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Posts by Tao Yin

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  • George Takei warns NRA: 'You don't want to mess with' LGBT community

    06/15/2016 6:53:49 AM PDT · 46 of 105
    Tao Yin to bus man
    inspired by religious fanaticism

    Yup, key words here. Let's compare not baking a cake with mass murder. Way to go Takei.

  • Clinton vows not to stoop to Trumpís level of ugliness

    05/09/2016 7:09:58 AM PDT · 3 of 113
    Tao Yin to COUNTrecount

    I’m willing to bet that Trump makes Hillary cry during one of the debates. Will it destroy her campaign or will she then get the sympathy vote? Interesting times...

  • The problem with Ted Cruz

    04/29/2016 7:37:51 AM PDT · 6 of 37
    Tao Yin to Biggirl

    That’s the worst excerpt ever. Nothing to do with the title.

  • Fr. Hans Kung Says Francis Responded to Request for Free Discussion on Infallibility Dogma

    04/27/2016 7:03:36 AM PDT · 7 of 14
    Tao Yin to yefragetuwrabrumuy
    I don’t think the current Pope should be given a millimeter’s slack on the infallibility doctrine

    A pope denying infallibility is like saying "This statement is false." Very confusing.

  • Pope Francis

    04/11/2016 5:29:41 AM PDT · 32 of 34
    Tao Yin to MagillaX
    If anyone could demonstrate a popes resignation is an infallible church teaching it would be welcome.

    If the Pope has the power to bind or loose, why can't he loose himself?

  • The Apostolic Exhortation and the Abolishment of the Sin of Presumption

    04/09/2016 7:11:53 AM PDT · 4 of 14
    Tao Yin to ebb tide
    The sin of presumption is a weird concept.

    Presumption ... may also be regarded as a product of pride.

    [Presumption] may be defined as the condition of a soul which ... hopes for salvation without doing anything to deserve it,...

    Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

    So how is presumption about pride? How is it prideful to say "I'm saved because of Christ's merit rather than my own." I totally agree that faith without works is dead, but the works do not earn us salvation, they merely show that faith is living.

    For the sin of presumption, what kind of statement do you make for the anti-presumption? Would you say "I'm saved because I've done the works to deserve it." How is this not prideful?

  • Russian Orthodox Patriarch Slams "Heresy" of Modernism and Secularism

    03/23/2016 8:57:30 AM PDT · 5 of 7
    Tao Yin to VitacoreVision
    Following back links in the chain, the author reached the first link: Martin Luther.

    Ah the original boogie man.

    from its roots in Luther's principle of private judgment

    There is a vast difference between private judgment with scripture as the final authority and private judgment with human opinion as the final authority.

    Here are two statements by Martin Luther about private judgment to consider.

    "If the emperor desires, a plain answer, I will give it to him. It is impossible for me to recant unless I am proved to be wrong by the testimony of Scripture. My conscience is bound to the Word of God. It is neither safe nor honest to act against one's conscience. Here I stand. God help me. I cannot do otherwise."

    "Unless I am convinced by testimonies of the Scripture, or by evident reason — for I neither believe the Pope nor the Councils alone, since it is clear that they have often erred and contradicted one another — I am overcome by the Scriptures I have quoted, and my conscience is taken captive by the words of God,and I neither can nor will retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to act against conscience."

    The thing that gets me is that Catholics admit their private judgment is not to be trusted, and yet they use their private judgment to gift an earthly authority with Godly infallibility. Gloss over this statement if you wish, but it is utter foolishness. I could be wrong, so I'll choose someone else to be right. But what if you chose the wrong someone?

    It's even funnier when they use their private judgment to evaluate the claims of the Catholic church.

    • Founded by Christ
    • The only True Church
    • Unbroken line of succession
    • Consistent teaching
    • Authority of tradition

    Why would you believe any of these things? Either private judgment directly or using private judgment to submit to someone else's judgment.

    I submit that Catholicism is based on private judgment with personal opinion as the source. Either you believe Catholicism is true or you believe someone else who told you Catholicism is true.

    Sola Scriptura does not mean that the Bible is the only thing we need or use. Sola Scriptura means that scripture is the final authority. I will believe neither the councils nor the church fathers without the testimony of scripture.

  • Hovering over Rome: The Ghost of Martin Luther

    03/18/2016 2:40:46 PM PDT · 370 of 459
    Tao Yin to af_vet_1981
    It seems to me this antisemitism defines Lutheranism and [is] a testimony to the Jews watching this thread that reformed theology is fatally flawed, born on an antisemitic foundation that persists to this day.

    It's interesting to see the interlinking that exists with the Jewish people and the end times.

    As a proponent of Replacement Theology and amillennialism, I do not see anything special about the Jewish people of today that reject Christ. They are branches that have been broken off. Of course, they can be grafted back in, but that is only through belief in Jesus.

    I do believe that the Jewish people have a special place in God's heart. Romans 11:28 they are loved on account of the patriarchs. But being loved has no guarantee of salvation. John 3:16 For God so loved the world... I think we all know that not everyone is going to be saved.

