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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 3:30:02 PM PST
Nancy Davison says: <<I'm struck, as usual, with just how blatantly the person who wrote this (and we know it wasn't the apostle Matthew), pulled from the Hebrew scriptures to prove his points. He'll say, this and this happened to fulfill this or that prophecy. It was obvious to me, and it must have been even more obvious then, that this was a literary device, and never meant to be taken as a historical record. And yet, it's also obvious that so very many people have been so utterly fooled as to do just that.>>

This was standard procedure among both religious and secular writers. On Page 4 of The Life of Jesus , the biblical scholar Marcello Craveri wrote the following about the many passages from the Septuagint that were interpreted in a completely contrived way by the early Christian writers. According to Craveri, this was standard practice at that time, just as it continues to be standard practice today by the peddlers of various "fulfillment of prophecy" flimflam.

"In this connection, it would be well to determine at once how much value can be ascribed to the Biblical prophecies that are so plentiful in the Gospels. Since for the ancient Hebrews every occurrence was the realization of a plan made by God ab aeterno, 'historical' criticism amounted in fact to the search for utterances in the sacred texts that would seem in some way to have predicted and announced the advent of contemporary people and events. Hence, Biblical prophecy was a seal of authenticating the manner in which such persons and events had been predetermined by divine providence. Frequently, however, in order to adapt the historical fact more certainly to the prophecy, a forced meaning was given to the Biblical passage or the fact itself was misrepresented."

Craveri presents a very plausible picture of Jesus, and what makes his book especially fascinating is his extensive knowledge of Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew and the Talmud. In the preface, Craveri wrote: "The aim that I have set myself is that of never losing sight of Jesus as an individual born into a clearly defined society at a clearly defined point in history, and hence of striving to understand his life, his ideas, his behavior as the product of a particular culture and unique historical circumstances."

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 3:30:54 PM PST
Theresa says:
Domenico,
you are aware that among those who taught heresy in the Church during the past two millenia were "Catholic theologians" and members of the Church hierarchy?

If it takes "disciplinary measures" to rid the Church of modernism...then so be it.
Long live the Newman Society! (By the way, they've certainly made progress in this past year; and I'm a staunch supporter.)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 3:34:02 PM PST
M. Galishoff says:
Faith

And that is at the heart of our doctrine of election. If you are elect you may be in a state of grace and not be saved. That is why the Apostle says "make your election sure." But God will preserve his elect despite their sin and in His own time regenerate them and bring them to saving faith and preserve them until the end.
We have no idea who God's elect are! That is an important point. It could be someone who has been saved at age 6 or the worst sinner on the block who repents and is is saved! That is why God commands us to preach and to pray for them. God uses us to accomplish His will which will be accomplished because He is God.

Likewise, we can only know if another is truly saved when they die in grace or not. We cannot know another's heart. yet we can take great comfort in this doctrine of preservation (perseverance) as a work of God and not by our own efforts and exertions. We may backslide but God will do what he will to preserve us. If you have true saving faith and love the Biblical God and Jesus as the Scriptures teach you will not fall away before you die. You have access to God and you can pray for Him to restore you and help you and He will. You have the Spirit that convicts you and sets you back on the right path. You have the Church to pray for you, gird you and comfort you.

I know my Catholic brothers and sisters disagree but I am convinced that an elect saint cannot fall away. God will not permit it. He is absolutely Sovereign and the relationship between our time and eternity is such that eternity surrounds our time and God knows and ordains the beginning and the end all in His eternal present.

We cannot lift ourselves up to God. Nay, praise His Holy Name, by grace and through the Blood He comes and lifts us up to where we can never go ourselves - to Him.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 3:35:10 PM PST
M. Galishoff says:
Ferdinand

The Church is a hate group. We hate sin and evil. The world is upside down. Let us pray.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 3:45:58 PM PST
That too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 3:46:33 PM PST
Theresa,
The Catholic Church is one of the most diverse religious organizations in the world. Unfortunately incompetence and hypocricy exist at all levels of the hierarchy. If we had more priests like Andrew Greeley, the Catholic Church would be in much better shape. You should read his op-ed piece "Debunking the myth: No loyalty test for Catholics." A scanned copy from the 30 August 1993 Sarasota Herald-Tribune is at:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=XychAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kHsEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5692,7142386

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 5:20:21 PM PST
Craig says:
Good thread T.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 5:29:49 PM PST
M. Galishoff -

Thank you again for your thoughtful commentary...

