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The Supremacy of Scripture
Following Judah's Lion ^ | 3/14/09 | Rick Frueh

Posted on 12/10/2009 2:08:47 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege

When a teacher or preacher speaks of the Supremacy of Scripture he is almost always referring to a doctrine that understands Scripture as the supreme source for truth, and in fact the exclusive source for spiritual truth. In the language of the Reformation it is known as Sola Scriptura, which means that the basis for our beliefs is not tradition or experience or ecclesiastical dictate, it is the written Scriptures alone. And it is true that this doctrine has been eroding and that many religious organizations either completely deny it or dilute its essence.

Luther desired nothing but proof from Scripture when it came to doctrinal truth, and forms of that battle have continued into today. There are many books and messages that deal with the Supremacy of Scripture and the reasons for such a foundational doctrine. And this doctrine has provided a forum for what some call the "truth war" which indicates a battle between those who espouse the supremacy of Scripture and those who in one way or another do not. Some project their opinion with academic reasoning within Scripture while retaining some civility, while others speak and write with acrimony and self righteousness.

I am one who espouses the Supremacy of Scripture, for in the end the opinions of men are just that. But I continue to have a problem with some of those who are the leading and most outspoken proponents of that doctrine. Luther himself espoused the supremacy of Scripture at the possible expense of his own life, however after establishing the doctrinal foundation of Sola Scriptura he seemed to dismiss the core of that doctrine when it came to personal obedience. His reckless language, combined with his indulgence of alcohol, and his overt hatred for the Jews was in stark contrast to his doctrinal espousing of the doctrine of Scriptural supremacy. Without dismissing Luther’s importance in core doctrinal realignment, I suggest he did not strive to live up to the personal mandates of Scripture which are every bit an indispensible part of Scriptural supremacy.

What Luther’s example has shown us is that it is entirely possible to be an outspoken proponent of the doctrine of Scriptural supremacy while denying it wholesale in practice and tone. And such is the case in many quarters of today’s evangelical community. To what benefit is it to aggressively contend for the doctrine of Scriptural supremacy while overtly denying it in the methodology you use to defend it? That scenario becomes a paradox in orthodoxy which dismantles the very doctrine you are supposedly defending. The supremacy doctrine is never limited to the overarching eternal truths concerning the Godhead, it must include the admonitions and commands that are consistent with the personal manifestations of the Incarnate narrative, as well as the dictates of the epistles.

It is indeed counterproductive to argue doctrine in the abstract without the personal revelations, or at least the obvious and genuine pursuit, of the uncomfortable aspects of Scripture which are designed to restrict the carnal “end justifies the means” template of defending the truth. In the end, defending the doctrine of Scriptural supremacy by abrogating the preponderance of Scripture as it applies to love, grace, and personal humility is neither Christian nor Scriptural. It is an overt revelation of disobedience and rejection of the very doctrine you portend to defend. Christ Himself was the antithesis of masculine domination and powerful usurpation, which at its core is why so many were drawn to Him while others rejected Him.

So many today stand on the mountaintop of hubristic judgment of almost everyone who are at varying degrees of doctrinal variance, but are blind to their own Scriptural disobedience. The world knows nothing of our doctrinal squabbles, serious or secondary, but they can see clearly the tone and attitudes that are in direct conflict with the Christ we preach. The cross is the core of our redemption, but it also carries with it the essence of how we are to interact with the world and each other. These “Attila the Hun” expressions of doctrinal dialogues do despite to the Spirit of Christ, and may in fact win the debate but lose the Spirit.

What is our calling? Are we to win the “truth war” or are we to live and project Jesus Christ? And those who claim they are in fact one in the same are seriously misguided. Winning the “truth war” is indeed more about living Christ than it ever was about a round table discussion about doctrinal issues on YouTube that draw “amen’s” from the doctrinal Bourgeoisie and elevate the wisdom of men resulting in the applause of other men. The sounds of “did you see so and so on Larry King, didn’t he really give it to them” are only meant to create a greater self righteousness within those who have chosen sides at the expense of deep compassion for those who are blind and deep gratitude for those of us who have been enlightened by His grace.

We have been sold a doctrinal bill of goods that has camouflaged the truth inside a methodology that is in direct violation of the same Scriptural mandates. Would it be Scriptural to defend the doctrine of the Trinity by murder? Of course not, you say. Then how can it be Scriptural to defend Scripture by self righteousness, demeaning personal attacks, and hubristic dismissiveness? We cannot exalt the supremacy of Scripture if we ignore those Scriptures that apply directly to us.

And here lies the challenge. Are we humble enough to defend cardinal doctrines of the faith in such a way that leaves the outcome to God Himself, or are we to speak in such a way that leverages the battle upon the fulcrum of our own words and the core viciousness of our attacks? God looks after His own Word and His instructions to us are never in contrast to that same Word. Speak the truth in love, says the Spirit, not speak the truth in visceral hatred and that is in itself love. The constant stream of unchristian language directed at the same people over and over again reveals an unwillingness to trust God concerning His own Word and its defense. Is there a God, and has He spoken, and is He able to bring about His purposes in spite of those who have strayed doctrinally, or is He in dire need of our constant attacks and redundant reminders of the same Scriptural shortcomings of others? And is our Biblical teaching so fleeting, so shallow, and so temporary that without the continuing stream of identifying the same false teachers people will stray immediately?

The supremacy of Scripture is not some “pin the tail on the donkey” doctrine that we stick on others, no, it is also high time that we examine our own adherence to the personal aspects of that same doctrine. Doctrinal truth must be lived as well as preached.

Doctrine without works is dead.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Mainline Protestant; Moral Issues; Theology
KEYWORDS: bible; calvinism; christianity; christianright; johncalvin; martinluther; reformation; reformedtheology; solascriptura; theology
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I found this quote to be especially convicting:

"In the end, defending the doctrine of Scriptural supremacy by abrogating the preponderance of Scripture as it applies to love, grace, and personal humility is neither Christian nor Scriptural."

1 posted on 12/10/2009 2:08:47 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

Here is perhaps a better understanding of this rule of Faith, a clip from St. Francis Desales’ book “The Catholic Controversy”:

Part II
THE RULE OF FAITH

INTRODUCTION

IF the advice which St. John [I Ep. iv. 1.] gives to Christians, not to believe every spirit, was ever necessary, it is so now more than ever, when so many different and contrary spirits in Christendom demand belief, on the strength of the Word of God in whose name we have seen so many nations run astray in every direction, each one after its humour. As the common sort admire comets and wandering fires, and believe that they are true stars and bright planets, while better-informed people know well that they are only airy flames which float over some vapour as long as there is anything to feed them, which always leave some ill effect behind them, and which have nothing in common with the incorruptible stars save the
coarse light which makes them visible; so the miserable people of our age, seeing in certain foolish men the glitter of human subtlety and a false gleam of the Word of God, have believed that here were heavenly truths, and have given heed to them; although men of worth and judgment testified that they were only earthly inventions, which would in time disappear, nor leave other memorial of them than the sense of the many miseries which follow. O how men ought to have abstained from giving themselves up to these spirits, and before following them to have tried whether they were of God or no! Ah! there is not wanting a touchstone to distinguish the base metal of their counterfeits. For he who caused us to be told that we must prove the spirits, would not have done so unless he knew that we had infallible rules to tell the holy from the false spirit. We have such rules, and nobody denies it. But these deceivers produce rules which they can
falsify and adapt to their pretensions, in order that, having rules in their hands, they may gain the credit of being masters in their craft by a visible sign under pretext of which they can form a faith and a religion such as they have imagined. It is then of the most extreme importance to know what are the true rules of our belief, for thereby we can easily discern heresy from the true religion: and this is what I intend to make clear in this Second Part. My plan is as follows.