    An interesting idea is the hope of Israel. What is it? Is it an earthly kingdom or is it Jesus?

    I believe there is one covenant, one kingdom, and one way. The Jewish people of today that reject Christ have no hope. Telling them anything else is a lie and a false comfort.

    The kicker verse is Romans 11:32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. The idea is simple. No one deserves salvation. We are all disobedient. Only through accepting Jesus will we receive mercy. The idea that a Jew is somehow exempt from this requirement is a lie and a false comfort.

  • Perpetual virginity

    03/16/2016 10:13:56 AM PDT · 739 of 1,124
    Tao Yin to MHGinTN
    If a Christian will not oppose such blasphemies when seen for what they are, it hints of serious immaturity in that new born-from-above.

    There is also immaturity in rejecting everything just to be contrarian.

    Mary as the Mother of God? True. The term theotokos is better translated as the God-bearer. This is properly understood as a statement about Jesus, rather than an honorific for Mary. Just as "Trinity" does not appear in the Bible, neither does "Mother of God". That does not make the term "Mother of God" wrong. This term acknowledges that Jesus was true God from conception. I myself still bristle as the term "Mother of God" and prefer the original theotokos or the better translation of "God-bearer".

    Mary as a perpetual virgin? Debatable. Scripture is not clear and there has never been any consensus.

    Mary as sinless? False. This is clearly against scripture. Romans 3:23

    Mary as greater than the apostles and prophets? False. This is clearly against scripture. Ephesians 2:20

    The assumption of Mary is just an assumption, so I wouldn't worry about it.

  • Perpetual virginity

    03/16/2016 9:53:47 AM PDT · 738 of 1,124
    Tao Yin to imardmd1
    But you didn't answer the issue of where these things are commanded or by default at least not forbidden under the New Covenant.

    Traditions are not forbidden by scripture. 1 Cor. 14:40 But all things should be done decently and in order.

    Traditions which nullify scripture are clearly condemned. Traditions with support scripture are not.

    Augsburg Confession: Article XXVIII: Of Ecclesiastical Power, 54 "it is lawful for bishops or pastors to make ordinances that things be done orderly in the Church, not that thereby we should merit grace or make satisfaction for sins, or that consciences be bound to judge them necessary services, and to think that it is a sin to break them."

    If you disagree, you'll have to show me where in scripture.

  • Perpetual virginity

    03/16/2016 8:26:32 AM PDT · 735 of 1,124
    Tao Yin to imardmd1
    No, I do not accept the human rationalization that Mary's virginal status was changed because of birth. As a confessional Lutheran, I reject that idea.

    Oh, come on! It is the idea of rejecting the consequences ofbearing a child and the accompanying ripping of the flesh that makes your position a rather piquing idiotic rationalization, not the plain sense, common sense position of the straight-forward interpreter of Scripture takes.

    Straight-forward interpretation of scripture? What? Extrapolation is not interpretation. Where scripture is silent, you extrapolate with human reasoning. Folly.

    Confessional Lutherans believe, teach, and confess based on Biblical Truths. In this case it is about The Person of Christ.

    Don't yield yourself to the Martin Luther image as presented by his disciples; yield your heart to Jesus, and Him alone.

    We do not worship or give Martin Luther our heart. He had many things right and he had some things wrong. As confessional Lutherans, we hold to the Book of Concord, which was not written exclusively by Martin Luther.

    Lutheranism can't save you

    Of course not. We are saved by grace, through faith, for works.

    Thanks for the discussion, but we are talking past one another.

  • Perpetual virginity

    03/16/2016 7:13:34 AM PDT · 733 of 1,124
    Tao Yin to imardmd1
    I understand what it means to reject them and stick with Newtestamentism as the original and final faith-based answer to rejecting the speculative and conjectural foundations of denominationalism, the Church above The Christ, rather than the Christ above the church(es).

    I accepts the Bible as the infallible word of God. I accept the Book of Concord as an accurate exposition on those truths. The Bible is capitol T "Truth". The Book of Concord is lower-case t "truth".

    The church is best symbolized as a boat. Inside the boat, when Christs speaks, the water is calm. When Christ is silent, the waters rage. If you go outside the boat, you will falter like Peter. Get back in the boat and you are safe.

    The greatest boat in the Bible is Noah's ark. This boat took years to build.

    I am currently in the Lutheran boat as part of the LCMS. It sounds like you are saying get out of the Lutheran boat and make my own. As a self proclaimed thinker, I can read the New Testament and create all kinds of wonderful and fanciful ideas. These may please my mind, but they are mostly delusions. I am not a proponent of "Your own personal interpretation of scripture."

    I have decided to be part of a synod, a group of people who walk together in faith. I have never found a disagreement with the Lutheran confessions and the Bible. I have seen numerous errors in other denominations. Rejecting all denominations because of the errors of some is foolish.

    Ephesians 2: 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord

    As part of a Lutheran church, in the LCMS synod, we are building together. I have no interest in going on my own. Lashing my own raft together and creating my own lean-to.

    Hop in, the water's fine, when one yields to Jesus alone as the Master of one's soul.

