Monday, December 17, 2018

Are evangelicals closer to what the New Testament church believed than Roman Catholicism?

Are evangelicals closer to what the New Testament church believed than Roman Catholicism?
 
Actually, though evangelicals are not to a church denomination but a faith group that makes up a religious movement (which arose in response to liberal declension from Scripture), this group overall actually has the most in common with Scriptural Christian teachings.

While distinctive Catholic teachings are not manifest in the only wholly inspired substantive authoritative record of what the NT church believed (including how they understood the OT and gospels), which is Scripture, especially Acts thru Revelation, most of what evangelicals believe is Scriptural, while yet falling short of the purity, probity, power and passion of the prima NT church, as described in Acts 1–5.
However, like as the term “Christian” became watered-down and corrupted over time, giving rise to the term “born-again” and “evangelical” (which pollsters often treat as synonymous, wrongly so), then likewise “evangelical” which used to be synonymous with fundamentalist, has increasingly become a mixture of traditionalists anfd that of a watered-down superficial idea of faith and with arrested development (though overall it has attested to being the most unified major Christian group overall in core conservative, Scripture beliefs). There is also classic evangelicals, inclusion such holy men as Matthew Henry, and the 20th century evangelical movement.
Principal differences btwn evangelicalism today and Roman Catholicism is,
  • Rather than imagining that act itself of proper baptism makes one good enough to enter Heaven (via cleaning of a sin infants are not guilty of, and infusing them with charity) at that point, and thus henceforth treating them as children of God, evangelicals overall instead stress the importance personal conversion of repentant faith in the Lord Jesus. And which faith is then to be expressed in baptism and following the Lord in obedience.
However, like as most Catholics are nominal (though she treats such as members) and partly trust their own merits and that of the church to save them, too many evangelicals make Christ a means to an end, believing in Him to save them by faith - sometimes regardless of how they live - almost in abstract from all Christ is, versus believing in the Lord Jesus as a person and thus seeking to obey what they know He taught, which is what believing entails.
  • Rather than teaching that one usually must to endure postmortem purifying punishments in RC Purgatory (since the sinful nature remains after baptism, and RCs are taught they must usually atone for sins after death, and actually become good enough in character to be with God), evangelicals instead teach that;
While nothing unclean shall enter God's Holy City, (Rv. 21:27) believers are already washed, sanctified and justified (1Co. 6:11) by effectual faith in the risen Lord Jesus to save them by His sinless shed blood, (Rem. 3;25 — 5:1; Eph. 2:8,9; Titus 3:5) and are already accepted in the Beloved on His account, and made to spiritually sit with Christ in Heaven, (Eph. 1:6; 2:6) and by Him have direct access to God in the holy of holies in prayer. (Heb. 10:19) And who, if they die in faith will go to be with the Lord at death. (Phil 1:23; 2Cor. 5:8 [“we”]; Heb, 12:22,23; 1Cor. 15:51ff'; 1Thess. 4:17)
And with the only suffering after this life being that of the loss of rewards (and the Lord's revelation and disapproval) at the judgment seat of Christ, which one is saved despite the loss of, and which does not occur until the Lord's return and believers resurrection. (1Cor. 3:8ff; 4:5; 2Tim. 4:1,8; Rev.11:18; Mt. 25:31-46; 1Pt. 1:7; 5:4) And which resurrection being the only transformative the believer looks forward to after this life (Rm. 8:23; 2Co. 5:1-4; Phil 3:20,21; 1Jn. 3:2) — not purgatory, which suffering commences at death in order to enable souls to enter Heaven.
However, most evangelicals are wrongly taught that once one has believed on Christ for saslvation, they cannot fall away and be lost, for since one who fundamentally lives contrary to this, such as not providing from his own family as he could, then it is declared that "he has denied the faith." (1 Tim. 5:8) And thus we also have warnings against having an evil hard of unbelief, in departing from the living God." to "draw back into perdition," (Hebrews 3:12; 10:38,39) and "entangled again with the yoke of bondage," thereby making Christ "to become of no effect," "to profit you nothing," being "fallen from grace." (Galatians 5:2,4) For while we can take no credit for faith, and the obedience of faith which God enables and motivates us to do," (Phil. 2:12,13) we can choose to no only sin but harden our hearts at God's correction, which He works so that we will not be "condemned with the rest of the world." (1 Cor. 11:32) Thanks be to God.
In addition, rather than believing in the erroneous Catholic teaching of the words of the Lord at His institution of the Lord supper, with her metaphysical contrivance of her unscriptural priests providing the “true body and blood” of Christ under the appearance of non-existent bread and wine (until it begins to manifestly decay), evangelicals rightly understand these words as being metaphorical.
