Figuring Out Religion

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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by murphy_p_t » Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:37 pm

Mountaineer wrote "e.g. otherwise which of the three simultaneous Popes do you go with?"

If the Church ever declares who was the true Pope during that confusing period, I will submit to the lawful authority. I'm not aware that any competing doctrines were promulgated during that period which would make the resolution of this question important.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by murphy_p_t » Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:51 pm

Mountaineer wrote "i.e. the rock is Peter’s confession that “you are the Christ”, not on a sinful Peter."

Yes, Jesus chose the sinful Peter to be the Rock of his Church. He did not choose andrew, james, or any of the others. This suggests that the Jesus' designated the rock to be a single, unique individual, even unique among the apostles/bishops. Consistent with a hierarchical organization, the Kingdom of heaven on Earth.

Can you point me to any arguments from the first millennium to justify your interpretation of this part of scripture?
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:51 pm

murphy_p_t wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:37 pm
Mountaineer wrote "e.g. otherwise which of the three simultaneous Popes do you go with?"

If the Church ever declares who was the true Pope during that confusing period, I will submit to the lawful authority. I'm not aware that any competing doctrines were promulgated during that period which would make the resolution of this question important.
I’m probably reading too much into this, but that statement would lead me to believe that anyone can hear a sinner’s confession and absolve sins rather than only a priest in the Apostolic succession that flows on from Peter via laying on of hands through the Bishops. Or two of those simultaneous Popes said they forgave sins but actually didn’t. What happened to those who thought they were forgiven but weren’t? Help me understand.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:29 pm

murphy_p_t wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:51 pm
Mountaineer wrote "i.e. the rock is Peter’s confession that “you are the Christ”, not on a sinful Peter."

Yes, Jesus chose the sinful Peter to be the Rock of his Church. He did not choose andrew, james, or any of the others. This suggests that the Jesus' designated the rock to be a single, unique individual, even unique among the apostles/bishops. Consistent with a hierarchical organization, the Kingdom of heaven on Earth.

Can you point me to any arguments from the first millennium to justify your interpretation of this part of scripture?
Why would Jesus build the church on a sinful human, someone he calls Satan a few verses later, rather than on a confession that Jesus himself says is true?
Last edited by Mountaineer on Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by murphy_p_t » Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:31 pm

Mountaineer wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:51 pm
murphy_p_t wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:37 pm
Mountaineer wrote "e.g. otherwise which of the three simultaneous Popes do you go with?"

If the Church ever declares who was the true Pope during that confusing period, I will submit to the lawful authority. I'm not aware that any competing doctrines were promulgated during that period which would make the resolution of this question important.
I’m probably reading too much into this, but that statement would lead me to believe that anyone can hear a sinner’s confession and absolve sins rather than only a priest in the Apostolic succession that flows on from Peter via laying on of hands through the Bishops. Or two of those simultaneous Popes said they forgave sins but actually didn’t. What happened to those who thought they were forgiven but weren’t? Help me understand.
Gladly.

I'm not perfectly certain that I'm clear on why you would think there is a doubt about the validity of sacraments following the period you reference, but I'll proceed and you can let me know if there's additional questions.

Only a priest or Bishop has the power to absolve sins in confession. I, or any other layman, do not have this power.

Even the anti-popes, who were already bishops, had the power to forgive sins in confession, precisely because they previously had been ordained as priests. During interregnum periods, the sacraments are still given. The priests and bishops have the power to forgive sins, without interruption.

A new bishop is consecrated by an existing Bishop, not necessarily by the Pope. Furthermore, the standard practice is for more than one Bishop to consecrate a new bishop. This guarantees the integrity of the consecration, in case doubt arises about the validity of one of the bishops in the future... Redundancy.

Likewise, this is the reason that Rome recognizes Greek Orthodox bishops is having valid sacramental orders. Even though they received their ordinations and consecrations without the approval of Rome.

There was never any reason to doubt the validity of the sacraments, provided it was given by a validly ordained minister, who is doing what the church does. Looking at the Donatist heresy may be helpful. This sect ...
"They asserted that their own bishops and ministers were without fault, else their ministrations would be invalid." This heresy was condemned by the Church during the first millennium.


Furthermore, going back to the gospel passage...
"He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. [22] When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. [23] Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." John chapter 20

Jesus gave power of holy orders, power to forgive sins, to each of the apostles, not only Peter. In that power has been passed down to this day thru valid consecration of bishops.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by murphy_p_t » Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:35 pm

Mountaineer wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:29 pm
murphy_p_t wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:51 pm
Mountaineer wrote "i.e. the rock is Peter’s confession that “you are the Christ”, not on a sinful Peter."

Yes, Jesus chose the sinful Peter to be the Rock of his Church. He did not choose andrew, james, or any of the others. This suggests that the Jesus' designated the rock to be a single, unique individual, even unique among the apostles/bishops. Consistent with a hierarchical organization, the Kingdom of heaven on Earth.

