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 Post subject: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:19 pm 
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You've given responses relating to reconstructing history, etc. You've also commented that you derive your views from what you feel is the plain meaning of the Scriptural texts.

Are there any patristic commentaries or other early Christian writings that take the same views as your own, specifically re: soteriology and eschatology?


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:45 pm 
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No.

The closest you get is 1 Clement, and he rather clearly vacillates in his understanding of Paul. I have absolutely no problem admitting that the church lost the gospel immediately after the apostles left the scene. (An excellent work you can read on this matter is Torrance's The Doctrine of Grace in the Apostolic Fathers. It's rather old, but now something of a classic.) But even that statement--that the gospel was lost right after the apostles left the scene, is entirely too simplistic. It's rather clear that most of the churches of the time had deep misunderstandings of the gospel. Galatians, Judge, 1 Peter, Thessalonians, 1 John, the Gospel of John, etc. . . . all of these were written for a reason, and that reason usually had to do with a misunderstanding of the gospel. So we see a strong pull away from the gospel even in the apostle's own day. Heck, Paul blasted Peter because Peter denied it in his behavior before the Gentiles, and the relationship between law and grace was so unclear even to those who knew Jesus personally that there had to be a conference called to answer the question about whether or not Gentiles were under the Law. I find it particularly interesting, by the way, that Peter does not conclude that the Gentiles are not under the Law but rather that "We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are." Peter is concluding that the JEWS aren't saved by keeping the Law!

All that means that, when I look to the writings immediately following the NT, I expect to see a strong trend away from the gospel. And the further we get from the apostles, I expect to see it get worse and worse. And that, of course, is exactly what we see when we look at ECF writings.

Someone has said that to read, study, and interpret the NT according to the ECFs is to be Catholic. I agree with them. I also think the ECFs were absolutely wrong, and that the NT itself warns us of that. Our job is to look at what the text says, not at what people say that it says.

edit:

All of the above is with reference to soteriology. Eschatology is a different matter. It isn't hard to find chiliasm in the ECFs. It wasn't until Augustine that amillennialism because the standard interpretation. It's an interesting question as to the relationship between Augustine's soteriology and eschatology, but one I won't get into here. If you like, here's an article you might find interesting on that subject:

http://www.faithalone.org/journal/2002i/anderson.pdf
http://www.faithalone.org/journal/2002ii/anderson.pdf

Unfortunately, the church rather quickly adopted a replacement theology, which, again, we see Paul battling in Rom 11. By the fourth century, the church was firmly amillennial, which is built on and entails replacement theology, and which, in turn, is so structured that it necessarily distorts the gospel.


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:02 am 
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Did Jesus lie? "Behold I am with you always, unto the consummation of the world." "I will send the Holy Ghost who will lead you into all truth." Perhaps we were just too much for Him to handle.


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:59 am 
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pax wrote:
Did Jesus lie? "Behold I am with you always, unto the consummation of the world." "I will send the Holy Ghost who will lead you into all truth." Perhaps we were just too much for Him to handle.

No. Why would you think He did?


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:06 am 
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TheJack wrote:
pax wrote:
Did Jesus lie? "Behold I am with you always, unto the consummation of the world." "I will send the Holy Ghost who will lead you into all truth." Perhaps we were just too much for Him to handle.

No. Why would you think He did?


Because you claim His visible Church was usurped. Was He not able to protect His Church so that those who came after would not be led astray?


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:16 am 
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pax wrote:
Because you claim His visible Church was usurped. Was He not able to protect His Church so that those who came after would not be led astray?

Where did I claim that?


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:50 am 
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TheJack wrote:
pax wrote:
Because you claim His visible Church was usurped. Was He not able to protect His Church so that those who came after would not be led astray?

Where did I claim that?


Quote:
I have absolutely no problem admitting that the church lost the gospel immediately after the apostles left the scene.


And yet Christ founded His Church to proclaim the Gospel to all nations. He further promised to be with His Church until the end of time. And He further promised the Holy Ghost would lead His Church into all truth.

But, you tell me, the Church lost the Gospel when the last Apostle died.

How can both of these be true?


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:06 pm 
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Wait, you said that I claimed the church had been usurped. I didn't say that. I said the church lost the gospel (by that, I am referring to the formal proclamation of doctrine from its recognized leaders). To usurp is to seize power without a legal right. How does the church losing the gospel mean that someone had seized power without a legal right?

