Help, it needs to be answered but


#1

I just don’t have time. I am busily preparing my house for pilgrims from a little island near mauritious(sp?) helping organise food and activities for the 260+ pilgrims visiting our parish for days in the diocese, organising the 10 kids and 1 husband who are not coming to sydney with us and packing for myself and the 3 who are! so if anybody here has time and inclination here is the post that needs response. pm me if you would like the link to the actual discussion.

I just found this thread, and it has taken me nearly 2 hours to get through it, and I haven’t even read the links yet that I have opened in separate tabs!!

I was bought up in the Presbyterian church, and always had a longing for the things of God. I fell away from God for a couple of years in my late teens, before making a commitment when I was 20.

When DH and I became Christians, we had been (and continued to be) friends with a couple who held pretty ‘radical’ beliefs. They believed (shock, horror), that the Bible was the only written authority on God. And, that Jesus Christ was THE (read ONLY) head of the church.

This couple introduced us to our first experience of the New Testament Church. The TRUE, ORIGINAL church (as recorded in the Bible) wasn’t divided by denominations. They didn’t have a hierarchy. (There were elders, but they were those who guided, not dictated the beliefs of the members. They were no higher up the chain than anyone else.) They met in each others homes (not elaborate buildings). The churches were defined by locality, not doctine (eg. the church at Corinth). Bondia described it beautifully:

My interpretation of ‘church’ is simply a gathering of people who follow Jesus (as per the early believers) and I get really frazzled at all the rules and regulations we see in churches today. So if I were going to save some money and take a trip somewhere to worship Jesus, I’d be more inclined to head overseas and visit the underground churches in Asia or worship out in the fields somewhere in Africa. Just more my thing, that’s all - and far less complicated!

Now, I am not anti-established churches. I have learned a lot in them. We are affiliated with one now. But there is a lot to be said for the New Testament churches.

  1. Money that was given could go to the “widows and orphans”, rather than building maintenance, and pastors wages.

  2. Rather than one “leader” standing at the front teaching (much like in modern schools - but that’s a whole different story…), the people learn from each other, in what is more akin to todays cell groups. (Cell groups are actually a lot closer to the original church, than what we call “church” today.)

  3. There doesn’t need to be a separation of individuals by age groups, such as creche for the preschoolers, Sunday school for the children, youth group for the teens etc. God made us in families, of varying ages, not in litters where we learn from our peers. Children need adults to learn how to become adults, not children to learn how to become children. Our kids can interact with and learn from those of any age.

  4. The Bible tells us parents are responsible for their childrens’ spiritual upbringing. Do you know exactly what is being taught in your kids Sunday school classes???

  5. This structure of church greatly reduces the opportunity for the horrific cases of abuse we see in the churches today.

  6. It is far easier to challenge (and have challenged) our beliefs. What better way to grow, than to lead one another back to God’s Word?

Having said all this…We are currently involved in a church. God is certainly not limited in how we approach Him. The question is, is what we are being taught, of God? The only way to know is to look to His instruction book. It is truly miraculous how that one book contains ALL we need to know for life (I agree, that the Holy Spirit leads us, but what I am saying is that NOTHING the Spirit tells us will EVER contradict the Bible.)

EVERY SINGLE church on the face of this planet has wrong doctines (and I am including New Testament churches here). We are human. We cannot know everything. And, like it or not, our beliefs are often coloured by our personal wants.

This is why the prosperity gospel has such a huge following. It is also why so many Christians are willing to abort their unborn children every month by taking a contraceptive that, in fact, causes micro-abortions. And there are many, many more…

I don’t think a Christian can be defined by his or her denomination. But I do think a denomination can be defined as being Christian-based. (Not Christian, per say. Only individual people can be Christians.) Of course, this brings us to the definition of Christian. Does in mean simply “follower of Christ”? If so, then Buddhists, Muslims, New Agers, and others are “Christian”. They all claim Jesus Christ in one form or another.

But what if “Christian” has a deeper meaning? Well, for starters there are the questions “is He the Son of God?” “is he, being the Son of God, in fact God Himself, appearing to us in human form?” Is He “The Word (The Word was WITH God, and the Word WAS God)”? Were His teachings 100% accurate?

If he WAS (and IS) God, His teachings would HAVE to be spot on. So what did He teach?

