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Papal Infallibility: A Symbolic, Yet Problematic, Term
Homiletic & Pastoral Review ^ | March 30, 2012 | REV. JOHN T. FORD CSC

Posted on 04/29/2012 3:06:06 PM PDT by NYer

Although papal infallibility is commonly found in popular conversation, how well the term is understood is another matter.

“Christ giving Peter the keys of the kingdom” by Pietro Perugino

As Danny Garland, Jr., pointed out in his recent article on “The Development of the Dogma of Papal Infallibility,” the term “papal infallibility” has a centuries-old history that stretches from Peter John Olivi, in the thirteenth century, through John Henry Newman, in the nineteenth century, and down to the present. 1

In addition to being a well-known term with a lengthy history, “papal infallibility” is also highly symbolic: for Roman Catholics, it has often been a badge of self-identity—a way of distinguishing themselves from Anglicans, Orthodox and Protestants. Simultaneously, the pope’s infallibility has been a counter-symbol to those Christians who do not recognize the authority of the Bishop of Rome. Indeed, for many non-Catholic Christians, the term symbolizes everything that is wrong with Roman Catholicism.

Although papal infallibility is commonly found in popular conversation, how well the term is understood is another matter. One of the most entertaining discussions of the issue is found in a pub-scene in James Joyce’s Dubliners, where a group is stoutly discussing and strenuously defending the infallible teaching of the pope. In Joyce’s story, Mr. Cunningham summarized the doctrine with Hibernian exuberance: ‘But the astonishing thing is this: Not one of them (the popes), not the biggest drunkard, not the most . . . out-and-out ruffian, not one of them ever preached ex cathedra a word of false doctrine. Now isn’t that an astonishing thing?” 2

Cunningham went on to claim that one of the two prelates who voted against Pastor Aeternus at the Council was a German Cardinal, by the name of Dowling—presumably meaning Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger (1799-1890), a German priest-professor at the University of Munich, who was not at Vatican I, but was excommunicated in 1871 for refusing to accept its teachings about infallibility. 3 Although Cunningham and companions can be credited for knowing the essentials of the doctrine, their theological method makes historians and theologians wince—at least if they know anything concerning the history and teaching of the First Vatican Council (1869-1870) about “infallibility.” As John Tracy Ellis once remarked: “It is doubtful that any event in the history of the modern Church ever gave rise to a greater flow of misinformation than the [First] Vatican Council.” 4

Unfortunately, Ellis was all too right. First of all, contrary to popular belief, Vatican I did not really define “infallibility,” at least, not in the sense of stating precisely what infallibility is. Rather, the Council described how infallibility is operative. What the Council actually did was to specify the conditions required for pope to exercise this authority of infallibility. He must: (1) Rely on the divine assistance promised to Peter; (2) Act as pastor and teacher of all Christians; and, (3) Invoke his supreme apostolic authority. In addition, the Council limited the type of teachings that can be taught infallibly to matters of faith and morals, held by the whole Church. Only if all these conditions are fulfilled, does the pope “enjoy” the infallibility given by Christ to the Church. Then, and only then, can such papal definitions be deemed “irreformable.” 5

Although the First Vatican Council did not give a precise definition of the nature of infallibility, its operative description suggests that the Council understood it to be an endowment or charism given by Christ to the Church, which can only be exercised by the pope under specific conditions. A charism ensures that the teaching of the pope, in a particular instance, is immune from error. In describing this divinely given gift of infallibility, the Council’s list of conditions serves a double purpose. First, the list specifies the conditions which must be fulfilled (i.e., if a pope truly wants to mandate a particular doctrine by using the charism of infallibility). Secondly, the list of conditions enables Christians to recognize when a particular teaching is being infallibly taught.

The fact that the vast majority of Church teachings are not taught under this charism does not mean that such teachings are unimportant. They do not have the same importance as teachings deemed infallible, which have a greater binding force, precisely because they are closely connected with the essentials of revelation. 6 Moreover, while teaching the Gospel is a daily responsibility of the Church, only rarely has the Church invoked infallibility in fulfilling its teaching mission. In fact, since Vatican I’s declaration on infallibility in 1870, there is only one clear-cut instance where a pope has taught infallibly: Pope Pius XII’s 1950 proclamation of Our Lady’s assumption. 7

Meaning of Infallibilitas
What is absolutely crucial to any discussion about “infallibility”—but all too often overlooked—is what the term actually means. In English, “infallibility” has simply been taken from the Latin, infallibilitas, without specifying its meaning. 8 As a result, many people use the term in a rather elastic sense—often meaning “immunity from error” or “inability of making fundamental mistakes in religious matters.” While such casual explanations may suffice for popular understandings, they have the potential for creating misunderstandings, among Catholics and other Christians.

In contrast, German-speaking theologians have tried to translate the term. The most common translation has been Unfehlbarkeit—“inability of erring.” However, this term is not completely satisfactory, since it can have a pejorative connotation. Unfehlbar can describe a person who thinks that he is incapable of making mistakes, which is obviously not the case here. Accordingly, unfehlbar can make the not-too-subtle suggestion that it is humanly impossible for anyone, including the pope, to claim to exercise “infallibility.” Such a dismissive connotation underpinned Hans Küng’s attack on “infallibility” on the centennial of Vatican I in 1970. 9

Some German-speaking theologians, such as Hans Urs von Balthasar, have opted for other understandings of infallibilitas, such as Letzverbindlichkeit, implying that a definitive response can be given to a specific doctrinal question. He states:

Heinrich Fries’ suggestion of Verbindlichkeit (binding power), which “at the highest level can become an ultimate binding power” (Letzverbindlichkeit) seems to me certainly worth considering. 10

The merit of interpreting infallibility as “ultimate binding power” or “judicial finality” is that a doctrinal decision pronounced under infallibility is final—at least, here and now, for this specific question, unless, and until, new questions are raised.

The understanding of “infallibility” as “judicial finality” has sometimes been popularized in American catechetics, comparing doctrinal declarations to decisions of the Supreme Court: whose decisions are judicially final as there is no higher court to which an appeal can be made. So, too, decisions under infallibility are ecclesially final, as a pope, or an ecumenical council, teaching with infallibility, has the definitive word about the specific doctrinal matter under discussion, with no further appeal possible. Nonetheless, change is possible in the future, that is, a new legal question may arise, resulting in the Supreme Court modifying a previous decision. Similarly, a new doctrinal question may be posed, resulting in a new doctrinal decision—not one contradicting the previous teaching, but one amplifying and developing it.11

In other words, just as “judicial finality” does not preclude the possibility of the Supreme Court modifying a previous Supreme Court decision, infallibility does not exclude the possibility that a later pope, or later council, might amplify and develop it further, and in that sense, change the doctrinal decisions of their predecessors. In this respect, the answer to one doctrinal question sets the stage for further questions, and for further doctrinal decisions in the future. For example, the responses of the ecumenical councils of the early church to a series of Trinitarian and Christological controversies may be seen as instances of this continual dynamic of definitive decisions, followed by new doctrinal developments and consequent clarifications. 12

Papal Infallibility
While papal infallibility is routinely used, not only in common conversation, but also among theologians, it should be emphasized that the First Vatican Council did not use the term. In fact, Vatican I deliberately changed the heading of the fourth chapter of Pastor Aeternus. The original draft read: “the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff,” which was changed to: “the infallible magisterium of the Roman Pontiff.” The importance of this terminological shift is two-fold. First, it avoided the implication that the pope possesses infallibility in such a personal way that all his statements come under infallibility. While Catholics generally take this for granted today, at the time of the First Vatican Council, there were people who felt that any and every doctrinal statement by the pope was a matter of infallibility. The English theologian, W. G. Ward (1812-1882), for example, was famously reported as desiring a daily exercise of infallibility by the pope: “I should like a new Papal Bull every morning with my Times at breakfast.” 13

Secondly, the reason for preferring the term “infallible magisterium” is that infallibility can be exercised not only by the pope, but also by the college of bishops in union with him; as the Second Vatican Council taught:

Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held. 14

Accordingly, just as Vatican I specified a list of conditions that the pope must follow in order to exercise the Church’s “infallible magisterium,” Vatican II indicated the conditions that the bishops must follow if their teaching is to be considered a collegial exercise of the Church’s “infallible magisterium.”

Infallible Statements
Another term, routinely used in discussions about infallibility, is the expression: “infallible statements.” Again, one must emphasize that this term was not used by Vatican I; rather, the Council used the term “irreformable definitions.” Many commentators on infallibility have ignored the difference, or have even claimed that the two expressions are equivalent. However, in addition to the need to respect the Church’s official terminology, a casual mixing of terms entails a number of philosophical and theological difficulties. For example, to speak of “infallible statements” suggests that such statements are absolute. In contrast, most philosophers insist that all statements are historically and culturally conditioned—expressions delimited by a particular time and place, and so not absolute, but relative. Similarly, many theologians today do not want to speak of “infallible statements” in order to avoid the doctrinal equivalent of “biblical literalism”: if God did not dictate the Bible word for word, why should one suggest that God dictates doctrinal decisions word for word?

Using terms, like “infallible statements” or “infallible teaching,” risks making the doctrine of infallibility both philosophically, and theologically, indefensible. It becomes an easy target for rejection. In effect, defenders of infallible statements, with the best of intentions, can inadvertently become the doctrine’s enemies, just as defenders of biblical literalism can unwittingly destroy the credibility of the Bible. In contrast, the expression “irreformable definitions” harmonizes readily with interpreting infallibility as “judicial finality” or “ultimate binding power” (Leztverbindlichkeit), as proposed by Hans Urs von Balthazar. 15 Key to this interpretation, however, is the meaning of “irreformable definitions”—which, at first glance, would seem to have the same meaning as “infallible statements” and, therefore, sharing the same philosophical and theological problems.

Why did the First Vatican Council use the term “irreformable definitions”? Apparently, the Council used this term as a way of rejecting Gallicanism—the seventeenth century doctrinal claim that all papal decisions are subject to the approval of local churches. According to the its proponents, no Vatican ecclesiastical decision could be considered authoritatively final unless, and until, it received the official approval of the Church in France. When Pastor Aeternus is read in the context of Gallicanism—an ecclesiological position well-known to the participants at Vatican I, though not so familiar today—the Council is effectively stating that definitions enunciated by the pope, when exercising infallibility, are not subject to any further approval or appeal. 16 In sum, “irreformable definitions” are not definitions that are philosophically “immutable” or theologically “unchangeable,” but decisions that are “judicially final.”