As to your own question, yes, the church is the means by which the gospel is proclaimed to all nations. Yes, Jesus promised to be with His church until the end of time. I'm not convinced that the "you" in John 16:13 refers to the church. I tend to think it referred to the apostles (that's who Jesus was addressing, after all). But let that pass--let's say it does refer to the church, as there are plenty who take it that way. How does Jesus' promise that the Holy Spirit will guide the church into all truth mean that there can never be error? It is rather clear that the churches continuously fell into error when the apostles were on the scene. Even Peter denied the gospel, and that after being made pope (on your view), such that Paul had to confront him about it. And does Jesus Himself not say that Satan has sown tares among the wheat and that they cannot be separated until He returns? So it seems plain to me that the Holy Spirit's guidance means that the truth is always present, not that error can never dominate.

And, of course, the gospel has always been present. So long as the church has had John and Romans and Galatians, indeed, and even the OT for that matter--as long as they have had the Bible--then the gospel has always been available. That men began following their own traditions rather than the words of Scripture doesn't deny anything Christ said. If you think it does, you need to show how.


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:18 pm 
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TheJack wrote:
Wait, you said that I claimed the church had been usurped. I didn't say that. I said the church lost the gospel (by that, I am referring to the formal proclamation of doctrine from its recognized leaders). To usurp is to seize power without a legal right. How does the church losing the gospel mean that someone had seized power without a legal right?

As to your own question, yes, the church is the means by which the gospel is proclaimed to all nations. Yes, Jesus promised to be with His church until the end of time. I'm not convinced that the "you" in John 16:13 refers to the church. I tend to think it referred to the apostles (that's who Jesus was addressing, after all). But let that pass--let's say it does refer to the church, as there are plenty who take it that way. How does Jesus' promise that the Holy Spirit will guide the church into all truth mean that there can never be error? It is rather clear that the churches continuously fell into error when the apostles were on the scene. Even Peter denied the gospel, and that after being made pope (on your view), such that Paul had to confront him about it. And does Jesus Himself not say that Satan has sown tares among the wheat and that they cannot be separated until He returns? So it seems plain to me that the Holy Spirit's guidance means that the truth is always present, not that error can never dominate.

And, of course, the gospel has always been present. So long as the church has had John and Romans and Galatians, indeed, and even the OT for that matter--as long as they have had the Bible--then the gospel has always been available. That men began following their own traditions rather than the words of Scripture doesn't deny anything Christ said. If you think it does, you need to show how.


You didn't use the word "usurped" but no other word applies. The teaching authority of the Church was originally the Apostles (apostolic college), then those to whom the Apostles entrusted their message (cf. 2Tim 2:2, Titus 1:5). Yes, individual churches went astray, but the promises of Christ were corporate promises, namely, that while individual churches might go astray, The Church (the corporate whole, the shining city on a hill, the lamp on the stand) that He promised to perpetually dwell within and guide, could never go astray. That is implicit in His promises.

But, what you are proposing is a Church that had to go underground for over a thousand years only to re-emerge in the 16th century. In other words, the teachings of Christ were lost to the world -- except those few who could read and understand the Scriptures. That means, quite plainly and unequivocally, that the authority exercised by the Apostles was usurped -- this same authority that Christ promised to uphold when He sent them into all the world, this same authority that Christ promised to guide into all truth as it proclaimed His Gospel, was usurped by wicked men who followed the Father of Lies.

I don't buy it, Jack. Indeed, I cannot buy your proposal and still believe that Jesus Christ, who made these promises, whose will is the power to do, who creates all things out of nothing, is in fact the One who is faithful and true. It is a real dichotomy that you propose.


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:18 pm 
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pax wrote:
You didn't use the word "usurped" but no other word applies. The teaching authority of the Church was originally the Apostles (apostolic college), then those to whom the Apostles entrusted their message (cf. 2Tim 2:2, Titus 1:5). Yes, individual churches went astray, but the promises of Christ were corporate promises, namely, that while individual churches might go astray, The Church (the corporate whole, the shining city on a hill, the lamp on the stand) that He promised to perpetually dwell within and guide, could never go astray. That is implicit in His promises.

What makes you think that the apostles have lost their teaching authority even today?

Quote:
But, what you are proposing is a Church that had to go underground for over a thousand years only to re-emerge in the 16th century. In other words, the teachings of Christ were lost to the world -- except those few who could read and understand the Scriptures. That means, quite plainly and unequivocally, that the authority exercised by the Apostles was usurped -- this same authority that Christ promised to uphold when He sent them into all the world, this same authority that Christ promised to guide into all truth as it proclaimed His Gospel, was usurped by wicked men who followed the Father of Lies.

But I don't think that the church went underground for over a thousand years. I think it has been alive and active since Christ established it, and it still is today. Why would you think my view requires the church to go "underground"? Or perhaps I should ask what you mean by that, and why that would be a bad thing. There certainly are some places where the church is underground, even today (China, for instance).