  1. Just before He was crucified He made a statement that to me, at first, sounded really harsh. In reference to his (Holy???) mother He said “who is my mother”? This implies, not that He didn’t care for her, but rather, that, among all disciples, she was nothing “special”.

  2. He died ONCE for all our sins. He said “it is FINISHED”. There is absolutely NOTHING we can add to this. We do try and do good. The Bible tells us to “be Holy, because He is Holy”. But any reward we receive for this is known to Him and Him alone until we join Him in Heaven.

  3. He NEVER, not ONCE mentions a place called Purgatory.

  4. He taught us, when we pray to say
    "Our Father (the only true Father, not a name given to a priest, and THE one we should pray to),
    who art in Heaven (not represented in a Pope),
    Hallowed be YOUR name (Holy is HIS name ALONE - not Mary’s),
    THY kingdom come
    THY will be done
    On Earth as it is in Heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread (what we NEED, not the prosperity stuff)
    And forgive us our trespasses (remember, we are praying to GOD alone here, not a priest)
    As we forgive those who trespass against us (our only right to forgive, is against those who have wronged us - it is His job to forgive the actual individual sins of others, as they are sins against our Holy God.)
    **And lead us not into temptation, **
    but deliver us from evil (it truly saddens me how in so many Christian circles today, so many will let themselves get to the very edge of sin, in the belief that they can resist in the end (eg. the dating scene so prevalent in youth groups). They are actually leading themselves into temptation.)
    For THINE is THE Kingdom
    THE power
    and THE glory (all these things belong to Him alone)
    For ever and ever (NEVER ending, NEVER changing)
    Amen

Are YOU, as a Catholic, Presbyterian, Evangelical, Anglican, Pentecostal (etc, etc) a Christian??

Why not ask our LORD Jesus Christ? Then check the Bible. Make sure your answer adds up.


#2

oh come on! I thought some of you guys thrived on this sort of thing! Please!


#3

Michele,
Blessings to you for caring for the least of God’s children. While we are justified by Grace through faith, we are required to obey His commands by doing good works.

Some brief answers from my perspective.

  1. Money that was given could go to the “widows and orphans”, rather than building maintenance, and pastors wages.
    This sets up a false choice. It is not a matter of doing one or the other. Also, since my dad was a pastor, I appreciated his salary.
    He worked hard for it, as well. Always on call, serving the spiritual needs not only of the parish members, but also sick and shut-ins.
    If the Church’s first call is to preach the gospel and administer the sacraments, a called and well trained clergy and a place for this to happen is vital.

  2. Rather than one “leader” standing at the front teaching (much like in modern schools - but that’s a whole different story…), the people learn from each other, in what is more akin to todays cell groups. (Cell groups are actually a lot closer to the original church, than what we call “church” today.)

See above. As a teacher, I’m not sure how to take your schools comment.

  1. There doesn’t need to be a separation of individuals by age groups, such as creche for the preschoolers, Sunday school for the children, youth group for the teens etc. God made us in families, of varying ages, not in litters where we learn from our peers. Children need adults to learn how to become adults, not children to learn how to become children. Our kids can interact with and learn from those of any age.

Why do you think that people in a congregation are always separated one from another. As for instruction, as a teacher I know that sometimes it is important to teach at the level of the student. Instruction must be developmentally appropriate. And goodness, we don’t put small children together in a room to learn from each other without a teacher.

  1. The Bible tells us parents are responsible for their childrens’ spiritual upbringing. Do you know exactly what is being taught in your kids Sunday school classes???

At baptism, parents, godparents and in fact the entire congregation are instructed in the importance of raising the child. By being in an organized, confessional Church, I have a much better idea of what is being taught than in a nondenom.

  1. This structure of church greatly reduces the opportunity for the horrific cases of abuse we see in the churches today.
    Schools also have horrific abuses, as well. So do most any part of human existence. Should we desolve these institutions for the sins of a few? I do not have the figures at my fingertips, but I know that abuse in Catholic churches is no more than in non-catholic churches, including independent nondenoms

  2. It is far easier to challenge (and have challenged) our beliefs. What better way to grow, than to lead one another back to God’s Word?

