Digging into faith


#1

Hi,
How strong can our faith be. Romans 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith FOR WHATEVER IS NOT FROM FAITH IS SIN."
Doubt is sin as it IS a lack of faith. Please think deeply about this in your own life. When you doubt realise, that you are lacking faith, and this is a sin.
comments please.
Christ be with you,
walk in love
edwinGhttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif


#2

[quote=edwinG]Hi,
How strong can our faith be. Romans 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith FOR WHATEVER IS NOT FROM FAITH IS SIN."
Doubt is sin as it IS a lack of faith. Please think deeply about this in your own life. When you doubt realise, that you are lacking faith, and this is a sin.

[/quote]

There was a recent quote in Catholic Digest that impressed me, from theologian Paul Tillich. It was something like: “doubt is not the absence of faith; it is an element of faith.”

I agree with Tillich on this. Without doubt, one would not have a clue what faith is.

To me, faith implies doubt. Remember Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” If I actually “saw” something, in that I was intellectually convinced of it, then it takes no faith to believe in it. The doubt that this computer will work when I go to post this message implies that it is with some faith that I carry on typing even though I don’t “know” for certain it will ever go anywhere.

Now I have a question for you: is faith in God and faith in God’s Church exactly the same thing?

Alan


#3

[quote=AlanFromWichita]There was a recent quote in Catholic Digest that impressed me, from theologian Paul Tillich. It was something like: “doubt is not the absence of faith; it is an element of faith.”

I agree with Tillich on this. Without doubt, one would not have a clue what faith is.

To me, faith implies doubt. Remember Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” If I actually “saw” something, in that I was intellectually convinced of it, then it takes no faith to believe in it. The doubt that this computer will work when I go to post this message implies that it is with some faith that I carry on typing even though I don’t “know” for certain it will ever go anywhere.

Now I have a question for you: is faith in God and faith in God’s Church exactly the same thing?

Alan
[/quote]

No. God is God. His Church, which has Jesus as the head, is His temple. In Christ we are building a temple worthy of our loving God. Now this becomes tricky. We come from Him, and we will return to Him, and live in Christ in Him all sharing in His Glory. oops, not answering the question.
Whenever I read postings, posters always seem to move in and out of the expressions, God’s church and the catholic church when ever it is necessary to validate a position, making them interchangable, except placing God’s church where it is needed then slipping quieting into catholic church as if they were the same. So in your question about “faith” in God and "faith"in His church I choose His church as opposed to say a protestant or catholic church.
If you were to mean the earthly church, I would say no.
If you were to mean the church of which Jesus is head and the saints are the building blocks of a temple of God again No. Faith in God is faith in our creator, not in something He is creating, and He is creating His temple. Jesus said, “I go to my Father who is greater than I” Jesus refers to God as His Father, and we refer to God as our Father. We come from Him (Holy) therefore we must go back to Him (Holy) so that He can dwell in us.
In summation after that wandering. I think No, faith in God is not the same as Faith in His church and definitely not the same as faith in an earthly church.
Christ be with you
walk in lovehttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG


#4

Dear edwinG,

I like and completely agree with your explanation. I especially liked the way you explained the maneuvering among various terms depending on what point any given argument is trying to show.

As I have brought up in many other posts, I am struggling with the idea of “infallibility” and of obediently “binding” my will and intellect to Rome. Those who say we should do that seem to look at “forming our own individual conscience” as something bad, compared to “conforming our conscience to that of the Roman pontiff.”

I just can’t get on that bandwagon, at least not yet. Perhaps it is a lack of faith in God’s Church here on earth, and if so then so be it at least for the moment. I’m not up for any “promotions” by the Church at the moment. I have doubts about the Church and her “infallibility” to declare anything. As I have been shown by others, that automatically means I could have doubts about the Bible (written by the Church), to which I must agree but with the added caveat “to any given literal interpretation” of the Bible.

I don’t equate the Roman Pontiff with God, in that anything in particular he says is so authoritative that I can place my entire faith and “bind my intellect” and sit back and be comfortable knowing that it is so true that God Himself may as well have spoken on the issue, and that answers the matter beyond any minsunderstanding I might have had. “Rome has spoken, that settles it.” This is not to say the Church is not true on any given topic, either. Just that I don’t buy the concept of infallibility, or I think we risk idolizing the Church and/or using the Church as a surrogate “tree of knowledge.”

