Skip to comments.The Whole Gospel, Please – A Reflection on a Popular Gospel Verse
Posted on 04/08/2016 7:34:38 AM PDT by Salvation
The Gospel proclaimed on Wednesday of this week included the familiar John 3:16. So familiar is this verse, that many hold up signs or have bumper stickers that simply say, John 3:16.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life (John 3:16).
It is indeed a beautiful verse, but I would argue that many use it inauthentically by pulling it out from its place within a longer passage. The fuller segment is John 3:16-21, which is as much a passage of warning as it is of consolation and assurance.
Here it is again, along with the remainder of that longer passage:
For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God (John 3:16-21).
This fuller context has somewhat of a different tone. It sets forth a great drama in which our lives are cast. It amounts to sober assessment of the obtuseness of many human hearts and of the urgent need for us to decide well in life.
Those who merely quote the first verse run the risk of presenting this text as a kind of a freewheeling assurance that all is well and that salvation is largely in the bag, that judgment and condemnation are not a significant factor since God so loved the world. And while the concept of faith is included in this first verse, without the larger context the tendency is to soft-pedal the need for repentance and for the obedience of faith. In so doing, the true drama and sober teaching of the fuller text are lost.
The longer passage fleshes the message out and has a balance that the shortened text does not. Here is what Jesus is in effect saying, expressed in more modern language:
As I live, I and my Father do not desire that any should die in their sins or be lost. I have not currently come as your judge but as your savior. I will come one day as the judge of all, but now is a time of grace and mercy extended to you.
But you need to know that you have a decision to make, a decision that will determine where you will spend eternity.
So please listen to me! Open the door to me and let me draw you to the obedience of faith and the beauty of holiness. If you do this, light will dawn for you, for I am the Light and your life will grow ever brighter.
But if you will not repent and come to a lifesaving obedience of faith, your heart will begin to despise me and the light of my glory. You will become accustomed to the darkness and begin to consider the Light (which I am) to be obnoxious, harsh, judgmental, and even cruel. Yes, you will begin to hate me, for I am the Light. You will prefer the darkness because you love your sins more.
Come to your senses and dont let this happen. You have a decision to make: for the light or for the darkness, for me or for the prince of this world, Satan. Be sober and understand the dramatic choice before you. Your salvation depends on your choice to come to obedient faith in me or to reject me.
And know this: on the day of your judgment, the verdict will not be rendered by me so much as by you. For by then, you will either love the Light or hate it. And I will not force you to live in a light you detest. You will be free to go your own way. It will not be I who reject you. It will be you who reject me.
Be sober. Dont let this happen. Dont marginalize or ignore me. Dont prefer the world and its twisted values and passing pleasures. Your sins will make you hate the light and prefer the darkness. You have a decision to make.
This message is much more complex than that contained in the popular, abbreviated text known as John 3:16. Gods mercy is offered, but the final verdict will center on whether or not we accept it. This message may be less consoling but it is true nonetheless, and only the truth can set us free.
There is a tendency by many to pull out certain verses and isolate them from their context and from the fuller message of the Gospel. The full and authentic Gospel echoes the opening call of the Lord Jesus: Repent and believe the Good News.
So yes, John 3:16! But please continue reading. The whole Gospel, please!
WRONG! As the contrary is actually true, and the only way Newman can say this is under the premise that history is only what Rome says it is, as Manning also articulated, and to resort to his specious art of "development of doctrine."
It was the charge of the Reformers that the Catholic doctrines were not primitive, and their pretension was to revert to antiquity. But the appeal to antiquity is both a treason and a heresy. It is a treason because it rejects the Divine voice of the Church at this hour, and a heresy because it denies that voice to be Divine....I may say in strict truth that the Church has no antiquity. It rests upon its own supernatural and perpetual consciousness. Its past is present with it, for both are one to a mind which is immutable. Primitive and modern are predicates, not of truth, but of ourselves....The only Divine evidence to us of what was primitive is the witness and voice of the Church at this hour. — Most Rev. Dr. Henry Edward Cardinal Manning, Lord Archbishop of Westminster, “The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost: Or Reason and Revelation,” (New York: J.P. Kenedy & Sons, originally written 1865, reprinted with no date), pp. 227-228; ttp://www.archive.org/stream/a592004400mannuoft/a592004400mannuoft_djvu.txt.