I have to say, I don't understand all of what you're saying. We agree that God knows everything. So, HE knows who will be obedient to Him and who won't. Therefore we are to pray for everyone.

But I don't understand the being "in a state of grace and not be saved." Being in a state of grace means that we are right with God. I know I keep returning to this, but Jesus commanded us to REMAIN in Him, AND He uses the word "if". (Jn 15:4-10, v. 7)

Too, we know the original branches of the olive tree were removed, and we have been told that if we get too full of ourselves we CAN BE removed, as well; of course again understanding that we are to pray for everyone that this is not the case. (Rom 11:13-24)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 7:47:27 PM PST
M. Galishoff says:
Faith

The prescient view of salvation holds that God knows beforehand who will respond to the gospel and who will not. He looks down the tunnel of time and sees what people decide to do. This view places the person in a position to be able to choose salvation without the aid of God at to some degree. They may argue that Christ died for all but only some take advantage of this death. There are problems with this view. The problem is not that God can and does know everything past, present and future, but what is the true meaning of this knowing? It also reduces God's sovereignty by giving mankind some measure of sovereignty even if it is small. This would make God less than absolutely Sovereign and is not consistent with all those Psalms and Scriptures that proclaim His absolute Sovereignty. Logically, then, it could be possible (at least in theory, that if the our own, unaided participation even at some small level is necearry and independent of God (what many refer to mistakenly as free-will) then no one may choose salvation. Unlikely but possible and if so then God would be thwarted by His own creatures and Christ died for no one.

In the doctrine of Election, we hold that God actually chooses from eternity specific people he loves not based upon any intrinsic merit but out of the mystery of Divine council and pleasure. This may seem unjust but it is not. God is under no obligation to save a single soul. That He wills to do so is a magnificent grace.

Now if we think about God, knowledge, time and eternity we come to the understanding that God knows because He is the author. His knowledge is perfect because He created and causes everything. So this knowledge is not based upon what I may or may not do but upon what God has willed and what He wills comes to pass. If God wills I be saved than I shall. It is certainty because of who God is.

Karl Barth conceived of a dynamic election rather than the static election of Calvin. They differ only in conception and not really in the substance of the matter. If God exists in eternity which surrounds our time (pretemporal, supratemporal and poot temporal from our perspective) he is acting and willing in the eternal present which we really cannot conceive because it is beyond our experience as creature who exist in thee dimensions of space and a dimension of time that is progressive, linear and fragmented (in units). So by God existing in eternity His election of you or I is before, during and after our time - He elected, elects and will elect us all at once. It is one act of election but transcends our time such that it is from the beginning, through the present and past the end.

For me, this dynamic view of election is easier to square with God's Sovereignty, will and knowledge. He wills to elect and that is eternal and as such is a done deal.

Abstract- yes indeed. hard to picture - you bet. Comforting -- yes - gives us rest in assurance that we are truly in His eternal hands that are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. It gives peace and assurance. No one can take us out of His mighty eternal hand. It can't be. It is eternal.

Make any sense or am I a babbler?

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 7:56:50 PM PST
M. Galishoff says:
To all my Catholic and Protestant Brothers and Sisters.

Although we have very important doctrinal differences that need separate us, I firmly believe that both congregations are mixed bodies of saints and false professors (wheat and tares). I fully expect to see many of you in Heaven.

I don't want to minimize the differences. They are very important. However, it is clear that saints are in both Churches. Let us remember that. And when we disagree, even sharply , and cannot come to agreement without sacrificing what we dearly hold true. let us remember that we are to love one another. I cannot follow much Catholic teaching. It just is too radically different from what I hold true. None the less love transcends and in heaven we will all find out our errors as the dark glass is removed and there will just be God and perfect creation.

In the mean time - put your dukes up buster :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 8:04:24 PM PST
Birutegal says:
re Matthew 25:31-46

"The Judgment of
Matthew 25:31-46

By John Claeys
The description of the judgment begins with this statement in Matt 25:31: "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory." Thus, this judgment occurs immediately after Jesus' glorious return to the earth at the end of the Tribulation.

