This weekend’s question is theological, about post-natal life.

I Peter 1:18 states lives lived apart from faith and thanks to Jesus Christ for dying to free us from the eternal consequences of sin are “worthless… dead-end[ed}… empty-headed.”

Those are strong words. Why do you agree or disagree?

“Worthless”: God’s Word Translation
“Dead-end, empty-headed”: The Message Translation

posted on February 23, 2008 8:11 AM

Comments

(note- these have been converted to pure text):

My favorite Christmas song is “O Holy Night” and my favorite line is:

“TIL HE APPEARED AND THE SOUL FELT ITS’ WORTH”
Gives me chills everytime I hear it.

Posted by: mk at February 23, 2008 8:17 AM

I agree that they are strong words, but they need to be.

People desperately need to realize that a life without faith is consumed with worldly things. These worldy things won’t do a darned bit of good for you in the end. No amount of money, good works or anything else can give you eternal life. ONLY by the precious blood of Jesus Christ are we given that one, true, priceless gift. Isn’t that wonderful news! There is a way out of a worthless, dead-end, empty-headed life!

Every person ever born was bought with a price. To not accept that gift would make one empty-headed, and their lives here on earth are worthless. They dead-end into an eternal seperation from God, without any means of escaping that horrific doom that they so chose to go.

If you’re born once, you die twice; but if you’re born twice, you die once.

Posted by: Anonymous at February 23, 2008 9:27 AM

I agree, what would you be working towards? death and nothing more?

Posted by: rosie at February 23, 2008 9:28 AM

Wow, MK, great line in great context.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 23, 2008 9:43 AM

mk, that’s my favorite Christmas carol as well.

Obviously I don’t believe my life is worthless just because I don’t have faith in Jesus Christ. I believe my life has a different kind of worth than my more religious friends do, is I guess the best way to put it. My life brings joy to me and the people I share it with, my life can better the lives of others if I live it right, and so on. Do I suspect that there’s something more? Frequently, I do — mostly when I can’t bear the idea that there’s not (such as when a loved one dies). Do I hope that there’s something more? Absolutely. But I don’t think that faith in Christ is something you can CHOOSE to have. I tried to choose it for years, and I never had it, and eventually I had to be honest with myself about what I believe. I can’t choose to have faith in Christ any more than some of the people on this site can choose NOT to have faith in Christ. But that doesn’t mean my life is worthless. And I don’t think that being honest with myself about my faith, my struggles, and my beliefs is at all empty-headed; I have not casually decided not to believe in Jesus just because Wicca sounds so much cooler, or something (I am most certainly NOT Wiccan either, lest anyone latch onto that statement). You could say that, in my darker moments, it seems like a dead-end, but that doesn’t mean the drive there isn’t worth taking anyway.

I’m at best agnostic but optimistic, and I think that any God who might exist would rather me be honest with both of us about my beliefs, and do my best to live my life in a way that makes the world a better place for others. The idea of a God who would give me this pragmatic, logical, faithless mind and expect otherwise of me or condemn me to hell doesn’t feel true to me; it’s something I’ve never felt. And you can say all you want that religion isn’t about feeling, it’s about the TRUTH, but would you believe it was the truth if you did not feel in your heart that it was?

Posted by: Alexandra at February 23, 2008 10:52 AM

Alexandra,
I liked reading what you wrote. You are thinking big thoughts and I like that. You sound on one hand like you are seeking answers and then on the other you are fine with where things are.
Ever read The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel? Just a thought.
If I didn’t think that God is in control and is preparing a place for all of those who believe I think life would be bleak, indeed.
God bless you.

Posted by: Carla at February 23, 2008 11:09 AM

thanks Jill for the provocative question,

I think there is the possibility to write and write about this, so I’ll try it from this stance. There is little doubt Peter did not find believing in Jesus real easy. We may think so, after all Peter was right there and interacted daily with a physical Jesus for 3 years.

Once Peter figured he had it right when he told Jesus that He was messiah, Son of the living God in answer to the query ‘And you, who do you say that I am?’. But within a very few moments. the jubilant Peter heard Jesus say: “Get behind me Satan!”

The ultimate in these exchanges seems very difficult. Jesus has Resurrected and is to meet with His disciples ‘up-north’. Peter decides to go fishing (to pick-up right where he had left-off). When Jesus comes a walking on the shore … Peter had to be told “It is The Master.”

After some food and still not recognizing Jesus. The Master asks Peter not once but three times if Peter loved Him. There is absolutely no time when so much of the heart is revealed … (Abraham’s walking with Isaac to Mt. Horeb … to sacrifice Isaac … seems close.)

In a way, Jesus asks us too “Do you love me?” When we start on something new we feel like: ‘Sure!’ But answering when someone ‘close’ dies, is much harder. If the question is posed when I die …. what will be my answer?

The answer to Jill’s question is not so easy to understand except that somehow Peter hopes to place you in the same predicament … everyday life is just sickeningly ordinary … a denial of our own life and a denial of Jesus. Loving Jesus transforms and resurrects this ‘ordinary’ into the extraordinary. Without His Love …. there is zip. I am zip!

John

Posted by: Anonymous at February 23, 2008 11:19 AM

…And those that denied the existence of the Gnomes wore mismatched plaids, never returned their carts to the corral at the supermarket, and were never welcome at the “Cool Table” in High School.

Yup, those who fail to live the Gnome Lifestyle are a pack of cretins with big 80’s hair-dos, while those of us who know the Gnomes are just way ‘mo better.

I love religion. Everyone who disagrees with me is just a big ***ktard!

Posted by: FetusFascist at February 23, 2008 11:42 AM

Sssshhhhhh, Laura.

Posted by: Carla at February 23, 2008 11:54 AM

Alexandria, thank you for such an honest and thoughtful response. I feel like I completely understand where you are coming from after reading your words.

I think Carla’s book recommendation was a good one… I appreciate the fact that you are still seeking answers. I am sure that you will eventually find them. Seek and you will find.

And you’re right…you can be honest with God about how you’re feeling. He will answer your prayers, not always in the way you might expect…but if you sincerely want to know, He will provide you with the answers, in His time.

Unlike FF(Laura), you have responded to this question in sincerity, and I really appreciate that about you! (hugs)

Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 12:51 PM

I’m an atheist, so of course I disagree. To me, the verse sounds like someone who is insecure in his own belief attempting to puff himself up by tearing down others.

Posted by: Hieronymous at February 23, 2008 1:33 PM

Heironymous, I understand how you feel, but this wasn’t an attempt to tear down others, but it was explaining how vain life is without Christ, and how fortunate we are to have a Savior that would redeem us from the worthless life (a life which ends with death) into a life that has purpose, and inherent worth and value (and does not cease when we die).

Without Christ, our lives end at death, and there would probably be nothing more to it. Without Christ, we are only as valuable as we perceive ourselves to be, or as others value us (as Doug’s type of logic will explain).

With Christ, there is more, there is life after death, and we do not have to live a life in vain, only to eventually just die and be forgotten.

It’s not about tearing others down as much as it is explaining that things on earth are corruptible and have an end, but spiritual things last forever.

Even you would probably agree with me, being an atheist, you (I assume) believe that life ends with death- so what exactly is the purpose of life- for you? Is there an actual purpose to life, in your opinion? To be remembered by other people? You could be remembered for a few centuries, maybe even a thousand years by other people…but those people will eventually die and be forgotten too. What is the real point of living, of helping others, of accomplishing goals, of keeping yourself healthy, etc, if it all ends with death and nothing more?

Here is the verse Jill posted, along with the context…I’m posting it with the New International version as it’s easier than KJV for most:

17 Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.

18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers,

19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. [fn2]

23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,

�All men are like grass,

and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;

the grass withers and the flowers fall,

25 but the word of the Lord stands forever.� [fn3]

And this is the word that was preached to you.
Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 2:08 PM

Alexandra,

That is a good post and a very honest way of looking at things. God can not fault you for that..in fact, I bet He appreciates it.

There are at times when I too feel conflicted with the physical world and that of the spiritual world. Especially when really terrible things happen in the world. But I pray, and I just hope that He shows me the way. Having faith is not easy, even Jesus at times struggled with what He was put here to do on Earth. But nothing that is worth it is ever easy.

Posted by: Elizabeth at February 23, 2008 2:25 PM

Alexandra,
(sorry for bombarding you!)

Your post is so sincere. You explain yourself and feelings very well. I admire that.

I don’t know if this will help, but I like to share this story because I have witnessed the “light” being turned on myself:

My mother was a devout atheist. Things happened in her life that made her believe that there wasn’t a God, because “if there were a God” He could not possibly allow the things that happened to her in her life happen. One day, when she was at rock bottom in her life, she cried out and said, “God. People tell me that you are real but I have a hard time believing that. If you are real, please show me”.

In a miraculous way, God did indeed answer her prayer. The “light” was turned on (through God) and she is now happy, full of life and her spirit has been filled. So, if you arn’t sure, just ask God…He will answer you. I promise.

One more thing that I would like to add, is that God does enjoy people being kind, good-hearted, honest, etc. However, he cannot look upon sin, and sin cannot enter Heaven. It’s nothing personal, for you are His creation. Through believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ, our sins are cleansed FOREVER, and this is what will allow one to spend eternity in Heaven with Him. It’s not you He doesn’t like…He loves you! It’s the sin that you have….that we ALL have…that we were born with….that He cannot accept.

Romans 10:9-10

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

God will work in your heart to believe if you ask Him to.

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 2:53 PM

I don’t know…I have to say I also disagree with the statement.

I do believe that when we die, that’s it, that’s the end. I’m not so sure why this is always seen as a *bad* thing? Could it just be that we really are here for *no reason*? I’m not sure why people are so concerned with whether they are here for a purpose or that their lives need a purpose in order to be considered worthwhile and good.

Something I’ve always wondered about, why can’t people just be good for the sake of being good? Why is it that people are good to avoid Hell and for an opportunity to go to Heaven? I’m good to people because it makes me happy to be that way. I often feel crummy and really guilty if I’m mean…and if I treat people poorly, it gives them an “excuse” so-to-speak to treat me poorly, so why would I do that?

I’m perfectly content with understanding that this is it, and that there probably isn’t a purpose or reason for my existence or that there is a point to living. I just do because that’s what I have been doing for the past 20 years, and I’m quite fond (at this moment) of the status quo.

Posted by: Ari-chan at February 23, 2008 2:56 PM

Ari-chan,
And if you’re wrong? I mean, you HAVE been wrong about things before, right?

Eternity is quite a long time. In fact, it’s immeasurable. Quite a long time to pay for being wrong, if you are, right?

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 3:17 PM

@JLM: Then I guess I’ll pay the consequences for being “wrong”. However, I think it rings hollow to believe in God out of fear of what would happen if you don’t. Pascal’s wager…ugh.

Believe me JLM, I have tried to believe that there is a God, but I can’t. I’ve tried to believe that there is an afterlife, but I can’t. It’s not important to me, to be honest.

Posted by: Ari-chan at February 23, 2008 3:31 PM

St. Paul said, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Christ is the only word that will fit into it’s place in that sentence and justify the last 5 words of it”. Everything else is lost when you enter eternity; and even He is lost to you if you enter it without Him.

Posted by: Anonymous at February 23, 2008 3:48 PM

Then I guess I’ll pay the consequences for being “wrong”. However, I think it rings hollow to believe in God out of fear of what would happen if you don’t.

I certainly do not believe in God out of fear. However, it’s what got me studying the bible in the first place! I always thought that if I were wrong, what a horrible place to go to! I just thought it would be to my benefit if I were to “look into it”, wholeheartedly, and then make a decision based on my “findings”.

I always relate that to someone who wants to be, say, a bioligist. They don’t just say one day, “well, I want to be one, but I can’t.” They go to school, study biology…every aspect they can of it…to get complete understanding of it, so they can become a biologist. Same thing with God. In order to understand Him better, you need to study the bible…every aspect you can of it…to get complete understanding of it, so you can learn how to receive the gift of eternal life.

IMO, I’d rather learn about God now, than put it off, or take a gamble on whether what He says is true or not, so I don’t spend eternity kicking myself in the rear end!

Believe me JLM, I have tried to believe that there is a God, but I can’t. I’ve tried to believe that there is an afterlife, but I can’t. It’s not important to me, to be honest.

God will work in your heart to believe if you ask Him to. Honest. It takes only a few seconds of your life to ask Him, A-c. It may not be important to you now, but you really can’t guarantee that you’ll be alive even another hour. It’s not fear, it’s just smart.

:)

Posted by: Anonymous at February 23, 2008 4:04 PM

I see myself as the same person I was when I was an atheist. I think I still have some ambivalence though. My conversion is not on firm ground as of yet,imo. I think I want to believe more than I might actually believe.

Posted by: Carrie at February 23, 2008 4:07 PM

4:04 was me…oops!

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 4:11 PM

Hi Bethany – thanks for the response. You are correct. I think that our lives cease when we die, and I’m ok with that.

I don’t agree at all that ceasing upon death makes life worthless, quite the contrary. I cherish the time I have, the friends I’ve made (and hopefully will make), my family, my own accomplishments and the accomplishments of those whom I care about.

Thinking about Alexandria’s post also, I have this vague notion that there really is something physically different about the brain, genetics or what-have-you between believers and non-believers. Just like her, I went through some years of searching before concluding that I just don’t have the proper mechanisms for belief. I don’t feel it, and never have. I was raised by strong believers in a family of strong believers, and to me it always felt like play-acting.

I think religion is an incredibly rich and fascinating field of study, but that’s about as far as it goes.

Posted by: Hieronymous at February 23, 2008 4:12 PM

One of the things I’m struggling with Hell–why would God give an infinite punishment for a mistake on Earth? Doesn’t seem just.

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 4:14 PM

PIP,
I don’t know if you read this, but I’ll re-post the comment especially for you :)

One more thing that I would like to add, is that God does enjoy people being kind, good-hearted, honest, etc. However, he cannot look upon sin, and sin cannot enter Heaven. It’s nothing personal, for you are His creation. Through believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ, our sins are cleansed FOREVER, and this is what will allow one to spend eternity in Heaven with Him. It’s not you He doesn’t like…He loves you! It’s the sin that you have….that we ALL have…that we were born with….that He cannot accept. It’s not the mistakes we may make, it’s the sin that we were born with that needs cleansing. Sin cannot enter Heaven. As much as God loves each and every one of us, sin in Heaven is not His plan. Thankfully, he gave us His Son, Jesus Christ, so that we can be cleansed of sin and spend eternity in Heaven.

What an wonderful, free gift!

Carrie,
Maybe that’s God knocking at your door? Let Him in, trust me, He’s awesome!

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 4:20 PM

@JLM: I’m sorry, but it sounds to me like like it’s “covering your bum” in case you are wrong. It seems that by having faith you are buying nothing more than insurance policy that may or may not fully cover everything.

It doesn’t seem worth it to me. I think it would be best not to continue this dicussion. :)

Posted by: Ari-chan at February 23, 2008 4:59 PM

Hi PIP
I don’t think you’re the only one who struggles with the concept of Hell.
I think it’s quite beyond our human comprehension.
What I have read and been taught as a Catholic is that when we are judged by God (personal judgement as opposed to the general judgement at the end of time) we choose Hell. God does not place us there.
This is because we cannot stand the sight of a being so perfect so loving and we flee – we know that Hell is where we belong (I’m speaking of evil people unreconciled to God). We also know in perfect understanding the consequences of all of our actions and have perfect understanding of our motivations for doing them.
I once heard Hell described as a place where no one can ever love again. It seems incredible.
However, having said that, the thing to remember is that God wants us to be in Heaven with him and His mercy is infinite and much greater than the power of the devil.
Peace and God bless,
Patricia
Posted by: Patricia at February 23, 2008 5:08 PM

Hi PiP.

there is a rather profound story about a gambler who died. He finds himself in luxurious clothes plus plenty of good food. “This is absolutely wonderful, especially because I did NOT believe in any sort of afterlife.”

A few weeks pass and he learns the routine of his new home. So he stops to talk to a neighbor. “This is wonderful” says he “but it’s like every available moment we go to the temple to sing God’s praises. Isn’t there something else… some ACTION?” “Nope, nothing else.” was his reply.

“Oh, didn’t anyone tell you?” “You are in Hell!”

John

Posted by: Anonymous at February 23, 2008 5:20 PM

PIP,

Hell is the complete seperation from God.
God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell. Each day that we have, is another chance that God gives us to come to know Him. He gave us the most amazing gift, Jesus Christ, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. God gave us free-will so that we can choose. Some do, some don’t. And there are consequences for those decisions. He respects us so much as not to barge into our life. So the decision of whether we go to hell or not rests solely on ourselves.

The only difference between a believer and non-believer is that when a believer stands before God, he or she has Jesus to intercede on his/her behalf. Believers and non-believers both sin.

Both will stand before God to make an account for his/her life, what he/she did, what he/she didn’t do. Believing that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world doesn’t give anyone a free pass. Believing and understanding who He is allows us the reassurance that we won’t be judged harshly, bc we recognize that we are sinners and that we are nothing without Jesus Christ.

In the end, if those like Hieronymous are right, and there is no God, I have lost nothing. If there are many paths to God, I still lose nothing bc I can look at God and say I lived my life with the understanding that Jesus’s words were true by saying “I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” But if I am right and there is a God and Jesus is the only way, I still lose nothing bc I trusted Jesus with my life. But those who don’t will lose everything, and that really makes me sad, for I will never see them in Heaven.

Heaven is going to be the most amazing place. We think the earth is beautiful now, just wait to we see it in it’s perfected state. The way is was created originally. It is unfathomable. I can’t wait to see my Father in Heaven, and Jesus Christ. I can’t wait until I can give Jesus a hug. That thought gives me goose bumps!I can’t wait to talk with Paul, Peter, Nicodemus, David, Deborah, Mary, Calvin, Bonhoeffer, Augustine. The list goes on.

Posted by: Tara at February 23, 2008 6:37 PM

I’m a big fan of Islam because of how accepting it is (when it is practiced in true accordance with the Qur’an). They say that Jews and Christians are on the right path as well and they believe in the messages of Abraham (Ibrahim) and Jesus, but simply that–in the nature of humans–they strayed and forgot to listen to Mohammad. If I had a dollar for every time it reassures readers of the Qur’an “but God is ever-forgiving and infinitely merciful” or something similar, I would not have to worry about paying for university.

There are many paths to God. I will never stop believing that.

??? ???? ?????? ??????

Posted by: Leah at February 23, 2008 7:09 PM

There are many paths to God. I will never stop believing that.

Then, by definition, you are not Christian as you have claimed(not saying it to be mean, but to help you understand this point). Leah, a Christian believes what the Bible says about salvation, that Christ is the only way, the truth, and the life, and that no man can enter except through Him.

If you want to believe that there are many paths to God, you can, but please don’t call it Christianity.

Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 7:17 PM

Tara, 6:37, I agree.
Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 7:18 PM

I’m not kidding here, my translation tool came up with this:

In poison Allah Al-Rahman Merciful
Posted by: Anonymous at February 23, 2008 7:20 PM

oops…

Above the “in poison” translation was SUPPOSED to be Leah’s Arabic endnote to her post.

Posted by: Anonymous at February 23, 2008 7:23 PM

I never called it Christianity, Bethany. But you have no right to speak for all Christians, because you will find many open-minded accepting groups of Christians DO believe that there are many paths to God. Your exclusivity is extremely disturbing to me.

The translation of what I wrote, by the way is the first line of every chapter in the Qur’an: In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

Posted by: Leah at February 23, 2008 7:25 PM

@Leah: Somebody is eventually going to say that no…Christianity doesn’t believe in the “many paths lead to God” and that the evil, evil pro-abort liberalz are ruining Christianity by saying that that is the case.

Though, if you like religions that are tolerant, you should look at Hinduism too. My buddy Indraneel told me about it and how it’s a pretty tolerant [of other religions] faith. That and it has a god with blue skin, how rockin’ is that?

Posted by: Ari-chan at February 23, 2008 7:30 PM

Leah,
That wasn’t Bethany, that was me. (JLM)

I forgot to put my name up AGAIN!

Thank you, though, for posting the translation for it. I wasn’t kidding. i wanted to know what it meant, so when i ran it through the translation tool on my computer (stock), that’s what it came up with. I didn’t mean to offend you, I was just hoping you’d give me the proper translation. you did. Thanks!

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 7:34 PM

I never called it Christianity, Bethany.

I know you didn’t today, but you have in the past, which is why I was mentioning it…you have said in the past that you are a Christian, and that Jesus would allow abortions. Now, you may be another Leah and if you are, I apologize, but that is the only reason I brought it up at all. And like I said, my intent is not to offend but simply to point out that if one follow’s Christ, they’ll follow his teachings. And his teachings were that He is the only way to Heaven.

But you have no right to speak for all Christians, because you will find many open-minded accepting groups of Christians DO believe that there are many paths to God. Your exclusivity is extremely disturbing to me.

Then the Bible should be disturbing to you too, Leah. The Bible states clearly time and time again that Christ is the only way to salvation.

Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 7:35 PM

That’s ok, JLM. I wasn’t offended. :)

Bethany: I never claimed to be a Christian. I am not a Christian. I seek to better myself through a variety of spiritual mediums, many of which come from the words of Christ.

The Bible does not disturb me. What disturbs me are what I perceive to be severe misinterpretations (not to mention the mistranslations) of its texts.

Ari: Hinduism is VERY cool! I’m a big fan of Buddha as well.

Posted by: Leah at February 23, 2008 7:40 PM

Somebody is eventually going to say that no…Christianity doesn’t believe in the “many paths lead to God” and that the evil, evil pro-abort liberalz are ruining Christianity by saying that that is the case.

Ari-chan,
HUH???
You’re really not making much sense with that statement.

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 7:42 PM

Leah,
So, do you agree or disagree with the weekend question?

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 7:44 PM

Of course I disagree. If that is indeed what that verse says, then it is ridiculous. Does that mean that those who are not Christians are worthless? Jesus, I believe with all my heart, would NEVER say such a thing.

Unless, that is, I misunderstand Jill’s interpretation.

Posted by: Leah at February 23, 2008 7:50 PM

@JLM: EHehehehehehe. Fingers were typing *far* faster than brain was functioning.

Allow me to clarify:

I was trying to say that the concept that Christianity allows for “many paths reaching to God” is something many more fundamentalist Christians do not believe. A critique I’ve often heard of that mode of belief is that it’s an overly liberal (and therefore evil) interpretation because it *may* allow for people to have no problem with abortion but still love Jesus, when that isn’t technically supposed to be the case.

I have often seen more conservative/fundamentalist Christians have major issues with denominations that are liberal in that aspect (in that many paths lead to God) like the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalists.

I was being overly sarcastic with the “evil, evil pro-abort liberalz!” stuff…as I’ve heard that kind of thought-process before and felt like satirizing it, but obviously I did that poorly…

Posted by: Ari-chan at February 23, 2008 7:50 PM

1 Peter 1:18-21:

18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

What’s this about worthlessness?

Posted by: Leah at February 23, 2008 7:51 PM

What’s this about worthlessness?

” the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers”
Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 7:53 PM

Of course I disagree. If that is indeed what that verse says, then it is ridiculous. Does that mean that those who are not Christians are worthless? Jesus, I believe with all my heart, would NEVER say such a thing.

The “way of life” is worthless, not the individuals involved in that way of life.

Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 7:56 PM

That would be “empty way of life” in your translation, Leah.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 23, 2008 7:57 PM

Ari-chan,
My bad. I didn’t get the sarcasm in the last part. That’s what threw me off.

Thank you for taking the time to clarify!

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 7:58 PM

I’ll still have to disagree. Many people live full and happy lives without Jesus.

Posted by: Leah at February 23, 2008 8:00 PM

@JLM: No worries, I probably over-did it. My sarcasm gets out of hand at times, to the point where it becomes mean and nonsensical. Duuuurrrrrr.

Posted by: Ari-chan at February 23, 2008 8:02 PM

You’re really not making much sense with that statement.

JLM, I think that what Ari-chan was saying was that there will always be people who feel that no true Christian can believe that there are many paths to God, and that people who feel that way will probably dismiss the beliefs of “Christians” (here in quotes to avoid a discussion over the true definition of Christian, who gets to call oneself a Christian, etc) who feel more like Leah as being more of the same “liberal” — ie weak — New Age spirituality that allows any other dissent from their views on what the religion is.

I wish — more for your sake (and Bethany’s) than for mine, because you guys seem to want it so badly — that I could just say that I hadn’t tried very hard to know God. I have. I spent most of my life trying, and I felt nothing. I remember being touched when all that stuff about Mother Teresa’s doubt came out, because that’s kind of what my entire religious experience was, in a way. Except that I never felt connected to God in the first place. And I am a much happier person accepting that and just concentrating on being the best person I can be, than I was when I was so desperately seeking something I felt should come to me if I just asked, or just wanted it badly enough, or whatever. I’m an open-minded person on just about every account, I think — if someone proves me wrong, I have no problem changing my mind — so if something were to come along to convince me that there is a God, I would probably change my mind. But I searched for quite a while, and the only conclusion I can come to is that whether there’s a God or not, I’m not the believing type, at least not on the evidence I’ve seen. And if there is a God, I certainly don’t believe that He would fault me for being honest about that.

Posted by: Alexandra at February 23, 2008 8:03 PM

Alexandra,
Thank you again. You do explain yourself VERY well! Believing what I believe, how can I not want it so bad for you? I understand your belief, and I also understand that I have not walked a day in your shoes.

I’d like to ask you something and I totally understand if you don’t want to answer. That’s ok. When you were “searching” for God, were you doing it on your own, or did you ask Him for help?

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 8:09 PM

1 Peter 1:18-21:

18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

What’s this about worthlessness?

Posted by: Leah at February 23, 2008 7:51 PM
…………………………………………………

In the context of this scripture it would relate to the buying of dispensation as it were.

Posted by: Sally at February 23, 2008 8:12 PM

If God doesn’t want us to be in hell, how could he send incredibly good people there?

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 8:18 PM

Leah,

The Qur’an does not allow for other faiths. And it definately doesn’t teach that there are many paths.

This is not to say there aren’t moderate people of the Muslim faith. I have had these kinds of conversations with a friend who is a Muslim.

Just curious, have you read the Qur’an?

Posted by: Tara at February 23, 2008 8:20 PM

That would be “empty way of life” in your translation, Leah.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 23, 2008 7:57 PM
………………………………………….

This scripture is not speaking to anyone’s way of life but rather the use of graven images made from precious metals used by Jews to appease God.
Your brand of Bible takes great liberties in it’s attempt to make historical references hip and relevant to it’s readers.

Posted by: Sally at February 23, 2008 8:22 PM

No, JLM, I understand how much you must want it for me. I used to agonize imagining even people I didn’t like rotting in hell.

I asked Him for help, almost every day for years once I was old enough to really understand the concept of faith as a personal issue rather than just “going to church.” I always felt like there was something broken about me because it never worked. I became by far the most “religious” person in my family, I made best friends out of the most genuine Christians my age at my church (most of whom I am still in contact with — that much, at least, was worth it!), I bought a Teen Bible hoping it would offer me some kind of key to understanding things, I pored over the Bible I’d received in third grade for graduating a Sunday School class hoping its straightforward presentation would help me get down to the core of my faith, I went on youth retreats and — more than once — asked my whole entire youth group to pray for me because I could not feel anything. I prayed fervently myself, always suspicious that no one was listening anyway. Eventually I grew tired, and found that I was much happier just letting it go.

Posted by: Alexandra at February 23, 2008 8:27 PM

Thank you for the compliment, by the way, JLM.

Posted by: Alexandra at February 23, 2008 8:27 PM

This is disturbing me, so I need to post this. By no means is this meant to offend anyone, but the truth needs to be said:

Christians DO NOT worship the same God as the Islam religion does. Allah is a pagan god, who has no son. Jesus Christ is Almighty God (John 10:33; Revelation 1:8), the second Person of the Godhead (John 1:1-3,10; Matthew 28:19-20), the Christ (Luke 2:11), and He is the Son of God (John 3:16)!

1st John 4:14 says, “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world”.

Muslims deny Jesus Christ as Savior.

We do not believe in the same God.

So, to say that there are many “paths” to God is simply false. There is only ONE path to God, and that is through Jesus Christ. He is God. All other religions that do not believe that Jesus Christ is God worship pagan gods.

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 8:31 PM

Alexandra,
Thank you again. You do explain yourself VERY well! Believing what I believe, how can I not want it so bad for you? I understand your belief, and I also understand that I have not walked a day in your shoes.

JLM, you took the words out of my mouth. I want it so badly for her too. I have been there though. I have been through the agony of wondering if God really existed, if God really cared.
I remember as a child asking God if he existed and telling Him to give me a sign. I was asking for a physical sign, but I didn’t realize that it would be years later before I realized how to listen for God’s signs.

God has answered so many of my prayers (one of them ended up being my husband! He was a DIRECT answer to my prayers!), and has done good on all of His promises through His word.

I was able to come to assurance of my salvation again only through the support of my loving husband who has a lot of faith, and by reading the Bible again and again, searching for the support I needed. ALL of the answers that I was seeking were right there. Every single one.

I so badly wish I could help you to have the faith that you have been wanting, Alexandria. If there is any way that I can help you or that JLM or Mary Kay or anyone here can help, please let us know.

It is not as difficult as you might think, to have faith in God…but remember, you’re not a failure or abnormal if you doubt at times. Remember, even Jesus disciples doubted many times, and Jesus called them “ye of little faith” on many occasions.
We only need faith “size of a mustard seed”.

The devil can influence our minds and make God seem like a fairy tale, and if we aren’t prepared with scripture to fight him with, we many times can fall for his tricks. It is very easy to do so. I fell for the idea that there were countless contradictions in the Bible, at one time. I was crying one night and asked my husband if he could help me understand why the Bible seemed to contradict. Lo and behold he showed me that I was taking the verses out of context, and when I read them correctly, they did not contradict at all. I remember being so intensely relieved when I saw this and realized my error.

I will pray and pray that we will be able to help you find faith in God. I pray that God will give me and others here the words to speak, so that we will not say the wrong thing, offend, or be a stumbling block, to turn you away from Him. Please try to remember that we are only human and can make big mistakes.

By the way, I think I speak for all of us when I say we love you – although we obviously disagree on many subjects, I never want you to get the idea that we dislike you. Never at all!

Ah, I hope this post isn’t a jumbled mess!

Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 8:32 PM

@Leah,

I sure hope you are enjoying Alberta – must be the flat part, close to Saskatewan .. because much of the province is very hilly, being next to the Rockies.

I think you keep running up against a continuing problem: “And you, who do you say I am?”‘ These words spoken by Jesus have always been a problem for those who wish to control Him via ‘superior’ understanding.

There is an old story about Thomas Aquinas walking along a beech and running into a small child attempting to fill the hole he had dug with water. He told Thomas, that it would be easier to put all the ocean’s water into that wee hole, than to understand the Trinity (an aspect of Jesus, Thomas had been contemplating).

The story goes that after this Thomas stopped writing … referring to his earlier work as mere chaff.

Much of our current opposition to Jesus is a deep misunderstanding of Who He is. The answer is not simple, so the Way is and is-not narrow like you insist that it is.

Posted by: Anonymous at February 23, 2008 8:32 PM

“So, to say that there are many “paths” to God is simply false. There is only ONE path to God, and that is through Jesus Christ. He is God. All other religions that do not believe that Jesus Christ is God worship pagan gods.”

I knew this was gonna come… :)

Now do you get what I was saying before?

Posted by: Ari-chan at February 23, 2008 8:35 PM

Alexandria, psalm 119 is a very long chapter, but there is a lot there that helped me find assurance. You have probably read it many times before but I want you to notice how it reads, “Blessed are they….that seek Him with a whole heart.”

You are very blessed, Alexandria. You are seeking Him.

Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 8:37 PM

Bethany,
Your post wasn’t jumbled, it was beautiful.

And yes, you did speak for me when you told Alexandra that we love her.

Thank you, Bethany!

:)

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 8:40 PM

Alexandria, have you ever accepted Christ as your Savior? Did you have faith as a child?

Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 8:41 PM

Tara: I realize that Islam is not a completely open faith, but I like that it at least recognizes other monotheistic religions as being valid. Not like JLM there who condemns Islam with a flick of the wrist.

To answer your question, I have read much of the Qur’an, although not all of it.

JLM: Yes, Muslims DO worship the same God you do. Just because you are too blind to see it does not change the fact. Next time, try to me just a *little* more ignorant and offensive.

Ari: I do, indeed. It saddens me.

Posted by: Leah at February 23, 2008 8:41 PM

These are my new bunnies, that will be off the bottle by the middle of March! I will get them when I get back from spring break :)

I have number 6 reserved for the first pick, 1 reserved on the second.

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 8:43 PM

Anon:

There are a lot of hills, although not Rocky Mountain-esque ones. They’re visible from the farm–the Rockies–although a five-hour drive away! But yes, for the most part, it is flat.

I think you misunderstand me. I am saying that the Way is not narrow, as many believe it to be. I believe the Way is wide and an abundance of paths lead to the same destination. Or am I misunderstanding you?

Posted by: Leah at February 23, 2008 8:44 PM

Beeeeeethany?

Are you able to chat this beauteous evening?

Posted by: Ari-chan at February 23, 2008 8:44 PM

mods please post my bunnies :)

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 8:44 PM

So, to say that there are many “paths” to God is simply false. There is only ONE path to God, and that is through Jesus Christ. He is God. All other religions that do not believe that Jesus Christ is God worship pagan gods.

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 8:31 PM

…………………………………….

That makes Christianity absolute bunk then doesn’t it? Christians use the Jewish God to explain their Christian God yet Jews don’t believe that Jesus was God. Quite a conundrum. if Jews don’t know their God, Christians know their God even less.

Posted by: Sally at February 23, 2008 8:45 PM

Tara: I realize that Islam is not a completely open faith, but I like that it at least recognizes other monotheistic religions as being valid. Not like JLM there who condemns Islam with a flick of the wrist.

From the quran:
The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of God, and the Christians call Christ the son of God. That is but a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. God’s curse be on them; how they are deluded away from the Truth! They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of God, and (they take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary. Yet they were commanded to worship but One God: there is no god but He. Praise and glory to Him! (Far is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him)” (9:30-31).
Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 8:45 PM

Yes… and?

Posted by: Leah at February 23, 2008 8:47 PM

Leah, the exact same thing that you accuse us of doing is in the quran! They believe their religion is the ONLY one, they believe their way is the ONLY way.
Tell me where the difference is?
Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 8:48 PM

” recognizes other monotheistic religions as being valid.”

that is false. They think that judaism and Christianity are false religions. See my point?
Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 8:49 PM

Bethany, check out my bunnies! They are in the queue

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 8:50 PM

Ari-chan,

I am not embarrased to say it. Jesus is the only way, the only truth and the only life. No one comes to the Father except through Him. Yes, I believe that.

It seems intolerant, exclusive, arrogant, ignornat, and many other adjectives to say in this day and age. Because we have lost the true meaning of tolerance.

But I do respect other people no matter what their religion or lack there of bc God created them to. So while, I do not have to agree or accept anothers faith or viewpoint, I MUST respect them bc they are human beings and have intrinsic value. That is the true meaning of tolerance.

That being said, it is NOT my job to convert anyone to Christianity. That is God’s job. I am to share my faith. I am to tell others how much Jesus loves them and wants to have a personal relationship wtih them. He came so that they can live. He came so that their sin would not destroy me forever. He came to redeem all of creation. He came because God loves them.

As Jesus said, it one sheep was lost, a shepherd would leave the flock and find the lost one. He then would throw a party when the lost one was found.

Posted by: Tara at February 23, 2008 8:52 PM

Aren’t they the cutest things you’ve ever seen!

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 8:53 PM

PIP, SO ADORABLE!

Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 8:53 PM

JLM: Yes, Muslims DO worship the same God you do. Just because you are too blind to see it does not change the fact. Next time, try to me just a *little* more ignorant and offensive.

Then why don’t Muslims accept our God?
I just showed you the verse that says that, Leah. They say that we worship a false God (Christ)

Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 8:54 PM

Can I have one, PIP???
hehe
Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 8:55 PM

That makes Christianity absolute bunk then doesn’t it? Christians use the Jewish God to explain their Christian God yet Jews don’t believe that Jesus was God. Quite a conundrum. if Jews don’t know their God, Christians know their God even less.

Not at all, Sally. The difference between Christians and Jews, is that the Jews do not believe that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, has come yet. They are still waiting for Him to come. They are still living under the law, while Christians believe that Jesus HAS come, fulfilled the law, and are living under grace through faith in Jesus. The beginnings of Islam are also found in the old testament. Our beliefs turn to a different path when we get to Jesus Christ. The crux of belief of Christianity. The one, true and only path to God.

So again, no. Christianity isn’t debunked, the other religious beliefs are.

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 8:56 PM

lol Bethany, she already gave the free ones away already but they are only twenty bucks ;)

I went over there (it’s a 40 minute drive there) this afternoon, it was a lovefest. I was all over them and their cuteness. It was hard to pick just two.

here are her other litters:

http://www.furryfriendsrus.com/maternity.htm

she also breeds rats and mice. One of her rats was so adorable too!

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 8:58 PM

“It seems intolerant, exclusive, arrogant, ignornat, and many other adjectives to say in this day and age. Because we have lost the true meaning of tolerance.”

@Tara: Eh. I don’t think I said that… do I agree with your view? Nope. Do you agree with my views? Nope. And that’s fine.

Posted by: Ari-chan at February 23, 2008 8:59 PM

They accept Jesus Christ, only not as a God. He is accepted as a Prophet. However, the aspect of God as an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient being is consistent throughout the three monotheistic religions: you all worship the same God!

I have some Qur’an verses for you, but I need to go get my copy first.

Posted by: Leah at February 23, 2008 9:00 PM

Yes, Muslims DO worship the same God you do. Just because you are too blind to see it does not change the fact.

Leah,
I started the post with my “no offense” statement. Again, I am truly sorry you were offended. The truth often does offend.

Please enlighten me, then, as to how Muslims DO worship the same God as I do, if they believe that Jesus Christ was a prophet, and not God.

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 9:01 PM

They accept Jesus Christ, only not as a God. He is accepted as a Prophet. However, the aspect of God as an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient being is consistent throughout the three monotheistic religions: you all worship the same God!

My God is in three persons. Their god is not, Leah. If they don’t believe that Christ is God, they don’t believe in my God. Don’t you see that?
Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 9:02 PM

See my above post, JLM.

Posted by: Leah at February 23, 2008 9:02 PM

got it, Leah. I’m a slow poster, LOL!

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 9:05 PM

They accept Jesus Christ, only not as a God. He is accepted as a Prophet.

But he is not accepted by them as part of the triune God, which means that they do not believe in our God, which is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, all three are one.
Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 9:07 PM

No, Bethany. I do not. There is your ignorant exclusivity again. In any case, here are some wonderful Qur’an verses:

“The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah … and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus” (42:13 AYA)

“We [Muslims] believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you [Jews & Christian]); our Allah and your Allah is One” (29:46 AYA)

“O People of the Book!” (5:68 AYA) refers to and addresses Muslims, Jews and Christians alike.

In case you’re wondering, AYA simply stands for Abdullah Yusuf Ali, who translated this particular version of the Qur’an from Arabic to English.

Posted by: Leah at February 23, 2008 9:08 PM

Also the quran claims that Christ was never crucified, which would mean logically that they would believe Him to be a false prophet, if they believe Him to be a prophet at all.
Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 9:09 PM

By the way, anything further addressed to me, I’ll answer in the morning.

I’m off for the evening!!

Posted by: Leah at February 23, 2008 9:09 PM

That’s Qur’an–not quran. Like it’s Bible, not bible. And God, not god.

Posted by: Leah at February 23, 2008 9:10 PM

Ari-chan –

I didn’t think you did use those adjectives.

I was just trying to point out that I know there are other that would say that, and I was acknowledging that.

I respect you for your feelings. And I do hope that someday you come to know Jesus, but that is between you and Him.

I have to go and tuck my kids inoto bed, and study for my exam on Monday. Have a great night.

Posted by: Tara at February 23, 2008 9:16 PM

Leah, that would be if I respected their god as a diety. I mean no disrespect, but their god is not my God.

Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 9:17 PM

“That makes Christianity absolute bunk then doesn’t it? Christians use the Jewish God to explain their Christian God yet Jews don’t believe that Jesus was God. Quite a conundrum. if Jews don’t know their God, Christians know their God even less.”

It is possible to draw distintions without being insulting.

Jews have a concept of a messiah, they just don’t accept Jesus as that messiah. Christians believe he was.

Since both Christians and Jews accept the old testament, they acknowledge the same heritage and basis of belief.

Posted by: hippie at February 23, 2008 9:19 PM

The quran clearly states in, The Women 4.171, that God has NO Son. [4.171] O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son of Marium is only an apostle of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His apostles, and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one God; far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector.

In sharp contrast, John 3:16 in the Word of God declares that God DOES have a Son, “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.”

The quran even goes as far as to claim that Jesus never died, nor was He crucified (The Women, 4.157). And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Marium, the apostle of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa) and most surely those who differ therein are only in a doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed him not for sure.

Both history and archeology show clearly that Allah was worshipped as a pagan moon god long before Mohammed came on the scene.

So again, I will stress, not to offend, but just to prove that we DO NOT worship the same God, Leah.

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 9:21 PM

Yes, I’ve heard that about the moon god, JLM. Interesting stuff.
Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 9:24 PM

Christians DO NOT worship the same God as the Islam religion does. Allah is a pagan god,

Muslims deny Jesus Christ as Savior.

We do not believe in the same God.

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 8:31 PM

Allah is the arabic word for God. In the arabic version of the christian bible, allah is the word used for God.

If you don’t feel or believe it is the same God, well okay.

However, arguing over the word allah is silly because it is just a matter of translation, like spanish Dios or german Gott, etc. Each language has its own words.

Posted by: hippie at February 23, 2008 9:26 PM

JLM,

Real quick, Isalm believes, that the Jews and Christians rewrote parts of the Bible after Mohommed was here. Although, that has been proven false from the archeological finds.

But most importantly they believe that as Christians we believe the Trinity, is God, Jesus and Mary. They do not have an understanding of the Holy Spirit. So for them, it looks like God had a wife. As Christians we know that is not true. But it is an important thing to understand. Muslims believe in the virgin birth, but do not believe that Jesus is God in human form. Even many Christians have a hard time understandig of the Trinity.

I agree with you, we do not worship and believe in the same God. We have a common ancestor, but that is where the similarities end.

Posted by: Tara at February 23, 2008 9:31 PM

If you don’t feel or believe it is the same God, well okay.
However, arguing over the word allah is silly because it is just a matter of translation, like spanish Dios or german Gott, etc. Each language has its own words.

I totally agree, Hippie. I don’t think that JLM is trying to say that the word Allah doesn’t translate as “God” in their language, but like you said, that we don’t feel it is the “same” God. I hope that helps clear it up.

JLM correct me if I’m wrong about your intent though..don’t want to put words in your mouth..
Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 9:31 PM

I worship Jeff the God of Biscuits and Simon the God of Hair-dos…

(10 pts and brownies for whoever guesses what I’m referencing! :D)

Posted by: Ari-chan at February 23, 2008 9:32 PM

No, hippie, it’s not silly it’s deceptive. Many religions call who they worship god, when it’s not the same God that Christians believe in.

Islam’s origins have been traced back by scholars to the ancient fertility religion of the worship of the moon god which was always the dominant religion of Arabia. The moon god was worshipped by praying toward Mecca several times a day, making an annual pilgrimage to the Kabah which was a temple of the moon god, running around the Kabah seven times, caressing an idol of a black stone set in the wall of the Kabah, running between two hills, making animal sacrifices, gathering on Fridays for prayers, giving alms to the poor, etc.. These were pagan rites practiced by the Arabs long before Muhammad was born.

This explains why the crescent moon is the symbol of Islam. It is placed on top of mosques and minarets and displayed on hats, flags, rugs, amulets and even jewelry. Every time you see the Muslim symbol of a crescent moon, you are seeing the ancient symbol of the moon god.

So I am not sorry to say, hippie, that who Muslim’s call “god” and who I call “God” are NOT one in the same. It’s not semantics, there’s true meaning behind both names, and both names mean different things to each religion. One is real, one is not.

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 9:32 PM

Tara, wow, that is very interesting!
Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 9:33 PM

I worship Jeff the God of Biscuits and Simon the God of Hair-dos…
(10 pts and brownies for whoever guesses what I’m referencing! :D)

I have no idea….what kind of brownies are they?

Posted by: Bethany at February 23, 2008 9:36 PM

THis is for PIP:
God does not send “incredibly good people” to hell. They make that choice themselves, by the choices they make throughout their lives.
We have free will, unlike animals who operate on instinct. We can know what is good and evil and we make a choice. God wants us to choose to be with Him forever, but some do not want this. So, in His infinite wisdom, he allows us to choose. Of course, only God can know what is in a person’s heart and if there are mitigating circumstances. That’s why we cannot judge a person, only their actions. We leave the judgeing to God.
BTW,”Incredibly good people” do not go to Hell. How would you know this anyhow? Who told you?

Posted by: Patricia at February 23, 2008 9:43 PM

PIP,
CUTE BUNNIES! If I could adopt every cute animal in the world, I would!

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 9:49 PM

Patricia-

“They make that choice themselves, by the choices they make throughout their lives.”
So if their perspective on religion is different but the goals are the same, they will still go to hell, because they have to be a Christian in order to go to heaven. Sounds unfair that someone willingly “sent themselves to hell” for eternity by simply being raised or come to understand God in a different manner.

“BTW,”Incredibly good people” do not go to Hell. How would you know this anyhow? Who told you?”
the people who say that unless you accept Jesus Christ you will go to hell.

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 9:50 PM

JLM, no, the “two” gods are One and the Same. In the beginning Islam was essentially a split from Judaism, with changes as they believed the Jews had “gone off course” as the phrase was used by my Comp. World Religions teacher. However there was eventually a split due to Jews in the region believing Muhammed was a power threat and chased he and his followers out of town. That began the praying towards Mecca over Jerusalem. However they continued treating Jews and Christians as “brothers” in God who had simply been misled by their own prophets.

Posted by: Dan at February 23, 2008 9:51 PM

JLM, aren’t they?! I had a heart attack looking at them, they were so cute.

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 9:51 PM

Dan,
No, really they are not one in the same. Maybe they are to you, but I don’t worship the moon god. I worship the One, True God.

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 9:57 PM

@Bethany: Good brownies. With frosting. And walnuts if you like.

Posted by: Ari-chan at February 23, 2008 9:58 PM

PIP,
They would have had to drag me out of there to leave! Wasn’t it hard to go?

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 10:02 PM

Dan,
This may help:

When Mohammed was born in Mecca in 570 AD, the black Kaaba Stone was the religious center of all Arabia. In Mohammed’s day, 365 idols were worshipped there, standing in the great courtyard. One of those deities was called Allah and was the god of the Quarish tribe, of which Mohammed was a member. When the Quarish tribe took control of Mecca, all the idols except Allah, the idol of their tribe, were destroyed.

The Koran Tells us that Mohammed drove the other idols away; his god was now the only god and he was its messenger. But he kept the Kaaba as a holy, sacred place and confirmed that the black stone had the power to take away man’s sins. He obligated every believer to make a pilgrimage to the stone at least once in his lifetime. (Sura 22:26-37)

Once again, not the same God Christians worship.
Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 10:07 PM

Oh definitely! I was there for probably a little over an hour, because I was petting and holding them. Some of them would dig their head into the nook of my elbow (awww) and yeah, crazy cuteness overload.

She also breeds rats and mice. One of her rats was really cute and just had a litter. The breeder took off her hut so we could see them. The rat would pick up one of her babies in her mouth to move them, and they would skweak!

oh my goodness. Cuteness everywhere. I didn’t want to go, and I don’t want to wait until march 24th!

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 10:09 PM

PIP,
Not wanting to wait, I don’t blame you! However, at least it’s a good thing to look forward to, you know?

I heard rats make really good pets. I’m not sure I could ever do that, but I’ve heard from people who have them that they wouldn’t have any other pet. Who knew?

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 10:13 PM

Yup a friend of mine has a rat and she’s really happy with him. Then another friend got a rat because he saw how she liked hers. I already have fish, hamsters, and now rabbits. If I got a rat right now I’d be a copycat!

but yeah I’ll get one probably over the summer lol.

I’m totally that girl in being john malcovich–will probably have one of each species eventually.

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 10:16 PM

I think the more life in the living space, the better.

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 10:18 PM

JLM, the following is the text you are referring to:

[22.26] And when We assigned to Ibrahim the place of the House, saying: Do not associate with Me aught, and purify My House for those who make the circuit and stand to pray and bow and prostrate themselves.
[22.27] And proclaim among men the Pilgrimage: they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, coming from every remote path,
[22.28] That they may witness advantages for them and mention the name of Allah during stated days over what He has given them of the cattle quadrupeds, then eat of them and feed the distressed one, the needy.
[22.29] Then let them accomplish their needful acts of shaving and cleansing, and let them fulfil their vows and let them go round the Ancient House.
[22.30] That (shall be so); and whoever respects the sacred ordinances of Allah, it is better for him with his Lord; and the cattle are made lawful for you, except that which is recited to you, therefore avoid the uncleanness of the idols and avoid false words,
[22.31] Being upright for Allah, not associating aught with Him and whoever associates (others) with Allah, it is as though he had fallen from on high, then the birds snatch him away or the wind carries him off to a far-distant place.
[22.32] That (shall be so); and whoever respects the signs of Allah, this surely is (the outcome) of the piety of hearts.
[22.33] You have advantages in them till a fixed time, then their place of sacrifice is the Ancient House.
[22.34] And to every nation We appointed acts of devotion that they may mention the name of Allah on what He has given them of the cattle quadrupeds; so your God is One God, therefore to Him should you submit, and give good news to the humble,
[22.35] (To) those whose hearts tremble when Allah is mentioned, and those who are patient under that which afflicts them, and those who keep up prayer, and spend (benevolently) out of what We have given them.
[22.36] And (as for) the camels, We have made them of the signs of the religion of Allah for you; for you therein is much good; therefore mention the name of Allah on them as they stand in a row, then when they fall down eat of them and feed the poor man who is contented and the beggar; thus have We made them subservient to you, that you may be grateful.
[22.37] There does not reach Allah their flesh nor their blood, but to Him is acceptable the guarding (against evil) on your part; thus has He made them subservient to you, that you may magnify Allah because He has guided you aright; and give good news to those who do good (to others).

I dont see that at all

Source: Here

Posted by: Dan at February 23, 2008 10:18 PM

except for the wild mice in the apartment. They gots to go.

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 10:19 PM

PIP,
I agree with you, there!

Animals are so faithful and loving. They never cease to give you great joy! My dream in life is to become a dog breeder. The only thing that halts it, is that I’d never be able to give those cute little puppies up!

I just checked out the website you posted. What a wonderful breeder. She actually stated that she is responsible for her “creations”, and that if you ever didn’t want something you purchased, she would take them back, no matter how many years go by, no questions asked. What a wonderful breeder!

I’m sure you’ll make a great bunny mom, PIP!

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 10:21 PM

Also, JLM, Mohammad received the Koran from Angel Gabriel. They also refer to previous Biblical figures on top of tracing ancestry through Ishmael back to Abraham, and thus their connection to Judaism/Christianity and God Himself

Posted by: Dan at February 23, 2008 10:22 PM

It is true that as a Catholic I believe that the CAtholic Church is the one true apostolic faith. And I believe that the Catholic faith offers the best chance of achieving sanctity and heaven.
However, it is not true that only Catholics will go to heaven or only those who are Christian will go to heaven. Any person of good faith, seeking the truth honestly, will at some point in their journey end up on the road towards God. Such people grow spiritually and in a similar manner as Catholics, Christians. Father GRoeschel who is a psychologist and a priest has studied how people grow spiritually and states that while people of other religions can and do grow spiritually, the best opportunity for spiritual development is in Christianity and specifically Catholicism. (I hope I’m not misquoting him here!)

For example, if a person of the Hindu faith, is raised in the Hindu faith and really knows no other faith, but tries to live a good life (by that I mean he basically lives an honest life, is compassionate towards his fellow man etc) that person can definitely go to heaven. God does not damn someone because they’ve never had the opportunity to become Catholic.
As for knowing about the Catholic faith and declining to become Catholic, I have to say that only God really knows because only God really knows what was in that person’s heart. For example, the great writer and Christian apologist, CS Lewis was very amenable towards Catholicism and had a strong relationship with Tolkien (a devout Catholic). Yet, it is my understanding the Lewis could never quite come to grips with becoming CAtholic. I believe CS Lewis was likely a very good man and I don’t believe he resides in hell today! I think God saw his struggles, but also saw the tremendous good this man did while on earth.
This is my understanding of how things work.

Posted by: Patricia at February 23, 2008 10:25 PM

JLM,

Thanks! In fact that is why I chose her as my breeder. I talked to her through email and AIM, and her website shows she is both responsible and knowledgeable. When I visited her today you could tell they were all in good condition and had ample space. She said when its warm she lets her buns run around ;)

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 10:25 PM

that last post was directed to PIP
Sorry I meant to put your name up there at the top!!

Posted by: Patricia at February 23, 2008 10:27 PM

Patricia-

but often people of other faiths live around christianity of some sort but stay with their religion. So what would your definition of “knows no other faith”?

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 10:30 PM

Pip
I was referring to say a HIndu who lives in INdia- chances are those people will not likely have much exposure to Christianity and even if they did, they would not necessarily consider another religion due to cultural pressures etc.
Posted by: Patricia at February 23, 2008 10:35 PM

Dan,
Mohammad allegedlyreceived the Koran from the Angel Gabriel.

“According to the legends, myths, and stories found in the Hadith, the Qur’an was written in heaven by Allah on a large stone tablet. The angel Gabriel brought it down and Muhammad recited it verbally but did not write any of it down. It was Muhammad’s companions who wrote down what he recited. After his death, it was gathered together and compiled by the Calif Uthman.

The Qur’an was invented in order to give spiritual unity to the vast empire created by Arab conquests. By borrowing liberally from the legends, myths and religious traditions of pagans, Jews, Christians, Hindus, and Persians, they created one religion to rule over all its citizens. Thus the Qur’an was the product of multiple authors from different times and places. These authors contributed stories and legends from their own cultural and religious background. The sources of these stories have been well documented by many scholars.”

Same origin, went a different “man-made” route, chose the moon god to worship, etc., etc. Again, Dan I choose not to believe that they worship the same God as I do.

That being said, I really get sick to my stomach when I have to research pagan religions. I actually cringe inside when I have to read their filth. Believe what you want, and I will do the same. I can’t look at anymore Muslim writings and beliefs tonight.

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 10:37 PM

patricia-

What I am referring to would be like people in america. There would be no excuse for them, correct?

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 10:41 PM

good night to all
sweet dreams…………..

Posted by: Patricia at February 23, 2008 10:41 PM

aww :/

no answers for kate

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 10:49 PM

Patricia,

In response to the paragraph re: the Hindu faith:

So, what you’re saying then, is that we were all born sinners, but God allows sin in Heaven, and that Jesus really didn’t have to come to shed his blood to wash away the sin that God allows in Heaven. That God’s plan from the beginning was just a bad joke, and that people don’t need to believe in Jesus, or anything He said in the bible, that all they just need to do is to have good intentions while they are alive to get to Heaven?

That is most certainly NOT the teachings of Christ (hence, Christian faith). God was very clear over and over again in the bible that there is only one way to God, through Jesus Christ.

I am the way the truth and the life; NO MAN cometh unto the Father BUT BY ME.” — Jesus Christ (John 14:6)

I don’t mean to sound offensive, but your comment above is calling Jesus a liar.

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 10:51 PM

PIP,
I tend to be blunt in my comments because I feel that this is such a serious matter. A true matter of life and death. I apologize in advance for my bluntness if it is offensive.

The fact is, is that God will not allow sin to enter Heaven. Those are not my rules, nor yours, they are God’s. I know you have a hard time accepting that as being “just” and “fair”, but I think that our ideas of “just” and “fair” are much different than God’s.

Suppose you had a home with light colored carpeting throughout. Your rules for your house are that no one is to enter your house with shoes covered with filthy mud.

One of your best friends comes over, and their shoes are covered with mud. You tell them that they cannot come into your house unless they take their muddy shoes off. You tell them that your carpet must be kept clean.

Your friend, instead of abiding by your rules, gets mad at you instead, tells you that you aren’t being fair or just to her. She tells you that she is a good person, never did anything wrong to you, and that you should accept her into your house anyway based on her goodness to you, regardless of her filthy, muddy shoes.

You cannot accept her into your home unless she took off her muddy shoes. You tell her that all she has to do is leave her muddy shoes outside of the door, and she will be more than welcome to come in. She has a choice here. What she chooses will determine whether or not she will come into your house. What will she do?

Does that help?
:)

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 11:08 PM

couldn’t Jesus cover everyone’s sins then?

btw watching ANTM on the youtubes. One of my friends from high school is on it! It’s almost surreal to see her on a major tv show like that.

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 11:23 PM

also things aren’t as black and white as in your example. Because we can’t know for sure who is really right or wrong, then we’d have say when she gets there that you told her she had the choice before she knocked on your door, and should have learned from this one girl who was supposed to tell her about the rule, and now she is screwed and can’t come in ever again.

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 23, 2008 11:26 PM

couldn’t Jesus cover everyone’s sins then?

He did, PIP. And that’s all that He asks, is that you believe in Him and accept what He has done for you. That’s it. Plain & simple. It was never meant to be complicated.

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 11:28 PM

PIP,
Do you realize that your passion for human rights has been a blessing and a curse to you?

Please, just worry about yourself for now. Think only about what Jesus has done for you. Don’t try to think about the whole world for now. Baby steps, PIP….baby steps. You’re starting at the end when you should start at the beginning. Trust me, everything will fall beautifully into place if you just think about you alone for a little bit.

Picture for a moment Jesus hanging on the cross. You are standing in front of Him. He looks down at you, and says, “Kate, I did this for you so that you may have eternal life.”

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 11:34 PM

JLM-

What you said about the Koran can be said about the Bible. Discrediting it for that reason and refusing to believe they worship the same God, even when Muslims THEMSELVES believe they worship the same God is ridiculous.

BTW, Islam is not considered a pagan religion. It is widely considered to be 1 of the three Abrahamic monotheistic faiths which all worship the same God, though you seem to want to believe otherwise.

Posted by: Dan at February 23, 2008 11:49 PM

Dan,
Here. Read up. Knock yourself out.

http://www.light-of-life.com/eng/gospel/g4105efm.htm

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 11:58 PM

JLM-

I have already learned a great amount of that in my comparative world religions class. That article seems to leave out the nuances of the split between sunni and shi’ia, which are two very different forms of one religion. Those nuances are truly very important distinction.

Not to mention, it does seem fairly biased based in as a christian observer rather than an objective observer ;)

Posted by: Dan at February 24, 2008 12:18 AM

he also said “what you do for the least of these, you do for me.” (or some variation thereof).

How could I rejoice in a salvation where others would be perishing?

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 24, 2008 12:22 AM

Okay,

How weird is this? While you guys were having a discussion on pets and Islam, I was at the Dog Show at McCormick Place. They usually have two conventions going on at the same time. (Last year it was dentists and the year before it was bikers – now that one was fun). This year? You guessed it. The Nation of Islam. The name of their convention? Gods At War.

http://www.noi.org/

Anywho,
here’s some pics of my favorite breeds…
The Samoyed is for Alyssa!

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 6:23 AM

PIP,

I also have a bunny. Her name is Lucy. Sweetest pet EVER!

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 6:43 AM

Alexandria, have you ever accepted Christ as your Savior?

I have. I don’t think it counts anymore, though.

Did you have faith as a child?

How much of a child are you talking about? As a young child, I mostly enjoyed the social aspects of church. I liked having an excuse to wear a dress, and I liked occasionally reciting Bible verses in front of all the older church members who would coo over us, and of course the pageants and skits, etc. I loved the children’s sermons. At some point I became aware that while I liked all of it, I didn’t actually believe the things I was reciting or acting out or being told, and that I never had. As I grew older I realized that my inability to believe was just part of a larger inability to believe in God.

Even many Christians have a hard time understandig of the Trinity.

You know, one way I always used to think of it was like how H2O can come in three physical states. It can be a gas (steam), a liquid (water), or a solid (ice), but it’s still one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms — it’s still the same substance.

Posted by: Alexandra at February 24, 2008 6:51 AM

Alexandra,

That is an awesome analogy.

Remember what you said about Mother Teresa? It wasn’t that she didn’t believe, but that she didn’t feel. It struck me when you said this.

If I had to rely on feelings for my faith, I’d fail miserably. Faith isn’t an emotion. It’s more like a verb. Sometimes you feel it, sometimes you don’t.

Otherwise, it becomes all about you, instead of all about Him.

I’m not trying to get into a Catholic/Protestant debate here, but have you ever looked into the Catholic Faith? It offers a lot more “depth” in my opinion. A lot more explanation of why we believe what we believe and why we do what we do.

Tons of books on saints that are going through what you are going through. There is one book called the Dark Night of the Soul. It deals with exactly what you are describing and what Mothere Teresa went through.

You might just be feeling that “there must be more…” and if so, I think the Catholic Church offers “more”…Maybe not, but it might be worth a look-see.

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 6:59 AM

PUPPIES OMGZ.

Thanks MK, although I don’t know why you said just the Samoyed was for me…..I love allllllllllllll puppies, and I took all of them as a personal cute overload gift this morning. *steal*

And your Gracie is unbelievably adorable. Remember how you were auctioning off either the dog or the son? I’ll take the four-legged one. If you ever get to a point where you can’t have her anymore, I would adopt her. :D

Well, anyway, I’m off again as I must go tend to the boyfriend….he’s in a 46 hour dance marathon raising money for children with cancer. I must say, I’ve cried more than once this weekend looking at the pictures and seeing these kids at the event. He’s dancing for his organization, but I’m also there to see the people from the coed frat I’m pledging…four people are dancing for this organization. I really admire all of them for being able to stand on their feet for so long and for such a great cause. Last year, we raised over 5 million dollars to donate to cancer research. FOR THE KIDS! :)

Posted by: Lyssie at February 24, 2008 8:14 AM

I forgot to put my name up AGAIN!

JLM, if you click “yes” right after the question “remember me?” above the posts…your name will automatically be added each time you post, so you wont have to remember each time.
Posted by: Bethany at February 24, 2008 8:32 AM

Wow,

Lyssie, That is AWESOME! The more I hear about your beau, the more I like him!

I’ve grown to love Gracie (now that I can walk again) and I’m sorry, she’s no longer up for auction. And since your boyfriend sounds so amazing, I’ll have to withdraw my offer on the son too. I like you too much.

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 8:33 AM

Leah,

You’ve posted pictures from your new “Homeland” Would it be okay to put one of them on the “Snaps” link?

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 8:33 AM

Good Morning Bethany,

I’ll be leaving for church in a few…glad I caught you.

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 8:35 AM

Alexandria, have you ever accepted Christ as your Savior?
I have. I don’t think it counts anymore, though.

Alexandria, I think it counts. In fact, the very fact that you are struggling and searching right now, that suggests to me that the Holy Spirit is in you, drawing you towards God. MK made a good point, which I was going to touch on, that you cannot rely on your feelings, which change from day to day. Faith is not based on feelings.

I struggled with my assurance of salvation GREATLY as a teenager and as an adult. At one point, I used to cry out to God at night, every single night, asking Him to please save me, then wondering why I simply couldn’t *feel* saved. I had heard so many testimonies from people who said they literally “felt a burden lifted from their shoulders”, or “felt an extreme sense of peace” right after asking for salvation, but I had felt nothing. And this perplexed me, Alexandria.

It wasn’t until, years later, that I realized it had absolutely nothing to do with my feelings, and it had everything to do with me having to accept God’s promises in the Bible. He PROMISED that all I had to do was to ASK. That all I had to do was to TRUST. But the problem was, I wasn’t trusting, because I was basing my trust on my fluctuating feelings.

I thought to myself, God made these promises, and He will keep them.

I kept index cards in my purse which helped me tremendously during this time. Here are a few examples:

Romans 10:9-10, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

This is one thing that comforted me. God didn’t say, “you might” be saved. He didn’t say, “You can be saved one moment then be unsaved the next”. He said “Thou shalt be saved”. End of story.

John 10:28, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. “

If no one can pluck one out of God’s hand, that includes you.

You, as well, cannot pluck yourself out of God’s hand. He holds onto you and you will forever be His child. He will not leave you or forsake you based on some feelings of doubt. He did not forsake doubting Thomas, did He?

” for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.””

God is able to keep His promises to you. If you accepted Christ as Savior, God will honor His promise to you.

” 1 Peter 1:5. “Who are kept by the power of God, by faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” “

We are not kept by our own power, but through God’s power.

“1 John 3:14, “We know we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren.””

1 John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God”

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

There are so many more, but I hope that these will give you a little comfort. I will pray that God will continue working in your heart, Alexandria.