Lessons from History
The axiom that: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” has been repeatedly exemplified in the numerous discussions about infallibility in the half-century since Vatican II. There is not only a vast amount of material on the teaching of the two Vatican Councils about infallibility, but, unfortunately, many writers on infallibility have discussed what they presume the Church teaches, rather than carefully examining what the Church actually taught. 17 Sadly, there is a great deal that has been written about infallibility showing little or no familiarity with, much less critical analysis of, the texts of the two Vatican councils. Surprising as it may seem, some commentators have proposed interpretations about infallibility without analyzing the conciliar texts, much less studying the history of the Councils.

This failure to do the essential historical-theological homework means that many discussions of infallibility are like the conversation in Dubliners—eloquent and entertaining but exaggerated and often erroneous—leading some people to find “infallible statements” everywhere, while leading others to reject “infallibility” out of hand. Neither an outright denial of infallibility, nor an exaggerated extension of it to all church teachings, really serves anyone well. In effect, the many misconceptions about infallibility effectively distort the Church’s teaching, confuse believers, repel prospective converts, and create unnecessary ecumenical difficulties. 18

Pastoral Suggestions
Admittedly, changing terminology is always a difficult task. Like overcoming an addiction, one keeps falling back into accustomed habits of speech. Yet “papal infallibility” is one of those theological terms that has been misinterpreted so often that it might well be worth the effort to replace it with the terminology that Vatican I actually used: “the infallible magisterium of the pope.” Admittedly, this substitution requires a few more words, and people might be puzzled by the seemingly new terminology, but that reaction might be beneficial. This historical version might succeed in drawing people’s attention to what the two Vatican Councils actually taught, rather than what many people presume the Councils taught.

In addition, terms like “infallible statements” and “infallible teaching” might well be replaced with terms like “irreformable definitions” or “teachings of the Church’s infallible magisterium.” Again, such substitutions involve a few more words, but their use might prompt people to reflect on what the Church’s teaching really is. Last but not least, in explaining the doctrine of infallibility, it would seem not only appropriate, but extremely beneficial to use the short and succinct description of infallibility found in the Glossary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “The gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church whereby the pastors of the Church, the pope and bishops in union with him, can definitively proclaim a doctrine of faith or morals for the belief of the faithful.” 19

  • Danny Garland, Jr., “The Development of the Dogma of Papal Infallibility,” Homiletic and Pastoral Review 111/9 (June/July, 2011): 48-54, at 50; hereafter cited: Garland, HPR 111/9.
  • James Joyce, Dubliners (New York: Penguin Books, 1967), 168.
  • Dubliners, 169-170. For a comparison of the views of Döllinger and Newman on infallibility, see Wolfgang Klausnitzer, Päpstliche Unfehlbarkeit bei Newman und Döllinger: Ein historisch‑systematischer Vergleich, Innsbrucker theologische Studien 6 (Innsbruck‑Vienna‑Munich: Tyrolia, 1980).
  • John Tracy Ellis, “The Church Faces the Modern World: The First Vatican Council,” in The General Council, edited by William McDonald (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1962), 113‑145, at 135.
  • The First Vatican Council described conditions for papal infallibility in Pastor Aeternus, in Denzinger-Schönmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum §3073-3075 at: http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/1957,_denziger,_enchiridion_symbolorum lt.pdf For English translation: http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/papae1.htm: “Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God our savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion and for the salvation of the christian people, with the approval of the Sacred Council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra , that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals (mores) to be held (tenenda) by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy (pollere) in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.”
  • Although the prelates at Vatican I acknowledged that infallibility had been previously exercised by various popes, the Council did not provide a list of such teachings; accordingly, theologians differ about which papal decisions prior to Vatican I should be considered exercises of infallibility; for example, theologians disagree whether Unam Sanctam (1302) of Pope Boniface VIII should be considered an exercise of infallibility or not.
  • Although some theologians in the past considered canonizations an exercise of infallibility (e.g., Francis Kieda, “Infallibility of the Pope in His Decree of Canonization,” The Jurist 6 (1946): 401‑415), few do so today; this view in no way diminishes the importance of canonizations, but it does emphasize that the exercise of infallibility is limited to essential matters of Christian faith.
  • In fact, many theological terms in English have a Latin background: revelation, Trinity, magisterium, etc., however, if the meanings of revelation and Trinity are clear, some Latin terms, such as magisterium, have a spectrum of meanings in English.
  • Hans Küng, Infallible? An Inquiry, translated by Edward Quinn (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1971); unfortunately, the English translation did not always capture all the nuances of the German original. Among the numerous critiques of Küng’s Infallible?, see: Walter Brandmüller, “Hans Küng and Church History, Some Criti­cal Observations on ‘Infallible? An Inquiry’,” Homiletic and Pastoral Review 72 (1972): 10‑24.
  • Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Office of Peter and the Structure of the Church, translated by Andrée Emery (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1986), 221-222, cited by Garland, HPR 111/9: 52; the theological problem of translating infallibilitas into German is an often over-looked factor in the “infallibility debate” initiated by Hans Küng in 1970.
  • Like every comparison, this one has limitations; for example, Supreme Court decisions may effectively revoke laws (e.g., laws that formerly permitted slavery); in contrast, a new dogmatic decision can not contradict previous decisions, although it may significantly reinterpret previous doctrinal decisions.
  • John Henry Newman discussed the relationship between doctrinal continuity and change in his seminal work, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (18461; 18783); for a comparative study of the differences between the first and third editions of Newman’s Essay, see: Gerard H. McCarren, “Development of Doctrine” in The Cambridge Companion to John Henry Newman, edited by Ian Ker and Terrence Merrigan (Cambridge University Press, 2010), 118-136.
  • Wilfrid Ward, Life of Cardinal Newman 2:213 (available at: http://www.newmanreader.org/biography/ward/volume2/chapter27.html).
  • Lumen Gentium § 25 http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html .
  • Again, see Garland’s citation of von Balthasar, HPR 111/9: 52.
  • For a detailed study of the Gallican background of the First Vatican Council, see Richard F. Costigan, The Consensus of the Church and Papal Infallibility: A Study in the Background of Vatican I (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2005).
  • See the now-dated survey of John T. Ford, “Infallibility: A Review of Recent Studies,” Theological Studies 40/2 (June, 1979): 273‑305.
  • See John T. Ford, “Differences about infallibility . . . too significant to be brushed aside as inconsequential,” in Church and Theology: Essays in Memory of Carl J. Peter, edited by Peter C. Phan (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1995), 111‑160.
  • Glossary, Catechism of the Catholic Church, at: http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/glossary.shtml#I This description refers to §891 of the Catechism, and adds: “This gift is related to the inability of the whole body of the faithful to err in matters of faith and morals” (§ 92).


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic
KEYWORDS: catholic; infallibility; infallible; papalinfallibility; pope; vatican1; vaticani; vaticanone
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To: metmom
"Then you understand neither forgiveness or mercy."

Please do not attempt to determine what I do or do not understand. That is mind reading. It does raise the question if you understand repentance and contrition?

Of course Christ's sacrifice was alone sufficient for all to be saved. However, if sufficiency was all that was necessary then all would indeed be saved from the moment of His death and resurrection.

I reject your characterizing and equating all that we must contribute for our Salvation as the works. The works referred to in Scripture are those acts necessary for compliance to the Old Law. The Catholic theology was best expressed by Fr, John Hardon:

Cooperation with grace, therefore, is our answer to the prior love of God. This responsiveness becomes more self-sacrificing in proportion as we understand more clearly how generous is the invitation; and how undeserved, because gratuitous, is the gift we possess (in sanctifying grace) or are offered (in actual graces). How ungrateful we are if we resist the advances of infinite mercy or lose the divine life we received.

201 posted on 05/08/2012 10:41:41 PM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: boatbums

Thank God for your heart for the Truth of God; may we always be willing to go where it leads us.


202 posted on 05/09/2012 4:37:53 AM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: daniel1212

I have two main points.

First, as a matter of fact, the Church preceded the writing of the NT.

Immediately after Pentecost, the Church spread the gospel and taught authoritatively both “by word of mouth or by letter.” The Church later recognized particular Christian writings as inspired, formally canonizing these writings centuries later.

There is simply no historical evidence of the doctrine of “the Bible alone,” as the sole rule of faith, in the early Church, nor could the doctrine have even been possible, since the Bible as we know it did not exist in the early Church.

The following point regarding the Church is also VERY important.

If Jesus is Truth Itself, how could He create a Church that would propose false doctrines as true?

It’s impossible, which is why the Church is “the pillar and foundation of truth,” and why Jesus COMMANDS his followers to take their disputes “to THE Church,” not A church, or to Scripture (!).

Secondly, the doctrine of “the Bible ALONE” is self-refuting, because it isn’t in the Bible (!).

Additionally, the rejection of an infallible Church necessarily invalidates the doctrine of “the Bible alone,” because a fallible Church could have written, copied, and canonized writings errantly, making the Biblical writings and canon unreliable. R.C. Sproul tried to resolve this problem by calling the Bible “a fallible collection of infallible books.”


203 posted on 05/09/2012 6:06:57 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: count-your-change

——So it would be more correct to say the church preceded the Bible as we have it today.——

That’s correct.

But, since some NT books were as yet unwritten, How could Luther’s doctrine have been begun by Jesus in His earthly ministry? The doctrine would have had to have been qualified in some way, such as, “pending the final writing and canonization of Scripture.” But written and canonized by Who, or What, earthly Divine Authority?

The solution can be found simply by studying the early Church and Scripture, simply considered as a historical document. The early Church taught authoritatively by letter AND by word of mouth, as St. Paul writes.

A “pillar and foundation of truth,” the Church which Christ founded,existed from the Crucifixion. The early Christians had a reliable Authority to guide them from the very beginning. This Authority also wrote, preserved, and canonized Scripture.

Finally, to return to the topic of the thread, consider that Christ is Truth Itself, so it is impossible for His Church to teach error. Christ Himself founded His Church. One Church. A visible Church (”take it to THE church”).