However, there is some retaining by evangelicals of the Catholic failure to see that discerning the body of Christ (1 Co. 11:17–34) means showing the Lords death by effectually treating the other members as those who were bought by His sinless shed blood, signified by sharing a meal with them, but extending far beyond that (in which I come too short), versus focusing on the elements (Catholics) or the death of Christ somewhat in abstract from how the Lord’s supper is to show His death till He comes.
  • Rather than making what the NT refers to as episkopos (overseer) and presbuteros (senior) into being two pastoral offices, and making pastors into a separate class of (normatively celibate) sacerdotal “hiereus’ “(priests” in English) and even translating that Greek word that is distinctively used for a distinctive sacerdotal class as referring to her own priests, and with their primary unique function being that of offering the Catholic Eucharist as sacrifice for sins, and as being spiritual food for the flock;
Instead, evangelicals overall recognize that episkopos and presbuteros (senior) refer to one office (Titus 1:5-7; Acts 14:23; 20:17) of (normatively married: 1 Tim. 3:1–7) holy believers, and that the Holy Spirit never uses hiereus for NT pastors aside from being part of the whole body of believers. For all believers are called to sacrifice (Rm. 12:1; 15:16; Phil. 2:17; 4:18; Heb. 13:15,16; cf. 9:9) and all constitute the only priesthood (hieráteuma) in the NT church, that of all believers, (1Pt. 2:5,9; Re 1:6; 5:10; 20:6).
And that the primary function (besides prayer) of NT episkopos/presbuteros is that of preaching/teaching the inspired word of God. By which word (Scriptures) man is to live by, (Mt. 4:4) as Christ lived by the Father, (Jn. 6:57) with doing His will being His “meat.” (Jn. 4:34) by the believing of which one receives spiritual lie, being regenerated, (Acts 10:43-47; 15:7-9; Eph. 1:13) and thus desiring the milk of the word, (1Pt. 2:2) and then handling the “strong meat” (Heb. 5:12-14) of the word of God, which word believers are “nourished” (1Tim. 4:6) and built up, and are to let it dwell in them richly. (Col. 3:16)
However, while required (with rare exceptions) clerical celibacy is not Scriptural, ordaining women pastors is also unscriptural, and yet it is often seen in modern evangelicalism, in contrast to its past.
  • Rather than making Peter into a person that the NT church looked to as the rock upon with the church is built, and the first of a line of (conditionally) infallible popes reigning from Rome, evangelicals see Peter as the street level leader among brethren, not as lord exalted above all, or with his office possessing perpetual ensured infallibility.
For in contrast to Peter, that the LORD Jesus is the Rock (“petra”) or "stone" (“lithos,” and which denotes a large rock in Mk. 16:4) upon which the church is built is one of the most abundantly confirmed doctrines in the Bible (petra: Rm. 9:33; 1Cor. 10:4; 1Pet. 2:8; cf. Lk. 6:48; 1Cor. 3:11; lithos: Mat. 21:42; Mk.12:10-11; Lk. 20:17-18; Act. 4:11; Rm. 9:33; Eph. 2:20; cf. Dt. 32:4, Is. 28:16) including by Peter himself. (1Pt. 2:4-8) Rome's current catechism attempts to have Peter himself as the rock as well, but also affirms: “On the rock of this faith confessed by St Peter, Christ build his Church,” (pt. 1, sec. 2, cp. 2, para. 424) which understanding some of the so-called “church fathers” concur with.)
  • Rather than effectively making a church itself an object of faith, and with her claimed infallibility being essential ot know what is of God, and with dissent from her official teachings necessarily meaning rebellion from God, evangelicals implicitly recognize that the NT church began with common souls correctly discerning what was of God, and in dissent from the historically valid magisterium.
However, while dissent from authority can be Scriptural, and separation from the impenitent recalcitrant aberrant and heretical persons and churches is warranted, separation in the face of differences has too often been the default recourse for evangelicals, while a central magisterium of holy anointed men of faith should be a goal as it is actually Scriptural, though that of Rome and Orthodox priests or cults is not.
There is more that can be said of evangelicalism falling short of the prima NT church, but the more severe contrasting teachings of groups can be seen described in this section, by the grace of God.
But there is still room at the cross for all who will come to God in repentance and faith, and trust in the Divine Son of God sent by the Father, the risen Lord Jesus, to save them on His account, by His sinless shed blood, and thus be baptized and live for Him. Acts 10:36-47
The redeemed have come to God as souls as sinners knowing their desperate need of salvation, and not as souls saved by their works or church affiliation, but as destitute of any means or merit whereby they may escape their just judgment and gain eternal life with God.
And with contrite heart have cast their whole-hearted repentant faith upon the mercy of God in Christ, trusting the risen Divine Lord Jesus to save them on His account, by His sinless shed blood. (Rm. 3:9 - 5:1) and declare this in baptism. And whose faith is thus counted as righteousness, but it is a faith that will characteristically follow Him, and repent when convicted in their heart that they failed to do so.
Thanks be to God.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Did the NT church believe what the Roman Catholic church basically teaches on the Eucharist?