Can you point me to any arguments from the first millennium to justify your interpretation of this part of scripture?
Why would Jesus build the church on someone he calls Satan a few verses later rather than on a confession that Jesus himself says is true?
And yet that's exactly who he built his Church on, knowing that Peter would betray him.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by murphy_p_t » Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:44 pm

Some commentary on the relevant passages


18] "Thou art Peter": As St. Peter, by divine revelation, here made a solemn profession of his faith of the divinity of Christ; so in recompense of this faith and profession, our Lord here declares to him the dignity to which he is pleased to raise him: viz., that he to whom he had already given the name of Peter, signifying a rock, St. John 1. 42, should be a rock indeed, of invincible strength, for the support of the building of the church; in which building he should be, next to Christ himself, the chief foundation stone, in quality of chief pastor, ruler, and governor; and should have accordingly all fulness of ecclesiastical power, signified by the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

[18] "Upon this rock": The words of Christ to Peter, spoken in the vulgar language of the Jews which our Lord made use of, were the same as if he had said in English, Thou art a Rock, and upon this rock I will build my church. So that, by the plain course of the words, Peter is here declared to be the rock, upon which the church was to be built: Christ himself being both the principal foundation and founder of the same. Where also note, that Christ, by building his house, that is, his church, upon a rock, has thereby secured it against all storms and floods, like the wise builder, St. Matt. 7. 24, 25.

[18] "The gates of hell": That is, the powers of darkness, and whatever Satan can do, either by himself, or his agents. For as the church is here likened to a house, or fortress, built on a rock; so the adverse powers are likened to a contrary house or fortress, the gates of which, that is, the whole strength, and all the efforts it can make, will never be able to prevail over the city or church of Christ. By this promise we are fully assured, that neither idolatry, heresy, nor any pernicious error whatsoever shall at any time prevail over the church of Christ.

[19] "Loose upon earth": The loosing the bands of temporal punishments due to sins, is called an indulgence; the power of which is here granted.

http://drbo.org/chapter/47016.htm
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by murphy_p_t » Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:47 pm

murphy_p_t wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:35 pm
Mountaineer wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:29 pm
murphy_p_t wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:51 pm
Mountaineer wrote "i.e. the rock is Peter’s confession that “you are the Christ”, not on a sinful Peter."

Yes, Jesus chose the sinful Peter to be the Rock of his Church. He did not choose andrew, james, or any of the others. This suggests that the Jesus' designated the rock to be a single, unique individual, even unique among the apostles/bishops. Consistent with a hierarchical organization, the Kingdom of heaven on Earth.

Can you point me to any arguments from the first millennium to justify your interpretation of this part of scripture?
Why would Jesus build the church on someone he calls Satan a few verses later rather than on a confession that Jesus himself says is true?
And yet that's exactly who he built his Church on, knowing that Peter would betray him.
And just a few more verses later... yet another refutation, from Jesus lips, of Sola fide...

"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then *****will he render to every man according to his works.*****"
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by murphy_p_t » Sat Nov 27, 2021 6:11 pm

murphy_p_t wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:35 pm
Mountaineer wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:29 pm
murphy_p_t wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:51 pm
Mountaineer wrote "i.e. the rock is Peter’s confession that “you are the Christ”, not on a sinful Peter."

Yes, Jesus chose the sinful Peter to be the Rock of his Church. He did not choose andrew, james, or any of the others. This suggests that the Jesus' designated the rock to be a single, unique individual, even unique among the apostles/bishops. Consistent with a hierarchical organization, the Kingdom of heaven on Earth.

Can you point me to any arguments from the first millennium to justify your interpretation of this part of scripture?
Why would Jesus build the church on someone he calls Satan a few verses later rather than on a confession that Jesus himself says is true?
And yet that's exactly who he built his Church on, knowing that Peter would betray him.

From the haydock Bible commentary

Ver. 22. Peter taking him, &c. out of a tender love, respect and zeal for his honour, began to expostulate with him, and as it were to reprehend him,[3] saying, Lord, far be it from thee, God forbid, &c. Wi.

Ver. 23. Go after me, Satan.[4] The words may signify, begone from me; but out of respect due to the expositions of the ancient fathers, who would have these words to signify come after me, or follow me, I have put, with the Rheims translation, go after me. Satan is the same as an adversary: (Wi.) and is here applied to Peter, because he opposed, out of mistaken zeal, Christ's passion, without which the great work of man's redemption could not be effected. Peter, however, unknowingly or innocently, raised an opposition against the will of God, against the glory of Jesus, against the redemption of mankind, and against the destruction of the devil's kingdom. He did not understand that there was nothing more glorious than to make of one's life a sacrifice to God. V. — Thou dost not, i.e. thy judgment in this particular is not conformable with that of God. Hence our separated brethren conclude that Christ did not, in calling him the rock in the preceding verses, appoint him the solid and permanent foundation of his Church. This conclusion, however, is not true, because, as S. Augustine and theologians affirm, Peter could fall into error in points regarding morals and facts, though not in defining or deciding on points of faith. Moreover, S. Peter was not, as S. Jerom says, appointed the pillar of the Church till after Christ's resurrection. T. — And it was not till the night before Christ suffered that he said to Peter: Behold, Satan hath desired to have thee; but I have prayed for thee, that "thy faith fail not," and thou being once converted confirm thy brethren. Luke xxii. 31. A.

https://www.ecatholic2000.com/haydock/ntcomment18.shtml
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Sun Nov 28, 2021 5:50 am

Murphy,
Thanks for your references. Lots of info to consider from the Roman Catholic perspective.