204 posted on 05/09/2012 6:37:05 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas
As I said earlier, I'm not a defender of Luther's doctrine. The reason for not being so is that so often is left out of that equation is the functioning of God's spirit in leading us to understanding of His will. Perhaps I'll call it SSS, Sola Scriptura plus Spirit.

That may be the view of Sola Scriptura advocates but I don't hear the connection often if at all.

“How could Luther’s doctrine have been begun by Jesus in His earthly ministry?”

The reliance on the written word of God as THE guide is evident in the command given in the Law for the king to have his own copy of the Law.....and to read it just as the common male was required to read it.

When Daniel had a question about prophecy he consulted the written word of God, the writings of Jeremiah. (Dan. 9:2) and referred to “the written law of Moses”. (Dan. 9:13)

Thus Jesus took the scroll of Isaiah and read from it he defended himself against Satan by saying “it is written”.

That reliance on the written word of God is evident long before Jesus’ ministry and continued long after, no qualifiers needed.

“The early Church taught authoritatively by letter AND by word of mouth, as St. Paul writes”

Word of mouth indeed as few could own their own scrolls. But that word of mouth was subject to verification by written Scripture or testimony from one of the apostles as the Bereans did.

The Canon of the Bible was completed by the end of the first century with John's writings. What was left was the recognition of those books that were not so widely distributed or popular but that came in time.
Therein lies the leading God's spirit as many fraudulent books came into existence, imitating but never matching the genuine, were weeded out.

Not even angel could declare a “good news” contra to what the apostles has written and taught. (Gal.1:6-9)

Yes, to the topic of the thread:
Jesus foretold the present state of affairs as it pertains to his church in the parable of wheat and tares. And that the two would grow to maturity, indistinguishable until then and the harvest time. (Matt. 13:24-30)

How do you recognize that visible church?

205 posted on 05/09/2012 8:36:38 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas

You are making yourself clear enough. Again, are you arguing that,

1. SS means that only the Bible can be used in determining faith and practice, and,

2. that because Rome is the instrument and stewards of Holy Writ (which promises guidance to the church) then the Roman Catholic church is uniquely the assuredly infallible interpreter of it, and supreme authority on Truth (versus the Scriptures) and that,

3. she is necessary for assurance of truth?

Thanks.


206 posted on 05/09/2012 1:40:54 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: daniel1212

-—1. SS means that only the Bible can be used in determining faith and practice, and,-—

Yes. It’s the final authority in matters of faith.

-—2. that because Rome is the instrument and stewards of Holy Writ (which promises guidance to the church) then the Roman Catholic church is uniquely the assuredly infallible interpreter of it, and supreme authority on Truth (versus the Scriptures) and that,-—

This is a somewhat circular argument, and not my position.

The divinely inspired nature of Scripture and the divinely protected teaching authority of the Church can be demonstrated with high probability by initially regarding the Scriptures simply as an historical document.

http://www.catholic.com/tracts/proving-inspiration

This proof uses the Bible (as an historical document) to show that Christ claimed to found a Church that would last forever. History demonstrates the existence of a unique earthly organization, possessing a non-contradictory body of teaching, existing from the time of Christ. Christ’s astounding, unprecedented prophecy regarding His Church was true.

One can then assume with reasonable certainty that Christ is Who He claimed to be, and that His Church exists on earth. Since Christ is Truth, His Church cannot teach error. His Church proposes the Bible as inspired. Therefore, we can trust the Bible to be inspired.

3. she is necessary for assurance of truth?

Yes, with respect to the truths of faith and morals, granting that moral truths can also be known with certainty through the natural law.

Thank you for charitable taking the time to understand my position!


207 posted on 05/10/2012 6:31:54 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas; metmom; boatbums; caww; smvoice; presently no screen name; Quix

—1. SS means that only the Bible can be used in determining faith and practice, and,-—

Yes. It’s the final authority in matters of faith.

That did not seem to be the extent of your objection before, but this makes your argument to be one that denies that Scripture shows that it is the final authority authority on earth (under Christ) in matters of faith, yet it was upon Scripture, and conformity to the manner in which it shows truth being established, that the Lord Himself established His authority, as did the apostles.

If you deny this then upon what basis are we to ascertain that Rome is the OTC?

-—2. that because Rome is the instrument and stewards of Holy Writ (which promises guidance to the church) then the Roman Catholic church is uniquely the assuredly infallible interpreter of it, and supreme authority on Truth (versus the Scriptures) and that,-—

This is a somewhat circular argument, and not my position.

Therefore it seems that your statement that the Church preceded the writing of the wholly inspired NT only means that SS could not work because of the lack of a finished canon, yet that does not impugn it, as it is abundantly substantiated even by the Scriptures that already were established (without an assuredly infallible magisterium) that it was the standard for obedience and testing truth claims, and by which additional writings became established as being the Word of God.

The restricted formal sufficiency aspect of SS does pertain to a finished canon, but it is upheld in principle, as the word of God always provided for what God wanted men to know to that time, and Scripture is the assured, established Word of God, and it is by Scripture that we also understand that that some of Scripture first existed as oral before being written down, which (as a study of the phrase “the word of the Lord/God” will show) was normatively the case.

The divinely inspired nature of Scripture and the divinely protected teaching authority of the Church can be demonstrated with high probability by initially regarding the Scriptures simply as an historical document. One can then assume with reasonable certainty that Christ is Who He claimed to be, and that His Church exists on earth.

You mean that the RCC is that church, and possesses assured infallibility, yet this is a matter of interpretation, and one in which the EOs and others disagree. One what basis do you have assurance that the claim of Rome is the true one?

Since Christ is Truth, His Church cannot teach error. His Church proposes the Bible as inspired. Therefore, we can trust the Bible to be inspired.

How do we know Christ is Truth, and that the church cannot teach error, if you are not certain that the Scriptures are Divine and thus authoritative?

3. she is necessary for assurance of truth?

Yes, with respect to the truths of faith and morals, granting that moral truths can also be known with certainty through the natural law.

So while one may not need the assuredly infallible magisterium in order to be certain of moral truths, yet one must submit to Rome in order to be certain in issues of faith, and thus an assuredly infallible magisterium is necessary to know such, including that writings are wholly inspired of God, and that Christ is Truth. And thus before there was a church in Rome no one could have assurance of Truth as regards faith, and one cannot be sure that Rome is the OTC except by faith that the supreme magisterium of Rome is assured infallible.

If Jesus is Truth Itself, how could He create a Church that would propose false doctrines as true?

Since we can only assuredly know (what the Bible says) that Jesus is truth by the RCC, and as only she can assured infallibly define Truth, whatever she says is Truth must be Truth, including that she is assuredly infallible whenever she speaks in accordance with her infallibly define scope and subject-based criteria.

And your premise presupposes that the church must be perfectly like Christ as in never teaching an error, or at least whenever she speaks according to her infallibly declared assured infallibility.

Nowhere do we see any affirmation that all the church will ever speak on faith and morals will be assured infallible, which premise is not even presumed of the writers of Holy Writ, but we see the Holy Spirit uniquely affirming that all Scripture is wholly breathed of God, it being the only transcendent material source to be so, which judges amorphous tradition, which by nature is supremely susceptible to undetectable corruption.

We also see men who presumed veracity based on Divine promises and historical decent being reproved by an “itinerant” preacher on the basis of being unScriptural. (Mk. 7:3-16)

In addition. Scripture does not owe its inspiration or its establishment to the church of Rome, most of it being established as being Scripture before there ever was one. Scripture itself was established as being from God like as true men of God are, that being by manifestly supernatural qualities and attestation, which Scripture transcendentally defines.

God affirmed the faith of Abraham and Moses, and the latter gave the Law, which became (and by principle further established revelation) the standard for obedience and testing truth claims. Both are of God regardless of whether men affirm them by decree, though they should. “For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” (1 Cor 4:20)

Jesus COMMANDS his followers to take their disputes “to THE Church,” not A church,or to Scripture (!)./i>

And we know this by Scripture, and SS affirms the magisterium as Scripture provides for it, and for its decrees, subject to conformity with Scripture is precept or principle.

“It belongs to synods and councils, ministerially to determine controversies of faith, and cases of conscience; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his Church; to receive complaints in cases of maladministration, and authoritatively to determine the same; which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the Word of God, are to be received with reverence and submission; not only for their agreement with the Word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God appointed thereunto in His Word. (Westminster, Cps 1, 31)

"...there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and the government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.”

Thank you for charitable taking the time to understand my position!

Well, i hope i am, and that you understand my position better as well, and that we have a heart that is willing to objectively examine the issue and “follow the Lamb withersover He goeth.”



208 posted on 05/10/2012 2:43:09 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: daniel1212; 1000 silverlings; Alex Murphy; bkaycee; blue-duncan; boatbums; caww; ...
God affirmed the faith of Abraham and Moses, and the latter gave the Law, which became (and by principle further established revelation) the standard for obedience and testing truth claims.

Deuteronomy 18:15-22 15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— 16 just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’

17 And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.

20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

If the test of a true prophet were to be applied to the men in the RCC, how many of them would pass it?

Has the RCC when it has claimed to speak infallibly, ever been wrong, even once? If so, that disqualifies it from being able to claim to be speaking for God.

Isaiah 8:19-20 19 When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.

Matthew 7:15-23 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

These words of Christ's should be enough to lay to rest the argument that the personal lives of Catholics priests, or any clergy for that matter, are irrelevant in the performance of their duties. If their lives do not demonstrate the fruit of repentance and a changed life, they can be considered false prophets. That includes not living in the sin of immorality while claiming to be an alter Christus.

209 posted on 05/10/2012 3:26:16 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: daniel1212

-—yet it was upon Scripture, and conformity to the manner in which it shows truth being established, that the Lord Himself established His authority, as did the apostles.——

Then why does He command us to take our disputes “to the church,” rather than Scripture? And “if he will not listen to the church, treat him as a pagan...”

-—writing of the wholly inspired NT only means that SS could not work because of the lack of a finished canon, yet that does not impugn it, as it is abundantly substantiated even by the Scriptures-—

I’m not designating Scripture. I am designating the doctrine of the Bible ALONE as the sole,rule of faith.

Shouldn’t that doctrine be in the Bible, to be logically coherent?

And of course, the Bible did not determine its own canon. The canon was determined infallibly by Christ’s Church. Luther determined his own. Which canon do you choose to accept? By what Authority?