For those who have not seen my posts on this topic before, I am not advocating that everyone goes around saying or teaching whatever they want, nor am I putting down anyone who does wish to bind their conscience to Rome. I also do not have a problem with anyone calling me a “cafeteria Catholic” for such behavior, although I suspect that given a modest amount of discussion, unless they are Catherine of Siena of Padre Pio, I could find something to call them “cafeteria Catholics” about. Also I don’t believe that “infallibility” is a requirement to ensure Jesus’ prophecy that the “gates of hell” will not stand against His Church.

Alan


#5

[quote=AlanFromWichita]Dear edwinG,

As I have brought up in many other posts, I am struggling with the idea of “infallibility” and of obediently “binding” my will and intellect to Rome. Those who say we should do that seem to look at “forming our own individual conscience” as something bad, compared to “conforming our conscience to that of the Roman pontiff.”
[/quote]

Charitably, Alan, you can see the error in this from todays society. The consciences of 2 people can be easily manipulated by the devil. He exists, and he is more powerful that we could ever imagine. That is why one can, in perfect conscience, commit a haneous murder like abortion, and feel no guilt. While others are mortified by even the thought of those poor children.
That is why Christ gave us the papal office. He guaranteed guarding the Church from any and all error until the end of time. ‘The gates of hell will not prevail against his Church.’ That is why you will never find dogmatic or moral teachings that contradict each other throughout the ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH. NEVER. NEVER HAS THE CHURCH CONTRADICTED ITSELF IN ITS INFALLIBLE TEACHINGS. Other Churches have waivered and reversed their teachings(mostly in abortion and contraceptive teachings). The Catholic Church has not, and will not ever.

How can this be, since we take the Bible(written by mere men) as infallible? But, something infallable, God would not leave us with in order to interpret it for ourselves to our own destruction(see IIPeter 3:14-18) You can see how many different Churches interpret different verses completely opposite of each other. Who is right? It was and is necessary that God give us infallible interpreters of his word. We are humans subject to great error. God has told us in the bible that the Spirit of Truth will guide us into all truth. This cannot be done by each person believing he is the sole infallible teacher of the Deposit of Faith.

Who does St. Paul tell us is the pillar and mainstay of the truth?(ITim 3:15)

Christ is with us always, even until the end of the world, sending the Spirit of Truth, who he tells us countless times, will lead us into truth…that truth has to be somewhere. Where is it? In my distorted and easilly manipulated mind? In John down the street’s mind?

Peter was given the Keys of the Kingdom, with all their power. Upon his death, would Christ then leave us to the devil until the end of the world? No. Paul identified the ordination of bishops and priests in his epistles to Timothy and Titus. Christ, in Matthew 18:15-18, condemns those who do not listen to his Church.

The Church has to have the truth, because the bible was not even available to the faithful until the printing press. Were they to roam the earth with no authority until the printing press was available?

The greatest error is to think that we know what certain passages mean in the bible, and that our minds are capable of deciding the complete truths of the universe. (That is very prideful, wouldn’t you agree?)

P.S. Read what the early Church Fathers wrote. You will see they were Catholic. The primacy of the pope was understood and declared in the infancy of the Church(before Protestants revolted against it 1300 years later)


#6

[quote=AlanFromWichita]Dear edwinG,

I like and completely agree with your explanation. I especially liked the way you explained the maneuvering among various terms depending on what point any given argument is trying to show.

As I have brought up in many other posts, I am struggling with the idea of “infallibility” and of obediently “binding” my will and intellect to Rome. Those who say we should do that seem to look at “forming our own individual conscience” as something bad, compared to “conforming our conscience to that of the Roman pontiff.”

I just can’t get on that bandwagon, at least not yet. Perhaps it is a lack of faith in God’s Church here on earth, and if so then so be it at least for the moment. I’m not up for any “promotions” by the Church at the moment. I have doubts about the Church and her “infallibility” to declare anything. As I have been shown by others, that automatically means I could have doubts about the Bible (written by the Church), to which I must agree but with the added caveat “to any given literal interpretation” of the Bible.

I don’t equate the Roman Pontiff with God, in that anything in particular he says is so authoritative that I can place my entire faith and “bind my intellect” and sit back and be comfortable knowing that it is so true that God Himself may as well have spoken on the issue, and that answers the matter beyond any minsunderstanding I might have had. “Rome has spoken, that settles it.” This is not to say the Church is not true on any given topic, either. Just that I don’t buy the concept of infallibility, or I think we risk idolizing the Church and/or using the Church as a surrogate “tree of knowledge.”

For those who have not seen my posts on this topic before, I am not advocating that everyone goes around saying or teaching whatever they want, nor am I putting down anyone who does wish to bind their conscience to Rome. I also do not have a problem with anyone calling me a “cafeteria Catholic” for such behavior, although I suspect that given a modest amount of discussion, unless they are Catherine of Siena of Padre Pio, I could find something to call them “cafeteria Catholics” about. Also I don’t believe that “infallibility” is a requirement to ensure Jesus’ prophecy that the “gates of hell” will not stand against His Church.