The Christian faith is grounded on the Word of God. This is what places it in the sovereign degree of certainty, as having the warrant of that eternal
and infallible Truth. Faith which rests on anything else is not Christian. Therefore, the Word of God is the true rule of right-believing, as ground and rule are in this case one and the same thing.

Since this rule does not regulate our faith save when it is applied, proposed and declared, and since this may be done well or ill,——therefore it is not enough to know that the Word of God is the true and infallible rule of right-believing, unless I know what Word is God’s, where it is, who has to propose, apply, and declare it. It is useless for me to know that the Word of God is infallible, and for all this knowledge I shall not believe that Jesus is the Christ, Son of the living God, unless I am certified that this Word is revealed by the heavenly Father: and even when I come to know this I shall not be out of doubt if I do not know how this is to be understood,——whether of an adoptive filiation in the Arian sense, or a natural filiation in the Catholic.

There is need, then, besides this first and fundamental rule the Word of God, of another, a second rule, by which the first may be rightly and duly proposed, applied, and declared. And in order that we may not be subject to hesitation and uncertainty, it is necessary not only that the first rule, namely, the Word of God, but also the second, which proposes and applies this rule, be absolutely infallible; otherwise we shall always remain in suspense and in doubt as to whether we are not being badly directed and supported in our faith and belief, not now by any defect in the first rule, but by error and defect in the proposition and application thereof. Certainly the danger is equal,——either of getting out of rule for want of a right rule, or getting out of rule for want of a regular and right application of the rule itself. But this infallibility which is required as well in the rule as in its proper application, can have its source only in God, the living and original fountain of all truth. Let us proceed.

Now as God revealed His Word, and spoke, or preached, by the mouth of the Fathers and Prophets, and at last by His Own Son, then by the Apostles md Evangelists, whose tongues were but as the pens of scribes writing rapidly, God thus employing men to speak to men; so to propose, apply, and declare this His Word, He employs His visible Spouse as His mouthpiece and the interpreter of His intentions. It is God then Who rules over Christian belief, but with two instruments, in a double way: (1) by His Word as by a formal rule; (2) by His Church as by the hand of the measurer and rule-user. Let us put it thus: God is the painter, our faith the picture, the colours are the Word of God, the brush is the Church. Here then are two ordinary and infallible rules of our belief: the Word of God, which is the fundamental and formal rule; the Church of God, which is the rule of application and explanation.

I consider in this second part both the one and the other, but to make my exposition of them more clear and more easy to handle, I have divided these two rules into several, as follows.

The Word of God, the formal rule of our faith, is either in Scripture or in Tradition. I treat first of Scripture, then of Tradition.

The Church, the rule of application, expresses herself either in her universal body by a general belief of all Christians, or in her principal and nobler parts by a consent of her pastors and doctors; and in this latter way it is either in her pastors assembled in one place and at one time, as in a general council, or in her pastors divided as to place and time, but assembled in union and correspondence of faith; or, in fine, this same Church expresses herself and speaks by her head-minister. * And these are four explaining and applying rules of our faith;——the Church as a whole, the General Council, the consent of the Fathers, the Pope.

Other rules than these we are not to seek; these are enough to steady the most inconstant. But God, Who takes pleasure in the abundance of His favours, wishing to come to the help of the weakness of men, goes so far as to add sometimes to these ordinary rules (I refer to the establishment and founding of the Church) an extraordinary rule, most certain and of great importance,——namely, miracles——an extraordinary testimony of the true application of the Divine Word.

Lastly, natural reason may also be called a rule of right-believing, but negatively and not affirmatively. For if anyone should speak thus: such a proposition is an article of faith, therefore it is according to natural reason:——this affirmative consequence would be badly drawn, since almost all our faith is outside of and above our reason. But if he were to say: this is an article of faith, therefore it cannot be against natural reason:——the consequence is good. For natural reason and faith, being supported on the same principles, and starting from one same author, cannot be contrary to each other.

Here then are eight rules or faith: Scripture, Tradition, the Church, Councils, the Fathers, the Pope, miracles, natural reason. The two first are only a formal rule, the four following are only a rule of application, the seventh is extraordinary, and the eighth negative. Or, he who would reduce all these rules to a single one, would say that the sole and true rule of right-believing is the Word of God preached by the Church of God.

Now I undertake here to show, as clearly as the light of day, that your reformers have violated and forced all these rules (and it would be enough to show that they have violated one of them, since they are so closely connected that he who violates one violates all the others); in order that, as you have seen in the first part, that they have taken you out of the bosom of the true Church by schism, so you may know in this second part, that they have deprived you of the light of the true faith by heresy, to drag you after their illusions. And I keep ever in the same position: for I prove firstly that the rules which I bring forward are most certain and infallible, then I prove, so closely that you can touch it with your hand, that your doctors have violated them. Here now I appeal to you in the name of the Almighty God, and summon you on His part, to judge justly.

ARTICLE I.
HOLY SCRIPTURE FIRST RULE OF FAITH.-THAT THE PRETENDED REFORMERS HAVE VIOLATED HOLY SCRIPTURE, THE FIRST RULE OF OUR FAITH.

CHAPTER I.
THE SCRIPTURE IS A TRUE RULE OF CHRISTIAN FAITH.

I WELL know, thank God, that Tradition was before all Scripture, since a good part of Scripture itself is only Tradition reduced to writing, with an infallible assistance of the Holy Spirit. But, since the authority of Scripture is more easily received by the reformers than that of Tradition, I begin with the former in order to get a better entrance for my argument.

Holy Scripture is in such sort the rule of the Christian faith that we are obliged by every kind of obligation to believe most exactly all that it contains, and not to believe anything which may be ever so little contrary to it: for if Our Lord Himself has sent the Jews to it [John v. 39] to strengthen their faith, it must be a most safe standard. The Sadducees erred because
they did not understand the Scriptures; [Mark xii. 24] they would have done better to attend to them, as to a light shining in a dark place, according to the advice of S. Peter, [Ep. 2, i. 19] who having himself heard the voice of the Father in the Transfiguration of the Son, bases himself more firmly on the testimony of the Prophets than on this experience. When God says to Josue: Let not the book of this law depart from thy mouth, [Jos. 1. 8] He shows clearly that He willed him to have it always in his mind, and to let no persuasion enter which should be contrary to it. But I am losing time; this disputation would be needful against free-thinkers (les Libertins); we are agreed on this point, and those who are so mad as to contradict it, can only rest their contradiction on the Scripture itself, contradicting themselves before contradicting the Scripture, using it in the very protestation which they make that they will not use it.


2 posted on 12/10/2009 2:48:45 PM PST by blackpacific
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To: blackpacific

Hi blackpacific. I am a former Catholic. And I disagree.