    I hope you can see why that's the worst imagery every. The water is not fine (ask Peter). Get back in the boat, but make sure it is a boat where Jesus speaks.

  • Perpetual virginity

    03/16/2016 6:54:51 AM PDT · 732 of 1,124
    Tao Yin to imardmd1
    Where's that [the chruch year] in the ordinances of the Bible? especially the colored egg hunt part? (Yummmm!)

    Stop with the reflex anti-catholic rejection. Traditions are fine, but they are not doctrine and they don't need to be universal.

    There is nothing wrong with having a church year. The church year is used for good order within the church.

    There is nothing wrong with not having a church year. Rites and ceremonies can be created or dropped as each church sees fit.

    Every church has traditions. Do you meet on Saturday or Sunday? What time? Same every week? That's a tradition. Where's that in the Bible?

    Not every detail of the life of the church is contained in the Bible. Doctrine is defined and does not change. All traditions are not defined and may change over time.

    The Augsburg Confession, Article VII: Of the Church.

    1] Also they teach that one holy Church is to continue forever. The Church is the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered.

    2] And to the true unity of the Church it is enough to agree concerning the doctrine of the Gospel and 3] the administration of the Sacraments. Nor is it necessary that human traditions, that is, rites or ceremonies, instituted by men, should be everywhere alike.

    4] As Paul says: One faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all, etc. Eph. 4:5-6.

  • Perpetual virginity

    03/16/2016 6:11:43 AM PDT · 727 of 1,124
    Tao Yin to imardmd1
    But she as no longer considered a virgin after the babe's exit through the birth canal.

    Says who? You really need to be careful adding to scripture and using human reasoning to understand the mysteries of God.

    No, I do not accept the human rationalization that Mary's virginal status was changed because of birth. As a confessional Lutheran, I reject that idea.

    Solid Declaration of the Book of Concord VIII: The Person of Christ: 24. On account of this personal union and communion of the natures, Mary, the most blessed Virgin, bore not a mere man, but, as the angel [Gabriel] testifies, such a man as is truly the Son of the most high God, who showed His divine majesty even in His mother's womb, inasmuch as He was born of a virgin, with her virginity inviolate. Therefore she is truly the mother of God, and nevertheless remained a virgin.

    This declaration does not deal with Mary's perpetual virginity, but it does confess that she remained a virgin after the birth.

  • Perpetual virginity

    03/16/2016 5:28:45 AM PDT · 723 of 1,124
    Tao Yin to Elsie

    Yet another man made ‘tradition’ not found in the bible.

    There is nothing wrong with Lent. It's part of the church year. Sheesh.

    There would be a problem if you are mandating behavior or treating Lent as a means of grace, but there is nothing wrong with observing Lent.

    The church is allowed to create traditions and celebrations and observances. The problem comes when these traditions are given equal weight (or more) to scripture.

    The knee jerk rejection of Lent is just as bad as all of the other instant rejections of anything perceived as Catholic.

  • Perpetual virginity

    03/15/2016 1:05:50 PM PDT · 662 of 1,124
    Tao Yin to Delta 21
    Why are you parsing scripture trying to make the entire sentence means what one word in the sentence does without its modifiers?

    The last word? I'll take it. Catholics are wrong to venerate/worship Mary.

    Catholics say that Mary was ever virgin according to their tradition. Their tradition does uphold this idea. I disagree with the strength they give tradition though..

    Those who disagree with Catholics need to be careful to avoid the reflex opposite just to be contrarian. Throughout history, among non-Catholics, there is not a consensus about the correct scriptural interpretation regarding Mary's ever virgin status. This is not a tenant of faith. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary. That is enough.

    As a proponent of sola scriptura, I believe it is important that we do not go beyond what it written simply to strengthen our position/opinion. I believe it is important to go back to the original languages to help us understand scripture.

    I caution those who reflexively take the opposite of the Catholic view just to be anti-catholic. That is all.

  • Perpetual virginity

    03/15/2016 10:15:58 AM PDT · 652 of 1,124
    Tao Yin to imardmd1
    Why does He say, "until" instead of "never ?

    Because Jesus was to be born of a virgin. That's the important part. That's what scripture addresses.

    To tease us with Biblical conundrums? Heh.

    I've wondered myself. I know in some cases, humans have a problem of looking for answers where God doesn't give any.

    You'd better think out what all this means, particularly in view of the cultural context.

    It seems pretty clear. Born of a virgin. David's heir. Is there something else I'm missing?

    I try to avoid the trap of the rationalizing mind, or at least understand that I'm dealing with hypotheticals rather than theology. I know what I need to know and I believe what scripture plainly teaches. Adding any human rationalization on top of scripture is fun and interesting, but not a basis for truth.

    I always try to separate personal ideas from scriptural truths.

    Speaking of personal ideas... Was Jesus Joseph's son genetically? There is no reason that the Holy Spirit couldn't have used Joseph's DNA as a template when Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Others have argued that Jesus' DNA was entirely from Mary and that means Jesus was an XX chromosome male. Lots of people might have lots of ideas, but it's not important other than a curiosity.

