Skip to comments.Pope says uniting Christianity requires conversion
Posted on 01/18/2012 3:19:15 PM PST by NYer
.- Pope Benedict XVI said today that achieving Christian unity requires more than cordiality and cooperation and that it must be accompanied by interior conversion.
Faith in Christ and interior conversion, both individual and communal, must constantly accompany our prayer for Christian unity, said the Pope to over 8,000 pilgrims gathered in the Vaticans Paul VI Audience Hall on Jan. 18.
The Popes comments mark the start of the 2012 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity that runs until Jan. 25. It will be observed by over 300 Christian churches and ecclesial communities around the globe.
The Pope asked for the Lord in a particular way to strengthen the faith of all Christians, to change our hearts and to enable us to bear united witness to the Gospel.
In this way, he said, they will contribute to the new evangelization and respond ever more fully to the spiritual hunger of the men and women of our time.
The Pope explained that the concept of a week of prayer for Christian unity was initiated in 1908 by Paul Wattson, an Episcopalian minister from Maryland. One year later, he became a Catholic and was subsequently ordained to the priesthood.
Pope Benedict recalled how the initiative was supported by his predecessors Pope St. Pius X and Pope Benedict XV. It was then developed and perfected in the 1930s by the Frenchman Abbé Paul Couturier, who promoted prayer for the unity of the Church as Christ wishes and according to the means he wills.
The mandate for the week of prayer, the Pope underscored, comes from the wish of Christ himself at the Last Supper that they may all be one. He observed that this mission was given a particular impetus by the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) but added that the unity we strive for cannot result merely from our own efforts. Rather, it is a gift we receive and must constantly invoke from on high.
The theme for 2012 Week of Prayer All shall be changed by the victory of Jesus Christ our Lord was crafted by the Polish Ecumenical Council. Pope Benedict said it reflects their own experience as a nation, which stayed faithful to Christ in the midst of trials and upheavals, including years of occupation by the Nazis and later the Communists.
The Pope tied the victory the Polish people experienced over their oppressors to overcoming the disunity that marks Christians.
He said that the unity for which we pray requires inner conversion, both shared and individual, and it cannot be limited to cordiality and cooperation. Instead, Christians must accept all the elements of unity which God has conserved for us.
Ecumenism, the Pope stated, is not an optional extra for Catholics but is the responsibility of the entire Church and of all the baptized. Christians, he said, must make praying for unity an integral part of their prayer life, especially when people from different traditions come together to work for victory in Christ over sin, evil, injustice and the violation of human dignity.
Pope Benedict then touched on the lack of unity in the Christian community, which he said hinders the effective announcement of the Gospel and endangers our credibility. Evangelizing formerly Christian countries and spreading the Gospel to new places will be more fruitful if all Christians together announce the truth of the Gospel and Jesus Christ, and give a joint response to the spiritual thirst of our times, he explained.
The Pope concluded his comments with the hope that this years Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will lead to increased shared witness, solidarity and collaboration among Christians, in expectation of that glorious day when together we will all be able to celebrate the Sacraments and profess the faith transmitted by the Apostles.
The general audience finished with Pope Benedict addressing pilgrims in various languages, including greeting a group of men and women from the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, before leading the crowd in the Our Father and imparting his apostolic blessing.
"I am no real Calvinist, but the 5 solas were intended to stand all together, that much should be clear to any honest man."Equally clear to "any honest man" is the fact that the fantasy of "Scripture Alone" destroys all the other "Solas" since everyone from Benny Hinn to David Koresh is properly interpreting Scriptures for themselves and no one has the authority to say which interpretation is correct. Even the crowd who invented "essential and nonessential" doctrine as a smokescreen to try and hide the lack of Holy Spirit driven unity among Protestant and Protestant derived non-Catholic Christians have no authority, just a widely adopted catch phrase.
The fallacy of "Scripture Alone" means that each individual adopts the interpretation whichever of the tens of thousands of different Protestant and Protestant derived groups they prefer says is the proper interpretation or just whips up their own to suit their own aganda.
The fallacy of "Scripture Alone" means that each individual from those who belive ordaining queers is Biblical to the Amish on their farms to the Christian Identity crowd out in Elohim City, Ok. define Christ and 'through Christ' to fit their own preconceptions and agenda.
The fallacy of "Scripture Alone" means that each individual defines Glory to God Alone as anything from not even admitting Christ is the Son of God, God from God, but just a man God filled with the Holy Spirit as needed, to calling taking an oath on the Bible prior to testifying in a Court of Law worshiping something other than God.