Following are interesting discussions of Peter's confession and related material. Lots to ponder. They appear to be quite objective and based on Scripture and knowledge of the time, not on doctrines developed much later.

https://bible.org/seriespage/24-peter-s ... ew-1613-20

https://gracebibleny.org/the_church_tha ... w_16_13_20

https://www.gotquestions.org/upon-this-rock.html

An excerpt from the first link:

"Second, Jesus announced that He was about to build His Church (18). This verse and the next have been at the center of controversy for ages. In verse 18 Jesus declared, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” The saying relies on a pun on the name of Peter. The Aramaic name is Kepa (Cephas), and the Greek translation is Petros. The Aramaic word means “rock.” But the saying “on this rock” uses the feminine form of the word, petra. Many have argued that because there are two different words for “rock” used here, the meaning would be that Peter is a small stone, but Christ is the rock on which the church if founded. This would be a difficult sense since Jesus said He would build the Church; would He also be the rock on which it is built?

"Or, others argue that the rock on which the Church will be built is the confession that Peter just made, the revealed truth about Jesus. This too is a fairly common view, and there may be some reasonable support for it. But both these views have probably been developed mostly in reaction to Roman Catholic teachings based on this passage. And yet, to say that Peter is the rock would be the normal way to interpret the line. However, and this is important, to say that Christ was going to build his church on the foundation of the apostles does not in any way teach an apostolic succession, papal infallibility, or exclusive authority for successors of Peter. Those doctrines were developed later. All the text would be saying is what the rest of the New Testament affirms, that Christ established His Church on the apostles. Their teaching, their writing the Scriptures, their establishing and organizing the Church, all were the necessary ways that Christ began to build His Church.

"If Matthew had wanted to make a contrast between “rock” (Jesus) and “stone” (Peter), he probably would have used lithos for the latter. But then there would be no pun in the passage—and the pun (called a paronomasia) is the force of the line.

"The metaphor of the rock is consistent with other uses in Scripture. Here Jesus will build his church; but elsewhere Paul and the apostles build it (1 Cor. 3:10). Jesus is the foundation of the Church (1 Cor. 3:11); but the apostles and prophets are also the foundation (Eph. 2:19,20; Rev. 21:14). Peter has the keys here; but in Revelation 1:18 and 3:7 Jesus has the keys.

"So here in Matthew 16 Jesus is the builder of the Church. The foundation will be the apostles. Peter was the first to make this profound confession, and so he is prominent in the early church. But the other apostles have equal authority, even to rebuke Peter (Acts 11:1-18; Gal. 2:11-14). Peter is simply first among equals. If there had been succession, then Peter’s successor would have had authority over John and the other apostles still alive. And that is not the case."
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by murphy_p_t » Sun Nov 28, 2021 4:26 pm

Mountaineer,
Some initial thoughts and observations, regarding the first linked article:

"And yet, to say that Peter is the rock would be the normal way to interpret the line. However, and this is important, to say that Christ was going to build his church on the foundation of the apostles does not in any way teach an apostolic succession, papal infallibility, or exclusive authority for successors of Peter."

Perhaps. However, In the same way, to say that Peter is The Rock does not exclude Apostolic succession, papal infallibility, etc.


"All the text would be saying is what the rest of the New Testament affirms, that Christ established His Church on the apostles. "

But this is not what Jesus said in Matthew 16:18,19. He specifically named peter, not the 12. The writer is using circular logic.


Further in the first article....
"but whoever had the keys had authority over the house. What then was the binding and the loosing?
A literal translation of this line would yield: “whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” If this is the translation, there is no place for earthly ministers to claim the power; they simply speak for God and enact what heaven has enacted."

The conclusion does not follow from the passage. This is more circular reasoning. Furthermore, it attempts to misrepresent the passage, as the keys were given explicitly and uniquely to Peter, as the plain reading of the passage indicates. I find it very curious, at this junction, that the author expresses doubt regarding the integrity of the translation. What the author is attempting to do is draw a conclusion 180° from the plain reading of the text.

Finally, Consider this: why would Jesus give the keys if his only purpose was to tell Peter that he can enact what heaven has already enacted? The author contradicts himself where he writes: "The king was still sovereign; but whoever had the keys had authority over the house. "

Moving on, the author feels qualified to essentially correct Holy Scripture. "The meaning of the binding and loosing in the verse probably refers to people and not to teachings (see 18:18 for “whatever”)."