Alan
[/quote]

Hi Alan,
It is your life. You can choose to be bound to men ( who have a very sincere desire to protect you) or you can be free to the Holy Spirit. You are a member of the kingdom of God. This is a spiritual kingdom. Is Christ right when He said we can be led into all truth by the Holy Spirit? Was He speaking to you, a desciple? If your conscience is calling you, go and be led by Him. I am sure He has work for you. Trust in Him ( God) for His arm is not short. In saying these things to you, I am trusting in your sincerity. I understand perfectly, your explanation of “conforming our conscience” and you have stated this truth very plainly.When people ask you then about the bible and or other books, just shave the books back to where you dont have any doubt. If you believe the old testament is solid, accept it. If you believe the 4 gospels then accept them, if you believe Pauls’ letters , accept them etc. When you come to doubt, do not accept doubt.
Romans 14:23 “But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith, for whatever is not from faith is sin.” Take the journey back to belief, leaving doubt behind, because doubt is sin,as it lacks ( is insufficient) in faith. Then build on this rock of belief, not putting in a rock of doubt.
The earthly church is a place of love and fellowship, even though we live in the kingdom of God, Christ recognises we need sexual and social contact. Dont waste years of your life living in doubt.
My love and prayers are with you Alan.
Christ be with you,http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
walk in love
edwinG


#7

[quote=rheins2000]Charitably, Alan, you can see the error in this from todays society. The consciences of 2 people can be easily manipulated by the devil. He exists, and he is more powerful that we could ever imagine. That is why one can, in perfect conscience, commit a haneous murder like abortion, and feel no guilt. While others are mortified by even the thought of those poor children.

[/quote]

How is this improved by the claim that certain humans are infallible in their teachings? Did the Church herself not condone and even conduct torture and murder in good conscience for the sake of souls of those who dared to differ in their beliefs?

That is why Christ gave us the papal office. He guaranteed guarding the Church from any and all error until the end of time. ‘The gates of hell will not prevail against his Church.’ That is why you will never find dogmatic or moral teachings that contradict each other throughout the ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH. NEVER. NEVER HAS THE CHURCH CONTRADICTED ITSELF IN ITS INFALLIBLE TEACHINGS. Other Churches have waivered and reversed their teachings(mostly in abortion and contraceptive teachings). The Catholic Church has not, and will not ever.

Are we talking about the same church who says Catholics in good conscience cannot vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights and then confers a papal knighthood on the pro-abort president of the UN?

I’ve heard a lot about how infallibility only applies to certain teachings, etc. but then I’ve heard a lot about how our consciences are supposed to be “bound” by all kinds of things that aren’t officially at that highest level of infallibility. We little people without a canon law degree find it hard to keep track of exactly what the Church does that we are supposed to follow and what she does that we are not, whether in belief (given the public disagreement of many bishops on many issues) or in action. Actions speak louder than words, for they shall be known by their fruit.

More on another post, God willing. I’m trying to keep the length of these down.

Alan


#8

That is a very interesting passage. From reading the chapter I get the impression that the author is talking primarily about scoffers who will come (to) scoff, living according to their own desires (v 3). Clearly both edges of the sword of the Word is used on a regular basis by many who wish to justify their deeds using the authority of Scripture. Scripture is used by both the well-meaning and the wicked to accuse, destroy and to divide, as well as to forgive, heal and unite. That is the nature of the Word; it is powerful and can be used both ways.

Also I completely agree with you that it’s a problem for any person to believe he is the sole infallible teacher of the Deposit of Faith, as such a belief would not accept Jesus as the only infallible human being. I believe the Spirit of Truth dwells within each of us, individually, to guide each of us who seeks the Lord to make our own responsible decisions. No system of laws and rules can guide us to righteous behavior in our own, individual circumstance. Jesus clearly showed that laws are to be applied to the concrete situation at hand; He didn’t do it by appealing to church authorities on whether, for example, He should heal or pick grain on the sabbath, or make His disciples wash their hands. Did He do this because He already knew what they would find acceptable? I submit he did it despite their objections because His Spirit led him to a higher truth than their fallible minds were able to comprehend.

Do you think the Spirit of Truth only works in a few designated people, or that He is within each of us. If within each of us, what is His role: to conform our consciences to that of fallible men, or to God directly? Granted some of us have such impenetrable false selves and dont even know how to seek the Spirit, but I think this is partly because the Church by and large does not teach most Catholics anything about contemplative forms of prayer that unite us with God and invite His Spirit to speak to us. If we are united with God we are automatically united to each other, regardless of the myriad ways the literal Word is and will be misinterpreted and misapplied.