The fallacy of "Scripture Alone" was even first procalimed only after throwing out the Christian canon as a way to avoid invonvienent Truths.
And most importantly, the fallacy of "Scripture Alone" means that each individual defines Grace Alone to mean anything from total and absolute predestination with no such thing as free will to the latest incarnation of Universalism that preaches everyone is eventually Saved by Christ and will be in heaven.
Christ did not come as an invisible God in a sparkling cloud or as a warm feeling. Jesus Christ came as God physically incarnate in man, God from God, and He left us in the hands of the equally physical and real Apostles, not in the hands of translators, chemical imbalances that can taint our thoughts, or an invisible herd guided by self-appointed shepherds. His Church, the Church that Christ Himself founded and entrusted to His Apostles, is the The One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
Even if someone can ingore the tens of thousands of fragments Protestantism has shattered into as proof the Holy Spirit is not the source of the "Scripture Alone" fantasy, the simple fact is that the fantasy of "Scripture Alone" does not exist. Even the most ardent advocates of the fantasy of "Scripture Alone" defend it by saying it is not "Solo" Scriptura to avoid admitting that they are in fact relying on their own preferred traditions in addition to the Scripture. Whether that tradition comes from a horny heretic priest who could not accept Grace and surrender to Christ, an emerging mega church Universalist who cannot accept that those who refuse Christ are damned, or just from the mind of the individual who mixes up their own personal tradition stew of whatever strikes their fancy, it's still tradition in addition to Scripture.
Sorry, but like it or not "Scripture Alone" taints everything about Protestant and Protestant derived doctrine just as sure as putting a rotting corpse in a well taints all of the water. Shoving the mortal corpses of human reason, human frailty, human desires, and fallible human personal interpretation, into the Living Water does the same thing, it taints all of the Truth that flows from Christ through the Holy Spirit to us. That's exactly why Christ left His Apostles in charge of His Church and why we need to have shepherds with a direct link back to the Apostles.
Jesus Christ built His Church on His Apostles who He entrusted to care for His Church until His return. Anyone who believes the fantasy of "Scripture Alone" must first accept that Jesus Christ lied when He said the Gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church, and in accepting that Christ lied, deny the deity of Christ.
Yet another lame attempt to deny the Word of God is shot down in flames by the simple and clear teaching of Scripture.
I have had healing by invoking Saints prays thru Jesus Christ. I would ask Jesus and The Saints to pray for special intentions.
I also have been healed by invoking Jesus's name with or without Saintly prayers( Sprained ankle instaneous and others thru-out my life.). We have an awesome God.
Praise Jesus and as the Angel declared from the Holy Spirit "Hail Mary!" All Glory To God!
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
I have always a creed type person, Now I am not so sure. I see some issues with, "I believe in one Holy Christian (catholic) Apostolic church."
"I believe in one Holy God Grace Filled Christian Church" may now be my new creed and I am free to believe it!
The other 11 or 12 apostles were focused on Israel not the church. This includes Peter.
www.jonathankleck.com is neat
I also sometimes have a problem with prayer chains. Do some people think the more people who pray the more God will hear? Sounds like prayer chains could become an idol.
Yet another lame attempt to deny the Word of God is shot down in flames by the simple and clear teaching of Scripture
And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me. Isaiah 45:20-22
But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die. Ezekiel 18:23-25
If I tell a righteous person that they will surely live, but then they trust in their righteousness and do evil, none of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered; they will die for the evil they have done. Ezekiel 33:12-14
The Lutherans are close, very close, and in fact still speak of one holy, catholic & apostolic Church in their invocations. I do not believe that for at least the more learned among them, they think of themselves as being the "only" Catholics that are, or ever were particularly. You may ask of them, look into their own confessions of faith if you wish. It could be beneficial, even soothing to you at this juncture, for it could calm one, after seeing just how close they are!
There are bad examples that can be shown among various Protestant & non-denominational Christians yes, but that overlooks all the quiet ones whom have labored well and faithfully as pastors. You would be surprised at just how sound the teachings can be in many settings. On the other hand we can point to some pretty bad goings on in recent years among some cliches of Catholic priests, and some foul faggotry in some of the Seminaries -- but must we? bleech. It's best if we are to do that, to look for what is good and right among the priesthood too, or it wouldn't be completely honest.