Did the NT church believe what the Roman Catholic church teaches on the Eucharist?
No, and note that language must be precise here for not even Catholicism teaches that the elements of bread and wine turn into the manifestly literal incarnated physical body and blood of Christ as it was present on the cross, even though Catholics claim to take “eat: this is my body, which is broken for you” (1 Corinthians 11:24) plainly literal.
The RCC (and basically EOs) profess,
that at the moment of the Consecration which is when the priest says, "This is my body," "This is the cup of my blood" the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ who is then really present as God and as Man sacrificing himself for us on the altar as he sacrificed himself on the cross (The Mass Explained - Catholic Education Resource Center)
At “consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood,” thus becoming the “true Body of Christ and his true Blood,” (CCC 1376; 1381) having been “substantially changed into the true and proper and lifegiving flesh and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord,” being corporeally present whole and entire in His physical "reality.” (Mysterium Fidei, Encyclical of Pope Paul VI, 1965)
Notice the words “present” and “reality/real,” for unlike how Christ was manifestly present and real in His incarnation described in Scripture, and which manifest physicality is emphasized ( 1 John 1:1; cf. 1 John 5:8) in contrast to a Christ whose appearance did not correspond to what He was as regards incarnation (as within really Docetism and or Gnosticism), in Catholicism the Eucharistic Christ is not what He appears, feels, tastes and would scientifically test to be, for what He appears to be is mere bread and wine. But which itself does not exist, being replace by Christ, until this non-existent bread and wine begins to manifest decay, and then He no longer exist/is present under that appearance either.
The presence of Christ's true body and blood in this sacrament cannot be detected by sense, nor understanding, but by faith alone..." (Summa Theologica; Summa Theologica - Christian Classics Ethereal Library)
"If you took the consecrated host to a laboratory it would be chemically shown to be bread, not human flesh." (Dwight Longenecker, "Explaining Transubstantiation")
"Christ's presence in the Eucharist challenges human understanding, logic, and ultimately reason. His presence cannot be known by the senses, but only through faith." (Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America)
"the Most Holy Eucharist not only looks like something it isn’t (that is, bread and wine), but also tastes, smells, feels, and in all ways appears to be what it isn’t." (The Holy Eucharist BY Bernard Mulcahy, O.P., p. 22)
"the substance of the bread cannot remain after the consecration: " (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiæ Article 2) "On the altar are the body and blood of Christ; the bread and wine no longer exist but have been totally changed into the body and blood of the Saviour... -  https://www.ewtn.com/library/Doc
"The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist;" (CCC 1377) "...that is, until the Eucharist is digested, physically destroyed, or decays by some natural process." ibid, Mulcahy, p. 32)
In contrast, the only Christ of Scripture has a manifestly physical body, even after being glorified:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life:” 1 John 1:1; cf. 1 John 5:8)
This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.” (1 John 5:6)
Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” (Luke 24:38-39)
A purely literal reading of the “this is my body/blood” that is broken/shed for us said at the last supper would mean that the apostles were consuming the same literally manifest human flesh and blood of Christ which attested to His incarnation, in contrast to a Docetist-type Christ, whose appearance did not correspond to what He physically was, meaning a metaphysical meaning.
Note that support for the Catholic miscontruance of the Lord’s supper largely relies upon reading the gospels in isolation from the rest of the NT, as well as so-called “church Fathers.” However, the uninspired (versus wholly God-inspired Scripture) words of men whose teaching came after the apostles had died, and which to varying degrees testifies to a progressive accretion of traditions not seen in the only inspired record of what the NT church believed, cannot be determinitive of what that NT church believed.