I’m really not worried about the Church’s teachings on abstract principles such as the assumption of Mary or her ever-virgin status (a topic I recently caved on), or the concept of the Trinity. Frankly, though those things may be important for theologians, they have very little impact on what I’m most concerned about: how one goes about living one’s life in such a way as to show the love of God and find the peace of Christ. I don’t think any amount of books, interpreted by anybody, can do that. They can help teach, but in any given, personal, concrete situation one has to rely on the Spirit to guide him. If you don’t know the Spirit, then following a set of rule books might be a good start.

Alan


#9

Dear edwinG,

Thank you for confirming that you understand. Conversing by written word only, I find it difficult to say things clearly because I cannot anticipate how the hearts of my audience will receive it. Either I am speaking in a way that is confusing to some or I am speaking a “truth” that is not meant to be heard by them.

When you come to doubt, do not accept doubt.
Romans 14:23 “But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith, for whatever is not from faith is sin.” Take the journey back to belief, leaving doubt behind, because doubt is sin,as it lacks ( is insufficient) in faith. Then build on this rock of belief, not putting in a rock of doubt.

You have a good point. I’ve heard that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. At first glance it seems I have been using a different context of “doubt” as in the Romans verse you quoted. I believe we are free as Paul wrote in 1 Cor 6, “everything is lawful for me, but not everything is beneficial.” This, I think, is a key point that to be truly free and living in Christ we have to be transformed and guided by the Spirit, transcending such issues as “is this or that against the rules” into “is this an act of love for another human being” which is a more powerful way to be guided. When we submit our spirit to His, this higher way becomes more evident and the need for petty rules subsides. If I’ve acted in love, even through ignorance of a rule or two, then I may have regrets if there are temporal ramifications but my conscience is clear and I am at peace with myself.

The earthly church is a place of love and fellowship, even though we live in the kingdom of God, Christ recognises we need sexual and social contact. Dont waste years of your life living in doubt.

Thank you for your kind words. After a few years of very significant spiritual seeking, I am coming to peace with myself and my way of looking at things. In order to do that, I have had to come to the logical conclusion that God may speak to me through other men, but the only “infallible” guide for me is the Holy Spirit whom I try to hear more clearly as time goes on. There are a number of problems with deferring my conscience to those of other humans, even though they may be totally right. I don’t really feel like going into details on that because all of a sudden it doesn’t seem important at the moment.

Alan


#10

[quote=AlanFromWichita]How is this improved by the claim that certain humans are infallible in their teachings? Did the Church herself not condone and even conduct torture and murder in good conscience for the sake of souls of those who dared to differ in their beliefs?
[/quote]

Your response doesnt make much sense to me. You are not even quoting my response here. That first part doesnt improve my claim that the Pope is infallable. The first part claims that individuals around the world are not infallable. Certainly you agree with this…otherwise you are making the claim that you personally are infallable…and since I dont believe that is the case, I’ll go on.

Secondly, no Popes infallibly declared to go and murder people who dont believe what they believe. When you say the Church, you are gravely wrong. Sinful men do not crush the Church…Jesus himself said that the gates of hell will not prevail against his Church. Just because people go around murdering others in the name of the Church, doesnt say anything about the Church. If I go about killing people in the name of the Church, does that then make the Church a giant sham? The great Saints and Fathers of the Church told us that even a sinful pope(of which all of them have been) does not invalidate the office of Pope that Christ established. Peter denied even knowing Christ, would you say that he was not infallible?

Once again, an act of reaching out to sinners(instead of throwing them out like trash and leaving them destined to hell) does not make the entire Church a sham. As soon as the Pope declares that abortion is a good thing and this pro abort president should be listened to and followed as if he were Jesus himself, then you can make this arguement.

And you will be responsible for finding the truth on your own come the day of your judgement. If you want to know what are the infallable teachings of the Church, you must read the Catechism, not the Canon Law. Canon Law can be changed…faith and morals cannot. Disagreeing bishops dont prove anything…many, many bishops and priests(from the revelations of Mary and some mystics - which I declare to you now, are not infallible teachings of the Church, but I put my faith in them, because they say nothing contrary to Holy Mother Church) are on the road to Hell. Believe it or not…but that is why the bible tells us the road to hell is wide and the road to heaven is narrow.

It is not the Church’s responsibility to inform you of every truth, especially if you will not listen. It is your responsibility…you will soon find yourself at the end of your life wih no time left to find the truth…I pray you will find the Church long before that.