Thus Newman states, "in all cases the immediate motive in the mind of a Catholic for his reception of them is, not that they are proved to him by Reason or by History, but because Revelation has declared them by means of that high ecclesiastical Magisterium which is their legitimate exponent.” — John Henry Newman, “A Letter Addressed to the Duke of Norfolk on Occasion of Mr. Gladstone's Recent Expostulation.” 8. The Vatican Council l - http://www.newmanreader.org/works/anglicans/volume2/gladstone/section8.html
However, the increasing manifest contrast btwn the propaganda that the RC faith was that "faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all believed always by everyone, everywhere," from the 5th-century exhortation by Vincent of Lérins in his Commonitory, Newman was forced to admit,
It does not seem possible, then, to avoid the conclusion that, whatever be the proper key for harmonizing the records and documents of the early and later Church, and true as the dictum of Vincentius [what the Church taught was believed always by everyone], must be considered in the abstract, and possible as its application might be in his own age, when he might almost ask the primitive centuries for their testimony, it is hardly available now, or effective of any satisfactory result. The solution it offers is as difficult as the original problem. — John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (New York: Longmans, Green and Co., reprinted 1927), p. 27.
For in contrast to even RC papal propaganda, even Caths researchers, among others provide testimony against such, including Newman in explaining how the Peter of Scripture, the non-assertive, street-level initial leader among the 11, for whom no successors are promised, and to whom the NT church did not look to as the first of a line of exalted infallible heads reigning supreme in Rome, much less by RC voting, was become the Roman pope:
While Apostles were on earth, there was the display neither of Bishop nor Pope; their power had no prominence, as being exercised by Apostles. In course of time, first the power of the Bishop displayed itself, and then the power of the Pope. . . . St. Peter’s prerogative would remain a mere letter, till the complication of ecclesiastical matters became the cause of ascertaining it. . . . When the Church, then, was thrown upon her own resources, first local disturbances gave exercise to Bishops, and next ecumenical disturbances gave exercise to Popes; and whether communion with the Pope was necessary for Catholicity would not and could not be debated till a suspension of that communion had actually occurred… (John Henry Newman, Essay on the Development of Doctrine, Notre Dame edition, pp. 165-67).
Avery Dulles considers the development of the Papacy to be an historical accident:
“The strong centralization in modern Catholicism is due to historical accident. It has been shaped in part by the homogeneous culture of medieval Europe and by the dominance of Rome, with its rich heritage of classical culture and legal organization” (Models of the Church by Avery Dulles, p. 200)
Klaus Schatz [Jesuit Father theologian, professor of church history at the St. George’s Philosophical and Theological School in Frankfurt] in his work, “Papal Primacy ,” pp. 1-4, finds:
“New Testament scholars agree..., The further question whether there was any notion of an enduring office beyond Peter’s lifetime, if posed in purely historical terms, should probably be answered in the negative.
That is, if we ask whether the historical Jesus, in commissioning Peter, expected him to have successors, or whether the authority of the Gospel of Matthew, writing after Peter’s death, was aware that Peter and his commission survived in the leaders of the Roman community who succeeded him, the answer in both cases is probably 'no.”