The above entry wasn’t so much a defense of the “Supremacy of Scripture” as it was a rebuke to people like me who already adhere to the doctrine. The post serves as a reminder for Protestants to defend the doctrine with love and grace. SO often people who hold to “Scripture alone” will vehemently and passionately defend and preach this doctrine without actually LIVING OUT the very truths Scripture teaches: such as loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you—this includes being gracious to those who disagree with us—like Catholics! :)

Anyhow, here are just a few tenets of Catholic tradition, Scripture contradicts:

1) Purgatory
2) The role of works in salvation.
3) Distinction between venial and mortal sins.
4) The role of the Pope and Magisterium.
5) The mandatory celibacy of pastors
6) The role of works in salvation.
7) The role of Mary: her perpetual virginity after the birth of Christ, her sinlessness, and her bodily Assumption into Heaven.
8) Exclusive sainthood
9) The role of penance and the idea that sacraments are a “means of grace”
10) The re-sacrifice of Christ during the presentation of the Eucharist.
11) The spiritual value of infant baptism.

the list goes on and on.


3 posted on 12/10/2009 3:42:33 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

You must read the heavily abridged and edited version of Scripture.

4 posted on 12/10/2009 6:23:49 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

Well you could give lack a declaration that you are infallible, as well as a criteria that qualifies that your declaration that you are infallible was infallible, and that the criteria itself is infallibly defined,, and that your interpretation of a text of Scripture upon which you based your claim of infallibility is infallible. This would eliminate so much confusion, if of course, you infallibly define most of the Bible, and provide an infallible list of all infallibly defined teaching. As well as an infallible interpretation of infallible pronouncements, so that we they know whether to embrace separated brethren, or damn them.


5 posted on 12/10/2009 6:26:12 PM PST by daniel1212 ("hear the word of the gospel, and believe." (Acts 15:7))
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
It's too late in the day to go into massive details now; I'll try to cobble some time together tomorrow to flesh this response out a bit. For now, let me just say that most of these points you say aren't Scriptural merit a mere denial. I will expand a bit at this time on:

1) Purgatory is entirely Scriptural, particularly when dealing with the total Analogy of Scripture. But to be specific, the allusion to Purgatory is unmistakable in 2 Maccabees 12, which is certainly Scripture to us Catholics, and - long story short, for now - only became "unScripture" to Protestants because of the very allusion I note here.

3) Have you never read 1 John 5:16-17? A clearer distinction between mortal and venial sin, and their obvious differences in effect, is hard to find.

5) "Mandatory" celibacy for priests and bishops is only a discipline in the Western - or Latin Rite - Catholic Church. Married priests exist in the various Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church. Only bishops are universally not allowed to be married. And this could change - though there is little likelihood of that - because no one ever said this was doctrine, it is only a discipline based on, among other things, St. Paul's"opinion" found in 1 Corinthians 7:25-39, with reference also to 7:8-9. Notice, particularly, what St. Paul has to say in verse 8! Celibacy is a gift to the Church as a whole in this vein. And these passages alone - and there are others, too - indicate that it is not "mandatory" that a bishop marry. St. Paul himself, as an Apostle, was also a bishop, yet he says plainly in 7:8 of the above text that he is single and has no intention to marry. Yet this does not disqualify him, does it?

8) You really need to define what you mean by "exclusive sainthood," before this question can even be addressed.

Also, a general observation. A few things on your list do not have massive Scriptural support in any direct sense, though there is, in these cases, still some indirect evidence. Just the same, the Catholic Church does not recognize "Sola Scriptura" as a principle, since, among other things, the statement is self-refuting. "Sola Scriptura," or "Scripture alone," can be nowhere found in the Bible, therefore, it cannot be a Biblical principle,and to insist on the point is, as I already said, to engage in a self-refuting argument.

The Catholic Church regards Sacred Tradition to be authoritative like Scripture. So does does every other Church that has a legitimate claim to being "Apostolic" in its roots, that is, the Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches, along with Catholicism. Protestants need to ask themselves why this is so. Why do all of the ancient Churches which predated Protestantism and still exist today recognize Tradition along with Scripture as "authoritative"? Upon what authority did they unilaterally decide to jettison Tradition? It certainly wasn't Scriptural authority, since, as already noted, Scripture says nothing whatsoever about Scripture being the only source of authority.

Neither does plain logic or an understanding of early Christian history, since the Bible was not codified in any real sense till the end of the 4th Century, and it was well into the 2nd Century before most local churches spread throughout evangelized territory could have possibly hoped to have had a significant portion of what would later be known as the canonical books of the New Testament.

Therefore, since all still-existing Churches that predate Protestantism recognize Scripture and Tradition, it behooves Protestants to explain how, and by what authority, they had the right to fabricate a "Sola Scriptura" principle to justify the removal of Tradition.

More later tomorrow, if I can.

6 posted on 12/10/2009 7:19:29 PM PST by magisterium
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To: A.A. Cunningham; magisterium

I have a question for you both. If you were on a desert island. All by yourself. No churches, no priests, no other people. And all you had access to was a pocket sized New Testament...And you knew your days on the island were numbered. What would be going through your mind and heart as you prepare to face your death? What would you be spending all your time doing?


7 posted on 12/10/2009 7:46:34 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: A.A. Cunningham

It’s mmm mmm good. Judging by the actions of those eat large helpings of YOPIOS, I’d say that there was n good amount of Everclear added to help wash it all down.

After all, if Scripture is read with YOPIOS, then Scripture must be edited with YOPIOS. And the Everclear.


8 posted on 12/10/2009 7:51:13 PM PST by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: MarkBsnr
The question goes for you too MarkBsnr: --> "If you were on a desert island. All by yourself. No churches, no priests, no other people. And all you had access to was a pocket sized New Testament (it can be the Catholic version, but only the New Testament)...And you knew your days on the island were numbered. What would be going through your mind and heart as you prepare to face your death? What would you be spending all your time doing?"
9 posted on 12/10/2009 7:55:35 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: magisterium

Though it is only a church law, celibacy shows contempt for Scripture. As cults abudantly evidence, one can say a doctrine is “based” upon a text, but that does not mean it is the result of sound exegesis. 1 Cor. 7:8,9,32-38 certainly does support celibacy, but by no means as a mandatory requirement for any class of people, let alone clergy, who were obviously expected to be married in apostolic times and forward. (1Tim. 3:1-5,12) Rather, Paul states that celibacy is a gift, (1 Cor. 7:7), and to require that all Bishop/Elder (same office) have that gift is to add to Scripture, just as the Pharisees did, “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Mk. 7:7).

As for purgatory, this (as taught by Rome) likewise lacks true Scriptural warrant, including the treasury of merit and indulgences, as it must rely on ambiguous texts which are contradicted by clear ones. The “servants” in Lk. 12:42-48 are evidenced to lost souls, with different degrees of judgment being realized in the afterlife. Yet ordinary saved souls are distinctly told that if the rapture occurred they will be “caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thes. 4:17) The penitent criminal who suffered a few hours on the cross himself went that day to paradise, which is later revealed to now be the third heaven.

At the judgment seat of Christ believers are told that carnal works will be burnt up, (1 Cor. 3:11-15) but they themselves will be saved, so as by fire, which does not convey suffering an indeterminate time in purgatory, but of a man who loses everything but himself is saved, the context here being about rewards.