-—On what basis do you have assurance that the claim of Rome is the true one?-—

Considering the Bible simply as a historical document, we know that Christ claimed to found an eternal Church. He also claimed to be God, Who we know through reason is One/Good/True/Beautiful/Being. Since God is Truth, His Church, His mystical Body, cannot teach error.

Simply by examining history, we see that only one Church has been in continuous existence from Apostolic times, and that this Church possesses a non-contradictory and incontrovertable body of teaching. Such an institution is unparalleled in human history. The fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy gives credibility to His claim of divinity. This reasonable conclusion is confirmed by countless public miracles associated with His Church.

-—How do we know Christ is Truth——

We know from the argument from contingency that God is Being Itself. We also know that Being is convertible with Truth, since truth is the adequation of mind and being/reality. Truth is being as apprehended by the mind. Therefore, God is Truth.

If Christ is God, then He must be Truth.

We can reasonably conclude that He is God based on His prophecy regarding His Church.

-—and that the church cannot teach error, if you are not certain that the Scriptures are Divine and thus authoritative? -—

From above, we know that God is Truth and that Jesus is God. His Church cannot propose error as truth, because of Who He is. This is further confirmed by His command to take disputes “to the church.” If the church was invisible, divided, or erroneous, His divine command would be void.

I do not doubt the inspiration of Scripture. But my arguments do not require divine faith, simply a reasonable initial consideration of the Bible as an historical document.

-—And thus before there was a church in Rome no one could have assurance of Truth as regards faith, and one cannot be sure that Rome is the OTC except by faith that the supreme magisterium of Rome is assured infallible.-—

Jesus founded His Church during His lifetime. The NT wasn’t completed for another 70 years. And the natural law, which is written on the human heart, is available to all people at all times.

——Nowhere do we see any affirmation that all the church will ever speak on faith and morals will be assured infallible-—

St Paul calls the Church the pillar and foundation of truth. If Jesus commands us to take our disputes to the Church, It must be inerranc, undivided and visible, otherwise His command would be void.


210 posted on 05/10/2012 6:31:09 PM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas; daniel1212; metmom
St Paul calls the Church the pillar and foundation of truth. If Jesus commands us to take our disputes to the Church, It must be inerranc, undivided and visible, otherwise His command would be void.

You seem to be putting a lot of weight upon Jesus speaking about taking "disputes" to the church. You mentioned that part three or four times in this comment alone. I went to the place in Scripture where Jesus spoke about this and here is the context:

And if thy brother sin against thee, go, show him his fault between thee and him alone: if he hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he hear thee not, take with thee one or two more, that at the mouth of two witnesses or three every word may be established. And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican. (Matthew 18:15-17)

Rather than saying we should take all our disputes to the "church", Jesus very clearly is talking about when a brother does something wrong, either personally to you or when he is sinning in such a way that the "world" is noticing. As should be the case, you must go to the brother at fault and take it up with him, one on one. But if he refuses to hear you and repent of the sin, you should then return with one or two others and confront him. If he still refuses to repent, then you should tell the "church" - your local assembly of believers where the offending brother also attends. If after he continues in the sin and doesn't listen to his fellowship of believers, then the local assembly should expel him from their fellowship.

Now, Jesus seems to be speaking about individual behavior of each member of the church and how overt wrong behavior is to be dealt with, NOT, as you seem to infer, that one, global "church" organization is to be an arbiter of what is and isn't truth. That is why God gave us the Holy Scriptures - so that it is the authority by which truth can be determined for the faith. What Jesus taught, the Apostles taught and what they taught they wrote down for all time through the leading and inspiration of God. The entire "church" - the body of Christ - is to be held to that same standard of truth. The leaders of the local assemblies have no more authority to determine what is truth than some global hierarchy does because God has already told us what is truth and what is false. This revelation is complete and ALL truth claims must be measured by the God-breathed Holy Scriptures.

No man or organization can circumvent nor contradict what God has set forth no matter what "history" he clings to. When Paul said the church is the "pillar and foundation of the truth" (I Timothy 3:15), he most certainly meant that the believers who make up the church, the body of Christ, must support and uphold the truth as God has revealed it to us. Barne's Notes on the Bible explains this well:

    In the house of God - This does not mean in a place of public worship, nor does it refer to propriety of deportment there. It refers rather to the church as a body of believers, and to converse with them. The church is called the "house of God," because it is that in which he dwells. Formerly, his unique residence was in the temple at Jerusalem; now that the temple is destroyed, it is the church of Christ, among his people.

    Which is the church of the living God - This seems to have been added to impress the mind of Timothy with the solemn nature of the duty which he was to perform. What he did pertained to the honor and welfare of the church of the living God, and hence he should feet the importance of a correct deportment, and of a right administration of its affairs.

    The pillar and ground of the truth - There has been no little diversity of opinion among critics whether this phrase is to be taken in connection with the preceding, meaning that "the church" is the pillar and ground of the truth; or whether it is to be taken in connection with what follows, meaning that the principal support of the truth was the doctrine there referred to - that God was manifest in the flesh. Bloomfield remarks on this: "It is surprising that any who have any knowledge or experience in Greek literature could tolerate so harsh a construction as that which arises from the latter method." The more natural interpretation certainly is, to refer it to the former; and this is supported by the consideration that it would then fall in with the object of the apostle. His design here seems to be, to impress Timothy with a deep sense of the importance of correct conduct in relation to the church; of the responsibility of those who presided over it; and of the necessity of care and caution in the selection of proper officers.

    To do this, he reminded him that the truth of God - that revealed truth which he had given to save the world - was entrusted to the church; that it was designed to preserve it pure, to defend it, and to transmit it to future times; and that, therefore, every one to whom the administration of the affairs of the church was entrusted, should engage in this duty with a deep conviction of his responsibility. On the construction of the passage, Bloomfield Rosenmuller, and Clarke, may be consulted. The word "pillar" means a column, such as that by which a building is supported, and then any firm prop or support; Galatians 2:9; Revelation 3:12. If it refers to the church here, it means that that is the support of the truth, as a pillar is of a building. It sustains it amidst the war of elements, the natural tendency to fall, and the assaults which may be made on it, and preserves it when it would otherwise tumble into ruin.

    Thus it is with the church. It is entrusted with the business of maintaining the truth, of defending it from the assaults of error, and of transmitting it to future times. The truth is, in fact, upheld in the world by the church. The people of the world feel no interest in defending it, and it is to the church of Christ that it is owing that it is preserved and transmitted from age to age. The word rendered "ground" - ἑδραίωμα hedraioÌ„ma - means, properly, a basis, or foundation. The figure here is evidently taken from architecture, as the use of the word pillar is. The proper meaning of the one expression would be, that truth is supported by the church. as an edifice is by a pillar; of the other, that the truth rests "on" the church, as a house does on its foundation. It is that which makes it fixed, stable, permanent; that on which it securely stands amidst storms and tempests; that which renders it firm when systems of error are swept away as a house that is built on the sand; compare notes on Matthew 7:24-27.

    The meaning then is, that the stability of the truth on earth is dependent on the church. It is owing to the fact that the church is itself founded on a rock, that the gates of hell cannot prevail against it, that no storms of persecution can overthrow it, that the truth is preserved from age to age. Other systems of religion are swept away; other opinions change; other forms of doctrine vanish; but the knowledge of the great system of redemption is preserved on earth unshaken, because the church is preserved, and because its foundations cannot be moved. This does not refer, I suppose, to creeds and confessions, or to the decisions of synods and councils; but to the living spirit of truth and piety "in" the church itself. As certainly as the church continues to live, so certain it will be that the truth of God will be perpetuated among people.

We all then, as members of this one body, are commanded to be the salt and light to the world and the upholder of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as God has revealed to us through His word and through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Not, as you seem to suggest, some governing hierarchy seated in one special place deciding what is and is not the truth. Christ most certainly DID establish his church and it most certainly IS guided by the Holy Spirit but it is a universal called-out assembly of individual believers who make up that body - the Bride of Christ - and we are guided by the Holy Scriptures which contain all the truth God has chosen to reveal to us and it is His word which is inerrant. The church rests on the truth, the truth does not rest on the church.

211 posted on 05/10/2012 7:53:26 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
Yes, but you cannot be a passive receiver of the gift of salvation. In Matthew it is shown that God expects us to actively cooperate in our salvation. Grace is a free gift from God, but you must utilize it in the way God wishes us to.

God will ask, "I gave you the gift of grace, did you use it to follow my commandments?"

God will not reward those who take his gift of salvation and sit on it instead of using it.

212 posted on 05/11/2012 7:25:18 AM PDT by Celtic Cross (The brain is the weapon; everything else is just accessories. --FReeper Joe Brower)
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To: Celtic Cross
"God will not reward those who take his gift of salvation and sit on it instead of using it."

Both Grace and sin require human cooperation. Unlike Grace, sin can be cooperated with by doing nothing.

"For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done." - Matthew 16:24

213 posted on 05/11/2012 7:52:16 AM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: Celtic Cross

Once again we have a RC who apparently has not read Ephesians 1 and 2. Grace is a free gift, given according to God’s discretion.

Grace is not earned nor merited or it would not be a free gift. It would be recompense and God would owe you salvation. And God is beholden to no one.

Read Ephesians and Romans. RCs struggle all day long to earn what God gives freely. RCs are not being told the truth. Read the bible for yourself.


214 posted on 05/11/2012 9:33:44 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Natural Law
Your definition of grace is wrong. Grace is defined as God's unmerited favor. Read your Bible.
215 posted on 05/11/2012 9:41:57 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
I actually have read Ephesians.

I never said that grace is not a free gift from God. It is.

But once that gift is received you must use it, not sit on it.

216 posted on 05/11/2012 9:45:44 AM PDT by Celtic Cross (The brain is the weapon; everything else is just accessories. --FReeper Joe Brower)
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To: count-your-change

Calvin called Scripture the school of the Holy Spirit. It was Calvin who brought the role of the Holy Spirit back into the church after Rome had replaced it with Mary and saints and popes and empty sacraments.

Look around online and read up about Calvin and the function of the Holy Spirit. You’d probably enjoy it.


217 posted on 05/11/2012 9:52:34 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: boatbums; metmom

Has the RCC when it has claimed to speak infallibly, ever been wrong, even once? If so, that disqualifies it from being able to claim to be speaking for God

Well, this depends on the interpretation of whether one was speaking infallibly, and thus the denial that pope Honorius and others were guilty of such, as some charge.

