is called the “second death” because it is similar to the first death except that it is final and eternal.

Salvation is nothing less than the salvaging of man from this ultimate destruction that he might have life in God’s image, and it is accomplished through Christ receiving the sentence of death, “the just for the unjust,” Thus satisfying the just penalty for sin with regard to all whose who through faith are called His people. We may have full assurance for our salvation because Christ paid the full price of our sins: death — nothing more and nothing less.

Judgment is described as a total cleansing of the creation (Matt. 3:2, II Peter 3:7–12) of all that is contrary to God’s purpose. The sinner is not merely put out of sight so he can go on in rebellious sin against the Creator; sin and sinner must perish together, so that God may be “all in all” in the midst of His holy, eternal people.

The power of the Gospel (the death, burial and resurrection of Christ) is the power of life, when it is understood that man has no innate immortality of his own but that life is imparted to him by the fiat act of God in resurrection. Either he believes in Christ to eternal life, or he perishes (John 3:16).

“Seeing that these things are thus all to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy living and godliness, looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? But, according to His promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness” (II Peter 3:11–13).

Note: While the Bible gives us these challenging and exciting descriptions of the resurrected saints, nowhere does it describe the body of the resurrected sinner. And, why not? Perhaps because the sinner is raised a mortal person only to face judgment and death, not to live!

I can furnish a large and fairly complete list of scriptures that show that the judgment is death, and anyone who honestly examines them with the object of being educated in the “knowledge of Christ” can be assured of finding the truth. One just has to ignore “traditional teaching” that are man-created, and look to God for enlightenment. The pagan idea of an “immortal soul” that can never die is not true, and this false teaching must be purged from ones mind and replaced with what God, Jesus and His apostles teach us about immortal life.

It’s up to you, whoever reads this article, to examine what is said and read the Bible for yourself; not what other try to tell you it says. Annalex, I hope you understand what I’ve revealed herein. It answers your statement and shows that what you said is not based upon any “very clear teaching in Mt. 25.

BTW, this is not an attach on, or an anti-Catholic post; it is simply a statement against what I perceive as a false teaching or most church bodies.

191 posted on 05/18/2008 9:00:22 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: annalex
In Mt. 25 Jesus says that both the reprobate and the elect will have their judgement for all eternity.

Exactly! That is exactly what I've been saying! However, you apparently haven't checked up to see what God said the "judgment" is to be. Jesus, Himself, said it was "death." The apostles said it was "death." What authority denies these things and then says that the judgment is not death? Is not "The wages of sin death?" Does not the prophets say that "the one who sins shall die?"

How about that?

192 posted on 05/18/2008 9:05:55 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: annalex; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...
+

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 interest.

193 posted on 05/18/2008 9:20:56 PM PDT by narses (...the spirit of Trent is abroad once more.)
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To: unlearner
The most egregious of errors promoted here is that Christ is not central to the doctrines or practices being advocated.

You seem to be criticizing something that is nowhere claimed in the article nor anywhere in the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

194 posted on 05/19/2008 3:12:00 AM PDT by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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To: P-Marlowe

If I ordered a free copy of the book of mormon would that mean they will baptize me into their church?

I’m Catholic.


195 posted on 05/19/2008 7:32:38 AM PDT by Not gonna take it anymore
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To: Truth Defender

It is, still, speculation. This is what is true:

- Both reward of heaven and punishment of hell are for eternity.
- Punishment of hell is often referred to as second death or spiritual death.

This is what is not true:

- “Man is mortal, under the sentence of final death”. Ontologically, man is not mortal: he was not made mortal. Death is the consequence of original sin, and has been conquered by Christ.

I encourage you, however, to post Dr. Ken Fortier’s theory on a thread of its own. Since this thread is about Protestants in general, and with virtually all of them we Catholics agree on this matter of immortality of soul, I don’t want to digress too much into it here.


196 posted on 05/19/2008 9:09:04 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
It is, still, speculation. This is what is true:

Seeing as how you have not said what was speculation in what I posted, there is no way I can make a statement on that part of your short non-specific statement. However, I can respond to your “This is what is true” part.

- Both reward of heaven and punishment of hell are for eternity.

First point: I agree 100 percent that the reward of heaven and the punishment of “hell” are for all eternity: provided, of course, that by “hell” you meant “the lake of fire” or Jesus’ reference to being “thrown in Gehenna.” If you meant “sheol/hades” then I think you need to examine those terms, and how the writers of Scriptures, both the OT and NT, use them.

- Punishment of hell is often referred to as second death or spiritual death.

Second point: I again agree 100 percent that the punishment in “hell” (see above explanation) is referred to as a “second death.” On considering the “second death” the unmistakable reference is in one’s “first death.” However, I absolutely disagree with the idea of it being referred to as a “spiritual death!” Search as you will, you will never, I repeat, never find that idea in the whole of the Bible (and if you think you have found something, please let me know where so that I can correct my beliefs).

This is what is not true: - “Man is mortal, under the sentence of final death”.

Hmmm….I stand solidly by that statement you quoted from me.

Ontologically, man is not mortal: he was not made mortal.

Your statement is not to be found in the Bible. I made specific mention of that in my post. Man, as God created him, was “mortal,” which means “subject to death” because he was made of the dust of the earth’s ground. If he had not disobeyed God by partaking of the tree of good and evil, instead partaking of the tree of life, which gives one immortality, i.e., “not subject to death,” he would have been able to live forever (see Genesis, chapters 2 & 3).