As 2 Maccabees, this book has offers hope for those dying in “mortal sin”, as idolaters, while the apocrypha is not worthy to be classed with Scripture, which is evidenced to be such by its power and purity, resulting in its popularity, while apocrypha remains buried in obscurity. See here for reasons why it is rejected by the revived church.

http://www.christiantruth.com/Apocryphapart1.html

http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/read/the_apocrypha_inspired_of_god,

http://www.xenos.org/essays/canon.htm

Of course, when you autocratically declare yourself infallible in a teaching, then lack of Scriptural warrant need not be a problem.


10 posted on 12/10/2009 8:08:42 PM PST by daniel1212 ("hear the word of the gospel, and believe." (Acts 15:7))
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
When a teacher or preacher speaks of the Supremacy of Scripture he is almost always referring to a doctrine that understands Scripture as the supreme source for truth, and in fact the exclusive source for spiritual truth.

The pillar and ground of the truth is the Church.

11 posted on 12/10/2009 8:09:49 PM PST by Titanites
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
Can I try?

Obviously, that pocket sized New Testament will be re-read many times and will be a great assistance in my journey.

One can, in absence of the Sacraments of the Church be sanctified through the reading of the scripture, as well as with the Sacraments. One thing does not exclude the other. Our spiritual work in not complete till we learn to read and love the Holy Scripture.

But the essential part in this scenario that you presented is prayer. The first prayer should be a prayer of contrition for every unconfessed sin. Then one should ask God to not tempt him with more sin. Then, given the extrraordonary circumstance, one will die in a state of grace without the sacraments of the Church.

Another thing to keep in mind is that we never pray alone, even on the desert island. We pray, always, with the entire Church in Heaven: the Communion of Saints known and unknown.

I think our challenges are greater where we are than in a desert island. If one searches for salvation, he will do well to find himself in a desert. Most of the treasure of the Church was build in a desert, sometimes literal and often deliberate desert of monastic life. Happy is he whose circumstances allow him to become a hermit.



St Jerome in the Desert

Joachim Patenier

c. 1520
Oil on wood, 78 x 137 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris


12 posted on 12/10/2009 8:15:40 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: MarkBsnr

“After all, if Scripture is read with YOPIOS...”

Sorry, but everyone will be responsible for the interpretation they choose to follow. If you don’t mind standing before God and saying, “I believed XYZ because the Catholic Church told me it is true”...you can.

I find the glaring contrast between what is taught in scripture & Catholic doctrine about Purgatory, Indulgences, Priests, the Eucharist, Mary, Penance, and the development of doctrine too much to stomach - so I will plead MOPIOS (My Own Personal Interpretation of Scripture, for those who don’t read these sorts of threads often).

But it is still an individual choice to accept the Catholic Catechism over Scripture, Sola Ecclesia over Sola Scriptura.

Given that the Catholic Church openly teaches that its doctrines are, in many cases, not explicitly taught in scripture, but needed centuries for the Magisterium to unfold the meaning, I don’t know why Catholics bother with pretending to draw doctrine or justify it by scripture. What is the point? Wouldn’t it be more intellectually honest to simply say, “XYZ is not explicitly taught in scripture, nor do we believe it needed to be”?

It doesn’t bother me when someone says, “We believe X because it is taught via sacred tradition.” Even the footnotes to the NAB, for example, say that 1 Cor 3 was not an attempt by Paul to describe or define Purgatory. While I wouldn’t convert in response, I can respectfully disagree with someone who openly says it comes from sacred tradition, and they choose to believe sacred tradition is as certain as scripture.

Oh well. The last week has been a long one for me, so perhaps I’m missing something as I stare bleary-eyed at the computer.

It would be interesting some time to work on a thread that tries to figure out what we have in common, versus what we have that divides.


13 posted on 12/10/2009 8:18:47 PM PST by Mr Rogers (I loathe the ground he slithers on!)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

“4. This is the place to address those who, having nothing of Christ but the name and sign, would yet be called Christians. How dare they boast of this sacred name? None have intercourse with Christ but those who have acquired the true knowledge of him from the Gospel. The Apostle denies that any man truly has learned Christ who has not learned to put off “the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and put on Christ,” (Eph. iv. 22.) They are convicted, therefore, of falsely and unjustly pretending a knowledge of Christ, whatever be the volubility and eloquence with which they can talk of the Gospel. Doctrine is not an affair of the tongue, but of the life; is not apprehended by the intellect and memory merely, like other branches of learning; but is received only when it possesses the whole soul, and finds its seat and habitation in the inmost recesses of the heart. Let them, therefore, either cease to insult God, by boasting that they are what they are not, or let them show themselves not unworthy disciples of their divine Master. To doctrine in which our religion is contained we have given the first place, since by it our salvation commences; but it must be transfused into the breast, and pass into the conduct, and so transform us into itself, as not to prove unfruitful.” — John Calvin

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/chr_life.iii.html


14 posted on 12/10/2009 8:22:08 PM PST by Mr Rogers (I loathe the ground he slithers on!)
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To: Titanites; CondoleezzaProtege

“The pillar and ground of the truth is the Church.”

And the truth that the pillar supports is the Word of God, both in the flesh and in writing.


15 posted on 12/10/2009 8:25:38 PM PST by Mr Rogers (I loathe the ground he slithers on!)
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To: MarkBsnr
Actually,

Bible Reading: the highest was 75%, by those going to a Pentecostal/Foursquare church who reported they had read the Bible during the past week (besides at church), while the lowest was among Catholics at 23%.^8


16 posted on 12/10/2009 8:41:51 PM PST by daniel1212 (Hear the word of the gospel, and believe", (Acts 15:7) + flee from those who hold another as supreme)
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To: Titanites; Mr Rogers

From the Gospel of “Saint” John:

Chapter 1

1In the beginning was the WORD, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
...
14 THE WORD BECAME FLESH and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

*~*
“In the beginning was the WORD”

CHRIST is “The Word made Flesh.”

CHRIST is the chief cornerstone. He is the rock of our salvation. HE is the “pillar” on which we stand or fall.

Why do we rob Him of His glory and exalt a manmade institution in his place? An insitution that moves Christ, far below even secondary status, yet still claims his name?


17 posted on 12/10/2009 8:51:51 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: Mr Rogers

The NAB also officially relegates Gn. 2, and Balaam and the donkey, Jonah and the fish, etc., to being fables (and Joshua’s conquests to be folk tales), although the N.T. treats them as historical fact, and relegating such to be simply allegorical is a slippery slope.

In addition, the very use of 2 Pet. 1:20 by Rome to censure knowing truth by private interpretation itself shows they are not worthy of the supreme office which they assume, as it is not speaking about understanding Scripture, but how it was written, while Acts 17:11 commends those laymen who sought to discern truth from error by searching the Scriptures. Those who do so do not claim infallibility for themselves, but for Scripture, which authority is the only written class of revelation which is affirmed to be all inspired.

As appealing as it is to give implicit faith to a man, that is not supported by Scripture, and which it warns about, and as problematic as it can be, the apostles assumed that appealing to the hearts of men by the Scriptures, (Acts 17:2; 2Cor. 4:2) and thru miracles, versus requiring an apriori assent to their infallibility, as Rome effectively does, would enable lovers of truth to believe, even if such allowed heretic to misconstrue it.