And it also depends upon interpertinb what was meant, and as one RC basically said, since Rome defines what is right and wrong [and that there is no external and unchanging rule of faith for the Roman Catholic Church], then they cannot be wrong. What statements are infallible and what are not, as well as the level of obedience owed to to the ordinary magisterium can differ according interpretation, as well as what they mean. One pope or more can,

"declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff,” (Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam 1302)

And,

"The sacrosanct Roman Church...firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that..schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life..unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church." (Pope Eugene IV, Cantate Domino, 1441)

And that

"subjection to the Roman pontiff is necessary for salvation for all Christ's faithful..."( Fifth Lateran CouncilSession 11, 19 December 1516),

Also,

"No one is found in the one Church of Christ, and no one perseveres in it, unless he acknowledges and accepts obediently the supreme authority of St. Peter and his legitimate successors." (Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, PTC:873)

And which was understood by no less than the doctor of the church Thomas Aquinas (elevated 1567, patron of all universities and of students), to mean what it sounds like it means, that,

"It is also shown that to be subject to the Roman Pontiff is necessary for salvation." St. Thomas Aquinas, Against the Errors of the Greeks, Pt. 2, ch. 36 http://dhspriory.org/thomas/ContraErrGraecorum.htm#b38)

But having lost her unScriptural use of the sword of men, she latter "reformulates" this:

How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? [Cf. Cyprian, Ep. 73.21: PL 3, 1169; De unit.: PL 4, 509-536.] Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the (Catholic) Church which is his Body:

... Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it." (CCC #846)

And,

The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian, though they do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the successor of Peter. (Cf. Gal. 4:6; Rom. 8:15-16 and 26)

For there are many who honor Sacred Scripture, taking it as a norm of belief and a pattern of life, and who show a sincere zeal. They lovingly believe in God the Father Almighty and in Christ, the Son of God and Saviour. (Cf. Jn. 16:13) They are consecrated by baptism, in which they are united with Christ. They also recognize and accept other sacraments within their own Churches or ecclesiastical [Protestant] communities...

They also share with us in prayer and other spiritual benefits. Likewise we can say that in some real way they are joined with us in the Holy Spirit, for to them too He gives His gifts and graces whereby He is operative among them with His sanctifying power. Some indeed He has strengthened to the extent of the shedding of their blood...” (Vatican Two; Lumen Gentium 16)

While some RCs yet interpret this as referring only to baptized obedient Protestants who never heard of the claims of Rome, and thus most all need to convert to Rome to be saved, most recognize it as an affirmation of Protestants in general, the exception being those who really know Rome is the church founded by Christ but reject it, rather than referring to those who find her claim to be the OTC as Scripturally unwarranted.

Then there are those Catholics who see this “reformulation” as being contrary to the prior intent and understanding, which i think is the most warranted conclusion, and thus they deny the authority of Vatican Two and (some) even deny the validity of the recent and present pope, and so are held to be in a degree of schism by Rome which they see as deviating from her ancient faith.

In addition to statements which have been held as ex cathedra, which Bellarmine and others held Unam Sanctam was, are statements made in Rome's “ordinary and universal teaching power,” which are “to be believed as divinely revealed.” (Pope Pius IX, Vatican I, Sess. III, Chap. 3) But what statements belong to that category and the level of authority of this very statement (and whether everything that V1 declares is infallible) can also be subject to dispute.

And understandably so, as it would require that statements made in papal encyclicals and public proclamations be upheld consistently, such as condemns the proposition that “persons coming to reside therein [Catholic countries] shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar worship,” while affirming the right of Rome to secular power and force, (Pope Pius IX, The Syllabus (of Errors)

And condemning in regards to schismatics, “that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone.“ (Quanta Cura, Encyclical of Pope Pius IX) And “that the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error.” (Vehementer Nos [on the French Law of Separation, which in principle can be universally applied], Encyclical of Pope Pius X promulgated on February 11, 1906)

And then you have the ecclesiastical and papal statements affirming the use of torture against theological aberrants, such as by Ecumenical Fourth Lateran Council, 1215 (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/lateran4.asp), and affirmed by Thomas, as well as the papal bull Ad exstirpanda (http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~draker/history/Ad_Extirpanda.html), the reading of which is sufficient to see the point, and in which captured heretics are to be coerced into confessing their errors and accusing others.

The idea that the veracity of Rome is extensive leads to such approved teaching as that asserts,

“All that we do [as must be patent enough now] is to submit our judgment and conform our beliefs to the authority Almighty God has set up on earth to teach us; this, and nothing else.”

“...outside the pale of Rome there is not a scrap of additional truth of Revelation to be found.”

“He willingly submits his judgment on questions the most momentous that can occupy the mind of man-----questions of religion-----to an authority located in Rome.”

“Absolute, immediate, and unfaltering submission to the teaching of God's Church on matters of faith and morals-----this is what all must give..”

“The Vicar of Christ is the Vicar of God; to us the voice of the Pope is the voice of God. This, too, is why Catholics would never dream of calling in question the utterance of a priest in expounding Christian doctrine according to the teaching of the Church;”

“He is as sure of a truth when declared by the Catholic Church as he would be if he saw Jesus Christ standing before him and heard Him declaring it with His Own Divine lips.” Henry G. Graham, "What Faith Really Means", (Nihil Obstat:C. SCHUT, S. T.D., Censor Deputatus, Imprimatur: EDM. CANONICUS SURMONT, D.D.,Vicarius Generalis. WESTMONASTERII, Die 30 Septembris, 1914 ); http://www.catholictradition.org/Tradition/faith2-10.htm]

"The intolerance of the Church toward error, the natural position of one who is the custodian of truth, her only reasonable attitude makes her forbid her children to read or to listen to heretical controversy, or to by examining both sides of the question...

The reason of this stand of his is that, for him, there can be no two sides to a question which for him is settled; for him, there is no seeking after the truth: he possesses it in its fulness, as far as God and religion are concerned.” (John H. Stapleton, Explanation of Catholic Morals, cps. XXIII, Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor Librorum. Imprimatur, John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York )

These words of Christ's should be enough to lay to rest the argument that the personal lives of Catholics priests, or any clergy for that matter, are irrelevant in the performance of their duties. If their lives do not demonstrate the fruit of repentance and a changed life, they can be considered false prophets.

The Roman Catholic response to this is to assert that wicked leaders like Caiaphas could speak truth in accordance with Divine promise, (Jn. 11:49-51) so it is condemnd as an error that “if the Pope were a reprobate and an evil man and consequently a member of the devil, he has no power over the faithful." (Council of Constance, Condemnation of Errors, against Wycliffe, Session VIII, and Hus: Session XV; DNZ:621, 617, 588)

However, unlike the old covenant with its physical kingdom and need of physical progeny to lay claim to being a high priest, under the new covenant physical decent is not the basis for authenticity (the church actually began in dissent from those who could lay claim to historical authority, and it excludes the type of men some popes were from even being church members, (1Cor. 5:11-13) let alone successors to Peter.

Rome has actually never followed the method used in selecting a successor for Judas (in order to maintain the original number: Acts 1:15-26; cf. Rv. 21:14, while there was no successor for the apostle James: (Acts 12:1,2) nor do her popes fulfill the requirements of personal discipleship of Christ, while it is presumed that men who were immoral even before they were chosen popes as well as during their reign, and who election by the Holy Spirit was much by politics, were valid successors to Peter, even if the Bull Cum Ex Apostolatus disallows the validity of even the Roman Pontiff if before their election they had deviated from the Catholic faith, which some bad popes, including sexually active ones, may be charged with doing.

218 posted on 05/11/2012 12:12:32 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas; metmom; boatbums; caww; smvoice; presently no screen name; Quix; mitch5501; ...

-—yet it was upon Scripture, and conformity to the manner in which it shows truth being established, that the Lord Himself established His authority, as did the apostles.——

Then why does He command us to take our disputes “to the church,” rather than Scripture? And “if he will not listen to the church, treat him as a pagan...”

Again, under SS we affirm the magisterium, but by Scripture we also see that the Lord's instructions to appeal to the church as magistrate does not make it the supreme authority anymore than His command to be subject to those who sat in the seat of Moses did. (Mt. 23:2) Like Rome, they effectively presumed a level of authority by which they could enjoin obedience to “the tradition of the elders” that was not warranted by Scripture, and in reproving them by Scripture the Lord, once again, upholds Scripture as the supreme transcendent authority.

The Old Testament magisterium was to be obeyed, “According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left.” (Deuteronomy 17:11), and thus yet they judged men of God as worthy of death.

What you have done is confuse being the instrument of Scripture with supremacy over it. The fact is that the church may err in such disciplinary judgment, as Rome has.

I’m not designating Scripture. I am designating the doctrine of the Bible ALONE as the sole,rule of faith.

Shouldn’t that doctrine be in the Bible, to be logically coherent?

Scripture is the assured word of God thus it is supreme, and it materially provides for all that a believer needs for faith and Godliness, (2Tim. 3:16) including the magisterium which is subject to it, as even the instruments of revelation are, as Scripture is God-breathed. And this is what is logical and Scripturally substantiated, versus the perpetual assured formulaic infallibility of an autocratic church.

And of course, the Bible did not determine its own canon. The canon was determined infallibly by Christ’s Church. Luther determined his own. Which canon do you choose to accept? By what Authority?

You mean that Rome infallibly determined it was infallible, and infallibly decreed what was Scripture, even though all her teachings ares not dependent upon the weight of scriptural warrant (nor are the reasons or arguments behind an infallible decree necessarily infallible themselves).

However, writing were established as being Scripture before Rome, and reveals the means by which Truth and authority is established, that being by its supernatural heavenly qualities and attestation, including its conformity and complementarity, and reveals that once the Word of God was written (first by a man whose authority itself was established by supernatural means), it became the standard for obedience and testing truth claims.

Thus most of Scripture was established as such by the time of Christ as shown by the multitude of references to it, and upon which principle more would become manifest as such, and so overall unique were these qualities that progressively it became apparent which ones belonged to it, and also that there was no more like unto this collection of assured word of God. Councils could affirm that, but that is not how Scripture has authority nor the canon.