What follows, again from the first article you linked, is highly tortured logic, trying to reach a conclusion at odds with the plain reading of the text. I suppose it could be compelling to people who already agree with its conclusion.

"This view then harmonizes with the translation of “whatever you bind . . . will have been bound . . . “ and so forth. By making the proclamation of the Gospel, the message of the kingdom, Peter would be binding and loosing what heaven had already bound and loosed. Peter would preach the Gospel, and that preaching would be the means by which those bound in heaven would be bound, and those loosed in heaven would be loosed. As long as Peter proclaimed the true Gospel, he would be binding or loosing what had been bound or loosed in heaven—he would be using the keys to the kingdom properly."


What became of the keys of the Kingdom given by Jesus to St. Peter, after his martyrdom? Did Jesus retrieve them? Not according to the writer. He essentially suggests some kind of succession to every person who picks up the Bible and claims to have some valid interpretation of it. What have these ministers loosed or bound?


Stepping back from the Protestant opposition to the Catholic claims of the papacy, consider the context. (Correct me if I'm mistaken, I'm not a scholar of the period.) In 1499, were there any strenuous debates in Northern Germany attempting to overthrow the papacy?

Luther has already had a deep dispute and rift with the authority in Rome. He has gathered partisans to himself in Northern Germany. He claims that the authority of Rome is illegitimate, after it has ruled against him. He then tries to use scripture to justify his new militancy, which is in opposition to the papacy.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by murphy_p_t » Sun Nov 28, 2021 5:59 pm

Mountaineer, I would like to refer you to part 2, chapters 32 through 38 (each chapter is very short, a few paragraphs).

https://isidore.co/aquinas/ContraErrGraecorum.htm#b0

It is written by St Thomas Aquinas (13th century), to address the Eastern schism. I share it not with the expectation that you will agree immediately with Saint Thomas' scriptural reasoning, but rather to show how St Thomas used citations from Eastern saints, such as St John chrysostom (4th century Archbishop of Constantinople) to defend the Catholic teaching on the papacy.

One thing that is interesting about this text from Aquinas is that he links the rejection of the filiquoque with rejection of the papacy. The following is quoted from the prologue of part 2. I encourage you to read the prologue (again, it is quite brief), as Saint Thomas puts those who reject the filioque and the papacy in line with the other heresies down through the centuries, who detract from the dignity of Christ and undermine the unity of the Church.

"So, also, at the present time some are described as dissolving Christ by diminishing His dignity so far as this lies in their power. In saying that the Holy Spirit does not proceed from the Son, they lessen His dignity, since He together with the Father is the Spirator of the Holy Spirit. In denying, moreover, that there is one head of the Church, namely, the holy Roman Church, they clearly dissolve the unity of the Mystical Body; for there cannot be one body if there is not one head, nor one congregation if there is not one ruler. Hence, John 10:16 says: There will be one fold and one shepherd."
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by murphy_p_t » Sun Nov 28, 2021 6:16 pm

http://www.catholicapologetics.info/apo ... /index.htm

I am sharing this library of Catholic apologetics resources for anyone who may be interested, as I believe it to be reliable. It contains a variety of resources, from short articles to books in the public domain.

Having said that, I'm not aware that any of this library brought 70,000 calvinists back into the one true fold, like the writing of Saint Francis de sales did with "the Catholic controversy"
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by murphy_p_t » Mon Nov 29, 2021 12:44 pm

From St Thomas Aquinas' commentary on the gospel of Matthew, referencing commentary from centuries before his time:

Chrys.: Then He speaks of another honour of Peter, when He adds, �And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven;� as much as to say, As the Father hath given thee to know Me, I also will give something unto thee, namely, the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

Raban.: For as with a zeal beyond the others he had confessed the King of heaven, he is deservedly entrusted more than the others with the keys of the heavenly kingdom, that it might be clear to all, that without that confession and faith none ought to enter the kingdom of heaven. By the keys of the kingdom He means discernment [margin note: discretio] and power; power, by which he binds and looses; discernment, by which he separates the worthy from the unworthy.

It follows, �And whatsoever thou shalt bind;� that is, whomsoever thou shalt judge unworthy of forgiveness while he lives, shall be judged unworthy with God; and �whatsoever thou shalt loose,� that is, whomsoever thou shalt judge worthy to be forgiven while he lives, shall obtain forgiveness of his sins from God.

Origen: See how great power has that rock upon which the Church is built, that its sentences are to continue firm as though God gave sentence by it.

Chrys.: See how Christ leads Peter to a high understanding concerning himself. [p. 587] These things that He here promises to give him, belong to God alone, namely to forgive sins, and to make the Church immoveable amidst the storms of so many persecutions and trials.

Raban.: But this power of binding and loosing, though it seems given by the Lord to Peter alone, is indeed given also to the other Apostles, [margin note: see Matt 18:18] and is even now in the Bishops and Presbyters in every Church. But Peter received in a special manner the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and a supremacy of judicial power, that all the faithful throughout the world might understand that all who in any manner separate themselves from the unity of the faith, or from communion with him, such should neither be able to be loosed from the bonds of sin, nor to enter the gate of the heavenly kingdom.