18 posted on 12/10/2009 9:00:46 PM PST by daniel1212 (Hear the word of the gospel, and believe", (Acts 15:7) + flee from those who hold another as supreme)
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To: daniel1212

Link: http://peacebyjesus.witnesstoday.org/RevealingStatistics.html#Sec4


19 posted on 12/10/2009 9:01:54 PM PST by daniel1212 (Hear the word of the gospel, and believe", (Acts 15:7) + flee from those who hold another as supreme)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

As for Peter=Rock, one of the most abundantly substantiated doctrines in the Bible is that Jesus is the Rock, with no such substantiation being given for Peter as such, and the “this” in “this rock” of Mt. 16:18 refers back to the subject of the previous verse, that being Peter’s confession of Christ, and by extension Christ Himself.

The term “this stone” is only used of Christ. (Mt. 21:44) For in contrast to Peter, that the LORD Jesus is the Rock (petra) or “stone” (lithos) upon which the church is built is one of the most abundantly confirmed doctrines in the Bible (petra: Rm. 8:33; 1Cor. 10:4; 1Pet. 2:8; lithos: Mat. 21:42; Mk.12:10-11; Lk. 20:17-18; Act. 4:11; Rm. 9:33; Eph. 2:20; 1Pet. 2:4-8; cf. Dt. 32:4, Is. 28:16) including by Peter himself. Rome’s current catechism even (ecumenically) affirms this interpretation: “On the rock of this faith confessed by St Peter, Christ build his Church”’ (pt. 1, sec. 2, cp. 2, para. 424). And so it is that by the essential faith which Peter expressed is that by which the church overcomes. “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:5; cf (1Jn. 2:13,14,25) And which Peter himself confirms. (1 Pet 5:8-9)

Abraham believed God, and a nation was born, Peter and the apostles believed God, and the church was born (on Pentecost i believe), and as the “household of faith” (Gal. 6:10) and bride of Christ (Eph. 5:25) it exists, as it only consists of those who are born again by faith. (1Cor. 12:13) not by confidence in a perpetuated petrine papacy, which in effect is what Rome fosters, as well as in one’s works.


20 posted on 12/10/2009 9:17:17 PM PST by daniel1212 (Hear the word of the gospel, and believe", (Acts 15:7) + flee from those who hold another as supreme)
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To: annalex

annalex,

That pocket sized New Testament would hopefully be more than just “mere assistance”—more than just a helpful read in addition to everything else.

It will have the equivalent value of the air you breathe. By God’s grace and the help of the Holy Spirit. It will save your soul!

The words of GOD, unfiltered. Read, without distraction—will introduce Jesus Christ to you. You will be able to know Him fully as he was meant to be known, loved, and experienced. Once you run out of food, Christ will become your ONLY bread—TRUE bread, as you’ll have no wafer substitute.

You would be able to repeat the words of the great apostle (or “saint”) Paul, himself:

“7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, EVERYTHING ELSE IS WORTHLESS when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him.

I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through FAITH in Christ. * For God’s way of making us right with himself DEPENDS ON FAITH. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!” ~ Phillippians 3


21 posted on 12/10/2009 9:42:22 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

Hi, I’m a former evangelical.

Are you saying that which isn’t mentioned in scripture is a contradiction of scripture?


22 posted on 12/10/2009 9:51:47 PM PST by papertyger (Representation without taxation is tyranny!)
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To: daniel1212
...do enjoy doctrinal unity among essential doctrines...

What "essential doctrines" are those?

23 posted on 12/10/2009 10:01:36 PM PST by papertyger (Representation without taxation is tyranny!)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
From the Gospel of “Saint” John: Chapter 1 1In the beginning was the WORD, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. ... 14 THE WORD BECAME FLESH and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. *~* “In the beginning was the WORD” CHRIST is “The Word made Flesh.” CHRIST is the chief cornerstone. He is the rock of our salvation. HE is the “pillar” on which we stand or fall. Why do we rob Him of His glory and exalt a manmade institution in his place? An insitution that moves Christ, far below even secondary status, yet still claims his name?

John 1:1 is quoting Genesis 1:1 and if the student in the WORD does not understand Genesis then not even the Words of Christ will have full meaning. And this author does not demonstrate he has even an elementary understanding of what is instructed in Genesis.

24 posted on 12/10/2009 10:10:03 PM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
Why do we rob Him of His glory and exalt a manmade institution in his place? An insitution that moves Christ, far below even secondary status, yet still claims his name?

"We" don't. "Reformers" contrive accusations to flavor their hatred of the Church with "righteous indignation"...simply more vanity.

25 posted on 12/10/2009 10:11:47 PM PST by papertyger (Representation without taxation is tyranny!)
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To: papertyger

Not necessarily, but that which isn’t mentioned should never be exalted above those things which are.


26 posted on 12/10/2009 10:43:02 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: papertyger

So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come.

And Christ HIMSELF is that reality.

Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.

You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”?

Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.~

St Paul to the Colossians 16:23


27 posted on 12/10/2009 10:50:42 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
Not necessarily,...

Then why did you say it, and how are you determining "necessary?"

...but that which isn’t mentioned should never be exalted above those things which are.

Where does Holy Writ authorize that rule? Furthermore, who determines "born again" is essential, but "eat my flesh" is figurative?

28 posted on 12/10/2009 10:54:59 PM PST by papertyger (Representation without taxation is tyranny!)
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To: papertyger

JESUS *IS* the BREAD OF LIFE. We eat his flesh by relying on Jesus Christ for sustenance day by day. Jesus talks about being the bread of life because HE is the only One that can truly satisfy us and fill us and give us eternal life. He fulfills our every need. That’s what makes him our bread!

*~*

“Publicly, he was saying: I am the bread of heaven. Just like God sent you manna in the wilderness to sustain your life, he has sent me into the world to give life—eternal life. And personally, he was saying to the apostles: Serve me faithfully, and you will never lack what you need. I will be for you everything you need, even in the hour of suffering and death.” ~ John Piper

* TASTE AND SEE *

“Here they are standing in front of the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ—the infinitely valuable, infinitely beautiful, all-satisfying, everlasting Food that endures to eternal life—who gives eternal life. And they ask: What kind of works does God want us to do so that we can have the Bread of Life? And Jesus says, in essence: If you don’t see the person standing in front of you for who he is, no amount of work is going to make him your Treasure. You don’t need to do any works, you need to taste and see. Eat. Believe.

“To all who did receive him, who believed in his name,” is part of what John said in John 1:12. Believing is receiving. Believing is seeing him for the Food that he is, and eating. That is, taking him into your soul, your life, as the all-satisfying, life-giving Treasure that he is.

*~*

IT’S ALL ABOUT CHRIST! THAT’S WHAT CHRISTIANITY IS ABOUT! GOD gave us HIMSELF! Jesus said HE is the way, HE is the truth, HE is the life. Christianity is not supposed to be like every religion where you can remove the founder and still be left with the rules and traditions.


29 posted on 12/10/2009 11:02:48 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: papertyger; CondoleezzaProtege

Because in the same passage Jesus said, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”

So if you have ever hungered or been thirsty, either you haven’t come to Jesus OR He was using a metaphor.

He also said, 63”It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”

As for ‘born again’ being essential, that is determined by Jesus Christ. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Sounds pretty essential to me. “Cannot” is used, not “might not”.