Did you have faith as a child?
How much of a child are you talking about? As a young child, I mostly enjoyed the social aspects of church. I liked having an excuse to wear a dress, and I liked occasionally reciting Bible verses in front of all the older church members who would coo over us, and of course the pageants and skits, etc. I loved the children’s sermons. At some point I became aware that while I liked all of it, I didn’t actually believe the things I was reciting or acting out or being told, and that I never had. As I grew older I realized that my inability to believe was just part of a larger inability to believe in God.

I meant, when you were a child, you believed that Jesus died on the cross, without doubting that, you believed that He did so for you, and this is why you asked Him into your heart. As most little children, what I’m basically asking, is whether you believed the things your Sunday School teachers told you about God and Jesus, and if you did, and if you accepted Christ, you are saved.

You know, one way I always used to think of it was like how H2O can come in three physical states. It can be a gas (steam), a liquid (water), or a solid (ice), but it’s still one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms — it’s still the same substance.

Alexandria, that is a brilliant analogy!
And I completely agree.
Posted by: Bethany at February 24, 2008 8:58 AM

Good morning, MK!

Posted by: Bethany at February 24, 2008 8:59 AM

Alexandra,
For a VERY long time I had been struggling with the concept of the trinity and it being one. I’ve had it explained to me in so many ways so that I could understand. I understood, I guess, but took it more as a faith thing than anything else. I’ve prayed about if for a while, and yes, God DOES answer prayer.

I thank you so much for your anaolgy about H2O. You have NO idea, how much I understand now thanks to that. It actually brought tears to my eyes. God surely answered my prayer through your analogy.

Thank you so much again for posting that!

Posted by: JLM at February 24, 2008 10:30 AM

mk 6:59,

I agree that reading about the saints is a wonderful way to learn about people who lived before us and struggled just as we do.

There are days when the only prayer I can muster is “Lord, thy will be done”, and that is enough to get me through the day.

The Morning Offering is also a simple prayer one can say every day. My version is “Lord, I offer you my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day, in union with the (Holy Catholic) Church throughout the world.” I like it because it is an offering of everything I do all day to God.

Also, it is good for non-Catholics to know that they can come sit in a Catholic Church any time they wish, the doors are almost always open. God bless you!

Posted by: Janet at February 24, 2008 10:41 AM

JLM, 10:30 AM
God sure does work in mysterious ways, doesn’t He?
(hugs)

Posted by: Bethany at February 24, 2008 10:43 AM

He sure does, Bethany! It’s quite amazing!
(hugs back to you)

Posted by: JLM at February 24, 2008 10:50 AM

Patricia,

In response to the paragraph re: the Hindu faith:

So, what you’re saying then, is that we were all born sinners, but God allows sin in Heaven, and that Jesus really didn’t have to come to shed his blood to wash away the sin that God allows in Heaven. That God’s plan from the beginning was just a bad joke, and that people don’t need to believe in Jesus, or anything He said in the bible, that all they just need to do is to have good intentions while they are alive to get to Heaven?

That is most certainly NOT the teachings of Christ (hence, Christian faith). God was very clear over and over again in the bible that there is only one way to God, through Jesus Christ.

I am the way the truth and the life; NO MAN cometh unto the Father BUT BY ME.” — Jesus Christ (John 14:6)

I don’t mean to sound offensive, but your comment above is calling Jesus a liar.

Posted by: JLM at February 23, 2008 10:51 PM

Thank you for your post JLM
Every person born after the fall of Adam and Eve has the stain of original sin on their soul. We are all prone to sin because our souls are weakened by this. This means our flesh and our spirit are not in perfect harmony as they were in Paradise and we are constantly struggling against the desires of our bodies. Hence, Jesus saying the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

God does not allow anything impure into heaven. Everyone who enters heaven must be completely without sin. If we are not purified in this life, we will be purified in the next life in Purgatory. I understand that most Christian faiths do not accept the doctrine of a place of purification after death.

However, if you look at yourself honestly and you were on your death bed today, could you honestly say that you are pure enough to go to heaven? You would want to be purified further, indeed desire it, before entering heaven.

This does not mean that Jesus’ death and resurrection does not cover all our sins. It means that we must take responsibility for our sins but that there is punishment due to our sins. If you hammer a nail(sin) into wood (our souls) and you pull out the nail, the wood is not unblemished. It still contains the mark of the nail (sin) and that is removed through either temporal punishment (here on Earth) or after death in Purgatory.
I have to go to work this afternoon and wish a good day to all.
Patricia

Posted by: Patricia at February 24, 2008 10:51 AM

Aww MK that is the cutest bunny ever! I can’t wait to get mine in. The ones I picked were so very cuddly!

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 24, 2008 10:53 AM

PIP:

You said, “One of the things I’m struggling with Hell–why would God give an infinite punishment for a mistake on Earth? Doesn’t seem just.”

PIP, you have to understand who we are in relation to God to answer this question and you have to understand what sin is. Sin is like an arrow missing its mark. We are fallen creatures deserving separation from God. God has every right to discard us to that place. The real question should be, “Why does God even care”? His requirement for fellowship is absolute perfection and holiness since for him to accept anything else would cause the Universe to collapse in utter annhilation. It would destroy God Himself. This is what satan’s aim for abortion is.

Since God lives in the eternal realm, all that exists apart from Him in that realm is in Hell for He is the only source of life in eternity. It’s state is desribed as an everlasting fire, absolute darkness, etc. We are warned repeatedley in this life that it’s not a place where we should desire to go and I believe it. Why do I believe it? Because the physical world tells me that for every action there’s an equal but opposite reaction. The opposite reaction to evil is punishment. Hell was not created for us, but for satan and the angels that rebelled against God with satan. All evil is dealt with in Hell.

This enemy of our soul, satan, whose desire is for us to join him in Hell since he is already condemned to go there.

Satan hates God and all that He loves including us. Satan tries to decieve us by getting us to question God, question His word, etc. His existence is evident by the comments and thinking patterns of many people who blog on this site. Their state of deception is evident.

And don’t think we are so powerless and that one sin doesn’t mean much. Do you know how much kinetic energy your body possesses? Think about this. You are spinning on the surface of the earth at a radius from its center of 7,000 miles at a radial velocity of 1,000 miles per hour. Not only that you are travlling in orbit around the sun at a radius of 93,000,000 miles at a radial velocity of 10,616 miles per hour. Then the whole solar system is travelling within the Milky Way at a zillion miles and hour and then the Milky Way Galaxy is travelling within the Universe another zillion miles and hour. Do you get the point? Relative to a fixed point in teh Universem the energy we possess is incalculable. Because we are spirits we have infinte energy and the physical realm proves it. One tiny sin is enough to destroy the Universe.

Christ died on the cross to pay for our sin debt. This is what’s so amazing. That God found a way for us sinners, with the potetial to destroy the Universe, to still have fellowship with Him despite our sin. This is why we love Christ so much, because we realize what Hie did for us and at what cost.

Here’s another thing. When people try to justify an abortion of even a zygote, they fail to realize that a zygote, even as small as it is, has infinte energy. Nothing, no matter how small or big, in insignificant to God. For He sees the whole picture.

The question at the end will be, “What did you do with my Son”? Our answer will be our end and we won’t be able to lie about it.”

“How could we neglect so wonderful a salvation”.

I hear a lot of non-believers on this site talk about religion and describing us pro-lifers as religious. I despise religion. Religion is an attmept by man to reach God. Every such attmept is fruitless for there is not a scheme that man can devise that will make him acceptable to a holy God.

No, I am in a relationship to a Savior. A realtionship that was offerred to me by a Holy God. My acceptance of that realtionship qualifies me to fellowship with Him on His terms not mine. I do not consider myself religious at all and this is why I have such a problem with religions that rely on ritual and superstition. They are simply fruitless attempts reach a holy God on their own terms.

Posted by: HisMan at February 24, 2008 11:14 AM

JLM,

We are created in the image of God.

We are body, mind and spirit, yet we are one, as God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, yet One.

Does that help?

Posted by: HisMan at February 24, 2008 11:18 AM

Bethany, the question of capitalizing Qur’an is not one of religion–just proper English (although since you did it intentionally, then it is quite disrespectful). In English, we capitalize book titles. Saying “quran” is like saying “the cat in the hat” It’s just proper English to capitalize.

The lack of apostrophe in “quran” however, is just incorrect transliteration. :)

Al-Qur’an: ??????

The little mark on top of this:? denotes a stop, which is written in English as an apostrophe. In case anyone was in the mood for an Arabic lesson this morning.

Posted by: Leah at February 24, 2008 11:25 AM

However, if you look at yourself honestly and you were on your death bed today, could you honestly say that you are pure enough to go to heaven? You would want to be purified further, indeed desire it, before entering heaven.

YES, I CAN!

1John 1:7-9

7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from allsin.

8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Jesus paid for ALL of my sins. Out of a love that cannot be comprehended, Jesus Christ paid for all of my sins, past, present and future. I am cleansed by His blood and pure in His sight.
Jesus said that His crucifixion completes the payment for sin. He hung suspended between the earth and heaven for six hours taking the brutal payment for your sins and mine. After He had taken on the sins of this whole sinful world, He said these words just before He died,
“It is finished.”
John 19:30

Jesus didnt just complete a part of it on the cross, He completed it ALL.

To say, “We must purify ourselves” negates the work that Jesus did and puts our salvation in your own hands. You’ll NEVER make it in on your own.

Hebrews 9:27
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

John 5:24
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

The idea of purgatory negates what God Himself has said. You would have to wipe out much of the new testament, including Jesus own words, if the concept of purgatory was real.

The Catholic Church itself ADMITS that purgatory is their own invention. The Council of Trent took place in 1545 and approved this superstitious belief along with many others. The decrees were made by the council of MEN, not the God of the Bible. And those who would refuse to believe the decrees of Rome were under the threat of “anathema,” and the curse has not yet been lifted to this day.

So yes, Patricia, I am sure beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I will go directly to heaven when I die because I was purified the moment I accepted Christs salvation for me.

Posted by: JLM at February 24, 2008 11:34 AM

Leah, would you should consider taking a vacation to Saudi-Arabia or Iran to learn more fully of the religon if Islam?

Posted by: jasper at February 24, 2008 11:37 AM

Any religion that denies the full deity of Jesus Christ is a false religion and not of God.

Posted by: HisMan at February 24, 2008 11:45 AM

HisMan,

We are created in the image of God. Yes, that does help a great deal. Thank you so much! I’m feeling great today thanks to all of this help!

And I agree. Religion is the WORST thing that has ever happened to this world. Billions of people have been deceived through false religions. Religion didnt die on the cross for us, Jesus Christ did!
Posted by: JLM at February 24, 2008 11:46 AM

@Jasper: My friend wants to travel to Saudi Arabia to learn more about it. She also wants to go to Egypt.

I take Middle Eastern dance classes…aka bellydancing. :-p

Posted by: Ari-chan at February 24, 2008 11:55 AM

In addition to my 11:34 post, you said,

This does not mean that Jesus’ death and resurrection does not cover all our sins. It means that we must take responsibility for our sins but that there is punishment due to our sins. If you hammer a nail(sin) into wood (our souls) and you pull out the nail, the wood is not unblemished. It still contains the mark of the nail (sin) and that is removed through either temporal punishment (here on Earth) or after death in Purgatory.

The “mark of the nail” was covered by Jesus’ blood. He covered ALL sin, not just some of it. The only payment for sin is a blood sacrifice. Not fire…blood. And I thank the Lord every day for that one, complete sacrifice that He made for all sin so that we may have eternal life through his free gift.

Posted by: JLM at February 24, 2008 12:04 PM

“I hear a lot of non-believers on this site talk about religion and describing us pro-lifers as religious. I despise religion. Religion is an attmept by man to reach God. Every such attmept is fruitless for there is not a scheme that man can devise that will make him acceptable to a holy God”.

“No, I am in a relationship to a Savior. A realtionship that was offerred to me by a Holy God. My acceptance of that realtionship qualifies me to fellowship with Him on His terms not mine. I do not consider myself religious at all and this is why I have such a problem with religions that rely on ritual and superstition. They are simply fruitless attempts reach a holy God on their own terms.”

Posted by: HisMan at February 24, 2008 11:14 AM

I was surprised when I read this, I would have taken you for a religious man (no offense intended). Your reasons for despising religion are not clear to me. Can you explain what you mean by “His terms” and “our terms”. What is “fellowship”? It’s a word I hear, but I don’t really know what it means. What is wrong with man trying to reach God?

Do we not each have our own unique experience in life as unique as the soul God gives each of us? Are not our human lives are full of traditions such as celebrations of birthdays, weddings, holidays, graduations, etc. For some of us, religion is an expression of love for God that is full of tradition too. What you may call ritual and superstition, I would call “tradition”. Would God be offended by our creating beautiful music for His ears? Or building beautiful churches? The beauty around us is a sign of God’s creation. Why would He object to our using what He created to give Him praise and thanksgiving?

Going to mass, I’ll be back later.

Posted by: Janet at February 24, 2008 12:13 PM

Oh Jasper. Your ignorance tickles me. I understand the situation in Saudi Arabia, and I understand that that is what happens when you base a country entirely off of a religion: people abuse it. Many things that take place in Saudi Arabia are, in fact, not based off of Islam, but severe misinterpretations of the Qur’an. I have NO doubt that the same thing would happen if a country were based off of Christianity.

If you want to know what happens when power falls into the wrong hand and what happens with misinterpretations, THEN you go to Saudi Arabia. But in any case, I don’t think they allow tourists.

Have you been to Saudi Arabia, Jasper? Have you ever been outside of the United States?

Posted by: Leah at February 24, 2008 12:23 PM

@Hisman and JLM,

would laugh a bit here but I know you guys are serious. Read St. John’s gospel when he refers to us as ‘adopted children of God’. Children of a family typically have a tag of association like: I’m from the Smith family. IMO such a tag as ‘religion’ seems appropriate because we are not called ‘God’s unique creations’ but His children.

Also Jesus Christ is not my savior … Jesus is. The word ‘Christ’ means ‘savior’ and why St. Paul often says ‘Christ Jesus’. I do not say Jesus Savior Savior. ‘Christ’ is not a last name…

We are created as God’s image, but we have/had a difficult time finding-out/living what this means. Voila: Jesus is the superior Image of God being both God and man and we live in Him as Jesus lives in Abba….(Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper). So a ritual is not a repeat performance, it is entering into God’s Life (the eternal now). It is entering into His presence now and joining in our salvation … which does not begin at death, but at baptism.

Gotta do my laundry now!

John

Posted by: Anonymous at February 24, 2008 12:54 PM

John,
It’s ok to laugh at what I said. I don’t mind. It wouldn’t be the first time and most certainly wouldn’t be the last.

Jesus was laughed at and mocked also. If people did this to Him, why should I expect anything less?

Matthew 1:1
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Matthew 1:18
Now the birth of Jesus Christwas on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Mark 1:1
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;

John 1:17
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

John 17:3
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Acts 3:6
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

Acts 3:20
And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

Acts 4:10
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christof Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

Acts 5:24
42And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

Although this is not an exhaustive list of all of the verses throughout the KJV, it pretty much can tell us that is perfectly OK to call Jesus, Jesus Christ.

FYI, there are a total of 187 verses in the bible with the exact wording, “Jesus Christ”.

Posted by: JLM at February 24, 2008 1:11 PM

JLM 11:34 AMEN!

Posted by: Bethany at February 24, 2008 1:34 PM

Thank you, Bethany.
I thank God for that!!!

Posted by: JLM at February 24, 2008 1:42 PM

I believe the correct term is Jesus the Christ…

As for the Muslim thing, the do believe in the same God that we do…They believe in the personage of God from the Old Testament.

If you are going to use the example that they don’t accept Jesus as divine, then you would have to say that Jews do not believe in the same God as Christians. They do not believe in all three persons of the Trinity, but we all believe in the God of Abraham.

As for Hell, I just finished listening to a tape this morning by Scott Hahn called “Where in the Hell”…

Some points he made:

You know when you tell your teenager that they are grounded and they stomp off? They aren’t sorry one bit for what they did? Instead they hate you.
And while they may accept the punishment, they stew in their bedroom for hours?

This is much the way souls are in hell. They take the punishment and regret having to live with it, but they do NOT regret the actions that got them there.

If a man broke into your home and murdered your wife and children, and a police officer was right outside the door and did nothing, wouldn’t you be miffed at him? Well, when God allows people to go to hell he is also protecting us (those who choose to go to heaven) from them. Much as a police officer would come in and take the offender off in handcuffs. And then he would be judged and hopefully be put in jail for life. Now why don’t we put him in jail for just 25 minutes or so…because, he is not sorry for murdering your family. He is only sorry that he is in jail. And he must be kept there because he is harmful to the rest of us.

Also, a person is not sent to hell until the very last moment. The “hour of death” of which you have heard me speak. Up until that moment it is always possible to reject hell and embrace God. To come into the light. To choose a different end.

But if God truly gives us free will and we reject Him, then wouldn’t He be breaking His own rules by forcing us to spend eternity with Him, when that is NOT what we have chosen?

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 2:31 PM

JLM, are you comparing yourself to Jesus? A bit heady of you, in my opinion.

Posted by: Leah at February 24, 2008 2:47 PM

Remember what you said about Mother Teresa? It wasn’t that she didn’t believe, but that she didn’t feel. It struck me when you said this.

If I had to rely on feelings for my faith, I’d fail miserably. Faith isn’t an emotion. It’s more like a verb. Sometimes you feel it, sometimes you don’t.

Otherwise, it becomes all about you, instead of all about Him.

I understand that, mk, but as I said before — you may say that religion is about truth or whatever word you choose, not feeling, but would you have the strength to believe in it in your darkest moments if you did not FEEL, on some level, that it was true? If you had never felt that it was true?

I have been to Catholic services before. One of the things I disliked about a Protestant church I used to visit was that they said that it was sad how Catholics felt like they needed a priest to talk to God for them, which struck me as a stupid way to look at it. I figured that even just the act of confessing your sins to a person rather than just to God helps to provide a support network on this earth — which I thought might be helpful specifically because if you leave it all up to your own feelings on your personal relationship with God then your “support” depends entirely on how much you can feel God’s presence, whereas if you’ve got other people pulling for you and encouraging you things don’t get so lonely even at their worst. Of course, I couldn’t feel God’s presence at all, so maybe that’s why I thought the presence of other people might be comforting. ;)

Honestly, I very much appreciate the kind words from people on this site — but stories where people describe an emptiness or loneliness before returning to (or finding) their faith are basically the opposite of my life as of yet. I felt kind of lonely and empty until I gave myself permission not to try anymore, and that was the point at which I really started to appreciate my life much more.

Posted by: Alexandra at February 24, 2008 2:58 PM

Oops, sorry mk, all of those first three paragraphs were yours and were supposed to be in italics. Whoops!

Bethany, I appreciated your story. I have always been bad at those trust games where you’re supposed to fall back onto your friend’s arms and trust them to catch you. Come to think of it, we played that game a lot in Sunday School, and I was consistently one of the worst ones.

Back when I used to really think about it, I’d wonder if God would create a person so incapable of believing and trusting Him and then damn her to hell because she had no faith. Eventually I kind of just naturally came to the conclusion that if there is a God, I can’t wrap my mind around the concept much less trust in it, and even less so believe that people know what He wants, so all I can do is live my life so that it benefits this world as best as I can reasonably make it.

Posted by: Alexandra at February 24, 2008 3:04 PM

Alexndra,

I can’t speak for other people but I didn’t feel lonliness so much as sort of, I don’t know, at sea.

I was having a great time, but it didn’t feel right.
I know that I just used the word “feel” but by that I mean that I knew I wasn’t where I was meant to be.

It is possible to be happy without God. It is possible to feel pleasure. But you can’t experience “joy” without Him.

It’s possible to be a good person without Him. But again that is putting the focus on yourself.

The reason I think you would like the Catholic Church (although you might not like the “rules”) is that it is so precise. There is a reason for everything and it all fits together in a way that just sort of “clicks”.

I agree with you about confession. It’s wonderful to speak to God. But at the moment of confession, the priest is “taken over” by God, “becomes” God and as such can give me some feedback. Plus there is the whole sanctifying Grace thing, which the protestant church doesn’t offer. That Grace, I believe, is the thing that you are saying is “missing”. It’s like food. Or better yet, it’s like special glasses. When you are in a “state of Grace” you can see things so much more clearly because you are looking at the world through “mystical” lenses. You see what other people can’t see, unless they too, are in a state of Grace.

And of course, there is the Body and Blood of Jesus, that simply being in the room with, changes you.

I would ask you to not give up. And as Janet suggested, perhaps find a Catholic Church that you could just sit in and read some good books. I think you’ll be amazed at what happens to you.

Could you/Would you ever consider doing this? Not going to Mass, but after, when the church is virtually empty? And reading a book or two while you were there? Just for a couple of weeks. I’d look for an older church if possible. Don’t know where you are, but if you give me your zipcode I could find one for you.

I’m sure you can tell, that many of us here are rooting for you and are now praying for you. Don’t be surprised by any miracles or “weird” stuff that starts happening in your life. There are some powerful prayer warriors on this website.

I love what you said about “other people” pulling for you. We in the Catholic Church often call on the “Communion of Saints” in times of darkness.

Imagine all the saints, angels and loved ones in heaven watching you run this race and they all just keep yellin’ “GO GO GO, you CAN do it!” Talk about a cheering section!

And never underestimate His mother. Sometimes in the beginning, it’s easier to talk to her, especially if you yourself are a woman. No worries, it won’t be long before she leads you straight to Himself, hands you over and rejoices with that holy host of heaven…

Peace,
We’re all here for you.
MK

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 3:19 PM

Alexandra,

May I just add, that one of the reasons you might have felt lonley last time around is because you were trying to please people instead of Him? Sometimes, it can be really hard to find Him when all kinds of “people” are watching to see if you’re doing it “well enough”.

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 3:21 PM

Bethany, I appreciated your story. I have always been bad at those trust games where you’re supposed to fall back onto your friend’s arms and trust them to catch you. Come to think of it, we played that game a lot in Sunday School, and I was consistently one of the worst ones.

Not to pry, but is there possibly a set of circumstances which made you feel like you couldn’t – or shouldn’t- trust anyone?

It doesn’t sound like the problem is limited solely to God, which makes me wonder if someone hurt you in some way, which made you feel that you could not trust people or God.

I think that some of my trust issues were very much a result of things that had happened in my past- some very small and seemingly insignificant, and others much larger and harder for me to deal with.

Those things, without my even realizing it, kind of made me want to put a barrier up and not trust certain people and things because of those events in my past.

Young children are most of the time naturally trusting- and when they are not able to trust, it many times does mean that there is something going on in their life; there is usually some reason they’re trying to protect themselves by not having that trust.

Does any of that make sense, or am I just rambling? I hope you understand what I’m trying to get at. :-)

Posted by: Bethany at February 24, 2008 3:56 PM

@Leah,

I would tend to agree with you about the word ‘the’ except being Christ is not a function as a job is a function, but a designation that characterizes Jesus’ being. It is something like the name ‘Peter’ whose original name is Simon. It is a hallmark of a new era when God renames someone!

The only reason I brought it up at all because it drives me crazy when the words Jesus Christ are used exclusively in that order, as if Christ was Jesus’ last name. Very often St. Paul switches these two words and says ‘Christ Jesus’.

Such is astounding and tends to shake up people who have not reflected on the person too often. Much can also be said about our translation of ‘Abba’ as the formal ‘Father’ and not the familiar ‘Dad’ or ‘Daddy’.

((As an aside: ‘Abba’ is Jesus exclusive word for God. Nobody, comes even remotely close. And it is precisely His insistence of being so familiar with God … that He was crucified for it …. love Abba you must be crazy (or killable) … everyone knows we must fear God.))

We folks in the English world are all familiar with the derivation of Jesus as ‘Word’. This is indeed brilliant. but the Greek word used by John is ‘Logos’ which is close to meaning the ‘mind of God’.

John

Posted by: Anonymous at February 24, 2008 4:01 PM

“reject hell and embrace God”

Would this mean God as an almighty all forgiving entity out of love or you must “accept Jesus as your personal savior” in order to embrace Him?

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 24, 2008 4:12 PM

Well Pip,

We are under the impression that if you embrace God, you would eventually be led to Jesus, as He is the Truth.

So if you are embracing God and not embracing an ideology, you won’t be able to help but find Jesus.

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 4:43 PM

Bethany, I was very fortunate in my childhood and adolescence, so nothing that would jeopardize my natural ability to trust ever happened, to my knowledge. I just always kind of had a pretty low threshold for “things I’ll believe with little evidence.” And it’s not a problem necessarily with trusting people, but with trusting concepts/ideas/theories/what-have-you. I was always the kid in kindergarten asking “why?” or “how do you know?”

mk,

I wouldn’t be opposed to reading some books in churches. As I said when you asked why I come to pro-life sites if I’m not pro-life, I generally try to understand as many points of view as I can, as fully as I can, so that I feel as solid and informed in my own opinions as I possibly can. I live in New York City, but I’d rather not put my zip code out in public since zip codes cover a relatively small physical area in a city this size. (Reading the things some people have written here, I might come home to a pro-life protest outside my apartment one day or something! lol) I’d e-mail it to you or something, though. I put my e-mail address in the “post a comment” information, but I have no idea if that lets you e-mail me.

Posted by: Alexandra at February 24, 2008 4:48 PM

As for the Muslim thing, the do believe in the same God that we do…They believe in the personage of God from the Old Testament.

NO, THEY DO NOT!

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Pay attention here:

1 John 2:22-23
22, Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

23, Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

Muslims outright deny the Sonship of Jesus Christ; therefore, Islam is of the Devil. According to scripture, mk, not according to me.

MK, that is VERY clear. Muslims DO NOT believe that Jesus is the Son of God, who IS God. They DO NOT believe in the same God as Christians do. Without believing in Jesus Christ, you cannot, and I repeat CANNOT believe in the one, true God. Period.

Posted by: JLM at February 24, 2008 4:49 PM

Alexandra,

It does. I’ll email you. And you can always email me by clicking on my name in the moderators box.

I want to address your comment about trusting that which is “knowable”…

It’s funny but just this morning my husband and I were discussing the priest that said my mass.

He tends to be very direct and very simple in his homilies (sermons). This tends to bother some of my friends, but it doesn’t bother me in the least.
He doesn’t say anything doctrinally incorrect, he doesn’t condone anything he shouldn’t, he just isn’t very “deep”.

My husband adores him.

Recently I was having the same conversation with a few close friends. I told them that not all priests are deep thinkers just as all people are not all deep thinkers and that while we might prefer our homilies to be “mystical” and “intense” others would be freaked out by that…so this priest has an audience, just as priests that we prefer have an audience. They just might not be the same audience (I don’t mean audience as in entertainment).

This priest is a Canon Lawyer. He thinks in facts and words and numbers and provables and logic. He’s not reading books on the mystics or exorcisms or angels. He’s reading books on doctrine and law.

This doesn’t make him any better or worse than my “favorite” priests. It just means that his talents lie in a different place and he will reach like minded people.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t try to be like every other “Christian”, just try to be like Alexandra. Alexandra who accepts that God exists and loves her. He lived a long time ago and through some mechanism that we don’t understand he still lives today. And more importantly, he still loves you today.

Then you can find the path that suits you best, whether it be ethical science, or translating Hebrew, or Canon Law. God made your mind the way He did for a reason, and if you let Him, He will show you that reason.

You just might not be a touchy feely kind of person and your experience is not going to be the same as, say, mine. I cry at the drop of a hat.
Heck, I get weepy over new grass.

You have a purpose. You are who you are and you aren’t who you aren’t. The church needs all of us.

God Bless,
Mk

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 5:49 PM

JLM:

You’re right. Allah (Islam’s god) and Yahweh (Judaism’s and Christianity’s God) have no resemblance to each other at all. It’s not only what you call your God but it is also important as to how your God acts. Jesus Christ is the full revelation of who the Father is. If you reject Jesus as the Son of God, which Islam does, you reject Jesus, and therefore any chance of reaching God. At best, Islam is a man made religion. If you read anything about Mohammed he was NOT a good person and anything but godly.

Islam teaches that Jesus was a great prophet but not the Son of God. This is ludicrous. Jesus was either the Son of God or a lunatic. No fence sitting allowed here.

Janet:

God created each person with an innate desire to seek Him. Since man was created there has been an inborn desire for him to worship or, to find God. If you look at all ancient cultures, milllions of false gods have been conjured up by man’s imagaination or by demonically inspired activities in an attempt to reach or get to God, and all, every single one, in vain. There is nothing that we can give God that he does not already possess. There is nothing we can do to impress God since He is the author of all ideas and intelligence. God does not need us, we need Him.

Look at the Greek gods for instance. Zeus does not exist. Athena does not exist, Mercury, Pluto, etc., etc., etc. Where are all these false gods, including Allah?

God revealed himself through the Jewish culture via the Prophets who for the most part, the Jews rejected. Typically, they chased after the false gods of other cultures. Finally, in fulfillment of prophecies made 1,000’s of years prior, in the form of a baby, concieved of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin through the line of David and in fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant, Jesus Christ or Emmanuel was born, fully man, fully God; God’s full revelation of Himself to man. Jesus Christ was no invention of man but God reaching down to man desirous of a relationship but that without compromise and under His terms and conditions.

Jesus repeatedley taught that He only did and said what the Father commanded, indicating their oneness. He repeatedley taught that to reject Him was to reject the Father. He taught that He was the Way, the Truth and the Life, and that no man could come to the Father except through Him.

Paul said in Galations 1, “6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! 10 Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Therefore, God’s terms for relationship are simply, “This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.”

There will be no more revelation from God since He has provided all that will be given. The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, the only unforgivable sin mentioned in the Bible, is rejecting the only remedy for sin, Jesus Christ. Why is it unforgivable? Because the Holy Spirit is now the acting agent on earth. He speaks to us directly, through believers and through the word. When the word is spoken, the hearers are either rejecting it or accepting it. When we reject teh Holy Spirit we are rejecting God’s appeal to our hearts. To finally and ultimately reject Jesus fully even until the last breath is unforgivable since there is NO OTHER remedy that God has offered and certainly man’s attempts at satisfying the demands of a holy God (religion) are fruitless.

Posted by: HisMan at February 24, 2008 5:51 PM

Thank you, HisMan!

:)

Posted by: JLM at February 24, 2008 5:58 PM

JLM

With all due respect, and I mean that, please understand that it is okay to think differently. A couple of weeks ago, a whole slew of us got into a protestant/catholic discussion (and it went very well) but it was quite draining.

We came to the conclusion that we simply don’t have the same definitions of certain words and that much of our disagreements stemmed from this. Once saved, grace, sola scriptura, Our Lady, The pope…these are our differnces, yet in spite of them, we came away respecting each other and those very differences.

I mean no disprespect to you or your faith of choice. We both believe in the Trinity, that Jesus died and rose, carrying OUR cross for us, and that without Him we’d pretty much be up the creek.

We will just have to agree to disagree about the Muslim thing.

I stand by what I said. You can think differently. It won’t affect me or my faith, just as my believing that Ishmael believed in the God of Abraham should not affect you or yours.

It will also have no bearing on whether or not people reading these posts will come to be Christian or leave the Christian Faith.

We simply have a different understanding. But please don’t “yell” at me. I didn’t say what I did to upset you. Peace, MK

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 5:59 PM

Hisman,

You know I love you. Deeply. I have the utmost respect for the way you love God and know scripture.

Nowhere did I say that people who believe in Islam are saved nor that their faith was equal to ours. I simply said that their faith is based on belief in the same God that we believe in from the Old Testament. Just like the Jews. They don’t accept Jesus, no, and therefore are NOT Christians. And while God says that to reject His Son is to reject Him, that is part of the New Testament. Obviously, they are not reading or accepting the New Testament. Therefore pointing out that Jesus has been here all along is a bit disingenuous. He may have existed, but He hadn’t yet revealed Himself to us. So all believers of the Old Testament were unaware of Him. The fact that they still reject Him today, is, I agree, problematic. But I still hold that they believe in the same God the Father that we do.

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 6:09 PM

@JLM.

… my initials too …. but perhaps it is time for a bit of a stretch. Usually when I hear talk of ‘I believe in Jesus’ a person remains remote … like I believe in South Africa, though I’ve never been there. It’s this remoteness about some kinds of faith that Benedict XVI said “Even the devil believes in Jesus, he just doesn’t love Him.”

There is another sense of belief. In Christianity we talk of the in-dwelling Spirit … kinda like entering/becoming-one with the flame who is God. A believer is ‘in’ God so believes as God believes. So when a Christian believer says: ‘I believe in Jesus’, he is saying that he believes AS Jesus.

I do not sense this is what you mean … so tread very cautiously when confronting another’s belief systems, especially MK’s. … or Leah’s for that matter!

John

Posted by: Anonymous at February 24, 2008 6:30 PM

Satan hates God and all that He loves including us. Satan tries to decieve us by getting us to question God, question His word, etc. His existence is evident by the comments and thinking patterns of many people who blog on this site. Their state of deception is evident.

HisMan,
You are SO right!

Posted by: JLM at February 24, 2008 6:33 PM

John

My hero!

I hear you. Too often I think we get hung up on “who is saved” and “who is not”. While God definitely gave us a path to follow, I think he meant that we should use it to judge ourselves…not others.

I don’t think you can say that Muslims are condemned until every last one of them are dead, because who knows what tomorrow might bring. I cannot say how God is leading my Muslim brothers. I can only plant seeds, pray, offer up my suffering, and hope for the best. But I will not, no, I will not, stand in judgment of others beliefs.

I know that my journey was quite bumpy and many, many times I thought I had finally “GOTTEN IT”. Well, I had “GOTTEN IT” all right! “GOTTEN IT WRONG”…over and over and yet each time I was so sure.

At any given time, somebody looking at me, could have said “That girl is going to hell in a handbasket”, but they would have been wrong. Because I was where I was and God was not finished with me yet. It’s like putting HIM in a Cartesian box!

Anyhow, thanks for coming to my rescue. I knew you’d understand. A good father understands His children and knows that some need more time, more prayers or more understanding. It was those that screamed “I KNOW” that he condemned, not those that said “I Don’t get it”…It was these that He showed the most mercy.

Saved? Not saved? Not my job, man. Just spreadin’ His word, spreading the Truth as I know it, and praying like there’s no tomorrow…

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 6:54 PM

mk & John,
I quoted scripture in my posts.

Is it a problem you have with me, or a problem you have with scripture?

Posted by: JLM at February 24, 2008 7:09 PM

JLM,

I have no problem with either scripture or you. I am only saying that we both believe the same things and that fighting amongst ourselves is pointless and unnecessary.

I think that it is counterproductive to point out the myriad of ways you can’t get to heaven when it would be so much more beneficial to point out all the ways that you can, and to do it in a way that makes people want what you have. Sometimes I think we make people hate who we are and that defeats the purpose of evangelizing.

Again, whether Muslims do or do not believe in the God of Abraham has no bearing on whether I am a Christian or not.

But condemning Muslims might keep them from hearing what you have to say and instead of inviting them to our faith, we have scared them off.

I agree that Christs’ words were strong and definite. But let Him do the judging. If we judged ourselves half as critically as we judge others the world would be a better place.

Is your goal to be right? Or to bring more souls to Him?
Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 7:19 PM

I have no problem with either scripture or you. I am only saying that we both believe the same things and that fighting amongst ourselves is pointless and unnecessary.

No we don’t.
I never thought we were “fighting”.

I think that it is counterproductive to point out the myriad of ways you can’t get to heaven when it would be so much more beneficial to point out all the ways that you can, and to do it in a way that makes people want what you have. Sometimes I think we make people hate who we are and that defeats the purpose of evangelizing.

Again, I post scripture. There is only one way to get to Heaven, not several ways.

As you said in one of your posts to Alexadra, “be who you are”. This isme, mk. This is what God has created, and I am one of His children. I do pray before I post. If someone hates me because of the Truth, then so be it. I’m not concerned about ME, I’m concerned about THEM, and their eternal lives. Sometimes the truth is difficult to take in, mk, but it’s a seed. Again, I post scripture. I’m truly sorry that you see that as being “harsh”.

Again, whether Muslims do or do not believe in the God of Abraham has no bearing on whether I am a Christian or not.

But condemning Muslims might keep them from hearing what you have to say and instead of inviting them to our faith, we have scared them off.

It’s not going to have a bearing on my faith, either, mk. But God’s word will never hurt someone.

I have never condemned Muslims. I quoted scripture, and that is the Truth. Again, I am sorry if you think that the scripture I posted was “harsh” or “condemning”.

I agree that Christs’ words were strong and definite. But let Him do the judging. If we judged ourselves half as critically as we judge others the world would be a better place.

I never judged. Again, I quoted the scriptures. Let them speak for themselves.

Is your goal to be right? Or to bring more souls to Him?

God is right. God’s word is right. The scripture is right. His word will bring more souls to Him. I cannot.

Posted by: JLM at February 24, 2008 7:29 PM

Without Christ, our lives end at death, and there would probably be nothing more to it. Without Christ, we are only as valuable as we perceive ourselves to be, or as others value us (as Doug’s type of logic will explain).

With Christ, there is more, there is life after death, and we do not have to live a life in vain, only to eventually just die and be forgotten.

Bethany, I think it stems from fear of death, wanting there to be an afterlife, etc. Christ, the Bible, etc., are themselves perceptions. I think a lot of people get a lot of good out of religion.

Doug

Posted by: Doug at February 24, 2008 7:41 PM

JLM

And I am sorry if came across as heated. I’ve gotten a “visitor” today and it’s been months (goin’ on 50) so I’m a little temperamental and VERY short on patience tonight.

I guess I just feel that sometimes we make these guys want to kill us, instead of join us. I can understand your words because I agree with them, but I think “outsiders” need a gentler approach. I’m not saying to gloss over the truth, just to give it in smaller doses. Too much can overwhelm people and then they are running before they have a chance to listen. Does that make sense?

Sorry if I go out of hand. I just worry that we’ll lose more souls than save…

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 7:49 PM

HisMan,

Thanks for your thoughtful response. I agree with much of what you say, but then a few things you say are puzzling to me. I certainly do not know scripture anywhere near the same level as you so we are coming from very different places in our faith. That’s OK. God bless you.
Posted by: Janet at February 24, 2008 7:54 PM

Doug,

While I hear what you are saying, I would venture to say that Christians, true Christians, are the least afraid to die people you’ll ever meet.

I know you desperately want to put us in a cute little cartoon and say “aren’t they adorable with their little God and their sweet naive beliefs” but you are so, so wrong.

There is nothing sweet or naive about being a Christian. It’s tough. It’s often grueling. It requires strength when strength is needed, humility when humility is needed, courage, love, patience, persistance…do you think there aren’t moments when it would be easier to say “Hey, I think I’ll just think like Doug for awhile and chuck it all! Do whatever I want for a change!”

Get real! Answering to nobody but yourself? Now that is easy. Try being a Christian for a week Doug. One week, and so all the things that are expected of you. Change your entire way of life, lose life long friends, have people insinuate that you are a fruitcake (a sweet fruitcake, but a fruitcake nonetheless), bite back the words that spring to your lips, listen to God tell you all the ways you failed today…you couldn’t handle it.

And because you view us as complete morons, you’d never understand the joy that comes from that ridiculous belief system.

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 7:57 PM

mk,
I’m sorry your visitor is visiting!

I really don’t feel that you agree with my “words”, though. But it was nice to say.

Last note,
We cannot save souls. Only God can do that. God’s word is powerful in itself, so maybe that’s why it appears harsh.

Have a good night, and get some rest. That always seems to help!

God bless you.

Posted by: JLM at February 24, 2008 7:59 PM

JLM,

When I say “your words” I guess I meant scripture. And the fact that Jesus is the only way to heaven. Yes, I do understand this. But I understand them because I already believe them.

I’m not arguing with what you are saying. Not at all. Jesus died for us. To deny that is most definitely to jeopardize your salvation.

I’m only saying that to people that don’t believe that, all they hear is DO IT MY WAY OR ELSE…

It’s really the delivery I question.

No, of course I can’t save anyone. But I can help lead souls to Him. I must help lead souls to Him. Because it pleases Him that I do so.

If I gave you the impression that I think I, personally can save souls, then you have misread me.

In the Catholic Church we often pray to “save a soul”, or “save the poor souls in purgatory”…it’s a turn of phrase. Just like when we say we pray TO Mary, we mean we ask Mary to pray for us and with us…it’s really just lingo.

I forget that you don’t understand our “language”…I’ll try to be more careful. But honestly, there is not a Catholic on here that read “we are trying to save souls here” and thought that I meant I, MK, am trying to save souls.

There is saving souls and then there is Saving Souls…

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 8:08 PM

And on that note, you’re right, I should get a cup of tea and hit the hay…good heavens, I just yelled at Doug!

Sorry Doug!

Bad MK, Bad, nasty, cranky, hormonal MK.

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 8:12 PM

MK:

I love and respect you deeply as well. You are a tremendoulsy positive influence on this site and balance out my coarse delivery.

Allah is not Yahweh, Jehovah, Elohim, El Shaddai, ad infinitum.

You are wrong when you say that Islam and Jews/Christians worship or believe in the same god and I believe Ishmael would agree. If you’d like I can present an essay on that theme.

Sometime during the period between Ishmael and the emergence of the name Allah, there evolved a vast divergence between the God of the Jews and the god of the Arabs/Persian, etc. Allah does not exist. Yahweh does and always has. Now I can write an essay on the life of Mohammed and it would sicken many on this site. Very simply, he was an egotistical monster. And I would say that to any Muslim’s face.

Muslims need to be told the truth. If they do not repent from their faith in a non-existent Allah they will perish eternally.

You win people to God by telling them the truth not by candy coating your faith. Besides it is not we who win souls but God. We are simply the messengers. If we cannot plant the proper seeds, we won’t get the proper harvest. Never, not ever did Jesus compromise what the Father told Him to say. He told Peter, “Get behind me satan”!!!!! Why, because Peter’s mindset up to that point was not born of the Spirit but of the flesh.

The Word of God, is the Sword of the Spirit. When a man hears it, it cuts through the garbage and exposes a man to himself. He either humbly accepts it and repents or he rejects it and gets angry at the messenger. Christ was not crucified because He said nice, loving things with flowers and perfume coming from His mouth. No, He spoke the truth and people either loved Him or hated Him. Most hated Him. The Muslim faith is simply a mob reaction to the truth and we should not be surprised by their mentality. Ever heard of a union?

I am really, really trying to hold back on all I know about the Catholic influence and its vast divergence from the simplicity of Scripture, primarily because of the tradition doctrine, however, I really, really don’t want to offend you. Besides, the most important thing is Christ and not our diferences and it is wrong to air out our dirty laundry before non-believers. As far as I am concerned, Christians are united by their faith in Christ, period.

Now regarding the term judgement. Judgement is saying, “HisMan, you are going to ……” or FetusFacist you are going to ……”. First of all this is a lie, because none of knows what anyone’s eternal destiny is.

Now having said that, saying, “God’s word says that all who reject Christ are eternally lost”, is not judgement it is telling the truth, it is prohesying, it is teaching, it is not judgement. Otherwise, there should be no sermons, no teaching, no preaching, no admonishing, no rebuking.

Now, since the Muslim faith requires that its adherents reject Christ as the Son of God and because the word says that all who reject Christ are lost, I am simply telling people what the word says. Now if a Muslim hears that, I could see where they probably would get angry since that statement would be stating that all of their dead relatives are in hell. Is there another way to put it without compromising it? We either love God or hate Him.

Posted by: HisMan at February 24, 2008 8:20 PM

“Otherwise, there should be no sermons, no teaching, no preaching, no admonishing, no rebuking.”

I would be fine with that. :)

“We either love God or hate Him.”

Only a Sith deals in absolutes…

Posted by: Ari-chan at February 24, 2008 8:25 PM

“Only a Sith deals in absolutes…”

Is that an absolute statement?

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 24, 2008 8:27 PM

Obi Wan Kenobi also lied to Luke in Episode IV and then tried to pawn it off as a “certain point of view” in Episode VI. Not the best role model.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 24, 2008 8:29 PM

mk:

I understand what you meant! You soul-saver you..

JLM,

I respect your knowledge of scripture. God’s word is powerful all right, but we don’t need to hit people over the head with it, if you know what I mean. Some people don’t learn very well that way.
Posted by: Janet at February 24, 2008 8:30 PM

@Bobby: C’mon…Obi-Wan Kenobi was the shiznits. :-p

The Jedis were awfully hypocritical, weren’t they? That’s probably why I cheered for Darth Vader for the whole “Original Series” because Luke and Yoda annoyed me.

Posted by: Ari-chan at February 24, 2008 8:32 PM

HisMan, you know so much about your idea of God, which is a really admirable thing. But I can tell you absolutely 100% money-back guarantee that there is middle ground between love and hate–ALWAYS.

Posted by: Leah at February 24, 2008 8:32 PM

If you really, really want to get picky we should all be calling Jesus the Christ; Yeshua-Messiah.

Look we all know who we are talking about when we say Jesus Christ. We can say, the man/god, or:
Advocate (1 John 2:1)
Almighty (Rev. 1:8; Mt. 28:18)
Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:8; 22:13)
Amen (Rev. 3:14)
Apostle of our Profession (Heb. 3:1)
Atoning Sacrifice for our Sins (1 John 2:2)
Author of Life (Acts 3:15)
Author and Perfecter of our Faith (Heb. 12:2)
Author of Salvation (Heb. 2:10)
Beginning and End (Rev. 22:13)
Blessed and only Ruler (1 Tim. 6:15)
Bread of God (John 6:33)
Bread of Life (John 6:35; 6:48)
Bridegroom (Mt. 9:15)
Capstone (Acts 4:11; 1 Pet. 2:7)
Chief Cornerstone (Eph. 2:20)
Chief Shepherd (1 Pet. 5:4)
Christ (1 John 2:22)
Creator (John 1:3)
Deliverer (Rom. 11:26)
Eternal Life (1 John 1:2; 5:20)
Gate (John 10:9)
Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11)
Faithful Witness (Rev. 1:5)
Faithful and True Witness (Rev. 3:14)
First and Last (Rev. 1:17; 2:8; 22:13)
Firstborn From the Dead (Rev. 1:5)
Firstborn over all creation (Col. 1:15)
Gate (John 10:9)
God (John 1:1; 20:28; Heb. 1:8; Rom. 9:5; 2 Pet. 1:1;1 John 5:20; etc.)
Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14)
Great Shepherd (Heb. 13:20)
Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14)
Head of the Church (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; 5:23)
Heir of all things (Heb. 1:2)
High Priest (Heb. 2:17)
Holy and True (Rev. 3:7)
Holy One (Acts 3:14)
Hope (1 Tim. 1:1)
Hope of Glory (Col. 1:27)
Horn of Salvation (Luke 1:69)
I Am (John 8:58)
Image of God (2 Cor. 4:4)
Immanuel (Mt. 1:23)
Judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42)
King Eternal (1 Tim. 1:17)
King of Israel (John 1:49)
King of the Jews (Mt. 27:11)
King of kings (1 Tim 6:15; Rev. 19:16)
King of the Ages (Rev. 15:3)
Lamb (Rev. 13:8)
Lamb of God (John 1:29)
Lamb Without Blemish (1 Pet. 1:19)
Last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45)
Life (John 14:6; Col. 3:4)
Light of the World (John 8:12)
Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5)
Living One (Rev. 1:18)
Living Stone (1 Pet. 2:4)
Lord (2 Pet. 2:20)
Lord of All (Acts 10:36)
Lord of Glory (1 Cor. 2:8)
Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16)
Man from Heaven (1 Cor. 15:48)
Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 9:15)
Mighty God (Isa. 9:6)
Morning Star (Rev. 22:16)
Offspring of David (Rev. 22:16)
Only Begotten Son of God (John 1:18; 1 John 4:9)
Our Great God and Savior (Titus 2:13)
Our Holiness (1 Cor. 1:30)
Our Husband (2 Cor. 11:2)
Our Protection (2 Thess. 3:3)
Our Redemption (1 Cor. 1:30)
Our Righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30)
Our Sacrificed Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7)
Power of God (1 Cor. 1:24)
Precious Cornerstone (1 Pet. 2:6)
Prophet (Acts 3:22)
Rabbi (Mt. 26:25)
Resurrection and Life (John 11:25)
Righteous Branch (Jer. 23:5)
Righteous One (Acts 7:52; 1 John 2:1)
Rock (1 Cor. 10:4)
Root of David (Rev. 5:5; 22:16)
Ruler of Gods Creation (Rev. 3:14)
Ruler of the Kings of the Earth (Rev. 1:5)
Savior (Eph. 5:23; Titus 1:4; 3:6; 2 Pet. 2:20)
Son of David (Lk. 18:39)
Son of God (John 1:49; Heb. 4:14)
Son of Man (Mt. 8:20)
Son of the Most High God (Lk. 1:32)
Source of Eternal Salvation for all who obey him (Heb. 5:9)
The One Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5)
The Stone the builders rejected (Acts 4:11)
True Bread (John 6:32)
True Light (John 1:9)
True Vine (John 15:1)
Truth (John 1:14; 14:6)
Way (John 14:6)
Wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24)
Word (John 1:1)
Word of God (Rev. 19:13)

etc., etc., conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, healed the sick, raised the dead, was tried, convicted, crucified on a cross, was resurrected and will be returning.

It’s simpler to say Jesus Christ.

Posted by: HisMan at February 24, 2008 8:35 PM

Leah:

Please explain yourself. I am not sure I understand. Are you saying that God is a compromiser?

Posted by: HisMan at February 24, 2008 8:37 PM

Hehe, Ari-chan. Good stuff, ehh?
Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 24, 2008 8:40 PM

Ari-chan:

You must be a Vulcan.

Or, perhaps a Vulcan-Sith mongrel?

Sometimes I get Star Wars and Star Trek confused. What was it that Spock use to say? Nan-nu, nan-nu or was that Robin Wiliams or Bork or Spork or Vrignet?

But never confused on theological issues since it requires much more mental power and a degree of maturity.

Posted by: HisMan at February 24, 2008 8:44 PM

@Bobby: Indeed. ^_^

@HisMan: I am a Vulcan, I have the store-bought pointy ears and everything!

Star Wars = Darth Vader, Death Star, Luke Skywalker, light sabers, and really bad dialog.

Star Trek = Cap’n Kirk, Spock (the Vulcan), The Enterprise, and poor dying red-shirts.

“Nan-nu Nan-nu” was Robin Williams on “Mork and Mindy”. :)

Posted by: Ari-chan at February 24, 2008 8:48 PM

I respect your knowledge of scripture. God’s word is powerful all right, but we don’t need to hit people over the head with it, if you know what I mean. Some people don’t learn very well that way.
Posted by: Janet at February 24, 2008 8:30 PM

I’m only saying that to people that don’t believe that, all they hear is DO IT MY WAY OR ELSE…
It’s really the delivery I question.
Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 8:08 PM

Although I thank you both for your comments, and respect them, I can’t help to think that you are judging me. That’s fine, if you’d like. I really don’t mind.

Again, I am quoting scripture. As HisMan put it so eloquently, “The Word of God, is the Sword of the Spirit. When a man hears it, it cuts through the garbage and exposes a man to himself. He either humbly accepts it and repents or he rejects it and gets angry at the messenger.”

I’ll humbly take the beating, thank you.

HisMan, thank you for your posts.

Posted by: JLM at February 24, 2008 8:49 PM

Ahhh JLM,

So close to bed, yet so far…

I am not judging you. I am judging the delivery. No need to play martyr as I am not beating you. lol.

Carry on.

I just think there is an awful lot of scripture to choose from and that exposing a man to himself can be done in many ways. We both want the same thing. You do it your way. I’ll do it mine. As long as the message is out there.

Peace.

Posted by: mk at February 24, 2008 9:06 PM

Leah,

“But I can tell you absolutely 100% money-back guarantee that there is middle ground between love and hate–ALWAYS.”

I think there is a certain sense in which this is true, but my guess is that in the sense that HisMan (and I) understands the terms “love” and “hate,” there is no middle ground. By love, I think we mean “charity.” Allow me to propose the following definitions;

charity- the theological virtue by which we love God for his own sake above all things and love our neighbor as ourselves.

hate- to wish ill or harm on another.

So in this sense, I think you would agree that one can not say “I somewhat love God above all things and have a bit of love for my neighbor, and I also wish a little bit of harm upon my neighbor.” Does that make sense? I agree in kind of the everyday parlance, one can feel both hate and love for someone, but I think theologically the ideas are incompatible. God love you.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 24, 2008 9:18 PM

HI JLM,

“mk & John,
I quoted scripture in my posts.

Is it a problem you have with me, or a problem you have with scripture?
Posted by: JLM at February 24, 2008 7:09 PM
…….

I assume you know scripture inside out … but that does not mean you grasp what it is saying. Just read the stories about Jesus being tempted by Satan with the words of scripture. So, rather than training my memory skills, I’ve asked and have received a gift of discerning a little of what is written in scripture. So when I point to some scriptural incident, I assume you have a good acquaintance with the words. I very rarely, deliberately do not swap chapter and verse because this is so filled with problems …. just one little example … we get a sanctimonious fill thee’s and thou’s etc ` like its foreign English and this is not any part of ancient languages except old English, and scripture was already i5 centuries young before being translated into English. Speak modern-current words. The ‘th’ are just bs especially with good translations into English are readily available. Like I do not get spiritually appopleptic when I read ‘Thy monkeyeth runneth overeth thee groundeth’ …. the authors of scripture were not speech impaired and did not usually require a additional interpreter.

Posted by: Anonymous at February 24, 2008 9:37 PM

Bobby,

Do you get what I mean when I say “hitting someone over the head”? Is there a better way to say that? Maybe not? (From my post at 8:30.) God bless you.

Posted by: Janet at February 24, 2008 9:43 PM

Anon:

Use the NLT then…….Gee wiz!

Posted by: HisMan at February 24, 2008 9:45 PM

Well, HisMan, I don’t know God, but when I die I’ll ask him if he is. However, that was not my implication. Human beings are VERY compromising creatures, however. I’ll take myself as an example. Now, I have a very loving relationship with my idea of God. But my idea of what God is is not the same as yours. So you will say that I do not love God because yours is the only True God. BUT–I don’t hate “your” God, HisMan. I may dislike your image (I’m not saying I do–I’m not well-versed enough in your idea to make that judgment), but I certainly don’t, nor have I ever HATED God.

Now, I could go another way with this. Suppose you accepted my image of God as valid. Just humor me. I love God. But I have not always had this relationship with God. I used to have few religious convictions at all. But it was not a hatred towards God that I felt–a lack of feeling, perhaps. Or maybe not enough knowledge to draw a good conclusion on what I thought of God.

I know many people who do not LOVE God. But I know none who HATE Him.

I respect your opinions, HisMan, even as we disagree. You are obviously very knowledgeable about what you speak of. But I know that there is many a middle road between love and hate.

Feel free to respond to what I have to say, but I won’t get back to you until tomorrow. I’m off for the evening.

Good to see you back, by the way!

Posted by: Leah at February 24, 2008 9:50 PM

JLM:

Keep fighting the good fight and long, no crave to hear those precious words, “well done thy good and faithful servant”.

Aei-chan:

I’ve got to admit….I’m a Star Wars nut.

I love the overall theme of Star Wars which is….redemption.

No matter how bad a person is, i.e., Darth Vader….there is always a chance for redemption.

It is my opinion that Star Wars is a deeply spiritual story. There’s good versus evil, a satan, a redeemer, the redeemed, a misunderstood priesthood, etc.

I think Star Trek is rather plastic.

Posted by: HisMan at February 24, 2008 9:54 PM

I am not judging you. I am judging the delivery. No need to play martyr as I am not beating you. lol.

oh, mk…I wasn’t talking about you, I was referring to the part where I quoted HisMan when he said, “He either humbly accepts it and repents or he rejects it and gets angry at the messenger.”

Now then, if you get angry at the messenger, then yes, it would also be directed to you. However, you already stated that you weren’t angry with me, so I really don’t know where that came from. And the “no need to play the martyr” statement…touching.

All that being said, I’m glad that we can finally agree that you’ll do it your way, and I’ll do it mine. I was already there, though.

Anon,
I didn’t interpret scripture, I posted it. You interpreted it on your own. Although I understand that you want me to speak it in my own words, I choose not to, because I think that scripture speaks for itself, with all it’s “thees” and “thous”, I can still fully understand the meaning.

I also fully understand what you’re saying about not taking scripture out of context. I pray before I post, and read most of the entire chapter before posting the particular verse to make sure I’m not at fault with what you stated above. I’m very familiar with historical, literal, prophetic and parables in the bible. I have studied extensively. Have you ever read Halley’s Bible Concordance? It’s an invaluable tool in helping with that problem, and has helped me a great deal in understading the historical point of view on each chapter of the bible. It’s absolutely wonderful!

If you ever feel that I am posting scripture that is not pertinent, or out of context to a certain situation, please do let me know. I would greatly appreciate your assistance in that respect. It’s how we learn. We are all a “work in progress”.

God bless you both.
Posted by: JLM at February 24, 2008 9:55 PM

Thank you, HisMan.

I live my entire life craving to hear those words.

Posted by: JLM at February 24, 2008 10:00 PM

@HisMan: I got into Star Wars first, as a wee lass of 9 years. I adore the original series, I watch it for what it is: a movie. A story. Nothing more. I liked the action. I’m not one for getting into

I like Star Trek too, but I really like the Deep Space Nine series as that one has some really interesting, organic aspects to it compared to Next Generation and the Original Series. I think you may like the Deep Space Nine series too as it has a *lot* of spirituality and the conflicts of it.

Aaaaaanywho. :)

I don’t think Darth Vader was ever totally evil or bad. I think he was self-destructive and I think it hurt him to hurt others, and that’s why he did it, out of guilt, shame and anger over what happened to Padme.

Posted by: Ari-chan at February 24, 2008 10:06 PM

Leah:

Look at this way.

Let’s say there’s a being in the Universe named Jim.

Now a lot of people say they love Jim, however, the Jim they say they love is not who Jim is.

Now, Jim calls some people or e-mails them and he says, “Hey, I can’t be there right now but I’m going to send my son Jim. Jim Jr. is just like me so listen to him and you can believe eerything he says because you see, he’s my son. Now, there will be other Jims that claim to be Jim Jr. but they are not the real thing because you see, Jim Jr. is going to give you what you always dreamed of and prove that he is Jim Jr. by giving his life for you.”

Now Leah. The God I love is not my idea as you stated. The God I love is the God that rvealed Himself to me in the Bible. I have chosen to believe and accept the message as have millions upon million of others who have gone before me and have testified to His faithfulness and goodness.

The g-o-d you believe in and by your own admission, is your own idea, does not exist. Let me ask you, has your idea of g-o-d revealed himself, or herself, or itself to you yet? You see, God is not an idea, or a theory, or a philosophy, or even a religion. God is a real person who really came to earth, really did some supernatural things, died on a cross and was resurrected and then appeared to over 500 people. I have never heard of an idea of a
g-o-d doing anything like that, have you?

Posted by: HisMan at February 24, 2008 10:10 PM

Sorry Ari-chan:

I love all kinds of science fiction movies.

I recently saw “Jumper” which I thought was pretty cool.

Did you know that in the Book of Acts, 2nd Chapter that after Peter preached to the Ethiopian Eunuch that he literally jumped to a different place?

And Paul was physically transported to Heaven.

And in Matthew 17 it talks about Jesus, Moses and Elijah appearing to a few of the apostles.

And people think the Bible is some ancient, out of date Book. Yes, the Bible is the most advanced book in the Universe. We would do well to read and study and understand it.
Posted by: HisMan at February 24, 2008 10:25 PM

I love the overall theme of Star Wars which is….redemption.

Ha! HisMan, me too, love themes of redemption.

Posted by: Doug at February 24, 2008 10:26 PM

While I hear what you are saying, I would venture to say that Christians, true Christians, are the least afraid to die people you’ll ever meet.

MK, some are, some aren’t. I’m not saying “religion is bad,” here, just that different people have different needs. Can one’s belief make one feel unafraid? I think so, yes, for some people. That said, it’s not like everybody else is “afraid to die.”
……

I know you desperately want to put us in a cute little cartoon and say “aren’t they adorable with their little God and their sweet naive beliefs” but you are so, so wrong.

No, really, I don’t. And it’s not just Christians, this is bigger than that – it’s all matters of “faith” in the realm.
……

There is nothing sweet or naive about being a Christian. It’s tough. It’s often grueling. It requires strength when strength is needed, humility when humility is needed, courage, love, patience, persistance…do you think there aren’t moments when it would be easier to say “Hey, I think I’ll just think like Doug for awhile and chuck it all! Do whatever I want for a change!”

The thing is that you ARE doing what you want. It’s all the same. It’s not any tougher nor any less, necessarily, whether one is religous or not.
……

Get real! Answering to nobody but yourself? Now that is easy. Try being a Christian for a week Doug. One week, and so all the things that are expected of you. Change your entire way of life, lose life long friends, have people insinuate that you are a fruitcake (a sweet fruitcake, but a fruitcake nonetheless), bite back the words that spring to your lips, listen to God tell you all the ways you failed today…you couldn’t handle it.

Your faith IS in yourself, MK. Again, all the same.
……

And because you view us as complete morons, you’d never understand the joy that comes from that ridiculous belief system.

Now doggoneit, I do not view you that way. I’ve said repeatedly that lots of people get lots of good from religion. I’m impressed with the amount of thought that has gone into various religions and the amount of thought expressed as you and Bethany have done right here. Don’t even worry about being a little grouchy.

Posted by: Doug at February 24, 2008 10:43 PM

Doug:

I don;t think you realize how close minded you are.

Posted by: HisMan at February 24, 2008 10:46 PM

MK,

does that mean that when you die you will literally have the ability to know the existence of God and Jesus and THEN be able to reject it or accept it?

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 24, 2008 10:53 PM

Leah,

How can you believe what’s in Halley’s Bible Concordance? I thought you only believed in the Bible?

Posted by: Janet at February 24, 2008 11:01 PM

HisMan,

I’m sure you realize that there are places in the bible that specifically refer to tradition and the word. How do you reconcile this with your views, since you don’t believe in tradition?

Posted by: Janet at February 24, 2008 11:10 PM

I don’t think you realize how close minded you are.

HisMan, you could say the same for members of other religions, religions different than your own, or one could say it of you, because of what you believe.

There are things that apply to all of us, but when we get to unprovable assumptions, then one person or one group saying something does not make it so.

Posted by: Doug at February 24, 2008 11:13 PM

PIP,

If you don’t mind me replying, I’m pretty sure MK was referring to the time just before death, not after.

Posted by: Janet at February 24, 2008 11:23 PM

Janet, what I mean is, does that mean that God reveals himself through Jesus so you can choose to accept it? Or is this just semantics for “well you never really understood God, or had the wrong perception of Him, but if only you tried in that last hour of death, you could have gotten into heaven”?

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 24, 2008 11:46 PM

Doug:

The evidence of the reality of Christ demands a verdict.

To not be willing to even consisder it is close-minded.

Posted by: HisMan at February 25, 2008 12:15 AM

PIP,

I hesitate to give an answer here, because it will be from a Catholic standpoint…but, I’ll try.

We believe, in the Catholic Church, that
when an angel is created, he decides at that moment which “team” he will be on. Can’t change his mind, can’t go back. God or Satan. That’s his moment of truth, if you will.

For humans, we get a whole lifetime to make up our minds. (Of course, you don’t know when that lifetime will end, so hedging your bet isn’t exactly wise).

We have until the moment of death. If we show one iota of wanting to be with God for eternity, then His Mercy, which is bottomless, will flow, and in we’ll get.

Of course, we believe in purgatory (a final bath, if you will), but nonetheless, we’ll make it to heaven.

I heard a priest once tell the story of a young woman that was dying and he kept asking her to just kiss the crucifix that he held. Just kiss it, and it would be enough. She spat at it, and then died.

But someone that commits suicide say, could, at the very split second before the gun goes off, or the pills take effect, or they hit the water, cry out, God have Mercy, or God Help Me, and that would be enough.

But after death? No, we become like the angels and all bets are off. God continues to love us, because He is all love and can do nothing else, but we have made our final choice and He honors it.

As I said somewhere else earlier, a soul that chooses hell, may regret where He is, but doesn’t regret the actions that brought him there, or regret the choices he made. Having it to do all over, they would make the same choice.

Again, we have been given free will. If we choose, like Doug, to refuse God, and choose to spend eternity without Him, then God must, by His own rules, honor Dougs choice. Otherwise, He would be interfering with Doug’s free will.

Nobody is making Doug spend an eternity in Hell. Doug prefers it that way. And God will allow Doug to have his “desire”. To put Doug in heaven, would be to make the whole free will thing a sham. As Doug says, it’s all about desire. Doug desires a life and an eternity without God. And so he shall be granted his wish.

This is why purgatory makes so much sense. If you were to accept Jesus, but not embrace Him, just sort of believe in Him, but not wholeheartedly follow Him, you could still get into heaven. But there would be a lot of tweaking that needed to be done. (more time in purgatory) If however you went to the other extreme, and became a Mother Teresa, giving your entire mind, body, soul and heart to Him, you’d probably spend very little time in purgatory. You’d already have worked out a lot of the “kinks” in your faith life.