Most people here have no problem challenging what they believe, and we certainly are good at challenging what others believe. :wink:

Having said all this…We are currently involved in a church. God is certainly not limited in how we approach Him. The question is, is what we are being taught, of God? The only way to know is to look to His instruction book. It is truly miraculous how that one book contains ALL we need to know for life (I agree, that the Holy Spirit leads us, but what I am saying is that NOTHING the Spirit tells us will EVER contradict the Bible.)

I suspect that every person, Catholic and noncatholic will tell you that their denom does not contradict the Bible. In fact, that is the main focus of this site.

EVERY SINGLE church on the face of this planet has wrong doctines (and I am including New Testament churches here). We are human. We cannot know everything. And, like it or not, our beliefs are often coloured by our personal wants.

All we can do is trust in the Holy Spirit, try to listen to the what the ECF’s taught, and read and study the Bible.

But what if “Christian” has a deeper meaning? Well, for starters there are the questions “is He the Son of God?” “is he, being the Son of God, in fact God Himself, appearing to us in human form?” Is He “The Word (The Word was WITH God, and the Word WAS God)”? Were His teachings 100% accurate?

If he WAS (and IS) God, His teachings would HAVE to be spot on. So what did He teach?

  1. Just before He was crucified He made a statement that to me, at first, sounded really harsh. In reference to his (Holy???) mother He said “who is my mother”? This implies, not that He didn’t care for her, but rather, that, among all disciples, she was nothing “special”.

At the wedding of Cana, he listened to her! At the cross He told John to take care of her (if He had had brothers he would have told them to, but that’s another thread). He loved his mother. She was much, much more than nothing special.

  1. He NEVER, not ONCE mentions a place called Purgatory.
    He never mentioned Trinity either, but you have referenced it here.
    Why, because it is inferred. Catholics believe (I’m not one) that purgatory has scriptural support, though is not mentioned specifically.

Are YOU, as a Catholic, Presbyterian, Evangelical, Anglican, Pentecostal (etc, etc) a Christian??
I am.

Why not ask our LORD Jesus Christ? Then check the Bible. Make sure your answer adds up.
It does.

BLessings,
Jon


#4

bejonama, hi!

I have several responses to your Original Post.

  1. You’ve got a long laundry list of accusations and confused positions. It is important to ask somebody to choose just one issue which you can address. This sort of thing the other gets from somebody else and is parroting. And just when you have begun to shoot down one false charge, they shift to another of the items on the long list.

  2. Your interlocutor embraces Sola Scriptura (The Bible Alone) a doctrine not taught in the Bible itself. In fact, the Church wrote the Bible, it rises out of Her. It is Her book, and She understands what she wrote, and interprets it to us as well as delivering to us the unwritted tradition, for there is more to Revelation than what was written.

  3. As to child sexual abuse, the actual worst arena for that is within the family itself, sadly–statistically, the likeliest abuser is a near male relative. Next highest is the public school system, immune by law from prosecution. Then, somewhere down the list, come clergy–where all clerics are even (though of course Catholic priest should be holier than protestant clergy). Why then the focus on punishing Catholic clergy? Hatred of the Catholic Church, for one thing. Given where most child sexual abuse occurs, should we separate all children from their families?

  4. “Call no man father” means something entirely different than protestants think–and humans call their earthly dads “father,” Abraham is referred to in the NT as “Father Abraham,” St. Paul wrote he had become as a father to the new church, etc.

Blessings on your work.


#5

These are all the same reasons why every new denomination and non-denomination started, thinking THEY were doing it right, thinking THEY had the right understanding of the bible, thinking THEY knew how the early Church was, repeating the same abuses and mistakes in the end that everyone else does. The CC teaches that she needs to be watchful and continuously in reform. While she needs to safeguard and proclaim the same gospel that she was given in the beginning, she does not need to do things exactly as she did in the early days, just like we aren’t expected to behave the same today as we did in infancy, adolescence, etc.


#6

**

  1. Money that was given could go to the “widows and orphans”, rather than building maintenance, and pastors wages.**

**Are you saying that pastors should NOT be supported by the faithful?

The NT in several places disagrees with you. “If we have given you heavenly things, should we not be allowed to reap earthly things from you?”**


#7

The modern non-denominational “cell group” is not the rediscovery of ancient Christian congregational associations but the importation of communist and anarchist structures, the literature, and your doctrine, clearly demonstrate this influence.