Please dont argue points against the Church using the sins of its members…for you will soon find then that there is no truth anywhere…and using that reasoning, how could you believe anything that anyone would tell you?


#11

[quote=AlanFromWichita]That is a very interesting passage. From reading the chapter I get the impression that the author is talking primarily about scoffers who will come (to) scoff, living according to their own desires (v 3). Clearly both edges of the sword of the Word is used on a regular basis by many who wish to justify their deeds using the authority of Scripture. Scripture is used by both the well-meaning and the wicked to accuse, destroy and to divide, as well as to forgive, heal and unite. That is the nature of the Word; it is powerful and can be used both ways.
[/quote]

You get the impression?!..you are going to trust the destiny of your immortal soul to an impression that you get reading the bible on your own…a collection of readings in ancient languages you dont know, from places and times you dont know, put together by a Church that you deny authority to?

NO THE WORD OF GOD IS NOT A DOUBLE EDGED SWORD. THERE IS ONLY ONE INTERPRETATION THAT IS CORRECT. ALL OF THE REST ARE LIES AND DECEIT. WHO THEN HAS THE AUTHORITY TO INTERPRET THE WORD FOR US IGNORANT HUMANS IN THE 21ST CENTURY?

Then you make the Spirit of Truth a liar, for if the Spirit of Truth guides you to seeing abortion as a good thing, and the Spirit of truth guides another to see abortion as an abominal sin, then the Spirit of Truth is divided against itself and a liar…AND THAT CANNOT HAPPEN. A charitable warning here: before you use the name of the Holy Spirit, you MUST BE CERTAIN that what you say in his name is the truth.

Jesus established the Church and gave to it the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Pillar and bullwork of the truth is the Church, not the scriptures…but the Church. The scriptures tell you that…so if you believe in the Scriptures, you must believe in the Church Christ established…what Church did he establish, and give to it the Holy Spirit to lead it into ALL truth?

He is first and foremost in the Church. And there is no Spirit inside of those who do not seek him or procaim blasphemies and lies in his name. Those in mortal sin have denied the Spirit, and their hearts are so full of themselves that there is no room for Him to enter. And the Spirit will not dwell in a heart without the presence of the Blessed Virgin there also(I say that from the lips of St. Louis Marie deMonfort)

Whatever your current beliefs are…do not take my word in changing them…read the collections of revelations from Anne Catharine Emmerich…read them in full and, afterwords, if you believe that she spent the final years of her life in constant loving suffering for Christ and our disgusting sinful souls, proclaiming lies upon lies about the truth God revealed to her, then no words I can relate will ever convince you of anything.


#12

P.S. You will never ever find an infallable teaching of the Church reversed or disputed by another IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH. NEVER. What does that tell you?

P.P.S. You will however find quite recently and easilly a teaching of faith and/or morals in your church that has been reversed or disputed…not knowing where you come from, try birth control and abortion…you probably wont need to look any further. If not, let me know what Church you hail in.


#13

1
While following this thread, I thought I would go back to the original quote from Scripture (from Romans chapter 14). Reading it seemed like a breath of fresh air after reading some other threads tonight.

I think the meaning of scripture is often very plain and no one needs anyone else to interpret. Somewhere it is written “They shall all be taught by God.”

Peace

-Jim

1 Welcome anyone who is weak in faith, but not for disputes over opinions.
2
One person believes that one may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.
3
The one who eats must not despise the one who abstains, and the one who abstains must not pass judgment on the one who eats; for God has welcomed him.
4
Who are you to pass judgment on someone else’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
5
(For) one person considers one day more important than another, while another person considers all days alike. Let everyone be fully persuaded in his own mind. 2
6
Whoever observes the day, observes it for the Lord. Also whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while whoever abstains, abstains for the Lord and gives thanks to God.
7
None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself.
8
For if we live, we live for the Lord, 3 and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
9
For this is why Christ died and came to life, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
10
Why then do you judge your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God;
11
for it is written: "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall give praise to God."
12
So (then) each of us shall give an account of himself (to God).
13
Then let us no longer judge one another, but rather resolve never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.
14
I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; still, it is unclean for someone who thinks it unclean.
15
If your brother is being hurt by what you eat, your conduct is no longer in accord with love. Do not because of your food destroy him for whom Christ died.
16
So do not let your good be reviled.
17
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of food and drink, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the holy Spirit;


#14

[quote=trogiah]1
While following this thread, I thought I would go back to the original quote from Scripture (from Romans chapter 14). Reading it seemed like a breath of fresh air after reading some other threads tonight.