Saint Faustina was given a choice by Jesus. He told her that she could either do her purgatory time on earth, or after death. She asked for both. Wanted to offer up the “extra” suffering for souls who didn’t believe. So she spent her last days very sick and in great pain. We can only assume she did some more suffering after she died.

This is another difference between Catholics and Protestants. We believe that our suffering can be offered up with Jesus’ on the cross, and it has the power to bring souls to Him.

So it is entirely possible that Padre Pio, or Saint Faustinas’ earthly suffering will help you, PIP, to convert and get into heaven…which I think is really cool.

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 6:13 AM

“The evidence of the reality of Christ demands a verdict.

To not be willing to even consisder it is close-minded.”

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel is a wonderful introduction to this subject.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 6:30 AM

HisMan: The evidence of the reality of Christ demands a verdict.

To not be willing to even consisder it is close-minded.

I do consider it.

Posted by: Doug at February 25, 2008 6:36 AM

Again, we have been given free will. If we choose, like Doug, to refuse God, and choose to spend eternity without Him, then God must, by His own rules, honor Dougs choice. Otherwise, He would be interfering with Doug’s free will.

MK, the problem with that is that free will means there is not an all-knowing god, nor is there an all-knowing anything. Free will means we are not predestined, while if our future is known, to “anybody,” then we’re predestined.

Some of us will choose to embrace the theoretical construct of God just as you do, and some will do it differently, and some will not do it at all.

Posted by: Doug at February 25, 2008 6:41 AM

@Doug,

but that is just it … we ain’t talking of intellectual possibilities/imaginings, we are talking about the realities of love … all unseen. How do you react to a child’s twisted ankle? Do you think his pain imaginary … easy cop-out for you but that does zip to assist the child. A simple gesture of sharing his misery (like his mother kissing the bruise) can become (inexplicably) healing.

Now which of these is real?

John

Posted by: Anonymous at February 25, 2008 7:00 AM

“MK, the problem with that is that free will means there is not an all-knowing god, nor is there an all-knowing anything. Free will means we are not predestined, while if our future is known, to “anybody,” then we’re predestined.”

Well, I think there’s a couple ways to illustrate man’s free will vs. God’s sovereignty. The first is to consider the fact that (for example) every I yawn and smack my lips, Gianna laughs. Every single time. So I can hold her in my arms say “watch this, Gianna will smile in 5 seconds” and that will happen. I “knew the future” but I didn’t force her to smile. If you want to say she was “predestined” because I knew she was going to smile, well, fine. But she still had free will. While it isn’t a perfect comparison, it is similar to how we understand God’s sovereignty vs. our free will.

The other comparison is the following. When I watch Wrestlemania VII, when Macho Man vs. Ultimate Warrior begins, I can tell you that Macho Man will give the Ultimate Warrior 5 elbows in a row from the top rope. Guarantee it. Did that take away Macho Man’s free will? No, he had free will when he did the elbows. He could have done only one or (God forbid) 10 elbows. Well, what’s the objection to this comparison? I already knew what Macho was going to do. I had seen this match (many, many times!). But this touches precisely on a truth about God- namely, that God is outside of time. Because God is pure soul which has an unchanging nature, God is in an eternal “now.” So in a sense, the entire history of the earth has already happened in God’s eyes, and the situation is much like the video that I watch where, indeed, Macho has free will, yet I already knew what happened.

So I’m not expecting you to believe all of this; just that it is possible to reconcile the two. There is a HUGE treatise on this called “Grace, Predestination, and Free Will” by William Most if you wish to beat this subject to death. God love you.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 7:02 AM

Doug,

You are constraining yourself by linear time.

There is no linear time for God.

It is all happening at once. He can see the present, past, future at any time He chooses.

So He can see you struggling with a decision, and He can know the outcome of that decision even before you make it because YOU are stuck in linear time.

We don’t believe in predestination. We don’t believe that God “causes” us to do anything. Be we believe He can “see” everything.

Think science fiction…back to the future. Michael J Fox knew what his folks were going to do before they had even met because he was able to project himself into the future. Granted that he manipulated his folks, while God doesn’t, but the theory remains the same.

No time constraints on God. Time constraints on humans. We simply can’t see the way He sees.

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 7:18 AM

Janet,
I think you were referring the Halley’s Bible Concordance question to me, not Leah.

Check it out sometime and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It gives historical and archaeological facts book by book throughout the bible. It doesn’t interpret the bible, it just shows you what was going on during that time historically book by book. Very interesting, if your into archaeological and historical facts!

For instance, during a period of time in which people were woshipping the god Baal, it shows you historical digs that were done during that time period. Human sacrifice was a big ritual then, and people during that time were told to sacrifice their babies, then put the remains in a vase, then build the structure of their homes around the vase and that would give them blessings by their god. In the book, you see the vases that were dug up and the tiny bones within them.

By reading this book, it really opens up the bible, to me at least, to fully understand why God poured out his wrath on people who did not obey Him.

There’s much, much more to the book, and it goes chapter by chapter throughout the bible. It’s a great read. Seriously, if you have the time, check it out!

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 7:22 AM

I”ve added it to my amazon.com wishlist, JLM.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 7:25 AM

Bobby & Janet,
Ooooh. I forgot to mention that if you get it, or borrow it from the library, there are many verisons of it. When new archaeological discoveries are unearthed, Halley’s updates the book to include the new discoveries. It’s been updated ALOT, so if you do get it, make sure you get the newest version for the lastest facts!

If my memory is correct, Jill is or was reading it also.

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 7:45 AM

but that is just it … we ain’t talking of intellectual possibilities/imaginings, we are talking about the realities of love … all unseen. How do you react to a child’s twisted ankle? Do you think his pain imaginary … easy cop-out for you but that does zip to assist the child. A simple gesture of sharing his misery (like his mother kissing the bruise) can become (inexplicably) healing.

Now which of these is real?

John, those are all real. I don’t say anything there is imaginary.

Posted by: Doug at February 25, 2008 7:45 AM

You are constraining yourself by linear time. There is no linear time for God. It is all happening at once. He can see the present, past, future at any time He chooses.

MK, it wouldn’t change anything. There is that which we define as our future. If that is known to an entity, “linear time” for that entity or not, then we are predestined.
……

We don’t believe in predestination. We don’t believe that God “causes” us to do anything. Be we believe He can “see” everything.

“Cause” isn’t required. Just knowing it is enough – it’d mean our futures are fixed.
……

Think science fiction…back to the future. Michael J Fox knew what his folks were going to do before they had even met because he was able to project himself into the future. Granted that he manipulated his folks, while God doesn’t, but the theory remains the same.

So from Mikey’s perspective he knew the future, in that limited way, i.e. while the others didn’t know it, their future was known to another.
……

No time constraints on God. Time constraints on humans. We simply can’t see the way He sees.

Nothing there that would contradict what I’ve said. We don’t need to know, it’s enough that any other entity knows.

Posted by: Doug at February 25, 2008 7:51 AM

I agree with you Doug, that we are predestinated.

Here is a little of insight on how John Calvin explained how this does not remove our human responsibility:
From http://geneva.rutgers.edu/src/christianity/predest.html

” Of the things I’ve seen from the 16th Century, Calvin dealt with this the most clearly. He maintained that predestination does not remove human responsibility. In effect, he suggested that there are two different accounts for the same event, one in human terms and one in God’s terms. God has a plan for our individual lives and history as a whole. Everything that happens fits into that plan. However he normally works through secondary causes. When someone does something, it is because they make a decision to do so. God knew what that decision would be. Indeed because the person’s character, motivations, and situation is under God’s control, there’s a sense in which we can say that God determined the action. But his plan is carried out by the working out of human decisions and other historical causes.

Calvin looks at the example of the Sabeans’ violence against Job’s household near the beginning of Job. There are three levels of responsibility here. The Sabeans are responsible for the violence, motivated by whatever motivates vandals, presumably a desire for loot. But they are also acting as Satan’s agents to test Job. Thus in another sense Satan is responsible. His goal is to show up Job. He somehow moved the Sabeans to attack Job’s family. However even Satan is acting accordance with God’s plan. God’s intention is to vindicate Job’s character and his own justice. The event is completely intelligible on any of these three levels: human, Satan’s plan, and God’s plan. In fact all three accounts are true.

Calvin also points out that God carries out his plan differently when dealing with people who have faith in him and those who do not. Everyone ends up acting in accordance with his plans. But with those who have faith, there is a conscious collaboration. God works with them through the Holy Spirit, and moves them directly in the way he intends. The ungodly do not intentionally cooperate with God. They still do his will, but they do it because he has set up the situation so that they end up doing what he wants. “
Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 8:07 AM

Hi JLM,

yep, the anon to which you refer is me John L. McDonell … sorry forgot to sign.

“Anon,
I didn’t interpret scripture, I posted it. You interpreted it on your own. Although I understand that you want me to speak it in my own words, I choose not to, because I think that scripture speaks for itself, with all it’s “thees” and “thous”, I can still fully understand the meaning.”

I have not interpreted the words of scripture but because I have a rare charism does not make my words somehow less. I have talked to all kinds of young people and they wish to know not just what God says but how this effects my personal life. I can be remote and call you ‘sister’ like they do in unions OR I can let you inside …. become one … let the ‘wall of separation down’ … and embrace you in my littleness …. to become my ‘sister’ … as real (even more real) as my earthly sisters(2).

A few years back, one of these family folks wrote to me. Lynn was struggling with being a new mom. So I wrote that I’d always be there for her … in-her-corner. If you know anything about my disease and how it wastes muscles so I cannot even walk nor crawl, such bravado as I wrote to her seems ludicrous. But I think her pain (now both of ours) is lessened just by being open to listen.

99% of Christians could/cannot read words … like Bibles, but all ‘read’ people. So it is very important for me to enter-the-fray and not remain an ‘observer’ …. too many spectators. I am … in God I am … and the more real I am = how close Abba/Jesus/Spirit are in me …. That’s why Jesus prays that we might be one (Prayer at the Last Supper/John).

The ‘thee’s’ and ‘thou’s’ are important because they are words not used in any family, so distance people rather than unite them. To me the effect works exactly against what God is attempting to accomplish. Thee’s and thou’s … are these Biblical words or are they English sentiments that gloss over this oneness that Abba is attempting to achieve? Am I wrong?

hope this helps ….

John (also JLM)

Posted by: Anonymous at February 25, 2008 8:18 AM

Hey Bethany. So are you reformed? If so, how reformed (if that question makes any sense)? God love you.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 8:33 AM

Bobby, yes, I believe that is what you could call me. I am not really sure about levels of reformed..maybe you can help me understand?

It’s really about whether something agrees with the Bible or not, more than anything else, for me. :-)

Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 8:48 AM

Hey Bethany, pretty good. Calvin was hardcore….

Posted by: Doug at February 25, 2008 8:48 AM

Doug,

Then we do not have the same understanding of predestination.

You are still placing God in time constraints.

You are saying He is looking into the future and I am saying to Him, there is no future. There is only “now” and now encompasses all. He doesn’t see what “will” happen, He sees what “is” happening.

# S: (n) predestination (previous determination as if by destiny or fate)
*
# S: (n) predestination, foreordination, preordination, predetermination ((theology) being determined in advance; especially the doctrine (usually associated with Calvin) that God has foreordained every event throughout eternity (including the final salvation of mankind))

Presdestination means determining what will happen. Not seeing it happen. Saying it WILL be so ahead of time. Not watching it happen.

It is completely different than what I am talking about.

http://geneva.rutgers.edu/src/christianity/predest.html

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 8:55 AM

John,

My response was to what you said here:

I assume you know scripture inside out … but that does not mean you grasp what it is saying. Just read the stories about Jesus being tempted by Satan with the words of scripture.

I felt like you were telling me that I may know the words, but I don’t know what they mean. I then told you that I just posted them, and didn’t interpret them. If there was an interpretation, that had to have come from you reading the scripture that I posted.

John, I try very hard to understand what you are trying to convey in your posts, but we most certainly are not on the same intellectual level. So, if I misunderstood, I am sorry for that. It’s just how I read your words.

Rest assured, I do pray before reading any scripture at all. I pray for understanding and wisdom. I pray that God has me understand it EXACTLY how He wants me to. The way that He intended them to be. I think we’ll have to disagree on the “thee’s” and “thou’s” though. I find those words to be beautiful and timeless.

John, I think you’re a remarkable individual. What you did for Lynn and others is beautiful and so altruistic. I am sure God is pleased.

God bless you, John.

One more thing to all: My bad: It’s not Halley’s Bible Concordance, It’s Halley’s Bible Handbook. I get all of my little helpers mixed up sometimes! Sorry for any confusion.

:)

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 8:56 AM

“aIt’s not Halley’s Bible Concordance, It’s Halley’s Bible Handbook. I get all of my little helpers mixed up sometimes! Sorry for any confusion.”

Ah, yes indeed. It’s only 52 cents on amazon used!

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 9:00 AM

Doug,

I think that the free will thing is, like, picture a home video of your family. At the time it was filmed, your actions were chosen freely, but in the years since, you’ve seen it so many times that you know what the kid in the video is going to choose. That you know what he’ll choose doesn’t mean he’s not choosing, it just means you’ve seen it already. But to the kid trapped in the film, everything is new.

Sometimes I feel that way watching or reading historical documentaries. I’m like, “No, don’t do that!” or “Gee, this is all awfully drawn out considering we all KNOW what’s going to happen anyway.” But I try to imagine actually being there — being George Washington or Alexander the Great or Ceasar or whatever — and seeing two seemingly endless paths on either side of a fork in the road, and legitimately not knowing what would happen next. I guess I have an awful imagination, because sometimes try as I might I can’t imagine making a historical decision WITHOUT having my thoughts affected the bias I have inherited by way of being born after that decision’s consequences were well known. But anyway, the point is, if I were somehow able to go back and watch history unfolding, the fact that I knew what each person would decide to do with each situation wouldn’t mean that they weren’t deciding to do it of their own volition. It would just mean that I had information they didn’t.

Going back to the “asking your friends to take off their dirty shoes before entering your house” analogy with regards to sin not being allowed to enter heaven, for a moment, because I was thinking about it as I fell asleep last night. (And not just because my partner tracked mud all through our apartment!) I don’t think it would mean that I loved my friends any less if I insisted that they remove their shoes — as it is, I prefer that they do but hope to just lead by example rather than insisting — but I do think that if I built a moat of mud around my house, a moat that took a lifetime to cross and that you had to get extremely dirty to get through, and THEN I insisted that everyone help me keep my house pristine, I might be a bit of a jerk. I might still have the right to want my friends to remove their shoes, but I don’t think they’d be out of line to grumble about my choice of landscaping.

Posted by: Alexandra at February 25, 2008 9:07 AM

Bobby,
You’re too funny!

I’m going to stop at the bookstore today & pick up two copies. My father lent it to me back in September. When I was out at the Aurora mill, one of the prayer warriors really liked it, so I lent it to him. I didn’t get it back, yet, and I really miss it! I read up to Song of Solomon, (of course read Revelation first, since it’s such a passion for me) and am itching to read the rest!

If you get it, let me know what you think!

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 9:08 AM

…and now I’ve gone and spelled Caesar incorrectly. Woe.

Posted by: Alexandra at February 25, 2008 9:09 AM

Well, I think there’s a couple ways to illustrate man’s free will vs. God’s sovereignty. The first is to consider the fact that (for example) every I yawn and smack my lips, Gianna laughs. Every single time. So I can hold her in my arms say “watch this, Gianna will smile in 5 seconds” and that will happen. I “knew the future” but I didn’t force her to smile. If you want to say she was “predestined” because I knew she was going to smile, well, fine. But she still had free will. While it isn’t a perfect comparison, it is similar to how we understand God’s sovereignty vs. our free will.

Bobby, you make me smile too. “Forcing” is not necessary. Just knowing is enough. Having the certainty about Gianna that you do is not being “all-knowing,” however. I also think that eventually she would tire, become saturated and not respond the same, go to sleep, etc., i.e. you’ve noted a tendency but it’s not really a sure thing going out into the future. More sure would be dropping a rock onto the ground, knowing that gravity will take effect. It’s still observations from the past projected into the future, as differentiated from truly being “all-knowing.”
……

The other comparison is the following. When I watch Wrestlemania VII, when Macho Man vs. Ultimate Warrior begins, I can tell you that Macho Man will give the Ultimate Warrior 5 elbows in a row from the top rope. Guarantee it. Did that take away Macho Man’s free will? No, he had free will when he did the elbows. He could have done only one or (God forbid) 10 elbows. Well, what’s the objection to this comparison? I already knew what Macho was going to do. I had seen this match (many, many times!). But this touches precisely on a truth about God- namely, that God is outside of time. Because God is pure soul which has an unchanging nature, God is in an eternal “now.” So in a sense, the entire history of the earth has already happened in God’s eyes, and the situation is much like the video that I watch where, indeed, Macho has free will, yet I already knew what happened.

I disagree. The match has already occurred. There’s no free will on the part of the contestants that can change what happened. They are “outside” of that time, already, so to speak, and if God is outside of time, then fine, I say – if God is seeing our future as you see the already-taken-place wrasslin,’ then we cannot change what we think of as our future any more than Macho Man can change Wrestlemania VII.

Alternatively, do you think God works through Hulk Hogan and Sgt. Slaughter?
……

So I’m not expecting you to believe all of this; just that it is possible to reconcile the two. There is a HUGE treatise on this called “Grace, Predestination, and Free Will” by William Most if you wish to beat this subject to death. God love you.

Too busy to really get the Big Beater out, at least today – am loading for a couple jobs in the hind-end of the USA, New Jersey. Thank you, though, I’ll look into it.

Doug

Posted by: Doug at February 25, 2008 9:09 AM

I think that the free will thing is, like, picture a home video of your family. At the time it was filmed, your actions were chosen freely, but in the years since, you’ve seen it so many times that you know what the kid in the video is going to choose. That you know what he’ll choose doesn’t mean he’s not choosing, it just means you’ve seen it already. But to the kid trapped in the film, everything is new.

GOOD analogy, Alexandra!

Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 9:12 AM

Going back to the “asking your friends to take off their dirty shoes before entering your house” analogy with regards to sin not being allowed to enter heaven, for a moment, because I was thinking about it as I fell asleep last night. (And not just because my partner tracked mud all through our apartment!) I don’t think it would mean that I loved my friends any less if I insisted that they remove their shoes — as it is, I prefer that they do but hope to just lead by example rather than insisting — but I do think that if I built a moat of mud around my house, a moat that took a lifetime to cross and that you had to get extremely dirty to get through, and THEN I insisted that everyone help me keep my house pristine, I might be a bit of a jerk. I might still have the right to want my friends to remove their shoes, but I don’t think they’d be out of line to grumble about my choice of landscaping.

Alexandra,
I really love reading your posts! You explain yourself very well, and your words flow so beautifully!

That is so funny that the mud analogy coincided with your bf’s mud-tracking! ha!

I see where you’re coming from. But God doesn’t love someone any less because they “don’t take their shoes off”. He has infinite love, and wants so badly for people to “choose” to take their shoes off. He can’t force them. It’s a choice they have to make. It’s either what He wants, or what they want. That’s the choice. Choose God’s way, or choose your own way. It’s His house – His way. (or the highway, lol! I’m thinking of that AC/DC song now…highway to h*ll.) It’s going to be another one of those days, I can just feel it now!

As for the moat, I love that part! But the beautiful thing, is that it’s doesn’t have to take a lifetime to get through the muddy moat. Once a person accepts what Christ has done for them, their “shoes” are cleaned, and the muddy moat is gone. It’s a walk through clean pastures at that point! Not to say there won’t be bumps along the way, but at least Jesus will be carrying you through it. He’s not only a Savior, but a best friend.

Please keep posting, Alexandra. I really, really enjoy what you write. You have quite the gift with thought and the ability to put into into such powerful words! Thank you for that!

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 9:25 AM

Going back to the “asking your friends to take off their dirty shoes before entering your house” analogy with regards to sin not being allowed to enter heaven, for a moment, because I was thinking about it as I fell asleep last night. (And not just because my partner tracked mud all through our apartment!) I don’t think it would mean that I loved my friends any less if I insisted that they remove their shoes — as it is, I prefer that they do but hope to just lead by example rather than insisting — but I do think that if I built a moat of mud around my house, a moat that took a lifetime to cross and that you had to get extremely dirty to get through, and THEN I insisted that everyone help me keep my house pristine, I might be a bit of a jerk. I might still have the right to want my friends to remove their shoes, but I don’t think they’d be out of line to grumble about my choice of landscaping.

Alexandra,
I really love reading your posts! You explain yourself very well, and your words flow so beautifully!

That is so funny that the mud analogy coincided with your bf’s mud-tracking! ha!

I see where you’re coming from. But God doesn’t love someone any less because they “don’t take their shoes off”. He has infinite love, and wants so badly for people to “choose” to take their shoes off. He can’t force them. It’s a choice they have to make. It’s either what He wants, or what they want. That’s the choice. Choose God’s way, or choose your own way. It’s His house – His way. (or the highway, lol! I’m thinking of that AC/DC song now…highway to h*ll.) It’s going to be another one of those days, I can just feel it now!

As for the moat, I love that part! But the beautiful thing, is that it’s doesn’t have to take a lifetime to get through the muddy moat. Once a person accepts what Christ has done for them, their “shoes” are cleaned, and the muddy moat is gone. It’s a walk through clean pastures at that point! Not to say there won’t be bumps along the way, but at least Jesus will be carrying you through it. He’s not only a Savior, but a best friend.

Please keep posting, Alexandra. I really, really enjoy what you write. You have quite the gift with thought and the ability to put into into such powerful words! Thank you for that!
Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 9:26 AM

Then we do not have the same understanding of predestination. You are still placing God in time constraints. You are saying He is looking into the future and I am saying to Him, there is no future. There is only “now” and now encompasses all. He doesn’t see what “will” happen, He sees what “is” happening.

MK, I am saying there is that which we call the future. If that is known (or seen) by an entity in what we call the present, then we are predestined. “Time constraints,” etc., on the part of the entity don’t change anything. Regardless of the entity’s viewpoint, as long as they know what occurs in that which we call the future, then we do not have free will. We’re gonna do what we’re gonna do, whether it is seen as “will happen” or “is happening” on the all-knowing entity’s part.
……

(n) predestination (previous determination as if by destiny or fate)

(n) predestination, foreordination, preordination, predetermination ((theology) being determined in advance; especially the doctrine (usually associated with Calvin) that God has foreordained every event throughout eternity (including the final salvation of mankind))

Presdestination means determining what will happen. Not seeing it happen. Saying it WILL be so ahead of time. Not watching it happen. It is completely different than what I am talking about.

I disagree. An all-powerful god could “determine” things, but it wouldn’t have to be that way, i.e., destiny or fate would be enough – all that’s required is for God or any consciousness to know it, in advance from our perspective. If we go with the “determining” deal by God, then another entity being aware of our future would still do the same thing – even aside from God. Per Calvin, if from our perspective God has “scripted” the future, then another entity being aware of it would be proof of no free will; just knowing is enough.

Posted by: Doug at February 25, 2008 9:29 AM

Yo yo yo.

“Bobby, you make me smile too. “Forcing” is not necessary. Just knowing is enough. Having the certainty about Gianna that you do is not being “all-knowing,” however. I also think that eventually she would tire, become saturated and not respond the same, go to sleep, etc., i.e. you’ve noted a tendency but it’s not really a sure thing going out into the future. More sure would be dropping a rock onto the ground, knowing that gravity will take effect. It’s still observations from the past projected into the future, as differentiated from truly being “all-knowing.””

I agree but I think you’ve taken the analogy too far. All I want to do is illustrate how I can (at least for now) know that something is going to happen and show that it is compatible with the action being freely chosen.

” if God is outside of time, then fine, I say – if God is seeing our future as you see the already-taken-place wrasslin,’ then we cannot change what we think of as our future any more than Macho Man can change Wrestlemania VII.”

But see, Macho had free will at the time. Although his action was known by God, his action was his choice.

See, I think we agree with each other’s premises, but we are drawing different conclusions. I am saying that God can know what we are going to do in the future and we have free choice as to what we will do in the future. I think you understand those premises. But I’m happy to leave it at that. I think you are thinking that as those premises stand, they are contradictory. Is that correct? So that’s why you are saying that we can not change our future, to fix the contradiction you see, correct? Now if that is the case, the problem I have is that I don’t see any contradiction between a Being who knows the future and our actions being freely determined. So (again, is I am correct in my analysis) I think you’re going to have to show me how from those two premises you can deduce both “A and not A.” Do you know what I mean?

“Alternatively, do you think God works through Hulk Hogan and Sgt. Slaughter?”

LOL. Heck, God works through the Birdman KoKo B Ware.

“Too busy to really get the Big Beater out, at least today – am loading for a couple jobs in the hind-end of the USA, New Jersey. Thank you, though, I’ll look into it.”

Good, don’t read it. Even I’m too scared to read it. It’s extremely technical.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 9:29 AM

sorry for the double-post. If a mod wants to delete one, I’d appreciate it! The first one I thought didn’t go through. It said the server was busy or broken. I re-loaded the website, and the post wasn’t there.

Sorry!

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 9:30 AM

Going back to the “asking your friends to take off their dirty shoes before entering your house” analogy with regards to sin not being allowed to enter heaven, for a moment, because I was thinking about it as I fell asleep last night. (And not just because my partner tracked mud all through our apartment!) I don’t think it would mean that I loved my friends any less if I insisted that they remove their shoes — as it is, I prefer that they do but hope to just lead by example rather than insisting — but I do think that if I built a moat of mud around my house, a moat that took a lifetime to cross and that you had to get extremely dirty to get through, and THEN I insisted that everyone help me keep my house pristine, I might be a bit of a jerk. I might still have the right to want my friends to remove their shoes, but I don’t think they’d be out of line to grumble about my choice of landscaping.

I think this is a good analogy but there are some minor flaws – I could be wrong but bear with me.

Suppose that the moat had a bridge over it (representing salvation) , which you could easily cross without having to go through all of the mud and dirt.

When you get to the house, there is no more mud on your shoes, if you cross the bridge.

(You would still have to remove the shoes though, because in my view, the shoes would be analogous to our old body- the mud is analogous to the sin).

If someone decided to jump in the moat and get their shoes all dirty before going, instead of using the bridge, could they really fault you for wanting them to take off their shoes?

Okay, let me know if this didn’t make sense and I’ll try to word it better.
Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 9:33 AM

JLM 9:25 I agree. She does have a gift with words.

Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 9:34 AM

Bethany,

“Bobby, yes, I believe that is what you could call me. I am not really sure about levels of reformed..maybe you can help me understand?”

Well, does the acronym “TULIP” mean anything to you?

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 9:40 AM

Haha, Bethany and JLM, thanks.

What if the bridge (ie salvation etc) was invisible though? Like, did you ever see that Indiana Jones movie where he has to throw the dirt out over the edge of the cliff to find the entrance to the bride, and then he just has to trust that it’s there? So my friends would have to try to find and then trust an invisible bridge just to get to my house, which I had intentionally surrounded by a gigantic mud-filled moat, or else remove all of their mud-covered clothing, in order to be clean enough to come in for tea once they’d finally gotten to my front door. I don’t think I’d fault my friends for deciding not to hang out with me anymore.

Posted by: Alexandra at February 25, 2008 9:51 AM

Haha, Bethany and JLM, thanks.

What if the bridge (ie salvation etc) was invisible though? Like, did you ever see that Indiana Jones movie where he has to throw the dirt out over the edge of the cliff to find the entrance to the bride, and then he just has to trust that it’s there? So my friends would have to try to find and then trust an invisible bridge just to get to my house, which I had intentionally surrounded by a gigantic mud-filled moat, or else remove all of their mud-covered clothing, in order to be clean enough to come in for tea once they’d finally gotten to my front door. I don’t think I’d fault my friends for deciding not to hang out with me anymore.

Posted by: Alexandra at February 25, 2008 9:58 AM

HisMan:

This is being over-complicated. The bottom line is I neither love nor hate this being that you call God. Hate is something that requires feeling–a very strong feeling. I hate no one.

Posted by: Leah at February 25, 2008 10:19 AM

Alexandra,
Ah, but you left a book of instructions for your friends on how to get across the moat, and who would provide the bridge for them. Once they accepted the provider of the bridge, their veil of doubt was removed from them, so they trusted without a doubt.

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 10:23 AM

Alexandra,
And if they didn’t trust YOU, were they really your friends to begin with? You may have loved them dearly, but if they didn’t trust you, did they ever love you?

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 10:27 AM

Leah,
I don’t hate your god either. I can’t hate something that isn’t real, and I’m sure that’s why you don’t hate our God. Am I correct?

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 10:29 AM

“Many things that take place in Saudi Arabia are, in fact, not based off of Islam”

Leah, are you telling me you know more about Islam then the people in Saudi-Arabia? I believe the Saudi’s….

“Have you been to Saudi Arabia, Jasper? Have you ever been outside of the United States?”

China
Korea
Taiwan
Japan
England
Scotland
Switzerland
Germany
Holland
Canada

Posted by: jasper at February 25, 2008 10:31 AM

And if they didn’t trust YOU, were they really your friends to begin with? You may have loved them dearly, but if they didn’t trust you, did they ever love you?

I guess that’s what I always wondered. If someone gave me a book and was like, “This is how you find the bridge,” and I just COULDN’T believe it — I tried and tried and still always kind of thought, “This is a little absurd” — then maybe I was not meant to have a relationship with that person.

Posted by: Alexandra at February 25, 2008 11:22 AM

Alexandria, when you feel that way (that it is absurd), that is your “natural man” talking… It is in everyone to feel this way, of themselves. Without God to help you interpret the scriptures, the words can certainly seem foolish. God still wants a relationship with you. You are not out of the ordinary for having these thoughts.

“…the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14-15″

Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 11:40 AM

Oops, I just noticed… When I wrote “that it is absurd”, it looked like it reads “that is absurd”. I hope you didn’t read it that way. lol
Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 11:41 AM

Alexandra,
I believe if you seek you will find.

Luke 11:9
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

But, keep in mind, that you need to seek & ask!

Until then:

John 12:40
He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

2 Corinthians 3:14-16
14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.

Do you see? One needs to seek the Lord first, with all their heart. If one really wants to seek Him, they will find Him. Then, the vail can be removed.

Does that make sense?
Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 11:43 AM

JLM, thank you….

Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 11:49 AM

Bethany,
You know, while I was “working on it”, then posted it, I read yours, and they totally coincide! How awesome is that!

Thank YOU!

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 11:55 AM

JLM, do you think that sometime you might drop me an email? My email address is in the sidebar. :)
Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 12:06 PM

“Ah, but you left a book of instructions for your friends on how to get across the moat, and who would provide the bridge for them.”

Yet, several other instructions were left for them too, that could be equally valid, but you expect them to know which one is true.

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 25, 2008 12:09 PM

Doug,

The very word predestined implies a time constraint.
How can we be predestined if there is no “pre”…nor is there a post…

Again, you keep looking at this from your point of view instead of Gods. To us, it may appear predestined. To Him, it just “is”.

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 12:12 PM

First off, Catholics don’t adhere to Calvin. We reject that theory.

Secondly, how does one knowing what will happen have any effect on the person making a choice.

Again, you are confusing knowledge with cause. Free will means I decide. Not God, me. He may know my choice, but He doesn’t cause it.

I know that the sun will come up tomorrow. But I am not causing the sun to come up. God can change His mind and decide that starting tomorrow the sun will no longer rise. My knowing it, doesn’t change God’s causing it.

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 12:17 PM

I agree but I think you’ve taken the analogy too far. All I want to do is illustrate how I can (at least for now) know that something is going to happen and show that it is compatible with the action being freely chosen.

Bobby, the analogy needs to go far enough to be akin to an “all-knowing” being, so that’s a fur piece, as they say. I would agree that it is possible to “know” what somebody will pick, or how they will react, same as for gravity acting on the rock. This wouldn’t even require predestination, however, just probabilities.

So, postulating free will, then there’s nothing there that says some things cannot be “known,” as with Gianna’s reaction, etc. It’s reasonable to expect that a thing observed enough times in a row will occur again under the same conditions.

Had you never observed Gianna’s reaction, then you would not know of it, not like an “all-knowing” being. The “all-knowing” part would do away with probabilities and past observation, since the future would then be fixed.

Bethany quoted something about there being an appointed hour for our death, etc., ( I think), and that sounds like we’re going down the road of fixed futures.
……

” if God is outside of time, then fine, I say – if God is seeing our future as you see the already-taken-place wrasslin,’ then we cannot change what we think of as our future any more than Macho Man can change Wrestlemania VII.”

But see, Macho had free will at the time. Although his action was known by God, his action was his choice./i>

And at the time you would not have known what was to occur (obviously), if he had free will, whereas an all-knowing entity would have.
……

Good, don’t read it (“Grace, Predestination, and Free Will” by William Most ). Even I’m too scared to read it. It’s extremely technical.

Sounds good to me, Holmes. :: laughing :: “too scared to read it…” I don’t think so. You’re fairly busy, I reckon, but “scared….”?
……

See, I think we agree with each other’s premises, but we are drawing different conclusions. I am saying that God can know what we are going to do in the future and we have free choice as to what we will do in the future. I think you understand those premises. But I’m happy to leave it at that. I think you are thinking that as those premises stand, they are contradictory. Is that correct? So that’s why you are saying that we can not change our future, to fix the contradiction you see, correct? Now if that is the case, the problem I have is that I don’t see any contradiction between a Being who knows the future and our actions being freely determined. So (again, is I am correct in my analysis) I think you’re going to have to show me how from those two premises you can deduce both “A and not A.” Do you know what I mean?

I don’t agree with your premise that both free will and knowledge of what we see as future choices can coexist. I think they’re mutually exclusive.

If our future is known to the Being, then how can we freely determine our actions? There’d have to be a reality known to the Being. We wouldn’t have to be aware of it, but how could we alter things between now and the future as we reckon them, when the Being knows in our “now”? It’d mean our future is already fixed in our “now.”

And ya done lost me on the “A and not A” deal. Perhaps we are not reckoning time in the same way.

Posted by: Doug at February 25, 2008 12:21 PM

Alexandra,

I’m sure it was unintentional but Bethany and JLM have just perfectly described the concept of purgatory. Gotta walk through the muck. Even if you have the instruction book. You’ve made it to the door because of the instruction book. The gatekeeper died so that you could have free access to the “bridge”…but those dang muddy shoes! No worries, theres a shoe brush by the entrance. Clean them off and c’mon in!

I’d have to disagree with the idea that everything would be beautiful pastures after believing in the moat though. I think the beautiful pastures are through the doors. I believe you still have to walk through the muck. The world is what it is. More like you’d have your own personal shoe shine machine (confession in my faith) to periodically clean them so that they are not so caked with mud that you can’t get it off.

Then of course, there are those that like the mud. Don’t want them clean, don’t believe there is anything beyond the door, and will turn back the way they came.

As for friends thinking your nuts…well, that is definitely one of the prices you have to pay. A lot of my friends found it too difficult to be around me. I’ve become a drag, so to speak. No smoking pot, no drinking til I puke, No more chasing musicians…They found that they didn’t really care for me, only the “entertainment” that I provided when I was joining them in their activities.

It was hard, but looking back, it was necessary. Better to enter heaven with no right hand, than enter hell with both of them and all that…

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 12:28 PM

Bethany,
I’ll do that right now!

:)

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 12:30 PM

The very word predestined implies a time constraint. How can we be predestined if there is no “pre”…nor is there a post…

MK, sure, from our point of view there is a now and a later.
……

Again, you keep looking at this from your point of view instead of Gods. To us, it may appear predestined. To Him, it just “is”.

As you said, there is a “pre” and a “post.” God’s point of view would not matter, as long as the knowledge is there in what we perceive as the present, prior to the “post.”

God’s “is” would be enough – things would be that way, not some other way. From our point of view it’d be things can’t be changed, had we the same knowledge.
……

how does one knowing what will happen have any effect on the person making a choice.

No effect is necessary. The Knowledge alone is enough. If our future is known to any entity, then that “is” you mentioned is the deal, rather than anything else. The “is” could not be altered.
……

Again, you are confusing knowledge with cause. Free will means I decide. Not God, me. He may know my choice, but He doesn’t cause it.

“Cause” from the entity isn’t necessary. If your choice is already known, then you cannot change it.
……

I know that the sun will come up tomorrow. But I am not causing the sun to come up. God can change His mind and decide that starting tomorrow the sun will no longer rise. My knowing it, doesn’t change God’s causing it.

Then you really don’t know that the sun will come up. If you did, for absolute sure, then it could not be changed.

Posted by: Doug at February 25, 2008 12:32 PM

Hey JLM, does that “M” start out “Mayn….”?

Doug

Posted by: Doug at February 25, 2008 12:33 PM

Dougster,

“If our future is known to the Being, then how can we freely determine our actions? There’d have to be a reality known to the Being. We wouldn’t have to be aware of it, but how could we alter things between now and the future as we reckon them, when the Being knows in our “now”? It’d mean our future is already fixed in our “now.”

And ya done lost me on the “A and not A” deal. Perhaps we are not reckoning time in the same way. “

Your last line about me losing you you actually answered above it. I just wanted you to explain how you see our future being known and us having free will as a contradiction. But you did above, so it’s all good.

Oh and MK,

“I’m sure it was unintentional but Bethany and JLM have just perfectly described the concept of purgatory.”

hehe, I noticed that too, MK, but I wasn’t gonna say anything…

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 12:39 PM

No effect is necessary. The Knowledge alone is enough. If our future is known to any entity, then that “is” you mentioned is the deal, rather than anything else. The “is” could not be altered.

Well, of course it could, up until the moment that “is” became “was”…I don’t see why His knowing means that we didn’t choose it.

I can have an orange or an apple. I choose an orange.

God knows that I will choose the orange. He knew I would choose the orange before I was born. Before there were oranges. He didn’t cause me to choose the orange. But he saw me choose it. He knows I chose it. But that in no way interfered with my ability to choose it.

Predestination would mean that He laid it all out before hand, then wound me up and set me on my path, leaving me no choice, but to do what He programmed me to do. But He didn’t “program” me.

He created me and then said do what you will. Now if you choose to do what I want you to do, I will begin interfering in your life, but if you choose not to do what I want you to do, then you will be at the mercy of my Natural Law.

And He knows what I chose, and He knows what you have chosen, but He had nothing to do with those choices…

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 12:42 PM

I’m sure it was unintentional but Bethany and JLM have just perfectly described the concept of purgatory. Gotta walk through the muck. Even if you have the instruction book. You’ve made it to the door because of the instruction book. The gatekeeper died so that you could have free access to the “bridge”…but those dang muddy shoes! No worries, theres a shoe brush by the entrance. Clean them off and c’mon in!

TOTALLY unintentional. Actually, it was never a thought!

The muck is the sinful life. (muck=sin)

gatekeeper cleans shoes – totally muckless!

gatekeeper = bridge

no need for shoe brush, gatekeeper already took care of that over 2000 years ago! Come right in!

John 5:24
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

(for more on this, please see my February 24th post at 11:34 am)

I’d have to disagree with the idea that everything would be beautiful pastures after believing in the moat though. I think the beautiful pastures are through the doors. I believe you still have to walk through the muck. The world is what it is. More like you’d have your own personal shoe shine machine (confession in my faith) to periodically clean them so that they are not so caked with mud that you can’t get it off.

Nope! The green pastures are the beautiful life you have here on earth, via a life in Christ. Life is beautiful with Him! Very, very dark and gloomy without Him. Of course, until you get to the green pastures, you really don’t realize how dark & gloomy life actually was!

I agree with you on the “nuts” part, mk! Some people think I am too. However, I don’t care! They thought Jesus was too! How can I expect any more?

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 12:45 PM

Doug,
Huh?

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 12:47 PM

Bobby,

LOL..I know. I really need to learn to keep my big mouth shut. The concept of Purgatory has not been well received.

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 12:50 PM

John 5:24
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

But I never said anything about condemnation…

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 12:53 PM

JLM,7:22,

Thank you for the info on Halley’s Bible Handbook. I’m going to add it to my reading list!

Posted by: Janet at February 25, 2008 1:01 PM

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

(I know Jesus isn’t in purgatory!)
Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 1:02 PM

Janet,
Your welcome.
:)

Sorry about the wrong title again!

If you love history you’ll love the book!

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 1:04 PM

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

(I know Jesus isn’t in purgatory!)

Never said anything about not attaining salvation. Never said we wouldn’t spend eternity with Jesus.

Simply said that we go to purgatory first.

I understand that you don’t agree with this view, but your scripture passages are not negating the concept.

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 1:09 PM

Thanks you, MK.

Would you say then in our allegory, the other instructions out there wouldn’t be all together bad if the ultimate goal was the same?

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 25, 2008 1:17 PM

I. A State After Death of Suffering and Forgiveness

Matt. 5:26,18:34; Luke 12:58-59 Jesus teaches us, Come to terms with your opponent or you will be handed over to the judge and thrown into prison. You will not get out until you have paid the last penny. The word opponent (antidiko) is likely a reference to the devil (see the same word for devil in 1 Pet. 5:8) who is an accuser against man (c.f. Job 1.6-12; Zech. 3.1; Rev. 12.10), and God is the judge. If we have not adequately dealt with satan and sin in this life, we will be held in a temporary state called a prison, and we wont get out until we have satisfied our entire debt to God. This prison is purgatory where we will not get out until the last penny is paid.

Matt. 5:48 – Jesus says, “be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect.” We are only made perfect through purification, and in Catholic teaching, this purification, if not completed on earth, is continued in a transitional state we call purgatory.

Matt. 12:32 Jesus says, And anyone who says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but no one who speaks against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven either in this world or in the next. Jesus thus clearly provides that there is forgiveness after death. The phrase in the next (from the Greek en to mellonti) generally refers to the afterlife (see, for example, Mark 10.30; Luke 18.30; 20.34-35; Eph. 1.21 for similar language). Forgiveness is not necessary in heaven, and there is no forgiveness in hell. This proves that there is another state after death, and the Church for 2,000 years has called this state purgatory.

Luke 12:47-48 – when the Master comes (at the end of time), some will receive light or heavy beatings but will live. This state is not heaven or hell, because in heaven there are no beatings, and in hell we will no longer live with the Master.

Luke 16:19-31 – in this story, we see that the dead rich man is suffering but still feels compassion for his brothers and wants to warn them of his place of suffering. But there is no suffering in heaven or compassion in hell because compassion is a grace from God and those in hell are deprived from God’s graces for all eternity. So where is the rich man? He is in purgatory.

1 Cor. 15:29-30 – Paul mentions people being baptized on behalf of the dead, in the context of atoning for their sins (people are baptized on the deads behalf so the dead can be raised). These people cannot be in heaven because they are still with sin, but they also cannot be in hell because their sins can no longer be atoned for. They are in purgatory. These verses directly correspond to 2 Macc. 12:44-45 which also shows specific prayers for the dead, so that they may be forgiven of their sin.

Phil. 2:10 – every knee bends to Jesus, in heaven, on earth, and “under the earth” which is the realm of the righteous dead, or purgatory.

2 Tim. 1:16-18 – Onesiphorus is dead but Paul asks for mercy on him on that day. Pauls use of that day demonstrates its eschatological usage (see, for example, Rom. 2.5,16; 1 Cor. 1.8; 3.13; 5.5; 2 Cor. 1.14; Phil. 1.6,10; 2.16; 1 Thess. 5.2,4,5,8; 2 Thess. 2.2,3; 2 Tim. 4.8). Of course, there is no need for mercy in heaven, and there is no mercy given in hell. Where is Onesiphorus? He is in purgatory.

Heb. 12:14 – without holiness no one will see the Lord. We need final sanctification to attain true holiness before God, and this process occurs during our lives and, if not completed during our lives, in the transitional state of purgatory.

Heb. 12:23 – the spirits of just men who died in godliness are “made” perfect. They do not necessarily arrive perfect. They are made perfect after their death. But those in heaven are already perfect, and those in hell can no longer be made perfect. These spirits are in purgatory.

1 Peter 3:19; 4:6 – Jesus preached to the spirits in the “prison.” These are the righteous souls being purified for the beatific vision.

Rev. 21:4 – God shall wipe away their tears, and there will be no mourning or pain, but only after the coming of the new heaven and the passing away of the current heaven and earth. Note the elimination of tears and pain only occurs at the end of time. But there is no morning or pain in heaven, and God will not wipe away their tears in hell. These are the souls experiencing purgatory.

Rev. 21:27 – nothing unclean shall enter heaven. The word unclean comes from the Greek word koinon which refers to a spiritual corruption. Even the propensity to sin is spiritually corrupt, or considered unclean, and must be purified before entering heaven. It is amazing how many Protestants do not want to believe in purgatory. Purgatory exists because of the mercy of God. If there were no purgatory, this would also likely mean no salvation for most people. God is merciful indeed.

Luke 23:43 many Protestants argue that, because Jesus sent the good thief right to heaven, there can be no purgatory. There are several rebuttals. First, when Jesus uses the word “paradise, He did not mean heaven. Paradise, from the Hebrew “sheol,” meant the realm of the righteous dead. This was the place of the dead who were destined for heaven, but who were captive until the Lord’s resurrection. Second, since there was no punctuation in the original manuscript, Jesus statement I say to you today you will be with me in paradise does not mean there was a comma after the first word you. This means Jesus could have said, I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise (meaning, Jesus could have emphasized with exclamation his statement was today or now, and that some time in the future the good thief would go to heaven). Third, even if the thief went straight to heaven, this does not prove there is no purgatory (those who are fully sanctified in this life perhaps by a bloody and repentant death could be ready for admission in to heaven).

Gen. 50:10; Num. 20:29; Deut. 34:8 – here are some examples of ritual prayer and penitent mourning for the dead for specific periods of time. The Jewish understanding of these practices was that the prayers freed the souls from their painful state of purification, and expedited their journey to God.

Baruch 3:4 – Baruch asks the Lord to hear the prayers of the dead of Israel. Prayers for the dead are unnecessary in heaven and unnecessary in hell. These dead are in purgatory.

Zech. 9:11 – God, through the blood of His covenant, will set those free from the waterless pit, a spiritual abode of suffering which the Church calls purgatory.

2 Macc. 12:43-45 – the prayers for the dead help free them from sin and help them to the reward of heaven. Those in heaven have no sin, and those in hell can no longer be freed from sin. They are in purgatory. Luther was particularly troubled with these verses because he rejected the age-old teaching of purgatory. As a result, he removed Maccabees from the canon of the Bible.

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 1:18 PM

Thanks you? haha I meant thank you.

Also I like hearing the Catholic viewpoint, so don’t worry…it tends to make more sense to me anyways.

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 25, 2008 1:18 PM

II. Purification After Death By Fire

Heb. 12:29 – God is a consuming fire (of love in heaven, of purgation in purgatory, or of suffering and damnation in hell).

1 Cor. 3:10-15 – works are judged after death and tested by fire. Some works are lost, but the person is still saved. Paul is referring to the state of purgation called purgatory. The venial sins (bad works) that were committed are burned up after death, but the person is still brought to salvation. This state after death cannot be heaven (no one with venial sins is present) or hell (there is no forgiveness and salvation).

1 Cor. 3:15 if any mans work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. The phrase for “suffer loss” in the Greek is “zemiothesetai.” The root word is “zemioo” which also refers to punishment. The construction zemiothesetai is used in Ex. 21:22 and Prov. 19:19 which refers to punishment (from the Hebrew anash meaning punish or penalty). Hence, this verse proves that there is an expiation of temporal punishment after our death, but the person is still saved. This cannot mean heaven (there is no punishment in heaven) and this cannot mean hell (the possibility of expiation no longer exists and the person is not saved).

1 Cor. 3:15 further, Paul writes he himself will be saved, “but only” (or yet so) as through fire. He will be saved in the Greek is sothesetai (which means eternal salvation). The phrase “but only” (or yet so) in the Greek is “houtos” which means “in the same manner.” This means that man is both eternally rewarded and eternally saved in the same manner by fire.

1 Cor. 3:13 – when Paul writes about God revealing the quality of each man’s work by fire and purifying him, this purification relates to his sins (not just his good works). Protestants, in attempting to disprove the reality of purgatory, argue that Paul was only writing about rewarding good works, and not punishing sins (because punishing and purifying a man from sins would be admitting that there is a purgatory).

1 Cor. 3:17 – but this verse proves that the purgation after death deals with punishing sin. That is, destroying God’s temple is a bad work, which is a mortal sin, which leads to death. 1 Cor. 3:14,15,17 – purgatory thus reveals the state of righteousness (v.14), state of venial sin (v.15) and the state of mortal sin (v.17), all of which are judged after death.

1 Peter 1:6-7 – Peter refers to this purgatorial fire to test the fruits of our faith.

Jude 1:23 – the people who are saved are being snatched out of the fire. People are already saved if they are in heaven, and there is no possibility of salvation if they are in hell. These people are being led to heaven from purgatory.

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 1:20 PM

In fact, JML, I would point to a passage like rev 21:27 which says that nothing unclean may enter heaven. Now I believe that you agreed with this earlier above. But part of how we understand “being clean” is having no attachment to sin. Zero. Absolutely no attraction whatsoever. I don’t know about you, but although I detest sin and any offense against God, there is still a small part of me that is attracted to it. In fact, it can be very tempting sometimes. And this is what purgatory does. It takes that love of God and purifies it, makes it absolute.

It is a different action than what Christ accomplished on the cross. Christ merited for us the ability to even have eternal life with God as an option. However, Christ merited enough grace for the entire world to go to heaven, but unfortunately we know not everyone will accept the gift of eternal life. Now that takes nothing away from Jesus’ work on the cross, right? In a similar manner, the fact that we must be purged from all our attachments to sin after death in no way takes away from what Christ merited on the cross for us. God love you.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 1:21 PM

“I’d have to disagree with the idea that everything would be beautiful pastures after believing in the moat though. I think the beautiful pastures are through the doors. I believe you still have to walk through the muck. The world is what it is. More like you’d have your own personal shoe shine machine (confession in my faith) to periodically clean them so that they are not so caked with mud that you can’t get it off.”

Nope! The green pastures are the beautiful life you have here on earth, via a life in Christ. Life is beautiful with Him! Very, very dark and gloomy without Him. Of course, until you get to the green pastures, you really don’t realize how dark & gloomy life actually was!

POSTED BY JLM 12:45

What about poor people living in shacks with no running water or electricity, with dirt roads and barely enough to eat? They can say they accept Christ as you do, but they may not find “green pastures” here on earth.

Posted by: Janet at February 25, 2008 1:22 PM

Janet,

If they have Christ in their lives, they arn’t concerned with the material world. Of course material things are nice, but when you put complete trust in the Lord, He will provide you what you need.

Matthew 6:28-30

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 1:29 PM

PIP,

In extraordinary circumstances (a small child, someone who never heard of Jesus, someone following his own faith out of love for his understanding of God), then our faith teaches, that yes, a person could enter heaven.

But in ordinary circumstances, the answer would have to be, no. I know that seems harsh.

Now if you were seeking, truly seeking, the Truth but died before you had a chance to “find” it, then I would have to say His mercy is infinite and He would judge your desire. Does that make sense.

But, in this day and age, especially in modern cultures, knowing Jesus is so easy, that I would have to say everyone has had the opportunity to accept or reject His teachings.

There really aren’t that many choices. Paganism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam…

If you look at each of those you can see that three of them stem from the same beginning, one of them is not about loving God, but about becoming him, two are about many lesser gods (pantheism)…

Only one offers a God that you can have a relationship with. And that relationship is where you’ll find the “truth”…

All faiths have elements of truth in them. This is why respect others right to follow them. If God gave them free will, we must honor it also. But only one is true in every aspect.

Follow Hinduism to it’s conclusion. Or Buddhism.

You’ll see the flaws.

Are all Hindus condemned to Hell? Who knows.
JML would say that she knows, but I don’t think anyone can know.

We know we have been told. Therefore we are responsible for that knowledge. If we accept it, then we are held to it. For me, who knows the truth, I must believe in Jesus. If I reject Him at this point I am consciously rejecting Him. But if a Hindu rejects Him, never having known Him? Who can say?

You are familiar with Christianity. You don’t have the same excuses. Now you may not have studied it, or looked at it very deeply, but you have access to it. You will be judged much more harshly than, say, a Muslim raised in the faith. But I will be judged much more harshly than you, because more has been revealed to me. God help the Pope! lol.

Does that make sense?

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 1:36 PM

I don’t know about you, but although I detest sin and any offense against God, there is still a small part of me that is attracted to it. In fact, it can be very tempting sometimes. And this is what purgatory does. It takes that love of God and purifies it, makes it absolute.

Bobby, Romans talks about this a lot. This is our flesh fighting our spirit. Once our flesh is dead, our spirit lives on, and is completely free of sin. We do not have sin anymore once we leave our body of flesh, if we have been “born again” of the Spirit.

21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 1:36 PM

Never said anything about not attaining salvation. Never said we wouldn’t spend eternity with Jesus.
Simply said that we go to purgatory first.

Mk, the Bible says that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. If the Lord isn’t present in Purgatory, then how could we be there after dying?

Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 1:40 PM

JLM,

If Jesus has removed our sin and the sin is the muck and you will walk in green pastures and arrive at the door with no mud/sin on your shoes, are you claiming that you no longer sin? That because you believe in Jesus, you have become sinless?

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 1:43 PM

MK,

yes to an extent. But because Jesus is “prevalent” in culture it still does not seem to be fair to me for them to “reject it” in the true sense of the word. If that makes sense. Someone grew up in the Muslim faith or the Buddhist faith with the Christian faith around them, but they have understood their faiths more and are therefore likely to accept these because to them it sounds like the truth. You say you “know” the truth, but these people think the same way. The ultimate goal is to be closer to God, so why wouldn’t God show them mercy for trying as hard as they can to get there?

It’s like I said for the analogy. It’s like me never showing my face but when people come knocking on my door, I say, “well you should have gotten the message from so-and-so. Sorry. Go away to hell forever.” Where is justice in this?
Posted by: prettyinpink at February 25, 2008 1:44 PM

Bethany,

We don’t believe that the body and spirit are meant to be separated. We believe that they will spend eternity together. We don’t view the body as something to be endured until we can get rid of it. We embrace our bodies along with our souls.

The separation is temporary. It is not our actual bodies that cause us to sin, but our animal instints.

Being both spritual like the angels and physical like the animals, makes humans unique. I don’t believe that we become “angels” when we die. We remain fully human, and for us, that means bodies.

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 1:45 PM

Bethany,

It doesn’t say at the “moment” of death. Simply, after death. We also believe that we will be with Him after death. After purgatory.

Nowhere does it say, immediately upon death.

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 1:50 PM

If they have Christ in their lives, they arn’t concerned with the material world. Of course material things are nice, but when you put complete trust in the Lord, He will provide you what you need.

JLM 1:29,

Someone who is hungry and suffering in poverty is concerned with surviving. What I’m trying to say is that life is not all “beautiful pastures” to ALL those who accept Christ, as you are suggesting. Christ tells us there will be suffering here on earth, even for those who love Him.

Posted by: Janet at February 25, 2008 1:50 PM

We don’t believe that the body and spirit are meant to be separated. We believe that they will spend eternity together. We don’t view the body as something to be endured until we can get rid of it. We embrace our bodies along with our souls.

Why? I don’t understand. It’s so clearly there in the Bible. Yes, our bodies have a purpose -on this earth- but in heaven, they don’t.

Can you explain to me what you think Paul meant when he said what he said in Romans, since you see it through a different lens than I do?

Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 1:51 PM

Oh, let me clarify that. Our earthly bodies dont’ matter in heaven. We receive new, heavenly bodies, perfect and without sin, immortal.
Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 1:52 PM

It doesn’t say at the “moment” of death. Simply, after death. We also believe that we will be with Him after death. After purgatory.
Nowhere does it say, immediately upon death.

To be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord.

That sounds to me quite clearly that if we (our souls) are not present in our bodies, then our souls are present with the Lord.
I don’t understand how you can separate it and say there is a space? I am trying desperately to see how you see it and I just can’t, MK.
Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 1:56 PM

Bethany,

“Bobby, Romans talks about this a lot. This is our flesh fighting our spirit. Once our flesh is dead, our spirit lives on, and is completely free of sin. We do not have sin anymore once we leave our body of flesh, if we have been “born again” of the Spirit.”

I know you’re not trying to say this, but your interpretation of the Romans passage somewhat implies body-soul dualism. We are a body-soul integration. It seems as if you are saying that the flesh is holding us back. Now St. Paul talks about how the dead shall be raised in 1 Cor 15, and our bodies will be resurrected. If that is the case, then it is not the flesh that is evil. So even though our souls can not sin anymore (but I think we believe this for perhaps different reasons), it still has to “account” for it’s behaviour. Otherwise, we seem to be saying that the soul “takes no resposability for what the body did during my life on earth.” But they are an integration, a fusion. Do you see what I mean about this idea leading to dualism?

“Mk, the Bible says that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. If the Lord isn’t present in Purgatory, then how could we be there after dying?”

Be careful here. I think you’re talking about 2 Cor 5:6-8, correct? However, the KJV states

6Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

8We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

You quoted it a little bit differently than it is stated, and I think there is a big difference.

Also, purgatory is not away from God. In fact, it is God’s love that purifies us in purgatory. It’s like the foyer to heaven. God love you, friend.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 1:56 PM

After my father-in-law died, my wife had a vivid dream of her father when he was dying (lying bed after his stoke). Then, during the dream he appeared to her to in his newly formed restored body, telling my wife not to worry about him and that he was Ok.

Posted by: jasper at February 25, 2008 2:00 PM

Oh that’s beautiful jasper! Did she tell you what the resurrected body looked like????

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 2:03 PM

Someone who is hungry and suffering in poverty is concerned with surviving. What I’m trying to say is that life is not all “beautiful pastures” to ALL those who accept Christ, as you are suggesting. Christ tells us there will be suffering here on earth, even for those who love Him.

To someone who accepts Christ and trusts on Him, they will not have a need to worry about tomorrow;

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 2:03 PM

PIP,

It’s like I said for the analogy. It’s like me never showing my face but when people come knocking on my door, I say, “well you should have gotten the message from so-and-so. Sorry. Go away to hell forever.” Where is justice in this?

You’re confusing justice with mercy. Mercy is when the deserved punishment is removed or lessened, but justice is when it is doled out.

The rules have been stated. To ignore them is to do so at your own risk. Mercy would mean that you would be allowed entry anyway. Justice, by definition, would mean that you weren’t.

Now Saint Faustina is know for “The Divine Mercy” She had visions of Jesus for years. You may have seen this picture that Jesus asked her to have painted…

She says that He told her that now, this time period, is the time of His greatest mercy throughout all of history, and that it would be easier to become a believer now than ever. But that soon, very soon, His mercy would end and His justice would begin. I think this is why you hear such an urgency in our voices.

You can read more about Divine Mercy here:

http://www.divinemercysunday.com/UnderstandDM.pdf

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 2:03 PM

If Jesus has removed our sin and the sin is the muck and you will walk in green pastures and arrive at the door with no mud/sin on your shoes, are you claiming that you no longer sin? That because you believe in Jesus, you have become sinless?

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 1:43 PM

Not sinless, mk, forgiven for sins. That precious work was done on the Cross over 2000 years ago, for past, present and future sins. I was made righteous in His eyes the moment I accepted Him. Once Christ is in me, nothing can seperate me from Him or Him from me.

He didn’t say He would come and go from my life depending on if I sin or not, He said He will never leave me. Once righteous, always righteous. That is what God said. (not in those exact words, though!) He didn’t say righteous, then unrighteous, then righteous again until I was “good enough”. He said that I was made righteous the moment my sins were paid for.

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 2:03 PM

I know you’re not trying to say this, but your interpretation of the Romans passage somewhat implies body-soul dualism. We are a body-soul integration. It seems as if you are saying that the flesh is holding us back. Now St. Paul talks about how the dead shall be raised in 1 Cor 15, and our bodies will be resurrected. If that is the case, then it is not the flesh that is evil. So even though our souls can not sin anymore (but I think we believe this for perhaps different reasons), it still has to “account” for it’s behaviour. Otherwise, we seem to be saying that the soul “takes no resposability for what the body did during my life on earth.” But they are an integration, a fusion. Do you see what I mean about this idea leading to dualism?

Bobby, if we must bear the responsibility for our sins, then what did Jesus die for?
Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 2:05 PM

Bethany,

Give me the whole scripture passage.

Also, why can’t Jesus be present in purgatory? He can be anywhere and everywhere.

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 2:06 PM

You’re confusing justice with mercy. Mercy is when the deserved punishment is removed or lessened, but justice is when it is doled out.

Well said, MK.
Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 2:07 PM

Bethany,
Give me the whole scripture passage.

1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. 12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 2:08 PM

Hi there JLM. I have to ask, then, how you understand much of 1 Cor 9, particularly verse 27. St. Paul pummels his body lest he should be disqualified. If anyone had an assurance of salvation, surely it would be Paul. What do you understand his worry to be? Thanks, God love you.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 2:09 PM

Bethany,

Bobby, if we must bear the responsibility for our sins, then what did Jesus die for?

Again, you misunderstand our understanding of sin. We believe there are two remedies for every sin. Jesus forgiveness, which allows to share eternity with Him, and the temporal remittance, which is the “cleansing”. This is because we believe that as a community our sin affects everyone. My sin harms people I’ll never meet. Evil is loosed/fed.
I must do something to offset this.

Original sin could NOT be erased. Nothing we could do could remove it. His death did that. But any sins committed by us after baptism, must be offset.

Yes, He took the punishment due to us. That punishment is death. And because of Him, we will not die. But that does not mean we will not be punished/cleansed. Death is the wages of sin. Death is eradicated by His death. But only Death.
Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 2:13 PM

Bethany,

Give me the numbers…I need ENGLISH!

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 2:16 PM

MK,

I never saw Jesus appear to me, and I’m sure many people get to see Him either.

If we want to talk mercy, where is the mercy in rejecting someone who tries their whole life to reach God but do it in a different way? Wouldn’t it be like failing a test over a subject we were never taught?

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 25, 2008 2:16 PM

Also, why can’t Jesus be present in purgatory? He can be anywhere and everywhere.

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 2:06 PM

Because He has no sin, MK. Come on. Are you saying that Jesus has sin to supposedly burn off???

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 2:16 PM

I’m saying that Jesus can be anywhere. Sin or no sin. He spent 33 years on earth didn’t he? He can stop into purgatory for visit, sure.

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 2:18 PM

This is because we believe that as a community our sin affects everyone. My sin harms people I’ll never meet. Evil is loosed/fed.
I must do something to offset this.

But the wages of sin IS death. Death is the final payment for all of our sins, no matter how great or small, MK. On earth, I completely agree with you- we must face the natural consequences on earth for things that we do- such as a smoker will receive the consequences of smoking if he develops lung cancer- an excessive gambler will receive the consequences of his gambling- misery, poverty, etc.
But once we are dead, there is no more payment for sin.
This is what it consistently says through Romans, 1 Corinthians, Acts, the 1-2-3 Peters, 1-2-3 John, etc…
Can you show me anywhere in the Bible where it says that we must still face consequences for our sin after death, besides the judgement of hell or heaven?
Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 2:18 PM

Bethany,

I posted 50 scripture passages doing just that, along with the explanations. Did you read them?

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 2:20 PM

If we want to talk mercy, where is the mercy in rejecting someone who tries their whole life to reach God but do it in a different way? Wouldn’t it be like failing a test over a subject we were never taught?

It would be more like failing a test that we had been given the book to study from, and decided not to read and learn, and ended up failing as a result.
Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 2:21 PM

Actually to amend that last analogy:

Say you were interested in psychology so you devote your life to it, in its personal application and the application of aiding people.

Then in finals week, you are handed a calculus test. You have never taken it, heard of it but never really understood it, and are told if you fail it, you will never be able to study psychology again. In fact, you must never return to education again, but live on the streets for the rest of your life. Where is your professor’s mercy?

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 25, 2008 2:21 PM

Death is not the final payment. Death is supposed to be the final payment. By all rights we should all be in Hell. His death took away our death. Not our punishment. Only our death.

Here are those passages again…

I. A State After Death of Suffering and Forgiveness

Matt. 5:26,18:34; Luke 12:58-59 Jesus teaches us, Come to terms with your opponent or you will be handed over to the judge and thrown into prison. You will not get out until you have paid the last penny. The word opponent (antidiko) is likely a reference to the devil (see the same word for devil in 1 Pet. 5:8) who is an accuser against man (c.f. Job 1.6-12; Zech. 3.1; Rev. 12.10), and God is the judge. If we have not adequately dealt with satan and sin in this life, we will be held in a temporary state called a prison, and we wont get out until we have satisfied our entire debt to God. This prison is purgatory where we will not get out until the last penny is paid.

Matt. 5:48 – Jesus says, “be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect.” We are only made perfect through purification, and in Catholic teaching, this purification, if not completed on earth, is continued in a transitional state we call purgatory.