Thus rather than holding to the same “infallible” indisputable canon by an effectively autocratic Rome, which came over 1400 years after the last book was written (Luther was not historically or contemporaneously alone in his rejection of some books), and which differs from your EOs brothers, Protestantism overall came rather quickly to rest upon its established 66 book canon. And upon that basis, thus this canon has been established from generation to generation — without a binding decree.

And it is also upon this basis of establishment that souls believed on the Lord Jesus, and true men of God essentially are established as being so, and that the church began.

Like as Rome would do to an itinerant preacher that had not its sanction, the Lord Jesus was asked, “By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?” (see Mk., 11:27-33) What could He or the Baptist or any of the prophets who contradicted the magisterium say? What they depended upon was the witness of Scripture and the power of God (not that ordination is superfluous, but that is not what actually establishes authenticity).

Therefore the church was founded in dissent from those who could claim authority based upon Divine precepts and promises (Dt. 17:8-13; Neh. 8:5-9; Jer 14:21; 33:20-26 ; Lv 26:44; 2Sa 7:13,15; 1Ki 11:13,32,36) and historical decent, (Mt. 23:2) as the church rested upon the aforementioned conformity to Scripture, in text and in power. (Jn. 5:36,39; Lk. 24:27,44: Acts 4:33; 5:12; 6:8; 17:2,11; 18:28; 28:23; Rm. 15:19; 2Cor. 6:1-10; 2:13; Heb. 2:3,4) And which the evangelical gospel with its manifest regeneration testifies to, by which the church has its members. (1Cor. 12:13)

As a consequence, the evangelical can have at least the amount of assurance as to the complete canon of his supreme authority as a Roman Catholic has as to the present canon of all the decrees of his supreme authority.

Considering the Bible simply as a historical document, we know that Christ claimed to found an eternal Church. He also claimed to be God, Who we know through reason is One/Good/True/Beautiful/Being. Since God is Truth, His Church, His mystical Body, cannot teach error.

That is not the basis for your assurance if you are a Catholic, as if it were then you would not need the assuredly infallible magisterium of Rome, and would not criticize the evangelicals for their confidence in the assured word of God (not simply an historical document), for doctrine. Instead the assurance you have is based upon the premise that Rome is assuredly infallible, which she has infallibly declared herself to be, and which you have made a fallible faith decision to to submit to.

Who we know through reason is One/Good/True/Beautiful/Being. Since God is Truth, His Church, His mystical Body, cannot teach error.

Upon which reasoning there must have always been an assuredly infallible magisterium for God's people, as per Rome, but by going to the established assured Word of God we see that God did preserve Truth, but not as per the premise of Rome, but oftentimes by raising up men from without the magisterium (usually prophets, whose authority did not need formal transference of office) to reprove it for teaching error, and upon such means the church began and has often been preserved (and as one becomes part of the church by faith, it is not one particular body, and which can vary, as Rv. 2,3 testifies to) in faith in Christ, to whom “all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10:43).

For truth has and is often preserved by God raising up from stones children of Abraham, who are rejected by those who presume more than what is written, to reprove them and continue to build his church, which has many members.

Though the kingdom is sadly formally divided on earth amidst those who hold to core salvific truths, Rome is as one denomination at best, and the fully true church is not that which is called to look to a perpetuated supreme magistrate ruling from Rome over all, which is not seen in Scripture (holy Peter's leadership and general pastoral role notwithstanding), and praying to saints, and gaining members by regeneration through infant sprinkling based on proxy faith and which largely preaches itself (even though some within may belong to the body of Christ, as even the church in Laodicea was), but as it always was, the true church consists of the remnant who are of a poor and contrite spirit, and come to God as damned sinners and destitute of any means by which they may escape Hell or gain heaven by their own moral merit or the power of the church, but who out of a contrite heart trust the risen Lord Jesus to save them by His sinless shed blood, and thus overall follow Him, to the glory of God.

And the authenticity of its bodies is not based on visible structure, which they have, but in their demonstration of the gospel as the power of God unto salvation, which results in the need for structure. But in which no separate class of sacerdotal men called priests were ever ordained, nor a class that presumed its head clergy (almost exclusively) had the gift of celibacy, but were (typically) married elders/bishops, that denoting one office. (Titus 1:5-7)

Simply by examining history, we see that only one Church has been in continuous existence from Apostolic times, and that this Church possesses a non-contradictory and incontrovertable body of teaching.

You are ignoring what i said, which is that this is an interpretation (of history, etc.), which the others who also hold to sola ecclesia see differently, including the EOs, which “opposes the Roman doctrines of universal papal jurisdiction, papal infallibility, purgatory, and the Immaculate Conception precisely because they are untraditional." — Clark Carlton, THE WAY: What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church, 1997, p 135.

“Both purgatory and indulgences are inter-corrolated theories, unwitnessed in the Bible or in the Ancient Church... — http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7076

and that this Church possesses a non-contradictory and incontrovertable body of teaching.

This sweeping statement rests upon the premise that Rome defines error, including upon what magisterial level this pertains to, and to whether such things as papal advocation of torture, or disallowance of salvation outside formal submission to Rome, contradict later positions, thus resulting in more division within Catholicism.

Such an institution is unparalleled in human history.

Despite gaps in popes and rival claims and confusion, and manifest immoral ones who would not even be allowed to be church members under the N. covenant, (1Cor. 5:11-13) and who were elected contrary to the non-political method Peter used. (Acts 1:26)

Regardless, your argument of validity based upon Divine promises and historical decent effectively nukes the church, as the Jews also claimed both, and who, unlike Rome, had actual precise affirmation of authority, yet like Rome, likewise presumed more than what is written, and likewise they claimed supreme authority of interpretation by which they could assert Scripture supported their excesses claims.

The fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy gives credibility to His claim of divinity. This reasonable conclusion is confirmed by countless public miracles associated with His Church.

And again we know the former from Scripture, as well as that the Lord confirms His word with signs following, (Mk. 16:20; Jn. 5:36,39; Heb. 2:3,4; Rm. 15:19) and evangelical faith testifies to far greater attestation of such in relation to their number, including in manifest regeneration of former Catholics, etc,. as well as consistency in Biblical moral views and tested core truths.

We know from the argument from contingency that God is Being Itself. We also know that Being is convertible with Truth, since truth is the adequation of mind and being/reality. Truth is being as apprehended by the mind. Therefore, God is Truth. If Christ is God, then He must be Truth.We can reasonably conclude that He is God based on His prophecy regarding His Church.

All you are arguing is how one may make a fallible decision, which one can use to come to a conclusion different than your goal of bringing souls to submit to an assuredly infallible magisterium of Rome, faith that it is so being the answer to my question as to the basis for your assurance of Truth.

From above, we know that God is Truth and that Jesus is God. His Church cannot propose error as truth, because of Who He is. This is further confirmed by His command to take disputes “to the church.” If the church was invisible, divided, or erroneous, His divine command would be void.

I do not doubt the inspiration of Scripture. But my arguments do not require divine faith, simply a reasonable initial consideration of the Bible as an historical document.

The issue is not that of authority per se, but that of supreme, perpetual assured infallible authority, but as shown, your conclusion is not established by your premise, as again, the Lord preserved Truth, and men where redeemed (looking forward to Christ), without an assuredly infallible magisterium of men.

We know Jesus is God by Scripture and its means of establishment of truth, and that God preserved and revealed Truth without an assuredly infallible magisterium.

Yet we can argue along the same line of reasoning for warrant to believe in Scripture as a supernaturally inspired and established body of writings, as described, but which supremacy you effectively give to a assured infallible Roman body of men, which premise is the real basis source of your assurance that this interpret is correct, having made a fallible decision to assent to it.

Jesus founded His Church during His lifetime. The NT wasn’t completed for another 70 years. And the natural law, which is written on the human heart, is available to all people at all times.

But the church was not founded upon natural law, though reason was appealed to, but upon appeal to Scripture and Scriptural means of establishing truth, all without an assuredly infallible magisterium of men.

St Paul calls the Church the pillar and foundation of truth. If Jesus commands us to take our disputes to the Church, It must be inerranc, undivided and visible, otherwise His command would be void.

Your premise that the church (small “c”) is the pillar and foundation of truth does not establish your conclusion that all the church ever universally speak on faith and morals will be assured infallible, which extrapolation,is not sound exegesis.

Linguistically you cannot establish that “pillar and foundation” means anything more than support, or being grounded and supporting the truth, while going back to scriptural principle and precedent again, we see (in review) that those to whom God were “committed the oracles of God” and the promises, etc. (Rm. 3:2; 9:4) and whom God used in establishment of His truth, were not assuredly infallible, and yet God was still Truth, and His Truth was preserved and conveyed and more revealed, as God knows how to raise up men to do so, even when those who sit in the formal office fail. And thus Christianity began with an itinerant preacher as far as those who claimed historical decent was concerned, and salvific truth and thus the church is preserved by God raising reformers, as needed.

In addition, it is not clear how many of the plethora of Rome's teachings (which of thousands) belong to the magisterial level for which preservation from error, while the church you have fallibly determined to be the OTC autocratically determines what is a contradiction versus a “clarification” (so that Protestants may be saved, etc.).

Sorry for the length and reiteration, but i keep seeing much the same in assertions for Rome.



219 posted on 05/11/2012 12:14:10 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
"Your definition of grace is wrong. Grace is defined as God's unmerited favor."

God conveys unmerited Grace on all of us, but He does not impose it on us. Grace can, and is too often rejected by those who refuse to cooperate with it. Read your Bible.

220 posted on 05/11/2012 4:03:05 PM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: Celtic Cross
Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

 

I never said that grace is not a free gift from God. It is. But once that gift is received you must use it, not sit on it.

Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works,

Seems as your understanding of grace is a bit skewed...

Grace is kindness...Grace is favor... Grace has been given to all men...Not just Christians...

The Gift is not grace...The Gift is salvation evidenced by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit...You can not be indwelt with the Holy Spirit unless you are a Christian, born again from above and belong to Jesus Christ, ergo, salvation...

Rom 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

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

The 'Gift' is the Holy Ghost...

Rom 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

The Gift is not grace...The Gift is BY grace, thru faith...

And we will not be able to provide works good enough for God but the Spirit within us will provide the works for us...

Not so difficult to get if you just read and believe God...