30 posted on 12/10/2009 11:03:51 PM PST by Mr Rogers (I loathe the ground he slithers on!)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

It’s not a matter of anyone condemning me. It’s a matter of people lying about what God says, and the proof of that in failed promises.

God didn’t deliver me from the law of sin and death when I “accepted Christ as my personal savior.” He did it when I ate Christ’s flesh, and drank his blood in a worthy manner.

Some may call righteousness a “work,” but that doesn’t mean God agrees.


31 posted on 12/10/2009 11:05:49 PM PST by papertyger (Representation without taxation is tyranny!)
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To: papertyger

Well you were a victim of shallow “got saved?” American Christianity and not the Christianity of the Bible. You were most likely not taught the Biblical definition of “born-again.” And the implications of true conversion.

What you ate was a wafer and what you drank was wine.

Christ is to be our living bread 24-7. He’s supposed to be what fills and satisfies us. Not traditions and sacraments. But HIMSELF.

And we can’t ever come to him just by “saying a prayer.” We have to understand the depths of our sin. We have to understand what truly happened on that Cross. We have to truly REPENT and understand what it means to live drenched in his blood. To think that we can just superficially confess our sins to a person or be washed by holy water denies the power of the Cross and undermines the immense lengths Christ went through to forgive AND *free us* from sin.


32 posted on 12/10/2009 11:13:18 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
JESUS *IS* the BREAD OF LIFE. We eat his flesh by relying on Jesus Christ for sustenance day by day.

That is not what the scripture says. Indeed, we are told five times of the need to eat his flesh and drink his blood, as opposed to "born again" only two or three (i forget which).

33 posted on 12/10/2009 11:19:41 PM PST by papertyger (Representation without taxation is tyranny!)
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To: papertyger

papertyger,

by relying on Jesus-the living bread day by day, he wasn’t demanding that we re-enact the Last Supper everyday...He means HE is the bread, even when we’re without earthly bread. HE sustains us—spiritually. To KNOW Jesus personally IS life. He gives us eternal life. He’s the bread that never perishes.

Think about what you would do on a desert island with nobody else around you. No priests, no church, no one. Your days are numbered. Food is running out, there’s hardly fresh water. All you have is a pocket-sized New Testament with Christ promising that He is the Bread of life and that you must eat of it in order to be saved. And you read and read and read about this truth.

What would that mean to you without any “communion” to fall back on? Is it any less relevant now that you’re on a desert island about to face death and the judgment seat of Christ himself?


34 posted on 12/10/2009 11:27:42 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: Mr Rogers
So if you have ever hungered or been thirsty, either you haven’t come to Jesus OR He was using a metaphor.

Unless "hunger and thirst" is the metaphor...

As for ‘born again’ being essential, that is determined by Jesus Christ. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” .... Sounds pretty essential to me.

And

Verily, verily, I say to you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. [54]  Whoever eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
doesn't?
35 posted on 12/10/2009 11:31:48 PM PST by papertyger (Representation without taxation is tyranny!)
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To: papertyger

Okay papertyger,

“hunger and thirst”

Let’s see where else the words “hunger and thirst” are used in the Bible.

do you “HUNGER and THIRST for righteousness?” (Matthew 5:6)
are you “POOR in SPIRIT?” (Matthew 5:3)

Is righteousness actual “food?” No. But we are still to hunger for it.
Does poverty in spirit necessarily mean you live in a 3rd world country? No. But we are still called to be poor.

What are you hungering and thirsting for? CHRIST and the cleansing blood he shed for us on the Cross?
or wafers and liquor?

What would you do if you ran out of wafers and liquor? How will your “hunger and thirst” be satisfied?


36 posted on 12/10/2009 11:38:53 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
To think that we can just superficially confess our sins to a person or be washed by holy water denies the power of the Cross and undermines the immense lengths Christ went through to forgive AND *free us* from sin.

You are the victim of shallow catachesis, not understanding the meaning and power of the sacrements. That you rail at them and demean them shows you haven't experienced the barrenness of "reformation" Christianity.

37 posted on 12/10/2009 11:47:11 PM PST by papertyger (Representation without taxation is tyranny!)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
Think about what you would do on a desert island with nobody else around you.

Why would I think about a far fetched hypothetical designed to do nothing but read a New Testament I've already read hundreds of times?

38 posted on 12/10/2009 11:58:02 PM PST by papertyger (Representation without taxation is tyranny!)
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To: daniel1212

>Though it is only a church law, celibacy shows contempt for Scripture

Now this is just plain biblical ignorance.


39 posted on 12/11/2009 12:01:28 AM PST by Sporaticus
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
Is righteousness actual “food?” No. But we are still to hunger for it.

Precisely my point.

What are you hungering and thirsting for? CHRIST and the cleansing blood he shed for us on the Cross? or wafers and liquor?

Jesus said "do this..." at the last supper. He also said "this is my body," "this is my blood."

I don't obey because I'm hungry and thirsty, I obey because the one who spoke the universe into existense said to. That doing so conveys a grace I never received in all my years as a protestant was icing on the cake...as well as a great motivator!

40 posted on 12/11/2009 12:14:01 AM PST by papertyger (Representation without taxation is tyranny!)
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To: papertyger

*sigh* because you may have read and never grasped it...to even dismiss it as “a New Testament” is proof of that.

without the Spirit of God helping you, the text might as well be Braille. I know plenty of atheists that have read the Bible cover to cover (AND in their original languages!)

God told the prophet Isaiah:

“But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and TREMBLES AT MY WORD.” ~ Isaiah 66:2

(So God will look to those who TREMBLE at his Word.)

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (also from Isaiah)

(God’s WORD will never and can never be irrelevant even though everything else will.)

King David proclaimed “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

(Does the WORD act as a lamp to YOUR feet?)

I’d say “the desert island” is relevant question because people like Paul and John and Augustine experienced Christ most in depth and wrote their most illuminating thoughts while in absolute isolation: no sacraments to partake in, no wafers and wine. Nada.

Do you think you could ever relate to the words of Paul when he said:

“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.!” ~Phillippians 3: 8-11

Do you KNOW Christ?


41 posted on 12/11/2009 12:18:01 AM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
*sigh* because you may have read and never grasped it...

Then by whom do your children cast them out?

to even dismiss it as “a New Testament” is proof of that.

It was your hypothetical, not mine. Why is it okay for you, but "dismissal" for me?

I’d say “the desert island” is relevant question because people like Paul and John and Augustine experienced Christ most in depth and wrote their most illuminating thoughts while in absolute isolation: no sacraments to partake in, no wafers and wine. Nada.

How does an extraordinary circunstance invalidate the ordinary? Are you claiming they had bibles in isolation?

(Does the WORD act as a lamp to YOUR feet?)

Are you using "the Word" as a synonym for scripture? If so, where does the OT reveal Simeon would not taste death before seeing the messiah?

42 posted on 12/11/2009 12:40:59 AM PST by papertyger (Representation without taxation is tyranny!)
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To: papertyger

“Born again” is a metaphor. You are not expected to physically be born again.

“Eat my flesh” is a metaphor. You are not expected to physically eat his flesh.

“Hunger and thirst” are metaphors for desiring God.

After all, the entire passage in John 6 starts “26Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves [feeding of the 5000] and were filled. 27 Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”

In 1 Corinthians, Paul discusses the Eucharist in conjunction with eating food sacrificed to idols.