Throw out canonical texts? Not a chance. The same books were retained, in the end, once we get past Luther's incomplete works, and the Reformation had chance to ripen a bit, with others bringing assistance, ending with an accepted "bible". It was in reaction to the reformers that the Apocrypha was added at around that time by the Roman Catholics.
The "5 solas" arose in continuation of the response to Rome's corruption of the time (which has in many ways since been internally corrected). It went beyond the selling of indulgences. So much for the "never changing" of Rome, eh? Yeah, someone can come along and split hairs if they wish, for indulgences are still available(?) just no longer sold openly out of a cart on the street, with a "local" bishop getting a cut.
Tens of thousands? READ THIS (from a Catholic source) http://www.pugiofidei.com/unsound.htm Each individual? You'll not hear that coming from among the churched. That's just the way it blows some Catholic skirts up to define it, so that then they may bash it, without understanding it, and get even with the Reformers of old, for bringing much needed correction to the church which has it's headquarters in Rome. Still smarting over that one are we? Well, the Roman prelates of previous centuries leading up to that time, were just as much to blame for the whole shooting match, as anyone else.
It's fairly plain that the increasing attention and effort to defeat the principle that sound doctrine simply must have firm basis in scripture, is so that Rome can be free to reassert their own present current version of Tradition which is much in competition to it. The early patristic fathers employed the very principle that scripture must be first and foremost. At first, for a while at least, a century, century and half maybe two, the idea held and was put to effective use,for what else did they have to rely upon? Then some things sort-of drifted off. A lot can happen in 5 hundred years time.
"Tradition" at those times and places which depart from the Word, isn't all that much better than selectively focusing either too closely upon only single portions of scripture, or worse yet, openly defying what is clearly written. Tradition, can do a bit of both, though cover stories for doing so have long been concocted, which seem solid until one pokes at them a bit, after which the starch comes out of it. There's not enough real "sticks" to hold some things up after the cloth collapses, like papal supremacy for starters. Look back into how the other churches reacted to Rome when Rome first began to really assert itself in that fashion. The earliest record does not show anything like everyone, everywhere, all at once agreeing, "hey, Rome should be the undisputed head over everything, and it's bishop be infallible too!" Neither (and this is real important) does the early record show that the bishop of Rome should be "the pope" to which all other churches which were first created by the Apostles must submit, much less is here any mention of the idea of infallibility being the conditional aspect of a bishop of Rome. Those ideas were simply NOT in evidence or effect from the very beginning, like the Tradition loves to lay claim for. It's smoke and mirrors, with great subtlety employed to keep the 'ol smoke blowing in people's faces and eyes.
I'd just as soon not go to the effort to now show you what I mean by this, but feel free to dig through my comments of the last week or two, and you'll find the links.
Your repetition of the straw man of "denying the divinity of Christ" is wearing thin.
Perhaps you should run that reasoning by a trusted theologian of your own choosing, and see if that really does work well as a one-size-fits all declarative statement aimed at Christians whom do not look first to Rome for their own spiritual guidance. There is such a thing as freedom of conscience recognized and taught at many levels throughout Catholicism.
Rome recognizes there are actual Christians outside of their own immediate spheres of influence.
Haven't you ever read Vatican II? If so, I suggest you go read again and find out what I'm talking about concerning this point, lest you be found to be an enemy of your own church by opposing it's own teachings of faith.
I personally may be a far distant cousin spiritually or at least religiously, but related we still are. Like the saying goes, one can't much choose their own relatives.
If that makes you feel bad, imagine how I must feel looking at you.
Not Catholic, but Rome, right?
Please, every single Protestent and Protestant derived religion even if it contains only a single person always makes the only point they can make no matter how they try to dress it up or hide it. The sole point of everything that grew out Protestantism is that each individual is their own Holy Spirit and is personally an infalliable interpreter or Scripture thereby deifying themselves here and now. That's exactly why those who ordain queers, marry queers one to another, approve of abortion, and so on have just as much claim to interpreting Scripture correctly as anyone who disagrees with them based on another inerpretation of Scripture.
When individuals interpret Scripture for themselves they have already abandoned what Christ taught. Those who just accept it because it's popular, the same thing the herd accepts, or what their parents taught them, all have one thing in common. They all realize that anything other than personal interpretation would mean they would have to surrender to Christ rather than worshiping, The Most High Self. Not only that, but they'd have to take up their cross and follow Christ, not play games with denials, distractions, and elaborate pretenses like "prophecy studies" that actively hide prophecy Christ made and in doing so hide a portion of the proof that Christ is who He said He was; the Only begotten Son of God, God from God, incarnate in the flesh of man and fully man as well as fully God to be our Savior.