Matt. 12:32 Jesus says, And anyone who says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but no one who speaks against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven either in this world or in the next. Jesus thus clearly provides that there is forgiveness after death. The phrase in the next (from the Greek en to mellonti) generally refers to the afterlife (see, for example, Mark 10.30; Luke 18.30; 20.34-35; Eph. 1.21 for similar language). Forgiveness is not necessary in heaven, and there is no forgiveness in hell. This proves that there is another state after death, and the Church for 2,000 years has called this state purgatory.

Luke 12:47-48 – when the Master comes (at the end of time), some will receive light or heavy beatings but will live. This state is not heaven or hell, because in heaven there are no beatings, and in hell we will no longer live with the Master.

Luke 16:19-31 – in this story, we see that the dead rich man is suffering but still feels compassion for his brothers and wants to warn them of his place of suffering. But there is no suffering in heaven or compassion in hell because compassion is a grace from God and those in hell are deprived from God’s graces for all eternity. So where is the rich man? He is in purgatory.

1 Cor. 15:29-30 – Paul mentions people being baptized on behalf of the dead, in the context of atoning for their sins (people are baptized on the deads behalf so the dead can be raised). These people cannot be in heaven because they are still with sin, but they also cannot be in hell because their sins can no longer be atoned for. They are in purgatory. These verses directly correspond to 2 Macc. 12:44-45 which also shows specific prayers for the dead, so that they may be forgiven of their sin.

Phil. 2:10 – every knee bends to Jesus, in heaven, on earth, and “under the earth” which is the realm of the righteous dead, or purgatory.

2 Tim. 1:16-18 – Onesiphorus is dead but Paul asks for mercy on him on that day. Pauls use of that day demonstrates its eschatological usage (see, for example, Rom. 2.5,16; 1 Cor. 1.8; 3.13; 5.5; 2 Cor. 1.14; Phil. 1.6,10; 2.16; 1 Thess. 5.2,4,5,8; 2 Thess. 2.2,3; 2 Tim. 4.8). Of course, there is no need for mercy in heaven, and there is no mercy given in hell. Where is Onesiphorus? He is in purgatory.

Heb. 12:14 – without holiness no one will see the Lord. We need final sanctification to attain true holiness before God, and this process occurs during our lives and, if not completed during our lives, in the transitional state of purgatory.

Heb. 12:23 – the spirits of just men who died in godliness are “made” perfect. They do not necessarily arrive perfect. They are made perfect after their death. But those in heaven are already perfect, and those in hell can no longer be made perfect. These spirits are in purgatory.

1 Peter 3:19; 4:6 – Jesus preached to the spirits in the “prison.” These are the righteous souls being purified for the beatific vision.

Rev. 21:4 – God shall wipe away their tears, and there will be no mourning or pain, but only after the coming of the new heaven and the passing away of the current heaven and earth. Note the elimination of tears and pain only occurs at the end of time. But there is no morning or pain in heaven, and God will not wipe away their tears in hell. These are the souls experiencing purgatory.

Rev. 21:27 – nothing unclean shall enter heaven. The word unclean comes from the Greek word koinon which refers to a spiritual corruption. Even the propensity to sin is spiritually corrupt, or considered unclean, and must be purified before entering heaven. It is amazing how many Protestants do not want to believe in purgatory. Purgatory exists because of the mercy of God. If there were no purgatory, this would also likely mean no salvation for most people. God is merciful indeed.

Luke 23:43 many Protestants argue that, because Jesus sent the good thief right to heaven, there can be no purgatory. There are several rebuttals. First, when Jesus uses the word “paradise, He did not mean heaven. Paradise, from the Hebrew “sheol,” meant the realm of the righteous dead. This was the place of the dead who were destined for heaven, but who were captive until the Lord’s resurrection. Second, since there was no punctuation in the original manuscript, Jesus statement I say to you today you will be with me in paradise does not mean there was a comma after the first word you. This means Jesus could have said, I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise (meaning, Jesus could have emphasized with exclamation his statement was today or now, and that some time in the future the good thief would go to heaven). Third, even if the thief went straight to heaven, this does not prove there is no purgatory (those who are fully sanctified in this life perhaps by a bloody and repentant death could be ready for admission in to heaven).

Gen. 50:10; Num. 20:29; Deut. 34:8 – here are some examples of ritual prayer and penitent mourning for the dead for specific periods of time. The Jewish understanding of these practices was that the prayers freed the souls from their painful state of purification, and expedited their journey to God.

Baruch 3:4 – Baruch asks the Lord to hear the prayers of the dead of Israel. Prayers for the dead are unnecessary in heaven and unnecessary in hell. These dead are in purgatory.

Zech. 9:11 – God, through the blood of His covenant, will set those free from the waterless pit, a spiritual abode of suffering which the Church calls purgatory.

2 Macc. 12:43-45 – the prayers for the dead help free them from sin and help them to the reward of heaven. Those in heaven have no sin, and those in hell can no longer be freed from sin. They are in purgatory. Luther was particularly troubled with these verses because he rejected the age-old teaching of purgatory. As a result, he removed Maccabees from the canon of the Bible.
Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 1:18 PM
Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 2:22 PM

“Bobby, if we must bear the responsibility for our sins, then what did Jesus die for?”

Right. So without getting into trying to prove my claim, let me illustrate my claim to better help understanding (this will be similar to JLM’s analogy) Before Jesus’ work on the cross, there was an iron-clad door outside of heaven. No human could opewn it, no one could ever dream of opening it. But it was Jesus who eventually came and unlocked that door as a total act of giving to us. We did nothing to merit his opening of that door. Now the door is open, but we have to choose either to go through the door or not. Finally, those of us who choose to accept the free unmerited gift by going through the door may have to stop and wipe off our shoes in the foyer, which is purgatory. Some have clean shoes already so they can walk directly in.

So what Chrtist’s work accomplished was reconciling us with heaven, inviting us over, so to speak. However, we have to be worthy, and he did that for us too. I mean, we believe that purgatory is his provision. But we see salvation as a process, which is somewhat the heart of our disagreement. Calvin (I think it was him) was quite insightful when he said that teh issue of justification is the pillar on which the church stands or falls. I’m really beginnning to see that almost all of the Catholic/Protestant disagreements all boil down to our understanding of justification. Man, good stuff. God love you.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 2:22 PM

“It would be more like failing a test that we had been given the book to study from, and decided not to read and learn, and ended up failing as a result. “

Or given several subjects saying there is only one you can take, you deciding to take one, and then find out later you chose the wrong subject to study. Sorry! You fail and can never return.

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 25, 2008 2:23 PM

“Oh that’s beautiful jasper! Did she tell you what the resurrected body looked like????”

I just called my wife to ask her…LOL.

Yes, his body was surrounded by a white mist. She just saw his face and said it was similiar to his high-school picture.(much younger).

Posted by: jasper at February 25, 2008 2:24 PM

Right. So without getting into trying to prove my claim, let me illustrate my claim to better help understanding (this will be similar to JLM’s analogy) Before Jesus’ work on the cross, there was an iron-clad door outside of heaven. No human could opewn it, no one could ever dream of opening it. But it was Jesus who eventually came and unlocked that door as a total act of giving to us. We did nothing to merit his opening of that door. Now the door is open, but we have to choose either to go through the door or not. Finally, those of us who choose to accept the free unmerited gift by going through the door may have to stop and wipe off our shoes in the foyer, which is purgatory. Some have clean shoes already so they can walk directly in.

You don’t believe that Jesus death was to cover our sins, but it was simply analogous to opening a door so that we could get into heaven if we work to cleanse our own sins? Is that an accurate representation of what you said?

Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 2:28 PM

Or given several subjects saying there is only one you can take, you deciding to take one, and then find out later you chose the wrong subject to study. Sorry! You fail and can never return.

Do you not think that God is powerful enough to get the message out to everyone, PIP?

Are you worried that you do not know for sure which is true for yourself? If you are, I would suggest in all kindness that you pray, seek, beg God to help you to know which is the correct one. Pray while reading the Bible. Ask him to show you what is correct. He will show you if you are willing to listen to his still, small voice.
Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 2:30 PM

I hope that I represent it correctly so I can know how to respond. :)
Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 2:31 PM

Bobby,

His life is like running a race to get the prize. The prize being his reward in heaven. Not the earthly, corruptable one, but the Heavenly, incorruptable one. Although it may be difficult at times (the race), he keeps running to achieve that great reward that is waiting for him in Heaven. The race is him preaching the gospel to his generation, so that it will be passed down to the next generation, and so on, and so on.

His spreading the gospel is like dropping a rock into water. The ripple effect (each generation)will eventually reach the shorline (Judgement Day) at which time, the race is over, and he will receive his Heavenly, incorruptible reward.

I don’t believe it was about his salvation, Bobby,

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 2:31 PM

MK 2:22 thank you…I’ll take a look at all of those and get back with you. It’ll probably take some time! LOL
Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 2:33 PM

I don’t believe it was about his salvation, Bobby,

That is what I believe, because it would have to contradict all of the other stuff that he said in the majority of the text of his books, if it were referring to his salvation. We have to read what he said in the light of everything else he said, in order to have a full understanding of what it meant. It we read that passage, and it seems to disagree with the other passages, either it contradicts, or we’re reading it wrong.

Over and over in Romans Paul states that salvation is a gift, that we can not earn it by works of any kind. If he meant that then why would he go against it by then saying that we have to work for it?
Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2008 2:35 PM

PIP,

Actually to amend that last analogy:

Say you were interested in psychology so you devote your life to it, in its personal application and the application of aiding people.

Then in finals week, you are handed a calculus test. You have never taken it, heard of it but never really understood it, and are told if you fail it, you will never be able to study psychology again. In fact, you must never return to education again, but live on the streets for the rest of your life. Where is your professor’s mercy?
Posted by: prettyinpink at February 25, 2008 2:21 PM

But that would be like the Hindu who didn’t know anything about Jesus. What you are asking is, what if I heard about it, but didn’t believe it?

What if you were given three history books and told that only one of them contained the truth. You would be tested, but the answers, the correct answers could only be found in one of them. You’d have to study all three and really learn your material in order to discern which text contained the truth.

Same here. You have to research all of the faiths that attract you, learn you material, and then discern which one is the truth. Some people don’t need to do that, but others, like you (and me) won’t be happy just accepting someones else “word for it”…so study the bible. Study the catechism. Read, read, read…

You’ll come to know the truth in time.

But simply dismissing it out of hand because other people claim they have the truth isn’t gonna cut it.

Look at your previous stance on abortion. You were all for it. Thought everyones view had merit. Then you spent months on Jills site (and others), read, read, read and came to the conclusion that we were right. Abortion is wrong.

You discerned the truth there. Why not here?

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 2:38 PM

“You don’t believe that Jesus death was to cover our sins, but it was simply analogous to opening a door so that we could get into heaven if we work to cleanse our own sins? Is that an accurate representation of what you said?”

Not quite. You said “cover sins” and I don’t know if you’re referring to Luther’s idea about “dung covered in snow” but that is not our understanding. Jesus death was atonement for sins. For whatever reason (I don’t want to get into atonement theories) the sins of mankind needed atonement. Christ atoned for our sins.

Okay, so what does that mean? It means that he merited for us the ability to become righteous. This is a big difference as far as our understandings of justification go. So our sins are not covered, and God simply looks favorably at us, we ACTUALLY ARE made good. So if anything, we give Jesus too much credit. We actually believe that he can make, the worst sinner of them all, good. And hence, Christ merited for us our ability to merit.

Let’s see, I’ve somewhat digressed. We can not work to cleanse our own sins. That is the fire of God’s love that cleanses our sins. Like I said before, Purgatory is part of what Jesus merited for us on the cross. It is the final step in our sanctification that Jesus merited for us.

I don’t know if that clears anything up, but there is some more detail of our understanding.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 2:39 PM

Bethany at 2:35 PM

Exactly.

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 2:40 PM

I simply think there are people more deserving to get into heaven than I ever will be but according to the Christian religion they will not be there as if what they did means nothing.

I think this is an unmerciful position. If someone died a Buddhist and devoter her life to helping other people but still didn’t make it to heaven, then what in the world is our life here worth?!

Again how could I rejoice in a salvation when others are perishing? Especially when we have no proof of who is right or wrong on this world anyway?

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 25, 2008 2:40 PM

That is the fire of God’s love that cleanses our sins. Like I said before, Purgatory is part of what Jesus merited for us on the cross. It is the final step in our sanctification that Jesus merited for us.

Bobby,
Then what were all of the scriptures in the bible that said that His blood did that, there for then?
Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 2:42 PM

hi JLM,

about scripture – because Christ Jesus is a living being His word is effective now …. even if the Word does not change and grow, we as recipients do change our listening abilities. The use of “Word” for ‘Logos’ (the original Greek) is brilliant because a word-spoken is always paired with-a-word-listened-to. The use of “Word” describes God not only as Truth but as Communicator. It is not about need but about the very nature of God… read if possible ‘God In Search of Man’ Abraham Heschel. God’s salvation is a response to His listening.

There is a truism that God gave us one mouth but two ears. Be quick to listen but slow to answer. Very often people get angry at Christians who seemed to have words so fast. Do we take time to listen? We sometimes profess that ‘Jesus is the ANSWER … long before any question is asked. In doing so do we not stop communication … a hug, a kiss, a tear shed, laughter, a gaze lots and lots of non-verbal Word … not written anywhere.

@Dougster,

Like spacetime the eternal now is hard to fathom. The best book I’ve read on this is ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’. You make a troubling fixed problem … the now is not a very short past. All words are of the past. These are ‘memory’ and the future is also in our heads exclusively and is called imagination. Often we make a very quick transition from one to the other and think we’ve experienced ‘now’. Like American tourists seeking out a MacDonald’s in Paris, France, we’ve missed the ‘now’. ‘Take time to smell the roses’ is an axiom used for this!

‘Now’ is the only actuality that exists, but it is the universe and everything in it bears uniqueness. God is Lord of the universe still because sin is quite often linked with memory and imagination which are parts of human thought/virtuality.

Posted by: Anonymous at February 25, 2008 2:44 PM

“and then discern which one is the truth.”

If there is no evidence or guidelines either way how could each discernment be said to be right or wrong? If I have to study all three books for the test, why not take the main idea for each and when the test comes I know all the stuff anyway? Will I be penalized for discerning which sounds right but seeing the merits in the other books?

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 25, 2008 2:45 PM

Seems to me Corinthians 9:27 through 10:22 pretty much covers the Eucharist, once saved can become unsaved, purgatory…excellent chapter!

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 2:46 PM

Pip,

No, that is what we mean by respecting other faiths. All faiths have some truth. You may take those truths and keep them. Kahlil Gibran, Ghandi…all kinds of people have all kinds of things that are worth knowing. We’re talking about the fullness of truth tho.

There may be things in all three books that say the same things. This would be a clue. But it is where they diverge that you must discern the truth.

As long as you know which one is the true History book, then feel free to browse the others.

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 2:50 PM

Bethany and LJM,

“Over and over in Romans Paul states that salvation is a gift, that we can not earn it by works of any kind. If he meant that then why would he go against it by then saying that we have to work for it? “

Bethany, you said some great stuff in the paragraph above this paragraph (which I didn’t post). But you hit on a good point. The Paul of 1 Cor can not contradict the Paul of Romans. So let me tell you how we understand Romans.

Let’s look at a famous text for “faith alone” Romans 3:28.

28Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Now, the very next verse reads

29Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:

30Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

In fact, in the entire letter to the Romans, it is clear that Paul is discussing with the Judiazers whether or not those who are Christians need to be circumcized, follow kosher laws, etc. That is clear from verse 29-30. See St. Paul uses this phrase “works of the law” or “deeds of the law” which many people interpret as “good works” or “corporal works of mercy.” But that understanding of works is nowhere found in the context Romans. All the works he refers to are circumcision and other now meaningless Jewish ceremonial laws. So “works of the law” is not the same thing as when Catholics use the word “works” as in “faith and works.” This perfectly makes sense of chapter 2 now.

I listen and read a lot of RC Sproul and other Protestant scholars, and I have never once heard them address this understanding of Romans. Paul never discusses corporal works of mercy. That’s why this phrase “works of the law” can not be works of mercy. Even in Romans 4 where we have the famous Abraham story, his point is that Abraham was justified before he was circumcised. So that’s the way we understand Romans. God love you.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 2:51 PM


Then what were all of the scriptures in the bible that said that His blood did that, there for then?”

JLM, are you asking for scripture or saying how do I understand certain scripture passages?

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 2:53 PM

MK,

how would you know to discern them? Seems like searching and picking from the “history books” is just a gamble.

Posted by: prettyinpink at February 25, 2008 2:54 PM

Bobby,
Ok, that sounds great. Post a few scriptures regarding what the purpose of the sacrifice of Jesus’ blood was for, and then show me how that blood sacrifice was not good enough to pay for ALL sin. The challenge: use the KJV.

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 2:58 PM

JLM,
“show me how that blood sacrifice was not good enough to pay for ALL sin.”

You still don’t quite understand the doctrine of purgatory. Christ’s blood atoned for our sins. All of them. Purgatory is to be cleansed of any attachment we have to sin. Not sin itself, but attachment.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 3:04 PM

Plus MK posted many passages including 1 Cor 3:15 above that show that the doctrine of purgatory is scriptural.
Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 3:05 PM

Bobby,

Explain this attachment to sin, then. How many parts does sin have? If Jesus paid for ALL sin, wouldn’t that include your “attachment” part also?

Also, can you please show me, by scripture, where it tells us that we have parts of sin that still have to be removed, and also scripture where Jesus tells us the same?

Be careful that you don’t use scripture involving animal blood sacrifices from the Old Testament, though. These were not good enough to pay for sin. Only Jesus’ blood did that.

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 3:10 PM

Bobby,

From my previous post:

John 5:24
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

The idea of purgatory negates what God Himself has said. You would have to wipe out much of the new testament, including Jesus own words, if the concept of purgatory was real.

The Catholic Church itself ADMITS that purgatory is their own invention. The Council of Trent took place in 1545 and approved this superstitious belief along with many others. The decrees were made by the council of MEN, not the God of the Bible. And those who would refuse to believe the decrees of Rome were under the threat of “anathema,” and the curse has not yet been lifted to this day.

Although it may “sound good” to you, it was still an invention BY MAN, and NOT by God.

And no, 1 Corinthians 3:15 does not “prove” purgatory. Read the whole chapter. Heck, the whole book. Bethany has already explained this chapter in previous threads.

Purgatory cannot be “proven” because purgatory was and still is an invention of the Catholic church. It was not taught by any of the disciples, Bobby. The “idea” came about in the year 1545.

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 3:16 PM

“I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper” (Luke 12:59).

Christ refers to the sinner who “will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matt. 12:32), suggesting that one can be freed after death of the consequences of ones sins. Similarly, Paul tells us that, when we are judged, each mans work will be tried. And what happens if a righteous mans work fails the test? “He will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire” (1 Cor 3:15). Now this loss, this penalty, cant refer to consignment to hell, since no one is saved there; and heaven cant be meant, since there is no suffering (“fire”) there. The Catholic doctrine of purgatory alone explains this passage.

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 3:19 PM

“Explain this attachment to sin, then. How many parts does sin have? If Jesus paid for ALL sin, wouldn’t that include your “attachment” part also?”

Sin does not have any parts. It is not a being. The attachment to sin is a result of original sin that we inherent from our parents, known as concupiscence. Being attached to something is not the same thing as the object of action. Even if I don’t sin, I have the tendency to want to sin. We all do. We all do. That is concupiscence. I am tempted to look at pornography on the internet. I hate pornography, it is vile and evil, yet my hedonistic tendencies make me attracted to it. Do I look at it? No, hence I don’t sin. Do I have a disordered desire to want to look at it? Yes. But that is not a sin. So it is that kind of thing that we will be cleansed of in purgatory.

“Also, can you please show me, by scripture, where it tells us that we have parts of sin that still have to be removed, and also scripture where Jesus tells us the same?”

Again, MK already posted many scripture passages. Now she posted a lot, granted. But here’s the idea, JLM. You can not point to one passage in scripture to convince someone 100% that God is three persons in one nature. This has to be gleamed from several different texts; one has to show that the Father is God, Jesus is God, and the HS is God. Then one has to show that there is only one God. After that, we come up with theology that says that all those passgaes put together infer what we call the doctrine of the trinity. For your second question, the answer is from the inferences given what we know about the atonement, salvation, and purgatory from scripture.

There are many things that are not written down that Jesus said and did as St John mentions at the end of his gospel. No where in the bible does the bible teach that everything we must believe has to be clearly stated in the bible. Jesus left us a Church to teach in his name so that there wouldn’t be these kinds of disputes. Even our forefathers when they established the USA didn’t just hand us a constitution and say “here, everyone interpret this for yourselves in the spirit of George Washington.” No, they set up a hierarchical establishment to ensure that laws would be understood properly. So that is ultimately where we Catholics obtain our understanding of doctrine; through the deposit of faith handed down by the apostles to all generations. God love you.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 3:26 PM

“The Catholic Church itself ADMITS that purgatory is their own invention.”

The CC admits no such thing. Show me where they admit this. Also, purgatory was understood by the early church. Here are several quotes from church fathers.

http://catholic.com/library/Roots_of_Purgatory.asp

So purgatory was much earlier than 1545.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 3:29 PM

“And those who would refuse to believe the decrees of Rome were under the threat of “anathema,” and the curse has not yet been lifted to this day.”

A curse… Wow, okay. Anathema is simply a way of stating that what is about to be pronounced is de fide. I strongly recommend you start obtaining information about what Catholics teach from Catholic sources.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 3:32 PM

Whenever a date is set for the “invention” of purgatory, you can point to historical evidence to show the doctrine was in existence before that date. Besides, if at some point the doctrine was pulled out of a clerical hat, why does ecclesiastical history record no protest against it?

A study of the history of doctrines indicates that Christians in the first centuries were up in arms (sometimes quite literally) if anyone suggested the least change in beliefs. They were extremely conservative people who tested a doctrines truth by asking, Was this believed by our ancestors? Was it handed on from the apostles? Surely belief in purgatory would be considered a great change, if it had not been believed from the firstso where are the records of protests?

They dont exist. There is no hint at all, in the oldest writings available to us (or in later ones, for that matter), that “true believers” in the immediate post-apostolic years spoke of purgatory as a novel doctrine. They must have understood that the oral teaching of the apostles, what Catholics call tradition, and the Bible not only failed to contradict the doctrine, but, in fact, confirmed it.

It is no wonder, then, that those who deny the existence of purgatory tend to touch upon only briefly the history of the belief. They prefer to claim that the Bible speaks only of heaven and hell. Wrong. It speaks plainly of a third condition, commonly called the limbo of the Fathers, where the just who had died before the redemption were waiting for heaven to be opened to them. After his death and before his resurrection, Christ visited those experiencing the limbo of the Fathers and preached to them the good news that heaven would now be opened to them (1 Pet. 3:19). These people thus were not in heaven, but neither were they experiencing the torments of hell.

Some have speculated that the limbo of the Fathers is the same as purgatory. This may or may not be the case. However, even if the limbo of the Fathers is not purgatory, its existence shows that a temporary, intermediate state is not contrary to Scripture. Look at it this way. If the limbo of the Fathers was purgatory, then this one verse directly teaches the existence of purgatory. If the limbo of the Fathers was a different temporary state, then the Bible at least says such a state can exist. It proves there can be more than just heaven and hell.
Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 3:36 PM

Bobby,
How about wikipedia? seems like an unbiased source to me!

Anathema

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anathema

If you so choose to use the least “rough” definition, that would be excommunication:

Anathema in the Roman Catholic Church

While “minor excommunication” could be incurred by associating with an excommunicate, and “major excommunication” could be imposed by any bishop, “anathema” was imposed by the Pope in a specific ceremony described in the Pontificale Romanum. Wearing a purple cope (the liturgical color of penitence) and holding a lighted candle, he, surrounded by twelve priests, also with lighted candles, pronounced the anathema with a formula that concluded with the phrase:

“Wherefore in the name of God the All-powerful, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and of all the saints, in virtue of the power which has been given us of binding and loosing in Heaven and on earth, we deprive (Name) himself and all his accomplices and all his abettors of the Communion of the Body and Blood of Our Lord, we separate him from the society of all Christians, we exclude him from the bosom of our Holy Mother the Church in Heaven and on earth, we declare him excommunicated and anathematized and we judge him condemned to eternal fire with Satan and his angels and all the reprobate, so long as he will not burst the fetters of the demon, do penance and satisfy the Church; we deliver him to Satan to mortify his body, that his soul may be saved on the day of judgment.” The priests responded: “Fiat, fiat, fiat” (Let it be done), and all, including the pontiff, cast their lighted candles on the ground.

Notice is sent in writing to the priests and neighbouring bishops of the name of the one who has been excommunicated and the cause of his excommunication, in order that they may have no communication with him. Although he is delivered to Satan and his angels, he can still, and is even bound to repent. The Pontifical gives the form for absolving him and reconciling him with the Church.[1]

You say, “simply a way of stating that what is about to be pronounced is de fide”

Sounds like a curse to me, Bobby.

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 3:44 PM

I love religion. Everyone who disagrees with me is just a big ***ktard!

It is not possible to have a serious religious discussion here, Jill. Later.
Posted by: Tony at February 25, 2008 3:51 PM

That is all true; however, that is not what is meant when it is used in councils. I use the word “anathema” to describe, say, a Catholic bishop parades around supporting abortion and doing all sorts of evil. And that’s one meaning. But when the council of Trent uses it (or any other ecumenical council) all it refers to is an infallible teaching.

So there are two different ways in which we use that word. The wiki article only mentions the one, but Trent uses it in the other way.

And I do want to apologize. I was a bit rude above. That was uncalled for, and I see now that it is easier to get it confused than I thought. Obviously we are both quite passionate, and it’s easy to get wound up. Mea culpa. God love you.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 3:53 PM

Tony, that was Laura who said that. She is not religious and she almost always tries to get a reaction out of people. I think LJM and I are and MK and Bethany are having a great discussion. Don’t let Laura makes you leave.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 3:56 PM

Bobby,
no apologies necessary. You guys are too sweet. You always think you’re rude when I never took it that way. All I see is passion on both sides. Passion is a good thing!

God bless you too, Bobby!

I’ll get back to some questions later on this evening.

:)

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 3:58 PM

Okay, I’m gonna go too. We can all just chill. This thing is so addictive. God love you, friend.

Wait, you’re not Anonymous from last week, are you?

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 4:02 PM

…I strongly recommend you start obtaining information about what Catholics teach from Catholic sources.,/i>

Bobby,

I followed your recommendation. The Roman Church proclaimed purgatory as an article of faith in 1439 at the Council of Florence, and it was confirmed by Trent in 1548.

Per your friend, Fr. John Corapi

http://www.fathercorapi.com/articledet.aspx?articleID=753244527

Purgatory is the final purification of a person who is on their way to heaven. Only the truly pure and perfected in grace can see God face to face. If we don’t achieve the perfection of charity on this earth the mercy of God provides for us a place of final purification. This is purgatory, and it is a doctrine of the faith. “The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent” (#1031). The church’s teaching is based upon certain texts of Scripture such as 2 Maccabees 12:46, remembering that only the church’s magisterium has the authority to authentically interpret Scripture, not any individual expressing what they think is “plausible.”

Now, Im not going to go there either (Maccabees?) , but Mr. Corapi seems to agree with me on the timeline of the invention, and also quotes that it was invented formulated.

Formulated = To devise or invent (the other definitions dont apply).
Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 4:14 PM

I’m impressed. (arg, I said I was gonna go… can’t stay away…)But by formulate, we mean the first definition that dictionary.com gives.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/formulate

I hate to get into semantics, but there really is a big difference between invent and formulate. I agree completely that it wasn’t hammered out until Trent. But the doctrine of the Trinity was not hammered out until 325. Now obviously that’s much, much closer to the time of Jesus, but the point is that these doctrines don’t really get hammered out until they are being challenged. I think that link I gave above shows that the idea was around in the early church, and it just took
time and challenges to really spell out exactly what we meant by purgatory. In fact, granted that even if you don’t accept the Maccabees as scripture, it still is a historical document which is good for getting a glimpse into how certain people lived or believed.

“The Roman Church proclaimed purgatory as an article of faith in 1439 at the Council of Florence, and it was confirmed by Trent in 1548.”

Also, we didn’t infallibly define the canon of scripture until that same council of Trent. So that just goes back to my above point that the Church is very slow to define something de fide. She usually saves it for only when there is confusion. Even something that we both agree on, the canon of scripture (barring Deuterocanonical books) the Church did not claim infallible until it absolutely HAD to.

But going to Father Corapi, that’s very impressive. You’ll begin to see that everything that I say is stolen from him :) God love you.
Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 25, 2008 4:39 PM

Bobby,
Ok, so it took 300 years to define Trinity (understandable), but some 1400+ years to decide that we would need to burn for a while before we could enter Heaven? This all coming from a religion that claims that it is the root of Christianity and the church that Jesus built? If there were such wonderful teachers at the beginning (they were there at that time) why did it take so long for your religion to formulate purgatory? I mean, we’re talking 1400+ years AFTER Christ! Or beter yet, this was only 600 years ago.

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 5:02 PM

If your religion’s formulation on purgatory is correct, isn’t where you go when you die supposedly your crux, or a HUGE part of Christianity? It wasn’t hammered out until Trent?

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 5:05 PM

JLM,

You don’t seem to be acknowledging my posts…
If you read this you will understand that what Bobby says is true. The acceptance of purgatory goes back to before Christianity. Jews believe in purification. It was never questioned until the 1400’s. So it was clarified and made doctrine. I don’t know why this is so important to you. You belong to a church (which is a HUGE part of your faith) that didn’t even exist til the 1500’s.

Whenever a date is set for the “invention” of purgatory, you can point to historical evidence to show the doctrine was in existence before that date. Besides, if at some point the doctrine was pulled out of a clerical hat, why does ecclesiastical history record no protest against it?
*
A study of the history of doctrines indicates that Christians in the first centuries were up in arms (sometimes quite literally) if anyone suggested the least change in beliefs. They were extremely conservative people who tested a doctrines truth by asking, Was this believed by our ancestors? Was it handed on from the apostles? Surely belief in purgatory would be considered a great change, if it had not been believed from the firstso where are the records of protests?
*
They dont exist. There is no hint at all, in the oldest writings available to us (or in later ones, for that matter), that “true believers” in the immediate post-apostolic years spoke of purgatory as a novel doctrine. They must have understood that the oral teaching of the apostles, what Catholics call tradition, and the Bible not only failed to contradict the doctrine, but, in fact, confirmed it.
*
It is no wonder, then, that those who deny the existence of purgatory tend to touch upon only briefly the history of the belief. They prefer to claim that the Bible speaks only of heaven and hell. Wrong. It speaks plainly of a third condition, commonly called the limbo of the Fathers, where the just who had died before the redemption were waiting for heaven to be opened to them. After his death and before his resurrection, Christ visited those experiencing the limbo of the Fathers and preached to them the good news that heaven would now be opened to them (1 Pet. 3:19). These people thus were not in heaven, but neither were they experiencing the torments of hell.
*
Some have speculated that the limbo of the Fathers is the same as purgatory. This may or may not be the case. However, even if the limbo of the Fathers is not purgatory, its existence shows that a temporary, intermediate state is not contrary to Scripture. Look at it this way. If the limbo of the Fathers was purgatory, then this one verse directly teaches the existence of purgatory. If the limbo of the Fathers was a different temporary state, then the Bible at least says such a state can exist. It proves there can be more than just heaven and hell.
Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 5:31 PM

JML,

Plus I have twice now, given you scripture passages that clearly show that purgatory was indeed an accepted belief in Jesus’ time, and yet you just ignored them.

Did you want scripture passages, or didn’t you?

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 5:33 PM

http://www.catholic.com/library/Purgatory.asp

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 5:35 PM

mk,
Regarding the scriptures that you gave me (thank you very much), well, for starters, there are seven of them in the first paragraph alone, that span the width of almost the beginning of the bible through Revelation. I am looking into each one of them that you posted, but it is going to take me time.

Please forgive me for not getting back to you quick enough. I promise you, I will though..

:)

Posted by: JLM at February 25, 2008 7:36 PM

JLM,

Take your time. I just didn’t know if you saw them, or dismissed them.

There were a lot of them, I agree.

I’m probably signing off for now, but look forward to you response.

God Bless,
MK

Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 8:04 PM

For all the particpants in this thread -thanks, very interesting discussion, I’ve learned alot…

Posted by: jasper at February 25, 2008 9:49 PM

“No effect is necessary. The Knowledge alone is enough. If our future is known to any entity, then that “is” you mentioned is the deal, rather than anything else. The “is” could not be altered.”

MK: Well, of course it could, up until the moment that “is” became “was”…I don’t see why His knowing means that we didn’t choose it.

No, MK – there is no “didn’t choose it.” “He” would know what you’re gonna pick. The “is” is what you pick. There is nothing else if it’s known already.
……

I can have an orange or an apple. I choose an orange. God knows that I will choose the orange. He knew I would choose the orange before I was born. Before there were oranges. He didn’t cause me to choose the orange. But he saw me choose it. He knows I chose it. But that in no way interfered with my ability to choose it

No, you were gonna choose the orange. You weren’t going to choose the apple because it was known that the orange was it.
…….

Predestination would mean that He laid it all out before hand, then wound me up and set me on my path, leaving me no choice, but to do what He programmed me to do. But He didn’t “program” me.

Nope, again – causation isn’t required. Just the fact of knowing what the future holds is enough.
……

He created me and then said do what you will. Now if you choose to do what I want you to do, I will begin interfering in your life, but if you choose not to do what I want you to do, then you will be at the mercy of my Natural Law.

There’s the contradiction – there is no “if you choose,” because your choice is already known to him. It’s a done deal.
……

And He knows what I chose, and He knows what you have chosen, but He had nothing to do with those choices…

The knowing alone is enough.

Posted by: Doug at February 25, 2008 11:41 PM

Doug, Huh?

JLM, I know a guy on a gardening message board with the same initials. I realize it was a total longshot, but just wondered if you were one and the same. I gather that it’s “nope.” It would have been a heck of a coincidence.

Doug

Posted by: Doug at February 25, 2008 11:43 PM

It is hard to believe that Doug is still totally under the sway of his parent’s religion to this day.
Sad, but Doug is simply using TULIP reasoning of Calvin as a argument about his version of trying to construct a god.
Gee, Doug, you and Fred Phelps think alike in constructing a all knowing god.
I can’t blame ya Doug for leaving the Jesus that allows murder by his followers, which is exactly your parent’s version of god is, and sadly ending up where your parent’s were in the first place. No progress, no ability to think outside the caged mental box your parent’s constructed in your mind as a child. Maybe the only progress in you Doug, is that you left that personal killer god, and have constructed some doubt in your mind about really knowing anything absolutely about a god,force,spirit or whatever you name it, Doug. But, you didn’t wander very far from your superstiitous parent’s god to me Doug. I like you Doug, and wish you had at least been able to construct a force/spirit, non living, all powerful, all knowing, flying spaghetti monster, with the boring fact that it is exactly like all those other ideas about god that murders its creation.
You really believe all the words you have written on this page about your conclusions and decisons of your version of your god constructs, or you must have some doubt about the words you have written about your “god thinking”, on this page.
If you really believe every word you wrote about your thinking about your version of “god theology”, Doug, then your not a agnostic, who admits he just doesn’t really know for sure, or know for sure, his thoughts about knowing the true nature of a god.
Which is to say Doug, your a put on, a fake argument, a hillarious parade of some doubter, thinking about his doubts, and then either believing every word you wrote concerning this attempt to prove your parent’s theology, missing Jesus of course, which is based in ABSOLUTE pre-destination from the all knowing god construction of them in you mind still, Doug.
Do you believe Doug, every word you wrote about your personal thoughts, based on logic deductions of Doug, about some all knowing,predestination god/force/spirit? Yes or no Doug?
Now, Doug, I know it is hard to come to terms with the fact your a contradiction in terms, or truth, and I am leaving it up to you to complete where this is leading to logically for you, and your agnostic/absolute conumdrum you have created by your own written words.
See it Doug, YET?
This is hillarious, a agnostic arguing about all knowing, all powerful, pre-destination and other ABSOLUTE attributes, of a mental invention in the first place.
Man Doug, your mommy and daddy’s religion screwed you up for life.
Tell ya what Doug, take a break and do some reading by GK Chesterton, Doug. May I suggest two chapters from Orthodoxy, Doug, for you to regain your mind from your parent’s version of the murdering Jesus, and the hillarious fact your a doubter still trying to come to grips with absolute all knowing god construction.
Chapter one; The Maniac.
Chapter two; The Suicide Of Thought.
It’s free and on line Doug.
Poor Doug.

Posted by: yllas at February 26, 2008 5:35 AM

mk,
OK. Here goes. I’m going to break this down paragraph by paragraph in regard to your February 25, 2008 2:22 PM post:

Paragaph #1

Matt. 5:26,18:34; Luke 12:58-59 Jesus teaches us, Come to terms with your opponent or you will be handed over to the judge and thrown into prison. You will not get out until you have paid the last penny. The word opponent (antidiko) is likely a reference to the devil (see the same word for devil in 1 Pet. 5:8) who is an accuser against man (c.f. Job 1.6-12; Zech. 3.1; Rev. 12.10), and God is the judge. If we have not adequately dealt with satan and sin in this life, we will be held in a temporary state called a prison, and we wont get out until we have satisfied our entire debt to God. This prison is purgatory where we will not get out until the last penny is paid.

Matthew 5:26, I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny. When reading the previous verse for the sake of context (25: Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.) we find that it states, Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, in order that your opponent may not deliver you to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. We learn that Jesus was talking about reconciliation between people and not about the afterlife and the prison of Purgatory.

However, while a parable speaks of a reality it is a parable and any metaphor eventually breaks down because it is after all just that, a metaphor.

The context of this verse is that a man was going to be thrown into debtors prison, which is an incarceration that would not cease until the debtor has paid his financial dues.

The text tells of a man who owed an extremely large amount that he would never have been able to pay. A talent (Matthew verse 24) was equal to 6000 drachmas (the Greek name) or denarii (of the Roman name). Since the drachma was equal to about a days wages, it would take an average laborer almost 20 years to earn one talent. Ten thousand talents was thus equal to the lifetime earnings of the population of several good-sized villages. The man was forgiven 60 million drahmas but was unwilling to forgive 100. That is how Jesus compares our own sins against God with the sins others commit against us.

Notice Jesus statement that there is no hope of forgiveness UNLESS we forgive (verse 35.

Clearly, rather than speaking of a place of punishment from which he would eventually be freed, it speaks of a person who would never be released.

Now, since the crux of your paragraph deals mostly with those verses, the other verses mentioned do not coincide.

Sources: Holy Bible – KJV, Holy Spirit, Halley’s Bible Handbook, lifeanddoctrinepurgatory.blogspot.com/

Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 7:55 AM

JLM,

The point of a parable in the bible is to liken our relationship with God to one that we can understand. Hence He uses an analogy that anyone of the time could understand. Paying what you owe.

Do we just ignore this?

The word opponent (antidiko) is likely a reference to the devil (see the same word for devil in 1 Pet. 5:8) who is an accuser against man (c.f. Job 1.6-12; Zech. 3.1; Rev. 12.10)

Posted by: mk at February 26, 2008 8:02 AM

it speaks of a person who would never be released.

UNTIL the last penny is paid.

Posted by: mk at February 26, 2008 8:04 AM

Paragraph #2

Matt. 5:48 – Jesus says, “be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect.” We are only made perfect through purification, and in Catholic teaching, this purification, if not completed on earth, is continued in a transitional state we call purgatory.

Matthew 5:43-48 These verses deal with the Hatred of enemies.

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Proverbs 24:17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice

and

Proverbs 25:21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.

Jesus deepens the requirement of compassion to the deeper requirement of love.

Luke 6:27-38

27But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

28Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

29And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.

30Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

31And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

32For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

33And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.

34And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

35But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

36Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

37Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

38Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Jesus also suggests that praying for ones enemies is one of the ways in which we can express godly love (Matthew 5:44, But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you)

Clearly, these verses are Jesus showing us how to love our enemies, not hate them.

You said that Jesus says, “be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect Your verse did not include the word therefore, as scripture states, which pertains that there were verses or a thought that came before it.
Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 8:05 AM

it speaks of a person who would never be released.

UNTIL the last penny is paid.

Posted by: mk at February 26, 2008 8:04 AM

If you read the post again, it clearly shows that this man, prisoner, will NEVER be able to pay his debt.

Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 8:06 AM

Plus the entire passage, from it’s beginning, is dealing with the end times. This parable is used to illustrate our “ends”…

read Luke 12:54. and especially 12:57…

Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?
If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate…

He is talking about making good choices. He is saying that if you don’t make good choices now, then you will pay later. Every last penny. But obviously, the debt can be paid.

Posted by: mk at February 26, 2008 8:11 AM

Paragraph #3
(btw, the sources that I posted in my February 26, 2008 7:55 AM post have been used in all of these posts.)

Matt. 12:32 Jesus says, And anyone who says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but no one who speaks against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven either in this world or in the next. Jesus thus clearly provides that there is forgiveness after death. The phrase in the next (from the Greek en to mellonti) generally refers to the afterlife (see, for example, Mark 10.30; Luke 18.30; 20.34-35; Eph. 1.21 for similar language). Forgiveness is not necessary in heaven, and there is no forgiveness in hell. This proves that there is another state after death, and the Church for 2,000 years has called this state purgatory.

The claim here is that Jesus was hinting about a place in the age to come were sins are forgiven. Speaking, or blasphemy, against the Holy Spirit is obviously a serious offense, a mortal sin if you will.

According to Roman Catholicism, Purgatory is a place where one may only have their venial sins forgiven: unrepented venial sins. Mortal sins must be repented (forgiven) before death, one may go to Purgatory in order to make satisfaction for forgiven mortal sins.

Apparently since there are only two modes of existence that humans experience, the here and the hereafter (this age or in the age to come), Jesus is saying that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven period; not here not anywhere. Jesus is utilizing hyperbolic language in order to mean not now, not ever. It is like when someone says, Ill do so and so when hell freezes over, do they really believe that there will be a time when hell will freeze over and that is when they will do so and so? No, they mean that they will never perform the act. He is not hinting at the possibility of having some sins forgiven in the hereafter.

Jesus taught more about Hell than anyone else in the whole Bible so why would He leave Purgatory as an ambiguous hint at best?

Finally, we consider the parallel passage found in Mark which makes Jesus point even clearer, Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation (Mark 3:28-29).

In Luke 12:10 (And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.) the unpardonable sin is connected with the denial of Christ. Jesus seems to make a distinction between sin against Himself and sin against the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.).

The unpardonable sin is often understood to mean that rejecting Christ, while He was on earth and His work was as yet unfinished, and when even His disciples did not understand Him, was forgivable. But after His work was completed and the Holy Spirit had come, then the deliberate, final rejection of the Holy Spirits offer of Christ would constitute the eternal sin for which there is no forgiveness ever.

Similar sin is spoken of in Hebrews 6:6 (If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.), Hebrews 10:26 (For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,) and 1 John 5:16 (If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.)
Yet it is not always the vocal opponents of Christ who commit the unforgivable sin.

Paul was as vocal and active against Christ as anyone, yet Jesus called him personally to be His apostle (see Acts 9). The deliberate, final rejection of the Holy Spirits offer of Christ is more likely to result in a total indifference rather than a vocal opposition to Christ.

You said This proves that there is another state after death, and the Church for 2,000 years has called this state purgatory. This proves what Jesus meant. There is no forgiveness in this life or the one after if you deliberately and finally reject the Holy Spirits offer of Christ.
Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 8:12 AM

Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?
If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate…

He is talking about making good choices. He is saying that if you don’t make good choices now, then you will pay later. Every last penny. But obviously, the debt can be paid.

Posted by: mk at February 26, 2008 8:11 AM

He was saying to forgive your opponent, or you won’t be forgiven. Like us, if we don’t forgive, we won’t be forgiven.

Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 8:15 AM

“Be perfect…”

I think the point is that NO ONE can be perfect. We can be forgiven, but not perfect. So if Jesus’ death brought forgiveness, what brings “perfection”?

Posted by: mk at February 26, 2008 8:18 AM

JLM,

He was saying to forgive your opponent, or you won’t be forgiven. Like us, if we don’t forgive, we won’t be forgiven.

I’m sorry, I disagree. While that might be the secondary message, the primary one when taken in context of the preceding chapters, seems to me, to be about paying debts and making right choices.

Where you see agree with your adversary, I see come to terms.

Posted by: mk at February 26, 2008 8:23 AM

If you read the post again, it clearly shows that this man, prisoner, will NEVER be able to pay his debt.

Not in this life, no. But it doesn’t say you will be thrown in prison forever. It says UNTIL the debt is paid.

Posted by: mk at February 26, 2008 8:24 AM

Luke 16:19-31 – in this story, we see that the dead rich man is suffering but still feels compassion for his brothers and wants to warn them of his place of suffering. But there is no suffering in heaven or compassion in hell because compassion is a grace from God and those in hell are deprived from God’s graces for all eternity. So where is the rich man? He is in purgatory.

The Bible itself states the man is in Hell. Why would it mean anything other than what it said?

The word “hell” in this passage comes from the greek word: “????”, which is translated to had?s, and means
1) name Hades or Pluto, the god of the lower regions

2) Orcus, the nether world, the realm of the dead

3) later use of this word: the grave, death, hell

The very same word is used in a few other passages which describe Hell in the Bible.
Such as:

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

*********************
22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

23And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

(notice, Abraham and Lazarus did NOT give the man the mercy he desired.)

25But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

26And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

(If there is a gulf fixed, so that no one can pass from one to the other, then how could he go from this place of torment to Heaven if he was simply in purgatory? There is no way. God made it so that they cannot go from one to the other. This was Hell.

27Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:

28For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

29Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

30And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

**************************

I just don’t see how that story could possibly be speaking about purgatory, especially when it actually uses the very word Hell that is described in other passages referring to Hell.
Do you see what I mean?

Posted by: Bethany at February 26, 2008 8:25 AM

I think the point is that NO ONE can be perfect. We can be forgiven, but not perfect. So if Jesus’ death brought forgiveness, what brings “perfection”?

Jesus blood brings perfection on us, when we are born again of His Spirit. \

Our earthly body will always have sin, but our soul cannot sin. The body and the soul are continually struggling in a war of sin vs goodness until the day we die.

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Galatians 5:17

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” 1 John 5:16-18
Posted by: Bethany at February 26, 2008 8:31 AM

Mk, I am confused about your view on the spotlessness of our souls. I was reading a Catholic article the other day when I was researching something else, and it claimed that protestants are the ones who do not believe that our souls are literally cleansed…but it says that Catholics do. Can you please help me to understand?

Here is the part of the article I read:

Really Cleansed

“Sanctifying grace implies a real transformation of the soul. Recall that most of the Protestant Reformers denied that a real transformation takes place. They said God doesnt actually wipe away our sins. Our souls dont become spotless and holy in themselves. Instead, they remain corrupted, sinful, full of sin. God merely throws a cloak over them and treats them as if they were spotless, knowing all the while that theyre not.

But that isnt the Catholic view. We believe souls really are cleansed by an infusion of the supernatural life. Paul speaks of us as “a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17), “created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). Of course, were still subject to temptations to sin; we still suffer the effects of Adams Fall in that sense (what theologians call “concupiscence”); but God removes the guilt from our souls. We may still have a tendency to sin, but God has removed the sins we have, much like a mother might wash the dirt off of a child who has a tendency to get dirty again.

Our souls dont become something other than souls when God cleanses them and pours his grace into them (what the Bible refers to as “infused” [“poured”] grace, cf. Acts 10:45, Rom. 5:5 Titus 3:57); they dont cease to be what they were before. When grace elevates nature, our intellects are given the new power of faith, something they dont have at the merely natural level. Our wills are given the new powers of hope and charity, things also absent at the merely natural level.”

http://www.catholic.com/library/Grace_What_It_Is.asp

Posted by: Bethany at February 26, 2008 8:33 AM

@Doug,

“The knowing alone is enough.” I’m with yllas here because Doug, God doesn’t necessarily think as you do (He is not in a Cartesian box you are!) You just cannot seem to fathom that God is not some kind of mental construct.

We discussed this before but the surest and easiest way to dismiss the notion that all-is-just-a-dream, is pain. A good swift kick in the groin very quickly snaps a person out of dream existence, another is the need for food or breath, or the need to pee.

There is only ‘is-ness’/now. What we call reality is a construct of two realms: actuality + virtuality. Actuality is God’s domain and is this ‘now’ universe …. the virtuality is man’s mental domain of memories and imagination. Much too often we believe the now occurs only in its transition to ‘was’. This transition then is not tangible because thoughts are not tangible.

It’s the old ‘did the tree falling in the forest make a sound?’. Well ‘yes’ and ‘no’ – the tree does make pressure waves, but it is our brain’s hearing apparatus that translates these waves into ‘sound’.

We often are like the little kid who closes his eyes and because he can’t see then he disappears. The act of ‘growing-up’ is the movement from illusions of being creator (flying) to accepting and rollicking in the fact that “I am a created being’.”

Freedom does not come from selection of options (virtuality) but through the power of love/peace (actuality) …. to become one – in another …. space; time etc are of small consequence. As is thoughts of predestination. Doesn’t mean very much at all except to the kid holding his breath to impress others with superior reasoning (virtuality) skills.

I really find it funny that St. John refers to the ‘Logos’ … (mind of God), which we translate as the ‘Word’. Yet PC’ers demand ‘logic’ from PL’ers without a reference to God.

John

Posted by: Anonymous at February 26, 2008 8:40 AM

Not in this life, no. But it doesn’t say you will be thrown in prison forever. It says UNTIL the debt is paid.

Posted by: mk at February 26, 2008 8:24 AM

mk,
it would be like me putting you in prison and saying that you can’t come out until you pay one trillion dollars. Now, how are you going to do that in prison? You can’t. You’d never get out.(well, unless you are that filthy rich-lol!). That was the point. The man would never be able to pay that debt. Nowhere in that parable does it state that the man would be able to find a way to pay it in prison to get out. The point was that he couldn’t.

Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 8:49 AM

JML,

This is one of the times where our definition of “grace” gets confusing.

Baptism removes, and I mean removes, the stain of original sin. But obviously, we are still capable of sinning. If we commit small sins, (venial) we can be forgiven our temporal punishment simply by confessing sorrow, doing penance (offering up suffering, prayer, etc.) but if we commit graver sins (mortal…sin so grave it puts your salvation in jeopardy) then confession to a priest is required. At that moment, the priest is in Persona Christi, the person of Christ, and we confess to Him. This is a sacrament, and like all sacraments we receive sanctifying graces when we participate in them.
This grace, cleanses us once again, and we become free from the stain of any sins we’ve confessed.

However, being human, we will invariably sin again. And new stains will appear.

Often we go to confession even when we have no mortal sins, just to receive these sanctifying graces. They aid us in our journey to become Holy.

Think of your soul as a crystal that you hang in the window. God is the Sun. He shines through your soul and rainbows are made, shining everywhere. Everytime you touch that crystal, you are leaving fingerprints/smudges. Each smudge attracts dust. Eventually the crystal will become so dull that the Sun can no longer shine through it. Going to confession is like getting out the windex. Small smudges mean less rainbows, but the Sun can still get through, like venial sins. Really, really dirty crystals cannot let any light in. This is why mortal sin puts your salvation in jeopardy. You have seriously compromised your relationship with God.

Mortal sin is so serious, that we may not receive communion (the Eucharist) until we have gone to confession and removed it.

Does that help?

Posted by: mk at February 26, 2008 8:49 AM

JML,

mk,
it would be like me putting you in prison and saying that you can’t come out until you pay one trillion dollars. Now, how are you going to do that in prison? You can’t. You’d never get out.(well, unless you are that filthy rich-lol!). That was the point. The man would never be able to pay that debt. Nowhere in that parable does it state that the man would be able to find a way to pay it in prison to get out. The point was that he couldn’t.

I understand what you are saying, and that just brings my point home more. You could never repay the debt IN THIS LIFE. This is why we understand it to mean that it would take lifetimes (thus take place somewhere other than on earth) to pay. But it can be paid. Otherwise, Jesus would have said “You can’t come out, period” . But He doesn’t. He says UNTIL. This causes us to ask, how is this possible. How can this debt be repayed. We won’t live long enough.

But if we know no death, and live forever, we will have plenty of time to repay the debt…somewhere else.

Posted by: mk at February 26, 2008 8:53 AM

Sorry, that post about confession was to Bethany. I didn’t realize you had jumped into the conversation. If I had time, I’d change the name, but I have to drive John to work…

Posted by: mk at February 26, 2008 8:55 AM

Here are some of my reasons for believing we are cleansed completely when we confess our sins and accept Jesus…we do not need any more cleansing after death because:

Romans 3:24: “…Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”
bullet Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…”
bullet 1 Corinthians 6:11: “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus…”
bullet Titus 2:14: “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify onto himself a peculiar people…”
bullet Hebrews 10:14: “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
bullet 1 John 1:7: “…the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
bullet 1 John 1:7: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleans us from all unrighteousness.”
bullet 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

(hope you don’t read the bolds as shouting- they’re only intended for emphasis). ;-) Love you, Marykay!

Posted by: Bethany at February 26, 2008 8:55 AM

Hope you have a good morning, MK, and I may not be able to make many more posts this morning (have to leave in about an hour), so if I don’t answer all of your posts, I’ll try to get back to them when I can! :)
Posted by: Bethany at February 26, 2008 8:58 AM

Bethany,

Hades and Hell are two different places. Hades is the underword or place of death. Hell is where we go when we reject God. Jesus descends into Hades (in our creed) but returns.

I’ll look up a reference when I get back.

Posted by: mk at February 26, 2008 8:58 AM

“Be perfect…”

I think the point is that NO ONE can be perfect. We can be forgiven, but not perfect. So if Jesus’ death brought forgiveness, what brings “perfection”?

Posted by: mk at February 26, 2008 8:18 AM

Perfection is God’s love. God is love. God is perfect. We are perfected IN His love:

1 Corinthians 13 (NLV)(one of my favorites!)
Love
1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 9:01 AM

Bethany

“Mk, I am confused about your view on the spotlessness of our souls. I was reading a Catholic article the other day when I was researching something else, and it claimed that protestants are the ones who do not believe that our souls are literally cleansed…but it says that Catholics do. Can you please help me to understand?”

I only have 10 minutes and then I have to go, but Catholics believe in what is called “infused righteousness” as opposed to the classical reformation understanding of “imputed righteousness.” The Catholic belives that when God declares that we are just, we actually are made just, and the righteousness of Christ lives within us. The Classical reformation understanding is that when God declares that we are just, that is that. In other words, God declaring us just for the Protestant is a legal declaration. We are not really any better; God just “looks favorably” upon us. Incidently, that is why OSAS follows from the protestant understanding of justification. If it’s just a legal declaration, what reason is there to think that God would renege?

Okay, now this is our the understanding of justification. So to try and tie thew Catholic understanding of justification and purgatory together, the idea is that even though we are made good, we MAY not be perfect, as of course know God requires. And the reason we may not be perfect even though we have God’s own life living within us is that we still have an attraction, an attachment to sin. I explained the difference between actually sinning and having an attraction to sin (concupiscence) yesterday in this post to LJM, you can find it above (it mentions both the words “concupiscence” and “porn”, so it shouldn’t be hard to find.)

Now that being said, not everyone who is in a state of sanctifying grace (when you have God’s life living within you i.e. the righteousness of Christ) is necessarily still attached to sin. So when they die, they go straight to heaven.

So to sum up, yes Catholic believe that once we are justified, we are MADE good and our souls ARE righteous in reality (and in particular, to God) because we have sanctifying grace in us; yet we may still have an attraction (not the same thing as actual sin as I tried to explain above) to sin itself. I”ll try to check back in a couple hours to see if that clarifies. God love you, Bethany.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 26, 2008 9:04 AM

Baptism removes, and I mean removes, the stain of original sin. But obviously, we are still capable of sinning. If we commit small sins, (venial) we can be forgiven our temporal punishment simply by confessing sorrow, doing penance (offering up suffering, prayer, etc.) but if we commit graver sins (mortal…sin so grave it puts your salvation in jeopardy) then confession to a priest is required. At that moment, the priest is in Persona Christi, the person of Christ, and we confess to Him. This is a sacrament, and like all sacraments we receive sanctifying graces when we participate in them.
This grace, cleanses us once again, and we become free from the stain of any sins we’ve confessed.

I agree that once we are transformed, we can still sin. But not “us”, that is to say, our soul. Our soul, which is completely transformed, cannot sin. This is what 1 John explains about a lot.

Our flesh and our spirit are in a constant struggle until the day we die, and leave that sinful, mortal body behind, then receive our new, perfect, immortal body which is preserved from sin.

I think Jesus grace cleanses us once, and we only need to be cleansed once.

“Being BORN AGAIN, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” 1 Peter 1:23

Posted by: Bethany at February 26, 2008 9:05 AM

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of ADOPTION, whereby we cry, Abba, FATHER.” Romans 8:15

“My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:29

“He that believeth on the Son HATH EVERLASTING LIFE:.. .” John 3:36

I already have everlasting life. Right now. This is because I have been born again, of an incorruptible seed of God.
My everlasting life began the day I accepted Christ. If it can be taken away, or ended, then I never had everlasting life to begin with.
Posted by: Bethany at February 26, 2008 9:08 AM

Bobby, thanks for your reply, I’m reading it right now.
Posted by: Bethany at February 26, 2008 9:09 AM

I understand what you are saying, and that just brings my point home more. You could never repay the debt IN THIS LIFE. This is why we understand it to mean that it would take lifetimes (thus take place somewhere other than on earth) to pay. But it can be paid. Otherwise, Jesus would have said “You can’t come out, period” . But He doesn’t. He says UNTIL. This causes us to ask, how is this possible. How can this debt be repayed. We won’t live long enough.

But if we know no death, and live forever, we will have plenty of time to repay the debt…somewhere else.

Posted by: mk at February 26, 2008 8:53 AM

But Jesus didn’t say that. The parable was that the man COULD NOT pay his debt. He would NEVER be able to. When Jesus said “until”, it is understood that it would never happen. The man would never come up with that money. Again, if I were to put you in prison, I could tell you that you cannot come out UNTIL you pay your debt of one trillion dollars. You know it can’t be done, and the “until” will never happen. It’s an overwhelming thought to go somewhere and never get out. That’s the point that Jesus was trying to make, and why forgiveness is so important.

Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 9:14 AM

I agree that once we are transformed, we can still sin. But not “us”, that is to say, our soul. Our soul, which is completely transformed, cannot sin. This is what 1 John explains about a lot.

Our flesh and our spirit are in a constant struggle until the day we die, and leave that sinful, mortal body behind, then receive our new, perfect, immortal body which is preserved from sin.

I think Jesus grace cleanses us once, and we only need to be cleansed once.

“Being BORN AGAIN, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” 1 Peter 1:23

Amen, Bethany!

Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 9:16 AM

Okay, now this is our the understanding of justification. So to try and tie thew Catholic understanding of justification and purgatory together, the idea is that even though we are made good, we MAY not be perfect, as of course know God requires. And the reason we may not be perfect even though we have God’s own life living within us is that we still have an attraction, an attachment to sin. I explained the difference between actually sinning and having an attraction to sin (concupiscence) yesterday in this post to LJM, you can find it above (it mentions both the words “concupiscence” and “porn”, so it shouldn’t be hard to find.)
Now that being said, not everyone who is in a state of sanctifying grace (when you have God’s life living within you i.e. the righteousness of Christ) is necessarily still attached to sin. So when they die, they go straight to heaven.

There is where we disagree. I believe that once we are cleansed from all sins, we do become “perfect”, but our body is still under the law of sin and therefore will continue to be tempted to sin, and it is continually warring with our spirit until the day we die and shed that old body of sin.

I believe that every single person who is saved still is connected to that body of sin, just as Paul was, and had wars going on in his members, battles between his flesh and spirit. In fact, he said on different occasions things like, “Oh wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?”

Posted by: Bethany at February 26, 2008 9:16 AM

Here’s that verse:
“I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
(Romans 7:21-25 KJV)

Posted by: Bethany at February 26, 2008 9:25 AM

Here is how we are cleansed. I like to use Les Feldick, because he explains things so well:
www.havefaith.org

Colossians 3:13

“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: (and were going to, because were human. Were going to have differences of opinion. Were going to have some unhappy situations, but dont let it destroy your relations.

And if you have a quarrel,) even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”

Now what does that tell you? Were forgiven, were totally forgiven, and I dont have to go back everyday and say, “Oh God forgive me.” Thats all done, it was done at the cross.

A lot of people cant quite agree with me on that, and thats all right, but forgiveness is a done deal. Now I know we have to still recognize our sins, and see them as God does. And I think we have to ask God for cleansing, and my whole approach to that is, the night that the Lord was washing Peters feet. He came to Peter and what did Peter say?

John 11:8-10

“Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10. Jesus saith to him, he that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit and ye are clean, but not all.

Peter had already been saved. Hed had his bath already, but by virtue of walking from that bath house to his home in the ancients, the streets were fixity, and before he could go into his own home he would have to wash his feet.

Well the picture of course is where we are. Weve been saved, were forgiven, were cleansed, but were still in this old world, and as we go though this world our feet are getting dirty, and so what do we need? Cleaning!

We dont need forgiveness, thats all done, but we need cleansing, and how do we cleanse? I just told somebody on the phone yesterday. How do you wash a strainer? A gravy strainer or a tea strainer, how do you wash it? You certainly cant run a piece of cloth through every little opening, so how do you wash a strainer? Oh you just swish it through the water, isnt that right? You just simply cleanse it with the washing of water.

Now thats what Paul uses in Ephesians:
Ephesians 5:26-27

26: to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word,

27: and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

And this is what we have to do. We get daily cleansing, by the washing of the water, but what does Paul say the water is? The Word of God! Do you see that? Boy isnt that beautiful,? We dont have to come crawling to God every time we do something that is wrong, and plead that He forgive us. He must get tired of that, and tells us, “Ive forgiven you!”

But we do need cleansing. We have to see our sin as He sees it and then be cleansed from it by the Word of God.

Ephesians 5:26-27

26: to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word,

27: and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 9:32 AM

And this is what we have to do. We get daily cleansing, by the washing of the water, but what does Paul say the water is? The Word of God! Do you see that? Boy isnt that beautiful,? We dont have to come crawling to God every time we do something that is wrong, and plead that He forgive us. He must get tired of that, and tells us, “Ive forgiven you!”

I have made that mistake so many times, when I feel terrible about the way I’ve handled the day I will go to God seeking forgiveness.

I’ll sometimes feel like my sin is so bad that He has to hear me apologize again and again. And even after I’ve sought forgiveness, I won’t be able to forgive myself, and I’ll ask again.

So many times I have forgotten that He has already removed it as far as the east is from the west.

Thank you so much for reminding me of the Peter/ feet washing story. I had forgotten about that. Your post really helped me today.

Posted by: Bethany at February 26, 2008 9:42 AM

:)

Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 9:59 AM

“Thank you so much for reminding me of the Peter/ feet washing story. I had forgotten about that. Your post really helped me today.”

Oh, that’s just wonderful! I love to see members of the body of Christ helping each other. As much as we disagree about, there is much more that we do hold in common. God love you, LJM and Bethany.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 26, 2008 11:16 AM

Bobby,
You bring such a smile to my face! Thank you for your kind words!

:)

Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 11:22 AM

I have made that mistake so many times, when I feel terrible about the way I’ve handled the day I will go to God seeking forgiveness.

I’ll sometimes feel like my sin is so bad that He has to hear me apologize again and again. And even after I’ve sought forgiveness, I won’t be able to forgive myself, and I’ll ask again.

Posted by: Bethany at February 26, 2008 9:42 AM

This is only my humble opinion, and from a Catholic perspective. . . I think your reaction is a normal part of human nature. If we didn’t feel guilty when we did something wrong, that could be a sign of a bigger problem.

One of the positive aspects of confession, is that you are able to physically talk to someone. It makes our admission of guilt, and God’s forgiveness more “real” in our minds, and let’s us know that we are truly forgiven. We are required to confess mortal sins as Catholics, but may also confess smaller sins, which is beneficial for the reasons I just stated. It can be a very comforting experience.

Posted by: Janet at February 26, 2008 11:26 AM

Praise the Lord, JLM. I don’t have time to discuss much today, but I’ll check out Les Feldick’s website. Unfortunately, I don’t get his TV show here, though.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 26, 2008 11:27 AM

HIs “questions and answers” book looks pretty cool!

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 26, 2008 11:29 AM

Bobby,
I don’t get his show here either. I think you can listen to his radio program live, though. For me, it’s between 1:00 & 1:30. I don’t get a chance to listen to it much.

Yes, I think he’s great. My dad lent me the questions and answers book, and I just can’t seem to get enough of it. I can’t tell you how many times while reading it I went, OHHHHH! Now I get it!