As pertains to the Lord’s supper, in Catholicism it is presented as "the heart and summit of the Christian life” (CCC 1407) “a kind of consummation of the spiritual life, and in a sense the goal of all the sacraments," (Mysterium Fidei, Encyclical of Pope Paul VI, 1965) through which “the work of our redemption is carried out,” (CCC 1364) providing “the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ” (CCC #1405) and only conducted by Catholics priests who offer it “in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead,” (CCC 1414) “cleansing us from past sins and preserving us from future sins.” (CCC 1393) ;
But rather than the NT church understanding the Lord’s supper as being the life-giving central hub and focus of the Christian life, what we see in the the only inspired and substantive record of how the NT church understood it is that it only being actually only taught in one epistle (aside from the mere mention of breaking of bread in Acts and the “fest of charity” in Jude 1:12, which is in 1 Corinthians. In which the Lord’s supper is that of remembering His death by sharing a meal with others who were bought by His sinless shed blood, thus showing union with Christ and each other as being "one bread," analogous to how pagans have fellowship in their dedicatory feasts, (metaphorical or metaphysical? 1Cor. 10)
Therefore in the next chapter the Corinthians are rebuked as not actually coming together to eat the Lord’s supper, for while they did come together for that purpose, yet they were not actually having the Lord’s supper due to how they treated the body of Christ, the church.
When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. (1 Corinthians 11:20-22)
The apostle Paul thus reiterates what the Lord said at the institution of the Lord’s supper, an adding the interpretive conclusion, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 11:26-27)
Catholics actually invoke this section in support of the Catholic interpretation, but the nature of the elements is not the contextual focus, though in v. 26 the bread is still called bread and the cup represents its content, while the purpose of the Lord’s supper is stated, and with the focus continuing to be that of the corporate body of the church (and which focus continues into the next chapter) .
Which is to do “show the Lord’s death till He comes,” which was by sharing a meal with others who were bought by His sinless shed blood, thus showing affirmation of them and themselves in union with Christ, with the church being as "one bread."
Therefore, by selfishly eating independent of other blood-bought faithful believers, ignoring and shaming them, then then they were not
 actually having the Lord’s supper, but were acting contrary to the very act that they were supposed to be remembering and showing. And thus in essence they were guilty of being contrary to the atoning blood of Christ, by which He purchased the church, (Acts 20:28) and were being chastened for it, some even unto death. For as Paul was very conscious of, to mistreat the church was to mistreat Christ Himself. (Acts 9:4)
This being the offense, not effectually considering/recognizing/discerning the body of Christ by mistreating its members by selfishly eating independent of other blood-bought faithful believers, ignoring and shaming them, then the solution is not some defining of the nature of the bread and wine, but even contrary to requiring fasting before the Lord’s supper, the apostle enjoins:
Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come. (1 Corinthians 11:33-34)
In addition, no where is the Lord’s supper presented as a sacrifice for sins and a means of obtaining spiritual life, nor is the conducting of it a uniquely pastoral function, or their primary unique function, much less that of pseudo RC priests.
Instead the primary work of NT pastors (besides prayer) is preaching. (Act 6:3,4; 2 Tim.4:2) with believing the gospel being the means of obtaining life in oneself, by which one is regenerated, (Acts 10:43-47; 15:7-9; Eph. 1:13; cf. Psalms 19:7) thus desiring the sincere milk (1Pt. 2:2; cf. (1Co. 3:22) and then the “strong meat” (Heb. 5:12-14) of the word of God, and by the preaching of which pastors “feed the flock” (Acts 20:28; 1Pt. 5:2) ) by which they are "nourished." (1 Timothy 4:6 ) Glory be to God.
A more extensive examination of the Catholic verses Scripture understanding of the nature of the elements consumed is here, by the grace of God.
Now what we (and I) a believers need to do is better act in accordance with effectually remembering and thus showing the Lord’s death and resurrection till He comes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Confession of sins to Catholic priests