Gloss., ap. Anselm: This power was committed specially to Peter, that we might thereby be invited to unity. For He therefore appointed him the head of the Apostles, that the Church might have one principal Vicar of Christ, to whom the different members of the Church should have recourse, if ever they should have dissensions among them.

But if there were many heads in the Church, the bond of unity would be broken.

https://isidore.co/aquinas/english/CAMatthew.htm#16
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by murphy_p_t » Mon Nov 29, 2021 10:34 pm

One of the objections to the Catholic Church is her teaching that the Mass is a true sacrifice, and not simply the Lord's supper.

I share this article as it contains numerous quotations from church fathers of the early centuries, teaching the same beliefs that the Catholic Church holds even to this day.

http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst ... athers.htm
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by pp4me » Thu Dec 02, 2021 10:40 pm

Thought some of you might be interested in this clip by Dinesh Disouza about Muslim conversions to Christianity.

He makes the claim that something like 6 million Muslims a year, mostly in Africa if I remember correctly, have been converting from Islam to Christianity and this is something that has never been seen before in history. Given how apostates to Islam have been very rare due to the fact you might get your head cut off, this is really remarkable if true.

And the reason for it, he says, is because Muslims have been having dreams of Jesus.

Psychologically speaking this doesn't surprise me. For sheer mental health reasons, I'll take Jesus over Allah any day of the week and twice on Sundays even though I no longer claim to be a Christian except in a Jordan Peterson kind of way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL2MM_efr6Y

Some of you might be wondering if they are becoming REAL Christians, i.e. Catholics, Lutherans, etcetera, take your choice, but at least it's a start.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by murphy_p_t » Fri Dec 03, 2021 7:11 am

"Psychologically speaking this doesn't surprise me."

If this was a psychological reaction, we would have expected that this was happening over the last many centuries.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Xan » Fri Dec 03, 2021 10:03 am

The assertion that Lutheran reformers were promulgating new doctrine and breaking away from the true church is not correct. The Lutheran reformers (as opposed to the radical reformers, who overthrew things like the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, smashed stained glass, etc) frequently and liberally quoted the Church Fathers over the centuries who had preceded them, and showed how the Roman church had diverged from them theologically.

Here's a good summary from https://lutheranreformation.org/history ... h-fathers/ :
The Lutherans quoted the Early Church fathers against the new (false) teachers of the Roman Church, in order to show that the Lutherans are in line with the historic creeds and teachers. They are not changing anything, but purging the false ideas that had infiltrated the Church. For example, on the chief article of justification, Ambrose says, “Let no one boast about works, because no one is justified by his deeds. But he who is righteous has righteousness given to him because he was justified from the washing of Baptism. Faith, therefore, is that which frees through the blood of Christ” (Apology IV:103). They also approve of Augustine’s saying: “All God’s commandments are fulfilled when whatever is not done, is forgiven” (Apology V:51). The Lutherans also addressed the abuse of withholding the blood of Christ from the laity in the Lord’s Supper. Beyond Christ’s institution, they also found support from Justin Martyr, Cyprian, and Jerome. Another important argument concerned the authority of the pope and the Office of the Ministry. Contrary to papal claims of superiority, many of the ancient fathers sided with the Lutherans, including Jerome, who claimed that bishops are equal in the office (Smalcald Articles, Part II, IV:9). John Chrysostom, commenting on Matthew 16, says, “‘Upon this rock,’ not upon Peter. For He [Jesus] built His Church not upon man, but upon the faith of Peter. But what was his faith? ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’” (Treatise 28). Furthermore, “most of the holy Church Fathers, such as Origen, Cyprian, Augustine, Hilary, and Bede, interpret the passage ‘on this rock’ in this way, as not referring to the person of Peter” (Treatise 26–27). The Lutherans also found support from the fathers on confession, good works, original sin, free will, monasticism, and honoring the saints.

It's the Pope who is the schismatic, and setting himself up in the place of Christ. Listen to the things he says about himself: effectively, nobody is a member of the true Church unless that person is in communion with the Pope. That's elevating himself to the place of Christ, and is a big reason why we consider him (in his office, not necessarily personally) to be anti-Christ.

Murphy, I'm glad to see that you're willing to openly admit that you believe in works righteousness. Works righteousness turns what's unique about Christianity (inheriting the righteousness of Christ) into something no different from any other world religion. Let's look at it this way: a work is only good if it's done without expectation of reward, otherwise it's just a transaction. So if good works are required in order to earn salvation, then there is no such thing as a good work. Once we are saved then we are FREE (ie, able) to do good works as there can be no further reward.

That said, as Desert said, you could do a lot worse. Luther said that he would rather eat and drink Christ's true Body and Blood with the Pope himself than mere bread and wine with Zwingli.