Quote:
I don't buy it, Jack. Indeed, I cannot buy your proposal and still believe that Jesus Christ, who made these promises, whose will is the power to do, who creates all things out of nothing, is in fact the One who is faithful and true. It is a real dichotomy that you propose.

I would agree with the dichotomy if you were clearer about how you are getting your ideas from Jesus' words. What He SAID is that He would never leave the church and that the Holy Spirit would guide the church in all truth. Nothing I've said implies that isn't true, although you seem to be adding quite a bit to those words yourself, as is your custom.


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:42 pm 
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TheJack wrote:
pax wrote:
You didn't use the word "usurped" but no other word applies. The teaching authority of the Church was originally the Apostles (apostolic college), then those to whom the Apostles entrusted their message (cf. 2Tim 2:2, Titus 1:5). Yes, individual churches went astray, but the promises of Christ were corporate promises, namely, that while individual churches might go astray, The Church (the corporate whole, the shining city on a hill, the lamp on the stand) that He promised to perpetually dwell within and guide, could never go astray. That is implicit in His promises.

What makes you think that the apostles have lost their teaching authority even today?


I think there has always been a visible apostolic college that has ruled and guided His Church throughout the entire history of His Church.

Quote:
Quote:
But, what you are proposing is a Church that had to go underground for over a thousand years only to re-emerge in the 16th century. In other words, the teachings of Christ were lost to the world -- except those few who could read and understand the Scriptures. That means, quite plainly and unequivocally, that the authority exercised by the Apostles was usurped -- this same authority that Christ promised to uphold when He sent them into all the world, this same authority that Christ promised to guide into all truth as it proclaimed His Gospel, was usurped by wicked men who followed the Father of Lies.

But I don't think that the church went underground for over a thousand years. I think it has been alive and active since Christ established it, and it still is today. Why would you think my view requires the church to go "underground"? Or perhaps I should ask what you mean by that, and why that would be a bad thing. There certainly are some places where the church is underground, even today (China, for instance).


Then where is this visible above-ground Church to be found throughout history?

Quote:
Quote:
I don't buy it, Jack. Indeed, I cannot buy your proposal and still believe that Jesus Christ, who made these promises, whose will is the power to do, who creates all things out of nothing, is in fact the One who is faithful and true. It is a real dichotomy that you propose.

I would agree with the dichotomy if you were clearer about how you are getting your ideas from Jesus' words. What He SAID is that He would never leave the church and that the Holy Spirit would guide the church in all truth. Nothing I've said implies that isn't true, although you seem to be adding quite a bit to those words yourself, as is your custom.


I am approaching this from an historical perspective. The only Church that can be seem striding starkly visible throughout history from the time of the Apostles until today is the Church now presided over by the Bishop of Rome. (If you know of another, and can demonstrate its existence from the historical record, I would love to see it.) But, you tell me, this one historical Church which exists in the world today and is presided over by the Bishop of Rome, simply cannot be the Church which Christ founded. Or, if it is that Church, then it went horribly wrong almost from the get-go.

If it is not that Church, then it usurped that Church, for there is no other.

If it is that Church and went horribly wrong almost from the get-go, then it had no guidance into all truth.

Either way the promises of Christ are empty.

But, there is a third option, which you might perhaps consider. That Church presided over by the Bishop of Rome is indeed one and the same as the Church founded by Christ, and has neither been usurped nor has gone astray.

Rather, it is Jack who has thought to usurp Her authority, and it is Jack who has gone astray.


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:48 pm 
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pax wrote:
I think there has always been a visible apostolic college that has ruled and guided His Church throughout the entire history of His Church.

Yes, of course. But Christ didn't say that. You asked if Christ lied. The only way to affirm that is if we add to what He said. I don't, so no, He didn't lie.

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Then where is this visible above-ground Church to be found throughout history?

It's been everywhere there have been believers that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

Quote:
I am approaching this from an historical perspective. The only Church that can be seem striding starkly visible throughout history from the time of the Apostles until today is the Church now presided over by the Bishop of Rome. (If you know of another, and can demonstrate its existence from the historical record, I would love to see it.) But, you tell me, this one historical Church which exists in the world today and is presided over by the Bishop of Rome, simply cannot be the Church which Christ founded. Or, if it is that Church, then it went horribly wrong almost from the get-go.

If it is not that Church, then it usurped that Church, for there is no other.

If it is that Church and went horribly wrong almost from the get-go, then it had no guidance into all truth.

Either way the promises of Christ are empty.