But, deny the Holy Spirit, deny Scripture and pretend to be interpreting it, whatever. No one around here can pretend they were not told, given plenty of Scripture, and plenty of references. They can only say that their personal interpretation doesn't agree with two thousand years of Christian teaching that is identical to what Christ and the Apostles taught. Since they choose to remain heretics, so be it.
Titus 3:9 but avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law. For they are unprofitable and vain.
Titus 3:10 A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid:
Titus 3:11 Knowing that he, that is such an one, is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned by his own judgment.
Those who continue to deny the deity of Christ can fool themselves however they like, but they should get used to the idea of hearing, "I never knew you" from the very Jesus Christ they deny is God.
But I do perhaps (depending upon whom I am speaking with) disagree with what the proper realization of the true identity and composition of that Church which the gates of hell shall not prevail against is.
You also should consult Vatican II if you think there be no Christians outside of those whom are in full fellowship and agreement, with the church of Rome.
Read it and weep, or read it and rejoice. Your choice.
841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.” http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P29.HTM
Paul (1 Tim. 2:5), For there is one God, and ONE MEDIATOR also between God and men.
Titus 1:9: An elder must hold fast the faithful word which is inaccordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort insound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
Otherwise, yeah, I've seen you post that same garbage to other posters here. It's like serial molestation.
Convert to Rome, swim the Tiber or go to Hell. Some things never change, even though your church most certainly takes a different approach. At least since Vatican II. Is that why it is so despised by so many?
You really don't authoritatively speak for your church in these matters. Nor do you speak for Christ either. You might want to look up just where that "I never knew you" quote comes from and review it for context, before you find your own self hearing it.
Other than possible seeing you some time fully be on the wrong side of that particular sort of conversation,
I would like to hold your own words. For that other, darker hearing, it would be ok with me if you were able to escape it...
You've given me the convert to your own church or be damned speech, twice now. By one of the very scripture you quote and give citation for, you should not post to my on self any further, lest you be going against the Word, thus risk "denying the divinity of Christ" by token of the same line of reasoning which you have been here of late subjecting a growing multitude to.
I'll most certainly look forward to not hearing from you again. Meanwhile, when I'm commenting or conversing with some other who is more inclined to actually engage in some sort of exchange, please feel free to take your condemnation elsewhere. Or go against Titus, and risk your own neck.
Has nothing to do with a local church...Has everything to do with what the scriptures actually say...
I don't know how you guys miss so much of scripture...
Gal 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
Gal 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
Gal 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
This was a new revelation...
The book of Acts is a book of transition...The Apostles and disciples started out going into the church while still being subject to the law...Membership in the church was offered to Jews, only...
The inclusion of Gentiles came to Peter later...Even then Peter didn't know any thing about it until it was revealed to Paul and then the others that Gentiles were given the opportunity to join the church as adopted members...
It wasn't til later in Acts spoken of in Romans 3 that works of the law were not only not required form membership in the church but they were rejected...
Romans 3 is the beginning of the Gospel of the Grace of God that revealed to Paul and which Paul taught in Galatians and Ephesians...
There was no Gospel of the Grace of God taught by Jesus...That was a new revelation to Paul along with the adoption of the Gentile church...
If you put down your catechism and actually read what the scriptures say to you, you will see this stuff...
The Gospel of Grace is not different or separate from the Gospel of the Kingdom. There is only one Gospel of Jesus, which is the same for all.
Absolutely not...Jesus did not preach a Gospel of Grace a single time while he roamed the earth...
There are two kingdoms...A physical kingdom and a spiritual kingdom...
The people Jesus preached to were looking for a physical kingdom with a physical Messiah sitting on a throne...One that they could walk up to and speak to, and shake his hand...
That didn't happen...We are living in the spiritual kingdom where the kingdom is inside of us...Nothing physical...
Rom 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
All you have proven is that CS Lewis isn't worth spending 10 seconds listening to...You quote Lewis when he contradicts God???
You do not get a scintilla of grace by doing good works regardless of what you or Lewis or any bible rejecter claims...
If you want to know what God says, you need to get a bible that includes the book of Ephesians...and Romans...
I hope you don't cook the same way you read the bible...