  • Perpetual virginity

    03/15/2016 9:10:09 AM PDT · 646 of 1,124
    Tao Yin to imardmd1
    I guess that means Jesus is going to be alone in heaven.

    I think you read too much into simple statements...

  • Perpetual virginity

    03/15/2016 9:09:04 AM PDT · 645 of 1,124
    Tao Yin to Delta 21
    Jesus is not interested in the luke warm drippings in the bottom of the dishwasher. They will be cast aside.

    Not sure what your point is here. I believe Mary was not ever virgin, but I also believe that the Bible is not clear on the matter.

    In the apostles creed, Jesus was "born of the virgin Mary". This is a tenant of faith. The virginal status of Mary after the fact has exactly zero to with salvation. If you believe otherwise, why?

  • Perpetual virginity

    03/15/2016 9:02:32 AM PDT · 642 of 1,124
    Tao Yin to Delta 21
    1850 King James Version w/Strong’s Concordance

    I see your one reference and give you a dozen. They do not all agree. Some say yeah, other say nay.

    The word ‘till’ (untill) does not mean NEVER DID. It means UNTILL.

    (Young's Literal Translation) 2 Samuel 6:23 As to Michal daughter of Saul, she had no child till the day of her death.

    If I say, "I'm going to abstain from chocolate until Lent is over.", does this mean I will have chocolate after lent? It means I could without breaking my word, but it does not mean that I will.

    The word until makes a claim up unto a certain point. That is perfectly clear. The word until does not necessarily make a point about after a certain point. Using "modifiers" to explain "time disparity" in the original language is a better argument than using English and common sense.

    But the point is that using the word "until" is not a slam dunk to debunk the ever virgin status of Mary.

  • Perpetual virginity

    03/15/2016 8:29:49 AM PDT · 636 of 1,124
    Tao Yin to Mark17
    I believe Mary had other children, after Jesus was born, but you are right, it has no affect on our salvation, or our relationship with God.

    I too believe Mary had other children. First, I believe that Joseph and Mary were married in the true sense. Second, I believe that Mary was a Godly woman and performed her marital obligation.

  • Perpetual virginity

    03/15/2016 8:25:52 AM PDT · 635 of 1,124
    Tao Yin to Delta 21
    Then why does this thread have over 600 hits?

    Catholics add tradition. Others make theological arguments based on an English translation without considering the original language.

  • Perpetual virginity

    03/15/2016 7:55:25 AM PDT · 632 of 1,124
    Tao Yin to imardmd1
    Ah, if Jesus was Mary’s firstborn, who was the second-born, eh? Good point.

    That's not how it works. Firstborn is a title with rights and privileges that does not require a second.

  • Perpetual virginity

    03/15/2016 7:46:24 AM PDT · 631 of 1,124
    Tao Yin to Delta 21
    It doesnt say "He never ate chocolate again until the day he died.".

    It says, "He never ate chocolate until after he ate it the first time".

    I clearly said the example was imperfect. If you really care about this, you need to read the original language. The word that was used has been translated as "until", but if you look at the original language it is a word that does not make any pronouncement about the future. It really means "up until this point" and then it is silent. You can argue based on an English translation, but that is faulty.

    Many believe that the Bible is not definitive about the ever virgin status of Mary. Luther himself believed that Mary was ever virgin. But the important point is that the ever virgin status of Mary was left out of the Lutheran confessions for two reasons. First, the Bible is not definitive either way. Second, it doesn't matter a wit regarding theology.

    Today, in the confessional Lutheran churches, there are those who believe Mary was ever virgin and there are those who believe she was not. But no matter what, both believe it does not change the gospel and has no impact on our relationship with God or with our salvation.

  • Donald Trump lit the match on rally violence

    03/15/2016 7:34:26 AM PDT · 17 of 58
    Tao Yin to E. Pluribus Unum
    When #BLACKLIESMATTER physically attacks you, it’s your fault?

    Don't you know that your perceived micro-aggression justifies their macro-aggression?

  • Perpetual virginity

    03/12/2016 8:19:43 PM PST · 215 of 1,124
    Tao Yin to Delta 21
    So your interpretation here is that in this context “until” meant “never did”?

    I don't believe that Mary was ever virgin, but I agree with Catholics that the original word translated as "until" does not make any statement about the future.

    As an example, consider this statement. "He never ate chocolate again until the day he died." Not a perfect example, but that's the idea.

  • Lent, 2016: True Church

    02/27/2016 1:06:23 PM PST · 9 of 327
    Tao Yin to Salvation
    When did the Church established by Jesus Christ get the name Catholic?

    St Ignatius had a much different understanding of the catholic church than the current Roman Catholic Church. St Ignatius saw each church as independent. Each church had one bishop and there was none in the church greater than the bishop. This idea that there is a universal church structure with a supreme bishop that lords over the other bishops was a concept foreign to St Ignatius.

    Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans

    Chapter VIII.-Let Nothing Be Done Without the Bishop

    See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.