This one was one of my favorites (after Revelation, of course!)

http://havefaith.org/new_page_14a.htm
I never understood the whole hell, hades, Paradise thing until I read that. WOW!

I told my dad he wasn’t getting the book back! lol. He ordered another one for himself! I think there’s some more topics on other things that can be ordered from his site, but I haven’t done that yet.

However, the book is all there online. It’s exactly the same. I like to cuddle up with a good book, though, not sit hunched over at a computer!

Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 11:39 AM

Janet,
I agree! I think confessing sins by mouth does makes it more real and is important to confirm the acknowledgement. Confession by mouth has been used alot in the bible as something that needs to be done along with what you feel in your heart. For example:

Romans 10:10

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Although we disagree on who we confess them to, confessing them shows that we are aware of them and that we want to change.

Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 11:52 AM

Bethany,

You say that sometimes you feel guilty after doing something wrong. And then you confess your sins, either to another person or to God. Why are you confessing? What are you expecting to get out of telling God the wrongs that you have done if it isn’t forgiveness?

And if it is forgiveness, then how do you reconcile that with JLM’s theory that we don’t need forgiveness?

From where I sit, it seems like I can do anything I want and not worry, not say I’m sorry, not confess anything, cuz that was all taken care of.

So where is the guilt coming from? Surely, if I have been forgiven ahead of time, there would be no need to feel guilty? See what I’m saying?

As far as the body sinning but not the spirit, the mind is what chooses to do something sinful. The body does not act of it’s own accord. So when I give into temptation, I am consciously choosing, with my spirit, to allow my body to sin.

Therefore my heart, spirit, mind AND body have all affronted God. In my church, this requires asking Him to forgive me.

Who’s that pastor guy that was married to Tammy Faye Baker? When he (I can’t remember if he cheated on her or with funds) sinned, did he need to ask God for forgiveness? Or did he say, “HEY my body sinned, but not my spirit, and since Jesus died for my sins, I don’t need to say I’m sorry and I sure don’t need to ask forgiveness! Already did that when I professed my faith in Jesus!”

Posted by: mk at February 26, 2008 2:52 PM

Bethany,
You say that sometimes you feel guilty after doing something wrong. And then you confess your sins, either to another person or to God. Why are you confessing? What are you expecting to get out of telling God the wrongs that you have done if it isn’t forgiveness?

Absolutely.

And if it is forgiveness, then how do you reconcile that with JLM’s theory that we don’t need forgiveness?

We do need forgiveness, but if we have repented, confessed our sins, He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteous.
When we sin after having been saved, we absolutely should feel guilty when we do wrong- that is our conscience – the part of us that is without sin- telling us that we are giving in to our flesh. After sinning, we must still seek forgiveness of the people who we have hurt on earth, and we should turn away from those sins, and read the Bible to keep ourselves from sinning again (thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee).
Asking forgiveness from God is not a bad thing- it is good to tell him we’re sorry. But we must also remember that He has already forgiven us for all our sins, past and present, when we asked Him to so long ago. We can’t expect Him to forgive us again for something that has already been forgiven. Does that make sense the way I am trying to explain it? I hope so.

From where I sit, it seems like I can do anything I want and not worry, not say I’m sorry, not confess anything, cuz that was all taken care of.

No, actually Paul speaks about that very thing, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid!

Here is the entire chapter, so that you can understand the context of it (I’m posting it in another translation so it will be easier to understand- I hope this translation is a good one):

1 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. 6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. 8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. 9 We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

So where is the guilt coming from? Surely, if I have been forgiven ahead of time, there would be no need to feel guilty? See what I’m saying?

The guilt comes from the part of us that is perfect and holy, our spirit which was transformed when we were born again. Our conscience. The holy Spirit convicting our heart and telling us to turn around and do the right thing.

As far as the body sinning but not the spirit, the mind is what chooses to do something sinful. The body does not act of it’s own accord. So when I give into temptation, I am consciously choosing, with my spirit, to allow my body to sin.

The Bible says that our reborn spirit cannot sin. We can sin with our flesh but not with our spirit.
I don’t understand it completely- I just trust that God meant what He said about it ,and I leave it at that.

Who’s that pastor guy that was married to Tammy Faye Baker? When he (I can’t remember if he cheated on her or with funds) sinned, did he need to ask God for forgiveness? Or did he say, “HEY my body sinned, but not my spirit, and since Jesus died for my sins, I don’t need to say I’m sorry and I sure don’t need to ask forgiveness! Already did that when I professed my faith in Jesus!”

He absolutely should have asked forgiveness of those who he hurt. He should have turned around, and if he was saved he was forgiven of this sin by God but it doesn’t mean that the natural consequences of his sins won’t come about, and it doesn’t mean that people will forgive him. People aren’t the ones who died on the cross for his sins…since Jesus did, if he was truly reborn of the spirit, he will feel extreme remorse for his actions and he will indeed repent and turn away from it and make amends to fix what harm he did by sinning.

But as for his accountability to God, death is his final penalty for those sins.

Posted by: Bethany at February 26, 2008 5:16 PM

So where is the guilt coming from? Surely, if I have been forgiven ahead of time, there would be no need to feel guilty? See what I’m saying?

Hebrews 10:16
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

Hebrews 8:10
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

Before Christ came to fulfill the law, God’s commandments were written on tablets of stone. When Christ fulfilled the law, God’s laws would be written on our hearts. The first covenant was temporal. Christ’s covenant is everlatsting. When we accept Jesus into our lives, we live in Him, and He in us. When we sin, or go against what He wishes for us, we feel badly about it because He is in us, and His laws are written into our hearts and minds. Things that are not of God will always cause conflict within a believer because we have Christ in us, thus causing the feeling of guilt, remorse, etc.

And if it is forgiveness, then how do you reconcile that with JLM’s theory that we don’t need forgiveness?

From where I sit, it seems like I can do anything I want and not worry, not say I’m sorry, not confess anything, cuz that was all taken care of.

Oh, absolutely not! Yes, we do need forgiveness! That comes when we become believers. Jesus’ blood was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, and by His blood, we are completely forgiven.

I like to equate love for our own children to the above. We love them so much. (God loves us more) No matter what our kids do, we have already forgiven them because we know that it’s in their nature to do the wrong things. We forgive them before they even do it. However, we do want them to confess what they have done to us, so we can talk about it and they can grow, mature, learn from their mistakes, and pass this wisdom down to the next generation.

When I don’t understand something about God’s love for me, I try to sustitute the love I have for my child to the love that God has for me. What I am blown away by, is that God loves me more than I can imagine, and more than I could ever think of loving my child.

Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 7:25 PM

Asking forgiveness from God is not a bad thing- it is good to tell him we’re sorry.

But saying you are sorry is not the same as asking forgiveness. Doesn’t it seem silly to you to ask forgiveness for something that you have already been forgiven for?

You see? I think where we differ is that every time I sin, I believe I offend God and need to ask His forgiveness for the sin I have committed.

I think you see His death as a “pass” on needing forgiveness and I see His death as a “guarantee” of being forgiven when I ask…

I think before He died I was not guaranteed this forgiveness. I would have to “do” something. Now all I have to due is ask.

But like with my kids, saying sorry isn’t always enough. Sometimes they still need a time out or to be grounded. I forgive them, but they still need to pay some price.

Purgatory to me (us) is not a punishment so much as a way to purify ourselves. While I don’t look forward to the unpleasantness of it, I DO look forward to the preparation I will need to be so pure, so clean, “perfect”, so that I can stand in front of Him.

Think of your wedding day. You were meeting your bridegroom at the altar. Didn’t you have your hair done, and your nails and your dress and everything “just perfect” to meet him? This is how I want to be for Jesus when I meet Him. The church (me) IS His bride. And as a bride, I want to look (be) perfect for the wedding day! Sure the curlers hurt, and the shoes pinched…but it was all worth it. Purgatory will also have it’s down side, but when it’s over, I will be READY to meet my bridegroom.

Posted by: mk at February 26, 2008 7:30 PM

Paragraph #4

Luke 12:47-48 – when the Master comes (at the end of time), some will receive light or heavy beatings but will live. This state is not heaven or hell, because in heaven there are no beatings, and in hell we will no longer live with the Master.

In these passages, Jesus thoughts pass from heaven to the glorious day of His second coming, and He warns that He may come back to a sleeping world in the dead of night (verse 38). Blessed are the faithful who are ready to welcome their returning Lord.

Luke 12:38-40
38And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

39And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.

40Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Luke 12:41-48 (KJV)

41Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?

42And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?

43Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

44Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.

45But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;

46The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

47And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

48But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Verses 41-48, Here is the parable of the servant and the master, which is meant for every Christian. But degrees in talent and position entail corresponding degrees in responsibility. Fearful is the warning here for faithless pastors. The faithless will all go to hell. There is a belief that there are “degrees” in hell, due to these verses, where a pastor of a church, who is misleading the people in it, will have a higher degree of punishment or “heat” in hell, than the unfaithful that were led there because of the pastor. It is definately a fearful warning for pastors to make sure that they are heeding God’s word and will so they don’t lead the “sheep” astray.
Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 7:37 PM

But like with my kids, saying sorry isn’t always enough. Sometimes they still need a time out or to be grounded. I forgive them, but they still need to pay some price.

Absolutely! I had a child out of wedlock! I know that God loves me very much, but I have definately been disciplined by Him for that! I chose to not go His way, and I am reaping what I have sowed. I have told Him that I am very sorry, and I know that He already forgave me. He already knew I was going to do that.

God has been there every waking moment with me throughout these very tough years, but it hasn’t been easy. That I think is the discipline part…not following His ways and having a more difficult time getting through life because of my choice not to follow Him. He forgave me already because He already knew what I was going to do, and His love and mercy for me continues.

I definately learned from that experience, and have passed down what I have learned, and STRESSED it with my child, so that he can learn from my mistake of not following God’s ways.
Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 7:53 PM

sorry…I forgot to italicize the first paragraph in the 7:53 pm post above. The first paragraph was from mk…

Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 7:56 PM

Purgatory to me (us) is not a punishment so much as a way to purify ourselves. While I don’t look forward to the unpleasantness of it, I DO look forward to the preparation I will need to be so pure, so clean, “perfect”, so that I can stand in front of Him.

Think of your wedding day. You were meeting your bridegroom at the altar. Didn’t you have your hair done, and your nails and your dress and everything “just perfect” to meet him? This is how I want to be for Jesus when I meet Him. The church (me) IS His bride. And as a bride, I want to look (be) perfect for the wedding day! Sure the curlers hurt, and the shoes pinched…but it was all worth it. Purgatory will also have it’s down side, but when it’s over, I will be READY to meet my bridegroom.

not yelling, but shouting it from the rooftops….YOU ALREADY ARE!!!

You have been perfected through Him already!

Hebrews 10:14

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

You accepted his offering, right? You ARE perfected FOR EVER! You have been sanctified by His blood! Isn’t that GREAT NEWS! That is Gospel of Jesus Christ! WOW!

Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 8:02 PM

Paragraph #5

Luke 16:19-31 – in this story, we see that the dead rich man is suffering but still feels compassion for his brothers and wants to warn them of his place of suffering. But there is no suffering in heaven or compassion in hell because compassion is a grace from God and those in hell are deprived from God’s graces for all eternity. So where is the rich man? He is in purgatory.

Bethany explained it beautifully in her February 26, 2008 8:25 AM post.

I first understood it (finally) after reading this about a year ago.

http://havefaith.org/new_page_14a.htm

Honestly, it really helped!
Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 8:18 PM

Paragraph #6

1 Cor. 15:29-30 – Paul mentions people being baptized on behalf of the dead, in the context of atoning for their sins (people are baptized on the deads behalf so the dead can be raised). These people cannot be in heaven because they are still with sin, but they also cannot be in hell because their sins can no longer be atoned for. They are in purgatory. These verses directly correspond to 2 Macc. 12:44-45 which also shows specific prayers for the dead, so that they may be forgiven of their sin.

1 Corinthians 15:29-30
29Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?

Mk, this is one of the most disputed verses in the bible. It has so many translations and commentaries. I havent studied it in depth myself, to be honest, but while studying it for approximately 3 hours, I believe that the commentary below best matches the way that I feel about that verse:

15:29 Else what shall they do who are baptized for the dead? Paul again returns to the argument for the resurrection. This passage is difficult, and has received almost as many interpretations as there have been commentators. Some have held that there was a custom of baptizing living persons for the benefit of persons who had died without baptism. Had that custom existed, Paul would have rebuked it. It did arise afterwards, as an abuse from the misinterpretation of this passage, among the followers of Cerinthis, and, in our times, of Joseph Smith. I will try to make clear its meaning: (1) All the Corinthians were baptized (Acts 18:8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.). (2) Their baptism was a planting in the likeness of the burial of Christ, and in the likeness of his resurrection (Romans 6:4-5 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:).

They were in, and raised from, a watery tomb. (3) Their baptism in the likeness of the death and resurrection of Christ was in hope of their own resurrection from the dead through Christ’s resurrection. ( Huper Nekroon, for, or on account of the dead, with the exception of resurrection from the dead.) But if Christ has not risen, and the dead rise not, this memorial and emblematic burial has no meaning. Why, then, are they baptized for the dead ? that is, for the sake of their own resurrection from the dead. This interpretation harmonizes better with Paul’s argument than any I have seen.

http://pnt.biblecommenter.com/1_corinthians/15.htm

Although I dont read the Maccabees, Ill bring up this commentary. I thought it to be interesting:

2nd Maccabees 12:38-46, Judas rallied his army and went to the city of Adullam. As the week was ending, they purified themselves according to custom and kept the sabbath there. On the following day, since the task had now become urgent, Judas and his men went to gather up the bodies of the slain and bury them with their kinsmen in their ancestral tombs. But under the tunic of each of the dead they found amulets sacred to the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jew to wear. So it was clear to all that this was why these men had been slain. They all therefore praised the ways of the LORD, the just judge who brings to light the things that are hidden. Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deeds might be blotted out. The noble Judas warned the soldiers to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen. He then took up a collection among the soldiers, amounting to 2000 silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the fallen to raise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who have gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin.

Footnote:
From the New American Bible; The New Catholic Translation; With Study Helps [2]: This is the earliest statement of the doctrine that prayers (v 42) and sacrifices (v 43) for the dead are beneficial. The statement is made here, however, only for the purpose of proving that Judas believed in the resurrection of the just (2 Mc 7, 9, 14, 23, 36). That is, he believed in that expiation could be made for certain sins of otherwise good men-soldiers who had given their lives for Gods cause. Thus, they could share in the resurrection. His belief was similar to, but not quite the same as, the Catholic doctrine of purgatory.

The New Catholic Edition of the Holy Bible translated from the Latin Vulgate. The Old Testament Douay Version[3] renders verse 40 as And they found under the coats of the slain some of the donaries of the idols of Jamnia.

Footnotes:
Ver. 40. Of the donaries: I.e., of the offerings which had been hung up in the temples of the idols, which they had taken away when they burnt the port of Jamnia, ver. 9, contrary to the prohibition of the law, Deut. 7, 25.
Ver. 45. With godliness: Judas hoped that these men who died fighting for the cause of God and religion, might find mercy: either because of ignorance of sin or through repentance at death.
Ver. 46. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead: a clear proof of the practice of praying for the dead under the old law, which was then strictly observed by the Jews, and consequently could not be introduced at that time by Judas, their chief and high priest, if it had not been always their custom.

The Vatican approved footnotes are clear in stating that the text does not speak of Purgatory, only of praying for the dead. Likewise, Fr. Pat McCloskey states, Some people have seen this story as biblical justification for the teaching on purgatory. That certainly overstates the authors intention. If, however, those Jewish soldiers did something wrong by wearing pagan amulets, why offer sacrifices on their behalf?[4] Fr. McCloskey does two things for us; he admits that to refer to this text as a Purgatory proof text is faulty. Maybe unwittingly, he points out the poor nature of non-inspired, non-Biblical books in stating, Ifthose Jewish soldiers did something wrongwhy offer sacrifices on their behalf. First of all, there are no ifs about it, the text is clear the law forbids the Jew to wear the amulets. Secondly, They all therefore praised the ways of the LORD, the just judge who brings to light the things that are hidden first they rejoice in Gods justice but then they offer sacrifices on the behalf of those whom God has justly slain.

Note that Judas actions were holy and pious if, he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who have gone to rest in godliness. The question is; can idolaters who have been rightly slain by God be referred to as having gone to rest in godliness? By no means, they were doing that which the law of God forbids. Also, these men were not as the footnote states, otherwise good men-soldiers who had given their lives for Gods cause. They were not fighting for Gods cause since the text admits that they were worshipping the idols of Jamnia. They might have been fighting for the spoils of war as an employment but they were not fighting for Gods cause. This text is not applicable to Purgatory because the dead had committed mortal sin. The Catholic Catechism #1035 states, Immediately after death the soul of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell. Therefore, they did not go to Purgatory and no amount of money could be offered for them in order to buy their way out of hell. This is why Catholic apologists will rely on pure guesswork in stating that they might have repented right before they died. We are not to base doctrines on assumptions.

In order to support prayer for the dead, Catholic apologists often claim that Jews pray for their dead. However, a distinction must be made between a Biblical practice and a secular tradition. Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, who was for many decades one of Americas foremost spiritual leaders states, No prayers to or for the dead are ordained in the Bible, no sacrifices to the dead, no ancestor worship, and no prescribed rites of sepulture…Judaism opposes the cult of the dead even as it opposes the cult of nature.[5] It is also important to note that in the 9th century AD at the Jewish Council of Jamnia the cannon of the Jewish Bible was formalized and it is exactly the same as the Protestant Bible, it excludes Maccabees and the other apocrypha.

Some things that are unique to this text and which proves it false is that the soldiers pray for the forgiveness of the sins of the dead; something found no where else in the entire Bible. Judas took up a collection, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice for the dead; something found nowhere else in the entire Bible. He is said to have made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from their sinsomething found nowhere else in the entire Bible. Particularly poignant is the very fact that not such prescription is offered in any sense whatsoever in the Torah, in the Law which is very detailed and specific instructions regarding various sorts of offerings for sinyet, there is not one single mention of the concept of prayer, or sacrifice, or alms, for the dead.
http://lifeanddoctrinepurgatory.blogspot.com/

Again, I don’t read the Maccabees, but this commentary with footnotes did make me think about it.
Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 9:21 PM

Paragraph #7

Phil. 2:10 – every knee bends to Jesus, in heaven, on earth, and “under the earth” which is the realm of the righteous dead, or purgatory.

The actual verse reads:

Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Taken in full context, it reads:

Philippians 2:5-11

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

There is power and glory in the name of Jesus. He is exalted above all. Every knee shall bow to Him and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. I believe that under the earth is the place of torment. Back to the previous link that I posted, http://havefaith.org/new_page_14a.htm
will better describe the people that are there and that yes, even they will bow their knees and confess with their tongues that Jesus Christ is Lord. They will forever be absent from Him. I believe thats what hell will be like for many there. They will know of God, want God, be within arms reach of God, but never get to God.
Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 9:41 PM

Paragraph #8

2 Tim. 1:16-18 – Onesiphorus is dead but Paul asks for mercy on him on that day. Pauls use of that day demonstrates its eschatological usage (see, for example, Rom. 2.5,16; 1 Cor. 1.8; 3.13; 5.5; 2 Cor. 1.14; Phil. 1.6,10; 2.16; 1 Thess. 5.2,4,5,8; 2 Thess. 2.2,3; 2 Tim. 4.8). Of course, there is no need for mercy in heaven, and there is no mercy given in hell. Where is Onesiphorus? He is in purgatory.

The actual verse reads: (KJV)

2 Timothy 1:16-18

16The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:

17But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.

18The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.

And the NIV:

16May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. 18May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.

Both translations refer to the house of Onesiphorus, not the person.

This was one of the saddest things in Pauls life. In Ephesus, where Paul had done his greatest work, and where almost the whole city turned to Christ, the false teachers had so gotten the upper hand that they were able to make capital out of Pauls arrest and turn the church against him at the time when he needed their love and sympathy the most. (Halleys Bible Handbook, page 767)

The false teachers that Paul was upset about (household of Onesiphorus), Paul hoped the Lord will show them mercy in that day. This refers back to my previous post, where I explained this:

Luke 12:41-48 (KJV)

41Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?

42And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?

43Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

44Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.

45But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;

46The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

47And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

48But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Verses 41-48, Here is the parable of the servant and the master, which is meant for every Christian. But degrees in talent and position entail corresponding degrees in responsibility. Fearful is the warning here for faithless pastors.

The faithless will all go to hell. There is a belief that there are “degrees” in hell, due to these verses, where a pastor of a church, who is misleading the people in it, will have a higher degree of punishment or “heat” in hell, than the unfaithful that were led there because of the pastor. It is definately a fearful warning for pastors to make sure that they are heeding God’s word and will so they don’t lead the “sheep” astray.

The “house” of Onesiphorus did just that, and it broke Paul’s heart.

Posted by: JLM at February 26, 2008 10:07 PM

You have been perfected through Him already!

Not shouting it from the rooftops, just saying.

No I’m not. I am far from perfect.

Posted by: mk at February 27, 2008 6:03 AM

Sorry JLM,

I have read everything you wrote, and all I can say is that it only confirmed what I belive. Every knee shall bend under the earth (hell), IN the Earth (purgatory) and in heaven.

I do read Maccabees, and find that to be a compelling passage. My understanding is that Luther didn’t like how clearly it pointed to purgatory and that that is why he eliminated it.

As he did James.

I still hold that Abraham could not compassionately have asked for mercy on his brother, because he could show no compassion if her were in hell. There is no compassion in hell.

Jesus descended into hell, simply means he descended into death. Not the “eternal fire.”

That was interesting tho about paradise.

Posted by: mk at February 27, 2008 6:22 AM

JLM,

And then of course there are these:

II. Purification After Death By Fire

Heb. 12:29 – God is a consuming fire (of love in heaven, of purgation in purgatory, or of suffering and damnation in hell).

1 Cor. 3:10-15 – works are judged after death and tested by fire. Some works are lost, but the person is still saved. Paul is referring to the state of purgation called purgatory. The venial sins (bad works) that were committed are burned up after death, but the person is still brought to salvation. This state after death cannot be heaven (no one with venial sins is present) or hell (there is no forgiveness and salvation).

1 Cor. 3:15 if any mans work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. The phrase for “suffer loss” in the Greek is “zemiothesetai.” The root word is “zemioo” which also refers to punishment. The construction zemiothesetai is used in Ex. 21:22 and Prov. 19:19 which refers to punishment (from the Hebrew anash meaning punish or penalty). Hence, this verse proves that there is an expiation of temporal punishment after our death, but the person is still saved. This cannot mean heaven (there is no punishment in heaven) and this cannot mean hell (the possibility of expiation no longer exists and the person is not saved).

1 Cor. 3:15 further, Paul writes he himself will be saved, “but only” (or yet so) as through fire. He will be saved in the Greek is sothesetai (which means eternal salvation). The phrase “but only” (or yet so) in the Greek is “houtos” which means “in the same manner.” This means that man is both eternally rewarded and eternally saved in the same manner by fire.

1 Cor. 3:13 – when Paul writes about God revealing the quality of each man’s work by fire and purifying him, this purification relates to his sins (not just his good works). Protestants, in attempting to disprove the reality of purgatory, argue that Paul was only writing about rewarding good works, and not punishing sins (because punishing and purifying a man from sins would be admitting that there is a purgatory).

1 Cor. 3:17 – but this verse proves that the purgation after death deals with punishing sin. That is, destroying God’s temple is a bad work, which is a mortal sin, which leads to death. 1 Cor. 3:14,15,17 – purgatory thus reveals the state of righteousness (v.14), state of venial sin (v.15) and the state of mortal sin (v.17), all of which are judged after death.

1 Peter 1:6-7 – Peter refers to this purgatorial fire to test the fruits of our faith.

Jude 1:23 – the people who are saved are being snatched out of the fire. People are already saved if they are in heaven, and there is no possibility of salvation if they are in hell. These people are being led to heaven from purgatory.
Posted by: mk at February 25, 2008 1:20 PM

Posted by: mk at February 27, 2008 6:34 AM

JLM and Bethany,

Try to understand my confusion here…

On one hand you say, we are perfect, we are forgiven…in the other you say that when you sin, you ask God to forgive you.

On the one hand you say that you look to no one but the Holy Spirit to interpret scripture and on the other you admit that you are not fluent in Hebrew, Latin, Greek or Aramaic.

On the one hand you say we shouldn’t look to others for explanations but instead rely on the Holy Spirit, and then quote Les Feldick for explanations.

On the one hand you say that the bible is your total source of information and on the other you follow Luther and Calvin, men who completely changed the accepted view of Christianity that had been held for 1500 years. You reject purgatory, the Eucharist, Confession, the priesthood, Peters’ Chair and the 7 sacraments based on a “MAN’S” new version of the “church”…

There is no way that you read the bible, knowing nothing of Luther, and all on your own came to the conclusions that you did.

I on the other hand, admit my ignorance, lack of multi languages and am true to the teachings of Jesus as passed on, unchanaged, for two thousand years, that are found only in the Catholic church.

I can freely quote those more knowledgable than my self because I have admitted that I am not qualified to understand scripture at it’s deepest level. I accept, unchanged, what the church has taught since the first word of Genesis was written.

I look to Aquinas, and Iraneus, and Augustine and Origen, men who were “there” and who had access to the apostles, as opposed to a man that became disgruntled with the church and set about changing it to suit his tastes.

I believe that ONLY God is perfect, and that as such, His death allowed me the OPPORTUNITY to become perfected, by following Him, and following His ways. I admit that much work will need to be done on me in order to stand before Him. This is why there is no contradiction in my asking Him for Forgiveness.

So unless and until you can show me that you are following Christ, and not Luther, I have a very hard time accepting the things that you say.

Every interpretation that you give of scripture is protestant, meaning it came from a man, not Jesus.

I too get my interpretations from men, but I admit it, and I said earlier, the men I accept my interpretations from were “THERE”…

Posted by: mk at February 27, 2008 7:51 AM

Mk, in all kindness I think that there were a lot more reasons than just purgatory that Macabees was not considered to be inspired of God… there was a lot of consideration done to make sure that it was divinely inspired or not. I know that at least one of the reasons that it was found to not be inspired by God is that it actually commends suicide in 2 Macabees 14:39-46 …. Here is the passage. I was surprised to read that it says that the man was showing manly courage by killing himself, especially in such a manner. Can you help me understand how you look at it?

39
Nicanor, to show his detestation of the Jews, sent more than five hundred soldiers to arrest him.
40
He thought that by arresting such a man he would deal the Jews a hard blow.
41
But when these troops, on the point of capturing the tower, were forcing the outer gate and calling for fire to set the door ablaze, Razis, now caught on all sides, turned his sword against himself,
42
preferring to die nobly rather than fall into the hands of vile men and suffer outrages unworthy of his noble birth.
43
In the excitement of the struggle he failed to strike exactly. So while the troops rushed in through the doors, he gallantly ran up to the top of the wall and with manly courage threw himself down into the crowd.
44
But as they quickly drew back and left an opening, he fell into the middle of the empty space.
45
Still breathing, and inflamed with anger, he got up and ran through the crowd, with blood gushing from his frightful wounds.
46
Then, standing on a steep rock, as he lost the last of his blood, he tore out his entrails and flung them with both hands into the crowd, calling upon the Lord of life and of spirit to give these back to him again. Such was the manner of his death.

Obviously, I am new to this book, but I do see it as contradictory to the principles of the Bible, which says, in 1 Cor 16-17, “16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

I don’t see how if God tells us not to damage our temple or to defile it, would say that it was a courageous act of this man to totally destroy his temple. Do you see where I am coming from?

Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 8:05 AM

JLM and Bethany,
Try to understand my confusion here…
On one hand you say, we are perfect, we are forgiven…in the other you say that when you sin, you ask God to forgive you.

MK, it is like JLM said before. We are forgiven, in the sense that nothing we do can ever take away our salvation. Yes, we can sin. But we do not have to, because we are not slaves to it anymore. I hope this makes it a little easier to understand. “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

On the one hand you say that you look to no one but the Holy Spirit to interpret scripture and on the other you admit that you are not fluent in Hebrew, Latin, Greek or Aramaic.

The Holy Spirit guides us, and we have to listen and study to see whether something contradicts with what the Bible clearly says or not. I have concordances freely available all over the internet where I can see the greek, hebrew, Latin, and Aramaic roots of words if I need this help.
I think you misunderstand when you think I say that we don’t need anyone else to tell us what the Bible says. That isn’t what I mean. We do need others insight on the Bible, but we have the responsibility to take what they have said, compare it to the scripture, and see whether it adds up, and is consistent with the scripture. If what they’re saying is not consistent with the scripture, and if it contradicts what the Bible says, then we should be aware of that.
There is much good in sharing our own insights with others and learning from each other. Others may be able to point out something in the Bible that we have never noticed before. But we should NEVER take someone’s word over what the Bible clearly says. If they are saying something that contradicts the Bible, then it is not right.
It has to add up with the Bible. “Let God be true, but every man a liar”

On the one hand you say that the bible is your total source of information and on the other you follow Luther and Calvin, men who completely changed the accepted view of Christianity that had been held for 1500 years. You reject purgatory, the Eucharist, Confession, the priesthood, Peters’ Chair and the 7 sacraments based on a “MAN’S” new version of the “church”…

Just because we follow parts of what Martin Luther and John Calvin wrote, doesn’t mean that we agree with everything they said or did. We compare each thing they said to the scripture. Anything they said which was compared to scripture and adds up, is worth listening to. Anything they say which compared to scripture does not add up, is false.

There is no way that you read the bible, knowing nothing of Luther, and all on your own came to the conclusions that you did.

I don’t know what that means? I don’t know that much about Luther unfortunately, because I didn’t pay much attention in History in school (I was homeschooled and it was part of my schooling.)
I do remember that he nailed his 95 thesis on the wall, but I never paid attention to what they were, and that’s basically all I know about him.
I should study more about him so that I could discuss this issue a little better.

I on the other hand, admit my ignorance, lack of multi languages and am true to the teachings of Jesus as passed on, unchanaged, for two thousand years, that are found only in the Catholic church.

I admit my ignorance too, Marykay. I believe that the Bible is the source of truth, not myself.

I can freely quote those more knowledgable than my self because I have admitted that I am not qualified to understand scripture at it’s deepest level. I accept, unchanged, what the church has taught since the first word of Genesis was written.

I am not qualified either, however, the Holy Spirit is, and the Bible assures me that the holy Spirit can and will teach me. And yes, that includes through preachers and teachers, who teach in accordance with the Bible:
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 8:24 AM

Let me also add that I think the Bible is written in such a way that even a child should be able to understand it.
Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 8:31 AM

Just wanted to lighten the mood a little though- I LOVE YOU GIRLS!!!

Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 8:33 AM

Bethany,

What I mean by following Luther is that every protestant interpretation of the bible is because of Him. Whether you realize it or not, you are following HIS interpretations.

Can you give me an example of where you would disagree with either Luther or Calvin.

And while you can show me that the bible doesn’t expressly say the word purgatory, you haven’t given me anything that definitively negates it.

The same with the Eucharist. Or confession. Or Peter’s Chair. Or the sacraments. Or the priesthood.

I can and have given you the biblical references for all of these things, then shown that it was accepted church teaching for 1500 years, and still you say, no, You know better. I just don’t get it.

Posted by: mk at February 27, 2008 8:34 AM

Can you give me an example of where you would disagree with either Luther or Calvin.

Well, you said that Luther tried to remove James from the Bible. That his followers put it back. Obviously, not only do I disagree with him there if this is what he did, but his followers must have as well.

I am just starting to learn about John Calvin, so I really don’t know as of yet.

I don’t base my beliefs on either of these men, but soley on the Bible itself.
Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 8:42 AM

And while you can show me that the bible doesn’t expressly say the word purgatory, you haven’t given me anything that definitively negates it.

The Bible doesn’t say anything about the rapture either, but there are those who will say that certain verses imply it is going to happen in our near future. I don’t agree that it is a Biblical belief…I believe that Jesus meant it when He said, “But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.” and “this generation shall not pass, till all things be fulfilled” (Mat 24:34).

Theres a lot more to that, but I can tell you, it was very easy to see “rapture” in passages like Matthew 24 when I went along with what the church taught me, as opposed to simply taking the Bible at face value. It was very easy to say, it is there, even though it wasn’t. Not for us, in this day and age.

Do you see what I’m trying to get at ?

Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 8:47 AM

Absolutely. We don’t accept the rapture either. But you can see how easy it would be. The idea of the rapture came from men messing with the accepted teachings.

Church fathers accepted purgatory. They did not accept this rapture theory.

I really wish you read more Catholic interpretations. Let me know what you think.

Especially the ones on the Eucharist, Confession and the priesthood.

I bet you’d be surprised to find that you agreed with much of it.

Posted by: mk at February 27, 2008 8:52 AM

Accepted teachings which disagreed with the Bible, and contradicted the Bible, Marykay.

The idea was invented as a joke by some guy (can’t remember his name now), and then someone took it seriously, I believe, and it took off from there.
Scofield wrote about it in his commentaries. People started trusting in the word of man, rather than adhering to the word of God.
This was the mistake, Marykay.

2 Timothy 4:3-5: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

We are supposed to :
Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict (Titus 1:9).

Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 8:59 AM

My point was not about the rapture contradicting the teachings of man, it was about it contradicting the plain and clear word of God…that’s what I’m trying to get at.

Just as I feel that purgatory is based on an assumption, and based on some verses, which do not specifically support it.

That is how I feel the rapture idea was supported too. Believe me, those who believe the Rapture is true, they can cite lots of verses which -out of their context- can definitely appear to mean what they want it to mean.

Purgatory is not expressed in the Bible clearly, yet the idea that we die and immediately are either with the Lord or in Hell is expressed in the Bible many times.

I simply cannot trust that a person’s teachings are correct unless they add up with the scripture. I just can’t. The Bible is the ONLY book that I feel is absolutely true, every part. No other book can compare.

If I read someone’s commentary, if I listen to a preacher, I ALWAYS compare what they have said with the scripture because it is the only way that I will know for sure that they are on the right track. If I allow my desires to control what I believe the Bible says, then I would be wrong to do so.

Arg, I know probably I have a lot of people angry with me now…I just want you to know how I feel./ I promise no offense is intended. I love you all.

Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 9:06 AM

I still hold that Abraham could not compassionately have asked for mercy on his brother, because he could show no compassion if her were in hell. There is no compassion in hell.

I know there is weeping and gnashing of teeth and that the worm dieth not, and all of that, but I do not remember a passage (but I definitely could have missed it) about there being no compassion or remorse in hell. Are you absolutely sure about that?
Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 9:16 AM

One thing that bothers me, MK, and this is what scares me about what Catholics believe. (I hope you will never take personal offense to how I feel about the beliefs of the Catholic church).

You basically believe that pretty much everyone is going to be burning in an intense fire, no matter what. That is, unless somehow they have worked hard enough and been good enough people that they can go straight to heaven without going to purgatory (as Bobby said in his 9:04 post). (and who can do that, since the Bible says that even if you keep the whole law perfectly, but offend in one point, you’re guilty of the whole law?)

If I believed that purgatory was in my future after death, even if later I would be rewarded by Heaven, I would be absolutely TERRIFIED to die. Because by ONE sin, I am guilty of them ALL.

Jesus promised me that I will have no more condemnation. That there will be no punishment, no need for more cleansing, that his payment was sufficient for all of that. But purgatory teaches that his grace is not sufficient to cleanse us from all sin, but that we must be purged after we die still to remove our attachment to sin, from what I have learned this last week.

I would be absolutely scared out of my mind if I thought that no matter what I did, if I died before I was able to go to a confession and get rid of some sin I had committed that day, that I would have to go to what is basically Hell, even if it is temporary. That would scare the living daylights out of me.

For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

If I believed that purgatory and a lake of fire – even just a temporary one- was imminent in my future (and believe me, it would be, because I am no where near perfect- that is, my flesh), I would be scared out of my mind and be terrified of dying. What a scary concept to me!

Can you possibly understand why that view bothers me?

Before yesterday, I actually thought that Catholics believed purgatory was a place where you have to sit around and just wait- just an empty hollow place without God. It was a vague understanding but that is about how much I had known about it.

But now I know that you believe it’s a lake of fire..that the sins are literally burned away off of your body, isn’t that scary to you?

Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 9:35 AM

Bethany & mk,

Ok. I’m a huge believer in the rapture, and am very curious how you would interpret these verses.

I Thessalonians 4:13-17

13But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

and these:

1 Corinthians 15:51-52

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

I’ve always believed this on the basis of the book of Revelations, that there are three parts to the last days. I believe that God has to pull (rapture) His church (believers) out of the way, first, before He can pour out his wrath (bowls), during the 7-year tribulation. Why would he want to pour his wrath out on believers? We have been perfected by Him? We are clothed in His love. For the rapture to not be “real”, would make many verses in the bible seem contradictory to me, IMO.

Posted by: JLM at February 27, 2008 9:43 AM

mk,
I promised you that I would respond to each verse that you posted, and that it will take me a great deal of time to do so. (you added more, now! oh no!)

I do keep my promises, however, if you would like for me to cease my responses, please let me know. I don’t want to offend or upset you. I’m not trying to “convert” you, I am simply trying to explain why I believe what I do, according the the scriptures I read.

I must say, though, that I thoroughly enjoy discussing the Word of God. I learn more every time I do so. So for that, I thank you.

Posted by: JLM at February 27, 2008 10:02 AM

Bethany & mk,
Ok. I’m a huge believer in the rapture, and am very curious how you would interpret these verses.
I Thessalonians 4:13-17
13But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
and these:
1 Corinthians 15:51-52
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Yes! I agree….I don’t know exactly how to explain this where you will understand…I’ll try though…. I do believe that there is going to be a moment where Jesus gathers us all up in the end. but what I don’t believe is that the tribulation period is in our future. I believe that happened in the destruction of Jerusalem.

If I may, can I recommend two books which really helped explain it to me. The books are, “End Times Fiction”, and “Last Days Madness”, by Gary DeMar. You may not agree with the content of the books, but I would ask that you at least take a look at them to see what you think about them. From my perspective it is very Biblically sound, using comparing scripture with scripture to help understand what the texts in Matthew 24 and others like it mean (those were always the most perplexing verses for me when I was pre-millenialist)

It was very difficult for me at first, to change my mind on these views, because they are what I had been taught all my life. But I had always been confused by the fact that Jesus repeatedly said that all of those tribulations would happen within that generation. I remember asking my mom about it and my pastor, and the only thing they would say, was that “Jesus didn’t really mean it like that”.

You have no idea how tormented I was while I believed the tribulation was coming soon. My mom made me watch those “Left behind” movies from the 70’s, and they scared the daylights out of me. People having their heads cut off and all of that.

I remember thinking all the time, every time it was quiet around me, that I had been “left behind”, and that even though I had asked Jesus to save me, that He hadn’t, and that I was doomed to have the mark of the beast on my hand or to have my head chopped off.

I remember my mom sent me to the grocery store across the street one time and when I got back, she was hiding in the closet. I couldn’t find her and I started screaming, “NOOO!!! DON’T LEAVE ME PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME BEHIND!” and I was sobbing hysterically by the time she came out and said it was just a joke she was trying to play.

I remember laying beside the door of my parents bedroom every night, trying desperately to hear them breathing, because if I didn’t hear them breathing, they might be gone, and I might be alone. I cried and prayed to God to save me every night, and just didn’t feel saved.

And whenever I was in a grocery store, if I lost sight of my mom, I would panic.

I feel that all of this fear and confusion was of the devil. Now I realize that my experience doesn’t necessarily make the belief that the tribulation period is coming in the future, untrue.

However, I now see no Biblical basis for the idea that a tribulation period is imminent in our future. I believe that that has already happened.

If you’ll read those books I told you about, I would love for you to give me your insight on them. I do appreciate your point of view, absolutely and I think that you’ll be able to tell whether it is Biblically sound or not.

I still go to a church which believes in pre-millennialism ..and my mom and dad still do believe in that. It’s very scary to tell anyone that I don’t though because I feel like they will be angry with me (that probably has a lot to do with my mom’s reaction when I started changing my mind on it. Suffice it to say, she wasn’t pleased.) I never even thought I’d bring it up here, to be honest. I am not quite sure why I did at all.

Here are links to the books on Amazon. You may want to start with End times fiction, if you are interested, as it’s much cheaper (only about 3.00 for a used copy):

http://www.amazon.com/Last-Days-Madness-Obsession-Modern/dp/0915815354/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1204132163&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0785266429/ref=sr_1_olp_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1204132144&sr=1-2

Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 11:13 AM

Bethany,
Thank you so much for the links for those books. I’m going to order them today and I’ll get back to you after I read them. Please be patient, though. I’m a VERY slow reader. My mind is constantly wandering, so it’s hard for me to concentrate while reading!

That is so funny (not really, though) that you had those fears when you were younger. I did too!

I’m sorry your mom had that reaction when you told her. It’s difficult sometimes when we don’t agree with what our parents tell us, especially when it comes to their teaching of spiritual things!

However, I now see no Biblical basis for the idea that a tribulation period is imminent in our future. I believe that that has already happened.

I agree that we really don’t know when the tribulation period is going to be close. I believe that it hasn’t come yet. Although it may seem like it from “signs of the times”, it could always get worse!

I hate to always post this link, but the way that Les explains things is so easy for my pea-sized brain to understand. The end times were always really confusing for me, but after I read these, it really cleared ALOT of things up for me. Check it out, if you’d like. I’d really like to hear what you think about it.

http://havefaith.org/ Read all of the links under Part D-The End Times.

Thanks for resonding, Bethany! I’m off to Amazon to buy those books!

:)

Posted by: JLM at February 27, 2008 11:33 AM

That is so funny (not really, though) that you had those fears when you were younger. I did too!

oh my goodness, what a relief!

and I am so happy you’ll be taking a look at the books. Take all the time you need. (hugs)

I’ll check out your link. Thanks! :)

Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 11:37 AM

hugs back, Bethany!

Posted by: JLM at February 27, 2008 11:49 AM

I know there is weeping and gnashing of teeth and that the worm dieth not, and all of that, but I do not remember a passage (but I definitely could have missed it) about there being no compassion or remorse in hell. Are you absolutely sure about that?

By defintion there can’t be. There is nothing of God in hell, compassion is good, all that is good is of God, so there can’t be compassion.

Those souls are probably gnashing and moaning because they are ticked off, not because they would change their mind if they could. They are not sorry for their sins, or sorry for offending God, they are only sorry that their options are gone…as in, they are stuck there.

Posted by: mk at February 27, 2008 11:55 AM

Ooops, I need to add, I didn’t mean that it was a relief that you had to go through all of that as a child- I wouldn’t wish that kind of worry on my worst enemy. I meant that it’s so nice to know that I wasn’t alone in that. That it wasn’t just me that had those feelings, and those fears!
Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 11:56 AM

JLM,

No, don’t stop answering. I too am learning. I didn’t realize how very fundamentally different our beliefs were. I didn’t realize that we view grace differently, forgiveness differently, sin differently..etc.

If nothing else, it makes me realize that are premises are not the same, so any ensuing discussions are gonna be pretty tricky.

I’m glad you’re not trying to convert but rather explain. Sometimes I have gotten a different feeling.

As I said, I have wondered whether you even think that Catholics are Christian. You have said that we worship idols and follow a false “Prophet” (the pope) and it felt like in your eyes, that was disqualifying us.

Posted by: mk at February 27, 2008 11:58 AM

Thank you for your response, mk!

I believe that God put us in this life to learn and prepare us for living in His Kingdom for eternity. So, this life, at least to me, is one BIG learning process. I don’t believe that learning will cease until we are with Him in Heaven.

I agree that we have HUGE differences on many aspects of our faiths. I’m truly sorry if you ever got the idea that I wanted to convert you. Like I stated in a previous post, if I believe what I believe and don’t share it, what kind of person would I be? If I didn’t love, I wouldn’t care, and I wouldn’t share.

I’m still learning, mk, about the Catholic faith. I’ll admit, and please don’t take offense, that there is doubt to the actual belief in Jesus. I mean, (for many reasons other than this) if you truly believe in what Jesus did on the cross, which is the only way to salvation, how can you possibly believe in purgatory?

However, I am learning, through your words, what the belief is. I don’t agree, but it is clarifying things for me. And trust me, I do continually pray that God gives me insight into this also.

God bless you, mk!!!
(hugs)

Posted by: JLM at February 27, 2008 12:10 PM

Bethany,

LOL. Yes, I can understand your fears. No I am not afraid.

I have read accounts of Saints that have seen purgatory. I think the burning is more of an “illustration”.

It is miserable yes, but because you are not yet with God, but are so close, AND because you see yourself as God sees you for the first time…you see how very far from perfect you are.

I know we use the word punishment…but it’s not punishment as in “YOU ARE BAD, YOU MUST BE PUNISHED” I take no pleasure in punishing my kids when they tick me off, but you do it for their sake. When I made Johnny sit on the chair yesterday for 10 minutes, it wasn’t because I was punishing him per se, but rather that I was trying to get him to think about leaving his backpack laying around. AGAIN! And trooper that he is, he never even questioned me. In a way, after the ten minutes was up, he could start with a clean slate. He “made up” for his carelessness and could look me in the eye again.

Had I just hung up his backpack for him, or made him do it but not made him “sit”, he’d forget tomorrow also. I did it because I love him.

God will cleanse me for the same reason. He loves me. He wants to remove, not just atone, for my imperfections.

In some of the saints visions they spoke of liars having their tongues burning and wanting just a drop of water. Or thiefs having their hands burning…some saints just talked about a deep lonliness and grayness…

There are also ways to pay the temporal price for our sins now…offering up our suffering, prayer…I can tell you that the suffering I felt watching my Tommy go into a psychotic state will be 10 times worse than a burning tongue. But because I accepted it and offered it up, it will probably take care of some of my “purgatory time”.

Sometimes I think I would rather have had a “tongue on fire”…

Does that help at all?

And I will tell you, the beauty, the peace, the passion I feel about the Eucharist, offsets any fear I could possibly have. I trust that what will be done, is what must be done. If the peace of heaven is even one drop as beautiful (and I’m sure it will 5 millions times greater) than the peace I feel when I receive Jesus at mass on Sunday, then I welcome whatever I have to do to get there.

Posted by: mk at February 27, 2008 12:11 PM

JLM,

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that hug. At one point you stopped talking to me, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I’d done.

I understand that both of us really believe in what we are saying and one of us must be not “as right” and that can shake up our world.

We must never lose sight of the fact that Jesus/God is the MOST IMPORTANT part of the picture. For Catholics as well. (Well, Catholics that know their faith anyway). He is always first. He is always only. There is nothing else.

*Hugs* back. That felt good.

Posted by: mk at February 27, 2008 12:19 PM

Awww great cyber-hug! :)

Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 12:43 PM

your hug back feels pretty good, too!

Posted by: JLM at February 27, 2008 12:44 PM

Bethany,
Too cute!!!

Posted by: JLM at February 27, 2008 12:47 PM

Bethany,

I know we use the word punishment…but it’s not punishment as in “YOU ARE BAD, YOU MUST BE PUNISHED” I take no pleasure in punishing my kids when they tick me off, but you do it for their sake. When I made Johnny sit on the chair yesterday for 10 minutes, it wasn’t because I was punishing him per se, but rather that I was trying to get him to think about leaving his backpack laying around. AGAIN! And trooper that he is, he never even questioned me. In a way, after the ten minutes was up, he could start with a clean slate. He “made up” for his carelessness and could look me in the eye again.

I understand your analogy, but a punishment that happens after death would not be a natural consequence of that sin. It would be a supernaturally imposed consequence which would mean that God is making you literally pay for your sins.
If you make johnny sit in a chair, you are making him pay for his sin of laziness. If God let you sit in purgatory and have a burning arm, leg, tongue, whatever, that is a punishment.

“Punishment is the practice of imposing something unpleasant or aversive on a person or animal in response to an unwanted or disobedient behavior.”

Had I just hung up his backpack for him, or made him do it but not made him “sit”, he’d forget tomorrow also. I did it because I love him.

Again, that makes it a punishment. Something that he has to correct about himself. Something that he should work at to prevent that punishment from happening again. God says that it is not our works that justify, cleanse, redeem, or remove our sins at all. It is only through the blood of Christ that those sins can be removed. And once they are removed, they are truly “gone”. As far as the east is from the west. Even the sins you haven’t committed yet. They are forgiven. You are still His child, you will still live in Heaven, but of course you will suffer natural consequences of your sins on earth. The wages of sin is DEATH. The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This means that the final payment, the FINAL one that we have to pay for our sins, that is death.

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness.

And here, read this part especially:
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us-ward.

Our sufferings that we endure…those are on earth. They are not in some place between Heaven and earth. The Bible says that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
Jesus said to the thief on the cross, “today you shall be with me in paradise”.

God will cleanse me for the same reason. He loves me. He wants to remove, not just atone, for my imperfections.

This is where we do not agree with one another. I believe that Jesus not only atoned for our sins, but removed them from us, as far as the east is from the west. God will not punish us according to our transgressions, as it says in Psalms:

8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

There are also ways to pay the temporal price for our sins now…offering up our suffering, prayer…I can tell you that the suffering I felt watching my Tommy go into a psychotic state will be 10 times worse than a burning tongue. But because I accepted it and offered it up, it will probably take care of some of my “purgatory time”.
Sometimes I think I would rather have had a “tongue on fire”…

Wow, Marykay, I’m sorry you had to deal with something so awful.

Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 12:57 PM

1 Cor. 3:15 if any mans work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. The phrase for “suffer loss” in the Greek is “zemiothesetai.” The root word is “zemioo” which also refers to punishment. The construction zemiothesetai is used in Ex. 21:22 and Prov. 19:19 which refers to punishment (from the Hebrew anash meaning punish or penalty). Hence, this verse proves that there is an expiation of temporal punishment after our death, but the person is still saved. This cannot mean heaven (there is no punishment in heaven) and this cannot mean hell (the possibility of expiation no longer exists and the person is not saved).

1 Cor. 3:15 further, Paul writes he himself will be saved, “but only” (or yet so) as through fire. He will be saved in the Greek is sothesetai (which means eternal salvation). The phrase “but only” (or yet so) in the Greek is “houtos” which means “in the same manner.” This means that man is both eternally rewarded and eternally saved in the same manner by fire.

Posted by: mk at February 27, 2008 1:07 PM

Eph 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Think about this verse for a moment. Suppose you got to go directly to Heaven and completely bypass purgatory, because before you died you had gone to confession and you had done a great work for God, and therefore, you had not sinned again before you died.

You could then boast that this was due to your righteousness, that you had gotten to Heaven without having to first receive a punishment through purgatory. Where is Jesus glory in purgatory? Jesus glory is lost in purgatory, because it puts the emphasis on the works of the person.

Jesus said that we have no attachment to sin except through our flesh, which is shed completely when we die our physical death.

Once our body dies, our attachment to sin is absolutely gone. We are given a new body, which is perfect and entire, immortal and sinless.

I have decided to use the New Life Translation to show you the following verses. It makes it even simpler to understand what I’m trying to explain:

1 Corinthians 5

1 Our body is like a house we live in here on earth. When it is destroyed, we know that God has another body for us in heaven. The new one will not be made by human hands as a house is made. This body will last forever. 2 Right now we cry inside ourselves because we wish we could have our new body which we will have in heaven. 3 We will not be without a body. We will live in a new body. 4 While we are in this body, we cry inside ourselves because things are hard for us. It is not that we want to die. Instead, we want to live in our new bodies. We want this dying body to be changed into a living body that lasts forever. 5 It is God Who has made us ready for this change. He has given us His Spirit to show us what He has for us.

6 We are sure of this. We know that while we are at home in this body we are not with the Lord. 7 Our life is lived by faith. We do not live by what we see in front of us. 8 We are sure we will be glad to be free of these bodies. It will be good to be at home with the Lord. 9 So if we stay here on earth or go home to Him, we always want to please Him. 10 For all of us must stand before Christ when He says who is guilty or not guilty. Each one will receive pay for what he has done. He will be paid for the good or the bad done while he lived in this body.

11 Because of this, we know the fear of God. So we try to get men to put their trust in Christ. God knows us. I hope that your hearts know me well also. 12 We do not want to sound as if we think we are so important. Instead, we are making it easy for you to be proud of us. In that way, you will be able to tell them about us. They always talk about the way people look, but do not care about their hearts. 13 Are we crazy to talk like this? It is all because of what God has done. If we are using our minds well, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ puts us into action. We are sure that Christ died for everyone. So, because of that, everyone has a part in His death. 15 Christ died for everyone so that they would live for Him. They should not live to please themselves but for Christ Who died on a cross and was raised from the dead for them.

16 So from now on, we do not think about what people are like by looking at them. We even thought about Christ that way one time. But we do not think of Him that way anymore. 17 For if a man belongs to Christ, he is a new person. The old life is gone. New life has begun. 18 All this comes from God. He is the One Who brought us to Himself when we hated Him. He did this through Christ. Then He gave us the work of bringing others to Him. 19 God was in Christ. He was working through Christ to bring the whole world back to Himself. God no longer held men’s sins against them. And He gave us the work of telling and showing men this. 20 We are Christ’s missionaries. God is speaking to you through us. We are speaking for Christ and we ask you from our hearts to turn from your sins and come to God. 21 Christ never sinned but God put our sin on Him. Then we are made right with God because of what Christ has done for us.

Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 1:15 PM

1 Cor. 3:15 if any mans work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. The phrase for “suffer loss” in the Greek is “zemiothesetai.” The root word is “zemioo” which also refers to punishment. The construction zemiothesetai is used in Ex. 21:22 and Prov. 19:19 which refers to punishment (from the Hebrew anash meaning punish or penalty). Hence, this verse proves that there is an expiation of temporal punishment after our death, but the person is still saved. This cannot mean heaven (there is no punishment in heaven) and this cannot mean hell (the possibility of expiation no longer exists and the person is not saved).
1 Cor. 3:15 further, Paul writes he himself will be saved, “but only” (or yet so) as through fire. He will be saved in the Greek is sothesetai (which means eternal salvation). The phrase “but only” (or yet so) in the Greek is “houtos” which means “in the same manner.” This means that man is both eternally rewarded and eternally saved in the same manner by fire.

Marykay, the verse you describe is an analogy, it is not talking about a literal foundation- it is talking about the foundation of Jesus Christ, which would be salvation.
Then, it is speaking of a figurative wood, hay, stubble, and the precious stones…those are all figurative.

This leads me to believe that the works being “burned” is also metaphorical to explain how God is going to see what we did for Him in our time on earth, and we will suffer loss if we did not do anything worth a reward, and we will have a reward if it was worthy of a reward. This has nothing to do with our salvation, which is why it says that we will still be saved, regardless, because after the works are burned, we still have the “foundation” of Christ, which is all we need to be saved. I don’t know if what I wrote made much sense to you but I hope so… sometimes my thoughts get jumbled a bit.

Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 1:25 PM

Especially when I’ve been on the computer all day! lol

I think I better get off here finally and get some work done (and run some errands in town.)
Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 1:26 PM

Bethany & mk,
Between the last two posts, it got me thinking.

If purgatory is real, what exactly would burn there if we get new bodies in Heaven? (The incorruptible kind.)

Would the our current bodies burn?
There’s no use, then because we’re getting new ones anyway.

Would the soul burn?

Here’s something I found, mk, regarding the gold, silver, fire, etc. I think it fits in beautifully, if I can show you: (my thoughts are in italics)

1 Peter 1:5-9
5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith�of greater worth than gold, (your faith is of greater worth than gold!) which perishes even though refined by fire(you are not refined by fire, gold is. Refined gold will still perish, but your faith, hopefully will not)�may be proved (by maintaining your faith throughout your troubles and trials)genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. you need to have GENUINE faith in order to receive salvation

Do you see that?

Posted by: JLM at February 27, 2008 1:40 PM

hey, if you guys can modify my above post to take off the bold after “suffer grief in all kinds of trials.”, I’d appreciate it. I forgot to “turn it off”….silly me!

Posted by: JLM at February 27, 2008 1:50 PM

Thanks!
:)

Posted by: JLM at February 27, 2008 2:16 PM

Oh, that’s just wonderful! I love to see members of the body of Christ helping each other. As much as we disagree about, there is much more that we do hold in common. God love you, LJM and Bethany.

God love you too, Bobby! And you Marykay! And you JLM. :) I hope you all have a wonderful evening!

Posted by: Bethany at February 27, 2008 5:27 PM

you too, Bethany!

Posted by: JLM at February 27, 2008 6:03 PM

Paragraph #9:

Heb. 12:14 – without holiness no one will see the Lord. We need final sanctification to attain true holiness before God, and this process occurs during our lives and, if not completed during our lives, in the transitional state of purgatory.

We need to take a look at the verses that precede verse # 14 for context:

Hebrews 12:1-2

1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Surrounded by a vast crowd of those who, in former ages, had run their race for God victoriously and who looking at the initial struggles of the newborn church, the runners are urged to keep their eyes on the goal and to strain every nerve and muscle to win. (Halleys Bible Handbook, page 789)

In these next verses, we can see that they are told to not be discouraged because discipline (the ability to behave in a controlled and calm way even in a difficult or stressful situation: Encarta Dictionary) is one of the ways that God uses to perfect his saints.

Hebrews 12:3-13 (NIV, because the KJV could seem a bit harder to read and understand)

3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when herebukes you,

6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?

8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.

9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!

10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.

11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.

13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
These, again were words of encouragement to the runners. God needed to toughen them up (discipline them) in order for them to be prepared for the plan He had for them. They need to be strong-willed to preach the gospel and continue to do so even when they may be ridiculed or persecuted for it:

Hebrews 12:14-17 (NIV)

14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

We can see Jesus (the Lord) in the people that we meet. The author here was also telling them to play nice with their fellow man, and to follow the holy ways of God. If they didnt , no one would see the Lord in them, therefore the people they were sharing the Gospel with wouldnt come to know the Lord through them.

15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. these are the blessings from God. A bitter root will not produce blessings from Him, but will defile the people

16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.

17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.

This is where the author was urging them to be very careful to guard against defiling themselves in any way, lest they sell their birthright.

This reminds me of the conversation that we had earlier regarding us disciplining OUR kids. The discipline that we give them prepares them for life and gives them the opportunity to pass that knowledge down to the next generation. Each generation, then, is perfected more and more by the lessons, or discipline, that we give our kids. That’s why it’s so important to stay holy and righteous in God’s eyes. Our children are “watching” us. If we screw up, how many gereations will be affected by it?

References to the importance of generations were a very important thread throughout the entire bible.
Posted by: JLM at February 27, 2008 8:31 PM

Paragraph #10

Heb. 12:23 – the spirits of just men who died in godliness are “made” perfect. They do not necessarily arrive perfect. They are made perfect after their death. But those in heaven are already perfect, and those in hell can no longer be made perfect. These spirits are in purgatory.

The preceding verses, again, are what we need to take a look at here, along with one after. Ill break this down into two parts, so you can easily see the contrast between the Old Covenant of the law and the New Covenant, grace. My comments will be in italics:

18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:

21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)

Okay, right here. Those verses dealt with the utter fear and separation that the Law brought (Old Covenant) In contrast, the next verses:

22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

The New Covenant brings utter joy and overwhelming blessings. If you take a look at verse 22-23, it shows the fellowship of the church: the saints on earth, the spirits of the redeemed, and infinite hosts of angels. Everyone that was ever written in the Book of Life is here, in communion around the throne of God forever.

Verse 24 finishes this lovely reality off with the reason for our names being written in heaven and our spirits made perfect Jesus blood, that promised much better blessings than those of the Old Covenant (blood of animals).

Heres those same verses from the NIV:

18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm;

19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them,

20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.

21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.

22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,

23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,

24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

We were made righteous and perfect, and could share eternal blessings only by the shedding of Jesus blood.
Posted by: JLM at February 27, 2008 9:02 PM

Paragraph #11:

1 Peter 3:19; 4:6 – Jesus preached to the spirits in the “prison.” These are the righteous souls being purified for the beatific vision.

The verses in context: (KJV)

18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: topic for another day?

22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

I believe that the spirits that he preached to in prison, were the ones that were in Sheol/Hades (the realm of the dead). With the reference to which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah”, it leads me to believe that Jesus preached to these souls, not the ones condemned to hell, but the righteous ones that were waiting in Sheol, on the side of Paradise.

These verses speak of the three days that Jesus was in Sheol, not hell, and not purgatory. Remember, he was there until he rose again on the third day.

More on this subject:

Luke 16:25

“But Abraham said, `Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.'”

Luke 16:26

“And beside all of this (even if I would want to come), between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.”

So what do we have? We’ve got hell, or hades, or however you want to define it, but Abraham defines it as a great gulf fixed. Now on one side was torment, no doubt about it. But on the other side was Paradise.

We know that before the Cross, all the way from Adam, that men lived and died. Even the believers died with the two exceptions (and I’m always pointing out that God is God and He can make His exceptions). But there were only two that did not die and go down into Paradise, rather, they went up. They were Enoch and Elijah. Now those were God’s exceptions.

Other than those two, the rest of the believers of the Old Testament could not go to Heaven. They had to go down to Paradise, because the atoning blood of Christ is the only thing that removes the stain of sin. Animals’ blood couldn’t. So these Old Testament believers were saved for eternity, but they were not ready for God’s presence, because their sins had not been atoned for by the blood of Christ. So they went down to Paradise.

On the other hand, the lost from Cain till even today are going down into hell as we understand it, but into the torment side. When the thief was told by Jesus, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise,” Christ was speaking of what He said in Matthew about the center part of the earth. Remember Christ said that, I didn’t. That He would be three days and three nights in the center part of the earth.

Now the Apostle Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, puts his stamp of approval on all of this in the Book of Ephesians, and that is why I find it so comfortable and easy to teach. And here it comes out in such plain language. This isn’t gobbledy-gook, or something that takes a theologian’s degree to understand. Just take it for what it says;

Ephesians 4:7

“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”

Ephesians 4:8

” Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high (as he did in John Chapter 20:17. That’s when I think Christ took all of these that were in Paradise with Him), he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” Watch the term `captivity and captive.’

Now verse 9:

Ephesians 4:9,10

“(Now that he ascended (in other words He went up) , what is it but that he what?) descended first into (where?) the lower parts of the earth? He went down into the Paradise side of hell or Hades, where Abraham and the Old Testament saints were.
He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)”

Now putting it in just plain visual perspective, the following happens. From the Cross, He and the thief went down into the Paradise side of Sheol, Hades, or hell. But on the Resurrection morning, when He told Mary in John 20:17 “…Touch me not.; for I am not yet ascended to my Father:…” I think right here is where Christ emptied the Paradise side and took those Old Testament believers with Him.

And where is Paradise today? It’s up in Heaven! Paul teaches in II Corinthians 5:8 “…rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” We don’t go down into the heart of the earth! We go immediately up into the presence of the Lord, because that is where Paradise is now located.

The Old Testament tells us that hell, the place of torment, is enlarged. In other words, after Paradise was removed that whole area has now become then, totally the place of torment. So when an unbeliever dies today, that unbeliever still goes down to this place of torment.

Now here we are at the end of the thousand years reign and rule of Christ and we are at the Great White Throne. It’s up in space somewhere. It’s not on the earth, because the earth has fled away. So now in the resurrection of the unjust, they are brought back bodily because that’s what resurrection denotes. Now, back to Revelation 20. Here the lost stand before the Lord, Who in their case is the Judge, and not the Savior. As Judge, He shows them their record, and there will be degrees of punishment. Jesus made that so plain, when He said to the people of Capernaum in Matthew 11, the following:

Matthew 11:23,24

“And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, `That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.'”

So He makes it very plain that the people of Capernaum would suffer more in their eternal doom, than the horrible people of Sodom.
http://havefaith.org/new_page_14a.htm
Posted by: JLM at February 27, 2008 9:33 PM

mk,
I’ll get to the final three tomorrow. (my fingers are going to either fall off, or carpal tunnel (sp?) will set in!

The one’s on Revelation I have WAY too much to say about!

Have a wonderful evening & God bless.

one last hug for the road…..

Good night !

Posted by: JLM at February 27, 2008 9:42 PM

OOPS! Im sorry. I totally forgot to address 1 Peter 4:6 in my last post for you.

1 Peter 3:19; 4:6 – Jesus preached to the spirits in the “prison.” These are the righteous souls being purified for the beatific vision.

For context, 1 Peter 4:6

1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

after those two verses, you can plainly see the importance of living in the flesh verses living in the Spirit. When we live in the flesh, we give into the lusts of men. Verse two sums it up by telling us that we should live the rest of our lives to the will of God.

3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. the dead here, refer to the people that are still living in the flesh.

6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, living in the flesh that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

(notice how the end of all things has not come yet, so these verses are talking about how to live in the present)

These verses give us something to look forward to while we go through suffering here on earth. The gospel of Jesus Christ was preached so that even though we may be judged or persecuted or laughed at by men for living according to God in the spirit, we know that what men think doesnt matter, its what God thinks. Follow Gods way, not mans.