If one had asked a Christian in the year 100, 200, or even 300 whether the bishop of Rome was the head of all Christians, or whether there was a supreme bishop over all the other bishops and having the last word in questions affecting the whole Church, he or she would certainly have said no." (page 3, top)
Catholic theologian and a Jesuit priest Francis Sullivan, in his work From Apostles to Bishops (New York: The Newman Press), examines possible mentions of “succession” from the first three centuries, and concludes from that study that,
“the episcopate [development of bishops] is a the fruit of a post New Testament development,” “...the evidence both from the New Testament and from such writings as I Clement, the Letter of Polycarp to the Philippians and The Shepherd of Hennas favors the view that initially the presbyters in each church, as a college, possessed all the powers needed for effective ministry. This would mean that the apostles handed on what was transmissible of their mandate as an undifferentiated whole, in which the powers that would eventually be seen as episcopal were not yet distinguished from the rest. Hence, the development of the episcopate would have meant the differentiation of ministerial powers that had previously existed in an undifferentiated state and the consequent reservation to the bishop of certain of the powers previously held collegially by the presbyters. — Francis Sullivan, in his work From Apostles to Bishops , pp. 221,222,224
Paul Johnson, educated at the Jesuit independent school Stonyhurst College, and at Magdalen College, Oxford, author of over 40 books and a conservative historian, finds,
The Church was now a great and numerous force in the empire, attracting men of wealth and high education, inevitably, then, there occurred a change of emphasis from purely practical development in response to need, to the deliberate thinking out of policy. This expressed itself in two ways: the attempt to turn Christianity into a philosophical and political system, and the development of controlling devices to prevent this intellectualization of the faith from destroying it....
Cyprian [c. 200 – September 14, 258] came from a wealthy family with a tradition of public service to the empire; within two years of his conversion he was made a bishop. He had to face the practical problems of persecution, survival and defence against attack. His solution was to gather together the developing threads of ecclesiastical order and authority and weave them into a tight system of absolute control...the confession of faith, even the Bible itself lost their meaning if used outside the Church...
With Bishop Cyprian, the analogy with secular government came to seem very close. But of course it lacked one element: the ‘emperor figure’ or supreme priest... [Peter, according to Cyprian, was] the beneficiary of the famous ‘rock and keys’ text in Matthew. There is no evidence that Rome exploited this text to assert its primacy before about 250 - and then...Paul was eliminated from any connection with the Rome episcopate and the office was firmly attached to Peter alone... ...There was in consequence a loss of spirituality or, as Paul would have put it, of freedom... -(A History of Christianity, by Paul Johnson, pp. 51 -61,63. transcribed using OCR software)
Eamon Duffy (Former president of Magdalene College and member of Pontifical Historical Commission, and current Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Cambridge) and provides more on the Roman church becoming more like the empire in which it was found as a result of state adoption of (an already deformed) Christianity:
The conversion of Constantine had propelled the Bishops of Rome into the heart of the Roman establishment...They [bishops of Rome] set about [creating a Christian Rome] by building churches, converting the modest tituli (community church centres) into something grander, and creating new and more public foundations, though to begin with nothing that rivaled the great basilicas at the Lateran and St. Peter’s...
These churches were a mark of the upbeat confidence of post-Constantinian Christianity in Rome. The popes were potentates, and began to behave like it. Damasus perfectly embodied this growing grandeur. An urbane career cleric like his predecessor Liberius, at home in the wealthy salons of the city, he was also a ruthless power-broker, and he did not he did not hesitate to mobilize both the city police and [a hired mob of gravediggers with pickaxes] to back up his rule…
Self-consciously, the popes began to model their actions and their style as Christian leaders on the procedures of the Roman state. — Eamon Duffy “Saints and Sinners”, p. 37,38
For the so-called successor to Peter, as Damasus 1 (366-384) began his reign by employing a gang of thugs in securing his chair, which carried out a three-day massacre of his rivals supporters. Yet true to form, Rome made him a "saint.
Damasus is much responsible for the further unscriptural development of the Roman primacy, frequently referring to Rome as ''the apostolic see'' and enjoying a His magnificent lifestyle and the favor of court and aristocracy, and leading to Theodosius 1 (379-95) declaring (February 27, 380) Christianity the state religion.