I think the meaning of scripture is often very plain and no one needs anyone else to interpret. Somewhere it is written “They shall all be taught by God.”

Peace

-Jim

1 Welcome anyone who is weak in faith, but not for disputes over opinions.
2
One person believes that one may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.
3
The one who eats must not despise the one who abstains, and the one who abstains must not pass judgment on the one who eats; for God has welcomed him.
4
Who are you to pass judgment on someone else’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
5
(For) one person considers one day more important than another, while another person considers all days alike. Let everyone be fully persuaded in his own mind. 2
6
Whoever observes the day, observes it for the Lord. Also whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while whoever abstains, abstains for the Lord and gives thanks to God.
7
None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself.
8
For if we live, we live for the Lord, 3 and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
9
For this is why Christ died and came to life, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
10
Why then do you judge your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God;
11
for it is written: "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall give praise to God."
12
So (then) each of us shall give an account of himself (to God).
13
Then let us no longer judge one another, but rather resolve never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.
14
I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; still, it is unclean for someone who thinks it unclean.
15
If your brother is being hurt by what you eat, your conduct is no longer in accord with love. Do not because of your food destroy him for whom Christ died.
16
So do not let your good be reviled.
17
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of food and drink, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the holy Spirit;
[/quote]

Hi Trogiah
Thank you for putting these verses here, They are so beautiful and confirm LOVE is what it is all about. To condemn someone is to set the standard against yourself. For in all things we are our own judge, in so far as our own standards are against us, or for us. Therefore if in love we act, in love we will be judged, if in Mercy we act, in Mercy we will be judged.
As servants of God, we should be as He is, and only love moves Him.
Christ be with you,http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
walk in love
edwinG


#15

[quote=rheins2000]P.S. You will never ever find an infallable teaching of the Church reversed or disputed by another IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH. NEVER. What does that tell you?

P.P.S. You will however find quite recently and easilly a teaching of faith and/or morals in your church that has been reversed or disputed…not knowing where you come from, try birth control and abortion…you probably wont need to look any further. If not, let me know what Church you hail in.
[/quote]

Hi Rheins,
Obviously Alan is a Christian the same as you are. I hope you are not angry. Anger gives a strong foothold for the devil to work in a persons life. And if by your words you make another angry then you have become a stumbling block to them. The role of any denominational church member should be to edify christians. If your faith is greater than someone else’s it is a gift from God, not something you have done on your own. If you consider your faith stronger, you should be gentle. The passages from Romans 14 are worth meditating on. It is dangerous to let a partisan attitude harden your heart.
Christ be with you,
walk in lovehttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG


#16

[quote=rheins2000]Your response doesnt make much sense to me. You are not even quoting my response here. That first part doesnt improve my claim that the Pope is infallable. The first part claims that individuals around the world are not infallable. Certainly you agree with this…otherwise you are making the claim that you personally are infallable…and since I dont believe that is the case, I’ll go on.

[/quote]

Perhaps you misread. You said different people can come to very different conclusions. My point was that the claim of infallibility of the Pope has not reduced the degree to which different people come to different conclusions.

Secondly, no Popes infallibly declared to go and murder people who dont believe what they believe. When you say the Church, you are gravely wrong. Sinful men do not crush the Church…Jesus himself said that the gates of hell will not prevail against his Church. Just because people go around murdering others in the name of the Church, doesnt say anything about the Church. If I go about killing people in the name of the Church, does that then make the Church a giant sham? The great Saints and Fathers of the Church told us that even a sinful pope(of which all of them have been) does not invalidate the office of Pope that Christ established. Peter denied even knowing Christ, would you say that he was not infallible?

Maybe you know more about Church history than I. Was the Roman Catholic Church not responsible for the Spanish Inquisition? If not, what was it that JPII apologized for? If so, did that make the Church a giant sham, or did it just make her fallible – or do you think the Inquisition was Spirit-led?

Once again, an act of reaching out to sinners(instead of throwing them out like trash and leaving them destined to hell) does not make the entire Church a sham. As soon as the Pope declares that abortion is a good thing and this pro abort president should be listened to and followed as if he were Jesus himself, then you can make this arguement.

So if John Kerry helped the Vatican out and was conferred a papal Knighthood, you don’t see any confusion in the Church simultaneously telling Catholics they cannot vote for him and remain in good standing because of his abortion stance? Why would the Church “reach out” to one of the most pro-abortion men on the planet while throwing Kerry out like trash when, by comparison, he is small potatoes?

Please dont argue points against the Church using the sins of its members…for you will soon find then that there is no truth anywhere…and using that reasoning, how could you believe anything that anyone would tell you?