But, there is a third option, which you might perhaps consider. That Church presided over by the Bishop of Rome is indeed one and the same as the Church founded by Christ, and has neither been usurped nor has gone astray.

Rather, it is Jack who has thought to usurp Her authority, and it is Jack who has gone astray.

You approach it historically. That's all just circular reasoning. I'm approaching it biblically, based on what Jesus actually said.


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:07 pm 
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TheJack wrote:
pax wrote:
I think there has always been a visible apostolic college that has ruled and guided His Church throughout the entire history of His Church.

Yes, of course. But Christ didn't say that.


That is precisely what He said before He ascended into heaven. To the Apostles: Go and make disciples of all nations....baptizing them....teaching them.....I am with until the end of the world.

Teach them what? The truth? Their own opinions? Their best guess at what the Scriptures mean?


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:12 pm 
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"Go and make disciples of all nations....baptizing them....teaching them.....I am with until the end of the world" is not the same thing as "there has always been a visible apostolic college that has ruled and guided His Church throughout the entire history of His Church."

Not even close. That's just ANOTHER example of you not believing what Jesus says and substituting what He SAYS with what someone told you He MEANT.

It's too bad. If only someone had been around to help Jesus clarify His statements. "No, Jesus, I know that's what Your saying, and I know what You really mean. So don't say it that way. Say it thi . . . what? You meant what you said? Of course You do! I'm just saying that what you SAID isn't what you mea . . .what? What you meant IS what you said? Hang on, I'm confused."

:roll:


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:31 pm 
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TheJack wrote:
"Go and make disciples of all nations....baptizing them....teaching them.....I am with until the end of the world" is not the same thing as "there has always been a visible apostolic college that has ruled and guided His Church throughout the entire history of His Church."

Not even close.


From the time Jesus utters these words there exists an apostolic college that goes throughout the entire world and brings the Gospel to every nation, baptizing them and teaching them.

Nobody has to tell me what Jesus meant. It is right there before my eyes, thoroughly documented in the historical record. There is no other organization that did this.

So, now you have another conundrum. Either:

These guys who did this were the actual Church who Jesus led in doing this, or,

Jesus let the usurpers do it, and then brought in His true invisible church afterwards to bring the people so converted by the usurpers to the real gospel.

Applying Occam's Razor to those two propositions will quickly give you the correct one.


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:56 pm 
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pax wrote:
From the time Jesus utters these words there exists an apostolic college that goes throughout the entire world and brings the Gospel to every nation, baptizing them and teaching them.

Jesus appointed an apostolic college. He does not say that the college continued via succession. That's something you are reading into His words.

Quote:
Nobody has to tell me what Jesus meant. It is right there before my eyes, thoroughly documented in the historical record. There is no other organization that did this.

Circular argument.

Quote:
So, now you have another conundrum. Either:

These guys who did this were the actual Church who Jesus led in doing this, or,

Jesus let the usurpers do it, and then brought in His true invisible church afterwards to bring the people so converted by the usurpers to the real gospel.

Applying Occam's Razor to those two propositions will quickly give you the correct one.

First off, I don't think you now what Ockham's Razor is.

Second, I don't know who "these guys" are you are referring to and what "this" is they were led in doing; so I don't know what "it" is that "usurpers" (whoever they are) did, and I don't know what you are talking about with reference to a "true invisible church" or when the "afterwards" is you have in mind. You'll have to say what you mean more clearly before you want me to buy into any conundrum.

As far as I see things, Jesus commissioned His disciples to found the church, which they did. The Holy Spirit guided them through that process, particularly as they wrote Scripture. When they left the scene, Scripture was left, and therefore their teaching remains with us to this day. I submit to Paul or Peter's authority no less than those he directly instructed in the flesh. It's just a matter of believing what he said. That false prophets came in and twisted the apostles words and put words in their mouths is not surprising. We see it happening in the NT times, and the apostles were constantly fighting the battle. It's really very easy. All you have to do is read the NT and read the ECFs and you can see that the ECFs deny what the NT actually says (see the book linked in my first reply for extensive documentation of this fact).

There's no reason to say that the church was "underground" for 1600 years. It was just highly corrupted and formally taught a false gospel. That doesn't mean that everyone in it was an unbeliever. People, thank God, get saved by believing a fuzzy gospel all the time. It's just that there have been lots of tares among the wheat, and you know what? That's still the case today. True, we have become more aware of those tares in the past few centuries, but that doesn't mean that there was no wheat in the preceding centuries.

So I don't know exactly what you are arguing against. You're being rather vague and making a lot of assumptions. You should speak more clearly and make less assumptions, both about the text and about what I believe.