The Bishop of Rome assumed [circa sixth century] the position of Ponlifex Maximus, priest and temporal ruler in one, and the workings of this so-called spiritual kingdom, with bishops as senators, and priests as leaders of the army, followed on much the same lines as the empire. The analogy was more complete when monasteries were founded and provinces were won and governed by the Church. - Welbore St. Clair Baddeley, Lina Duff Gordon, “Rome and its story” p. 176
Eastern Orthodox scholarship (while maintaining her shared accretion of errors of "tradition" as the "one true church") also adds voice to this,
Roman Catholicism, unable to show a continuity of faith and in order to justify new doctrine, erected in the last century, a theory of "doctrinal development. Following the philosophical spirit of the time (and the lead of Cardinal Henry Newman)... "
All the stages are useful, all are resources; and the theologian may appeal to the Fathers, for example, but they may also be contradicted by something else, something higher or newer. On this basis, theories such as the dogmas of "papal infallibility" and "the immaculate conception" of the Virgin Mary (about which we will say more) are justifiably presented to the Faithful as necessary to their salvation. - http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/ortho_cath.html Falsified history of the Roman church was also instrumental in the development of her unScriptural papacy and power. RC historian Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger: In the middle of the ninth century—about 845—there arose the huge fabrication of the Isidorian decretals...About a hundred pretended decrees of the earliest Popes, together with certain spurious writings of other Church dignitaries and acts of Synods, were then fabricated in the west of Gaul, and eagerly seized upon Pope Nicholas I at Rome, to be used as genuine documents in support of the new claims put forward by himself and his successors. That the pseudo–Isidorian principles eventually revolutionized the whole constitution of the Church, and introduced a new system in place of the old—on that point there can be no controversy among candid historians. - — Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger, The Pope and the Council (Boston: Roberts, 1870) Then you have the unScriptural Development of the distinctive Catholic priesthood More by the grace of God. In fact, he insisted that if the kind of church I pastored at the time ever existed in the early centuries of the Christian history, there’s no record of it. “So much must the Protestant grant, that if such a system of doctrine as he would now introduce ever existed in early times, it has been clean swept away as if by a deluge, suddenly, silently, and without memorial.” Which is so much sophistry as it relies upon a false premise that either the church of the early centuries of the Christian is that of latter centuries in its totality, and that both are that of the first century, or else the church did not exist. But rather than this either/or false dilemma, the story of the church of Rome is a matter of progressive deformation, in which it took time to fundamentally become contrary to the NT church, while at all times retaining enough basic salvific content that simple contrite souls could be saved and be part of the only one true church, while alone 100% consists of only believers. It was at this point that I decided to take up Newman’s challenge. I would read the Church Fathers straight through, in order and in context. While is like uncritically reading liberals to determine what the Constitution and bill of rights means. What you are doing is taking the so-called church "fathers," (they were not) with their progressive accretion of errors, along with their diverse opinions from which Rome picks and chooses from (including those EOs differ on ), and concluding that this is what the NT taught, as if the NT was so unclear, that they needed to be defined by the writings of church "fathers," while in reality they provide contrast with what the NT church believed.
Other unscriptural developments included religious syncretism, as Newman confessed:
"In the course of the fourth century two movements or developments spread over the face of Christendom, with a rapidity characteristic of the Church; the one ascetic, the other ritual or ceremonial. We are told in various ways by Eusebius [Note 16], that Constantine, in order to recommend the new religion to the heathen, transferred into it the outward ornaments to which they had been accustomed in their own. It is not necessary to go into a subject which the diligence of Protestant writers has made familiar to most of us."