1. Nowhere are NT pastors distinctively called by the distinctive word for a distinctive separate sacerdotal class of believers , ("hiereus" in Greek, and "priests" in English due to a etymological corruption of the Greek presbuteros), to whom souls regularly came to obtain forgiveness.

Instead, all believers are called to sacrifice (Rm. 12:1; 15:16; Phil. 2:17; 4:18; Heb. 13:15,16; cf. 9:9) and all constitute the only priesthood (hieráteuma) in the NT church, that of all believers, (1Pt. 2:5,9; Re 1:6; 5:10; 20:6).

2. Nowhere are NT believers shown regularly confessing sins to their pastors, or ever commanded to do so. Instead, the only exhortation or command to confess sins is to each other in general.

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16)

Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (James 5:17-20)

Here we see an example of spiritual binding and loosing, in which the heavens were bound from providing rain, and then loosed to do so, whereby believers of like fervent holy faith are encouraged as able to obtain such binding and loosing in prayer.

However, in the case of an infirm man the intercession of NT pastors (presbuteros) can obtain deliverance of chastisement, as indicated by James 5:14,15, as can the intercession of believers of fervent holy faith, but pastors as particularly expected to be so. And as having disciplinary authority in union with the church, (1 Corinthians 5:4,5; 2 Corinthians 2:9–11: you forgive, I forgive/heal) without any record or mention of required confession.

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (James 5:13-15)

Yet nowhere is the infirm man required to confess his sin, and which in this case is likewise one he is ignorant of, but chastened for. (cf. Mark 2:1-11) Nor is James 5:14,15 an example of the Catholic "Last Rites," as healing is what is promised here, while the Catholic Last Rites is normatively a precursor of death.

One can be chastised for unconfessed sins he is not aware of, and mercy can even be requested for those who sinned in ignorance, (Lk. 23:34; Acts 7:60) and we see healing and forgiveness being treated as one thing, for the latter obtained the former. And which was in response to the intercession of the man's friends, and is corespondent to James 5.

And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion. (Mark 2:3-12)

In both cases it seems that the afflicted were not aware of the sins that there were under chastisement for, and in neither case was confession of such required, and in both cases intercession obtained deliverance without the separate Catholic sacerdotal class of clergy ("hiereus") being required.

3. Nowhere does any NT pastor teach believers that they need to be confessing their sins to them in particular in order to obtain forgiveness.

Instead, Scripture simply states that,

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

And when Peter charged Simon Magnus with sin, he told him to pray to God himself if perhaps he might be forgiven. However, this does not mean that intercession for mercy cannot be asked of pastors or believers in general, as was also the case here.

Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me. (Acts 8:22-24)

Yet God will withhold forgiveness if we are not repentant, and can chastise us for not making things right with those we hurt.  Also, elders who are accused and found guilty of sins against the body are to be publicly rebuked. (1 Timothy 5:19,20)

4. As seen in James 5:16-18, the power of binding and loosing are is not restricted to clergy, but there are formal judicial actions of binding and loosing, which magisterial judicial power flowed from the OT supreme magisterium, (Deuteronomy 17:8-13) which, as with civil courts, could declare a person guilty of innocent, and even physical bind or loose a person. Likewise a father could bind or loose his daughter who is under his care from her vows, or her husband could could once married. (Numbers 30)

However, premise of ensured perpetual magisterial infallibility as per Rome is novel and unScriptural, and there is no and for binding and loosing judgments to also stand in Heaven (Matthew 18:18) requires them to be in accordance with the known (Scriptural) character and will of God, just as the promise that whatever we pray for will be done must.

Note also that magisterial judicial actions executed under leadership are not autocratic, but in union with all the church.

But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 18:16-18)

The formal corporate judicial binding and loosing is seen in action in 1 Corinthians 5:3-5:

For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Likewise is the corporate nature of forgiveness by the body that was harmed by public sin:

To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)

Yet while judicial actions are carried out by the whole church under leadership, that the spiritual power to bind and loose is not restricted to clergy is also evident by what follows Matthew 18:16-18, as it applies to two or three are gathered together in the Lord's name.

Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:18-20)

Therefore while leadership can act in the person of Christ in such judicial and disciplinary cases together with the church, Spirit-filled holy men such as the apostles can also declare one to be bound in sin, as seen before in Acts 8:20-23, and in Acts 5:1-10 (cf. Acts 13:6-12; 1Co. 4:21) and be instruments of Divine judgment.

And this spiritual power is not an endowment of office as if anyone in that office can effectual spiritually execute such, but should be the power of Spirit-filled holy men who are to occupy that office, yet the power of binding and loosing in general is provided for all Spirit-filled holy believers.

However, since there simply is no separate sacerdotal Catholic priesthood in the NT church, no separate sacerdotal class of believers distinctively called by the distinctive name for such, whose primary active function is that of offering the Catholic Eucharist as an offering for sin, to be consumed in order to obtain spiritual and eternal life , then any spiritual power that might belong to the office of NT presbuteros does not apply to them .

5. Outside of the above cases, nowhere is clerical intercession or that of anyone required for forgiveness, but the promise that "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9) means that forgiveness does not require regular confession to clergy, let alone Catholic priests.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Is it wrong to wonder why God lets good people die when they were young?

Though one can also simply  speculate what His purpose was, yet in the light of our present existence and finite knowledge, it is natural to wonder how God could let such happen, and even how there could be a justifying purpose for this,  but which (as with me) is typically  driven by emotion, versus rational informed thought, and which question or charge is what is not justified.

For it is hardly right and rational to question  (not that I have not) how it can be Right for God to do allow or do anything, when He is uniquely Omniscient, knowing (among all things) the hearts of everyone, as well as what their life and death will effect both in this life and for eternity.