    Chapter IX.-Honour the Bishop

    And say I, Honour thou God indeed, as the Author and Lord of all things, but the bishop as the high-priest, who bears the image of God-of God. inasmuch as he is a ruler, and of Christ, in his capacity of a priest. After Him, we must also honour the king. For there is no one superior to God, or even like to Him, among all the beings that exist. Nor is there any one in the Church greater than the bishop, who ministers as a priest to God for the salvation of the whole world.

    Ignatius to the Philadelphians

    Take ye heed, then, to have but one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup to [show forth] the unity of His blood; one altar; as there is one bishop, along with the presbytery and deacons, my fellow-servants: that so, whatsoever ye do, ye may do it according to [the will of] God.

  • Christians Helping Migrants Should Not Try to Convert Them, Says Cardinal

    02/26/2016 6:38:05 AM PST · 2 of 34
    Tao Yin to marshmallow
    However, in addressing the needs of migrants, Christians are called to help "without hidden intentions.

    What use is caring for the physical body if you ignore the immortal soul?

  • Pope calls for abolition of death penalty 'Thou shalt not kill' applies to guilty as well as...

    02/22/2016 5:24:53 AM PST · 51 of 69
    Tao Yin to trebb
    On the other hand, the death penalty removes souls from the pool of those that may be saved to spend eternity with God

    The death penalty is not instant. Before the death penalty is carried out, there is plenty of time for the condemned to realize the truth. In the Bible, the thief on the cross was saved during his execution.

  • Leave the Scalia Chair Vacant

    02/16/2016 11:38:32 AM PST · 7 of 55
    Tao Yin to Kaslin
    What kind of Supreme Court do the American people wish to have? That is a question to be decided in 2016 -- not by a lame-duck president, but by the American electorate in November.

    I don't like the idea of Obama appointing another justice, but the president gets to decide. The American people knew this when they elected him, twice. The idea that we need to wait until the next election is cheap politics, pure and simple.

    I understand that the senate gets to advice and consent. I also understand that the court could be unbalanced for years to come. So I would applaud the senate for running out the clock, but not for some lame excuse like stated above.

  • How Real Are Your Ashes? Five Meanings of the Ashes We Receive Today

    02/10/2016 1:58:17 PM PST · 36 of 37
    Tao Yin to aMorePerfectUnion
    Any pagan ritual/belief/practice that is combined with Christianity doesn't make Christianity better, it pollutes it. It doesn't redeem paganism. It turns the hearts of people from the miracle of salvation and creates a system of works.

    I doubt your assertion that Ash Wednesday has pagan roots. I am part of a liturgical church that celebrates the church year along with feasts and festivals. This good order has been built over years. It has nothing to do with works. We are saved by grace, through faith, for works. The good order is a construct in which we operate.

    If there is something wrong with the practices of Ash Wednesday, let's hear it. If there is truly a problem, then we need to reform or eliminate the practice. But I have no interest in dismantling tradition because some expert studied history and equates a pagan practice with church tradition. Just search "pagan roots Christianity" and you can drive yourself crazy.

  • How Real Are Your Ashes? Five Meanings of the Ashes We Receive Today

    02/10/2016 1:45:51 PM PST · 35 of 37
    Tao Yin to aMorePerfectUnion
    Actually, Paul specifies to the Corinthians what is and what is not orderly.

    Do you really believe that all good order is written about in 1 Corinthians 14? What about Colossians 2:5 "rejoicing to see your good order"? This good order of the Colossians is never enumerated.

    The fact is that 1 Corinthians 14:40 all things should be done decently and in order. Some of this good order is covered in the Bible. Other details are left up to the church.

  • How Real Are Your Ashes? Five Meanings of the Ashes We Receive Today

    02/10/2016 1:38:10 PM PST · 33 of 37
    Tao Yin to aMorePerfectUnion
    There is a significant difference between using a calendar and elevating a pagan ritual to the status of being used, approved and encouraged in a Christian Church.

    There is no difference. During January I don't worship Janus and during Ash Wednesday I don't worship Odin.

    The claim that this or that Christian ritual is based on pagan roots is often used to try to discredit Christianity. It's often based on faulty logic and often contradictory. If you have a theological problem with Ash Wednesday, that's one thing. Guilt by association is another.

    We might as well get rid of Christmas (and a host of other holy days) because of pagan roots.

    Now the adoration of Mary does have pagan roots and that is a problem, but that's because it is theological rather than ritual.

  • How Real Are Your Ashes? Five Meanings of the Ashes We Receive Today

    02/10/2016 10:58:11 AM PST · 27 of 37
    Tao Yin to aMorePerfectUnion
    A poor banner to justify things. It explains the acceptance of the totality of syncretic paganism that was incorporated and celebrated. All of which is false.

    I think you confuse belief with ritual. By the way, do you have January on your calendar? How dare you celebrate Janus the two-headed god!

  • How Real Are Your Ashes? Five Meanings of the Ashes We Receive Today

    02/10/2016 10:54:39 AM PST · 26 of 37
    Tao Yin to aMorePerfectUnion
    The Apostle Paul, commanding the church to good order...

    Exactly! Good order is commanded, but not defined. The church gets to decide what is good order.