Again, when we live in the flesh, we are dead. Flesh will die. When we live according to the will of God, we are alive! God is eternal.

These verses were a letter written for Christians to be ready for persecution and suffering. Very few people get through life without a good deal of suffering of one kind or another: physical suffering, mental suffering, heart suffering. Christians are to be prepared to willingly suffer injustly for doing good. Such suffering enables the Christian to set straight personal priorities. Sinful desires and unrighteous activities that once seemed important become insignificant during times of suffering. The enemy, who causes persecution and suffering for Christians, hopes that they will fall away from God during these times. But suffering often has the opposite effect of drawing Christians closer to God. Halleys Bible Handbook, page 801

Posted by: JLM at February 28, 2008 8:03 PM

Paragraph #12

Rev. 21:4 – God shall wipe away their tears, and there will be no mourning or pain, but only after the coming of the new heaven and the passing away of the current heaven and earth. Note the elimination of tears and pain only occurs at the end of time. But there is no morning or pain in heaven, and God will not wipe away their tears in hell. These are the souls experiencing purgatory.

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Clearly, John was describing what he saw in his vision. In verse 4, the former things, (that come when the new heaven and earth are created) that he knows of on earth, (he is living on earth at the time he wrote this) will not be there in heaven. He knows of great sorrow, tears, pain and death on earth. He is living in it right now at this time that he is writing his vision down! But in this vision he sees, he sees that there is no more suffering. No more suffering or tears or pain or death for the living on earth when the new heaven is created. This comes after the 1000 year reign of Christ here on earth. When the 1000 years have ended, this earth, heaven and the sea will be no more (verse 1) and a new heaven and new earth were created.

Now, picture yourself seeing this vision. You want to tell your husband and kids right away what you saw. You gather them all around you and you say to them, 3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

And your husband and kids look at you excitedly and say, that sounds so wonderful!
Posted by: JLM at February 28, 2008 8:26 PM

Paragraph #13:

Rev. 21:27 – nothing unclean shall enter heaven. The word unclean comes from the Greek word koinon which refers to a spiritual corruption. Even the propensity to sin is spiritually corrupt, or considered unclean, and must be purified before entering heaven. It is amazing how many Protestants do not want to believe in purgatory. Purgatory exists because of the mercy of God. If there were no purgatory, this would also likely mean no salvation for most people. God is merciful indeed.

In context:
Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Note, not the ones who spent time in purgatory, but those who are writeen in the Lamb’s book of life.

The part that was left out in your description of verse 27 is the most important part of that verse!!! Of course there is no sin allowed in heaven. All Christians, regardless of denomination, can I think agree on that one. Gods mercy is sending His son Jesus Christ to pay for ALL sin so that we may have eternal life. No one can enter heaven unless their names are written in the Lambs book of life. When were the names written?

Look at this:

Revelation 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Our names were written there when God created the world! He knew in advance if we were going to accept Christs sacrifice for our sins. This verse, by including the part that was left out, clearly shows that the cleanliness necessary for entering Heaven is only gotten through grace by the finished work of the Jesus on the cross.
Posted by: JLM at February 28, 2008 8:46 PM

Paragraph #14

Luke 23:43 many Protestants argue that, because Jesus sent the good thief right to heaven, there can be no purgatory. There are several rebuttals. First, when Jesus uses the word “paradise, He did not mean heaven. Paradise, from the Hebrew “sheol,” meant the realm of the righteous dead. This was the place of the dead who were destined for heaven, but who were captive until the Lord’s resurrection. Second, since there was no punctuation in the original manuscript, Jesus statement I say to you today you will be with me in paradise does not mean there was a comma after the first word you. This means Jesus could have said, I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise (meaning, Jesus could have emphasized with exclamation his statement was today or now, and that some time in the future the good thief would go to heaven). Third, even if the thief went straight to heaven, this does not prove there is no purgatory (those who are fully sanctified in this life perhaps by a bloody and repentant death could be ready for admission in to heaven).

Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

I agree with the part that the thief did not go immediately to heaven. He did indeed go to paradise, the realm of the righteous dead. This is totally correct. When you said that this was the place of the dead who were destined for heaven, but who were captive until the Lords resurrection is also correct. But what happened after the Lords resurrection? Paradise (the people in it) moved up to heaven, the great gulf fixed was removed, (along with the paradise side) and torments was enlarged. Paradise was the side in which the souls of the just awaited resurrection.

Hades is the intermediate state of the lost who are awaiting judgment. This is why when a believer dies, they can immediately go into heaven, while the unbelievers go to Hades to await judgment. Hell has not been opened yet, and it wont until the Day of Judgment.

But heres the wonderful news!

Ephesians 4:5-8

5 One Lord, (in Jesus Christ)one faith,(in Jesus Christ),/i> one baptism, (in Jesus Christ)

6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Jesus is above us, through us and in us. Believers are assured that they are cleansed of all sin through Jesus. God cannot live in sin. God is above us, through us and in us

7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. How big is that gift from Christ? Its immeasurable! Thats how much grace He gave us! That is the most awesome, free gift anyone could ever ask for!

8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive,He set free the righteous dead in paradise and gave gifts unto men. Eternal life in Heaven!

Isnt that beautiful!

Please reflect on the following verse. Read it over, and over, and over again while asking the Holy Spirit to fill you with these words:

Ephesians 4:7

“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”
Posted by: JLM at February 28, 2008 9:21 PM

Paragraph #15

Gen. 50:10; Num. 20:29; Deut. 34:8 – here are some examples of ritual prayer and penitent mourning for the dead for specific periods of time. The Jewish understanding of these practices was that the prayers freed the souls from their painful state of purification, and expedited their journey to God.

Genesis 50:10 And they came to the threshingfloor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days.

Numbers 20:29 And when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they mourned for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel.

Deuteronomy 34:8 And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.

I dont see anything here about praying for the dead. Mourning with great and very sore lamentaion is crying and being sad.

Encarta Dictionary:

Lamentation: express sadness: to express grief or sorrow about something.

Mourning: show of sadness at somebodys death: the feeling or showing of deep sadness following somebody’s death.

I dont believe in purgatory or praying for the dead, but I will still cry at funerals and I will still be sad when a loved one is departed.

Im also not Jewish, and I believe that Jesus came for us already. The people back in these days did not have Jesus blood to cleanse them of sin. They had to sacrifice animals, etc., and offer them to God for repentance. When these people, who followed Gods laws and were righteous died, they went to the paradise side of Hades. (which we have discussed a few times now). Perhaps they were praying that they would go to heaven soon? Were they praying for their Savior to come? They were very ceremonial people. Even their worship to God was ceremonial.
Posted by: JLM at February 28, 2008 10:03 PM

okay, fingers are cramped! Must stop for the night! I’ll finish up tomorrow evening.

Hey, just in time for the next weekend question!!!

Posted by: JLM at February 28, 2008 10:05 PM

John: God doesn’t necessarily think as you do (He is not in a Cartesian box you are!) You just cannot seem to fathom that God is not some kind of mental construct.

Doesn’t matter – whether construct or not – the same logic applies. You say “Cartesian box” yet in reality your box is smaller than mine – mine includes people both religious and non-religious. The exact manner of a god’s thinking would not matter. If what we think of as our future is known to another entity, then we do not have free will.
……

We discussed this before but the surest and easiest way to dismiss the notion that all-is-just-a-dream, is pain. A good swift kick in the groin very quickly snaps a person out of dream existence, another is the need for food or breath, or the need to pee.

No, John, for dreams can seem real. If anything I’d say that conscious beings cannot be sure they won’t later “wake up” and find that their experience to that time was akin to a dream. That said, you and I don’t disagree on most things, and we share many assumptions.
……

There is only ‘is-ness’/now. What we call reality is a construct of two realms: actuality + virtuality. Actuality is God’s domain and is this ‘now’ universe …. the virtuality is man’s mental domain of memories and imagination. Much too often we believe the now occurs only in its transition to ‘was’. This transition then is not tangible because thoughts are not tangible.

Far-out, Man….
……

It’s the old ‘did the tree falling in the forest make a sound?’. Well ‘yes’ and ‘no’ – the tree does make pressure waves, but it is our brain’s hearing apparatus that translates these waves into ‘sound’.

So yes it made a sound, but it did not make noise, which is dependent on a receiver. “Sound” doesn’t have to have our brains.
……

We often are like the little kid who closes his eyes and because he can’t see then he disappears. The act of ‘growing-up’ is the movement from illusions of being creator (flying) to accepting and rollicking in the fact that “I am a created being’.”

Growing up can be realizing that Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, and other supernatural and imaginary stuff is not real.
…..

Freedom does not come from selection of options (virtuality) but through the power of love/peace (actuality) …. to become one – in another …. space; time etc are of small consequence. As is thoughts of predestination. Doesn’t mean very much at all except to the kid holding his breath to impress others with superior reasoning (virtuality) skills.

It is not “love” to take away women’s freedom.
……

I really find it funny that St. John refers to the ‘Logos’ … (mind of God), which we translate as the ‘Word’. Yet PC’ers demand ‘logic’ from PL’ers without a reference to God.

Where, really, do you see those “demands”? Heck, my opinion is – “say what you want, but don’t expect a pregnant woman to do what you say, necessarily.”

Posted by: Doug at February 29, 2008 1:25 AM

yllas: It is hard to believe that Doug is still totally under the sway of his parent’s religion to this day.

For most people other than you, probably, yllas, because while you are often nonsensical, they are not.

My parents would have some pity for you, but also feel you are damaged goods, as evidenced by your behavior here. They would think you a bigot.

“One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.”

I know there are wonderful Catholic people on earth, as well as wonderful Protestants, agnostics, atheists, members of other religions, etc.

You rant and rave about atheists, Protestants, agnostics, members of other religions, really – anybody from outside your own little “tribe.” One of these days the dictionary is going to have your picture beside the entry for “bigot.”

In the meantime…..

Posted by: Doug at February 29, 2008 1:27 AM

Paragraph #16

Baruch 3:4 – Baruch asks the Lord to hear the prayers of the dead of Israel. Prayers for the dead are unnecessary in heaven and unnecessary in hell. These dead are in purgatory.

A Roman Catholic writes states, In the Catholic Bible the Prophecy of Baruch is made up of six chapters, the last of which bears the special title of an epistle of Jeremiah, and does not belong to the book proper.

New Advent Website (copyright 2002 by Kevin Knight. All rights reserved. newadvent.org) Baruch, Frances E. Gigot, transcribed by Janet Grayson, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume II (Copyright 1907 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright 1999 by Kevin Knight) Imprimatur: +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York

Baruch 3:4,
Douay Version-translated for the Latin Vulgate, O Lord Almighty, thou God of Israel, hear now the prayers of the dead of Israel, and of their children.
http://www.drbo.org/chapter/30003.htm

Modern Roman Catholic The New American Bible has radically changed this verse to read, Lord Almighty, God of Israel, hear the prayer of Israels few, the sons of those who sinned against you.
http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/baruch/baruch3.htm

That is quite a radical change, don’t you think?

Posted by: JLM at February 29, 2008 8:34 PM

Paragraph #17

Zech. 9:11 – God, through the blood of His covenant, will set those free from the waterless pit, a spiritual abode of suffering which the Church calls purgatory.

Zechariah 9:11
As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.

As for thee -that is, the daughter of Zion,” or “Jerusalem”

Zecharaih 9:9
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass).

The “thee also,” in contradistinction to Messiah spoken of in Zec 9:10

10: And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.

This implies that besides cutting off the battle-bow and extending Messiah’s “dominion to the ends of the earth,” God would also deliver for her her exiled people from their foreign captivity.

by the blood of thy covenant-that is, according to the covenant vouchsafed to thee on Sinai, and ratified by the blood of sacrifices:

Exodus 24:8
And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words;

and

Hebrews 9:18-20
18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.

19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,

20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.

pit wherein . no water-Dungeons were often pits without water, miry at the bottom, such as Jeremiah sank in when confined:

Genesis 37:23-24
23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;

24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.

And

Jeremiah 38:6
6 Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire.

The book of Zechariah is a prophetic book. These verses portray the image of the misery of the Jewish exiles in Egypt, Greece, &c., under the successors of Alexander, especially under Antiochus Epiphanes, who robbed and profaned the temple, slew thousands, and enslaved more. God delivered them by the Maccabees. A type of the future deliverance from their last great persecutor hereafter:

Isaiah 51:14 The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail.

Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
Posted by: JLM at February 29, 2008 9:23 PM

Paragraph #18 (final)

2 Macc. 12:43-45 – the prayers for the dead help free them from sin and help them to the reward of heaven. Those in heaven have no sin, and those in hell can no longer be freed from sin. They are in purgatory. Luther was particularly troubled with these verses because he rejected the age-old teaching of purgatory. As a result, he removed Maccabees from the canon of the Bible.

Again, I don’t read the Maccabees, but here’s what I noticed: (Please also see my February 26, 2008 9:21 PM post for more on the Maccabees)

2 Maccabees 12:43-46

43 He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. (a sacrifice is a sin-offering they wanted a quick sin-offering which, by the way, I thought was why Jesus Christ came) In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, (note: not holy way) inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view;

44 for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death.

45 But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought.

46 Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin.

Yes, these books were taken out for a very good reason.

I thought that either you or Bobby (or both) told me that you cant buy someone out of purgatory. If this is not the RCCs practice anymore, why do you still read the Maccabees, or more important, why are hasnt the RCC taken them out yet?

Posted by: JLM at February 29, 2008 10:15 PM

I dont see anything here about praying for the dead. Mourning with great and very sore lamentaion is crying and being sad.

You see this where the danger of “It doesn’t explicityly say so in the bible comes from.

The Jews to this day, have a mourning period (Shloshim) after someone dies. The above passages are describing this custom…We know it to be true, because looking outside of scripture and into what Jews actually do, we can see that they pray for their dead…

Shloshim Thirty days

The thirty-day period following the death (including shiva) is known as shloshim (Hebrew: ?????? ; “thirty”). During shloshim, a mourner is forbidden to marry or to attend a seudat mitzvah (“religious festive meal”). Men do not shave or get haircuts during this time.

Since Judaism teaches that a deceased person can still benefit from the merit of mitzvot (deeds commanded by God) done in their memory, it is considered a special privilege to bring merit to the departed by learning Torah in their name. A popular custom is to coordinate a group of people who will jointly study the complete Mishnah during the shloshim period.

Posted by: mk at March 1, 2008 9:23 AM

Doug,

Growing up can be realizing that Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, and other supernatural and imaginary stuff is not real.

No, growing up is realizing that Santa Clause and the Tooth fairy are not real, but that other supernatural “stuff” is…the part that makes you a grownup is the ability to discern the difference.

Posted by: mk at March 1, 2008 9:25 AM

JLM,

That is quite a radical change, don’t you think?

What makes you think that the Catholics changed it and not the protestants?

Posted by: mk at March 1, 2008 9:27 AM

Zech. 9:11 – God, through the blood of His covenant, will set those free from the waterless pit, a spiritual abode of suffering which the Church calls purgatory.
*
Zechariah 9:11
As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.
**
As for thee -that is, the daughter of Zion,” or “Jerusalem”
*
Zecharaih 9:9
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass).

As with most of Old Testament scripture there is meaning for the people of the time and meaning for us, in the future. It is a foreshadowing. Hence, the term “Prophet”

Yes the prisoners at that time will be free. But there is always a second meaning that should be read about the people of our time….post Resurrection.

Posted by: mk at March 1, 2008 9:37 AM

@Doug,

“Growing up can be realizing that Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, and other supernatural and imaginary stuff is not real.”

Perhaps this is the juncture of a ‘major error’. There is little doubt that a child cannot discern differences in what is believable. However, to reject the whole of belief realities as if such amounted to nonsense, is disingenuous. For instance the beverages you like/drink as an adult are often different (repulsive at times) to those you had as a child. And yet, I do not notice any movement to ban drinking any liquid at all as ‘childish behavior’.

John

Posted by: Anonymous at March 1, 2008 9:41 AM

JLM,

I thought that either you or Bobby (or both) told me that you cant buy someone out of purgatory. If this is not the RCCs practice anymore, why do you still read the Maccabees, or more important, why are hasnt the RCC taken them out yet?

Firstly, because they were left in by those who were THERE…Luther comes along and doesn’t like what he sees because it goes against HIS OWN interpretation, so he just disses scripture? And this doesn’t bother you?

Secondly, earlier you show me scripture that you only apply to the time it was written in and use it to prove that it doesn’t apply today.

Now you take scripture and apply it to today, but ignore the fact that it was the old covenant, and paying money for your sins was a viable way of atoning. Not to mention it doesn’t say what the money was used for. (could have been alms) and the fact that it was still a sacrifice to part with the money.

Thirdly, it doesn’t matter that it was “money”…again, this was according to the old law, but the “idea” of offering up atonement, paying for your sins, temporal punishment, with sacrifice is the same.

Christ showed us that sacrifice is the way to atone for sins by virtue of the fact that HE offered HIMSELF as the ultimate sacrifice. Surely, if we are to imitate Him, we can see that offering up suffering to atone for our own and others sins is what we are supposed to do.

Posted by: mk at March 1, 2008 9:45 AM

Fourthly, The Roman Catholic Church is not in the habit of removing from scripture that with which it disagrees. We recognize that if something in scripture is giving us pause, that the fault lies with our interpretation and not scripture itself. I find it hard to conceive how someone that holds to sola scriptura has no concerns over the fact that whole books of what was accepted scripture for 1500 can just be dumped. By those rules, I, or anyone could drop ANY book from scripture simply because we disagree with it…do you not see the contradiction?

Posted by: mk at March 1, 2008 9:48 AM

Recently, a Lutheran pastor wrote to me. He had read material from two of my books on purgatory (and is increasingly convinced of the truthfulness of it), and was asking about this passage in particular. He asked me:

If we could nail down what the full range of experience was concerning debtor’s prison in Jesus’ day then perhaps I would find the clincher here. What I’m seeing from writings on other periods of history though is that there was little if any expectation of persons gaining freedom from debtor’s prison. Couple that with Jesus’ words in these passages which sounds like a warning to avoid debtor’s prison (because by implication it doesn’t sound like a comforting place given Jesus’ comments) I’m not sure that one can put a positive spin on “…you will not get out until you (the sinner) have paid the last penny.”

Here was my reply, in full:

My responses for now (without a great deal of additional study) would be the following:

1) First of all, there is an assumption by Jesus that it is possible to get out of this place: “you will never get out till . . . ” This motif of being able to get out of debtor’s prison is repeated by our Lord Jesus in Matt 18:30: “. . . put him in prison till he should pay the debt” (repeated in 18:34). This could not be said about hell at all, because no one can get out of hell. We wouldn’t say of, e.g., a corpse in a casket: “he will never get out of there till . . . ” To say such a thing presupposes the possibility of leaving the place. If one can’t leave, it wouldn’t be described in such a fashion. Therefore, if we apply the passage to the afterlife at all, it must refer to purgatory and not hell.

2) Secondly, purgatory is not all that “comforting.” It is a place of punishment for temporal sins, and purging. We have hope, of course, because everyone there is saved and not damned, and it may be even more pleasant than this life, for all we know, but that doesn’t make it all that “comforting” in an immediate sense, because we know from this life that purging ourselves of sins and sinful tendencies is not an easy process. We have plenty of analogies for purging in our earthly existence. So I don’t see how this is a disproof at all. If one was trying to apply the passage to heaven, I could see that, but not if it is said to be a description of purgatory.

3) As for Jesus warning us to avoid this place (purgatory, as we believe), that makes perfect sense. No one has to go to purgatory, if they achieve sufficient sanctity by God’s grace in this life. It is a good thing to avoid purgatory if we can. That’s what Jesus is saying.

4) It can’t apply to hell, either, because the “debts” are metaphorical for remaining sins on our soul. We don’t get saved from hell by paying off our debts (in Catholic theology, by penance for temporal sins). We get out by means of the redeeming work of Jesus on the cross on our behalf. It is sheer mercy, not a mere debt-paying process (because none of us could ever pay off the debt in that case). This is good Catholic theology, too, I assure you. We don’t gain salvation by our good works. That is the heresy of Pelagianism.

Jesus often uses the metaphor of “debt” for sins and the necessity of forgiveness (e.g., Mt 6:12-15, 18:23-35, Lk 7:36-50, 11:4). Therefore, it makes much more sense (granting these theological premises) that the passage refers to purgatory, since the “debts” are sins that we are still being purged of. We’re not being punished eternally in this instance for the sins, but having them purged from us because we are already saved. That’s why Jesus says that we can get out of the place or state. Again, we don’t gain heaven and eternal life by paying off debts ourselves, because this would never be sufficient. But we can gain the entrance to heaven (having already been saved by the cross and God’s mercy and forgiveness and election) by purging our sins entirely in purgatory by this painful process.

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [a Protestant work], in its article on “Debt, Debtor” (vol. II, 814-815) states:

Debt and debtor are used in a moral sense also as indicating the obligation of a righteous life which we owe to God. To fall short in righteous living is to become a debtor. For this reason we pray, ‘Forgive us our debts’ (Mt 6:12).

Now, again, in Catholic theology, this is sensibly spoken of penance and purgatory, not of hell or of salvation. The above description fits very nicely with the Catholic (and biblical) concept of purgatory. We “owe God a righteous life”; not in order to be saved (as both Protestants and Catholics agree that we can be saved while still possessing actual sinfulness and less than perfect sanctity), but in order to (already saved) enter heaven, where no sin is allowed (Rev 21:27; implied also by the tenor and content of Isaiah 6:1-8, where the prophet Isaiah comes in contact with God).

5) Jewish tradition held to the practice of forgiving debts every seven years (Deut 15:1 ff.; cf. Ex 23:10-11, Lev 25, Neh 10:31). This was not always heeded (Amos 2:6-8, 4:1), but nevertheless, it is an indication that the notion of a debtor’s prison was not always (or usually, it seems to me) a lifetime sentence. Otherwise, Jesus simply wouldn’t talk in this manner. We must assume that His thought here represents the common understanding of that time and culture. There was also the Jubilee Year, whereby all debts were forgiven every 50th year (Lev 25:9,13,28, Num 36:4). Even slaves (enslaved due to debt) were to be freed (Lev 25:10,39). Properties were also restored to their original owners (Lev 27:17-29, 48 ff., 27:19).

6) The fact that Israelites at various times became corrupt, or that the poor were excessively oppressed by the rich and powerful (condemnations throughout the prophets), or that the Jubilee Year was not always properly observed, does not eliminate the applicability of the metaphor. Every analogy to human existence will be flawed to some extent because of human sin, but that doesn’t wipe out the principle that our Lord was trying to put across by means of these metaphors. Men might oppress unduly (including debtor’s prisons) but we know that God is just, and He will let us out when we “pay” what we owe.

7) Tertullian wrote around 212 A.D., concerning this passage:

. . . it is most fitting that the soul, without waiting for the flesh, be punished for what it did without the partnership of the flesh . . . if we understand that prison of which the Gospel speaks to be Hades, and if we interpret the last farthing to be the light offense which is to be expiated
there before the resurrection, no one will doubt that the soul undergoes some punishments in Hades, without prejudice to the fullness of the resurrection, after which recompense will be made through the flesh also.

(The Soul, 58,1)

Hope that is helpful to you! I found it a very interesting study, myself. I love delving deeper into the Bible. It is always a great blessing and a further education.

May God abundantly bless the fruitfulness of your pastoral ministry,

Dave

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2004/10/elaboration-upon-one-biblical-argument.html

Posted by: mk at March 1, 2008 9:52 AM

mk,

Baruch 3:4 is not in any bible that Protestants read. Protestants don’t read it. This passage was changed in the Modern Roman Catholic’s bible, “The New American Bible” Who gives authority for changes in a Catholic bible?

Posted by: JLM at March 1, 2008 9:53 AM

We have said that there is no clear and explicit Scriptural text in favour of prayers for the dead, except the above text of II Machabees. Yet there are one or two sayings of Christ recorded by the Evangelists, which are most naturally interpreted as containing an implicit reference to a purgatorial state after death; and in St. Paul’s Epistles a passage of similar import occurs, and one or two other passages that bear directly on the question of prayers for the dead. When Christ promises forgiveness for all sins that a man may commit except the sin against the Holy Ghost, which “shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world nor in the world to come” (Matthew 12:31-32), is the concluding phrase nothing more than a periphrastic equivalent for “never”? Or, if Christ meant to emphasize the distinction of worlds, is “the world to come” to be understood, not of thelife after death, but of the Messianic age on earth as imagined and expected by the Jews? Both interpretations have been proposed; but the second is far-fetched and decidedly improbable (cf. Mark 3:29); while the first, though admissible, is less obvious and less natural than that which allows the implied question at least to remain: May sins be forgiven in the world to come? Christ’s hearers believed in this possibility, and, had He Himself wished to deny it, He would hardly have used a form of expression which they would naturally take to be a tacit admission of their belief. Precisely the same argument applies to the words of Christ regarding the debtor who is cast into prison, from which he shall not go out till he has paid the last farthing (Luke 12:59).

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04653a.htm

Posted by: mk at March 1, 2008 9:56 AM

Mk,

The books that are accepted in the Roman Catholic Bible, as opposed to the Jewish or the Protestant, are Baruch, Judith, 1st & 2nd Maccabees, Sirach a.k.a. Ecclesiasticus (not to be confused with Ecclesiastes), Tobit a.k.a. Tobias, Wisdom of Solomon, as well as small additions to Daniel and Esther. Roman Catholicism generally refers to these as deuterocanonical (secondary canon) rather than apocryphal.

What is the Apocrypha? Popular works of the time that were excluded by the Rabbis because they felt that they contained an excess of non-Jewish influence. Among the works found in the Apocrypha are the two volume Books of the Maccabees, which recount the Hanukkah story. The rabbis, it is explained, opposed their inclusion in the Bible because they glorified war and the descendants of the Hasmoneans, who after their glorious cleansing of the Temple set out on a path of conquest and succumbed to non-Jewish influence.

Judaism holds no concept of original sin. According to Christian belief, all human beings are born into the world with a sinful nature because of the transgression of Adam (Romans 5:12-21). Judaism’s emphasis is not on original sin but original virtue and righteousness. Although Judaism acknowledges that man does commit acts of sin, there is not a sense of man being totally depraved or unworthy as is found in Christian theology. Atonement for sin is achieved by works of righteousness, which include repentance, prayer and the performing of good deeds. There is no need for a savior, as is emphasized in Christianity.

In summary, the Jewish faith does not believe that Jesus, the Savior has come yet. They also do not use the Maccabees due to what they believe are inconsistencies in it. Therefore, why would you follow a Jewish ritual when all in all, it is a separate faith from yours? Or, is it that the Roman Catholic has indeed blended other religions and their traditions into it?
Posted by: JLM at March 1, 2008 10:19 AM

mk,

Matthew 12:31,32

“Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man (Christ), it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world (age), neither in the world (age) to come.”

Now let’s look at a parable that explains this so beautifully in Matthew 21. Jesus is speaking again to the Jews:

Matthew 21:33,34

“Hear another parable: `There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:'”

“And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants (to get some return on the investment that he had made) to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits (or profit) of it.”

Matthew 21:35-42

“And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, `They will reverence my son.’ But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, `This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.’ And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him, When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen (and remember this is Jesus asking the Jew). They say unto him, `He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall r render him the fruits in their seasons.’ Jesus saith unto them, `Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?'”

Matthew 21:43-45

“Therefore say I unto you, `The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.’ And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables (plural, not just this one, but everyone that He had spoken), they perceived that he spake of them.”

They suddenly understood that Jesus was pointing His finger at them. Now what was the parable all about? God called the Nation of Israel out, and gave them the Covenant promises. He called them His son, His favored nation. And He dealt with them through the Old Testament years by sending the prophets. What did they do to the prophets? They killed them.

We always like to talk in terms of the Trinity. So let’s look at it this way. Remember the Jew only knew about God the Father. So God the Father sent the prophets to His Covenant people and they killed them, or threw them in the dungeons. They refused to hear them. Did God cancel the Nation of Israel because of that? No. God sent His only Son next, The Christ. And Christ presented Himself to the Nation of Israel, on the basis of the covenants that we have been emphasizing for months. And what did they do with the Son? They killed Him. So these Pharisees are picking up on it. He’s talking about them. And so it is in all of Jesus’ parables.

But we have one Person of the Trinity left out. The Holy Spirit. Let’s look at the Scripture that pertains to the Holy Spirit. And if you can’t go along with this, don’t worry about it. I’ve always said in my teaching there is room for you to disagree on some things, and this is one of them. But to me it makes sense in light of the fact that there is one sin that condemns us, and that is unbelief concerning the Gospel.

In other words, I maintain, someone could blaspheme the Holy Spirit tomorrow or next week and God can still save him in this Age of Grace. But let’s not lose sight of what the unpardonable sin is dealing with, and that is Israel the Nation! She is the one that is coming under this anathema of God.

Now go to Acts Chapter 6. Israel has rejected the overtures from the Father by killing the prophets. They rejected the overtures of the Son by killing The Christ. But how are they going to deal with the Holy Spirit, because here is the unpardonable part now – how they deal with third Person of the Godhead. He could forgive the first two, but not the third one. We have, in Acts Chapter 6, the appointment of seven men, normally referred to as deacons. They get the word “deacon” from the description of their duties. We find in verse 3 that the early Jewish church in Jerusalem was having some problems and so the following happened:

Acts 6:3

“Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.”

Acts 6:5

“And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost,…” Now we have the Holy Spirit mentioned twice in two verses. So Stephen comes before this whole Jewish crowd.

Acts 6:15

“And all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.”

What is permeating Stephen? The presence of the Holy Spirit. It was so radiant they could see the difference. Go to Chapter 7 verse 2. Now watch the language of whom Stephen is addressing:

Acts 7:2

“And he said, `Men, brethren, and fathers (all Jews), hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham,…'” Can any Gentile claim that? Of course not.

If you ever want the history of the Nation of Israel in a nutshell, read this whole chapter. It even gives a lot of little details that the Old Testament leaves out.

Acts 7:54

“And when they (these Jews) heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.”

Acts 7:55

“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost (do you see the emphasis over and over that the Holy Spirit is on display here?), looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus (not sitting but rather) standing on the right hand of God,” In a future lesson, we’ll pick up the reason these Jews got so mad when they heard Stephen say that Jesus was standing.

Acts 7:58-60

“And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, `Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, `Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep (died).'”

From this point on, what is the future as we see here in the Book of Acts concerning the Nation of Israel? All down hill. And why? Because they had now committed that unpardonable sin of not only rejecting the Father and The Son, but now had also rejected the Holy Spirit. And for nearly 2000 years, what has the Jew been going through? Suffering, turmoil, in a state of spiritual blindness. Here in America they are pretty fortunate, but overall for all this time, basically they have been going through the mill. But when this age ends and we come into the next age, which is the millennium reign, Israel is going to come into God’s goodness and Grace. If you don’t like that approach about the unpardonable sin you don’t have to agree. But for me it fits so beautifully, because we have left it in place. Notice we didn’t take it out of the Nation of Israel and try to put it in the Church Age, but left it right where it was, with the Jewish economy.

Another point I would like to make is this. After the stoning of Stephen and the Holy Spirit aspect, the next event of importance in the chronological unfolding is the conversion of what great man? Saul of Tarsus (Paul). Even though Peter will go to the house of Cornelius in Acts Chapter 10 (after Saul is converted in Chapter 9), Chapters 11 and 15 mention Peter, and from there to the end of the Book of Acts Peter is never mentioned again. Why? Israel is now falling out of all the things that God had been promising, and now here comes Paul with the Body of Christ, the predominately Gentile Church. When we study the Book of Acts, I’ll show you the transitional aspect of this Book, how God deals with His Covenant people Israel under the Law with all the Old Testament promises; and how when they rejected it, God now does something totally different – something the Old Testament knew nothing of. He turned to the Gentiles with the Apostle Paul.
http://havefaith.org/new_page_6c.htm

Posted by: JLM at March 1, 2008 10:27 AM

Christ showed us that sacrifice is the way to atone for sins by virtue of the fact that HE offered HIMSELF as the ultimate sacrifice. Surely, if we are to imitate Him, we can see that offering up suffering to atone for our own and others sins is what we are supposed to do.

Christ showed us that sacrifice is the way to atone for sins by virtue of the fact that HE offered HIMSELF as the ultimate sacrifice.

EXACTLY!!!! There IS no more need for any other type of sacrifice. Jesus sacrifice is complete! No need for ANY other. You’ve got it, mk, it just needs to “click”.

Hebrews 10:12
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

We imitate Christ by forgiving others, thus, others see Christ in us and are led to Him through our actions.

In return, we offer Christ thanksgiving.
Posted by: JLM at March 1, 2008 10:56 AM

JLM,

You’re kidding right? The Jewish religion is a seperate religion from ours????

We are the same religion. Only we kept going. Do you think if it was a completely different and irrelevant religion, Jesus would have been born a Jew?????

Secondly,

You cannot point out that the Jewish faith cannot be used as as a resource and then in the next breath use them as a resource.

The Jews removed these books 100 years after Jesus’ death (sound familiar, Mr. Luther) after they had been accepted scripture for over 4000 years.

At the time of Our Lord and the Apostles, the Septuagint version was used by all the Jews of the dispersion, and the sacred writers of the New Testament made diligent use of a Greek version which contained the deuterocanonical books and passages. Had these not been considered inspired, surely the Apostles and disciples would have warned the early Christian readers and determined exactly the authentic catalogue of sacred books.

To prevent possible misunderstanding it must be remembered that there is a different use of the word in Protestant circles.

During the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther and those who ultimately followed his example, removed seven books from the Old Testament, following the Torah as it had been edited by the rabbis at the Council of Jamnia (100A.D.).

http://www.cathtruth.com/catholicbible/apocryp.htm

Again, scripture as we know it came unchanged, from first the Jews and then the apostles. The changes that were made were after Jesus death on the Jews part and 1500 years after the apostles on the Christians part…

I ask you once more, how is it that you adhere to sola scriptura, but have no problem with scripture being disposable?

Posted by: mk at March 1, 2008 3:21 PM

Hebrews 10:12
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
*
We imitate Christ by forgiving others, thus, others see Christ in us and are led to Him through our actions.
*
In return, we offer Christ thanksgiving.

And nothing about purgatory contradicts that.

Posted by: mk at March 1, 2008 3:25 PM

Often times I will hear pro choicers say that if you believe a woman that has been raped should not be allowed to have an abortion, then you must support rape. Obviously this is not true, and the two are mutally exclusive.

So too, your idea that we must forgive each other somehow excludes the need to atone for our sins. Jesus, to a Catholic, opened the gates to heaven. That’s all. He didn’t negate all temporal punishment. He simply made it possible for all people to enter into His Home. Believing in purgatory does not negate His death, His resurrection or the fact that He died for our sins. He took away death. That is the punishment that we no longer have to undergo. Death. Not temporal penance for minor sins. One is removing the thing that blocked us from entering, and one is purging ourselves of any “lingering dirt”. I do not have to die, because Jesus died for me. But I do have to be held accountable for my actions. This He did not die for.

He died so that I might live, not so that I would not have temporal consequences for my choices.

And I must clarify, what I said about the Catholic Faith and the Jewish Faith being one and the same.

Of course they are not. What I mean is that you cannot understand one without the other and you cannot seperate the two. While the actual faith is not a blending of the two religions, scripture is. If the Jews had gotten it right, there would have been no need for a new covenant, and we would indeed be the same religion. But they screwed up (more than once) and a new covenant became necessary. So while we are two separate faiths, we cannot fully embrace the new without looking at the old.

Posted by: mk at March 1, 2008 3:45 PM

mk,

I found this article at catholic.com/therock. It is an interesting explanation of purgatory.

Purgatory
By Rev. William G. Most

The inspired writers of the Old Testament had a great perception of the majesty, the awful holiness of God. They knew that nothing defiled can stand before him. Yet we know from Paul (1 Cor. 13:12) that in heaven the soul has a vision of God, sees him face to face. That is metaphorical language (a soul has no eyes, God no face), yet it conveys awesome truth. It means the soul will know God directly.

How could that be? When we see someone on this earth, we take into our eyes and brain an image of him. That works well enough, for although any image is finite or limited, so is the person doing the imaging. But what image could make God known? None, of course. So the soul must know God without an image. This can be only if God directly joins himself to that soul, to do what an image would do in seeing others.

God will not join himself to anything defiled, yet that is precisely what Luther thought, what they think who claim infallible salvation. Luther claimed (in Epistle 501,written to Melanchthon), “Even if you sin greatly, believe more greatly.” The man may be (and really is) total corruption, according to Luther, but God does not mind that. The Holy Spirit could even dwell within total corruption, said Luther wrongly.

He thought justification was not a real cleansing–it was just that the merits of Christ, like a white cloak, would be thrown over the sins of the sinner. God would not look under the cloak, but the sinner would remain totally corrupt.

All this is impossible (nothing unclean shall enter heaven, says Revelation 20:27), so there must be some means of purgation after death, if the soul is not fully pure. There must be a purgatory.

Logically,if one follows out Luther’s fancy, a man who goes out and kills several others and then turns the gun on himself should go at once to be joined to the infinite purity of God! Luther wrote, “Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly….No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.”

Judas Maccabeus was quite right in having sacrifices offered in the Temple for the souls of those fallen in battle who had sinned by wearing amulets (2 Mac. 12:42-46). But, our Protestant friends will object, that book is not in the Bible! To which we reply: A prominent Baptist professor, Gerald Burney Smith, in 1929 surveyed every means he could think of to determine which books are inspired and which are not. He found no possible way unless there would be a divinely-protected teaching authority to decide. Of course, he denied there was such an authority. He reported that Luther said that, if a book strongly preaches justification by faith, the book is inspired. But that cannot be true. Luther never proved that was the criterion, and, further, he could write such a book himself (and so could I), and it would not be inspired. Besides, many books of the Bible do not preach justification by faith at all, yet they are inspired.

Catholics have the sort of teaching authority Burney lacked. It is the Catholic Church, as we find from a study of apologetics. That teaching authority has determined that the Books of Maccabees are inspired. (Really, no Protestant should quote Scripture at all, for he has no means of determining which books are inspired –unless, of course, he accepts the authority of the Catholic Church!)

Posted by: Janet at March 1, 2008 10:29 PM

OK. I see where the discrepancies lie.

What is sin?

Sin is not trusting that God loves you and wants the best for you.

Look at Adam and Eve. God gave them everything they could ever want and need. He just told them not to eat the fruit from that one tree. Satan came along, and said that God is just trying to withold something good for them. Eve plucked the apple & took a bite. She didn’t believe that God loved her and wanted the best for her. She didn’t trust Him.

Look to the ten commandments:
Thou shalt not steal. Why would one steal something? Because they didn’t believe that God would provide for them. They didn’t trust Him.

All of the commandments that God gave to Moses to give to the people were to show them to do things His way, and they would have a life full of blessings. God wanted people to have a full, rich life and receive many blessings because He loves them. When they didn’t trust God’s way, or sinned, they were exhibiting their “Adamic nature”. The sin that we are all born with. Our inherit belief that makes us want to do things our way instead of trusting in God.

This is what God commands. That we trust in Him. Disobedience sends a message to the Lord, saying that we know better than He does when it comes to our lives and the circumstances surrounding them. This is sin. He commands our obedience, not because He is strict or mean, but because He knows the devastating effect that disobedience and sin will have on our lives.

Satan tries to tempt believers to disobey God, usually by telling them that God’s promises cannot be trusted and that we can enjoy life more thorought disobedience that by our obedience. Just like he did with Eve. This is sin.

Disobedience always has repercussions. Guilt, shame, worthlessness, broken lives, destroyed marriages, bitter disputes, prison. But sin can never change God’s eternal love for His children. God is love. Sin will disrupt our fellowship with God, and we will miss blessings because of it, but He still loves us. If we continue in a sinful life, we sink deeper and deeper into sin’s grasp (think of a drug addict here) and find it really hard to reverse our sinfulness on our own.

But when we finally realize that we can’t do it on our own, we call out to God and His mercy and love surround and envelop us.

The only payment for sin is blood. In the Old Testament, animals were sacrificed to pay for the sin. They were used as an offering to God to show Him their repentence for not following His ways (trusting Him).

When Jesus came, the moment His blood was shed, that sacrifice covered all sin. It was God’s blood. Look at a baby in the womb. The baby doesn’t get any blood from the mother. The blood comes from the father. When Mary was impregnated, it was God’s blood in the baby Jesus. This is why Jesus was born without sin. He had God’s sinless blood in Him. This is also why when he shed His blood to cover sin, it was God’s blood that paid for it.

God simply wants us to believe (trust)in Him. That is Christianity. A “believer” believes (trusts) in God and His will for them. A non-believer doesn’t believe (trust)in God’s will, instead, they do things their own way. They will never know God because they don’t have a will to know Him. Just like Satan. He knows God, but would rather do things his own way. He doesn’t trust that God knows best. He thinks he does.

God IS love. This is why I do not believe in purgatory. If one believes in God, they trust Him. From time to time we all have the urge to do things our own way and suffer the consequences for those actions here on earth. I don’t believe for a second that God would send a believer to purgatory to further punish the believer for not trusting in Him at all times. He never expected us to be perfect. He said we wouldn’t be. Only Jesus was. We suffer the consequences on earth, not after we die. It’s believing in what Jesus did on the cross, trusting God that His blood would be the final offering of sin that would set us free from the penalty of death (resurrection).

Unbelievers will suffer an absence from God for eternity. That was their choice. To do things on their own without God. So be it, they will not have Him for eternity.

Posted by: JLM at March 2, 2008 12:14 AM

JLM,

I trust that you are not calling me an unbeliever, and hope that you are not saying that I don’t trust in God. That would be a total falsehood.

That being said, once again, I agree with this:

It’s believing in what Jesus did on the cross, trusting God that His blood would be the final offering of sin that would set us free from the penalty of death (resurrection).

He set us free from the penalty of DEATH.

And here you show that you actually understand the concept of purgatory…

He never expected us to be perfect. He said we wouldn’t be. Only Jesus was.

Whether you know it or not, you have just justified the need for purgatory.

He died to free us from DEATH. But we remain imperfect. While His death allowed us the possiblity of entering heaven and standing in His presence, it did not stop us from being imperfect.

Yes He opened the door. But to walk through it, we must be perfected.

His death did not make us perfect. It made us free. His death did not make us sinless. It made us forgiven.

Being forgiven is entirely different from being perfected.

His death equals forgiveness. Purgatory equals perfection. Purgatory would not have been possible without His death.

They do not negate each other, but rather compliment each other…

Posted by: mk at March 2, 2008 6:19 AM

mk,
I was NOT calling you an unbeliever, mk. I know (from what I read from you) that you believe and trust in God. Only God knows your heart, though.

And yes, I do believe HOW the concept of purgatory was invented, but it is simply not true.

We are perfected through Him. Through His perfect blood; we accept Him and are perfected through Him. We cannot do this on our own. We need him. We are perfected in His eyes. There is no further need for purification, because His blood purified our past, present and future sins.

Fire cannot perfect us, purify us, or make us righteous in God’s eyes. Blood was the only sacrafice acceptable to God throughout the Old Testament and the New (Jesus). ONLY BLOOD was acceptable. Only Jesus’ perfect blood could, and HAS done that.

They negate each other because a God that would through His perfected, purified, righteous believers into a fiery pit, would be a God that would negate Himself. That can’t happen.
Posted by: JLM at March 2, 2008 8:59 AM

JLM, mk,

I’m sorry for “interrupting” earlier. You two have great exchanges and definitely don’t need my input. (Sometimes I just can’t help myself.)

Father Most’s last line about Protestants reading scripture is pretty harsh (I wouldn’t go so far as to say that myself). I debated whether to include it, but felt that to not include it would be misrepresenting his work. Please forgive me if that was offensive to either of you, because that was not my intent in including it.

Posted by: Janet at March 2, 2008 9:25 AM

mk,

Does the Catholic Church teach that purgatory will be a “hellish” experience? I’m confused about that.

Posted by: Janet at March 2, 2008 9:30 AM

Titus 2:14 (KJV)

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Titus 2:14 (NLV)

who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

The object of Christianity is not to sin less, but to glofiry God more. It is not to somehow stop ourselves from doing the bad things we really want to do, but find ourselves craving to do what pleases God.

Sripture CANNOT contradict itself. Through Jesus’ blood we are forgiven AND purified.

Posted by: JLM at March 2, 2008 9:48 AM

1 John 1:9 (KJV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 (NIV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Sripture CANNOT contradict itself. Through Jesus’ blood we are forgiven AND purified.

Posted by: JLM at March 2, 2008 9:52 AM

To cleanse is to purify.

When something is cleansed, it is purified. We have been purified (cleansed) by the blood of Jesus.

We cannot get purification through fire, going to church, eating certain foods, etc. We only get purified through the blood of Jesus Christ.

It’s not by works that we are saved. It’s by the blood of Jesus Christ. Purgatory would just be another “works” to get you to heaven. This is not possible, because it is not by works that we are saved. It is by Jesus ONLY. His blood cleansed us (purified us) for sin, and all we have to do is believe in Him and we are saved!

Titus 3:4-6

4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

Posted by: JLM at March 2, 2008 10:04 AM

Janet,
Not offended at all! (thanks for asking, though!)

I enjoy seeing everyone’s feedback here! Jump in any time!

Posted by: JLM at March 2, 2008 10:08 AM

Truly Janet,

I don’t know. I know what I have read from saints that have actually seen purgatory in visions. I know it won’t be “pleasant”, but I don’t think anyone knows for sure what it will be like. I do know that in Medjugorge, the children were told by our Lady that more souls are released from purgatory at Christmas than any other time. And that when you pray for a soul in purgatory, for the moment you are praying for them you can see them.

We also know that the souls in purgatory may pray for us, but not themselves. They are completely at our mercy, but our prayers and offerings can shorten their time there.

I have to run to Adoration, but I will try to find more info (on the “visions”) when I get back.

Oh and by the way, feel free to jump in anytime.

Posted by: mk at March 2, 2008 1:40 PM

In some of the saints visions they spoke of liars having their tongues burning and wanting just a drop of water. Or thiefs having their hands burning…some saints just talked about a deep lonliness and grayness…
Posted by: mk at February 27, 2008 12:11 PM

mk,
Please read this:

James 2:9-11

9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

Based on scripture, mk, how would there be different punishment for people in “purgatory” if scripture says that if they break even one law, they are guilty of them all? Wouldn’t everyone then serve the same amount of time and recieve the same type of punishment?

Posted by: JLM at March 2, 2008 4:01 PM

2 Corinthians 5:17-20 (NIV)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

How are we reconciled to God? Through Jesus Christ, His finished work on the cross.

We are reconciled, and NEW creations. The old one is gone! Our sins are NOT counted against us! There is NO need for purgatory!
Posted by: JLM at March 2, 2008 4:21 PM

Definition of sanctify: To make holy. To purify.

Hebrews 10:9-14

9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

10 By the which will we are sanctified (made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. (i>holy)

By accepting Jesus, we are made holy and we are purified. Holy and purified people don’t go to purgatory.

Posted by: JLM at March 2, 2008 4:36 PM

Look JLM,

This is really not productive in the sense that our premises are different. You keep showing me scripture that says that Jesus died so that we can have salvation. We never have to sacrifice another goat… I got that. I’m not arguing it. No matter how many scripture passages you show me that say it, I will agree.

But I am not talking about sacrifices. I am not talking about offering up a token of our atonement. I am not talking about doves and goats and blood. That part is done. Yes. We can’t add to it, we can’t imitate it. It’s finished, over, kaput. No need to slit another lambs throat. Gotcha.

That has NOTHING to do with the fact that sin is dirty and I sin. I am dirty. Unless I confess these sins and am absolved of them. But there is still a temporal punishment to be payed. Not an eternal one. Not a spiritual one. He died for my spiritual salvation, YES! But I must still atone for the TEMPORAL punishment…can’t you see that they are two different things?

Maybe this will help…

“Temporal” Punishment- its not about “debt”

An Evangelical emailed me and said:

“Jesus used the Greek word TETELESTAI for “it is finished,” which is translated “paid in full.” It was used in his day on documents that released prisoners from jail after their relatives paid the bail.”

TETELESTAI literally translates as “it is finished.” “Tetelestai” can be associated with the “paid in full” connotation only from its cultural context. It was stamped on debts that were paid. I think the primary meaning of “it is finished” is that Jesus was signifying the completion of the Passover meal. I also have no problem with the possibility that he also intended other interpretations of “paid in full”. Jesus always speaks at many levels.

In ancient Jewish tradition, at every Passover meal there were four cups of wine. The last supper finished with only the third cup being consumed. Christ consumed the fourth cup on the cross.

“When he had received the drink, Jesus said ‘It is finished'” (TETELESTAI) . (Jn 19:29-30)

This signified that the Passover meal had been completed, Jesus being the Passover lamb. (this research was conducted by Scott Hahn)

Catholics agree He paid the price for our sins, which is “eternal” damnation. Perhaps we might look at it this way. If I was 10 years old and got into trouble with bullies and they were contemplating stabbing me to death because I stole something from them, my father would come and pay off those bullies so that I wouldn’t be killed (eternal damnation). My father would have “paid in full” the debt I owe. I would owe nothing. But when I got home, my father would probably give me some consequences, not because he hated me or because I owed him a debt, but because he loved me. It is no longer about “debt”, it’s about “discipline.” There is a difference.

Some may say that the Prodigal Son had no consequences and no punishment. The Prodigal Son had spent his whole inheritance and that was gone forever. For sure he got a great meal and a welcome home party, but even the Prodigal Son experienced consequences to his debauchery.

My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him; for the Lord disciplines those he loves and chastises every child whom he accepts. Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? If you do not have the discipline in which all children share, then you are illegitimate and not his children; Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and? live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share his holiness. Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness (Heb12:5)

Some denominations have said there is never any punishment from the Lord, especially after we surrender to him. The above passage was speaking to Christians who had already turned their lives over to Christ. They had been saved from damnation (eternal punishment) and they had entered the family of Christ. Nevertheless there is punishment at times.

The Apostle Paul had turned his life over to Jesus authentically. Although Jesus restored his vision after he was hit on the road to Damascus, Paul nevertheless had a very painful number of years. (2 Cor 24-30). He said “I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body that is the church” (1 Col 24) Evangelicals believe Jesus washes us clean in “one sweeping motion” never to be dirty again. Catholics believe there is “one sweeping motion” but afterward the “washing clean” process continues for the rest of our lives and we must “endure to the end.” (Mk 13:13, James 1:2, Mt 10:22, Mt 24:13)

The thief on the Cross beside Jesus received freedom from “eternal punishment”, which is hell. Jesus said to him “This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). However, the thief still experienced “temporal punishment.” After he turned his life over to Jesus he continued to hang on the cross which was probably pretty darn painful even if it was for only a few hours and his legs were busted – ouch! (Jn 19:32). Jesus could have easily had him taken down from the cross but he didn’t. There are consequences to sin even after forgiveness.

Temporal punishment is not “vengeful” retribution from God. God is not the big fly swatter of the universe. The punishments stem from the very nature of sin itself.

One of the big complaints against the Catholic practice of confession is that it allows people to run back to the Priest every week but live poorly the rest of the time. (Sunday morning Catholics) This is where Temporal punishment comes in. Jesus, through the Priest, provides absolution (forgiveness) and grants freedom from Eternal punishment of hell. Jesus will forgive “seventy times seven” (Mat 18:22). However, not all Temporal punishment is removed in “absolution.” So Catholics who don’t live their faith all week long are not getting away with too much. In my experience, the only Catholics who go to confession these days are those who are serious about their faith.

Perhaps the best way to demonstrate “Temporal punishment” is to describe a situation in my own life. In 1984, I was involved in an abortion with my girlfriend (at the time) because we were chasing our careers on Broadway and films. God has long since forgiven me but in prayer he has made it clear to me that I will never become a famous person. Moses never entered the promised land because he killed one of his own people (even though God forgave him). Similarly, I do not believe the Lord will allow me to ever experience the fame I was seeking when I had the abortion. This is “Temporal punishment.” I accept the punishment. Now I try to help out the pro-life movement wherever possible. I don’t do it to win “Brownie points” in heaven. I do it because I love the Lord and he has put it on my heart to do this. He can use my past sin to educate others. One might call this a “penance.” (My story of Abortion is here)

Eternal Punishment

It’s in vogue in today’s secular society to believe that their is no hell. One of the greatest victories of the devil over the modern age is that he made them think he doesn’t exist. Thankfully Catholics and Evangelicals understand that there is a hell and that evil and the devil are real. Those who blatantly and insincerely persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth will not do too well in the after life. (Heb 10:26). hell is real and it is waiting for all those who turn away from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thankfully there is Reconciliation

Jesus forgives “seventy times seven” (Mat 18:22). And will take anyone back into the fold who earnestly seeks him. For Catholics, that is a process of Confession, Reconciliation and Penance.

Penance – Consists of three interrelated things:

1. Confession, ( a sincere manifestation of my conscience where I have failed God and my neighbour)
2. Contrition (genuine sorrow for sorrow because I have offended the all good God)
3. Satisfaction (An attempt to repair the effects of sin)

The Catechism says this about penance:

Absolution [forgiveness] takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused. Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must “make satisfaction for” or “expiate” his sins. This satisfaction is also called “penance.” Catechism 1459

There are two parts to restitution aspect of Penance: “amends” and “make satisfaction”

“Amends”

After we confess our sins and are forgiven by God, we should do what we can to make reparation for our wrong actions. Jesus forgives us. He is a “forgiving God” but he is also a “just God.” For instance, if I steal a $4,000 piece of equipment from a recording studio and then ask God to forgive me, he will forgive me if I have a humble and contrite heart. However, he will also probably want me to pay back the $4000 if possible (this is called amends).
“Make Satisfaction”

I also must move forward in his light with a changed heart looking for every opportunity to be of service. Modern society would call this a “living amends” but it is all part of penance. In article 1460 of the Catechism we find that penance can take many forms such as:

…prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service of neighbour, voluntary self-denial, sacrifices, and patient acceptance of whatever crosses we must bear in life. These penances help configure us to Christ, who alone can expiate our sins once for all. They allow us to become co-heirs with the risen Christ, “provided we suffer with him” (Rom 8:17, Rom 3:25, 1 Jn 2:1-2)

At the end of my life I will stand before God. If I have made and authentic surrender to Jesus, I believe I will not go to hell. I will either go straight to heaven or I will make a stop in Purgatory. I believe Jesus will look at what I did with the faith he gave me. How did I respond to the call? If I have responded well and if my character is the best it could be in his light, I believe I will enjoy a direct pass to Heaven. If however, I have not responded wholeheartedly and have had some rebellion, then I believe whatever parts of my soul that have not been cleaned up here on earth will be cleaned up in Purgatory after I die.

Posted by: mk at March 2, 2008 8:13 PM

http://www.davidmacd.com/catholic/punishment.htm

Posted by: mk at March 2, 2008 8:13 PM

20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

How are we reconciled to God? Through Jesus Christ, His finished work on the cross.
* * * * * * *
We are reconciled, and NEW creations. The old one is gone! Our sins are NOT counted against us! There is NO need for purgatory!

Posted by: JLM at March 2, 2008 4:21 PM

JLM,

If God is a just God, wouldn’t he hold us each accountable for our own sins? Any other way is not logical or fair. The way you explain it sounds too good to be true. (You know what they say, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.)

Not to be offensive, but have you ever thought about the fact that most Catholics who become Protestant do so because they are rejecting some facet of the Catholic faith, (doesn’t fit their lifestyle,etc…) not because of an attraction to Protestantism? After all, the faiths are both pretty much the same- centered around Jesus Christ, except the Catholic Church has “all the trimmings” that the Protestant churches don’t. The beliefs of most Protestant faiths can be summed up in about 2 or 3 sentences, right? The Catholic beliefs take a bit longer to explain. Is the simplicity of Protestant beliefs the main attraction?

Posted by: Janet at March 2, 2008 8:40 PM

mk,
Did you read ALL of my posts, or just some? Because it really seems to me that you’re missing my point.

In the Old Testament, people had to sacrifice animals over and over and over again to offer them to God in repentenance of their sins. Animal blood was never enough, and wasn’t a complete payment for sin.

This is the Old Covenant.

The NEW Covenant is when Jesus offered HIMSELF as a one and only, total, complete, finished sacrifice for all of our sins. He did that one time for our sins. Past, present and future. This was completed over 2000 years ago. This IS the total payment for sin. When we believe in Him, and repent of us BEING sinners (not sin), we are forgiven. That’s the key you’re missing, here. It’s us admitting to Him that we are sinners and need Him. At that point, we are purified through Him and are new creations. We are not the sinners of the flesh anymore. We are one with the Spirit. We become the body of Christ.

Posted by: JLM at March 2, 2008 9:15 PM

The beliefs of most Protestant faiths can be summed up in about 2 or 3 sentences, right? The Catholic beliefs take a bit longer to explain. Is the simplicity of Protestant beliefs the main attraction?

2 or 3 sentences…Heavens no! I’ve spent a whole week and 25 pages on a word document on purgatory alone! lol!

I don’t think that the Protestant belief (if you want to call me that), is an “attraction”. Seriously, Janet, I read the scriptures, study history and it’s just crystal clear to me. When you said, “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is”.. That made me laugh! My dad would ALWAYS use that one on me when I was little. Well, that and the “there’s no such thing in life as a free sandwich”! lol!

But seriously, yes, God is that good, and God did make it that easy. Some Christians are content being “baby Christians” for a long time, or forever. They know the basics, and don’t have a need or want to learn more. I’m “on fire” for God…I want to know all that I can about Him, about every person in the bible, about history throughout each book in the bible. I think it’s fascinating! I eat, sleep & breath the Word of God! I actually wake up each morning coming out of a dream I was having, thinking about scriptures! God is truly amazing!

It wasn’t always like that for me, though. I was content for over 20 years being a “baby Christian”. I prayed one day to God that He would show me more, and BAM! Can’t stop me now!

And yes, Janet, I do believe that God does hold us accountable for our sin. See my above post (9:15 pm) for more. I believe that He holds us accountable until we admit that we are sinners, or repent. After that, He remembers them no more, and we are purified through Him.

Jeremiah 31:34

And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

and

Hebrews 10:16-18

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

17
And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

God promised me, Janet. I’ll take Him at His Word!

God bless you!

Posted by: JLM at March 2, 2008 9:32 PM

Oh, one more thing, Janet, regarding it being “easy”…

I like to think of life as a labyrinth. God doesn’t stand on one end saying, “ok, I hope you find your way and get to me”. Instead, I picture Jesus laying pieces of popcorn along the route that leads directly to God.

Jesus dying on the cross was like the popcorn.

I know, not a good comparison, but I need child-like visuals sometimes!!!

Posted by: JLM at March 2, 2008 9:54 PM

I think the primary meaning of “it is finished” is that Jesus was signifying the completion of the Passover meal. I also have no problem with the possibility that he also intended other interpretations of “paid in full”. Jesus always speaks at many levels.

He said that right before He died. I believe He was referring to the New Covenant being finished, or completed. Hence, the beginning of the New Testament.
Posted by: JLM at March 2, 2008 9:58 PM

JLM,

Did you read ALL of my posts, or just some? Because it really seems to me that you’re missing my point.

Okay, that made me laugh…I might ask you the same thing…lol

You keep showing me scripture that says that Jesus died so that we can have salvation. We never have to sacrifice another goat… I got that. I’m not arguing it. No matter how many scripture passages you show me that say it, I will agree.
*
But I am not talking about sacrifices. I am not talking about offering up a token of our atonement. I am not talking about doves and goats and blood. That part is done. Yes. We can’t add to it, we can’t imitate it. It’s finished, over, kaput. No need to slit another lambs throat. Gotcha.
*
That has NOTHING to do with the fact that sin is dirty and I sin. I am dirty. Unless I confess these sins and am absolved of them. But there is still a temporal punishment to be payed. Not an eternal one. Not a spiritual one. He died for my spiritual salvation, YES! But I must still atone for the TEMPORAL punishment…can’t you see that they are two different things?

What you are not comprehending, or I am not explaining, is that there are two natures to sin.

The spiritual, and the temporal.

The wages of spiritual sin is death. But I no longer have to worry about that because Jesus died so that I don’t have to.

The wages of sin of the flesh is temporal punishment. These I am responsible for.

There is nothing I can do about my spiritual sinfulness so God atoned for that for me. But my body must still be purified. I must be “put through fire”…

Posted by: mk at March 3, 2008 6:27 AM

JLM,

“Baby” Christian – I don’t consider that a bad thing. Didn’t Christ say “we should all become like little children”?

The popcorn analogy doesn’t work for me, maybe if I was a bird. Lol. I think God knows we can understand a more complex theology, and I see yours as too simple, too easy, to be complete. That’s all.

Posted by: Janet at March 3, 2008 6:41 AM

Janet,

While I’m sure that JLM will say that that is the beauty of Christianity…its simplicity…I agree with you.

Whereas we are asking JLM to think deeper, accept more, gain more…JLM is asking us to think less, accept less and gain less.

We are asking her to take something extra, while she is asking us to give something up.

This is why say the Catholic Church as having the FULLNESS of the truth. All Christians have the truth, but we have the “bigger/biggest” picture.

Posted by: mk at March 3, 2008 7:39 AM

The wages of sin of the flesh is temporal punishment. These I am responsible for.

Sorry I dropped out of the conversation for so long…I’ve had a busy week!

I’m going to try to explain this so that you understand what we’re trying to say, because I think you’re possibly missing the point of some of the posts.

The wages of the sin of the flesh is death, MK. God says, here is what my punishment is for earthly sin. The payment that you owe me is death.
Death is the complete payment for our fleshly sins on this earth, if we have accepted Christ as our savior.
If we haven’t accepted Him, our payment for sins is not only the first death, but the second death as well.

Our natural death is the wages of our sin.
If God had meant that our wages consisted of more than that, He would have made that absolutely clear. What He did say is “the wages of sin IS death”, that is the payment, in full, that we owe for our fleshly sins.

That’s what the Bible says. It is Biblical for us to be chastised for our sins on this earth (natural consequences, such as suffering poverty after gambling excessively, getting into a car wreck after driving drunk, etc), but there is no Biblical basis for us paying for our sins after our body of flesh is gone, after we have “paid our wages”, which the Bible clearly states is “death”.

The end of our payment for our fleshly sin is our earthly deat…why can’t you see that that is can’t you see that that is what we are trying to tell you?

We’re not trying to tell you that we do not suffer temporal punishment. Our temporal punishment on earth ends with death. There is no more condemnation for us after death.

We are trying to help you see that you do not have to look forward to a place of suffering after you die. You do not have to look forward to suffering for years and years because of your attachment to sin.

It is not possible that you will have any attachment to sin after death, because you will be separated from the body of flesh and will have a “new body” which is perfect and entire.

JLM asked a good question earlier. She said, when you go through purgatory, what exactly is it that burns? Your new body? That would be impossible because your new body is perfect, immortal, sin free.
Your old body? Why would that be necessary? Your old body would be in the ground, and you don’t need it anymore because you will have a new body.
Your soul? Your soul, according to the Bible, is perfect and entire, and sin cannot touch it, because it is filled with the Spirit of God and is born again.

So what would actually burn if you were in purgatory? Where in the Bible do you see that we have an attachment to sin after death? We are released from our body of sin after death, so that we can “put on ” the new body which is sinless.

I don’t know if this helps clarify or if it makes it more confusing for you, what we believe, but I just don’t think it’s right that you feel that you have to suffer after dying, when God clearly says you don’t have to.

I want you to be able to die one day, knowing that you will be straight in Heaven, with Christ, suffering no more for the sins that His blood has cleansed you from, and separated you from, the sins that you will no longer have any attachment to once your body of sin is removed from you.

I don’t want you to have to look forward to suffering in agony, to pay the price for some attachment to sin which you do not even have anymore! I want you to rejoice knowing that you will immediately be with your Saviour.

(hugs!)
Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 8:07 AM

“Baby” Christian – I don’t consider that a bad thing. Didn’t Christ say “we should all become like little children”?
The popcorn analogy doesn’t work for me, maybe if I was a bird. Lol. I think God knows we can understand a more complex theology, and I see yours as too simple, too easy, to be complete. That’s all.

Janet, I am a little confused by your post. On one hand, you say that Jesus wants us to have faith like little children, which is true, but then on the other hand, you say that we need a more complex theology.

If we believe what the Bible says, “as a little child”, what need to we have for more complexity? Do little children understand complex issues before trusting them, or do they simply lean by faith on what they are taught?

The Bible says what it says, and as little children, we have faith that what it says is true.

I hope that helps you understand our position a little more clearly. :)
Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 8:16 AM

JLM, regarding your 9:54 post, I saw a sign at a church I pass every day, which said, “The Bible is like a GPS device. Follow it’s directions and never get lost”.
:-)

Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 8:27 AM

How to Explain Purgatory to Protestants
by James Akin
Suppose a friend or co-worker comes to you and says:

“The Catholic Church has this massive doctrine of purgatory, invented in the middle ages. The Church used to even sell indulgences to shorten your time in purgatory by a fixed number of days. This doctrine is based on books that don’t belong in the Bible. There is no place or region in the afterlife for the saved except heaven. There is no pain in the afterlife, and the minute we die we go to heaven, as Paul says, ‘To be absent from the body is to be present with Christ,’ praying for people in purgatory makes no sense. Worst of all, it infringes on the sufficiency of Christ’s work. It is completely unbiblical. No Protestant could believe it.”
What should you say?