#8

Perhaps you might read “Crossing the Tiber” by Stephen Ray, a “Bible Christian” who tried mightily for many years to follow the “New Testament Church” school of thought. The problem is that the more he studied the NT in order to disprove Catholicism, the more he realized that the Catholic Church is the ONLY NT church! You can visit his website at www.catholicconvert.com.

  1. Money that was given could go to the “widows and orphans”, rather than building maintenance, and pastors wages.

And money used to pay for national parks could be used for the same purposes or to lower our taxes, couldn’t it? But the scriptures say that “the workman is worth his wages.” Clearly, there is no prohibition in the pages of the NT against salaried clergy.

  1. Rather than one “leader” standing at the front teaching (much like in modern schools - but that’s a whole different story…), the people learn from each other, in what is more akin to todays cell groups. (Cell groups are actually a lot closer to the original church, than what we call “church” today.)

Is that how Peter addressed the crowd on the day of Pentecost…as just one of a group? Is that how Paul preached? As just one of several seminar leaders?

  1. There doesn’t need to be a separation of individuals by age groups, such as creche for the preschoolers, Sunday school for the children, youth group for the teens etc. God made us in families, of varying ages, not in litters where we learn from our peers. Children need adults to learn how to become adults, not children to learn how to become children. Our kids can interact with and learn from those of any age.

Kind of a one-room schoolhouse approach, eh? Wonder why the public schools don’t do this anymore?

  1. The Bible tells us parents are responsible for their childrens’ spiritual upbringing. Do you know exactly what is being taught in your kids Sunday school classes???

The Catholic Church understands and teaches that parents are the first educators of their children. What’s the beef here?

  1. This structure of church greatly reduces the opportunity for the horrific cases of abuse we see in the churches today.

Since the number of abuse cases is higher among Protestants than among Catholic priests, I’ll ignore this.

  1. It is far easier to challenge (and have challenged) our beliefs. What better way to grow, than to lead one another back to God’s Word?

We hear God’s word read at every mass and we receive teaching on it. But what better way to lead one another back to the Word than by receiving His body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist?

Having said all this…We are currently involved in a church. God is certainly not limited in how we approach Him. The question is, is what we are being taught, of God? The only way to know is to look to His instruction book. It is truly miraculous how that one book contains ALL we need to know for life (I agree, that the Holy Spirit leads us, but what I am saying is that NOTHING the Spirit tells us will EVER contradict the Bible.)

Great! But I encourage you to step up your game and become “involved” in THE Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself upon Peter, the rock.

EVERY SINGLE church on the face of this planet has wrong doctines (and I am including New Testament churches here). We are human. We cannot know everything. And, like it or not, our beliefs are often coloured by our personal wants.

You are in error here. The Catholic Church does not teach a “wrong doctrine”…it is protected by God through the charism of infallibility.

This is why the prosperity gospel has such a huge following. It is also why so many Christians are willing to abort their unborn children every month by taking a contraceptive that, in fact, causes micro-abortions. And there are many, many more…

Well, you might be happy to know that the Catholic Church is the only mainline Church which has condemned contraception continuously throughout its history.

(Continued)


#9

Of course He did. See the passages from Matthew and Luke below.

The Doctrine of Purgatory Proved from Scripture


2 Maccabees 12:42-46
Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out. The noble Judas warned the soldiers to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen. He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; or if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin.


Even those Christians who deny that Maccabees 1 & 2 belong are inspired and belong in the canon of the Old Testament must admit that this passage reveals that the Jews believed that that the living may pray for the dead and make sacrifices for them in order that they might be freed from the sins they had committed. It was with this cultural understanding as a backdrop that the following New Testament verses come into focus.


Matthew 12:32
And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come**.**


Does this not imply that some sins can be forgiven in the age to come? Obviously, there is no sin to forgive in heaven, and sin is not forgiven in hell because it’s too late and judgment is permanent. Therefore, the “world to come” where sin can still be forgiven must be a third, distinct place.

Luke 12:42-48
The Lord answered, "Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. "That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

Notice that there are not two but three categories of servants in this parable: 1) the “wise and faithful manager” who is rewarded (heaven); 2) the unfaithful servant who knows his master’s will but does not do it and who is “cut to pieces and assigned a place with the unbelievers (hell)l; and 3) the one “who does not know and does things deserving punishment.” This final servant is beaten with “few blows” (purgatory).