And who is also Omnipotent, almighty, and able to make all things work out for the Good of those who love the Good, and which means love God and what He is. (Romans 8:28)

As regards virtuous persons dying, I am reminded of a classic Star Trek episode called “City on the edge of Forever,” in which Kirk and Spock travel back in time to the late 1930’s (in pursuit of a paranoid McCoy, who accidentally had injected himself with an overdose of a dangerous drug, and beamed down to a planet, and jumped thru the "Guardian of Forever" and effected the future, so that the Enterprise itself no longer existed), and Kirk falls in love with soup kitchen pacifist visionary Edith Keeler.

But Spock finds out that McCoy who save her from death, yet that she must die in order to prevent billions of deaths, for she would have influenced the US to delay its entry into WW2, enabling Germany to develop the atomic bomb, and which as a consequence, effectively nuked the existence of the Enterprise.

However, while there, McCoy had caused the death of a no-name drunk, and like as with the Butterfly effect in chaos theory, even that could have had effects, from minimal to profound, which only God knows. As well as the consequences of our own actions or inactions, and sins of commission and of omission.

Of course, seeing God is also omnipotent, it can thus be argued that God can prevent or reverse the negative effects of our choices. And God can and does restrain evil, or else the whole world would be worse than North Korea, while still enabling man to make choices and effect  consequences. And without the ability to choose then we are but clouds, and without alternatives to choose from then “choice” effectively meaningless. And if there are no consequences for our actions then they hardly matter, nor do we.

In any case, a finite human, who cannot even know or determine all the effects of his/her own life for time and for eternity, can hardly stand in judgment of a Being who knows all and makes evil it work out justly, and with mercy and grace, without denying any consequences, for time and for eternity.

And I have no doubt that in the final judgment when all is laid bare, including motives, then there will be no arguing by the damned as to their guilt, even by having chosen to go against the degree of light from God they had (which in essence is rejecting Christ, the Light), and worthiness of their varying degrees of eternal punishment.

Nor will it see boasting for those who did not choose to resist God but by His grace came to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in repentant faith, to save them on His account, by His sinless shed blood, and thus characteristically followed Him in penitent faith.

As for the charge that “the good die young,” the fact is that Biblically no one is without sin, but it is typically those who live reckless lives of sin that mostly die young.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Why do people attack the Bible as promoting religous violence but deny that the Qur'an does so.

Usually because it is not “politically correct.” While many (usually Muslims and “liberals”) bend over backwards to find fault with the Bible, and habitually take things out of context to do so, they may question the premise that the Qur’an exhorts literal physical religious killing or violence, or even deny that it does.

Or they assert it is not really different from the Bible, even to invoking some study that uses the percentage of verses that “could be related to violence,” in each in order to attack the Bible. But which, besides the subjectivity in judging what “could be related to” means, this comparison - even if accurate - simply does not support that the Bible teaches literal physical religious killing or violence (henceforth PRV) for its believers today, for reasons explained below.

For the well-substantiated facts are that the Qur’an clearly commands and or exhorts PRV against adversaries, and, unlike the far, far, far larger Bible (the Qur’an is smaller than just the Christian New Testament), it lacks the context that could justify it, or restrict it to simply being for defensive purposes.

One can see here multitudes of Qur’anic texts on PRV and read a few from my collection here, and so let me briefly deal with some the basic differences between the Bible and the Qur’an.
  • The Bible, with nearly 800,000 verses, provides extensive historically narratives in which its examples and commands of physical religious warfare overall exist, thus providing context. Whereby we see that:
  • Commands to PRV were preceded by God making it supernaturally unmistakably certain that He was real, and was the one giving the commands. And which means (besides being the giver of life, and the only omniscient and omnipotent being who knows both the hearts or the people and the immediate and eternal consequences of their life and death, and can make it all work out for just purposes, cannot be judged for what He commands) that their commanded wars of conquest (as under Joshua) were not the results of some mere dream.
  • These commands were limited to certain people and thus geographic areas, versus world wide jihad against all unbelievers who in some sense opposed them.
  • Not all the the Bible records as examples means that God commanded it, which context determines.
  • The Old Testament/Covenant promised as New Testament/Covenant, which was distinctly said would be Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord.(Jeremiah 31:32)
And under which Covenant it was revealed that there would no longer be a physical kingdom, and thus its subjects would be using physical means of warfare to defend the faith and for the purpose of subduing those who attacked that faith. (Jn. 18:36; Eph. 6:12; 2 Cor. 10:3,4) and with nonretaliation (physically) to personal attacks being enjoined.