Well, the first thing you should say is, “Whoa! Slow down! One argument at a time, okay?” Then go over his arguments with him individually . . .

1. “The Catholic Church has this massive doctrine of purgatory.”

This is quite false. As an illustration of this, the section on purgatory in the Catechism of the Catholic Church is only three paragraphs long (CCC 1030-1032). In essence, there are only three points on the matter which the Catholic Church insists: (1) that there is a purification after death, (2) that this purification involves some kind of pain or discomfort, and (3) that God assists those in this purification in response to the actions of the living. Among the things the Church does not insist on are the ideas that purgatory is a place or that it takes time, as we shall see below….. (See holysouls.info/how to explain purgatory – Google)

Posted by: Janet at March 3, 2008 8:38 AM

JLM, regarding your 9:54 post, I saw a sign at a church I pass every day, which said, “The Bible is like a GPS device. Follow it’s directions and never get lost”.
:-)
Bethany,
I love that one! – How true!

They sure are clever with those signs!
Posted by: JLM at March 3, 2008 8:44 AM

God says, here is what my punishment is for earthly sin. The payment that you owe me is death.
Death is the complete payment for our fleshly sins on this earth, if we have accepted Christ as our savior.
If we haven’t accepted Him, our payment for sins is not only the first death, but the second death as well.

Our natural death is the wages of our sin.
If God had meant that our wages consisted of more than that, He would have made that absolutely clear. What He did say is “the wages of sin IS death”, that is the payment, in full, that we owe for our fleshly sins.

That’s what the Bible says. It is Biblical for us to be chastised for our sins on this earth (natural consequences, such as suffering poverty after gambling excessively, getting into a car wreck after driving drunk, etc), but there is no Biblical basis for us paying for our sins after our body of flesh is gone, after we have “paid our wages”, which the Bible clearly states is “death”.

The end of our payment for our fleshly sin is our earthly death…why can’t you see that that is can’t you see that that is what we are trying to tell you?

We’re not trying to tell you that we do not suffer temporal punishment. Our temporal punishment on earth ends with death. There is no more condemnation for us after death.

BINGO!

Posted by: JLM at March 3, 2008 8:52 AM

oops…forgot to italicize the whole thing…Sorry Bethany!

Posted by: JLM at March 3, 2008 8:53 AM

Bethany,

I was following up after my 8:40 post and JLM’s. JLM used the phrase “baby christian” (which I’ve never heard before) to refer to those adults who are not as well versed in the bible, and my response was that God says we should have the simple faith of a child. We don’t need to be able to quote from all the books of the bible, as a child most certainly can’t, to have faith.)

I believe that God put on this earth to love Him and serve Him, and Jesus died for us to save us from our sins, quite a simple concept. The complexity or “fullness” of the Catholic faith that I refer to, is like the “icing” on the cake. It doesn’t change the basis of the Christian faith, but makes it a little sweeter.

Also, I just posted the beginning of a long article on Explaining Purgatory to Protestants. I haven’t had a chance to read it, but I have heard him speak on the radio and he’s very good. (He was a preacher at one time and he KNOWS the bible, so I hope you find it interesting, maybe thought-provoking.)

Posted by: Janet at March 3, 2008 8:56 AM

Janet, the term “babes in Christ” is in the Bible…it’s sort of an analogy for your growth in Christ… See, we all begin as “babes” in Christ, when we are “born again”, and we literally grow and learn and develop in our spiritual life, in the same way that we do in our physical life.
There are parts of the Bible that are our spiritual “milk”, and some that are our spiritual “meat”.

“1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. “

I believe that God put on this earth to love Him and serve Him, and Jesus died for us to save us from our sins, quite a simple concept. The complexity or “fullness” of the Catholic faith that I refer to, is like the “icing” on the cake. It doesn’t change the basis of the Christian faith, but makes it a little sweeter.

I would agree with your post exactly except that in place of “the catholic faith”, I would put “God’s word”, and I hope that you would understand that to us, it is the Bible that the complexities and fullness of are the “icing on the cake” so to speak. I hope that made sense the way I explained it to you.
Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 9:08 AM

I fixed your 8:52 post, JLM ;-)

Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 9:11 AM

Oops, Janet I forgot to add this verse to my 9:08 post to further explain about the “milk” of the word:

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

1 Peter 2:2

Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 9:13 AM

And this verse:
For every one that useth Milk is unskilful in the Word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Hebrews 5:13

Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 9:15 AM

Thanks for the fix, Bethany!

Posted by: JLM at March 3, 2008 9:16 AM

While I’m sure that JLM will say that that is the beauty of Christianity…its simplicity…I agree with you.

It is simple! Jesus did the hard part!

Whereas we are asking JLM to think deeper, accept more, gain more…JLM is asking us to think less, accept less and gain less.

Is that really what you think my motives are? Mk, with all due respect, I am simply asking you to think deeper about what Jesus actually did for us, the magnitude of His immeasurable giftand gain more in this life by knowing that you are 100% set free from the chains of sin that bind you so that you can have more of a rich, full life!

We are asking her to take something extra, while she is asking us to give something up.

No, you are asking me to reduce what Jesus did for us by asking me to believe that Jesus was just a key to the gates of Heaven, while I am trying to show you, through scripture, that He was so, so, much more than that, and did so, so much more than that. I am asking to to accept the fullness of His sacrifice, and you are asking me to accept less.

This is why say the Catholic Church as having the FULLNESS of the truth. All Christians have the truth, but we have the “bigger/biggest” picture.

No, Jesus Christ is the fullness of the Church. He is the church. Picture here, if you will, Jesus talking to Peter, then pointing to Himself:

Matthew 16:18
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (thats where Jesus is pointing to Himself) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:16)
Posted by: JLM at March 3, 2008 9:18 AM

By the way, I think we have about 5 more days before this topic will be closed…if we are still discussing this after that, I wonder where we should continue the discussion?
Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 9:19 AM

This is going to be long (please forgive me!), but to expound on what JLM has said about Peter, I’d like to give you all a little commentary, so you can understand a little better where we are coming from on Peter. I hope that despite the length, you might read all of it, because reading the verses that fall below the verse which is usually used by Catholics to describe the foundation of the church as being Peter, Peter allows Satan to speak through him, and I think this is a very important piece of information which could help you understand that if Peter were this solid foundation which the church was to be built on, then he would not have been able to speak for Satan, nor would He have denied Jesus those three times. I’m trying to post this so that before you respond about Peter, you’ll at least have a more clear understanding on what our beliefs are surrounding those passages:
************************************************
From:
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/chuck_smith_c2000/Mat/Mat016.html

Now we have one of two choices. The church is built upon Peter, or the church is build upon Peter’s confession, that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God.

Now the Catholics assert that the church was built on Peter. There are problems with this. Number one, Jesus said unto him, “Thou art Petros”, which in the Greek is a little stone. And then He declared, “upon this Petras”, which is a giant stone, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The church was not build upon the little stone, but upon the giant rock; “Thou art Petros”, a little stone, “upon this Petras”.

Paul the apostle in 1 Corinthians 3:11, tells us: “For other foundation can no man lay, then that is laid, which is”, not Simon Peter, but Jesus Christ. “No other foundation can man lay, but that which is”.

I know men have tried to lay another foundation, Peter. But it seems quite obvious that Peter is not the foundation of the church. And it’s not build upon him, but it is build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ and Peter’s declaration that Jesus is indeed the Messiah, the son of the living God. And that is the true foundation of the church. The church is build upon Jesus Christ. He is the foundation upon which the church stands.

Now the interesting thing to me is that Peter had here, and I am sure he did not realize it, he had here a spiritual revelation. When he said, “Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God!” Jesus said, “All right Peter, flesh and blood it not reveal this unto you, but my father which is in heaven.” Peter you’ve had a spiritual revelation. This didn’t come out of your own chemical juices that flash the little electronic impulse across your brain, this came from God. And I am certain that Peter didn’t realize this that had come from God, because it just came to him, I am sure, as just a flash. Peter as we said was impulsive, and I am sure that when Jesus said, “Who do you say that I am?” He just said impulsively, “You’re the Christ the Son of the living God.” He said all right, blessed are you; you’ve had a revelation from God. “Flesh and blood didn’t reveal this unto you, but my Father which is in heaven”.

God speaks to us in such natural ways, that usually we are not aware that God is speaking to us. We expect God to speak in some supernatural way. We expect to go into a trance and hear the prelude of the angelic choir, and feel all of these tingling sensation, and our hair is standing out, and then we hear, “My child”, God is talking to me. But God speaks to us in such natural ways, and God leads us in such natural ways, there is the beautiful supernatural within the natural. But because we are so dull in our spiritual sensibilities, we are usually not even attune or aware to the fact that it is God speaking to us or God leading us. And that’s just put down to our spiritual dullness.

And there are a lot of times, when you say, “Well, God has never spoken to me, “or, “I never heard the voice of God, never had an experience. “And it’s because you are looking for some kind of super kind of hocus-pocus, the vibrations to come and everything else. But God works in such beautiful, natural ways. And the real ability is discovering the supernatural in the natural. And more important than that, and more difficult than that is to be able to discern the supernatural from the natural.

Now that’s the hardest part. Did this come from God, or did this come from me? God are you speaking to me or is this just something I am dreaming up? And that is difficult. There is no easy way. That is extremely difficult because the supernatural comes in such a natural way. If the supernatural came in a supernatural way, I would have no problem with discernment. But because God, you see, is a superior Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit, I am an inferior trinity, spirit, soul and body. I meet God in the realm of the spirit.

And so God’s Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I am a son of God. Now my spirit has to bear witness to my consciousness, and when my spirit bears witness to my consciousness, it comes just like a thought from within, an awareness, an inspiration from within. Now I have my own inspirations too at times. Now how do I know if this inspiration is coming from God, or coming from me? Because they flash into my consciousness from the same level as the spirit comes from the area of the subconscious, so does my imagination come from the area of the subconscious. And because it comes to me consciously, the difficulty is to discern. Did this come from my own imagination or did this originate, did this thought actually come from God? Is He the one planning the thought in my mind?

And so here is Peter, he just expresses the thought that flashes in his head, and Jesus said, hey, all right, spiritual revelation Peter. My Father revealed that to you. So Peter has got a role going.

Jesus said,

And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven (Mat 16:19).

We have power as the children of God to bind the forces of darkness, and to loose the work of God. God has given us that authority over these spirit forces, these spiritual entities, that as children of God, we do have authority over them. We can bind these spirit forces and we can loose the work of God.

Then he charged his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Messiah (Mat 16:20).

The reason being He did not want a premature attempt to acclaim Him. There was a day in which the Messiah was to be revealed. That day came when Jesus made His triumphed entry. At this point He is saying now look, don’t tell anybody. This is a revelation that came from you from God, but don’t tell anybody. Now later on He set the stage, he said “go unto the city and you will find the donkey, bring him to me” (Mat 21:2). And He sat on the donkey, fulfilling the prophesy of Zechariah; “behold thy king cometh unto thee, but he is lowly, he is sitting upon a donkey”(Zechariah 9:9). But now was not the time for the revelation. The perfect time of God had not yet come. So He is saying look, don’t tell anybody yet. No premature kind of forcing of the people, or the people trying to set up the kingdom prematurely.

Now from that time on Jesus began to show to his disciples (Mat 16:21),

At this point, now He reveals Himself. “I am the Messiah.” Peter you are right.

Now the Jewish people had been looking for the Messiah to come and establish the kingdom of God and overthrow the Roman yoke and bondage. And when Jesus acknowledged, “Yes, I am the Messiah, but don’t tell anybody”. He then began to tell them,

now look, I must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and the chief priests and the Scribes, and be killed, and be raised again on the third day. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord [or, Lord, spare yourself] this shall not happen to you. [Peter the rock]And Jesus turned, and said unto Peter, Get thou behind me, Satan: you are an offence unto me: because you can not tell the difference between those things that are of God, and those things that are of men (Mat 16:21-23).

Move over Peter I want to sit down. A problem that I have, the inability to always be able to tell what is of God, and what is of my own heart.

Notice that Peter in one moment has a divine revelation, and in the next moment is expressing Satan’s philosophy. The philosophy of Hell. Spare yourself. “Be that far from thee,” literally, spare thyself, it shall not be to you. The philosophy of Hell, take the easy way. Take the easy path. Escape the cross. The philosophy of Hell is to encourage you to escape the cross, but the cross was important for our Salvation. Without the cross we could not be redeemed and the cross is also important for us, for our spiritual development.

And Satan is saying to us escape the cross, live the easy path, indulge yourself, escape the cross, you don’t want the cross. But it is important that I recognize that I was crucified with Christ, and that old man, the old nature, was there crucified with Him, that I should no longer live unto the flesh, but now live unto the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. But Satan is still saying spare yourself. You don’t want to come to the cross in your own life. Live after your flesh, go ahead, indulge yourself. And Jesus is just pointing to the cross and saying there is no answer except the cross. You must reckon your old nature to be dead, crucified with Christ. You can’t live after the flesh anymore. Paul the apostle said, “how can we, who are dead to the flesh, how can we then be living any longer therein?” (Romans 8:12)

So Peter having a divine revelation, then the inspiration of his own heart inspired by Satan, as he expresses the philosophy of Hell, shows what is a common problem with us, the ability to know the difference between when God is speaking and my own heart is speaking to me.

And God help me, I don’t have any easy answers for you. This is a question that I am faced with so many times. People say, “How can I tell if it’s God or me?” And God help me, I don’t know. In my own life I seek to measure it by the scripture. Does it keep with the word of God? If it doesn’t keep with the word of God, then I know it’s not of God, because God is consistent, always consistent, in whatever He says will be in perfect harmony and in keeping with what He has said.

Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 9:50 AM

No, Jesus Christ is the fullness of the Church. He is the church. Picture here, if you will, Jesus talking to Peter, then pointing to Himself:

Matthew 16:18
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (that’s where Jesus is pointing to Himself) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Posted by JLM 8:18,

Jesus gave Peter his new name (which means “rock” in Greek, I believe) and was referring to Peter, not himself, when he said, “upon this rock I will build my church, I will give to thee the keys to the kingdom of Heaven.” He’s talking about the Catholic Church’s first Pope, Peter.

I think you are taking mk too literally thinking Jesus is a “key”. That word was used just to help you grasp the idea of purgatory. It’s not part of Catholic teaching, I don’t think.

My idea of “fullness” is not resonating with you. I am not taking anything away from Jesus or what He did for us.

Bethany, as I’m posting, I see your long post. I’ll read it now, but I already know I won’t like it when you say Peter is allowing Satan to speak through him. That’s a new one…

Posted by: Janet at March 3, 2008 10:10 AM

Take your time, Janet… It’s okay! :) I have a lot of housework to do (a ton of laundry to catch up on!)
Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 10:17 AM

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0007fea5.asp

“Return to Apostolic Traditions” (This Rock 2000) by Rev. Alex Jones

Posted by: Janet at March 3, 2008 10:23 AM

Bethany, I have a post in que. Thanks.

Posted by: Janet at March 3, 2008 10:26 AM

JLM,

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (thats where Jesus is pointing to Himself) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Why in the world would I say to you “You are JLM and upon myself I will build a foundation”? That doesn’t make sense even a little.

Picture this:

Jesus is talking to Peter in front of His friends and says “This is Peter (POINTING TO PETER) and upon him I shall set the foundation of my church.”

That makes a little more sense. You can’t just change scripture to fit what you believe.
Posted by: mk at March 3, 2008 11:17 AM

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, 13 and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
19
I will give YOU the keys to the kingdom of heaven. 14 Whatever YOU bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever YOU

Posted by: mk at March 3, 2008 11:21 AM

Take for example Jesus statement to Nicodemus that he must be “born of the water and of the spirit” (John 3:5). Three interpretations have been offered by Christians: (1) amniotic birth fluid (the first birth) and the Holy Spirits indwelling (the second birth); (2) the word of God and the Holy Spirits baptism; and (3) the waters of baptism and the Holy Spirits action in the sacrament.
But Jesus statement certainly had one meaning. Although it isnt spelled out in Johns Gospel account, Im sure Jesus explained what he meant to Nicodemus. But how does that help us? Which of the interpretations listed above is true? All three cannot be true, yet Christians build their faith on one or the other of the three interpretations.

I respectfully disagree…I think it is stated plainly in the gospel account- read it for yourself:

1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.[a]”

Okay, here we have Jesus telling Nicodemus, you must be born again. A very confusing concept, indeed!

4″How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”

Nicodemus asked a very logical question. How can a man be born again? He took the statement literally.

5Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’

I think this very clearly explains that our bodies give birth to new bodies, and that is an analogy for what happens to our spirit when we are “reborn” of God. We actually are “born again” in a spiritual sense. That’s why the Bible says “If any man be in Christ, He is a NEW creature. All old things are passed away- behold, all things are become new”.

8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9″How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10″You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?

Why couldn’t Nicodemus understand? Because he had a veil which had not been yet lifted. He was trying to understand a spiritual concept with earthly eyes.

13No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaventhe Son of Man.[d] 14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.[e]

Here is where Jesus explains how we can be reborn- how we can have eternal life- that He would have to suffer, and die on the cross, and that it would be analgous to the snake which moses lifted up in the desert Do you remember that story? God had sent fiery serpents among the people, and the serpents were killing people. The people cried out and Moses asked what he should do. Moses had to put a snake on a pole and hold it up…everyone who simply LOOKED at the snake would live. This is analogous to believing on Christ- it is as simple as our looking to the cross (having faith in Jesus as our Savior) to save us from our sins and to give us eternal life.
He explains that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life!

16″For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.[g] 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”[h]

And here He clarifies this even more… This is only one aspect of the article you sent me but it’s all I have time for right now. I’ll try to address the rest in a little bit.

Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 11:25 AM

Marykay, I know it’s long but your 11:21 post was answered in that mega post I made at 9:50… here it is so you don’t have to try to find it :)

“We have power as the children of God to bind the forces of darkness, and to loose the work of God. God has given us that authority over these spirit forces, these spiritual entities, that as children of God, we do have authority over them. We can bind these spirit forces and we can loose the work of God.”
Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 11:30 AM

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, 13 and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
19
I will give YOU the keys to the kingdom of heaven. 14 Whatever YOU bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever YOU loosed in heaven.”

How can you just change the meaning of that? I think if Jesus meant “Upon myself I will build this rock, and whatever I bind on earth shall be bound and whatever I loose shall be loosed” then that’s what he would have said!
20

Posted by: mk at March 3, 2008 11:31 AM

Bethany,

I read it but am at a loss…We keep saying the same things over and over…

You believe that Jesus died so that we can automatically enter into heaven simply by believing in Him.

I believe that Jesus died so that we now have the opportunity to enter heaven provide we believe in Him and take a bath before entering…

You’ve shown me nothing that says this isn’t true, I’ve shown you nothing to convince you it is.

I don’t really know where to go from here.

Did you read the long post I put up? From David someone or other?

Posted by: mk at March 3, 2008 11:33 AM

Try this:

If Jesus died and we no longer have to pay for our sins, why do you say that of course we pay the temporal consequences for our sins on earth. Why can you accept this, but not that any residual sins must be payed for before actually passing through the gates? If he payed for our sins, then our lives should be pain free, even if we sin. We shouldn’t have to pay the consequences for them here on earth either, because, according to you and JLM, Jesus already payed for them…

By the way, I think we should keep moving to the most recent weekend posts since they are all about whatever we want them to be about anyway…

Posted by: mk at March 3, 2008 11:37 AM

How can you just change the meaning of that? I think if Jesus meant “Upon myself I will build this rock, and whatever I bind on earth shall be bound and whatever I loose shall be loosed” then that’s what he would have said!

This is one of the only things that Catholics disagree with us on that I can actually understand where you’re coming from.

I understand why you see it that way…the problem is, the Bible cannot contradict itself. If Jesus is saying that Peter is the foundation of the church, then it plainly contradicts 1 Cor. 3:11 (among other verses):
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Therefore, we have to read it in the light of other scriptures, in order for it to not contradict. We have to search for the hebrew roots of the words and see what they meant.

What do Catholics think that 1 Cor. 3:11 means? I am not sure how they would read it, with their presupposition being that Peter was the foundation of the church.

Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 11:51 AM

Try this:
If Jesus died and we no longer have to pay for our sins, why do you say that of course we pay the temporal consequences for our sins on earth. Why can you accept this, but not that any residual sins must be payed for before actually passing through the gates? If he payed for our sins, then our lives should be pain free, even if we sin. We shouldn’t have to pay the consequences for them here on earth either, because, according to you and JLM, Jesus already payed for them…

I think that you are misunderstanding what we’re trying to say. I think I sort of understand your confusion but try to bear with me as I try, probably pitifully, to explain further.

We are talking about two separate things here. Our flesh, and our spirit. You seem to not separate the two. This may be the difference.

Our spirit, which becomes born again at the moment of salvation, will never have to pay the price for any sins. It is perfect and entire. It does not have sin.

Our bodies, which are corruptible, they can still sin and they still bear the consequence of death.

We must be free of these incorruptible bodies before we will be able to live in Heaven.

It is appointed unto man once to die. We all have to die. It is the wage of our earthly bodies to pay for sin.

Our spiritual bodies will either pay an eternal consequence in Hell, or will have an eternal life in Heaven.

There is no other plan listed in the Bible.

It is simply, die, then the judgement (God determines which souls have been justified and will go to Heaven, and which souls have not been justified, and will go to Hell), and then each soul goes to their eternal destiny. That may be an ultra-simplified view, but that is it in a nutshell, I believe.

By the way, I think we should keep moving to the most recent weekend posts since they are all about whatever we want them to be about anyway.

Okay, that sounds good to me! :)
Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 12:02 PM

Boy it is such a beautiful day today and all I have done is jump on the computer every 20 minutes. I need to turn the darn thing off already! lol

The kids have been playing on the trampoline…the sun is shining. The wind is blowing just right…it’s just gorgeous out there.
I’ll talk to you all later!
Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 12:04 PM

Bethany,

I understand why you see it that way…the problem is, the Bible cannot contradict itself. If Jesus is saying that Peter is the foundation of the church, then it plainly contradicts 1 Cor. 3:11 (among other verses): “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Peter is the Rock, NOT foundation. Jesus says this.

JESUS is the Foundation of the church. He hands the keys to the kingdom to Peter and says “upon this rock I will build my church” (NOT “upon this rock I will build myself”). There is absolutely no contradiction here.

I’ll move along to the last “weekend post” too…..

Posted by: Janet at March 3, 2008 12:15 PM

Bethany,

Trampoline? I’m jealous! My backyard is mush… rain on top of melting snow! Enjoy the sunshine.

Posted by: Janet at March 3, 2008 12:18 PM

Peter is the Rock, NOT foundation. Jesus says this.
JESUS is the Foundation of the church. He hands the keys to the kingdom to Peter and says “upon this rock I will build my church” (NOT “upon this rock I will build myself”). There is absolutely no contradiction here.

Notice I couldn’t stay away more than an hour. How pitiful! lol

But according to the Catholic doctrine, Peter is the foundation of the church, not Jesus.

Here is a page on Catholic Answers which explains what the Catholic view is on it:
http://www.catholic.com/library/Origins_of_Peter_as_Pope.asp

It says that according to The Letter of Clement to James:

“Be it known to you, my lord, that Simon [Peter], who, for the sake of the true faith, and the most sure foundation of his doctrine, was set apart to be the foundation of the Church, and for this end was by Jesus himself, with his truthful mouth, named Peter” (Letter of Clement to James 2 [A.D. 221]).

And it says that from The Clementine Homilies:

“[Simon Peter said to Simon Magus in Rome:] For you now stand in direct opposition to me, who am a firm rock, the foundation of the Church [Matt. 16:18]” (Clementine Homilies 17:19 [A.D. 221]).

And from Origen:

“Look at [Peter], the great foundation of the Church, that most solid of rocks, upon whom Christ built the Church [Matt. 16:18]. And what does our Lord say to him? Oh you of little faith, he says, why do you doubt? [Matt. 14:31]” (Homilies on Exodus 5:4 [A.D. 248]).

Council of Ephesus

“Philip, the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See [Rome], said: There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors” (Acts of the Council, session 3 [A.D. 431]).

Sechnall of Ireland

“Steadfast in the fear of God, and in faith immovable, upon [Patrick] as upon Peter the [Irish] church is built; and he has been allotted his apostleship by God; against him the gates of hell prevail not” (Hymn in Praise of St. Patrick 3 [A.D. 444]).

Council of Chalcedon

“Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us, and through this present most holy synod, together with the thrice blessed and all-glorious Peter the apostle, who is the rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith, has stripped him [Dioscorus] of the episcopate” (Acts of the Council, session 3 [A.D. 451]).

There are many more, but those are some that I pulled out, to show you that yes, the Catholic church does say that Peter was the foundation of the church, not Jesus.

This is what I’m trying to dispute.

Here is a website page which I think explains every aspect of this passage- every argument that I’ve seen Catholics bring up about this passage is answered (to my knowledge), and if you could just take a moment to look it over and see what you think I would really appreciate it.

I will pull out a few parts that I think are really important here though and post them:

First of all:
The feminine “petra” occurs four times in the Greek New Testament:

* Matt. 16:18, “And I also say to you that you are Peter (petros), and upon this rock (petra) I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.”
* Matt. 27:60, “and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock (petra); and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.”
* 1 Cor. 10:4, “and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock (petras) which followed them; and the rock (petra) was Christ.”
* 1 Pet. 2:8, speaking of Jesus says that he is “A stone of stumbling and a rock (petra) of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.”

We can clearly see that in the three other uses of the Greek word petra (nominative singular; “petras” in 1 Cor. 10:4 is genitive singular) we find it referred to as a large immovable mass of rock in which a tomb is carved out (Matt. 27:60) and in reference to Christ (1 Cor. 10:4; 1 Pet. 2:8). Note that Peter himself in the last verse referred to petra as being Jesus! If Peter uses the word as a reference to Jesus, then shouldn’t we?

In addition, Greek dictionaries and lexicons give us further insight into the two Greek words under discussion.

1. Source: Liddell, H. (1996). A Lexicon : Abridged from Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon (636). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
1. Petros: “??????, a stone, distinguished from ?????
2. Petra: ????? , Ion. and Ep. ?????, , a rock, a ledge or shelf of rock, Od. 2. a rock, i.e. a rocky peak or ridge…Properly, ????? is a fixed rock, ?????? a stone.”
2. Source: Vine, W., & Bruce, F. (1981; Published in electronic form by Logos Research Systems, 1996). Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (2:302). Old Tappan NJ: Revell.
1. PETRA ????? , (4073)) denotes a mass of rock, as distinct from petros, a detached stone or boulder, or a stone that might be thrown or easily moved.

A stone is movable, unstable and this is exactly what we see with Peter who doubted when he walked on water, who denied Jesus, and who was rebuked by Paul at Antioch:

* Matt. 14:29-30, “And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But seeing the wind, he became afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!'”
* Luke 22:57-58, “But he denied it, saying, ‘Woman, I do not know Him.’ 58 And a little later, another saw him and said, ‘You are one of them too!’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I am not!'”
* Gal. 2:11,14 “But when Cephas [Peter] came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned…14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, ‘If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?'”

Jesus, who knew the heart of Peter, was not saying that Peter, the movable stone, would be the immovable rock upon which the Church would be built. Rather, it would be built upon Jesus, and it was this truth that Peter had affirmed when he said to Jesus, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16). This is consistent with Scripture elsewhere where the term rock is sometimes used in reference of God, but never of a man.

Read the rest at this link:
http://www.carm.org/catholic/peter.htm

**********************************
Oh and Janet, (re: your 12:18 post)it is so nice! The last three days have just been incredibly beautiful. The only drawback is the annoying flies which have been all over the place lately. lol

Last night, we all got together and had a huge bonfire and roasted marshmellows and hot dogs. It was so beautiful. I wish it wasn’t going to be storming tonight!

Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 1:27 PM

By the way, if I am wrong about anything that I say the Catholic doctrine teaches, please do let me know. The only things I know about Catholics is what I read on the Catholic websites and other places on the internet (and through Marykay and others here). Just let me know if I misrepresent your views, and I’ll understand and change my arguments accordingly! :)
Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 1:29 PM

Bethany,
I read your post and skimmed the website, I think I get the idea. I understand the difference between petra and petros, as used in the bible, It’s something I hadn’t thought about. That said, I also think it is very significant that Jesus renamed Simon, Peter, which the following attempts to explain….(see below) (from http://www.catholic.com/library/Peter_and_the_Papacy.asp)

Peter and the Papacy

There is ample evidence in the New Testament that Peter was first in authority among the apostles. Whenever they were named, Peter headed the list (Matt. 10:1-4, Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:14-16, Acts 1:13); sometimes the apostles were referred to as “Peter and those who were with him” (Luke 9:32). Peter was the one who generally spoke for the apostles (Matt. 18:21, Mark 8:29, Luke 12:41, John 6:68-69), and he figured in many of the most dramatic scenes (Matt. 14:28-32, Matt. 17:24-27, Mark 10:23-28). On Pentecost it was Peter who first preached to the crowds (Acts 2:14-40), and he worked the first healing in the Church age (Acts 3:6-7). It is Peter’s faith that will strengthen his brethren (Luke 22:32) and Peter is given Christ’s flock to shepherd (John 21:17). An angel was sent to announce the resurrection to Peter (Mark 16:7), and the risen Christ first appeared to Peter (Luke 24:34). He headed the meeting that elected Matthias to replace Judas (Acts 1:13-26), and he received the first converts (Acts 2:41). He inflicted the first punishment (Acts 5:1-11), and excommunicated the first heretic (Acts 8:18-23). He led the first council in Jerusalem (Acts 15), and announced the first dogmatic decision (Acts 15:7-11). It was to Peter that the revelation came that Gentiles were to be baptized and accepted as Christians (Acts 10:46-48).

Peter the Rock

Peter’s preeminent position among the apostles was symbolized at the very beginning of his relationship with Christ. At their first meeting, Christ told Simon that his name would thereafter be Peter, which translates as “Rock” (John 1:42). The startling thing was that aside from the single time that Abraham is called a “rock” (Hebrew: Tsur; Aramaic: Kepha) in Isaiah 51:1-2 – in the Old Testament only God was called a rock. The word rock was not used as a proper name in the ancient world. If you were to turn to a companion and say, “From now on your name is Asparagus,” people would wonder: Why Asparagus? What is the meaning of it? What does it signify? Indeed, why call Simon the fisherman “Rock”? Christ was not given to meaningless gestures, and neither were the Jews as a whole when it came to names. Giving a new name meant that the status of the person was changed, as when Abram’s name was changed to Abraham (Gen.17:5), Jacob’s to Israel (Gen. 32:28), Eliakim’s to Joakim (2 Kgs. 23:34), or the names of the four Hebrew youths – Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah to Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Dan. 1:6-7). But no Jew had ever been called “Rock.” The Jews would give other names taken from nature, such as Deborah (“bee,” Gen. 35:8), and Rachel (“ewe,” Gen. 29:16), but never “Rock.” In the New Testament James and John were nicknamed Boanerges, meaning “Sons of Thunder,” by Christ, but that was never regularly used in place of their original names, and it certainly was not given as a new name. But in the case of Simon-bar-Jonah, his new name Kephas (Greek: Petros) definitely replaced the old.

Look at the scene

Not only was there significance in Simon being given a new and unusual name, but the place where Jesus solemnly conferred it upon Peter was also important. It happened when “Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi” (Matt. 16:13), a city that Philip the Tetrarch built and named in honor of Caesar Augustus, who had died in A.D. 14. The city lay near cascades in the Jordan River and near a gigantic wall of rock, a wall about 200 feet high and 500 feet long, which is part of the southern foothills of Mount Hermon. The city no longer exists, but its ruins are near the small Arab town of Banias; and at the base of the rock wall may be found what is left of one of the springs that fed the Jordan. It was here that Jesus pointed to Simon and said, “You are Peter” (Matt. 16:18).

The significance of the event must have been clear to the other apostles. As devout Jews they knew at once that the location was meant to emphasize the importance of what was being done. None complained of Simon being singled out for this honor; and in the rest of the New Testament he is called by his new name, while James and John remain just James and John, not Boanerges.

Promises to Peter

When he first saw Simon, “Jesus looked at him, and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas (which means Peter)'” (John 1:42). The word Cephas is merely the transliteration of the Aramaic Kepha into Greek. Later, after Peter and the other disciples had been with Christ for some time, they went to Caesarea Philippi, where Peter made his profession of faith: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16). Jesus told him that this truth was specially revealed to him, and then he solemnly reiterated: “And I tell you, you are Peter” (Matt. 16:18). To this was added the promise that the Church would be founded, in some way, on Peter (Matt. 16:18).

Then two important things were told the apostle. “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 16:19). Here Peter was singled out for the authority that provides for the forgiveness of sins and the making of disciplinary rules. Later the apostles as a whole would be given similar power [Matt.18:18], but here Peter received it in a special sense.

Peter alone was promised something else also: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 16:19). In ancient times, keys were the hallmark of authority. A walled city might have one great gate; and that gate had one great lock, worked by one great key. To be given the key to the city – an honor that exists even today, though its import is lost – meant to be given free access to and authority over the city. The city to which Peter was given the keys was the heavenly city itself. This symbolism for authority is used elsewhere in the Bible (Is. 22:22, Rev. 1:18).

Finally, after the resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples and asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” (John 21:15-17). In repentance for his threefold denial, Peter gave a threefold affirmation of love. Then Christ, the Good Shepherd (John 10:11, 14), gave Peter the authority he earlier had promised: “Feed my sheep” (John 21:17). This specifically included the other apostles, since Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me more than these?” (John 21:15), the word “these” referring to the other apostles who were present (John 21:2). Thus was completed the prediction made just before Jesus and his followers went for the last time to the Mount of Olives.

Immediately before his denials were predicted, Peter was told, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again [after the denials], strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:31-32). It was Peter who Christ prayed would have faith that would not fail and that would be a guide for the others; and his prayer, being perfectly efficacious, was sure to be fulfilled.

Who is the rock?

Now take a closer look at the key verse: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church” (Matt. 16:18). Disputes about this passage have always been related to the meaning of the term “rock.” To whom, or to what, does it refer? Since Simon’s new name of Peter itself means rock, the sentence could be rewritten as: “You are Rock and upon this rock I will build my Church.” The play on words seems obvious, but commentators wishing to avoid what follows from this -namely the establishment of the papacy – have suggested that the word rock could not refer to Peter but must refer to his profession of faith or to Christ.

From the grammatical point of view, the phrase “this rock” must relate back to the closest noun. Peter’s profession of faith (“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”) is two verses earlier, while his name, a proper noun, is in the immediately preceding clause.

As an analogy, consider this artificial sentence: “I have a car and a truck, and it is blue.” Which is blue? The truck, because that is the noun closest to the pronoun “it.” This is all the more clear if the reference to the car is two sentences earlier, as the reference to Peter’s profession is two sentences earlier than the term rock.

Another alternative

The previous argument also settles the question of whether the word refers to Christ himself, since he is mentioned within the profession of faith. The fact that he is elsewhere, by a different metaphor, called the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:4-8) does not disprove that here Peter is the foundation. Christ is naturally the principal and, since he will be returning to heaven, the invisible foundation of the Church that he will establish; but Peter is named by him as the secondary and, because he and his successors will remain on earth, the visible foundation. Peter can be a foundation only because Christ is the cornerstone.

In fact, the New Testament contains five different metaphors for the foundation of the Church (Matt. 16:18, 1 Cor. 3:11, Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:5-6, Rev. 21:14). One cannot take a single metaphor from a single passage and use it to twist the plain meaning of other passages. Rather, one must respect and harmonize the different passages, for the Church can be described as having different foundations since the word foundation can be used in different senses.

Look at the Aramaic

Opponents of the Catholic interpretation of Matthew 16:18 sometimes argue that in the Greek text the name of the apostle is Petros, while “rock” is rendered as petra. They claim that the former refers to a small stone, while the latter refers to a massive rock; so, if Peter was meant to be the massive rock, why isn’t his name Petra?

Note that Christ did not speak to the disciples in Greek. He spoke Aramaic, the common language of Palestine at that time. In that language the word for rock is kepha, which is what Jesus called him in everyday speech (note that in John 1:42 he was told, “You will be called Cephas”). What Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 was: “You are Kepha, and upon this kepha I will build my Church.”

When Matthew’s Gospel was translated from the original Aramaic to Greek, there arose a problem which did not confront the evangelist when he first composed his account of Christ’s life. In Aramaic the word kepha has the same ending whether it refers to a rock or is used as a man’s name. In Greek, though, the word for rock, petra, is feminine in gender. The translator could use it for the second appearance of kepha in the sentence, but not for the first because it would be inappropriate to give a man a feminine name. So he put a masculine ending on it, and hence Peter became Petros.

Furthermore, the premise of the argument against Peter being the rock is simply false. In first century Greek the words petros and petra were synonyms. They had previously possessed the meanings of “small stone” and “large rock” in some early Greek poetry, but by the first century this distinction was gone, as Protestant Bible scholars admit (see D. A. Carson’s remarks on this passage in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, [Grand Rapids: Zondervan Books]).

Some of the effect of Christ’s play on words was lost when his statement was translated from the Aramaic into Greek, but that was the best that could be done in Greek. In English, like Aramaic, there is no problem with endings; so an English rendition could read: “You are Rock, and upon this rock I will build my church.”

Consider another point: If the rock really did refer to Christ (as some claim, based on 1 Cor. 10:4, “and the Rock was Christ” though the rock there was a literal, physical rock), why did Matthew leave the passage as it was? In the original Aramaic, and in the English which is a closer parallel to it than is the Greek, the passage is clear enough. Matthew must have realized that his readers would conclude the obvious from “Rock . . . rock.”

If he meant Christ to be understood as the rock, why didn’t he say so? Why did he take a chance and leave it up to Paul to write a clarifying text? This presumes, of course, that 1 Corinthians was written after Matthew’s Gospel; if it came first, it could not have been written to clarify it.

The reason, of course, is that Matthew knew full well that what the sentence seemed to say was just what it really was saying. It was Simon, weak as he was, who was chosen to become the rock and thus the first link in the chain of the papacy.

NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004

IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004
Interested in reading more about Peter and the Papacy? Check out these wonderful titles from the Church History and Church Fathers section of our online Catalogue (links open in a new window):

Peter and the Papacy
Pope Fiction, Patrick Madrid
One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, Kenneth D. Whitehead
The Fathers Of The Church, Mike Aquilina
Early Christian Writings, Maxwell Staniforth
Peter: Keeper Of The Keys, Stephen Ray
Jesus, Peter & the Keys, Butler, Dahlgren, and Hess
Faith of the Early Fathers, William A. Jurgens
Papacy Learning Guide, Stephen Ray, Dennis Walters
Papacy Evangelization Guide, Stephen Ray, Dennis Walters
Tract Pak A, Catholic Answers
Posted by: Janet at March 3, 2008 2:26 PM

Janet, I am very confused by what you are trying to get across to me. Do you believe that Jesus is the foundation or that Peter is? In the one post, you said Jesus was, but in the next you are agreeing with the Catholic position that Peter is. Can both be the foundation of the church?

Hope you understand that my intent is not to attack. I’m genuinely curious and interested in what you believe.

Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 3:23 PM

notice, in first peter 2, Peter himself describes Jesus as a stone, a stone with the same greek root, “petra”.

1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,

5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
***************
Concerning the Aramaic argument, the link that I sent you had this argument which I thought made sense- but let me know if you disagree and maybe you could help me understand from your point of view why that is:

The Aramaic Kepha

In contrast to this, in paragraph #2 at the beginning of this article, the Roman Catholic Church says that the rock cannot refer to Jesus, “but only Peter, as is so much more apparent in Aramaic in which the same word (Kipha) is used for ‘Peter’ and ‘rock’.” The problem is that the text is not in Aramaic, but Greek. Since we do not have the Aramaic text, it is not proper to refer to it as proof of the Roman Catholic position.

Furthermore, in John 1:42 it says, “He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas,” (which is translated Peter).” The word “Peter” here is petros, not petra. It is used to elucidate the Aramaic kephas, which is not a name in Aramaic.

“Except in Jn. 1:42, where it is used to elucidate Aramaic k?phs, Ptros is used in the NT only as a name for Simon Peter….The translation supports the view that K?phs is not a proper name, since one does not usually translate proper names.”1

*********************

It’s starting to get really windy here….we’re possibly going to be having tornados tonight so we’ll have to go to the storm pit again- oh boy!

Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 3:30 PM

Edit:
notice, in first peter 2, Peter himself describes Jesus as a stone, a stone with the same greek root, “petra”.”

This should have read “describes Jesus as a rock”, not stone. Duh!
:)
Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 3:32 PM

Be careful, Bethany!!!
I’ll be praying for you guys!

Posted by: JLM at March 3, 2008 3:32 PM

Thank you, JLM! We have tornados around here way too often. The last time it happened, a tornado touched down about 3 miles away from us. Yikes. At least no one was hurt!
Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 3:35 PM

Also here is another passage which supports Jesus being the Rock:

4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Here is the context if you can use it:
http://www.carm.org/kjv/1Cor/1cor_10.htm#And
Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 3:39 PM

Bethany,

Sorry, I’m trying to do 14 things at once…..I tried to clarify my post to you that I repeated on the most recent weekend question…but maybe you didn’t see it yet. (Obviously no one else followed me over there since we are still here!) I’ve got to run, but just want you to know, I believe Jesus is the foundation, and he names Peter the “foundation of the Church” on earth once he leaves the earth.

Posted by: Janet at March 3, 2008 4:07 PM

ALL who make a right confession of faith like St. Peter, become living stones in the congregation built upon

“the foundation of the apostles and prophets Jesus Christ himself, being the chief corner stone .(Ephesians 2:20).

According to Peter:

“Behold I lay in Zion a chief corner stone/i>, elect, precious, and he that believeth on HIM shall not be confounded . . .YE ALSO as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood . . .”
(I St. Peter 2: 5-6).

Jesus is the cornerstone…the apostles are stones, we are stones, all together making up “a holy Temple in the Lord”. We are altogether “The Church”.

Ephesians 2:20

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Sorry, I’m trying to do 14 things at once…..I tried to clarify my post to you that I repeated on the most recent weekend question…but maybe you didn’t see it yet. (Obviously no one else followed me over there since we are still here!) I’ve got to run, but just want you to know, I believe Jesus is the foundation, and he names Peter the “foundation of the Church” on earth once he leaves the earth.

Thats okay, Janet….I also am doing about a dozen things at once. I totally understand! Don’t worry about hurrying on my account. ;-) I just had my mom over and then she just left and I came back here. :)

I’ll go check out the weekend question to see your post. :)
Then I’ll post a link to there from here so we can all continue there.
Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 4:10 PM

Janet I went to the most recent weekend question but the last post there is by Jasper. Am I going to the right one?

Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 4:15 PM

Bethany Part, 2,

Also, I can’t find the reference now, but I think there is something about Jesus being the cornerstone and Peter being the rock? Does that help? I’m trying to show how the Catholic position is justified by the words of the Bible. Remember, I’m not taking anything away from Jesus, but showing support for the papacy on earth as well.

No rush…that’s a lot of reading to do. Thanks for your kind reply. Gotta run, talk to you later.

Stay safe! Storm pit? Is that like the one Dorothy ran to in The Wizard of OZ? God bless you!

Posted by: Janet at March 3, 2008 4:15 PM

hehe It’s kind of similar but its a little more off the ground. You just walk in. :)

Yes, I agree…Jesus is the cornerstone, and Peter (as well as every Christian) is a stone, making up a holy temple of the Lord…does that make sense? We all fit together to make up the Lord’s church.

Re:cornerstone – You might be referring to the verses I posted in the 4:10 post…

Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 4:24 PM

This one, Janet?

Ephesians 2:19-22

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household,

20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.

21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.

22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Posted by: JLM at March 3, 2008 4:30 PM

Bethany,

******I’m back for a minute******

Yes, you were on the right one – I repeated my post on the March 1, 2008, Weekend post (at around 12:32 today), but it’s still being used actively, so I don’t know if that’s where you want to take this discussion.

Posted by: Janet at March 3, 2008 4:53 PM

Bethany,

I haven’t read every thing yet, so if I’m repeating, I’m sorry.

Oddly enough the passage you have chosen is yet another argument for purgatory.

What do Catholics think that 1 Cor. 3:11 means? I am not sure how they would read it, with their presupposition being that Peter was the foundation of the church.

You need to put it into context…read the whole thing…

10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

First he says he is laying the foundation but then He says that someone else is building upon it. (Peter and the Catholic Church…or at that time, all of His followers). Next He says that anyone who blows it, (by building on this foundation with the wrong materials/sin, will be saved, BUT only as through fire!

I think Jesus is the foundation of the faith, but Peter is the foundation of the church…
Posted by: mk at March 3, 2008 5:08 PM

JLM 4:30,

Yes, Eph 2:20 – also see this excerpt from my long post at 2:26 (worth reading in full, to get the big picture).

Another alternative

The previous argument also settles the question of whether the word refers to Christ himself, since he is mentioned within the profession of faith. The fact that he is elsewhere, by a different metaphor, called the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:4-8) does not disprove that here Peter is the foundation. Christ is naturally the principal and, since he will be returning to heaven, the invisible foundation of the Church that he will establish; but Peter is named by him as the secondary and, because he and his successors will remain on earth, the visible foundation. Peter can be a foundation only because Christ is the cornerstone.

In fact, the New Testament contains five different metaphors for the foundation of the Church (Matt. 16:18, 1 Cor. 3:11, Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:5-6, Rev. 21:14). One cannot take a single metaphor from a single passage and use it to twist the plain meaning of other passages. Rather, one must respect and harmonize the different passages, for the Church can be described as having different foundations since the word foundation can be used in different senses.

Posted by: Janet at March 3, 2008 5:27 PM

Alright, MK, but then we need to go further into the context of that passage. Let’s read a little more above that:

1Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldlymere infants in Christ. 2I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?

5What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believeas the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

10By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

I still simply don’t see how this verse supports purgatory, MK. In order to view it this way, you would have to begin with a presupposition that purgatory exists, in order to see that in there. And even then, it’s not clear.

Without that presupposition, you simply have the verse at face value, which suggests that we will have rewards for our labor in the Lord, and we will suffer loss of rewards if our labor is not deemed worthy of reward. God will test the quality of our works for Him, and the ones which are more worthy will be rewarded, as it says right there in the passage. There is nothing in there that implies that our bodies, or our souls will be burned, but only that God will judge our works to see which ones are worthy of a reward. He uses the analogy of the fire to explain how he tests which ones are worthy. The entire passage is an analogy, as I explained on Feb 27, at 1:25 AM.

Just as Jesus uses the analogy of the sower and the seeds to explain how we accept His word (the seed), this passage uses the analogy of a fire which is used to sort out the works which were fruitful and did much good, from the works which were unfruitful and pointless.

I hope this helps clear up my understanding of that passage so that you and I can go from there on this argument. :)

Have you had a good day today? I hope so. I got a lot accomplished today…I’m very happy. The laundry is almost all washed and then I just need to put a few loads away. Ah, it is so nice. :)

Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 5:35 PM

1 Corinthians 10:4

4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Janet,
I’m not trying to be obnoxious here or anything, but scripture is SO clear. It really can’t get any clearer than that, don’t you think? You said, “Peter is the Rock, NOT foundation. Jesus says this.”

Yet scripture is so clear. If it’s not clear, it is a fact that it cannot contradict itself. If the verse above states that the Rock was Christ, it would contradict itself saying that Peter was the Rock, which is not possible.

Again, I’m not trying to be obnoxious, but it’s just clear as a bell to me, and I have difficulties understanding why it isn’t for others.

Posted by: JLM at March 3, 2008 5:39 PM

I think Jesus is the foundation of the faith, but Peter is the foundation of the church…

How do you define church, from a Catholic perspective? I am not sure how Catholics define it, and that may cause confusion from my lack of understanding of your definition of that word. Maybe you can help me there.

My definition of church is “the body of believers”.

Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 5:45 PM

JLM,

My post at 2:26 is clear as a bell too. Can you humor me and read it just for fun? It explains any doubts you might have concerning the Catholic position. It may be just be semantics, but you don’t know if you don’t read it. Thanks.

Bethany,

If you haven’t read my post at 2:26, I’d like to hear your opinion. It appears to be well thought out from both the Protestant and Catholic angles.

Posted by: Janet at March 3, 2008 5:47 PM

In 1 Corinthians chapter 10, the whole idea here is that Paul is addressing these carnal believers at Corinth. And he’s using everything at his disposal to teach them and to bring them to an understanding of his Gospel that was given him by the ascended, risen from the grave, Lord of glory: and how that Christ died for the sins of the world, that His blood was shed, and that He rose from the dead.

And of course He has to constantly bring in all their behavioral problems, and they had them. They were constantly tempted to go back into idolatry, and immoral practices, plus all these other hang-ups that he has been addressing.

So,the Apostle Paul goes back to Israel’s experience in the wilderness, and how that when they cried for water, Moses at God’s instruction, struck the Rock, and out of the Rock came water, and Paul now makes it’s plain in Chapter 10 that that Rock was Christ.

Now you want to remember that all through Scripture from the beginning of the Old Testament to the end of the New Testament, whenever there is a typical reference to “The Rock,” that Rock is always Christ, and none other. So whether it’s back in Exodus when the Rock is struck or in the Book of Numbers when Moses was supposed to have spoken to the Rock, but he struck it again instead, that Rock is still Christ. You come on up to the Book of Daniel in Chapter 2 when Daniel has the vision of that Rock cut out with hands, and it strikes the image on it’s feet, that’s the 2nd coming of Christ pictured as a smiting stone. Then, when you get to Matthew, of course, Peter made that tremendous profession of faith in Chapter 16.

Jesus is the rock.

For a more in-depth reading on this, I encourage you to read all of it here: http://www.lesfeldick.org/lesbk27.html

Matthew 16:16-18

“And Simon Peter answered and said, `Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ And Jesus answered and said unto him, `Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, (a stone) and upon this rock (speaking of Himself, Christ) I will build my church; and the gates of hell, shall not prevail against it.'”

So remember throughout all Scripture, the Rock is always Christ in typical language.
Posted by: JLM at March 3, 2008 5:49 PM

Janet, I promise I will read it again (I thought I responded to it but I realize it wasn’t a full enough reponse) and try to respond to it as soon as I can. I’ve got to get supper started tonight and I hope you and Mk and JLM all have a wonderful evening!
Love you girls!
Posted by: Bethany at March 3, 2008 5:53 PM

mk: 5:08,

Your summary is clearer than what I was trying to say.

I corrected myself and emphasized that Peter is the (rock) foundation of the church on earth, but I posted it on the most recent weekend question thread and no one followed me…so no one saw it…. I think my 2:26 post is quite clear, what do you think?

Posted by: Janet at March 3, 2008 5:58 PM

I think Jesus is the foundation of the faith, but Peter is the foundation of the church…

Posted by: mk at March 3, 2008 5:08 PM

That would make them the equals, mk. Is that what you are trying to say?

Posted by: JLM at March 3, 2008 6:02 PM

JLM,

Did you read 2:26 yet? There is going to be a quiz later. lol.

Posted by: Janet at March 3, 2008 6:12 PM

Bethany,

I think Jesus is the foundation of the faith, but Peter is the foundation of the church…

How do you define church, from a Catholic perspective? I am not sure how Catholics define it, and that may cause confusion from my lack of understanding of your definition of that word. Maybe you can help me there.
*
My definition of church is “the body of believers”.

We view the church as the “bride of Christ”, his spouse, His partner, His helpmate.

Yes, it’s the people, but it’s more than that…

It is is also the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
Peter being the “king”, Jesus being the High King, the first King.

Peter takes His place here on earth. He is simply a body, standing in for Jesus, while Jesus is in heaven. When Jesus returns, there will be no need for a guardian any longer.

He is just the physical body that makes sure things are running smoothly.

Coincidentally, Johnny is making his first Confession tonite so I have to go. This is really big for us and is in preparation for his first Holy Communion in May. He looks so handsome!

I’ll write more later…

Posted by: mk at March 3, 2008 6:15 PM

Janet,
You’re too funny!

Yes, I read it, but I have to wait until later this evening for my response.

I can get to quick ones now, but the longer ones will have to wait ’til later!

I hope you understand.

:) HUG!

Posted by: JLM at March 3, 2008 6:18 PM

JLM,

:)HUG BACK!

mk, Bethany,

:)HUG, TOO!

Posted by: Janet at March 3, 2008 6:29 PM

GROUP HUG!!!!

Posted by: JLM at March 3, 2008 6:31 PM

Janet,
I’m back and going through your post now….

I’ll be back!

:)

Posted by: JLM at March 3, 2008 8:25 PM

Hi gang,

It may be because I am a male, that many key elements are continuously being avoided/glossed-over. Just as you might proclaim to be an American does not mean that someone else also claiming to be an American has faulty logic… Jesus Himself refers to himself as Father …. we all know He was single … so does this mean we are bastard-children? The whole argument of ‘rock’ vs ‘stone’ is nit-picking and silly. Why, after 1500 years did a small group of rebels find ‘the true Christian faith’? Was the Spirit dormant over all those centuries? How does ‘sola scriptura’ work for Christians who cannot read?

All this (and other questions) pale beside Peter’s responses to Jesus repeating … “Peter, do you love me?” The question is so profound and disturbing that perhaps it needs fuller use: “JLM do you love me?” Prove it!

Far too much navel gazing going on to show who is correct. That kind of argumentation has us spinning-tires and does not show any growth.

John

Posted by: Anonymous at March 3, 2008 9:11 PM

Janet,
I liked your post! It really does bring up great history of Mount Hermon and great history on the different names that Peter was given throughout the bible and their various translations. It was very interesting!

Now; (and you knew I’d come to this! lol)
If taken literally, that Peter was actually “the rock” that Jesus build his church on, we literally then could find the skeletal remains of Peter under the building, church, that Jesus build with His own hands? Of course not. That would be ridiculous!

Peter himself was inspired to teach that Christ was the Rock on which the church and Christians are built.

1 Peter 2:3-9

3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,

5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

And then we have Paul, who says what’s in a name?

1 Corinthians 3:4-9

4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

I can truly understand how the Catholic church sees this. I really can. However, when you put the rest of the scriptures together, that are found all throughout the bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ that Peter taught, it is plain to see that the members of the body of Christ are the church. Jesus was the foundation the members of His body are built upon. Peter proclaimed this Gospel and certainly brought new members into His body. It was never about an organization, or a building for that matter. It was always about the individual believer. It is a personal decision to accept Christ as Savior. Organizations cannot do that, and buildings can’t do that. Only individual people can.

Posted by: JLM at March 3, 2008 9:42 PM

That kind of argumentation has us spinning-tires and does not show any growth.

1 Peter 2:2
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

John, when scripture, the Word of God, is used, we grow. I love to spiritually grow, do you? I have grown much more spirtually after researching all of these topics using God’s word, or sola scriptura, whatever you’d like to call it.

It’s actually very uplifting and enlightening when we hear God’s word. If you’d care to join us in our spiritual growth, we’d love to have you join in!
Posted by: JLM at March 3, 2008 9:54 PM

..we even HUG each other!!!!

Posted by: JLM at March 3, 2008 9:55 PM

JLM,

Now; (and you knew I’d come to this! lol)
If taken literally, that Peter was actually “the rock” that Jesus build his church on, we literally then could find the skeletal remains of Peter under the building, church, that Jesus build with His own hands? Of course not. That would be ridiculous!

Of course it would be ridiculous. Which is why we aren’t taking it literally…are you?

Posted by: mk at March 3, 2008 10:13 PM

JLM,

They negate each other because a God that would through His perfected, purified, righteous believers into a fiery pit, would be a God that would negate Himself. That can’t happen.

Why? I often punish my children because I love them. To leave them to their own devices would be cruel. I want them to always aim to be better. Doesn’t God want the same for me?

When my kids misbehave and I discipline them, it is precisely because I love them.

It’s the parents that think they are showing their kids love by allowing them to do whatever they want that don’t really love their kids. At least not the way God loves me.

I would be very disappointed if God didn’t correct my flaws. I love Him because He cares enough about me to want me to be perfect. And to be perfect He is going to have to do some “fixin”.

If He loves me, He won’t allow me to continue in my poor, pitiful state. He will purify me and make me beautiful. It’s what I do for my kids. Why won’t He do the same for me?

Posted by: mk at March 3, 2008 10:18 PM

Sure you are, mk! Your claim is that Peter was the rock because Peter’s name means rock. Is he an actual rock?

Of course not.

My point is, that Jesus told Peter that the rock that He (Jesus) will build His (Jesus’)church on is Him (Jesus).

2 Samuel 22:47

The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.

PRAISE GOD!

Psalm 62:6

He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.

PRAISE THE LORD!

Psalm 95:1
O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

AMEN!

Posted by: JLM at March 3, 2008 10:28 PM

mk,

God disciplines you with His love while you are here on earth. He doesn’t send you to purgatory.

There are alot of other questions that I’ve asked you on this thread that I’m really interested in hearing your response to. I understand if you don’t want to, and I also respect that. I just feel like we’re going round-and-round with the same questions when other points are being brought up and asked about.

Posted by: JLM at March 3, 2008 10:32 PM

John, 9:11,

It may be because I am a male, that many key elements are continuously being avoided/glossed-over.

Is a word or two missing from this sentence?

Posted by: Janet at March 3, 2008 11:56 PM

JLM,

The test is postponed to a later date; more study time is needed. lol.

Jesus gave Simon the name of Peter. Doesn’t that say something? If you forget the notion that “the rock is always Jesus”, this might make some sense. But then you’d have to believe that Peter plays a more important role than you believe he should. I think we’re at a standstill.

My point is, that Jesus told Peter that the rock that He (Jesus) will build His (Jesus’)church on is Him (Jesus).

2 Samuel 22:47

Jesus told Peter that He will build His church on Himself? This interpretation makes no sense, mk pointed this out earlier.
Posted by: Janet at March 4, 2008 12:01 AM

mk,

How did Johnny’s First Confession go?

Posted by: Janet at March 4, 2008 12:06 AM

JLM,

Sure you are, mk! Your claim is that Peter was the rock because Peter’s name means rock. Is he an actual rock?

I can’t tell if you are being serious or not…

Do I also think that Jesus is a rock, since He is the cornerstone?

Do I think that I eat grass and graze on mountaintops because I am a “sheep”?

Do I think that Jesus grows leaves and that I need to be trimmed each season because He is the vine and I am the branches?

Did you really read Janets 2:26 post?

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 5:36 AM

JLM,

There are alot of other questions that I’ve asked you on this thread that I’m really interested in hearing your response to. I understand if you don’t want to, and I also respect that.

I feel the same way. But these threads are long and questions get lost…perhaps we could both reask them?

Not sinless, mk, forgiven for sins. That precious work was done on the Cross over 2000 years ago, for past, present and future sins. I was made righteous in His eyes the moment I accepted Him. Once Christ is in me, nothing can seperate me from Him or Him from me.

We do not believe this. We believe Christ will leave you if you commit a sin so grave that He can no longer reside in you. (This is why we must not have mortal sins on our soul when we receive Communion). Once the sin is removed, through confession, Jesus will once again reside in you.
But we most definitely believe that you can renege on your end of the covenant.

The most important question to me, however, remains “How do you reconcile the fact that for 1500 years 7 Sacraments, the idea of the True Presence, Confession, the Papacy, Purgatory, and the priesthood were part and parcel of the universal church? How do you reconcile Luther simply changing scripture? Dropping whole books so that the bible more readily fit into his heretical notions? If you adhere to sola scriptura, how is it possible to mess with said scripture? And how to you accept scripture as the only Truth, but don’t accept Catholicism, when it was Catholicism that gave you the scripture to begin with?

1500 years of accepted practices, doctrine and faith…and poof, it’s all gone because of a MAN.

I simply don’t get this…

,
Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 6:15 AM

Jesus told Peter that He will build His church on Himself?

Posted by: Janet at March 4, 2008 12:01 AM

Yes! On Jesus’ Gospel, on Jesus’ New Covanent and on God Himself! His church is not a building or a religion, His church is His body and we are the members. Peter would go out and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to bring more members into His body, ie., church. Soulwinning, Janet!

Makes perfect sense.

Posted by: JLM at March 4, 2008 8:05 AM

The most important question to me, however, remains “How do you reconcile the fact that for 1500 years 7 Sacraments, the idea of the True Presence, Confession, the Papacy, Purgatory, and the priesthood were part and parcel of the universal church? How do you reconcile Luther simply changing scripture? Dropping whole books so that the bible more readily fit into his heretical notions? If you adhere to sola scriptura, how is it possible to mess with said scripture? And how to you accept scripture as the only Truth, but don’t accept Catholicism, when it was Catholicism that gave you the scripture to begin with?
1500 years of accepted practices, doctrine and faith…and poof, it’s all gone because of a MAN.
I simply don’t get this…

Marykay, I’m going to do a little reading up on Martin Luther so that I can more accurately answer your question here. Since I don’t know that much about him, from what you’ve told me about him wanting to remove books like James and Revelation out of the Bible, I may very well have problems with him. I need to do some research and then get back with you.

Posted by: Bethany at March 4, 2008 8:21 AM

Also, I think you may have missed my February 27, 2008 8:05 AM post…. can you check it out and let me know your thoughts?
Posted by: Bethany at March 4, 2008 8:23 AM

Marykay while I was reading a little bit I was thinking about one thing and I wondered your thoughts on this.

When Jesus preached, he preached reading from scripture.

When Satan tempted Jesus, He responded to Satan using Scripture.

When Jesus taught parables or condemned the Pharisees, He recalled Scripture.

Jesus was our example. He told us that we were to follow His example.

Jesus never used tradition as a response to someone’s questions, from what I can remember.

Can you think of any instance where Jesus did this?

Posted by: Bethany at March 4, 2008 8:44 AM

It may be because I am a male, that many key elements are continuously being avoided/glossed-over. Just as you might proclaim to be an American does not mean that someone else also claiming to be an American has faulty logic… Jesus Himself refers to himself as Father …. we all know He was single … so does this mean we are bastard-children? The whole argument of ‘rock’ vs ‘stone’ is nit-picking and silly. Why, after 1500 years did a small group of rebels find ‘the true Christian faith’? Was the Spirit dormant over all those centuries? How does ‘sola scriptura’ work for Christians who cannot read?

John, it’s so good to see you here.

I have to disagree with your statement about this aspect of the debate being nitpicking and silly, although I respect your opinion. I think that this subject about Peter and the rock is absolutely crucial to the understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

On the one hand, we have Peter, being on equal footing as Jesus.. (one statement that really confused me was this one by MK: “Peter takes His place here on earth. He is simply a body, standing in for Jesus, while Jesus is in heaven. When Jesus returns, there will be no need for a guardian any longer.” What I can’t understand is that she’s saying that Peter is a body who is standing for Jesus right now, while Jesus is in Heaven. Even though Peter has been dead and gone for thousands of years? But at the same time, Jesus, who is God, is apparently not capable of being our King and representative on earth? Maybe I am misunderstanding the statement. It could be.)

On the other hand, we have Jesus as being the foundation, which is consistently confirmed in Scripture, the foundation for the church, with all the believers fitting together to make one body of Christ, one holy temple, one “church”.

Why put Peter on a Pedastool? We are not followers of Peter, but Christ. I just can’t see calling Peter a King, when Jesus is the King. I can’t see calling Peter the “rock”, when Jesus is the Rock of our salvation.

I think that the way we understand this very important aspect of the debate has a lot to do with our understanding of the gospel of Christ in the first place.

I do not think that it was after 1500 years that people started following the scripture alone.

In fact, I found this article which may help explain:

The Early Church operated on basis of sola Scriptura

These above quotations are simply representative of the Church fathers as a whole. Cyprian, Origen, Hippolytus, Athanasius, Firmilian, and Augustine are just a few of these that could be cited as proponents of the principle of sola Scriptura in addition to Tertullian, Irenaeus, Cyril and Gregory of Nyssa. The Early Church operated on the basis of the principle of sola Scriptura. It was this historical principle that the Reformers sought to restore to the Church. The extensive use of Scripture by the fathers of the Early Church from the very beginning are seen in the following facts:

Irenaeus: He knew Polycarp who was a disciple of the apostle John. He lived from c 130 to 202 AD. He quotes from twenty-four of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, taking over 1,800 quotations from the New Testament alone.

Clement of Alexandria: He lived from 150 to 215 AD. He cites all the New Testament, books except Philemon, James and 2 Peter. He gives 2,400 citations from the New Testament.

Tertullian: He lived from 160 to 220 AD. He makes over 7,200 New Testament citations.