1 Corinthians 3:10-15
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

1 Peter 1:7
These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.


#10

You spend a lot of time suggesting that we should never pray to priests. Catholics agree with you, and we do not do this.

Where did you get the false idea that we do?

And now a question for you: How do you know that your interpretation of the Bible is correct and that your “New Testament Church” is really following the Word of God correctly?

If your interpretation of the Bible says about the Church and my interpretation of those same verses are different, how do we decide which of us is rightly dividing the Word of God?

Thanks in advance for your response? :tiphat:


#11

Sounds like a very interesting thread! Another forum?

I am going to assign the quotes to an anonymous bible christian.

[quote=bible christian] I just found this thread, and it has taken me nearly 2 hours to get through it, and I haven’t even read the links yet that I have opened in separate tabs.

I was bought up in the Presbyterian church, and always had a longing for the things of God. I fell away from God for a couple of years in my late teens, before making a commitment when I was 20.

When DH and I became Christians…,
[/quote]

If you were “brought up in a Presbyterian church”, how is it that you did not become a Christian then? If you were able to “fall away from God”, does this not imply that you had a relationship with God? Were you not “Christian” before you decided to get right with God along with DH? What makes a person a Christian? Can a Christian “fall away from God”?

[quote=bible christian]… we had been (and continued to be) friends with a couple who held pretty ‘radical’ beliefs. They believed (shock, horror), that the Bible was the only written authority on God. And, that Jesus Christ was THE (read ONLY) head of the church.

This couple introduced us to our first experience of the New Testament Church. The TRUE, ORIGINAL church (as recorded in the Bible) wasn’t divided by denominations. They didn’t have a hierarchy. (There were elders, but they were those who guided, not dictated the beliefs of the members. They were no higher up the chain than anyone else.)
[/quote]

Perhaps this is just a semantics problem with regard to heirarchy. There is definitely a hierarchy, though it was never dictatorial. It was based on authority, not supremacy. Jesus said that all authority had been given to Him. He then delegated His Apostles, who delegated bishops and priests and deacons. All were to submit to their elders.

[quote=bible christian] They met in each others homes (not elaborate buildings). The churches were defined by locality, not doctine (eg. the church at Corinth).
[/quote]

Yes, they did meet in homes, secretly, and in tombs, and in deserted areas, and wherever the romans would not find and kill them. The reason there were no church buildings is because the Church was illegal for three centuries! After the Edict of Milan Christianity was de-crimminalized, and they began to take over the Pagan temples and turn them into houses of worship. That was when it started costing.

To say that the churches were defined by locality, not doctrine, is sheer ignorance. All the churches everywhere were devoted to the Teaching of the Apostles. They received the faith, they did not create it themselves!

[quote=bible christian] Now, I am not anti-established churches. I have learned a lot in them. We are affiliated with one now. But there is a lot to be said for the New Testament churches.
[/quote]

There may come a day, not long from now, when the Church in America is again a persecuted Church, where we will have to hide in order to meet, and we will be persecuted by the larger society. I don’t look forward to it, but I do agree that the persecuted Church is a more pure church.

[quote=bible christian]1. Money that was given could go to the “widows and orphans”, rather than building maintenance, and pastors wages.
[/quote]

I addressed the costs of buildings above. Money has always, and still does, go to the widows and orphans. The Catholic Church is the largest and most widespread charity in the world, and this is why. As far as pastors wages, there is clear demonstration of this in scripture:

"This is my defense to those who would examine me. 4 Do we not have the right to our food and drink? 5 Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? 7 Who at any time pays the expenses for doing military service? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not get any of its milk?

8 Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law also say the same? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned?" 1 Cor 9:3-9

[quote=bible christian]2. Rather than one “leader” standing at the front teaching (much like in modern schools - but that’s a whole different story…), the people learn from each other, in what is more akin to todays cell groups. (Cell groups are actually a lot closer to the original church, than what we call “church” today.)
[/quote]

Seems like Jesus thought differently:

Luke 6:39-40
"Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher."

The Apostles taught that there were certain persons appointed to teach, and that all should learn from them.