Thus we have zero examples or commands to PRV in the New Testament, and the only religious violence therein is by supernatural means.

In contrast:
  • The Qur’an is basically a series of disjointed monologue statements from the god of Islam to Muhammad, and it overall lack the historical and or doctrinal context to determine their meaning, specific applicability and scope. As the Qur’an overall lacks this context then readers must be educated in how scholars interpret such, but in which there is conflict. And the lack of context can allow commands for PRV to warfare against ideological enemies, not simply physical ones.
Islamic scholar Aga Mahdi Puya is quoted as stating,
"Waging war against Allah and his Prophet means hostility against his chosen representatives, or deviation from his laws by overstepping the boundaries laid down by Him.. or attempts to undermine the cause of Islam and the overall interests of the Muslims."
  • The commands to PRV in the Qur’an were not preceded by God supernaturally making it unmistakably certain that He was real, and was the one giving the commands. Instead, Muhammad began to have dreams, concerning which some tradition conveys that he was worried at first that they may be from the devil.
  • The Qur’anic commands to PRV were not manifestly limited to certain people and thus geographic areas, versus world wide jihad against all unbelievers who in some sense opposed them.
  • There is no new covenant in Islam, and while there are some brief quotes advocating tolerance, it is understood that these came from Muhammad's pre-Medenic suras when he was a minority in Mecca. Initially when he was weak (before Medina) he allowed more of peaceful co-existence by ways of treaties, etc., but when he gained power he progressively sought to enlarge his kingdom by force. History thus indicates that Muhammad's theology adapted to his needs.
Therefore there is no reason to not call out the hatred and violence in the Koran, or at least not if you are going to attack the Bible as promoting the same to its believers today.

But  there is still room at the cross for all who will come to God in repentance and faith, and trust in the Divine Son of God sent by the Father, the risen Lord Jesus, to save them on His account, by His sinless shed blood, and thus be baptized and live for Him. Acts 10:36-47

Friday, November 16, 2018

Heresies and errors of Linwood Jackson Jr, exposed

Linwood Jackson Jr., Author, lives in Massachusetts, author of many books who is advertised on WEZE, a station which is often careless as to what they air. 

Below are the some of the results of an examination of teaching by Linwood Jackson Jr. on his posts on Quora which reveals him to clearly be a severely aberrant teacher under the guise of resorting Christianity.  I am rather used to dealing with diverse false teachings, but I have never found a poster who is so adept at mixing Truth with fundamental error, and profusely enlisting/wresting/abusin Scripture texts in order to support his heterodox (some rather novel) and heretical perversions of what Scripture  actually, contextually teaches, along with frequent use of strawmen (false descriptions of doctrine he replaces with his own) in order to do so.

Mainly what i found in a short time of searching was  not simply reproof of  Roman Catholicism, and of superficial faith, both of which are warranted, but among other errors is that of Jackson:
  • Relegating Christianity as a whole to be pagan, with  Christianity as a whole having apostatized from 40 A.D.;
  • Denying  the Biblical Deity of Christ, being God by nature even though the the Father is the Head;
  • Denying  the literal Biblical physical incarnation of Christ;
  • Denying actual water baptism;
  • Likely denying  of  a real lake of fire in which the lost suffer torment "“Heaven” is no sensual place to find yourself after death; such a place does not exist, along with its strange counterpart...David is as much with us today as he was with Peter and that congregation in that day.");
  •  Describing being born again as  Jesus Christ  coming  into the mind of the flesh, upgrading the heart to Jackson's doctrine of, among others things,   the denial of the deity of Christ and and from worship on Sunday to keeping the the day Sabbath;
  •  Making the keeping of the 7th day sabbath  required obedience. 
  • And that “there are only ten transgressions to commit against God, for He gave ten “and he added no more." 
Linwood Jackson Jr, Author, (excerpts from his Quora feed; emphasis mine through:

What should be true if Christianity is false?


What should be true if Christianity is false is your heart. Christianity, ancient and modern, is not Bible religion. 319AD Christianity was sealed by Constantine as the religion that we know today, but as early as 40AD the Christian church had apostatized from the religion of the first apostles, which was the religion of God’s Anointed,..

 

True Christianity should be an investigation of the mind of the Bible’s God concerning the will that He has for Adam. This will is revealed by the regeneration, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and high priestly appointment of His High Priest, that Christ, but modern, and ancient Christianity, goes no further than a resurrection of God’s Man, ignoring the fact that it was “God the Father, who raised him from the dead,” Galatians 1:1. ..