221 posted on 05/12/2012 9:26:38 PM PDT by Iscool (You mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailerpark...)
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To: Natural Law

If God desires a man to have grace, that man will have grace.

RCs presume they are stronger than the will of God and the actions of the Holy Spirit.

Utter hubris.

Scripture says grace is free and unmerited. Read Ephesians 1 and 2 and learn who is stronger — God or man.


222 posted on 05/12/2012 10:05:22 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
<>I>"If God desires a man to have grace, that man will have grace."

"IF"? Again you are at odds with 99% of those who call themselves Christian. God gifts Grace to everyone sufficient for their Salvation. Irresistible grace is a fabrication of a French lawyer, not the Holy Spirit. It is a perversion of the concept of efficacious grace. I would encourage you to expand your knowledge beyond the musings of Calvin. Read your whole bible. Then, if you are still interested in the concept of Irresistible Grace read Congregatio de Auxiliis.

Peace be with you.

223 posted on 05/12/2012 10:41:03 PM PDT by Natural Law (Mary was the face that God chose for Himself.)
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To: Natural Law
There is no where in the Bible that says God gives all men grace or even the same amount of grace. According to RCs, God gives all men transformative grace. But if that were true, God's grace is strong enough to change that man forever. The RCC somehow thinks men can rebuke the grace of God even if God wants that man for Himself.

The RCC over-estimates man and under-estimates God. It is a foolish, anti-scriptural logic.

If God wanted all men to be saved, all men would be saved. He's God. You're not.

224 posted on 05/13/2012 10:51:05 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
"If God wanted all men to be saved, all men would be saved. He's God. You're not."

Yet you continue to argue that all one needs to do to be saved is to adopt tenets of Calvinism and then to declare themselves saved.

God does want us to be saved. A loving God does not damn anyone to hell, that is the consequence of rejection of Grace by the sinner. Being made in God's image, God gave us free will and the knowledge of the difference between good and evil so that we could freely choose to love him.

225 posted on 05/13/2012 12:44:47 PM PDT by Natural Law (Mary was the face that God chose for Himself.)
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To: Iscool
The Gift is not grace...The Gift is BY grace, thru faith...

Excellently stated point! The gift is NOT grace, itself, but eternal life that God gifts to us by grace through faith. Where so many people go wrong is in thinking that grace is the gift and that, as said in this thread, that we must "use it" or "cooperate" with it in order to somehow merit eternal life. But we cannot ever merit or deserve or earn what God gives to us by His grace. It is on HIS terms, and HE says he gives to us eternal life THROUGH faith in Christ.

I often wonder if the reason so many people struggle with living for the Lord is because they are trying to do it with their own strength out of fear that failing to do "right" will cause them to lose the gift? It is only when we surrender to the indwelling Holy Spirit - recognizing that this is even how we can do the good works God has prepared for us - that we CAN live in holiness the life that brings glory to God. I life that is lived out of gratitude for His unspeakable gift! A gift that He promises He will NEVER rescind or let us lose. He will "in no wise cast us out" (John 6:37).

226 posted on 05/13/2012 2:06:04 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums
"The gift is NOT grace, itself, but eternal life that God gifts to us by grace through faith."

This is an unnecessary exercise in semantics brought about not by our theologies, but our dependence on English. Grace is a supernatural gift of God to intellectual creatures necessary for their eternal salvation. It is received as articulated in the Eucharistic Doxology' "Per ipsum, et cum ipso, et in ipso," (through Him, and with Him, and in Him).

Peace be to you.

227 posted on 05/13/2012 3:03:06 PM PDT by Natural Law (Mary was the face that God chose for Himself.)
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To: Natural Law
This is an unnecessary exercise in semantics brought about not by our theologies, but our dependence on English. Grace is a supernatural gift of God to intellectual creatures necessary for their eternal salvation. It is received as articulated in the Eucharistic Doxology' "Per ipsum, et cum ipso, et in ipso," (through Him, and with Him, and in Him).

Why "unnecessary"? There sure seems to be a huge gap between what is understood as the "gift" from God and the nature of God in how He deals with humanity. Everything ALL people have from God is because of His grace. It is because of His grace and mercy that we are not destroyed at our first sinful act. It is of Jehovah's lovingkindnesses that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. (Lamentations 3:22)

In Titus 2:11-14, Paul says:

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

But, we know that not all men will respond to this grace and receive the gift of eternal life. Unlike the Roman Catholic doctrine of "infused" grace, Scripture very clearly states that God GIVES to us eternal life, and this life is in His son, Jesus Christ. The righteousness necessary for eternal life in the all holy realm of God is not something humanly possible to achieve and MUST be "imputed" to us through faith. Faith is what is needed to receive the gift of everlasting life.

So, no, I do not agree that it is merely "semantics" brought about by our "dependence" on the English language. God is fully able to communicate the truth of the gospel to ANY person who seeks to know the truth regardless of language.

228 posted on 05/13/2012 3:41:37 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums

Amen.....


229 posted on 05/14/2012 6:58:37 AM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: Natural Law; metmom; count-your-change; RnMomof7; HarleyD
Yet you continue to argue that all one needs to do to be saved is to adopt tenets of Calvinism and then to declare themselves saved.

I'm getting pretty tired of you repeatedly misstating my position. It's a waste of my time.

There is only one criteria for salvation -- not baptism not communion, not a priestly invocation or the hundres of other pseudo requirements Rome concocked to keep men chained to its pretty dresses.

"Be not afraid; only believe." -- Mark 5:36

Belief in Christ as Lord, King, God and Savior is the only "requirement" for salvation. And the ability to comprehend that is God-given as the free gift of the Holy Spirit who renews a man's mind to know the the things of God.

Read the Bible. Leave the man-man hoops behind. Maybe you'll understand, God willing.

a loving God does not damn anyone to hell

lol. Once again we see the RCC is not only illogical, but Scripturally ignorant.

Is Judas in hell?

230 posted on 05/14/2012 1:49:43 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Natural Law; Dr. Eckleburg
A loving God does not damn anyone to hell, that is the consequence of rejection of Grace by the sinner.

You believe in hell now?

231 posted on 05/14/2012 2:14:43 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
"I'm getting pretty tired of you repeatedly misstating my position>"

Not as tired as I am of you misstating the positions of the Church or the meaning of Scripture, my dear sister. But your soul is worth saving so I will keep trying.

"Is Judas in hell?"

That is known only to God, but if he is it is the result of choices he freely made. (You do know that Dante's Divine Comedy is fiction don't you?)

Pax et Bonum.

232 posted on 05/14/2012 2:15:31 PM PDT by Natural Law (Mary was the face that God chose for Himself.)
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To: metmom
"You believe in hell now?"

Yes, but not the hell preached by the Reformation. I believe the chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created.

233 posted on 05/14/2012 2:32:04 PM PDT by Natural Law (Mary was the face that God chose for Himself.)
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To: Natural Law; Dr. Eckleburg
I'm not familiar with Calvin's or the *Reformations* particular stance on what we call hell, but there is this in the NT. I don't expect that what they teach is much different.

Luke 16:19-31 19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.

24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’

27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

and

Revelation 20:11-15 11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:8 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

234 posted on 05/14/2012 2:54:56 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom
"I don't expect that what they teach is much different."

If you don't believe that an eternal separation from God is far worse than any physical pain or deprivation then I suspect that you don't fully understand God and Heaven.

Peace be with you.

235 posted on 05/14/2012 3:34:37 PM PDT by Natural Law (Mary was the face that God chose for Himself.)
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To: Natural Law; metmom; Dr. Eckleburg
If you don't believe that an eternal separation from God is far worse than any physical pain or deprivation then I suspect that you don't fully understand God and Heaven.

But can you deny that God went out of His way to warn us that hell is much, much more than just separation from Him for eternity? Guys like Christopher Hitchens - though he KNOWS the truth now - imagined that nothing could be worse than having to spend his time worshiping and singing praises to God for all eternity. Scripture most certainly says that there is torment and suffering for eternity and the torments ARE physical and not just spiritual. Though we can and do dread being eternally separated from God's presence, the hatred of God by atheists and the devil with his angels would make them prefer to never have to see Almighty God and such a hell would not be a deterrent at all. No, the example of the rich man and Lazarus shows us that there IS physical torment and suffering in hades and, ultimately, hell. It IS called the "second resurrection", after all.

236 posted on 05/14/2012 4:08:13 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums
"But can you deny that God went out of His way to warn us that hell is much, much more than just separation from Him for eternity?"

Yup! Jesus spoke often about death and the eternal separation from God, but He was speaking to a Jewish audience who did not have a complete understanding and appreciation of heaven, hell and an afterlife. Much or Judaism remains this way today. He was trying to relate the consequences of sin and salvation in terms the average first century Jew could understand.

As for me, I cannot imagine anything being worse than an eternal separation from God, certainly not "far worse" and not even a little worse. I see those who fear and are motivated by the avoidance of eternal pain and suffering of valuing their personal well being too highly and failing to fulfill the basic definition of love; which is to will the good for another, completely and unselfishly for the other. Unless your love for Jesus is complete and unselfish, as His was for us, you are not truly loving Him as He commanded. Anything other than that is a disguised form of egotism.

Peace be with you.

237 posted on 05/14/2012 4:25:31 PM PDT by Natural Law (Mary was the face that God chose for Himself.)
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To: Natural Law; metmom; count-your-change; RnMomof7; Dr. Eckleburg
Dr. E-"Is Judas in hell?"

NL- That is known only to God, but if he is it is the result of choices he freely made.

Of course it is a result of a choice he freely made. And that's the point. Left to our own devices we will always make the wrong choice. And one slip up is enough to be cast from the presence of God (as Adam found out).

The real question is whether we will make the right choices all the time. I believe Catholic doctrine would even say that Mary was incapable of doing that without God's grace.

238 posted on 05/14/2012 6:09:24 PM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD
"Of course it is a result of a choice he freely made. And that's the point. Left to our own devices we will always make the wrong choice. And one slip up is enough to be cast from the presence of God (as Adam found out)."

Harley, we agree on this, I think. Our efforts to accept Grace and endeavor to not slip up is our cooperation with that Grace. And yes, Mary is full of Grace.