But, as far as the charge of "new theology" goes, please contrast a Reformation which urges sticking to the tradition that had been handed down from the Apostles and Fathers against the following. The list is just off the top of my head, although I looked up the dates:
* 14th century - adopted purgatory from a popular book -- this is something like getting doctrine from Star Wars today
* 1854 - the Immaculate Conception of Mary, that Mary was born without the stain of original sin -- Mary is hugely important and was the first Christian, but you don't do her any favors by making her some kind of superhuman. She pointed to (and bore) the superhuman.
* 1870 - papal infallibility -- very convenient
* 1950 - the bodily assumption of Mary -- why, and with what evidence?

You don't let anybody join your church without agreeing to these things (and many others) which have no basis in Scripture or (as properly defined) Tradition. Why bind consciences to something so tenuous? Especially when decrying the "new theology" of trusting in the saving work of Christ? Of trusting your Baptism to save you? Of trusting the Body and Blood of Christ to forgive your sins and grant you salvation?


The old joke "is the Pope Catholic" is not too much of a joke these days, as the current Pope seems to enjoy flirting with breaking several doctrines. The number of sedevacanist Roman Catholics continues to grow. Traditional believers are wondering what to do if the Pope ceases to be catholic. Well it already happened, back in the 16th century! Are modern-day sedevacanists Roman Catholic or are they Lutheran?


Murphy you asked earlier:
Even among the Protestant sects, which claim that theirs is the true religion? Do Baptists claim that their religion is true, to the exclusion of the Presbyterians? Does the Missouri synod claim it is the true church, to the exclusion of the ELCA?
There are true Christians inside every denomination. To the extent that a church helps people to saving faith, then it is worthwhile. Many churches have doctrines that tend to lead people away from saving faith, which is scary. I would say that the LCMS is inside the true church. You have the burden of saying that the true church is inside the Roman communion. As for the marks of the church: I agree that the church is ONE, but that is seen by faith and not by sight. At the last day the walls will come down and the members of the true Church will be revealed. I'm sure there will be many surprises.


The Reformation unquestionably exposed abuses within the Roman church which would have continued otherwise, eg indulgences and withholding the cup from the laity. The Roman church officially acknowledges Luther's and the Reformation's contributions in this regard, and "A Mighty Fortress" appears in Roman hymnals. So I don't know that you can outright condemn the Reformation so completely, even if you disagree with it.


I may only have a chance to check in on this thread occasionally, as it's something of a time-sink. But I do enjoy the conversation. Murphy, despite disagreeing on a number of things, I would like to say:
* We do agree on an awful lot, which is easy to gloss over in a discussion about disagreements, but we shouldn't forget that. LCMS President Mathew Harrison likes to tell a story about being at a March for Life in St Louis when the Roman Catholic Archbishop of the area sought him out and marched with him.
* I respect your devotion to your church and your faithful defense of it
* We also agree that we can't both be right. Although this will almost certainly end in "agreeing to disagree", we both agree that these things matter and disagreements shouldn't be swept under the rug.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Fri Dec 03, 2021 11:29 am

Xan, that is one of the most well thought out posts I’ve seen for quite a while.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by pp4me » Fri Dec 03, 2021 6:45 pm

murphy_p_t wrote:
Fri Dec 03, 2021 7:11 am
"Psychologically speaking this doesn't surprise me."

If this was a psychological reaction, we would have expected that this was happening over the last many centuries.
Why would that be a valid expectation? We have no idea what was going on in the last many centuries compared to what is going on today.

For all we know they did have dreams of Jesus as he is acknowledged as a prophet in the Muslim religon and they had interactions with Christian believers living among them. Apostasy from Islam could have more serious consequences back then if I understand it correctly, even be-heading so it's not surprising that we would not know of this many years later.

Update: Also, Christianity may not have been viewed as a kindler and gentler religion back then the way it is today.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Desert » Fri Dec 03, 2021 9:31 pm

Thanks for a very thorough and thoughtful post, Xan. I have many additional thoughts on this topic, but I think I'll sit back and ponder a bit before typing them out.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by murphy_p_t » Fri Dec 03, 2021 10:07 pm

Xan,

Thank you for your expansive and well considered reply.

First, I'm going to speculate on the answer to a question I asked you previously, and propose the reason why. I think that you do accept the filioque, as included in the Creed, as declared by the Roman Catholic Church...ultimately the dispute being settled by the Roman pontiff....Because your history, prior to Luther's revolt, is in the Latin West.

The question needed to be settled. The solution is not found in the scriptures, And so an external authority was required. There was a dispute between Eastern and Western churches, theologians, etc. The ultimate authority is the sovereign Roman pontiff, and so Lutherans have the true doctrine, only thanks to the authority of the Roman pontiff, for they would not be able to determine it with their scripture alone doctrine; nor by faith alone; perhaps reason, but there were intelligent theologians also in the east, so that is unreliable. Ultimately, a final decision maker was required in this theological question. So thanks to Lutherans originating in the West, they claim correctly that part of Christian doctrine, which was settled by Rome.

Now I will attempt to address the points you raise.