As Jesus sits on His throne as Judge, the nations will be brought to Him and separated into two groups, the "sheep" on His right and the "goats" on his left (Matt 25:32). The word for nations is the same word for Gentiles, which shows us that this judgment concerns Gentiles, not Jews.

It is also important to understand that the nations always refers, in the Bible, to people who are alive on the earth. This means that the judgment of the nations is a judgment of those Gentiles who survive the Tribulation period.

Group #1: The Blessed
(Surviving Gentile Followers of Christ)

Jesus says to the sheep set to his right, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matt 25:34).

The blessing given to the sheep is that they will inherit the Kingdom, because they attended to Jesus' needs by aiding Him in various ways. Jesus explains this enigmatic saying by indicating that "inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me."

Clarifying the Reward:
Inheritance vs. Entrance

Many understand Jesus to be promising this group entrance into the kingdom. However, note that He does not say, "Enter the kingdom." Instead, He proclaims: " Inherit the kingdom."

Entering the kingdom no more means the same as inheriting the kingdom as entering a house means the same as inheriting a house. Anyone who carefully reads Matt 25:34-40 sees that inheriting the kingdom is obtained as a result of good works, not as a result of faith in Christ. Putting this information together, it is clear that inheriting the kingdom is a reward for faithfulness to Christ-specifically, it refers to ruling in the kingdom (cf. Lev 25:46; Ps 2:8).

Verses 34-40 surface those good works that lead the "sheep" to inheriting the kingdom.

"The Least of These My Brethren"

The demonstrative pronoun these, in the expression "these My brethren," indicates there is another (a third) group present at this judgment.

Since all surviving Gentiles will be among the two groups to be judged, the final group present during this judgment-the group not being judged at this judgment-must consist of believing Jews who survive the Tribulation.

These are Jews who believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life during the final seven years before His return and who follow Him in obedience; thus, they are Jesus' brethren in a physical and spiritual sense. This comports with Jesus' announcement earlier in Matthew that Jewish believers who are obedient to God are His brethren (Matt 12:49-50)."

http://www.faithalone.org/magazine/y2011/11E2.html

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 8:06:35 PM PST
M, Well, we should get into that, as Paul warns those who HAVE FAITH IN Jesus, that IF they then persist in immorality and impurity, they shall not enter the Kingdom, and the sacrifice for sins NO LONGER REMAINS for them. (Ephesians 5;5,6, Romans 2:8,9, Hebrews 10:26, Galatians 5;19,20,21, Matthew 7:21). Peace always in the Most Precious Blood of Jesus our Great God and Saviour

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 8:12:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 10, 2013 8:14:11 PM PST
Theresa says:
M.
Thanks for explaining this. What you've described is not all that far from the teachings of Catholicism except for the definition of "the elect;" and even this may simply be the result of a different perspective of eternal 'time'.

We believe that God knows all (past, present, future) eternally; and He has known from all eternity which will be saved (the elect). It's not that He predetermines which will or will not be among the elect, but that He just 'foreknows'. He already knows the outcome of each person's life and whether he/she has died in a state of grace, or not...according to the life the person lived and the choices made.

In Catholic teaching, a person dying in a state of sanctifying grace (indwelling of the Holy Spirit) will rise in that same Spirit to eternal life. And serious sin can separate a person from that indwelling Spirit. This is why it's so important to Catholics to remain "vigilant" and to 'keep their lamps trimmed/lit while waiting for the Bridegroom' because we don't want to be caught sleeping---without that light/grace when He returns for us.
(cf. parable of the 10 bridesmaids/virgins).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 8:19:54 PM PST
Theresa says:
M.
I do have a question....

In your post you stated: "If you are elect you may be in a state of grace and not be saved."
And also: "Likewise, we can only know if another is truly saved when they die in grace or not"

This isn't clear to me.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 8:20:18 PM PST
Birutegal says:
Romans 3:

20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21 But now the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD which is BY FAITH of Jesus Christ UNTO ALL and UPON ALL them THAT BELIEVE: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being JUSTIFIED FREELY by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a PROPITIATION through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and THE JUSTIFIER OF HIM WHO BELIEVETH IN JESUS.
27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
28 Therefore we conclude that A MAN IS JUSTIFIED BY FAITH without the deeds of the law.