  • How Real Are Your Ashes? Five Meanings of the Ashes We Receive Today

    02/10/2016 10:07:29 AM PST · 21 of 37
    Tao Yin to aMorePerfectUnion
    As pagan practices were incorporated into the early church, they became a system of works, rituals, sacraments, etc., that substitute for the Gospel of Grace.

    You can believe this is you want. That's fine. Paul praised the early churches for the good order. Their good order was adiaphora, neither commanded nor required. These acts do not replace grace. These rituals provide good order.

    If someone says that these rituals or works replace grace, I will join you in their condemnation. But these rituals and structures are not forbidden or inherently bad.

    It is neither commanded to the Church, not instructed, nor modeled, nor written about before 100 AD.

    I don't think you properly understand adiaphora. The church is allowed to do thing not commanded nor instructed.

    Formula of Concord: X. Church Rites, Commonly Called Adiaphora.

    Therefore we believe, teach, and confess that the congregation of God of every place and every time has, according to its circumstances, the good right, power, and authority [in matters truly adiaphora] to change, to diminish, and to increase them, without thoughtlessness and offense, in an orderly and becoming way, as at any time it may be regarded most profitable, most beneficial, and best for [preserving] good order, [maintaining] Christian discipline [and for eujtaxiva worthy of the profession of the Gospel], and the edification of the Church. Moreover, how we can yield and give way with a good conscience to the weak in faith in such external adiaphora, Paul teaches Rom. 14, and proves it by his example, Acts 16:3; 21:26; 1 Cor. 9:19.

  • How Real Are Your Ashes? Five Meanings of the Ashes We Receive Today

    02/10/2016 9:21:20 AM PST · 19 of 37
    Tao Yin to aMorePerfectUnion
    Matthew: 6:16 "When you fast

    Not related. Here is the opening of the LCMS explanation of Ash Wednesday.

    The Ash Wednesday Gospel (Matthew 6) speaks against disfiguring faces to show others that you are fasting. People sometimes mistakenly think that's what the ashes for which Ash Wednesday is named are all about. Wrong.

    The ashes are put on with the words from Genesis 3: "Remember, O Man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return." The ashes show not fasting, but DYING. They are sign not of practicing piety, but of the rock bottom reality of life in a fallen world. They announce to us: "I am dying...and so are you."

    About the Norse religion... There are so many ideas and theories about Christians stealing from pagans, often contradictory, that any assertion is just plain meaningless. This is adiaphora, not Gospel and not theology.

    Contrast that with the heartbeat of Christ - the very salvation of our souls through His Gospel of grace.

    What contrast? No one says that Ash Wednesday is necessary for salvation.

  • How Real Are Your Ashes? Five Meanings of the Ashes We Receive Today

    02/10/2016 8:42:04 AM PST · 9 of 37
    Tao Yin to aMorePerfectUnion
    A-Pope writes an article about receiving ashes, but can't find any instructions or commands in the NT Scriptures to do this.

    Contrast this with the amazing Gospel of grace that can save anyone from hell and give eternal life.

    There is nothing wrong with Ash Wednesday. This is not a sacrament. This is adiaphora: neither commanded nor forbidden in God's Word. Instituted with a good intention, for the sake of good order.

    The knee-jerk rejection of anything seemingly Roman Catholic is sometimes quite silly. If a church doesn't want to participate in Ash Wednesday that is fine. If a church wants to participate in Ash Wednesday that is fine as well. Salvation is not tied to observing Ash Wednesday.

  • Lutheran Leaders Emphasize 'Quest for Unity' with Catholic Church

    02/09/2016 5:49:42 PM PST · 46 of 75
    Tao Yin to rwa265
    Hence we believe, teach, and confess that Mary conceived and bore not a mere man and no more, but the true Son of God; therefore she also is rightly called and truly is the mother of God.

    Lutheran view. Mary is the Theotokos. She is the God-bearer. This term has been translated as the "mother of God", but it is properly understood as God-bearer. This term is important for what it says about Jesus. The Catholics have twisted this to be an honorific to Mary. If you read the Lutheran confessions, the meaning of the term "mother of God" is properly understood because of what it says about Jesus.

    Lutheran view. Mary's perpetual virginity is not settled. It is acceptable to believe in her perpetual virginity just as it is acceptable to believe she did not remain a virgin. The Lutheran confessions state that her virginity remained intact with Jesus' birth, but the confessions remain silent on what happened between Mary and Joseph after the birth.

  • Is It Ever OK to Lie?

    02/03/2016 3:20:55 PM PST · 82 of 90
    Tao Yin to rwa265
    We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides.

    The above is from Luther's statement. The advice is for situations where there is no option that doesn't involve sin. Luther is not talking about sinning so that grace can abound, but he is talking about living in an imperfect world.

    Case in point. The American Revolution was sinful.

    Romans 13:1 "Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God."

    However, it was also sinful to allow the abusive British rule to continue because of love for the neighbor. So what is the Christian to do?

  • Is It Ever OK to Lie?

    02/03/2016 6:51:33 AM PST · 16 of 90
    Tao Yin to Salvation
    However, when one is under duress or sees no clear way to avoid a consequent grave evil or injustice, one's culpability for such a lie is lessened.