“15I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? 19What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.”

One the one hand, he says food sacrificed to idols isn’t really significant, in itself - see verse 19-20, also 27. However, those who eat it identify themselves with idolatry, which is to identify themselves with demons.

I don’t see any sign that Paul believed in ‘real presence’ for demons - he specifically denies it. For Paul, it is identifying oneself, before God and man, with either the idol or Christ.

It is a public proclamation of who you follow...”For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

I’ll admit, I’m bewildered that it is even possible to have a conversation like this with an adult. If you read the scripture for teaching, it is plain. If Columbus held up an apple and said, “This is the earth, we will sail around it”, would anyone think Columbus meant the earth was really present in the apple?


43 posted on 12/11/2009 4:54:51 AM PST by Mr Rogers (I loathe the ground he slithers on!)
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To: papertyger; CondoleezzaProtege

“Indeed, we are told five times of the need to eat his flesh and drink his blood, as opposed to “born again” only two or three (i forget which).”

Jesus also said, “26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” - Luke 14

Do you literally hate your family? Do you walk around with a cross on your shoulders? What would make anyone think this is supposed to be taken literally?


44 posted on 12/11/2009 4:58:59 AM PST by Mr Rogers (I loathe the ground he slithers on!)
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To: papertyger; CondoleezzaProtege

“You are the victim of shallow catachesis, not understanding the meaning and power of the sacrements.”

Speaking for myself, I deny they are sacraments - something that imparts the grace of God by itself, apart from faith. I’m a Baptist, but as Peter put it, “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.”

“not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience”

It isn’t the water of baptism that saves, but the grace of God acting thru the faith of the person being baptized!


45 posted on 12/11/2009 5:03:52 AM PST by Mr Rogers (I loathe the ground he slithers on!)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
Well, first, let me just say that I hope you don't think this is some kind of "gotcha!" question, from which there is no escape. You have cherry-picked the terms, leaving only a New Testament to read. There are a host of other "only one thing" scenarios that would not skew things in favor of your own editorial POV, but let's take what you have.

If I were left on a desert island with no chance of leaving it, and all I had to read was a New Testament, of course I would be reading it over and over, for major portions of each day! Why would I not? Do you suppose that I do not read the New (or Old) Testament at all now?

But, as a Catholic, there would be more for me to do. I would first of all find time each day to implore God's mercy, that He would give me the grace to be perfectly sorry for my sins (in other words, sorry for them solely because they offend an all-good, all-holy, all-loving God, and not because of any self-interested fear of punishment for them. I would do that because, absent the ability to obtain forgiveness through the Sacrament of Penance, I know I would have no real chance of salvation otherwise. And I know that my purpose in life is to spend eternity with God in Heaven, and it is not inherently "selfish" to pursue that goal, since it is ultimately only the pursuit of cooperation with God's positive Will. I would, then, hope for the grace to develop a totally pure and selfless relationship with my God, who, apparently, in this scenario, I will ultimately meet unshriven.

Flowing from that grace, or as a result of additional grace that God may condescend to grant to me, I would cultivate a much stronger prayer life than I currently pursue. I would hope, over time, to be able to wrap my arms around a contemplative state of prayer that I could only dream of now, surrounded as I am by the mundane cares and distractions of day-to-day life in the world. To develop such a state of prayer would be a foretaste of Heaven itself, even while imprisoned on this island your scenario places me on.

I would offer my life, and my fate on this island, in reparation for my own sins, the sins of those whom I knew in life, and the ongoing sins of the wider world around me, even those sins I will never directly know about in this life due to my being utterly cut off from them. "The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects" (James 5:16). I would pray that God would so construct me, through His grace, to be worthy of that verse!

So I would hope to submerge my being into the very Will of God, beg forgiveness of my sins, and hope that God would grant me the graces to walk with Him in such a way that I could intercede with Him, along with the very saints and angels in Heaven, for the furtherance of His Kingdom among my fellow men, whom I will never see again.

In other words, I would embrace my trials and death alone on this island as a vocation to become a living holocaust, submerging it into the One True Holocaust which Jesus was for us all. In this, my life on this island would come to a "purpose" far beyond anything I could likely embrace in my current, "normal" circumstances.

And, yes, a continued and ever-deepening reading of the New Testament would be a large part of my life in the scenario you suggest. But it would be a part of a greater whole, certainly. Were I left with nothing but a Tridentine Missal, I could offer that to God and achieve a similar end. For it's all about God's grace, not necessarily what I have available in tangible things. I could do as well without any printed word, provided God might be so inclined to enlighten my mind in some of the other ways I have suggested. Do you not suppose that my memory of Scripture and other pious reading would be enhanced by Him over time?

46 posted on 12/11/2009 7:01:45 AM PST by magisterium
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To: daniel1212
Your use of 1 Timothy 3 is misplaced, when you say "(clergy) who were obviously expected to be married in apostolic times and forward." First of all, your use of "expected to be married" comes across as a virtual command, or at least a qualification for admittance to the clergy. Yet St. paul was clearly celibate and was an Apostle! Further, a historical study of the early Christian communities indicates that, from nearly the beginning, most of the clergy was celibate. Many are explicitly indicated as such, and virtually none are shown to be husbands and fathers in the martyrologies from those times, while many laypeople in the same martyrologies are noted as husbands, wives, fathers and mothers, as their situations warranted.

To use Scripture alone as a guide in this issue is silly, really, since its accounts of early Church practices only spans the timeframe of Saint Paul, who died by the mid-60s AD. That's really just the middle of the second generation of Christianity at most. Certainly, in the first generation or two, it would be expected that a good number of the bishops and priests would be married. The Church was already growing in such a way that the far greater portion of Christians came from among the Gentiles, who had absolutely no prior emphasis on celibacy among males. Unless one were to ordain no one at all who was an adult former pagan, who would be left to ordain? As time went on, and people were raised as Christians from infancy with greater frequency, it was less and less necessary to have the clergy come from the ranks of the married. It still happened, of course, but with less and less frequency, such that, by the 4th Century or so, it was positively rare in the West, and not even that common in the East.

Your understanding of 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 is likelwise faulty. You say this: "At the judgment seat of Christ believers are told that carnal works will be burnt up, (1 Cor. 3:11-15) but they themselves will be saved, so as by fire, which does not convey suffering an indeterminate time in purgatory, but of a man who loses everything but himself is saved, the context here being about rewards."

But, first, understand that the Day in verse 13 is the Judgment Day of God, where the totality of a man's works and life will be laid bare for all to see. Everything about that man's llife will be in the past tense at that point. It's not that he will lose everything, as you say, in some earthly sense. He will need to undergo purification for all of the things he has altready done. The judgment on him is that he will "be saved, but only as through fire" (verse 15). This means that the "judgment" of the man in this scenario St. Paul depicts will, on the one hand, concern the actions of his entire past life, yet will consist of a purification that has yet to happen. That describes the circumstances of Purgatory quite well, without using the word explicitly.