It seems to me that for Luther's revolt (as well as those that followed), there had to be the claim that each were preserving the true church, that the body they left, were in schism. A significant problem with that claim is that the self-styled reformers were doing what Rome did only 15 years prior. The priest offered the sacrifice of the mass in Wittenberg, and gave absolution in the confessional. The clever solution to that compromised position is to assert the novel idea that the church is not a unified, visible body, but rather a loose collection of believers, found in all kinds of divergent places and assemblies. But this contradicts the plain meaning of the Creed, the first of the four marks of the Church being One....unity. ("as I and the Father are one.")

You wrote: There are true Christians inside every denomination. To the extent that a church helps people to saving faith, then it is worthwhile.

Part of The problem with this statement is that it reduces a church/denomination to becoming optional, as it is essentially a book club. Ultimately, In effect, Christianity becomes a do it yourself project.

You write: As for the marks of the church: I agree that the church is ONE, but that is seen by faith and not by sight.

This may be Luther's claim, but is not the Catholic teaching. I would say it is by faith of course, but also by sight, as you say. The church is visible, a unified body. Otherwise, it would not be ONE. Which is not what we see with countless Protestant denominations.


Again, please read chapter 5 of "the Catholic controversy" by Saint Francis de sales.

Chapter V THAT THE INVISIBLE CHURCH FROM WHICH THE INNOVATORS PRETEND TO DERIVE THEIR MISSION IS A FIGMENT AND THAT THE TRUE CHURCH OF CHRIST IS VISIBLE




Jorge bergolio (aka Francis), contrary to popular opinion, is not now, and never was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. (It was not false humility that he denies the title of Vicar of Christ.) Although in eclipse, Pope Benedict remains The sovereign Roman pontiff, as he never renounced the "munus." Furthermore, jorge bergolio obviously neither holds nor teaches the Catholic faith. (He does promote some Lutheran doctrines, which escapes me at the moment. Furthermore he is an idolater, and promoter of adultery, etc) If you told me you thought the Argentinian apostate was the false prophet of Apocalypse, I would not take exception with you.


I don't think I am able to sufficiently propose to you the teaching that salvation is through faith and works. You are obviously familiar with the dispute, better than I am. I say that because as a lay Catholic, we don't generally spend time concerning ourselves with the beliefs of the Protestant sects. We do not define ourselves in opposition to those who have left the church.

Some years ago, Rome and some Protestant groups signed a document suggesting that the whole thing came down to a big misunderstanding, using same words with different meanings, and that both sides were in essential agreement. This is my recollection of it anyway. It sounds like that is something the Missouri synod rejects? I think the ELCA may have been party to it, at least at a diocesan level?

Okay, just did a search and found this article. https://www.elca.org/JLE/Articles/354

I suspect an ELCA parishioner is not welcome at the typical Missouri synod service to receive the communion, as he lacks the requisite unity of faith. It looks like the Missouri synod is not in communion with the larger world Lutheran body, which signed the statement with Rome. If so, I respect the tenacity of the Missouri Synod members.


Regarding your objections to doctrines which were defined, even in recent centuries... How is it different, in essence, from what the early councils did? The recently defined doctrines did not just spring up out of the blue... But were rather largely already part of Catholic tradition, yet not defined definitively, to be held by all the faithful.

Regarding the immaculate conception, this was confirmed by the miracle of Lourdes, where she appeared to the child Bernadette and identified herself as "I am the Immaculate Conception." See this touching film, song of Bernadette, https://youtu.be/FtKrTrEDDsI

Full movie https://youtu.be/-6zAoq8tRfI

Recall the words of the angel Gabriel, "blessed are thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb." There is no record of any other woman receiving such an address from the angel of God. So yes, she is totally and completely unique among all of humanity.


Regarding purgatory, I would, in particular, invite you to learn the Catholic perspective on this teaching. It goes back to the Old testament, one of the books Luther discarded, 2 Maccabees, I think. Donations were sent to the temple priests, to offer sacrifice for those who fell in battle, for the purpose of their souls. Of course, Luther rejected the idea of a sacrificial priesthood, the mass being the daily sacrifice, and rejected purgatory, for the souls which need cleansing before they can enter heaven. They are all tied together.

I knew that Protestants reject purgatory, but I had no idea that you ascribe it to a 14th century popular story. Is this taught to Lutheran children about the Catholic Church?

Here is a brief citation from St. Thomas aquinas, who lived in the 13th century. (Wikipedia claims Aquinas is venerated in lutheranism?) St Thomas quotes Gregory of Nyssa (***4th century *** bishop), who Wikipedia again says is venerated by Lutheranism.
https://thomasofaquino.blogspot.com/201 ... y.html?m=1


You wrote: ...nobody is a member of the true Church unless that person is in communion with the Pope. That's elevating himself to the place of Christ...

Your conclusion doesn't follow from the claim. The Pope is Christ's caretaker, in his absence from Earth. He was given the keys of authority by Christ. His papal actions are done as Christ's representative. He does not have the power to remake the Church in his own image. (Excessive) adulation ("sweet Christ on Earth") are pious exclamations not to be taken literally by our Nordic minds.