    In life we are often caught between two impossible choices. Taking, what we consider to be, the lesser sin is still sin. Just relax and follow Martin Luther's advice. "Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly."

    It is better to regret the sin, than to try and rationalize why you had to sin. It has nothing to do with God understanding why he had to sin. It is all about God forgiving our sin. No matter the sin, or why you had to do the sin, forgiveness is still needed.

  • The Pope on Luther and Lutherans

    01/31/2016 6:02:36 AM PST · 202 of 275
    Tao Yin to terycarl
    But we are fully free to reject that gift, and I think that Luther did.

    Based on what? Do you have a well reasoned argument or are you just throwing your opinion out for the hell of it?

  • If I were running the Eastern Orthodox Council

    01/29/2016 9:17:20 AM PST · 4 of 32
    Tao Yin to Doug Loss
    If you want amusing, you should watch the Lutheran Satire episode titled Frank the Hippie Pope and Bart the Patriarch Sing Love Songs.
  • The Pope on Luther and Lutherans

    01/29/2016 8:45:10 AM PST · 142 of 275
    Tao Yin to BipolarBob
    What was the institution that taught Luther ant-semitism?

    Once Luther had rediscovered the true Gospel and turned away from works-righteousness, he thought he could convert the Jewish people with ease. Reality was different than he thought. The Jewish people did not flock to the true Gospel as he envisioned. Once he was disillusioned, you can see his anger and upset come through.

    Luther was a bombastic writer. He wrote with passion and he wrote over the top. But if you take his writings in total, his abhorrent writings about the Jews are a small part of his entire writing. Additionally, his abhorrent writing is mostly self contained and does not taint his other writing.

  • The Pope on Luther and Lutherans

    01/29/2016 5:31:35 AM PST · 136 of 275
    Tao Yin to af_vet_1981
    Why would Luther be among the goats? Because he is flawed?

    Because he persecuted the least of the Messiah's brethren to last years, laying the foundation and blueprint for the German Holocaust against the Jews, which you label as a flaw.

    No man is perfect. I could use a more forceful word than flaw if you want. The Law requires perfection. The Gospel does not.

    What does the German Holocaust have to do with Luther's salvation? This is not how men are judged. His abhorrent writings are a very small part of his overall writing. I guess you could try to argue this is a fruit of Luther which shows he was rotten, but then you'd have to take a look at all of his fruits and lasting impact. I would argue his positive impact far outweighs his negative impact, but this is an argument that will last forever.

    But I will repeat again, this isn't how the Gospel works. We do not weigh our good versus our bad and hope that the scale balance in our favor. We are saved because of Christ's merit and not our own.

  • The Pope on Luther and Lutherans

    01/28/2016 9:29:09 AM PST · 116 of 275
    Tao Yin to af_vet_1981
    Luther's final attitude is evident in his last letter to his wife where he actively plotted against Jewish refugees.

    Luther's problem with the Jews was theological, not racial. He had no problem with Jews that converted.

    That one must defend him because one's faith community's theology is based on that despicably vulgar antisemite is clear to me, and contrary to the scriptures.

    Where is there a defense of Luther's flaws? We acknowledge his flaws. Even Melanchthon in Luther's day pointed out Luther's flaws. As Lutherans, we are not troubled by people that are fallible. We accept this as normal for humanity. None is perfect but Christ.

    For if Luther is among the goats

    What a silly statement. Why would Luther be among the goats? Because he is flawed? Show me one man who is not flawed! Luckily, as Lutherans, we believe that we are saved by Christ's merit, rather than our own.

    Luther's theology is not of God, and all those who place their trust in Luther's theology are astray; the blind leading the blind.

    As you could have read in the LCMS piece that I posted. The LCMS, however, does not seek to "excuse" these statements of Luther, but denounces them (without denouncing Luther's theology).

    The confessional Lutheran documents were written by Luther and others. None of the confessional documents and theology of Lutherans contain Luther's negative and hostile attitude toward the Jews.

    Therefore some of his adherents defend him by claiming the Jews...

    No where is there a defense of Luther's hostility towards the Jews. You may confuse or disagree with Lutheran theology, but it is not based on hatred towards the Jews but the love of God and His word.

  • Pope Francis Asks Protestants to Forgive Catholics for Persecution

    01/28/2016 9:11:20 AM PST · 107 of 123
    Tao Yin to Elsie
    Infant baptism isn't Roman Catholic alone. The LCMS also baptizes infants. Here's a Q&A from the LCMS.

    Q: Can you please clarify the Lutheran view of Baptism and what is its purpose? Does the child become a Christian when baptized?