239 posted on 05/14/2012 8:14:21 PM PDT by Natural Law (Mary was the face that God chose for Himself.)
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To: Natural Law; smvoice; CynicalBear; metmom
Yup! Jesus spoke often about death and the eternal separation from God, but He was speaking to a Jewish audience who did not have a complete understanding and appreciation of heaven, hell and an afterlife. Much or Judaism remains this way today. He was trying to relate the consequences of sin and salvation in terms the average first century Jew could understand.

So, in your view, Jesus was bluffing"? All that talk about a "lake of fire and brimstone", "everlasting fire", "torment day and night forever and ever" "everlasting punishment", "everlasting destruction", where the "their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched", "suffering the vengeance of eternal fire", "a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth", "the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death", "being in torments", "place of torments", were just scare tactics to really compel people into being Christians?

You say Jesus "was speaking to a Jewish audience who did not have a complete understanding and appreciation of heaven, hell and an afterlife". That's an astounding admission when you have mocked and criticized people like Smvoice and others, who spoke about the audience of Jesus in the gospels being the Jews and the effect on the context of what he said. I'm pinging a few so they can note your change of mind about this.

Of course the Old Testament Jews did not have as complete an understanding that we do post New Testament writings about heaven and hell, but you would be wrong to claim they did not have a truthful understanding of what God had revealed to them through the Old Testament writings. There are ample verses that speak of both the presence with God and the place of torment. See Isaiah 66:24,

And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be abhorring unto all flesh.

See Isaiah 14:11,15 [referring to Lucifer],

Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee...all they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee...thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

and Daniel 12:2,

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and EVERLASTING contempt.

There are many references to "sheol" in the Old Testament and it referred to the place of the dead. Jesus spoke of such a place and said it was two separate compartments. One was a place of torment and the other called "Paradise" or "Abraham's Bosom". Paradise was cleared out at the resurrection, when Jesus "led captivity captive" into heaven. The final hell does not yet exist but will be created at the final judgment and Satan with his angels along with the anti-christ and false prophet along with the all lost will be cast into it for eternity. But you should already know all that.

Are you saying you disagree with your church's teachings about hell? Your Catechism says:

    1034 Jesus often speaks of "Gehenna" of "the unquenchable fire" reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost.614 Jesus solemnly proclaims that he "will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,"615 and that he will pronounce the condemnation: "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!"616

    1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire."617 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

You have stated many times that your purpose for participating on these threads is to make sure Catholic doctrine is correctly stated. That's why I wonder why you seem to now be contradicting what your church states. I certainly agree that hell's chief punishment is eternity separated from God, and regardless what atheists boast about wanting to not be in God's presence, I fully believe that, once they come to know the truth, they WILL be tormented by forever and ever, never being in the presence of Almighty God nor ever changing their eternity. But, I do not agree that Scripture bluffs and blusters about hell being a REAL place of torment. To skip over that and pretend that it is not true, is to leave out an important factor in God's plan of salvation.

240 posted on 05/14/2012 8:19:58 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums
"So, in your view, Jesus was bluffing"?"

Absolutely not. I'm just saying that if you truly love Jesus you would be willing to endure an eternity of the pain and deprivation threatened in the fire and brimstone hell for His sake as I am sure He would do for us. The God who created human psychology surely knows that positive reinforcement is a far more effective motivationa tactic than coercion.

"You say Jesus "was speaking to a Jewish audience who did not have a complete understanding and appreciation of heaven, hell and an afterlife". That's an astounding admission when you have mocked and criticized people like Smvoice and others, who spoke about the audience of Jesus in the gospels being the Jews and the effect on the context of what he said."

Were that lack of understanding limited only to the Jews you might have a point, but obviously that lack of understanding persists among some Christians to this day.

"Are you saying you disagree with your church's teachings about hell?"

Not at all. I am not saying that fire and brimstone do not exist, just that as a Catholic and Christian the threat of that pales in comparison to an eternity absent God:

CCC 1057 Hell's principal punishment consists of eternal separation from God in whom alone man can have the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

241 posted on 05/14/2012 8:39:11 PM PDT by Natural Law (Mary was the face that God chose for Himself.)
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To: Natural Law
"The God who created human psychology surely knows that positive reinforcement is a far more effective motivationa tactic than coercion."

Amen to that!

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."

242 posted on 05/15/2012 1:10:26 AM PDT by mitch5501 ("make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall")
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To: boatbums; Natural Law
You say Jesus "was speaking to a Jewish audience who did not have a complete understanding and appreciation of heaven, hell and an afterlife".
243 posted on 05/15/2012 4:08:32 AM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: Natural Law; boatbums
bb:"So, in your view, Jesus was bluffing"?"

nl: Absolutely not. I'm just saying that if you truly love Jesus you would be willing to endure an eternity of the pain and deprivation threatened in the fire and brimstone hell for His sake as I am sure He would do for us.

What on earth kind of reasoning is that? And how do you figure that Jesus would be willing to endure eternal torment for our sake? What's your Scriptural justification for that????

Not at all. I am not saying that fire and brimstone do not exist, just that as a Catholic and Christian the threat of that pales in comparison to an eternity absent God:

Spending an eternity absent from God without the torment is no punishment for someone who already hates and rejects God.

What's going to be the punishment for people who don't want God isn't being without Him; that's just giving them what they want.

It's going to be the torment

244 posted on 05/15/2012 9:57:37 AM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom
"What on earth kind of reasoning is that?"

It only seems bizarre when considered in the absence of an understand of what divine and perfect love is.

"And how do you figure that Jesus would be willing to endure eternal torment for our sake?"

He loves me, divinely and perfectly.

"What's your Scriptural justification for that????"

You don't believe that Scripture says that God loves you?

"What's going to be the punishment for people who don't want God isn't being without Him; that's just giving them what they want..."

It is a very dark and hedonistic soteriology that puts the personal fear of the physical above the loss of the divine and believes that the Gospel must rely on threats and coercion to precipitate what should be selflessly given.

245 posted on 05/15/2012 11:36:52 AM PDT by Natural Law (Mary was the face that God chose for Himself.)
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To: metmom; boatbums; Natural Law
*sigh*

Time to complete the thought.....

bb: You say Jesus "was speaking to a Jewish audience who did not have a complete understanding and appreciation of heaven, hell and an afterlife".

NOBODY has a complete understanding and appreciation of heaven or hell.

I've noticed that the Catholic church and Catholics like to CLAIM they do, like they claim to understand the Trinity, but most of what we believe about things unseen and things of God is most likely nowhere near the mark.

246 posted on 05/15/2012 1:47:53 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: Natural Law; boatbums
IOW, no Scriptural justification for it.

I didn't think so.

The comment about if we truly loved Jesus we would be willing to spend eternity in eternal torment for His sake is total nonsense.

Granted, it's a sentence, but still, sentences are supposed to mean something. That doesn't.

It is a very dark and hedonistic soteriology that puts the personal fear of the physical above the loss of the divine and believes that the Gospel must rely on threats and coercion to precipitate what should be selflessly given.

Well, you'll have to take that up with Jesus because He's the one that warned us more about hell and the eternal torment and the punishment for unbelief than He taught about heaven and the rewards for belief.

And it isn't nearly as twisted as some of the teachings about salvation that the Catholic church purports.

It may not have occurred to you yet, but *threatening* someone who doesn't want anything to do with God with an eternity without Him, is no threat to them. You still haven't explained how giving someone what they want is punishment to them. For the God hater, the punishment would be to spend eternity WITH Him.

Take out the eternal torment and there's no impetus for the non-believer to give a rip about the idea of spending eternity without God.

Spending eternity without God is only a deterrent to those who want to spend eternity WITH Him, and they're most likely going to be saved anyway.

247 posted on 05/15/2012 2:00:28 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom
"The comment about if we truly loved Jesus we would be willing to spend eternity in eternal torment for His sake is total nonsense."

It is only nonsense to those who value their own creature comforts more than they do Him. I pray that your statement was only the product of anti-Catholic contrariness and not your true feelings.

"But above all these things is the being associated with the companies of angels and archangels, thrones and dominations, principalities and powers, and the enjoyment of the watches of all the celestial virtues—to behold the squadron of the saints, adorned with stars; the patriarchs, glittering with faith; the prophets, rejoicing in hope; the apostles, who in the twelve tribes of Israel, shall judge the whole world; the martyrs, decked with the purple diadems of victory; the virgins, also, with their wreaths of beauty. But of the King, who is in the midst, no words are able to speak. That beauty, that virtue, that glory, that magnificence, that majesty, surpasses every expression, every sense of the human mind. For it is greater than the glory of all saints; but to attain to that ineffable sight, and to be made radiant with the splendor of His countenance, it were worth while to suffer torment every day—it were worth while to endure hell itself for a season, so that we might behold Christ coming in glory, and be joined to the number of the saints; so is it not then well worth while to endure earthly sorrows, that we may be partakers of such good, and of such glory?" - St. Bede 710 AD

248 posted on 05/15/2012 2:44:42 PM PDT by Natural Law (Mary was the face that God chose for Himself.)
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To: Natural Law; metmom
It is only nonsense to those who value their own creature comforts more than they do Him. I pray that your statement was only the product of anti-Catholic contrariness and not your true feelings.

No, it IS nonsense and it has NOTHING at all to do with a person valuing creature comforts more than they do the Lord Jesus. The Apostle Paul spoke about how much he loved his fellow Jews - so much that if it were possible he would be accursed from Christ in their place (Romans 9:3). But, as we know FROM Scripture, God does not allow that and each person must make a decision about Christ for himself. So, I agree with Metmom, that imagining eternity in hell separated from Christ to somehow prove our love for him is nonsense. It may sound pious to some, but it is nonsense nonetheless.

Your quotation of Bede, BTW, does NOT address eternity in hell but "for a season" and he used the analogy to encourage us to endure whatever hardships in this present life for the glory that awaits those who are Christ's. He came that we may HAVE life and that abundantly.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)

249 posted on 05/15/2012 3:24:55 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: Natural Law; metmom; count-your-change; RnMomof7; Dr. Eckleburg

You missed the point. We can and always choose the wrong course in our lives. We can and never choose the right way. While Protestants accept that Christ is our atonement and the perfector of our faith, Catholics feel there is a need to work one’s way. Thus the purpose of purgatory. Of course Mary would have been excluded.

Would you say that Judas could be in purgatory?


250 posted on 05/15/2012 5:12:31 PM PDT by HarleyD
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