"The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense, lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums; holydays and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessings on the fields; sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure, the ring in marriage, turning to the East, images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant, and the Kyrie Eleison, are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church." (John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, Chapter 8. Application of the Third Note of a True Development—Assimilative Power)
Both Scripture and history reveals that there simply was no Roman Catholic church in the first century. Among other things, no church looking to Peter as the first of a line of supreme infallible heads, ensured perpetual magisterial infallibility, praying to created beings in Heaven, including before their statues, obtaining indulgences in order to escape time in purgatory, where they would atone for sins and become good enough to enter Heaven (yes, that is what RCs teach), no priests changing bread and wine into the "real" but unbloody, non-evidential body and blood of Christ, offered as a sacrifice for sins. Around which ritual sacrament church life basically revolved. In fact no separate class of believers distinctively titled "priests" at all, let alone being normatively celibate (and treating marital relations as an unclean things as Jerome did and others). Etc.
Falsified history of the Roman church was also instrumental in the development of her unScriptural papacy and power. RC historian Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger:
In the middle of the ninth century—about 845—there arose the huge fabrication of the Isidorian decretals...About a hundred pretended decrees of the earliest Popes, together with certain spurious writings of other Church dignitaries and acts of Synods, were then fabricated in the west of Gaul, and eagerly seized upon Pope Nicholas I at Rome, to be used as genuine documents in support of the new claims put forward by himself and his successors.
That the pseudo–Isidorian principles eventually revolutionized the whole constitution of the Church, and introduced a new system in place of the old—on that point there can be no controversy among candid historians. - — Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger, The Pope and the Council (Boston: Roberts, 1870) Then you have the unScriptural Development of the distinctive Catholic priesthood More by the grace of God.
In fact, he insisted that if the kind of church I pastored at the time ever existed in the early centuries of the Christian history, there’s no record of it. “So much must the Protestant grant, that if such a system of doctrine as he would now introduce ever existed in early times, it has been clean swept away as if by a deluge, suddenly, silently, and without memorial.”
Which is so much sophistry as it relies upon a false premise that either the church of the early centuries of the Christian is that of latter centuries in its totality, and that both are that of the first century, or else the church did not exist. But rather than this either/or false dilemma, the story of the church of Rome is a matter of progressive deformation, in which it took time to fundamentally become contrary to the NT church, while at all times retaining enough basic salvific content that simple contrite souls could be saved and be part of the only one true church, while alone 100% consists of only believers.
It was at this point that I decided to take up Newman’s challenge. I would read the Church Fathers straight through, in order and in context.
While is like uncritically reading liberals to determine what the Constitution and bill of rights means. What you are doing is taking the so-called church "fathers," (they were not) with their progressive accretion of errors, along with their diverse opinions from which Rome picks and chooses from (including those EOs differ on ), and concluding that this is what the NT taught, as if the NT was so unclear, that they needed to be defined by the writings of church "fathers," while in reality they provide contrast with what the NT church believed.
The honest reader of this will seriously have to question the "authority" claimed by Rome.
I stand corrected and as I recall from RCIA meetings this was my mistake and not a claim of the Church. If one goes to Mass everyday (except of course on Good Friday when there is no Mass but there are Bible readings) for three years I believe that one will hear 71-75% of the Bible. Some of the readings are heard more frequently but I believe that this only counts them once. And yes, it does include the begats. I’m guessing that some of the more obscure passages of Deut are not included. Catholics of course do have the complete canon which is a whole other debate.
I do read the daily readings whether I make it to Mass every day or not.
I have read the entire Bible three times and now do weekly Bible study at my parish. Right now we’re doing a pretty exhaustive study of Galatians. In the course of studying Galatians we’ve spent a lot of time in Genesis and Isaiah.
So is the debate whether Catholics read/believe in/the Bible? I can only speak for myself as to whether Catholics read the Bible. The Catechism certainly calls all Catholics to believe in scripture as the foundation of our faith.
Metmom on another response implied that Catholics don’t read the Bible and that may be her experience. I know people who are nominally Protestant who don’t know or read the Bible but I don’t find it to be charitable to have debates with them or challenge them about it. I know that there was a time in my life when I didn’t consider the Bible to be part of my journey just as I didn’t believe that going to Mass was part of my journey. Now I can’t imagine life without both. I get up every morning giving my life anew to Jesus. That’s how I roll. :-D
What are you learning in your study of Galatians?