    A: Lutherans believe that the Bible teaches that a person is saved by God's grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ alone. The Bible tells us that such "faith comes by hearing" (Rom 10:17). Jesus Himself commands Baptism and tells us that Baptism is water used together with the Word of God (Matt 28:19- 20). Because of this, we believe that Baptism is one of the miraculous means of grace (another is God's Word as it is written or spoken), through which God creates and/or strengthens the gift of faith in a person's heart (see Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Gal 3:26-27; Rom 6:1-4; Col 2:11-12; 1 Cor. 12:13). Terms the Bible uses to talk about the beginning of faith include "conversion" and "regeneration." Although we do not claim to understand fully how this happens, we believe that when an infant is baptized God creates faith in the heart of that infant. We believe this because the Bible says that infants can believe (Matt 18:6) and that new birth (regeneration) happens in Baptism (John 3:5-7; Titus 3:5-6). The infant's faith cannot yet, of course, be verbally expressed or articulated by the child, yet it is real and present all the same (see e.g., Acts 2:38-39; Luke 1:15; 2 Tim 3:15). The faith of the infant, like the faith of adults, also needs to be fed and nurtured by God's Word (Matt 28:18-20), or it will die.

  • The Pope on Luther and Lutherans

    01/28/2016 7:00:51 AM PST · 92 of 275
    Tao Yin to af_vet_1981
    Q: What is the Missouri Synod's response to the anti-Semitic statements made by Luther?

    A: While The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod holds Martin Luther in high esteem for his bold proclamation and clear articulation of the teachings of Scripture, it deeply regrets and deplores statements made by Luther which express a negative and hostile attitude toward the Jews. In light of the many positive and caring statements concerning the Jews made by Luther throughout his lifetime, it would not be fair on the basis of these few regrettable (and uncharacteristic) negative statements, to characterize the reformer as "a rabid anti-Semite." The LCMS, however, does not seek to "excuse" these statements of Luther, but denounces them (without denouncing Luther's theology). In 1983, the Synod adopted an official resolution addressing these statements of Luther and making clear its own position on anti-Semitism. The text of this resolution reads as follows:

    WHEREAS, Anti-Semitism and other forms of racism are a continuing problem in our world; and

    WHEREAS, Some of Luther's intemperate remarks about the Jews are often cited in this connection; and

    WHEREAS, It is widely but falsely assumed that Luther's personal writings and opinions have some official status among us (thus, sometimes implying the responsibility of contemporary Lutheranism for those statements, if not complicity in them); but also

    WHEREAS, It is plain from Scripture that the Gospel must be proclaimed to all people--that is, to Jews also, no more and no less than to others (Matt. 28:18-20); and

    WHEREAS, This Scriptural mandate is sometimes confused with anti-Semitism; therefore be it

    Resolved, That we condemn any and all discrimination against others on account of race or religion or any coercion on that account and pledge ourselves to work and witness against such sins; and be it further

    Resolved, That we reaffirm that the bases of our doctrine and practice are the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions and not Luther, as such; and be it further

    Resolved, That while, on the one hand, we are deeply indebted to Luther for his rediscovery and enunciation of the Gospel, on the other hand, we deplore and disassociate ourselves from Luther's negative statements about the Jewish people, and, by the same token, we deplore the use today of such sentiments by Luther to incite anti-Christian and/or anti-Lutheran sentiment; and be it further

    Resolved, That in our teaching and preaching we take care not to confuse the religion of the Old Testament (often labeled "Yahwism") with the subsequent Judaism, nor misleadingly speak about "Jews" in the Old Testament ("Israelites" or "Hebrews" being much more accurate terms), lest we obscure the basic claim of the New Testament and of the Gospel to being in substantial continuity with the Old Testament and that the fulfillment of the ancient promises came in Jesus Christ; and be it further

    Resolved, That we avoid the recurring pitfall of recrimination (as illustrated by the remarks of Luther and many of the early church fathers) against those who do not respond positively to our evangelistic efforts; and be it finally

    Resolved, That, in that light, we personally and individually adopt Luther's final attitude toward the Jewish people, as evidenced in his last sermon: "We want to treat them with Christian love and to pray for them, so that they might become converted and would receive the Lord" (Weimar edition, Vol. 51, p. 195).

  • Pope Francis Asks Protestants to Forgive Catholics for Persecution

    01/27/2016 12:28:47 PM PST · 49 of 123
    Tao Yin to impimp
    Killing those who disagree with you is wrong? In a just war people are killed and it is not a sin.

    Killing those who disagree with you is wrong! What kind of world do you live in?

    Treason is a fine reason for the death penalty. The ruler does not bear the sword in vain. But treason is much more than a disagreement.

    People die in war. That is what happens.

    But I will stand with Luther and condemn Pope Leo X and any Catholic that agrees with him. "That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit." Why would we need to debate this?

    You can have your rationalizations that you are doing it for the greater good. You can bemoan the fact that Martin Luther wasn't burned at the stake. You can try to confuse the death penalty by the state with the burning of heretics, but you are wrong and Pope Leo X was wrong.

  • Pope Francis Asks Protestants to Forgive Catholics for Persecution

    01/27/2016 11:20:21 AM PST · 44 of 123
    Tao Yin to impimp
    Is your religion opposed to the death penalty?

    There is nothing wrong with the death penalty. There is something entirely wrong with burning to death those that disagree with you.

    I would not be surprised that a Muslim would kill because of a disagreement, but I had hope Catholics had moved past this. Very sad.