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:29 pm 
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During the era of Arianism, both the Arians and the orthodox fathers claimed the Scriptures supported their positions. Both sides were certain they were reading exactly what the texts taught. How do we know which side was right?

Jesus said, "This IS my body." Zwingli insisted it didn't mean what it actually says. How do we know if Zwingli or the Catholic Church is correct?


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:48 pm 
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TheJack wrote:
There's no reason to say that the church was "underground" for 1600 years. It was just highly corrupted and formally taught a false gospel.


The Church formally taught a false Gospel despite the fact that Christ was perpetually dwelling in Her and the Holy Ghost was actively guiding Her.

That means the Church, the Body of Christ, was accursed according to Saint Paul.

That means the Church, the Bride of Christ, was some kind of spiritual adulteress.

Do you not grasp what you are saying?

Never mind what you are saying about the Church. Stop and consider what you are saying about God.


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:02 pm 
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Cyprian wrote:
During the era of Arianism, both the Arians and the orthodox fathers claimed the Scriptures supported their positions. Both sides were certain they were reading exactly what the texts taught. How do we know which side was right?

Jesus said, "This IS my body." Zwingli insisted it didn't mean what it actually says. How do we know if Zwingli or the Catholic Church is correct?

I'm not sure how these questions have anything to do with the thread? The answer is rather simple. Who has the better exegesis of the texts? The Arian arguments fail on that count concerning the nature of Christ, and the Catholic argument fails on that count concerning the Lord's Supper.

pax wrote:
The Church formally taught a false Gospel despite the fact that Christ was perpetually dwelling in Her and the Holy Ghost was actively guiding Her.

What makes you say that a church cannot teach error even if Christ is drawing and guiding her? Again, we have evidence in the NT that exactly that was happening.

Quote:
That means the Church, the Body of Christ, was accursed according to Saint Paul.

No it doesn't. It means that those individuals who taught the false gospel were accursed.

Quote:
That means the Church, the Bride of Christ, was some kind of spiritual adulteress.

No it doesn't. It means that those individuals who taught the false gospel were spiritual adulteresses. Thankfully, Christ's work on the Cross covered even that sin. So when Peter was busy denying the gospel in Galatia, he was certainly being a spiritual adulteress, but even he will still be presented blameless, not through his own fidelity, but to Christ's.

Quote:
Do you not grasp what you are saying?

I do. I wonder if you grasp what I'm saying, because you are making quite a few assumptions about it that I certainly don't.

Quote:
Never mind what you are saying about the Church. Stop and consider what you are saying about God.

I am. I am considering the fact that God has paid the price in full for the Church, and that it is His job, not ours, to sanctify her, that He knew before He chose her that it was filled with sinful people, but that in His love, He chose us anyway, knowing that He would sanctify us in His own good time.

Salvation, remember, is of the Lord.


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 Post subject: Re: TheJack- re: your perspectives
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:24 pm 
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Religion: Catholic
Quote:
TheJack Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:56 pm
There's no reason to say that the church was "underground" for 1600 years. It was just highly corrupted and formally taught a false gospel.
Absolute rubbish without a skerrick of truth.
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Jesus appointed an apostolic college. He does not say that the college continued via succession. That's something you are reading into His words.
The usual misrepresentation from this poster.
St Matthew, 28:18-20: “All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”

In early Church history, e.g. St Irenaeus, taught by St Polycarp who had been a disciple of St John the Apostle, wrote in his great work Adversus Haereses in Bk 3, Sect 2 "The blessed Apostles, after founding and building up the Church (in Rome), handed over to Linus the office of Bishop."
Quote:
TheJack Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:02 pm
So when Peter was busy denying the gospel in Galatia, he was certainly being a spiritual adulteress,
It was Peter who had the supreme authority at that first Council of Jerusalem.

The context of Galatians shows that Paul regarded Peter of such a great authority it is hard to imagine Paul literally rebuking Peter. Saint Jerome quoting Galatians 1:18; 2:1-2 writes:
" ‘Then, after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.’ In the following context, again, he adds: ‘Then, fourteen years after, I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles;’ proving that he had not had confidence in his preaching of the gospel if he had not been confirmed by the consent of Peter and those who were with him. The next words are, ‘but privately to them that were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.’ "

Note that Acts 10 -15 show that even before Paul, Peter came to see that the ceremonial laws were no longer in effect. And further more "Peter was the prime mover in issuing this decree" for the rest of the Church.”
At the Council in Jerusalem it is reported in Acts 15:7 "After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to them, 'My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe...' " Immediately after Peter gives his decision we are told "The whole assembly fell silent..."


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