Without belief in the Eucharist, as did the early followers of Christ, and is the sum, substance, and summit of all Catholicism, there is no Christianity except fakery (enter Joel Osteen; Rev. Schummer; Rev. Graham; Rev. Moon; Rev. Jeremiah Wright etc) because of the thousands of different interpretations of the written word of God and the sacred oral tradition.
I recently completed an 8 week overview of the Bible by Jeff Cavins, in which I learned many things. We will be starting a 24 part course in the fall that will go into greater detail. I am really looking forward to that.
Without belief in Christ there is no salvation. You can eat all the crackers and drink all the wine you want to, but without faith in Christ it amounts to nothing.
That belief must be acknowledged and expressed. No faith in the Eucharist, and its all empty nonsense. Christ Himself said so.
The roman catholic mass is anti-biblical as it flies against Hebrews 10 which tells us one sacrifice has been offered for all sin. That is the death of Christ on the cross. For catholics to continue to insist He has to be re-sacrificed over and over again, as John O'Brien, a catholic priest has clearly stated, is a clear false teaching.
Christ said in John 5:24 that Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
Even the disciples understood He was talking about belief in Him was the key as they noted in John 6:69, We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.
Catholiciism teaches its sincere adherents that Jesus is there, at the Catholic altar, brought there by the priest to submit to the continued sacrificing of His flesh and blood so that the adherents may eat His body, blood, soul, and DIVINITY. THAT is blasphemy writ large, so large the duped catholic cannot see the demonic na5ture of such bold blasphemy! Jesus said where two or more are gathered in His name ... I don't see ANY mention of a catholic priest to bring Him there in the midst of those two or more.
The only way that catholiciism can sustain such blasphemy is to command that one or two verses in the Bible be taken completely out of the context of the rest of the Bible, including The Levitical Laws which Jesus NEVER violated since He authored them.
The Lord established the meaning of the Passover as thereafter a REMEMBRANCE of what He was about to do as The Lamb of God Whom takes away the sins of the world. Had Jesus violated the Levitical Laws in that Passover Seder He would have acquired spot or blemish by leading His disicples to profane the Passover Seder.
So long as the demons can convince you to ignore the significance of Jesus remaining without spot or blemish as the Loamb of God, you will not be able to break the demonic h9old on your mind telling you that catholics eat the body, blood, soul, and GIVINITY of Jesus, of GOD! IF, on the other hand, you will awaken to the truth of Whom Jesus IS and Whom He was at that Passover Seder the night before the Cross, then you will be able to understand that He would not give literal blood and human/divine flesh to His followers the night before the Cross. The bread (actually unleavened bread) and wine He gave to His disciples were representations of what He was about to give UP ON THE CROSS for you and for me. Celebrating The Lord's TAble is an outward behavior exhibiting my belief in the real sacrifice He made ONCE, for ALL, Forever.
When catholiciism insists their priests continue to sacrifice Jesus's body and blood at a catholic altar, they show the world that the jesus of catholiciism was not able to accomplish what HE SAID He came to do, ONCE, for ALL who will believe on Whom God has sent for our Deliverance.
My Lord is in Heaven, seated at the right hand of God The Father Almighty. No catholic magician can bring Him from there because no catholic priest can go there unless GOD brings Him into His Presence. YOUR Catholic priest does not have power over GOD. To even hint tha5t he could have is heresy squarely centered upon the demon of Rome who directs the Vatican throughout History, as evidenced by the evil directed by Rome across History ever since Polycarp shook the dust from his feet leaving heretically driven Rome in 156..
I have met precious few Catholics in my life that read the Bible on thier own.