Origen: He lived from 185 to 254 AD. He succeeded Clement of Alexandria at the Catechetical school at Alexandria. He makes nearly 18,000 New Testament citations.

By the end of the 3rd century, virtually the entire New Testament could be reconstructed from the writings of the Church Fathers.

************

As for the question of how sola scriptura works for those who cannot read, the Bible says,

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

Posted by: Bethany at March 4, 2008 9:00 AM

@JLM,

just a wee problem … Jesus is spoken as ‘the Word of God’. This is an English translation of the Greek word ‘Logos’ … it can be translated as ‘The Mind’ of God, but ‘Word’ is instead used because ‘logos’ does have a more tangible sense to it than the English word ‘mind’.

Even when we translate ‘Logos’ as ‘Word’, we do not hold that Jesus’ words alone were sacred …. but that ‘the Word’ includes all sorts of non-verbal elements: like places of adoration; the Eucharist; sacred music; sacred symbols like the Crucifix; laying on of hands; kiss/handshake/embrace of Peace; tradition … etc, etc. If Jesus submitted Himself to the direction of His mother, if we are following Jesus, should we not also submit to this direction?

Janet, when I wrote of the maleness I just wanted to note that everyone in this ‘discussion’ is female and as such MAY miss certain male nuances … like when buying a car many males tend to like their car for it’s ‘power’; and many females are enamored by the ‘color’. If Jesus and all the apostles are male … then elements of their rapport may indeed be missed.

JLM, how can Jesus pray: ” … that they may be One as You and I are one” … and maintain our ‘individualness’ as the primary Christian calling?

John

Posted by: Anonymous at March 4, 2008 9:01 AM

Bethany,

I did see that post, but somehow forgot it…oops.

I think you have to first understand the times and the fact that then, suicide was not looked upon as shameful. Maybe this will help. Take note of the Talumd (which didn’t exist then, but the Old Testament did. If the Jews thought suicide was acceptable under Razis circumstances in the 1st century AD, when the Talmud was written, surely they thought it was okay hundreds of years before). Also note that suicide was not looked down upon even by Christians until the 4th century AD…

THE BIBLE
The only Biblical authority is the interpretation of the sixth commandment, “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. The Old Testament records suicides, but does not condemn it nor promises a happy afterlife.

Ablimlech – (Judges 9) who killed himself to avoid having it recorded that he was mortally wounded by a woman.
Samson – (Judges 16) who pulled the temple down upon the Philistines, killing them and praying that he die as well.
Saul – (Samuel 31) and his armor-bearer killed themselves rather than be taken captive by the Philistines.
Ahitophel – (Samuel 17) whose betrayal of David failed.
Zimiri – (Kings 1) burned a building down upon himself.

CHRISTIANITY
The New Testament records one suicide.

Judas Iscariot (Mathew 27) Judas hanged himself after his betrayal of Christ. Theologians have debated, if God did condemn Judas, was it because he killed himself (in remorse for the betrayal) or for the betrayal itself.

The New Testament hails both Samson and Saul as great servants of God. Samson is noted as a great hero of the faith “of whom the world was not worthy”. (Hebrews 11)

The advent of Christianity brought marked changes in attitudes toward suicide. At first there were many suicides by early Christians, especially by martyrs who found the attraction of the promised afterlife in paradise greater than the hardships of their life on earth.

The Church could ill afford to lose so many of its supporters at that time, and a quick halt to the rash of suicides was brought about in the 4th Century A.D. when St. Augustine codified the Church’s official disapproval of suicide by placing it in a moral framework and condemning it as a grievous sin. As a result, in the Middle Ages, from about the 4th to the 13th century, when the Catholic Church held great sway in Europe, suicide became practically unknown.

Thomas Aquinas, in the 13th century, further specified the Church’s attitude toward suicide in his great writings about Church and God, Summa Theologica, when he condemns suicide as unnatural and a usurpation of God’s power to dispose at His discretion man’s life, death and resurrection. Yet even in this writing, which was to become the center of Christian doctrine, Aquinas takes his arguments from Plato and Aristotle, not from the Bible.

During the 14th and 15th centuries (Renaissance) suicide was severely condemned. This period brought rise to the industrial revolution, the incorporation of the Protestant Ethic into Anglo-Saxon culture, and the rise of Puritanism, a religious outlook that also condemned poverty as sin and unworthiness.

JUDAISM
In addition to the suicides recorded in the Old Testament, two accounts exist from the Maccabean period. Razis, an elder of Jerusalem during the Maccabean revolt, killed himself to avoid being captured by Syrian general Nicanor (II Macc. 14:37- 46). The mother of seven sons murdered by Antiochus IV threw herself upon their funeral pyre (IV Macc. 17:1f).

In the first century A.D. two accounts are recorded. The first involved a group of Jewish soldiers under the command of Josephus. The second was in 73 A.D. when 953 Jews of Masada completed mass suicide to avoid Roman capture.

The TALMUD, written and codified during the early Christian era, specifically condemns suicide. The TALMUD’s condemnation of suicide is based on the interpretation of Gen. 9:5 ‘For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning’. Only self-inflicted deaths under extreme situations were acceptable, such as in apostasy, ignominy, and disgrace of capture or torture. The victim and his family were punished by denial of regular burial and the customary rituals of mourning. The severity of this punishment caused rabbis of the time to consider a self-inflicted death as only those announced beforehand and carried out in front of eye witnesses. Modern Jewish scholars believe that the harshest Jewish treatment of suicide was partly due to the negative Christian influence on the subject. (Ch.W. Reines, “The Jewish Attitude Toward Suicide”, Judaism, Vol. 10, Spring 1966, p.170.

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 9:05 AM

http://www.heartbeatsurvivorsaftersuicide.org/materials/religious_reflections.htm

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 9:06 AM

Bethany,

This oral teaching was accepted by Christians, just as they accepted the written teaching that came to them later. Jesus told his disciples: “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16). The Church, in the persons of the apostles, was given the authority to teach by Christ; the Church would be his representative. He commissioned them, saying, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19).

And how was this to be done? By preaching, by oral instruction: “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ” (Rom. 10:17). The Church would always be the living teacher. It is a mistake to limit “Christs word” to the written word only or to suggest that all his teachings were reduced to writing. The Bible nowhere supports either notion.

Further, it is clear that the oral teaching of Christ would last until the end of time. “But the word of the Lord abides for ever. That word is the good news which was preached to you” (1 Pet. 1:25). Note that the word has been “preached”that is, communicated orally. This would endure. It would not be
supplanted by a written record like the Bible (supplemented, yes, but not supplanted), and would continue to have its own authority.

This is made clear when the apostle Paul tells Timothy: “[W]hat you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2). Here we see the first few links in the chain of apostolic tradition that has been passed down intact from the apostles to our own day. Paul instructed Timothy to pass on the oral teachings (traditions) that he had received from the apostle. He was to give these to men who would be able to teach others, thus perpetuating the chain. Paul gave this instruction not long before his death (2 Tim. 4:68), as a reminder to Timothy of how he should conduct his ministry.

What is Tradition?

In this discussion it is important to keep in mind what the Catholic Church means by tradition. The term does not refer to legends or mythological accounts, nor does it encompass transitory customs or practices which may change, as circumstances warrant, such as styles of priestly dress, particular forms of devotion to saints, or even liturgical rubrics. Sacred or apostolic tradition consists of the teachings that the apostles passed on orally through their preaching. These teachings largely (perhaps entirely) overlap with those contained in Scripture, but the mode of their transmission is different.

They have been handed down and entrusted to the Churchs. It is necessary that Christians believe in and follow this tradition as well as the Bible (Luke 10:16). The truth of the faith has been given primarily to the leaders of the Church (Eph. 3:5), who, with Christ, form the foundation of the Church (Eph. 2:20). The Church has been guided by the Holy Spirit, who protects this teaching from corruption (John 14:25-26, 16:13).

Handing on the faith

Paul illustrated what tradition is: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures. . . . Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed” (1 Cor. 15:3,11). The apostle praised those who followed Tradition: “I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you” (1 Cor. 11:2).

The first Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles teaching” (Acts 2:42) long before there was a New Testament. From the very beginning, the fullness of Christian teaching was found in the Church as the living embodiment of Christ, not in a book. The teaching Church, with its oral, apostolic tradition, was authoritative. Paul himself gives a quotation from Jesus that was handed down orally to him: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

This saying is not recorded in the Gospels and must have been passed on to Paul. Indeed, even the Gospels themselves are oral tradition which has been written down (Luke 1:14). Whats more, Paul does not quote Jesus only. He also quotes from early Christian hymns, as in Ephesians 5:14. These and other things have been given to Christians “through the Lord Jesus” (1 Thess. 4:2).

Fundamentalists say Jesus condemned tradition. They note that Jesus said, “And why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?” (Matt. 15:3). Paul warned, “See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ” (Col. 2:8). But these verses merely condemn erroneous human traditions, not truths which were handed down orally and entrusted to the Church by the apostles. These latter truths are part of what is known as apostolic tradition, which is to be distinguished from human traditions or customs.

http://www.catholic.com/library/Scripture_and_Tradition.asp

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 9:27 AM

John,
It’s the individual choice to choose or accept Jesus. When we accept Him, we are accepted into His body, His church, and are all individual members of His body, but the body as a whole is one.

Just like your body is made up of fingers, toes, arms, legs….Each individual member of your body comprises your body as a whole. Many members, one body.

If Jesus submitted Himself to the direction of His mother, if we are following Jesus, should we not also submit to this direction?

Why? What could Mary possibly do for me? She didn’t die on the cross, she didn’t give me the gift of salvation. She is not my mother. I submit myself to God, and God alone. Jesus obeyed His mother, and we are to do the same with our OWN mother (and father).

Colossians 3:20

Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

Since Jesus was perfect, He obeyed His earthly parent.

Would you happen to have a bible verse that claims that Jesus submitted Himself to Mary? I can’t find one.

Posted by: JLM at March 4, 2008 9:30 AM

Papias

“Papias [A.D. 120], who is now mentioned by us, affirms that he received the sayings of the apostles from those who accompanied them, and he, moreover, asserts that he heard in person Aristion and the presbyter John. Accordingly, he mentions them frequently by name, and in his writings gives their traditions [concerning Jesus]. . . . [There are] other passages of his in which he relates some miraculous deeds, stating that he acquired the knowledge of them from tradition” (fragment in Eusebius, Church History 3:39 [A.D. 312]).

Eusebius of Caesarea

“At that time [A.D. 150] there flourished in the Church Hegesippus, whom we know from what has gone before, and Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, and another bishop, Pinytus of Crete, and besides these, Philip, and Apollinarius, and Melito, and Musanus, and Modestus, and, finally, Irenaeus. From them has come down to us in writing, the sound and orthodox faith received from tradition” (Church History 4:21).

Irenaeus

“As I said before, the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although she is disseminated throughout the whole world, yet guarded it, as if she occupied but one house. She likewise believes these things just as if she had but one soul and one and the same heart; and harmoniously she proclaims them and teaches them and hands them down, as if she possessed but one mouth. For, while the languages of the world are diverse, nevertheless, the authority of the tradition is one and the same” (Against Heresies 1:10:2 [A.D. 189]).

“That is why it is surely necessary to avoid them [heretics], while cherishing with the utmost diligence the things pertaining to the Church, and to lay hold of the tradition of truth. . . . What if the apostles had not in fact left writings to us? Would it not be necessary to follow the order of tradition, which was handed down to those to whom they entrusted the churches?” (ibid., 3:4:1).

“It is possible, then, for everyone in every church, who may wish to know the truth, to contemplate the tradition of the apostles which has been made known throughout the whole world. And we are in a position to enumerate those who were instituted bishops by the apostles and their successors to our own timesmen who neither knew nor taught anything like these heretics rave about.

“But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles.

“With this church, because of its superior origin, all churches must agreethat is, all the faithful in the whole worldand it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition” (ibid., 3:3:12).

Clement of Alexandria

“Well, they preserving the tradition of the blessed doctrine derived directly from the holy apostles, Peter, James, John, and Paul, the sons receiving it from the father (but few were like the fathers), came by Gods will to us also to deposit those ancestral and apostolic seeds. And well I know that they will exult; I do not mean delighted with this tribute, but solely on account of the preservation of the truth, according as they delivered it. For such a sketch as this, will, I think, be agreeable to a soul desirous of preserving from loss the blessed tradition” (Miscellanies 1:1 [A.D. 208]).

Origen

“Although there are many who believe that they themselves hold to the teachings of Christ, there are yet some among them who think differently from their predecessors. The teaching of the Church has indeed been handed down through an order of succession from the apostles and remains in the churches even to the present time. That alone is to be believed as the truth which is in no way at variance with ecclesiastical and apostolic tradition” (The Fundamental Doctrines 1:2 [A.D. 225]).

Cyprian of Carthage

“[T]he Church is one, and as she is one, cannot be both within and without. For if she is with Novatian, she was not with [Pope] Cornelius. But if she was with Cornelius, who succeeded the bishop Fabian by lawful ordination, and whom, beside the honor of the priesthood the Lord glorified also with martyrdom, Novatian is not in the Church; nor can he be reckoned as a bishop, who, succeeding to no one, and despising the evangelical and apostolic tradition, sprang from himself. For he who has not been ordained in the Church can neither have nor hold to the Church in any way” (Letters 75:3 [A.D. 253]).

Athanasius

“Again we write, again keeping to the apostolic traditions, we remind each other when we come together for prayer; and keeping the feast in common, with one mouth we truly give thanks to the Lord. Thus giving thanks unto him, and being followers of the saints, we shall make our praise in the Lord all the day, as the psalmist says. So, when we rightly keep the feast, we shall be counted worthy of that joy which is in heaven” (Festal Letters 2:7 [A.D. 330]).

“But you are blessed, who by faith are in the Church, dwell upon the foundations of the faith, and have full satisfaction, even the highest degree of faith which remains among you unshaken. For it has come down to you from apostolic tradition, and frequently accursed envy has wished to unsettle it, but has not been able” (ibid., 29).

Basil the Great

“Of the dogmas and messages preserved in the Church, some we possess from written teaching and others we receive from the tradition of the apostles, handed on to us in mystery. In respect to piety, both are of the same force. No one will contradict any of these, no one, at any rate, who is even moderately versed in matters ecclesiastical. Indeed, were we to try to reject unwritten customs as having no great authority, we would unwittingly injure the gospel in its vitals; or rather, we would reduce [Christian] message to a mere term” (The Holy Spirit 27:66 [A.D. 375]).

Epiphanius of Salamis

“It is needful also to make use of tradition, for not everything can be gotten from sacred Scripture. The holy apostles handed down some things in the scriptures, other things in tradition” (Medicine Chest Against All Heresies 61:6 [A.D. 375]).

Augustine

“[T]he custom [of not rebaptizing converts] . . . may be supposed to have had its origin in apostolic tradition, just as there are many things which are observed by the whole Church, and therefore are fairly held to have been enjoined by the apostles, which yet are not mentioned in their writings” (On Baptism, Against the Donatists 5:23[31] [A.D. 400]).

“But the admonition that he [Cyprian] gives us, that we should go back to the fountain, that is, to apostolic tradition, and thence turn the channel of truth to our times, is most excellent, and should be followed without hesitation” (ibid., 5:26[37]).

“But in regard to those observances which we carefully attend and which the whole world keeps, and which derive not from Scripture but from Tradition, we are given to understand that they are recommended and ordained to be kept, either by the apostles themselves or by plenary [ecumenical] councils, the authority of which is quite vital in the Church” (Letter to Januarius [A.D. 400]).

John Chrysostom

“[Paul commands,] Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word or by our letter [2 Thess. 2:15]. From this it is clear that they did not hand down everything by letter, but there is much also that was not written. Like that which was written, the unwritten too is worthy of belief. So let us regard the tradition of the Church also as worthy of belief. Is it a tradition? Seek no further” (Homilies on Second Thessalonians [A.D. 402]).

Vincent of Lerins

“With great zeal and closest attention, therefore, I frequently inquired of many men, eminent for their holiness and doctrine, how I might, in a concise and, so to speak, general and ordinary way, distinguish the truth of the Catholic faith from the falsehood of heretical depravity.

“I received almost always the same answer from all of themthat if I or anyone else wanted to expose the frauds and escape the snares of the heretics who rise up, and to remain intact and in sound faith, it would be necessary, with the help of the Lord, to fortify that faith in a twofold manner: first, of course, by the authority of divine law [Scripture] and then by the tradition of the Catholic Church.

“Here, perhaps, someone may ask: If the canon of the scriptures be perfect and in itself more than suffices for everything, why is it necessary that the authority of ecclesiastical interpretation be joined to it? Because, quite plainly, sacred Scripture, by reason of its own depth, is not accepted by everyone as having one and the same meaning. . . .

“Thus, because of so many distortions of such various errors, it is highly necessary that the line of prophetic and apostolic interpretation be directed in accord with the norm of the ecclesiastical and Catholic meaning” (The Notebooks [A.D. 434]).

Pope Agatho

“[T]he holy Church of God . . . has been established upon the firm rock of this Church of blessed Peter, the prince of the apostles, which by his grace and guardianship remains free from all error, [and possesses that faith that] the whole number of rulers and priests, of the clergy and of the people, unanimously should confess and preach with us as the true declaration of the apostolic tradition, in order to please God and to save their own souls” (Letter read at fourth session of III Constantinople [A.D. 680]).

http://www.catholic.com/library/Apostolic_Tradition.asp

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 9:31 AM

If Jesus submitted Himself to the direction of His mother, if we are following Jesus, should we not also submit to this direction?

Jesus did not always submit to the direction of his mother. It was not His mother that He followed. Jesus submitted Himself to the direction of God.

When Jesus was 12, He stayed behind in Jerusalem when His parents were going back home from a feast.

This is not something His mother would have desired Him to do, and we find that out in the passage, that she was extremely worried about Him, and confronted Him about this:

“48
And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
49
And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”

Also, a lot about how important Mary was as the mother of Jesus can be found in this passage:

19 Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press. 20 And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. 21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

Mary was not more important than other people because she carried Jesus in her womb. Yes, she was very blessed, very much so. But she was never blessed “above” other women, but “among” other women.

There is no evidence to support the idea that Mary was immaculately conceived…if she was, then she would have no need of a Savior. However, Mary said herself, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in GOD MY SAVIOUR.” -Luke 1:46-47.

Posted by: Bethany at March 4, 2008 9:31 AM

By the way, the more reading on Martin Luther I do, it appears that he was a heretic.

Posted by: Bethany at March 4, 2008 9:34 AM

Bethany,

Please note two things. First, all of scripture was originally oral tradition. Until it was written down and collected, there was no “scripture”. It was ALL tradition.

Secondly, there is a difference between human tradition and divine tradition.

The Jews never wrote down scripture either, unless there was a threat that it would be lost. Everything was handed down orally. This is why young Jewish boys had to memorize the Torah…

Oral Law, or Oral Tradition (Hebrew: ???? ???? ??, Torah she-be-`al peh), according to Rabbinic Judaism, is an oral tradition received in conjunction with the written Torah (and the rest of the Hebrew Bible), which is known in this context as the “Written Torah” (Hebrew: ???? ?????, Torah she-bi-khtav). The traditions of the Oral Torah are believed to be the same as those recorded in the Mishnah and Talmud during the 2nd-5th centuries CE.

According to classical Judaism and the tenets of Orthodox Judaism, Moses and the Jews at Mount Sinai received an Oral as well as a written Torah (“teaching”) from God. The books of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) were relayed with an oral tradition passed on by the scholarly and other religious leaders of each generation, and according to classical Rabbinic interpretation, the teachings of the Oral Law are a guide to that interpretation of the Written Law which is considered the authoritative reading. Jewish law and tradition thus is not based on a strictly literal reading of the Tanakh, but on combined oral and written traditions. Further, the basis of halakha (Jewish law) includes the premise that the Written Law is inherently bound together with an Oral Law.

The “Oral Law” was ultimately recorded in the Talmud and Midrash.

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 9:39 AM

Bethany,

I did see that post, but somehow forgot it…oops.

I think you have to first understand the times and the fact that then, suicide was not looked upon as shameful. Maybe this will help. Take note of the Talumd (which didn’t exist then, but the Old Testament did. If the Jews thought suicide was acceptable under Razis circumstances in the 1st century AD, when the Talmud was written, surely they thought it was okay hundreds of years before). Also note that suicide was not looked down upon even by Christians until the 4th century AD…
Okay, I see what you’re saying, but I feel that you are missing something… the author of the book is actually condoning the suicide as a noble act.

If the Bible is inspired by God, it doesn’t matter how a particular culture or society looked on suicide… God Himself had said that suicide was wrong, as it destroys our temple. God says, ” 16Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”

He would not then say that suicide was noble, or He would contradict Himself.

In the accounts that you bring up, such as the man who kills himself because he doesn’t want to be remembered as being killed by a woman, the author of the story makes no implication whatsoever that this was a noble thing to do.

As for Samson, I do not think of his death as a suicide. His goal was not to kill himself but the philistines.
Posted by: Bethany at March 4, 2008 9:43 AM

Original prohibition to write the Oral Torah

The laws transmitted to Moses were contained in the Torah written down on scrolls. The explanation however, was not allowed to be written down. Jews were obligated to speak the explanation and pass it on orally to students, children, and fellow adults. It was thus initially forbidden to write and publish the Oral Law: written material would be incomplete and subject to misinterpretation (and abuse).

After great debate, however, this restriction was lifted. Following the destruction of the Second Temple and the fall of Jerusalem, it became apparent that the Palestine community and its learning were threatened, and that publication was the only way to ensure that the law could be preserved; see Timeline of Jewish history.

Thus, around 200 CE, Rabbi Judah HaNasi took up the redaction of oral law; it was compiled into the first written work of rabbinic Judaism, the Mishnah.(There is also a tradition that the Midrashic-Mystical book “Pirke deRabi Eliezer” is the oldest Jewish book after the TaNaCh.) Over the next four centuries this body of law, legend and ethical teachings underwent debate and discussion, or Gemara, in both of the world’s major Jewish communities (Israel and Babylon). The Gemara with the Mishnah came to be edited together into compilations known as the Talmud.

Thanks to the works of Professor Lawrance Shiffman, many of the exact, intricate terms (including detailed legal arguments) mentioned in the Talmud (200ce) can be verified a full 350 years earlier in the Dead Sea scroll known as MMT ( Miqsat Ma’ase Ha-Torah / Qumran Cave 4). Anyone interested in this information can contact the Biblical Archaeological Review for more information. In addition, a book called “Understanding the Dead Sea” scrolls now contains Professor Shiffman’s article on this exact topic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_Torah

So pretty basically, most of what Jesus taught was oral tradition. The law may have been written down, but not the explanations…and it was the explanations (unwritten) which were upsetting the elders. Jesus was not qualified to give these explanations as he had no authority in the oral traditions.

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 9:45 AM

Bethany,

I agree. A common misconception of Catholics, is that Protestants follow Luthers teachings. This is not true. Martin Luther founded the Lutheran religion, which is an offshoot, or “child” of the Catholic religion. Luther may have come out of Catholisism, but Catholisism did not come out of Luther. Luther’s teaching are much more in line with Catholosism’s teachings than the Protestant teaching. It always makes me wonder why Catholics despise him so much, when much of his teachings are right in line with Catholisism.

He was a heretic.

Posted by: JLM at March 4, 2008 9:48 AM

So pretty basically, most of what Jesus taught was oral tradition. The law may have been written down, but not the explanations…and it was the explanations (unwritten) which were upsetting the elders. Jesus was not qualified to give these explanations as he had no authority in the oral traditions.

But He was our example! He read from the scriptures, and He expounded on them, as the Holy Spirit guided Him…we can do this too, as the Bible says, “study to shew thyself approved, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed- rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Jesus did have the authority to understand and interpret the scriptures, and we do too, because His Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth.

The elders were wrong when they said Jesus was not qualified to interpret scripture. He spoke and taught as one having authority, and this astounded and infuriated them. They did not understand that He had the authority to interpret the scriptures, and were indignant that He would do so.
Posted by: Bethany at March 4, 2008 9:54 AM

By the way, I am finding this discussion so intriguing…I am learning so much about different faiths that I never knew before. Thanks for being willing to discuss this with me, Marykay, Bobby, John, and Janet.
*********************************
Posted by: Bethany at March 4, 2008 10:01 AM

I was looking through some more on Maccabees, and I found a passage which you may recognize,

” Since Nicanor’s doings ended in this way, with the city remaining in possession of the Hebrews from that time on, I will bring my own story to an end here too.
38
If it is well written and to the point, that is what I wanted; if it is poorly done and mediocre, that is the best I could do.
39
Just as it is harmful to drink wine alone or water alone, whereas mixing wine with water makes a more pleasant drink that increases delight, so a skillfully composed story delights the ears of those who read the work. Let this, then, be the end.”

The first thing that comes to mind, is why does the author feel that the book will be poor or mediocre? Why does he apologize for this?

Secondly, why does he call the story “skillfully composed”, which was written with the intent of ‘delighting the ears’ of the readers?

God’s word is not for our entertainment, but for our spiritual growth, wouldn’t you agree?

I have never read Maccabees before I read that passage about suicide, but I think I’ll be reading a lot more of it to see if I have any more questions about it. I may check out some of the other apocryphal books as well. Thanks for bearing with me as I learn.
Posted by: Bethany at March 4, 2008 10:08 AM

Bethany,

Oh yes, of course Jesus REALLY had the authority, but the point was that this “expounding” was done traditionally. He was familiar with the scripture, yes, but He was also familiar with the tradition (the explanation of the scripture).

Actually, everytime you explain what scripture passage means, you, yourself, are in essence passing down oral tradition. The meanings of the scripture are written in scripture. They must be interpreted. You (with the spirit) interpret them and share what you interpret.

Everytime you have explained a passage here on these posts to me, your explanation is tradition.
As in, these are the accepted understandings of scripture as have been passed down (for us, from Jesus, Peter and the Apostles) from Luther, Calvin etc…

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 10:14 AM

Bethany,

By the way, I am finding this discussion so intriguing…I am learning so much about different faiths that I never knew before. Thanks for being willing to discuss this with me, Marykay, Bobby, John, and Janet.

and thank you and JLM for making me work so hard to explain my faith. It has served to deepen it, make me better armed to defend it, and also taught me much about why we do the things we do.

I think we should begin today with a prayer…

John, Bethany, Bobby, JLM, Janet,

Would you join me in saying the one prayer that we all share?

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have tespassed against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Lord, we know that pride, and defensiveness and impatience can enter into these discussions. But all of us, Catholic and Protestant, desire the Truth. Please help us to hear one another, help one another and discover what it is you wish us to discover, all the time loving each other and remembering that we are all part of your family.

Thy will, not ours. The Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth…Amen.

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 10:20 AM

Oh yes, of course Jesus REALLY had the authority, but the point was that this “expounding” was done traditionally. He was familiar with the scripture, yes, but He was also familiar with the tradition (the explanation of the scripture).

Actually, everytime you explain what scripture passage means, you, yourself, are in essence passing down oral tradition. The meanings of the scripture are written in scripture. They must be interpreted. You (with the spirit) interpret them and share what you interpret.
Everytime you have explained a passage here on these posts to me, your explanation is tradition.
As in, these are the accepted understandings of scripture as have been passed down (for us, from Jesus, Peter and the Apostles) from Luther, Calvin etc…
Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 10:14 AM

Marykay, thank you for clarifying…I think that you may have misunderstood what I meant when I brought up tradition. There are traditions which are customs that one follows, and I guess there is the tradition which you call oral tradition. I’ve never heard of it called that before, maybe that’s where the confusion sets in.

I do feel a little insulted by the statement that you just made though, where you say that you accept the teachings as passed down from Jesus and the apostles, and then you go on to say that I follow Calvin or Luther. I am sure that you did not mean it to be offensive, so I will not dwell on it too much…. but I have to let you know that I absolutely do not follow Calvin or Luther. I follow the principles which are shared in the Bible itself. I have already explained to you above that I think Luther was a heretic. Why would I then be his follower? I have told you that I do not follow Calvin, but I do agree with some things I have heard him say, as I feel they agree with the Bible. If they disagreed with the Bible, I would disagree with Calvin. It’s not about men, it’s about God.

For instance, let me give you this passage to help you understand how we can listen to a man, but not follow the man, but God.
********
4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? 6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

******************
We could substitute the name “Calvin” in there, and it would read:

4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Calvin; are ye not carnal?

5 Who then is Paul, and who is Calvin, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? 6 I have planted, Calvin watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

Posted by: Bethany at March 4, 2008 10:25 AM

Bethany,

You’re killing me here! I’m totally unfamiliar with Maccabees myself…

It sounds like he is apologizing for any human flaw that has been found in the story. It also sounds like he is trying to say that it is skillfully (based on the facts) and the reader will “delight” because the Jews were safe.

Like we delight when we read the story of the Resurrection…

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 10:28 AM

Amen to your 10:20 post, Marykay, I agree.
Posted by: Bethany at March 4, 2008 10:29 AM

I could stay here all day but – sniff- I have to get ready to go to the CPC…so I guess Ill have to continue this more later.

Marykay, I’m sorry to overwhelm you with so many posts! I’ll be back when I can. :)
Posted by: Bethany at March 4, 2008 10:33 AM

mk,
AMEN!

I prayed that prayer with you. That was beautiful, and my prayer also, that we all may know His Truth.

Thank you so much for that!

Posted by: JLM at March 4, 2008 10:35 AM

Oh Bethany,

I didn’t mean to imply that you weren’t following Jesus…I only meant in the sense of traditons and how you view the faith.

You believe in sola scriptura and that is a Lutheran concept. You believe in Once saved always saved and that is a Calvinist concept. You also believe that we are saved by faith alone and that too, comes from Luther.

These are not Catholic teachings and they are not what was believed for the first 1500 years of the church. So when I say you are following their “Traditions” I don’t mean you are following them, but only some of the concepts that they put forth.

Does that make sense. Never, ever, ever would I imply that you don’t follow Jesus. And Lord knows you follow scripture!!!!!!

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 10:38 AM

JLM,

Thanks. It ocurred to me that all of us pray before we post but we don’t pray together. Perhaps our voices united will ring clearer…

Bethany and you are right, this has been fun and challenging. And I can feel Him working as I type…

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 10:41 AM

Aww thanks Marykay, I appreciate it. Makes me feel a lot better!

I had to hop back on and let you know that before I leave. :)

I will have to come back later to explain why I don’t feel those concepts you described originated with Luther or Calvin, but just don’t have time right now! :) hehe

I hope you have a terrific day!!

Posted by: Bethany at March 4, 2008 10:42 AM

Bethany,

4. Whats the history behind the teaching that you could lose your salvation?

The first person to espouse the idea of “once saved, always saved” was John Calvin in the mid-sixteenth century. Even Martin Luther didnt subscribe to the theory. Prior to Calvin, the unanimous consent of the early Christians was that a person is capable of losing his salvation by committing mortal sin, as John spoke about in 1 John 5:1617.

In the first century, the Didache, commonly known as the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, said “Watch for your lifes sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ready, for you know not the hour in which our Lord comes. But you shall assemble together often, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if you be not made complete in the last time” (Didache 16 [A.D. 70]).

In the second century, Irenaeus wrote, “To Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Savior, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess [Phil. 2:1011] to him, and that he should execute just judgment towards all. . . . The ungodly and unrighteous and wicked and profane among men [shall go] into everlasting fire; but [he] may, in the exercise of his grace, confer immortality on the righteous, and holy, and those who have kept his commandments, and have persevered in his love, some from the beginning [of their Christian course], and others from [the date of] their penance, and may surround them with everlasting glory” (Against Heresies 1:10:1 [A.D. 189]).

Such consistent testimony could be given from the dawn of Christianity until today, and no suggestion of “once saved, always saved” can be found on the lips of any Christian before Calvin.

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 11:10 AM

Bethany,

Martin Luther was a prolific writer and held many views in opposition to the Catholic Church. On Nov 1, 1517, Luther took 95 theses, which he authored, and nailed them to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg Germany. The Catholic Church responded by demanding that Luther retract the statements of his which were in conflict with Church teaching.
The very earliest mention of the false doctrine of Sola Scriptura was by Martin Luther as he was questioned in the Synod of Augsburg (Germany) in October 1518. In his appeal to the Council, Luther placed the Bible and his interpretation of it, above the Pope. Even so he admitted the authority of the Synod and of the Bible were equivalent, only in the hope that the Synod would give him a favorable decision. In the Leipzig Disputation in July 1519, Luther went a step further and declared that Scripture ranked above a Church Council, and that Ecumenical Councils had already erred in matters of faith. As a result he was branded a heretic.
There seems to be a contradiction here, as Luther was a Catholic Augustinian Monk, and therefore was well aware that it was Catholic Church Councils* which finalized the canons of both the Old and the New Testaments. Now at Leipzig, he declared that the product of the Councils ranked above the Councils themselves.
Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 11:21 AM

mk, Thanks for leading the prayer. Excellent idea!

Bethany, You’re welcome. I am amazed at your knowledge of scripture and I am learning so much from you too. Thanks for your patience with me.
***********

If Jesus and all the apostles are male … then elements of their rapport may indeed be missed.

John, I’m looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts. (By the way, I’ve never owned a pink or light blue car. lol.)

Posted by: Janet at March 4, 2008 11:23 AM

Bethany,

Understand that Luther added the word “alone” to scripture to further his agenda of sola fide.
This was the first time this idea had ever been put forth. And he changed scripture to back it up.

The doctrine that salvation is by faith only. The term emerged as a consequence of Luther’s translation of Rom. 3:28 in which he added the word “alone” to the phrase “man is justified by faith [alone] apart from works of the Law”

http://mb-soft.com/believe/txc/solafide.htm

It seems to be a matter of common sense to say that good people will go to heaven and evil people will go to hell. Something would be terribly wrong if God could send an innocent, sincere, charitable, helpful person to hell. Yet sometimes people suggest that a person’s salvation depends upon his faith alone, and not upon the good things he does, or how he lives, or whether he obeys the Ten Commandments. The Bible never mentions “faith alone” (except in one passage which says faith alone is dead&emdash;James 2:24) The concept first came into existence during the Reformation, when Luther and other Protestants split away from the Roman Catholic Church. Luther’s concept of how a person gets to heaven was different from what had been taught by the Catholic Church. Luther’s phrase “faith alone” emphasized this difference.

In the early Christian Church there was no controversy about whether a person could be saved by faith alone without obeying the Lord and living well. Early Christians knew that loving the Lord meant obeying His commandments, (Matthew 19:17; John 14:21; 15:10) and that salvation depended on bearing fruit (that is, doing good works). (Matthew 7:19; 16:27; 21:43; Luke 3:9; John 5:29; 15:1-16; Revelation 20:13; 22:12) In fact there are so many passages which say that a good life is necessary, that it would be quite a contradiction if the Bible did say that faith alone is enough.

Probably the closest the Bible comes to mentioning “faith alone” is Paul’s phrase, “man is justified by faith without the works of the law.” (Romans 3:28) Sometimes this phrase has been used to defend or promote the idea that man is saved by faith alone. But if we look at Paul’s statement in context we can see that Paul was simply saying that you can be saved without being a Jew. (Read Romans 3:28-31) Some early Christians felt that to be a good Christian, one should obey all the ritual laws of the Jewish Church. “Certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, `Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.'” (Acts 15:1) Now Paul knew that it made no difference to the Lord whether a person was circumcised or not, so he made it clear that it is not necessary to keep the laws about washing, sacrifices, offerings, holy days, diet, and circumcision. (Colossians 2:16; Galatians 2; Romans 3; 2:25-28; Hebrews 8-10) “Does this blessedness then come only on the circumcised, and not on the uncircumcised also?” (Romans 4:9) “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what counts.” (1 Corinthians 7:19) “In Jesus Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working by love.” (Galatians 5:6) Paul says here not “faith alone,” but “faith which works by love”. Faith, works and love are all necessary.

http://members.aol.com/johnodhner/WhoNeedsWorks.html

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 11:37 AM

The first person to espouse the idea of “once saved, always saved” was John Calvin in the mid-sixteenth century. Even Martin Luther didnt subscribe to the theory. Prior to Calvin, the unanimous consent of the early Christians was that a person is capable of losing his salvation by committing mortal sin, as John spoke about in 1 John 5:1617.

We don’t feel that that’s what these scriptures meant. Please read the scriptures, then the commentary, and please tell me if you can see where we are coming from. As usual, I put these verses in context to gain the entire understanding of them.

Also, could you please point out, by using these scriptures, how a person is capable of losing his salvation by committing a mortal sin. Thank you, and I appreciate your insight:

1 John 5:16-21

16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Commentary:

The danger of being infected by false professors, and the dreadful punishment which shall be inflicted on them and their followers.

Upon all this evidence, it is but right that we believe on the name of the Son of God. Believers have eternal life in the covenant of the gospel. Then let us thankfully receive the record of Scripture. Always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labour is not in vain in the Lord. The Lord Christ invites us to come to him in all circumstances, with our supplications and requests, notwithstanding the sin that besets us. Our prayers must always be offered in submission to the will of God. In some things they are speedily answered; in others they are granted in the best manner, though not as requested. We ought to pray for others, as well as for ourselves.

There are sins that war against spiritual life in the soul, and the life above. We cannot pray that the sins of the impenitent and unbelieving should, while they are such, be forgiven them; or that mercy, which supposes the forgiveness of sins, should be granted to them, while they wilfully continue such.

But we may pray for their repentance, for their being enriched with faith in Christ, and thereupon for all other saving mercies.

We should pray for others, as well as for ourselves, beseeching the Lord to pardon and recover the fallen, as well as to relieve the tempted and afflicted. And let us be truly thankful that no sin, of which any one truly repents, is unto death. (1Jn 5:18-21)

Posted by: JLM at March 4, 2008 11:40 AM

One of the first things one notices when one compares a Protestant Bible with a Catholic or Orthodox edition, is how much thinner the Protestant Bible is. This thinness has nothing to do with smaller print or finer paper, but is because seven entire books and significant sections of some other books have been removed from the Old Testament of Protestant Bibles. This seems an amazing thing to be done by people who claim to love and revere the Bible.

How did This Happen?

Most people know that Martin Luther translated the Holy Bible into German, making it more widely available to the general reader. Luther’s Bible was by no means the first German translation. It was, however, enormously successful.

As is explained in Bible Truth, Martin Luther opposed many of the ancient teachings of the Church. But how could he convince people that the historic church was wrong in its beliefs, and that he was right? He needed an authority that he could appeal to, and claim was higher than that of the Universal Church. He seized upon the Bible, introducing a new doctrine, Sola Scriptura, which said that Scripture Alone could be used to define Christian doctrine. The ancient teachings,and Apostolic tradition of the Church could then be discarded as of no value whatsoever.

Authority

But what gave the Bible its authority? Jesus did not leave us the Bible. The NewTestament books were not written until many years after his death. The Old Testament did exist, but its individual books were kept as separate scrolls and not bound together. Books as we know them, with bound and turnable pages, were “new technology” unknown in the 1st Century, They did not come into use until the 4th Century.

In fact the Bible as we know it dates from the Council of Rome, called by Pope Damasus in 382 AD, which decided on the number and order of the books that were to be accepted as Scripture. This was considered final by all the churches until 1520. The Bible therefore did not precede the Church, it was a creation of the Church.

Luther’s Next Problem

Another problem immediately arose for Luther. Although many of his teachings (and those of the other Reformers) could be backed up from certain Bible passages, read in isolation, other Bible Books clearly refuted them.

Luther, however, wanted a bible that agreed totally with his teachings. He disliked books in both the Old and New Testaments that disagreed with his teachings. He particularly disliked the New Testament Book of James, which condemned his teaching on Salvation by Faith Alone, (see Faith and Works), and the Old Testament Book of Maccabees, which advocated Prayer for the Dead, and therefore could be used to justify the doctrine of Purgatory. (see Heaven and Hell). He called the Book of James the “Epistle of Straw.”

Cutting Down the Bible.

Luther therefore took the golden opportunity of his translation of the Bible into German to try to cut certain Books out of the Canon of Scripture. Of James he said, “I will not have him in my Bible in the number of truly principal works.” He didn’t dare remove books from the Bible entirely – that was too big a step for even him to take. What he did was to take them out of their accepted places in the Bible, and put them in a separate section, which he termed the Apocrypha. These books, he said, were not inspired by God, though they contained “many good sayings.” (Luthers Works, 35, 397)

From the Old Testament he removed the Books of Judith, Tobit, 1 Maccabees 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus and Baruch, as well as Esther and part of the Book of Daniel.

From the New Testament he removed the Books of Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation.

What Authority Had He For This?

None. One would have expected that the modification of the Bible, which all Christians hold as the highest authority, would have required at least a Council of the Church. But no such Council was held. Cleverly, Luther did not remove the books entirely, he merely sidelined them.

In fact his fellow Protestants balked at removing books from the New Testament, particularly since there was no other reason for their removal than that they contradicted Luther’s views. The four New Testament Books that Luther had placed in the Apocrypha, were reinserted in future Protestant Bibles, along with most of Esther. But if Luther had had his way, Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation would not be in Protestant Bibles.

Seven Old Testament Books, however, remained excluded from Protestant Bibles. Initially the seven Books continued to be placed in a section called the Apocrypha. But since it was cheaper to print bibles without them, the seven books were slowly dropped altogether. By the 19th Century, the vast majority of Protestant Bibles did not carry the seven Books at all. Protestants began to get used to not seeing these Books in their Bibles, and to imagine that their Bibles were perfectly complete without them.

In this way Catholics came to have a Bible of 73 books, and most Protestants a Bible of 66 books. Perhaps it should cause some misgivings to Protestant readers that the number of books in their Bibles is such an ill-omened one in terms of Biblical Numerology?

So Why Did Protestants continue to exclude the seven Old Testament Books?

Because Luther had another argument to use against the Old Testament Books he removed from the Bible – one which his fellow Reformers could support.

Distrusting the Latin Vulgate Bible, because it was relied on by the Catholic Church, Luther decided to translate his Bible into German from the Original languages. The earliest forms of the New Testament writings were in Greek, so Luther happily translated his New Testament from Greek. It was known that most of the Old Testament had originally been written in Hebrew. So Luther wanted to translate his German Old Testament from the Hebrew texts.

In this he was following St Jerome, who had sought out old Hebrew manuscripts to produce the Latin Vulgate Bible in 406 AD. However, when Luther obtained Hebrew manuscripts from the Jews of his time, he found that the seven Books in question were not in their Canon of Scripture. This strengthened his resolve to remove the Books. The Jews, he argued, were the Guardians of the Old Testament, so he would use their Old Testament.

Wasn’t This A Good Decision?

Many thought so at the time. Even St Jerome had wanted to follow the Jewish Canon of his time, but his fellow Christians had insisted on the full Canon.

So Were the Seven Books a Later, Christian Addition to the Jewish Old Testament?

Not at all. The oldest existing versions of the Jewish Old Testament include the Seven Books. It is from these versions that the early Christian Scriptures were made. The best, oldest and most complete version of the Jewish Old Testament we know today is called The Septuagint, and this includes the books that Luther deleted.

SO WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE ACCEPT THIS?

Because the Septuagint is written in Greek, not Hebrew. The Septuagint was translated between 300 and 200 BC for the growing community of Greek speaking Jews who lived in Egypt, Palestine, and around the Mediterranean. Many ancient copies are still in existence, and it formed the Old Testament text of the earliest Christian Bibles. Our names for the Old Testament books, (Genesis, Exodus etc.) come from the Greek Septuagint, not the Hebrew.

What About the Original Hebrew?

That is where the problem arises. The “original” Hebrew text no longer exists. When Bibles claim to be translated from the “Original Hebrew”, they are being somewhat misleading, since the oldest existing Hebrew texts of the Old Testament date back only to around 1000 AD. These are the Masoretic texts used by the Jews of the diaspora. It is these relatively late texts that lack the Seven Books.

Why Are There No Earlier Hebrew Texts?

The main reason why earlier Hebrew texts do not exist is that the Jews tended to recopy their scriptures when they grew worn, and then bury the original, which soon decayed. Therefore we have nothing like a Hebrew text which goes back to the time of Christ. We do have some earlier fragments, discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls, but there is only one full book and a few disjointed fragments of all the rest.

Which is the Most Accurate Version?

Luther, and most of the translators who followed him assumed that the Hebrew texts guarded by the Jews must be more authentic than either the Greek Septuagint translation or Jerome’s Latin translation. Therefore most modern Bibles are based on the Hebrew Masoretic texts – which exclude the Seven Books.

However, with improvements in Bible scholarship, that assumption has been changing. Many people had been worried that the quotations of Old Testament Scripture in the New Testament were often slightly different to the versions in the Old Testament, translated from the Hebrew texts. Yet when these quotations were compared with the Greek Language Septuagint version, the wording matched far more closely. It became more and more apparent that the writers of the New Testament had used the Septuagint Version of the Old Testament as their scriptures, rather than the Masoretic version.

So too, the ancient Hebrew manuscripts found at Qumran (The Dead Sea Scrolls), generally agreed more closely with the Septuagint than they do with the current Masoretic Hebrew texts. The Septuagint is thus witness to an older Hebrew manuscript tradition.

Close examination of the Masoretic Hebrew texts also revealed a good number of errors and garbled verses that seemed to have crept into the Hebrew texts through constant recopying. Although the Jewish copyists had taken great pains to keep their copies accurate, mistakes had clearly crept in. It was clear that the once-despised Greek Septuagint version was the more accurate text.

Lets look at a couple of verses:

* 2 Chronicles 9:25, says that Solomon had 4,000 stalls for horses,
But 1 Kings 4:26, in the Hebrew translation says he had 40,000
The Septuagint translations of both verses agree on 4,000.
* In the Hebrew translation of 1 Kings 11, verses 2 and 3 have Jeroboam returning to face Rehoboam at Shechem, then returning again, seemingly for the first time in verse 20.
The Septuagint omits verses 2 and 3, which the Hebrew text seems to have repeated in error from 2 Chronicles 10: 2 and 3.
* 1 Kings 10.14: The weight of gold received annually by Solomon amounted to six hundred and sixty six talents of gold 15 besides what tolls and foreign trade… brought in. (Septuagint)
1 Kings 10.14: The weight of gold received annually by Solomon amounted to six hundred and sixty six talents of gold 15 besides what men and foreign trade… brought in. (Hebrew)
* Sometimes meanings have been strained in an attempt to make sense of the Hebrew verses:
In Jeremiah 11.15 The Septuagint places the word vows, where the Masoretic Hebrew places many. The Revised Standard Version uses the Septuagint:
* What right has my beloved in my house, when she has done vile deeds? Can vows and sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can you then exult? RSV
* Other versions attempt the Hebrew with varying success, and meaning:
* “What is my beloved doing in my temple as she works out her evil schemes with many? Can consecrated meat avert your punishment? When you engage in your wickedness, then you rejoice. ” NIV
* “What right has My beloved in My house When she has done many vile deeds? Can the sacrificial flesh take away from you your disaster, So that you can rejoice?” NASB
* What hath my beloved to do in mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? when thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest. KJB

I think you will agree that the Septuagint is the clearest.

Today most modern Bibles still use the Hebrew Text as their base, but correct and amend it using the older Greek Septuagint version.

Why Have We Digressed Like This?

Because it was necessary to show that the Greek Septuagint text of the Old Testament, which includes the books removed by Luther, is

1. The oldest existing complete text.
2. The text used by the writers of the New Testament
3. The most accurate text of the Old Testament
4. The text used by the early Christians.

So Why Does the Hebrew Text Omit the Seven Books?

Because the Masoretic Hebrew text preserved by the Jews in their Synagogues is a text that was selected and codified after Bible times.

To be precise the Hebrew scriptures were Revised by rabbis at the Council of Jamnia in Palestine around 90 AD. It was this Council that decided to remove the Seven Books from the Hebrew Canon.

Didn’t These Rabbis Have the Authority to Decide What was Scripture?

For many reasons that is debatable. We need to look at the reasons they made their rulings – on which Protestants depend to justify their abridged Bible.

Twenty years earlier the Jews of Palestine had rebelled against Rome. They were defeated by General Tacitus, and in 70 AD, 40 years after the crucifixion of Jesus, they were expelled from Jerusalem, and the Temple destroyed. With the fall of the Temple, the Sanhedrin priesthood were also destroyed, so the Judean survivors were given permission to establish a rabbinical school at Jamnia, near the Mediterranean seacoast.

At this time the differences between the Jews who accepted Christ and those who did not were growing deeper and increasingly bitter. The Christian Jews had not joined fully in the revolt against Rome, and many had crossed the Jordan to avoid the conflict. For these and other reasons, the Jews who gathered at Jamnia were confined to those Jews who had rejected Christ. To emphasise this, the leader of this group of Rabbis, Gamaliel II, introduced a prayer containing eighteen curses against those Jews who became Christians. This prayer had to be recited by all Jews who joined them.

It is very clear then that the rabbis who gathered at Jamnia were both embittered, and anti-Christian. Within a few years they were to back two false Messiahs, namely Bar Kokba and Lukuas-Andreas, who led them into fatal revolts against the Emperors Trajan and Hadrian. After the last of these revolts, all Jews were expelled from the Holy Land.

Hebrew was already a dead language, the Jews of that time spoke Aramaic or Greek. Yet Hebrew scriptures were approved at the expense of the Greek Septuagint that was quoted by Christians. The Council also rejected books that contained doctrines they disliked, and all books written since the time of Ezra.

In view of this, Protestants need to ask themselves, why they choose to back the scriptural discernment of this group of Rabbis, who rejected Christ, supported two false Messiahs, and immediately led their followers to further disaster. Do they really think this group was guided by the Holy Spirit to a greater extent than the Jews who followed Christ and who relied on ALL the Old Testament books?

But I’ve Been Told That the “Apocrypha” are Never Quoted in the New Testament.

This is something that Fundamentalist Protestants often claim. Unfortunately for their arguments, it isn’t true. See below:

Heb 11:35, “…Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might find a better resurrection.” The only place in the O.T. that you will find reference to that is 2 Macc 7:1-29. The first half of Heb 11:35 is found in 1 Kings 17:23 and 2 Kings 4:36.

Heb 11:38, “They wandered in deserts and mountains…”
This is found in 1 Macc 2:28-30 and 2 Macc 5:27.

Jn 10:22, “Now there took place at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication…” The inauguration of this feast is found in 1Macc 4:36 & 52-59.

Jn 14:23, “…If anyone love Me, he will keep My word…” This is in Sir 2:18.

Rom 9:21, ” is not the potter master of his clay…” Found in Wis 15:7

1Pet 1:6-7, “…gold which is tried by fire…” See Wis 3:5-6

Rom 1:20-23, “For since the creation of the world…” Found in Wis 13:1-7

Mt 7:12, Lk 6:31, “…all that you wish men to do to you, even so do you also to them…” Extension of Tob 4:15

Lk 25 35-36, “I was hungry and you gave me food….I needed clothes and you clothed me.” Based on Tob 4:16.

Rev 21:18, “And the material of its wall was jasper; but the city itself was pure gold, like pure glass.” See Tob 13 end.

Mt 13:43, “Then the just will shine forth…” Found in Wis 3:7

Mt 27:42, “…if He is the King of Israel, let Him come down now from the cross…” See Wis 2:18-20.

Lk 24:4, “…two men stood by them in dazzling raiment.” Found in 2 Macc 3:26.

Rom 11:33, “…How inscrutable are His judgments and how unsearchable are His ways.” Found in Judith 8:14.

1 Cor 10:20, “…they sacrifice to demons, not to God…” Found in Baruch 4:7.

Removing books from the Bible is a serious matter, and is specifically condemned in Revelation 22.19. When the authority for this removal depends specifically upon those who rejected the Christian message, perhaps it is time to question the basis of this change.

http://www.geocities.com/aprofaith/bible.htm

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 11:46 AM

@JLM,

It is very interesting what is ‘left out’. Bethany was sure to quote from the Jerusalem episode of Jesus being lost at age 12. The quote I’ve focused on comes at the very end of that very episode. After being confronted with Mary and Joseph’s bewilderment “He returned home and submitted to their authority.” And JLM, since Jesus is our brother and Mary His mother … Mary is my mother too … why I call her ‘Mom’. I feel that you have a great deal of hostillity towards Mary. Am I to understand then that Mary is just one-more-notch to be put-in-her-place (put-down) by God? Just as the infant narratives must have been told to Luke by Mary, she humbly submits her whole being to doing the Spirit’s will.

There is not anyone who has ever come so close. Bethany says that ‘the immaculate conception’ is not spelled out in scripture, so it is not so. I could go on and on about how this is implied – but instead I’ll ask you to ask Mary herself.

JLM, I’ll give you a wee task … find out the time-line for development of the New Testament … like most of Paul’s epistles and even some of Acts was written before any of the Gospels.

think you’d find, Bethany, that the Church Father’s use of scripture was to explain what they were already doing in practice (tradition). I would have a hard time believing that they would accept your understanding as to who belongs to the Church …. most of these men, like Peter a fisherman, and Paul a craftsman, had a much more concrete grasp on life than us.

John

Posted by: Anonymous at March 4, 2008 11:46 AM

John,

You crack me up. Recently, I attended a mass that was concelebrated by 11 priests and the Cardinal. I was struck by how much this resembled the Last Supper. And I remember thinking, Wow, they’re just a bunch of guys sittin’ around sharin’ a meal..)As the mother of 5 sons, this means more to me than the mother of 5 girls) and I kept picturing the apostles at that dinner 2000 years ago, joking and slurpin’ and teasing and being, well, guys.

I wonder how different scripture would be if it had been written down by chicks!

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 11:49 AM

I feel that you have a great deal of hostillity towards Mary.

MK, whether you understand this or not, I find that comment to be offensive and very rude. I don’t have any hostility towards Mary. I commend her for her faith. She was obviously a very good mother to Jesus when he was here on earth. For her to listen to God when it seemed impossible is simply amazing to me. She was an amazing woman, but that’s all she is to me. I do not worship her, pray to her, or even consider her the mother of God. She was the mother of Jesus when He was on earth, and she was one amazing woman. I can’t wait to meet her in Heaven.

Posted by: JLM at March 4, 2008 11:52 AM

MK,
I am truly sorry for the above post. It obviously should not have been directed to you, but to John instead.

I am truly sorry, mk.

Posted by: JLM at March 4, 2008 11:54 AM

John,

Here you go.

THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE KING JAMES VERSION

From the birth of Christ to 100 A.D. the original manuscripts were written in the Greek language.

The New Testament was compiled by 400 A.D.
by 170 A.D. — 20 N.T. books had been accepted by the early Christians.

by 400 A.D. — all 27 books of the N.T. had been accepted by the early Christians as they were guided by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit guided so that only the genuine books were included.

The Holy Spirit also guided in the selection of the pure manuscripts.

The Holy Spirit so guided that false gospels and manuscripts were set aside.

The original manuscripts were lost but the Received Text that was produced during this time was a faithful reproduction of the original autographs.
452-1453 A.D. — The Textus Receptus was used by the Greek Church during this time under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

1516 A.D. — Erasmus edited the first printing of the Greek N.T.

This was in agreement with the Textus Receptus.
1526 A.D. — Tyndale’s New Testament in English was printed. He was burned at the stake in 1536 because he had the Bible printed in English.

1550 A.D. — Stephens Greek N.T. (Textus Receptus).

1611 A.D. — The King James or Authorised Version of the Bible was translated from the Greek Textus Receptus in the N.T. and Hebrew Masoretic Text in the O.T.

1611 A.D. — To the present. Infidels and assorted enemies of the Bible have attacked our Bible in every way known to man, but God’s Word shall abide forever.

The Old Testament of the King James Bible was translated from the Masoretic Text. This text was in use during the time of Christ and He quoted from them many times. If the Masoretic Text was acceptable to Christ then it certainly should be accepted by every child of God. This text was kept pure by the Hebrew priests who were given the responsibility of caring for it.

The New Testament of the King James Version was translated in 1611 A.D. from the Greek manuscripts known today as the Textus Receptus. The scholars who did this work were giants in their field. They were far superior to the self-proclaimed scholars in Biblical criticism who are responsible for the rash of modern perversions.

The Textus Receptus from which the King James Bible was translated is a faithful reproduction of the original manuscripts, which were penned by the writers of the Scriptures. The T.R. or Traditional Text as it is also called has been traced back to the early church.

The Book was not written in the seats of learning, either at Athens in Greece or at Alexandria in Egypt, but in Palestine. Some of the writers were not distinguished for their scholarship. Some did not speak even their own language perfectly. Peter was betrayed by his Galilean dialect, and he and John were described in Acts 4:13 as “ignorant and unlearned men”. Many of the men who wrote the Bible were of that character. One was a farm-hand, another a shepherd, others were fishermen. They were men of no literary reputation, and yet by the mysterious power of God the Book has become the standard of language of the most literary nations of the world.

Posted by: JLM at March 4, 2008 12:03 PM

JLM,

Even if it had been directed to me, I would not have taken offense, as it opens up a good discussion.

You say that Mary was the mother of Jesus while He was on earth.

Do you believe then, that God was half human and half God, and that Mary was mother only to the human part?

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 12:07 PM

JLM,

The Holy Spirit so guided that false gospels and manuscripts were set aside.

If this is true then not one word should have been changed or deleted. Not even by “scholars who were giants in their field”. Especially, as it is then pointed out that “education” had nothing to do with who was chosen to write the Gospels…ie: fishermen,shepherds and farmhands. By your own admission (“They were men of no literary reputation, and yet by the mysterious power of God the Book has become the standard of language of the most literary nations of the world.”) being a scholar was no guarantee of accuracy.

Quite the opposite, wasn’t it the proud scholars of Jesus’ day that rejected Him, and the lowly nobodies that followed Him?

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 12:13 PM

Mk,
No I do not believe that God was half-human and half-God.

Yes, I believe that Mary was only the mother to the earthly Jesus.

As scripture reads, God is, was, and always will be. With God, there is no beginning. He always was. Therefore, He has no mother, and Mary was the wonderful mother of earthly Jesus only.

Here are Jesus’ words. I follow His teachings:

“While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.” Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand TOWARD HIS DISCIPLES, and said, “Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” -Matthew 12:46-50

There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother. “-Mark 3:31-35

And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.” -Luke 8:20-21

“And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea RATHER, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” -Luke 11:27-28

Here’s some advice from Mary herself:

“His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever HE SAITH unto you, do it.” -John 2:5

Posted by: JLM at March 4, 2008 12:17 PM

mk,
Could you please re-phrase your March 4, 2008 12:13 PM post. I really don’t know what you were trying to ask here. My brain may very well be mush today, but I’ve read it 5 times now and have no clue what the question is in regard to what I posted.

Thank you!

Posted by: JLM at March 4, 2008 12:22 PM

JLM,

And what of Luke 1:41-44?

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. [42] In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! [43] But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 12:29 PM

mk,
Of course she’s blessed! What woman wouldn’t be carrying Jesus in their womb! I would never deny that God knew the utmost faith that she had in Him when the Angel came to her and told her what would be. She was definately something special to have found such favour by God and to have such a strong faith in His words!

I will never deny that she is not the mother of Jesus when he was here on earth.

However, here’s why I don’t believe that Mary was the mother of God. Like I stated above, God always was. Mary was not perfect and without sin. Only Jesus was. Mary carried Jesus in her womb, yes. But Jesus’ blood was perfect, the ultimate perfect sacrifice, because Jesus’ blood did not come from Mary, but from God. Here’s how I got there” (yes, I watch Glen Beck too much! ha!)

Think about an egg floating around in Mary’s body. It cannot make a baby without the egg being fertilized. There is absolutely no proof that God did this by “sperm”. It was an conception conceived by God, it what way, we don’t know. But it did happen.

The baby makes its own blood. Once the baby begins to grow, it forms its own bones, skin, hair, etc. and also begins making blood. The
blood type (ie, A, B, AB, or O) is determined by both parents. Type A and Type B are both dominant, which means that if they are there, they will show up. Type O blood is recessive, which means that both parents have to give
the baby an O type gene for it to have type O blood. If the baby gets and O gene from one parent and a B gene from the other, it will have type B blood and the O is “hidden”. If one gives a B and the other an A the baby will be type AB. Anyway, no blood passes through the umbilical cord. Only nutrients and oxygen are small enough to pass through the filters in the cord.

Hence, it was always God’s blood in earthly Jesus, and not Mary’s.

Posted by: JLM at March 4, 2008 12:55 PM

It is in reference to you post right above it. You say:

by 400 A.D. — all 27 books of the N.T. had been accepted by the early Christians as they were guided by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit guided so that only the genuine books were included.

The Holy Spirit also guided in the selection of the pure manuscripts.

The Holy Spirit so guided that false gospels and manuscripts were set aside.

The original manuscripts were lost but the Received Text that was produced during this time was a faithful reproduction of the original autographs.

And I asked:

If this is true then not one word should have been changed or deleted. Not even by “scholars who were giants in their field”. Especially, as it is then pointed out that “education” had nothing to do with who was chosen to write the Gospels…ie: fishermen,shepherds and farmhands. By your own admission (“They were men of no literary reputation, and yet by the mysterious power of God the Book has become the standard of language of the most literary nations of the world.”) being a scholar was no guarantee of accuracy.

Quite the opposite, wasn’t it the proud scholars of Jesus’ day that rejected Him, and the lowly nobodies that followed Him?

If scripture was deemed to be perfect and accepted in 170AD then where did the authority come from to change it?

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 1:45 PM

mk,
All 27 books of the New Testament were finally compiled in 400AD, not 170AD.

Posted by: JLM at March 4, 2008 2:02 PM

In addition to my 2:02 post, let me make it clear that the scriptures were not one whole book. They were a collection of letters, etc. that were combined to form the bible that we have today.

In 170AD, 20 books were accepted by early Christians, then, by 400AD, the remaining 7 were included by Christians guided by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit guided so that only the genuine books were included.

The Holy Spirit also guided in the selection of the pure manuscripts.

The Holy Spirit so guided that false gospels and manuscripts were set aside.

The original manuscripts were lost but the Received Text that was produced during this time was a faithful reproduction of the original autographs.

Posted by: JLM at March 4, 2008 2:07 PM

JLM,

The point remains the same. Once all of the books were compiled and accepted, on whose authority were they deleted or changed 1000 years later?

You say Luther was a heretic, and yet sola fide and sola scripta, were both concepts that he invented. They had never been heard of or accepted or believed prior to him.

I am asking why you accept teachings from a man that you yourself have called a heretic and accept scripture that has been altered, contradicting the concept of sola scriptura put forth by this heretic known as Luther.

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 2:23 PM

I wonder how different scripture would be if it had been written down by chicks!

Posted by: mk at March 4, 2008 11:49 AM

I’m so far behind on this post, but saw your comment…. I LOVE this question!!! I’m sure men and women would have very different responses.

If scripture had been written by chicks instead of guys, I don’t think it would have gotten done, because we’d have treated it like a scrapbooking project, with cute drawings and ribbons, etc… lol.

Posted by: Janet at March 4, 2008 2:24 PM

mk, John, Janet & Bethany,

Here’s an EXCELLENT source for history of the bible. Check it out. I think you’ll be impressed (I know I was!)

http://www.ntcanon.org/index.shtml

Posted by: JLM at March 4, 2008 2:29 PM

I am asking why you accept teachings from a man that you yourself have called a heretic and accept scripture that has been altered, contradicting the concept of sola scriptura put forth by this heretic known as Luther.

I’m not Lutheran, mk, so I really don’t know what you’re talking about. I do agree with some of his teachings of scripture, as do I also with the Catholic teachings of some scripture. This does not mean that I “follow” Luther. And what exactly did he change or alter? I’m confused.

Posted by: JLM at March 4, 2008 2:33 PM

Janet,
Your last comment cracked me up to no end! How funny (yet true!) We do get side-tracked with the cutsies & pretties, don’t we!

Thank you.

That was definately a bright spot in my day!

:)

Posted by: JLM at March 4, 2008 2:34 PM

Behold Thy Mother!

When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple there whom He loved, he said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son.” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother”. And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
(Jn 19:336-37)
This is not simply Jesus being a concerned son, even in His last agonizing moments before death, ensuring His mother would be well cared for. Jesus Himself during the years of His public ministry did not care for His mother, as it would appear He is literally commanding John to do. Rather, He left her in Nazareth while He travelled through Galilee and Judaea preaching the Good News. And He would later tell John and the others that they must go forth to all nations teaching them the Good News. He did not intend that John should spend the rest of his life caring for the Blessed Virgin.

Certainly, John took on responsibility for the care of Mary, but relying strictly on such a literal translation is clearly insufficient. Throughout his gospel, John speaks in symbolic terms. The synoptic gospels do not record this detail in recounting the facts of that day.

No, rather, Jesus commissioned His mother to be the Mother of all Christians, and by giving her to John who personifies the Christian people, He commands us to accept her as our own mother.

JLM, Mary was the earthly mother of Jesus, she must be without sin to hold Jesus in her womb. She is not to be worshipped as God is, but venerated as the Mother of our Lord. She must have a higher place in heaven than the rest of us, it only makes sense that she would.

Posted by: Janet at March 4, 2008 3:35 PM

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