You wrote: You have the burden of saying that the true church is inside the Roman communion.

Just to clarify, the Roman Catholic Church holds that the Catholic Church IS the true church (false teachings from Vatican II notwithstanding). Obviously, I include Eastern churches in communion with rome, such as uniate Ukrainian Greek Catholics.

The human element of the Catholic Church will always be subject to the need for conversion and purification, as human corruption is part of the human condition. The two items you list, indulgences and reception from The chalice, are not among those corruptions. This is already running too long, but in regards to the chalice question... It was viewed as an assault upon the belief that the host contains the body blood soul and divinity... The implication being that the blood is not received unless one receives from The chalice. This was a heresy, which even predates Luther. Sadly, it is prevalent in the protestantized New order (Novus ordo) of mass. The layman's hands are not consecrated to handle sacred items, such as the chalice. This is why communion is to be received on the tongue, in a posture of humility.

Between my various posts, I think I have provided sufficient clarification to illustrate that Missouri synod understandings about Catholic teaching are not accurate, consistently. I invite you to find out what the Roman Catholic Church teaches from Roman Catholic sources, rather than from biased sources.

Regarding our closeness, I agree. Lutherans certainly have valid baptism. Conservative Missouri synod lutherans uphold some of Christian morality, even in an age of hedonism. That's what makes it more tragic. Those who willfully remain outside the Catholic Church choose to stay in the rough seas rather than allow themselves to be pulled into the safety of the one Ark of Salvation, in the unity of the one faith. In the same way that all perished outside the Ark during the deluge...


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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Maddy » Sat Dec 04, 2021 8:28 am

Any interest in bifurcating this thread into two--one for those who are interested in figuring out religion and another for those who already have it figured out?
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by vnatale » Sat Dec 04, 2021 11:39 am

murphy_p_t wrote:
Fri Dec 03, 2021 10:07 pm


You wrote: ...nobody is a member of the true Church unless that person is in communion with the Pope. That's elevating himself to the place of Christ...

Your conclusion doesn't follow from the claim. The Pope is Christ's caretaker, in his absence from Earth. He was given the keys of authority by Christ. His papal actions are done as Christ's representative. He does not have the power to remake the Church in his own image. (Excessive) adulation ("sweet Christ on Earth") are pious exclamations not to be taken literally by our Nordic minds.

Murphy


Murphy,

Quite the lessons on Catholicism you have been giving us for some time now.

I am in the midst of reading this excellent book.

https://www.amazon.com/Adolf-Hitler-Joh ... 300&sr=1-1

Adolf Hitler Hardcover – January 1, 1976
by John Toland

Last night on page 315 I read the following:

"The Princes of the Church were more than eager to curry his [Hitler's] favor.......Pius XI subscribed to the same principles, as was proved on July 20 when a concordat between the Vatican and Hitler was signed. The Church agreed to keep priests and religion out of politics while Hitler, among other things, granted complete freedom to confessional schools throughout the country, a notable victory for German Catholics. This Holiness welcomed Hitler's representative, Franz von Papen, 'most graciously and remarked how pleased he was that the German Government now had at its head a man uncompromisingly opposed to Communism and Russian nihilism in all its forms.'

"The Vatican was so appreciative of being recognized as a full partner that it asked God to bless the Reich. On a more practical level, it ordered German bishops to swear allegiance to the National Socialist regime. The new oath concluded with these significant words: 'In the performance of my spiritual office and in my solicitude for the welfare and the interest of the German Reich, I will endeavor to avoid all detrimental acts which might endanger it.'"

Then on page 320

"He [Hitler] campaigned as if for an election, utilizing the resources of the party to convince people to back his withdrawal from the League of Nations. The Church again gave enthusiastic support. Every bishop in Bavaria approved a statement by Cardinal Faulhaber requesting a Ja vote: 'In this way the Catholics will profess anew their loyalty to the people and Fatherland and their agreement with the farsighted and forceful efforts of the Furher to spare the German people the terror of war and the horrors of Bolshevism, to secure public order and create work for the unemployed.'"


From reading just about all that you have written in this topic am I correct that:

1) You have been arguing that the Catholic religion IS the ONE TRUE religion?

2) The only way to interpret your statement above -- "His papal actions are done as Christ's representative" -- is a Pope does what Christ would do if Christ was here on earth?

If I am correct in understanding what you have been writing .... how do you explain the behavior of both "The Church" [The Catholic Church in my quoted book passages] and Pope Pius XI.

Is there any way to not use your logic to say that if Christ was on earth on during the Nazi regime that he would have behaved the same way as the Pope did during that time period?

Enjoying seeing this other side of you. One side of you are your extremely short responses regarding the virus and any of its proposed remedies. The other side of you are these extremely detailed, highly informative writings on the Catholic Church.
Above provided by: Vinny, who always says: "I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats." AND "I'm a more-is-more person."
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Sat Dec 04, 2021 11:47 am

:o Interesting times.
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