And to be fair, there are plenty of PRotestants and Evangelicals who don’t read Scripture all that diligently, although in every non-Catholic church I’ve attended it’s always encouraged.
But the point is, the RCC is not superior simply because a greater number of verses is read at a mass than might be in a non- Catholic service.
Nor does it really mean that Catholics get more Scripture cause based on church attendance by most Catholics, they are losing out big time.
Weddings, funerals, Christmas and Easter does not cut it.
I didn’t know that we were debating whether Catholics are superior. We are all sinners, every one. My point was that Catholics, even if they don’t read the Bible at home, hear it at the Mass. And most of the Catholics I know do read the Bible but I probably know more Catholics who are active in their parish.
As to superiority, I want be close to Jesus. The closer I am to Him the more humble I need to be. I seek the little way.
I am the living bread come down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.
By your lights, the early Church fathers, those who sifted through the religious fragments after AD 33, examined the practices of the early Christians, interpreted and assembled the Written Word of God, we call the Bible; the long litany of saints and martyrs, converts included, and the constellation of scholars, historians, and theologians, all got it wrong, and id for for a millennia and more!
Have you ever even sought to learn the significance of the Passover cups, what they commenmorate?
Did Jesus tell His disciples to do this thereafter in Rmemebrance of His sacrifice of His body and blood coming on the morrow? OR did He tell them to be sure and eat and drink His literal, un-crucified flesh and blood on the establishment of The Lord's Table?
Would Jesus profane the Passover Seder, BEFORE going tot he cross? If you answer that He would not, then the first Lord's Table Remembrance would either be with unsacrificed flesh and blood, or would be a spiritual metaphor for what He was about to sacrifice for them and you and me? Jesus was handing to them the matzoh and wine, alive, there in their midst, not yet crucified. How can catholiciism command you that the first Eucharist was on that night, yet in catholic ritual Mass you are commanded that you eat the crucified body and blood (and SOUL and DIVINITY, like the Baal worshippers)?
If you are unable or unwilling to see these conflicting catholic assertions, then you are still walking without His light. You are striving along under the magicsteeringthem candle-powered dictates, which are not from God.
You might also want to look a little deeper in the Hisotry of the church Jesus established upon the profession of Faith, because this image of ‘sifting through religious fragments’ is quite wrong. Polycartp was a direct student of John and probably met Philip and Andrew when he/Polycarp was a young man. In his letter to the Philipians he either quotes directly or alludes to teachings from all 27 of the eventual New Testament canon. In AD 100 there was already the entire texts of the New Testament and all of the Septuagint available to the bodies of believers which made up the ekklesia of Jesus’s Church, not the catholic church. the Catholic Church came much later.
“Without belief in the Eucharist, as did the early followers of Christ, and is the sum, substance, and summit of all Catholicism, there is no Christianity except fakery”
I count two unsubstantiated claims.
You might try to tell me that you are not saying the Eucharist is the way to be born from above. I would reply that is exactly what you are asserting. Think about what it means that the supposed first Eucharist of the catholiciism religion happened with Jesus uncrucified, on the night before He was going tot he Cross as the Perfect Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world. The night before the crucifixion, Jesus was not yet crucified, and He was there int he glesh with the disciples celebrating the Passover Seder, a sacred celebration commanded by God to be kept sacred. It was and is a ritual SIGNIFYING a Spiritual truth. Yet the magicsteeringthem has commanded that you believe Jesus would profane this Sacred celebration and offered a direct violation of Levitical law by giving His disciples His literal blood to drink that night!
“all got it wrong, and id for for a millennia and more!
Got lots wrong, were often lied to and probably tried their best.
Some did, some didn't.
The real problem is the misinterpretations which snowballed as Catholicism tried its best a couple of centuries later when they attempted to commandeer Christianity away from Jesus Christ (the Head of the body) and His body of believers.
God is not happy about that. REALLY not happy!
Amen, not happy at all! The seven hills are scheduled for demo lasting one hour, in the not so distant future!
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