And do not gloss over 2 Maccabees 12 (and by implication, the rest of the Deuteros) so glibly. It was part of the canon of Scripture every bit in good standing from the codification of the 4th and 5th Centuries down to our own day. Largely because of this very part of 2 Maccabees 12, involving a clear reference to Purgatory, a way had to be found to jettison the entire book. This could not be credibly dne without a wider excuse. The excuse came in the form of citing the Hebrew canon only. But how does Jewish authority exercised at the Council of Jamnia, some 60 years after the birth of the Church, and 20 years after the end of Temple sacrifice and the Jewish priesthood, have any mandatory bearing on what the Christian Church decides is canonical Scripture?

After all, that same council specifically denied the Scriptural nature of what would eventually constitute the entire New Testament! If the Christian canon of Scripture was a settled matter for over a thousand years before the so-called Reformation, where was the authority found in the upstarts, who deliberately and radically cut themselves off from continuity with the historical Church, to unilaterally reformulate the canon 14 centuries after its components were written and 1100 years after their nature was determined, to the exclusion of a host of other candidates? Since both Catholics and Protestants have the same New Testament canon, and those books, too, were canonized by 4th and 5th Century Catholic councils, why is that authority thrown aside in attempts to meddle with the Old Testament canon those councils also dealt with?

You would do better to contemplate the fact that all of the historical Churches that have a claim to Apostolic ties (Catholic, Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox) recognize 1 and 2 Maccabees, and have some notion analogous to, or equivalent with, the Catholic concept of Purgatory. A reasonable person might conclude that this notion, then, is part of the Ancient Faith, part of the Deposit of Faith that comes from the very beginnings of Christianity. It might make you want to explore how, and by what authority that connects to the beginning, the heretofore accepted concept of Purgatory was suddenly chucked out the window by certain Christians in the 16th Century! That you assert 2 Maccabees is "is not worthy to be classed with Scripture," being part of the "apocrypha," is your opinion only. That opinion can only piggyback onto other opinions no more than 480 years old, one-fourth of the way back to the Apostolic Era and, thus, utterly removed from the Deposit of Faith.

Finally, you speak of a "revived church." This implies that, for some interval (I would suppose this is on the order of 1200 years, from the time of Constantine or so, no?), there was no legitimate Church teaching the authentic Gospel to the world, until the "Reformers" showed-up in the 1500s. This betrays a great lack of faith in the providential protection of God for the Church He Himself established, precisely to preach the Gospel to the whole world! Does Jesus say that He will be with His Church all days until the end of time in Matthew 28:20, or not? Does He not promise the protection of the Holy Spirit in the revelation and continued teaching of the Truth through the Church in John 16:3, or not? Does St. Paul maintain in 1 Timothy 3:15 that the Church is the "pillar and ground of the Truth," or does he not? Does not all of this put together form a clear indication that God will preserve His Church from error in order to have it fulfill this fundamental aspect of its purpose as a purveyor of the Truth, from the moment of its establishment until the end of time? Is it not a massive breach of faith for anyone to suppose that there was a "break" in the legitimate exercise of this charism for x-hundred years before the "Reformation" got things back on track? Is there real organic continuity with the early Church to even indicate that, in fact, the Reformation did get things back on track, and that, somewhere, this alleged "authentic Gospel" existed through the whole span of the Christian Era?

The heart of the matter of our dispute rests in this question: Did Christ mean what He said in Matthew 28 and does the Holy Spirit preserve the Truth through all time since Pentecost? If God intended these things, then He accomplished them through the agency of the Church He established for those ends. Otherwise, He is not only not omnipotent, He evidently had not the foresight to be able to really guarantee His promises. That's what the Mormons believe! it is not something any actual Christian should believe!

I trust in God, in spite of the acknowledged sinfulness of many of the members of the Church He established. He always said there would be tares among the wheat. But the tares should not scandalize anyone into thinking that the doctrine they have taught since the times of the Apostles is tainted by their sins. The Mystical Body of Christ, which is His Church, is comprised of sinful men, yet its teachings are pure, inspired by God, safeguarded by Him, and will endure until the end of time. You need to ask yourself why you subscribe to a system of belief that, on many points of doctrine, cannot trace itself back more than 1/4 of the way to the Deposit of Faith Christ and the Apostles left us. Many of your teachings appear out of nowhere in the 16th Century or later. "Sola Scriptura" is but one of them.

47 posted on 12/11/2009 8:26:46 AM PST by magisterium
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To: papertyger
A fair question, as admittedly it sounds as if some doctrines are not essential, but what it refers to are those which are manifest in the Scriptures as essential to salvation, which includes the nature of God and Christ and what He did, as articulated in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, versus Gnostic, Arian, Sabellianism, as well as the means of salvation. (Gal. 1:6-9) Rome herself recognizes a distinction between dogma, and doctrines which are not salvifically essential, and very little of the Bible has been officially defined, nor has an infallible list of all that has been infallibly defined been provided. However, those who deny that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh are not of God (1 Jn. 4:2), and as Christ is declared to be God manifest in the flesh, (Jn. 1:1,14; and the sinless savior, (1Pt. 2:22-24), thus Arians are not saved. Likewise, Scripture plainly declares that righteousness is imputed by faith, albeit this being a faith that follows Christ - overall practicing righteousness in response - thus those who trust in the merit of their works, or the power of their church, are not saved. We see that the gospel which resulted in regeneration preached these truths, while issues such as the time of the rapture, musical instruments or finer details of theology may allow some degree of disagreement. The point of the post was, that even in it weakened state - due to compromise of the faith via yielding to the culture, and not be any fault of the faith - evangelicals consistently evidence a greater degree of fruits of regeneration and doctrinal unity in basic tenets the faith than than their R.C. counterparts. This is more critical for Catholics, as they preach a church which they tell evangelicals they must join, while the latter preach a faith which requires Biblical warrant, not faith in an infallible church.

Catholics broke with their Church's teachings more than most other groups, with just six out of 10 Catholics affirming that God is "a person with whom people can have a relationship", and three in 10 describing God as an "impersonal force." 7.5The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.


48 posted on 12/11/2009 10:11:28 AM PST by daniel1212 (Hear the word of the gospel, and believe", (Acts 15:7) + flee from those who hold another as supreme)
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To: Sporaticus

>Though it is only a church law, celibacy shows contempt for Scripture

>>Now this is just plain biblical ignorance.<<

Not very convincing.

Please justify requiring all bishops/elders to have the gift of celibacy when, if anything, the Bible expects (and may even require) them to be married.

(1 Cor 7:7) “For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.”

A bishop then must be...”One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; {5} (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)” (1 Tim 3:2a,4-5)

“If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.” (Titus 1:6)

Whether these specific instructions mandate marriage is debatable, but whether celibacy can be mandated for this entire class of clergy is not, but such is the result of autocratic presumption to authority over Scripture, an error which the Pharisees were also guilty of.


49 posted on 12/11/2009 10:42:52 AM PST by daniel1212 (Hear the word of the gospel, and believe", (Acts 15:7) + flee from those who hold another as supreme)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

“the basis for our beliefs is not tradition or experience or ecclesiastical dictate, it is the written Scriptures alone”

That is the ultimate objective authority, yet Sola Scriptura does not hold that miracles, history, and reason play no part is discerning what Scripture means, nor that God cannot “speak” to souls today (esp. during the offering:), but that all such is subject to the Bible as in determining its veracity.


50 posted on 12/11/2009 10:51:09 AM PST by daniel1212 (Hear the word of the gospel, and believe", (Acts 15:7) + flee from those who hold another as supreme)
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