"And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers?
1 Cor 12:27-29

[quote=bible christian]3. There doesn’t need to be a separation of individuals by age groups, such as creche for the preschoolers, Sunday school for the children, youth group for the teens etc. God made us in families, of varying ages, not in litters where we learn from our peers. Children need adults to learn how to become adults, not children to learn how to become children. Our kids can interact with and learn from those of any age.
[/quote]

This part seems to contradict your # 2 point above! Anyway, I think this is a cultural matter, and that the NT does not indicate one way, or the other. Every and all ways that our children can be educated in the faith are good, when they are with others their own age, and with their families, and in groups with mixed ages. What our society has lost of most value is quality time with the elders.


#12

[quote=bible christian] 4. The Bible tells us parents are responsible for their childrens’ spiritual upbringing. Do you know exactly what is being taught in your kids Sunday school classes???
[/quote]

What has Sunday school class have to do with the Bible?
Where in the Bible does it even SAY that we should observe the Sabbath on Sunday, instead of on the Seventh day, as God commanded?

[quote=bible christian] 5. This structure of church greatly reduces the opportunity for the horrific cases of abuse we see in the churches today.
[/quote]

I don’t think the prevention of abuse can be found in structure as much as it can in moral purity.

[quote=bible christian]6. It is far easier to challenge (and have challenged) our beliefs. What better way to grow, than to lead one another back to God’s Word?

[/quote]

We should always be looking for ways to stir up one another to good works. However, this assertion presupposes that all of God’s Word is found in the Bible, when the Bible itself says the opposite! Interesting implementation of a man made tradition there.

[quote=bible christian]Having said all this…We are currently involved in a church. God is certainly not limited in how we approach Him.
[/quote]

God is not limited, but we are. Jesus instructed us to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. Who decides what He means by that?

[quote=bible christian] The question is, is what we are being taught, of God? The only way to know is to look to His instruction book. It is truly miraculous how that one book contains ALL we need to know for life (I agree, that the Holy Spirit leads us, but what I am saying is that NOTHING the Spirit tells us will EVER contradict the Bible.)
[/quote]

I agree that nothing the Spirit tells us will ever contradict the Bible. However, the Spirit might contradict quite a few of your interpretations of it. The Bible was never intended to be and “instruction book”. It is a collection of Holy Writings that was never meant to be separated from the Teaching Authority by whom it was produced. The Bible does NOT contain “everything we need to know for life”. If that were the case, there would not be so many contradictory interpretations of it’s contents. Jesus would also not have needed for found a Church. He could just have allowed the NT to spring from His divine forehead, and dispensed with the Apostles!

[quote=bible christian]EVERY SINGLE church on the face of this planet has wrong doctines (and I am including New Testament churches here). We are human. We cannot know everything. And, like it or not, our beliefs are often coloured by our personal wants.
[/quote]

I agree that we are human, and cannot know everything, and that our beliefs are often colored by our personal wants. I think you have given a good example of this, by purporting that the Bible is the authority for life, so that you can dispense with submitted to the authority that Jesus appointed on earth until His return.

The Church does not have “wrong doctrines” because her Head is Christ, and she is ensouled by the Holy Spirit, and therefore, her divine elements make her incapable of error. Jesus promised to lead the Church into all truth, and has done so. You may not recognize or accept this yourself, but that does not make Jesus a liiar.

[quote=bible christian] Of course, this brings us to the definition of Christian. Does in mean simply “follower of Christ”?
[/quote]

I would call a person a Christian who met these criteria:

"They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. " Acts 2:41-42

I would include in that even those who are limited by the written portion of the Apostles’ teaching.

[quote=bible christian] If he WAS (and IS) God, His teachings would HAVE to be spot on. So what did He teach?
[/quote]

It stands to reason that this could best be learned from those whom He taught, and by His spirit, preserved that teaching in them. :shrug:

Matt 28:18-20
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

As you can see, Jesus did not commission a book, or indicate "all that I have commanded’ could be found in one. He chose Apostles, and empowered them to teach,and promised to remain with them.

[quote=bible christian]1. Just before He was crucified He made a statement that to me, at first, sounded really harsh. In reference to his (Holy???) mother He said “who is my mother”? This implies, not that He didn’t care for her, but rather, that, among all disciples, she was nothing “special”.