That is not too far from my point. I used to believe in what my religion teachers and other authorities told me until I learned better. It would be comforting to me to think there is one person to whom I could turn who would give me an infallible answer to any important question. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I have to learn to discern what is true. Even if I did believe in infallibility of ex cathedra statements what does that tell me – that Mary was assumed into heaven? That’s great but how does that help me in a concrete moral dilemma?

Alan


#17

[quote=rheins2000]You get the impression?!..you are going to trust the destiny of your immortal soul to an impression that you get reading the bible on your own…a collection of readings in ancient languages you dont know, from places and times you dont know, put together by a Church that you deny authority to?

[/quote]

Yes, I get an impression. Like clay at the hands of a Potter, I take impressions every time I read Scripture at several levels. I hardly do it on my own, though. I listen to many interpretations of them by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Some I read in books, magazines, or on this forum, and some I watch on TV. In any given weekend I hear at least two, and often three, homilies by different priests over the same readings so it is interesting to see where they intersect and where they bring different points to light. It all makes an impression on me.

NO THE WORD OF GOD IS NOT A DOUBLE EDGED SWORD. THERE IS ONLY ONE INTERPRETATION THAT IS CORRECT. ALL OF THE REST ARE LIES AND DECEIT. WHO THEN HAS THE AUTHORITY TO INTERPRET THE WORD FOR US IGNORANT HUMANS IN THE 21ST CENTURY?

Good question. Can you tell me what “selah” means? My spiritual director said the Church has not determined what it means definitively.

Then you make the Spirit of Truth a liar, for if the Spirit of Truth guides you to seeing abortion as a good thing, and the Spirit of truth guides another to see abortion as an abominal sin, then the Spirit of Truth is divided against itself and a liar…AND THAT CANNOT HAPPEN. A charitable warning here: before you use the name of the Holy Spirit, you MUST BE CERTAIN that what you say in his name is the truth.

Be careful, too, that when you use terminology such as “abortion” that you are clear what you are talking about. You see, what is commonly referred to as “miscarriage” and considered to be an act of God, is technically referred to as “abortion” by medical professionals. If you don’t believe me, call an ob/gyn ward and ask a nurse there. Of course, I knew you were talking about intentionally induced abortion, but charitably, when you’re nit picking over words with somebody be careful not to pick a word that can either be a grave sin or an act of God and say the Holy Spirit is divided over it.

This illustrates the problem we can get into if we are too legalistic and worry about the meanings of specific words to the point that we lose the spirit of love and truth.

Jesus established the Church and gave to it the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Pillar and bullwork of the truth is the Church, not the scriptures…but the Church. The scriptures tell you that…so if you believe in the Scriptures, you must believe in the Church Christ established…what Church did he establish, and give to it the Holy Spirit to lead it into ALL truth?

I believe the Holy Spirit was given to each of us, as Vatican II confirmed, holiness is for everyone including the laity. That does not mean that every one of us has a clue how to allow ourselves to hear the groanings of the Spirit, though. That requires that we be transformed through the Word and it helps if we have a prayer life at all levels including contemplative prayer.

Whatever your current beliefs are…do not take my word in changing them…read the collections of revelations from Anne Catharine Emmerich…read them in full and, afterwords, if you believe that she spent the final years of her life in constant loving suffering for Christ and our disgusting sinful souls, proclaiming lies upon lies about the truth God revealed to her, then no words I can relate will ever convince you of anything.

I don’t get it. I have no idea who this Emmerich is, but from the way you speak she is not worth reading. Why would you have me read trash? Or do you find some similarity in what I have said to what she has said?

Alan


#18

[quote=edwinG]Hi Rheins,
I hope you are not angry. Anger gives a strong foothold for the devil to work in a persons life. And if by your words you make another angry then you have become a stumbling block to them. The role of any denominational church member should be to edify christians. If your faith is greater than someone else’s it is a gift from God, not something you have done on your own. If you consider your faith stronger, you should be gentle. The passages from Romans 14 are worth meditating on. It is dangerous to let a partisan attitude harden your heart.

edwinG
[/quote]

I appreciate your comments edwin, but I put my entire thread together without any anger, even though a lot of people who are told the truth in a manner that doesnt affirm their beliefs and their self-esteem every 5 seconds see it differently. Was Christ gentle when he told the unbelieving Jews that they were the children of the devil? or when he called the pharisees blind fools, hypocrites, serpents and brood of vipers?.. Tell me what did I say that was hateful in any way? (And I certainly didnt call you any of those things.) And before every post on here, I pray that the Holy Spirit will turn the hearts of those I try to convince with my feeble words. The only thing I try to do with my responses is to impart a thread of doubt into the hearts of those who are not in the Catholic Church, to maybe make them think, “Maybe, just maybe I am not in the true Church God established here on earth.”