Death is the consequence of original sin, and has been conquered by Christ.

Yes, death is the consequence to all mankind because of Adam’s sin! And yes, for those who believe and obey Jesus’ commands, death has been conquered. However, God, because of man’s sinful nature, has appointed all men to suffer death, even those who are “in Christ” and redeemed (see Heb. 9:27–28, and many other verses in the NT). Then comes the Day of Judgment! And the sentence! Immortality to the redeemed, and the “second death” to those whose names are not found written in the Book of Life! This is the TRUTH, regardless if one believes it or not. God’s word is truth, not speculation.

I encourage you, however, to post Dr. Ken Fortier’s theory on a thread of its own.

I take personal offense at your ascribing my post to another person! Especially to a “Dr. Ken Fortier.” What I posted is from my own typing-sore fingers. I realize your “Dr.” title was made sarcastically, and I forgive you for that. Ken is no “Dr.” by any means. He only admits to being a “biblical student,” and shuns all titles. Yes, I did think of posting a thread with that post, but what I wrote was in response to your statements and questions. Maybe next time...:-)

Since this thread is about Protestants in general, and with virtually all of them we Catholics agree on this matter of immortality of soul, I don’t want to digress too much into it here.

I realize that a great majority of Christians, Catholics, and Protestants (let’s include Evangelicals) who kept this idea of Catholicism in their teachings, agree on the “immortal soul” theory, for the most part, of Plato as propagated by those I mentioned in my post. Numbers of adherants does not impress me, nor do I imagine that they impress our Lord and Savior. The majority of Jews at the time of Jesus didn't believe Him. I can understand perfectly why you wouldn’t want to discuss this topic! It would destroy some cherished beliefs.

I, personally, don’t believe you can refute what I’ve just said from the Scriptures. You would have to bring in philosophical ideas, ideas gleaned from pagan sources and propagated by Christian teachers over the centuries. This idea has been so encrusted with the sands of time over the centuries that it has virtually scraped away what God has said on the topic in Scriptures. What say you?

197 posted on 05/19/2008 3:13:53 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: Truth Defender

I think it is possible to square your belief with the Scripture, yes. This does not make them the only interpretation of scripture, or even the correct interpretation. The reason I am reluctant to debate it at length here is that it deserves a separate thread. Since it is not a typical Protestant objection to Catholicism, I think it would be better if you discuss this with the Protestants first, because they would do so from the same methodological background you have, — relying on the scripture alone. As a Catholic, I accept the teaching of my Church regardless of any other interpretation of scripture that can be found. I am not bothered by the fact that the Church blended the classic philosophy and Christianity; I think it was a good thing to do so.

I meant no disrepect to you or Ken Fortier; somehow I thought of him as a doctor of divinity.


198 posted on 05/19/2008 3:28:16 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
As a Catholic, I accept the teaching of my Church regardless of any other interpretation of scripture that can be found. I am not bothered by the fact that the Church blended the classic philosophy and Christianity; I think it was a good thing to do so.

I understand completely. I was once a Catholic (36 years). It was reading the Bible that led me to research all religious beliefs of Chrisianity. Philosophy is a process that is actually man trying to find God, while according to the Bible, it is God seeking man. I am anti-philosophy because their methods of making simple things difficult and the self-worthiness of intellectual powers.

I'm curious why you would say that blending pagan beliefs with Christianity was a good thing. Could you add to that a little?

I meant no disrepect to you or Ken Fortier; somehow I thought of him as a doctor of divinity.

I imagine he would laugh a lot at someone thinking him to be a Doctor of Divinity. I'll forward this to him and find out.

PS: I may just start a thread or two on some of what I gleaned from the Scriptures on the end-time destiny of man. So far, no one has been able to refute much of what I have written or preached.

199 posted on 05/19/2008 3:53:39 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: Truth Defender
One book of the Bible I recommend is not part of the Protestant Canon, Wisdom. Two things are remarkable about it: it speaks of wisdom as a universal good that exists outside of the nation of Israel, yet it contrasts Israel to the Gentile idolaters. If I remember right, that book had a profound influence on the Church Fathers who struggled to understand how the apparent good of ancient philosophy could dwell among the pagans. This book provided the answer, and it was that Christ Who preexisted all things must have guided the pagans as Wisdom.

Interetingly, Ken Fortier must be on to something because the larger quote form chapter five, below, seems to also hint at the utter detruction of the wicked.

Here is a collection of quotes that underline the Catholic outlook on wisdom and nature of man.

wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul (Wis 1:4)

God created man incorruptible, and to the image of his own likeness he made him. But by the envy of the devil, death came into the world (Wis 2:23f)

we also being born, forthwith ceased to be: and have been able to show no mark of virtue: but are consumed in our wickedness. 14 Such things as these the sinners said in hell: 15 For the hope of the wicked is as dust, which is blown away with the wind, and as a thin froth which is dispersed by the storm: and a smoke that is scattered abroad by the wind: and as the remembrance of a guest of one day that passeth by. 16 But the just shall live for evermore: and their reward is with the Lord, and the care of them with the most High (Wis 5:13f)

the multitude of the wise is the welfare of the whole world (Wis 6:26)

Wisdom


200 posted on 05/19/2008 7:29:18 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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