[/quote]

On the contrary, your reading has been contaminated by anti-Catholic and male chauvenistic thinking. What He was saying was that all who have faith in Him would be ELEVATED, to her same status. He chose her before the foundation of the world. He sanctified her to Himself. He made her soul to magnify the Lord. He made her blessed not only because she carried Him at her breast, but because she heard the word of God an obeyed it.

[quote=bible christian]2. He died ONCE for all our sins. He said “it is FINISHED”. There is absolutely NOTHING we can add to this. We do try and do good. The Bible tells us to “be Holy, because He is Holy”. But any reward we receive for this is known to Him and Him alone until we join Him in Heaven.
[/quote]

His work is finished, but ours is not. He instructs us to take up our cross, and carry it. When He finished His work, you notice He did not take the thief next to Him, but left him for many more hours of suffering and death. We can add our suffering to His for the sake of His byd, the Church.

“I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” Col 1:24-25

[quote=bible christian]3. He NEVER, not ONCE mentions a place called Purgatory.
[/quote]

I see that we read it differently. :wink:

[quote=bible christian] 4. He taught us, when we pray to say Our Father (the only true Father, not a name given to a priest, and THE one we should pray to),
[/quote]

“Father” is a title, and a role, not a “name given to a priest”.

[quote=bible christian] It truly saddens me how in so many Christian circles today, so many will let themselves get to the very edge of sin, in the belief that they can resist in the end (eg. the dating scene so prevalent in youth groups). They are actually leading themselves into temptation.)
[/quote]

Do you think they will not go to heaven if they sin?

This type of statement is a red flag, and often gives away a person who has fallen into the heresy of Sola Scriptura.


#13

Bejonama << But there is a lot to be said for the New Testament churches…The Bible tells us…What better way to grow, than to lead one another back to God’s Word?..The question is, is what we are being taught, of God?..His teachings would HAVE to be spot on. So what did He teach?..Then check the Bible. Make sure your answer adds up. >>

Thanks for the questions, looks like others have answered. I like to have the objector to Catholic teaching answer a few more important bottom-line questions, such as:

Why believe the New Testament? Why believe what the Bible tells us? How do we know it is “God’s Word” ? How do we know what we are being taught is “of God” ? How do we know what Jesus taught? Why check the Bible? Why believe the Bible? Why trust the Bible?

You have simply assumed the Bible, and New Testament is God’s Word, is “of God”, and is what Jesus taught. How do we know all that?

The correct answer is, basically, because we can trust the Church and her tradition that put that book (or collection of books and writings) together. That took four centuries since the “Bible” wasn’t complete and recognized as such (I’m talking mainly the New Testament here) until the end of the fourth century AD. So to a Catholic, trust the Bible = trust the Catholic Church that put it together; reject the Catholic Church = reject the Bible. Simple logic.

As for your other objections, I’ll supply links to my site that answer them:

(1) Mary, the mother of God the Son, was “nothing special”

(2) Jesus died once, he said “it is finished” (on the Eucharist) and “there is nothing we can add” (on Justification/Salvation)

(3) Purgatory explained and defended

(4a) “Call no man father” (Matthew 23:9, KJV)

(4b) “not represented in a Pope” (on Peter/Rock/Keys/Primacy)

(4c) God’s Name alone is holy, Mary is not (technical article on kecharitomene from Luke 1:28)

As for whether the Catholic Church is biblical, one book I think answers that question:

A Biblical Defense of Catholicism by Dave Armstrong

Of course there are many other books and web sites. In my opinion, Catholicism can be shown to be just as “biblical” as any other so-called “Bible” or “New Testament” church. And more importantly, the Catholic Church gave us the New Testament. It is not only the original Church of the Bible, but (before that) the Church of Jesus and His original Apostles, the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of the Bishops who succeeded them, the same Church of the Fathers, the Doctors (teachers), and all Christian confessors, saints and martyrs for 1000 years after Jesus and His apostles. This is all well documented history.

Phil P


#14

hi Bejonama you have recieved many replies so now i ask you a question if yous are the NT churches what are you doing with private property?in the NT churches all was sold and held in common within the church. show book, chapter ,verse for you all not following this pratice.


#15

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.