I never said nor will I ever contend that my faith is my own, and a result of my own effort. But we are all given free will to reject truth, so we must play a part in our own salvation, no matter what error Martin Luther fell into, as the thousands of heretics of the Catholic Church did before him.

And, neither have I despised, judged, or condemned anyone…but simply told you the truth. And if my manner seemed to attack you, that is never my intention. The truth can anger people if they dont want to listen. If you believe you have the truth, I beg you to tell me where I am in error.

You say my partisan attitudes harden my heart, but aren’t you being partisan as well, if you never answer my questions or responses, but simply call me angry and hard of heart, because I tell you things in a manner not acceptable of everyone’s beliefs. My duty on earth is not to tell everyone that they are right no matter what they believe. For then there would be no truth. My duty is to preach the gospel and the Church, not to let everyone lovy-dovy their way to hell.(and no Im not saying you’re going to hell here.)

My conversion did not come about from people telling me I was right about everything I believed. It came about from people telling me why and how I was in error; and holy priests telling me about the wide and numberless path to hell. And that is the most charitable thing anyone has ever done for me.

An old woman came to Padre Pio one day on her birthday, and asked him to wish her happy birthday…instead he said he would pray for her to escape the fires of hell. She replied, ‘Oh, you don’t have to do that Father, I don’t believe in hell’. To which he replied, “You will when you get there.” I’ll take that saint’s hostility any day.

If people letting me live in ignorance and sin, as I march straight to hell, is charity and peace, I’d rather not have them. Christ did not come into the world to bring peace, but a sword. To divide brother against brother. That is the reality we are in today. And, if you think I am saying I’m better than you, I assure you that my sins are worse and more in number than yours, because God has given me the truth.(although I am trying every day to change that.)


#19

Dear rheins2000,

I so agree with this. The person who tells me everything’s great when they think or know otherwise is no friend of mine. These people will let me have egg on my face (literal or figurative) and not tell me so that I may remove it.

When I was young I thought correcting another person was an act of love. Now I see people react to correction with hostility. Maybe they associate correction with punishment or embarrassment and therefore pain, but it seems a lot of people would rather stand in error than be corrected. I don’t understand that mentality, and I do not have a problem with you contradicting me or telling me I’m wrong. I figure one or both of us might just learn something.

And, if you think I am saying I’m better than you, I assure you that my sins are worse and more in number than yours, because God has given me the truth.(although I am trying every day to change that.)

Change what? That you are winning the sin contest, or that you have the truth? :smiley:

Alan


#20

[quote=edwinG]No. God is God. His Church, which has Jesus as the head, is His temple. In Christ we are building a temple worthy of our loving God. Now this becomes tricky. We come from Him, and we will return to Him, and live in Christ in Him all sharing in His Glory. oops, not answering the question.
Whenever I read postings, posters always seem to move in and out of the expressions, God’s church and the catholic church when ever it is necessary to validate a position, making them interchangable, except placing God’s church where it is needed then slipping quieting into catholic church as if they were the same. So in your question about “faith” in God and "faith"in His church I choose His church as opposed to say a protestant or catholic church.
If you were to mean the earthly church, I would say no.
If you were to mean the church of which Jesus is head and the saints are the building blocks of a temple of God again No. Faith in God is faith in our creator, not in something He is creating, and He is creating His temple. Jesus said, “I go to my Father who is greater than I” Jesus refers to God as His Father, and we refer to God as our Father. We come from Him (Holy) therefore we must go back to Him (Holy) so that He can dwell in us.
In summation after that wandering. I think No, faith in God is not the same as Faith in His church and definitely not the same as faith in an earthly church.
Christ be with you
walk in lovehttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG
[/quote]

This left me somewhat confused. To begin with are you talking about doubting God (as in His existence) or doubting the Faith He revealed to us through His Church?

After all, the ancient creeds profess not only a belief in God but also in the Church; both were required beliefs of the Church from the earliest days.

To bring this back to your original question, yes, doubt - true doubt - is a sin. However, many people confuse doubt with a difficulty of understanding (If I don’t completely understand it, I must doubt it). This is erroneous. There is a saying that “a million difficulties don’t equal one doubt.” I have great difficulty understanding why Jesus instituted the Eucharist and how He manifests His divine presence in the in the form of bread and wine in such a way that the bread and wine no longer exist except in appearance. However, I don’t doubt these things at all.


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