-------------------------

John 6:

28 Then said they unto him, What shall we DO, that we might work the works of God?
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye BELIEVE on him whom he hath sent.

-------------------------

John 3:

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever BELIEVETH in him SHOULD not perish, but HAVE eternal life.
16 For God so loved THE WORLD, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH in him SHOULD NOT perish, but HAVE everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that THE WORLD through him might be saved.
18 He that BELIEVETH ON HIM IS NOT CONDEMNED: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 8:24:19 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 10, 2013 8:24:30 PM PST
Bi, Jesus our God refutes mere faith alone as justification, for "If you wish to enter into Life, then Keep the commandments", (Matthew 19:17) and Paul agrees, "It is the DOERS of the LAW that are justified before God.", (Romans 2;13). Peace always in the Most Precious Blood of Jesus our Great God and Saviour

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 8:29:32 PM PST
Theresa says:
Ha! And the Church is now "counter-cultural."

In the 60's, "counter-cultural" was not a positive tag; it described the "hippies".
Now, I'm glad to wear it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 8:49:34 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 10, 2013 9:10:28 PM PST
typical. attack the messenger not the message, so primitive.

if it helps Wikipedia notes there are arguments about the validity of Tacticus but all agreed he was born 25 years after Jesus death and of course even if it was written by him all it states was what is said in the gospels so its repeating a known story. Its not a witness that adds any thing. the oldest copy we have of it is 11th century. hmmm,

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 8:50:34 PM PST
Theresa says:
Domenico...

Okay. Let's read together the final paragraph of that article you linked to written by the person you referenced by saying: "If we had more priests like Andrew Greeley, the Catholic Church would be in much better shape."
___________
"As to who is a 'good Catholic' and who isn't, that is a judgment that might be better left to God. [Agreed] Whoever else and whatever else God may be, She is not a moral theologian or a TV anchorwoman"...Andrew Greeley
___________

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 8:51:32 PM PST
Astrocat says:
Theresa, I've read the entire Bible multiple times, and what stands out for me is the manipulation of the Hebrew scripture to "fulfill" what the writers of the Christian materials want them to fulfill. They've created a scenario with a good deal of hindsight, finding prophecies and then fitting the Jesus story to them. That's all it is, it has nothing to do with history or with fact, it's a story, plain and simple.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 8:51:48 PM PST
Theresa says:
Thanks, Craig.
Welcome!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 8:54:55 PM PST
Theresa says:
Faith, I should have read your post before I posted. You explained so well the point that was troubling me. thanx!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 8:55:32 PM PST
M. Galishoff -

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your detailed response!

Well, imo I think it's safe to say that you believe very strongly about this. And imo that is admirable, although I'll have to reread some of it again to try and grasp all you're saying...

What I'm thinking in response is - we HAVE been given guidelines to follow if we choose Christ which INCLUDES rejecting sin. it's not a case of God has His favorites no matter what they do and the rest might as well go home...

That is kind of how this theory sounded to me. Did I misunderstand?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 8:57:32 PM PST
Astrocat says:
Domenico, I'll check out the book. It sounds as if it would be a good addition to my library. My second hand bookstore has a good section on the various religions. I'll look there first.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 9:19:08 PM PST
Theresa says:
M.
It seems our ideas of "prescience" and "toto simul" (God's view of all things in eternity as 'altogether all at once') are similar, if not the same; and the differences regard the interplay between God's will and our free will. We believe God wills ALL to be saved.

The following may help explain the differences:

"For Catholics, when God 'establishes his eternal plan of "predestination," he includes in it each person's free response to his grace' (CCC 600). Thus, anyone who is finally saved will have been predestined by God because it was God's predestined plan and God's grace that went before him and enabled him to be saved."

"However, this does not mean that God has predestined anyone for hell. Indeed, the Bible cannot be any plainer than to say God is, 'not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance' (2 Pt 3:9). God wills all to be saved. To be damned, a person must willfully reject God's 'predestined plan' for his salvation (cf. CCC 2037).

http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/predestined-for-freedom
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