There is no other God beside the LORD; “God is the LORD,” Psalm 118:27...“Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son,” Hebrews 5:5. The word “Son” has absolutely no literal or genetic relation to God, but simply means “servant” or “minister” or “priest.” Such a steward is related to God only by their inward devotion, and because it is counseled, “Worship God in the spirit,” Philippians 3:3, concerning God’s Man it says, “The last Adam was made a quickening spirit,” 1 Corinthians 15:45....

It is well to understand what God’s Man is Lord of, because He is not that LORD of heaven and earth, but is Lord, or Keeper, or Governor of some thing...

Without the LORD we observe a religion that needs human flesh to give it life, which is why Christian apostasy eventually violated the seventh day for a manner celebrating a feast contrary to resurrection...

This Christ is that King of the LORD’s Church; His domain is strictly ecclesiastical...

there is a mission on earth and in heaven that must be accomplished. That mission on earth is complete. This mission was to finalize the LORD His Father’s will, which was to reconcile the throne and Spirit of God with the soul and spirit of Adam...

An empty resurrection from an empty source is all that modern and ancient Christianity can portray, because it can go no higher on the earth, being inordinately covetous.

Linwood Jackson Jr, Author
The language used in Scripture concerning the “father” and the “son” is not, and should not be taken literally. We may understand this from how it says, “To Titus, mine own son after the common faith,” Titus 1:4, and, “Timothy, my own son in the faith,” 1 Timothy 1:2, and, “As a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel,” Philippians 2:22. In every case, the relationship between the “son” and his “father” is not legitimate, like as between literal blood, but is wholly spiritual, like as a head religious advisor to his pupil..

There is no such thing as God impregnating human flesh; not only is this carnal and sensual, according to the God of the Bible, it is irrational and illogical. .

When hearing of a “child of the Holy Ghost,” it is well to know that since the Spirit only labors within the spirit of the mind, that the record is referencing a human being fully converted to the religion of “the LORD of the Hebrews,”..

Herein it is appropriate to mention that the “child” of the Holy Ghost, as Matthew records, is no literal little male boy. A “son” is a “child,” wherefore it is written, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given,” Isaiah 9:6....

There is no such thing as a human being mixed with any superstitious form of “divinity.” It would make no sense for the LORD to offer and accept a sacrifice of a man born of some divine Greco-Roman superstitious nature. We have to take into account that “a man hath no preeminence above a beast,” Ecclesiastes 3:19. “Being found in fashion as a man,” Philippians 2:8, is being found in fashion as a beast, which in, in all actuality, trash.

If we are saying that divinity sensually mixed with humanity to make this man God, then we are confessing, in our speech, to the fact that this God is lame, useless, without any power, low in intelligence, and is therefore nonexistent, and He is. Such a fraudulent deity says, “I am God, I sit in the seat of God,” Ezekiel 28:2, for he “would trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ,” Galatians 1:7. Such a counterfeit doctrine would have its adherent forget how it is written, “I am the LORD, and there is none else,” Isaiah 45:6, and, “Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any,” Isaiah 44:8.

Because “God is the LORD,” Psalm 118:27, the Jesus of popular theology comes under strict scrutiny by that “high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty,” Hebrews 8:1. The religion of the Bible says of God’s Priest, “He shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of his God,” Micah 5:4, letting us know that this Man not only upheld His course in and still remains in flesh; “A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have,” Luke 24:39, He today says; and that He is not that LORD or God of the Bible, but that His ministry is devoted to the only living LORD God for every willing spirit, to the end they too may have it said of them, “The Word was made flesh,” John 1:4, making the knowledge of His mediation that supreme authority to bring every soul to His God’s throne.

When we hear, “The Word was made flesh,” John 1:14, it is well to remember that the “Word” is “the Word of life,” 1 John 1:1, and that “the Spirit is life,” Romans 8:10. The Word made flesh is the Spirit made flesh, and the Spirit of the LORD is a law or commandment, as it says, “The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue,” 2 Samuel 23:2. The Word made flesh, being the Spirit made flesh, is “the law of the Spirit of life” made flesh, Romans 8:2..

In the context in which John writes, we may understand that “Jesus Christ” is no reference to any man, but to a commandment existing within the spirit and proceeding from the heart,...

God’s Man experienced this birth from His LORD’s Spirit by brining into His understanding His Spirit’s commandment, and this commandment is the foundation of David’s religion,..

This should sound familiar, because Mary was told, “The Lord is with thee,” Luke 1:28. This woman received the ancient doctrine of the LORD her God, and by this doctrine, she was to raise up a “son” who would establish its reality for every spirit on earth willing to elevate their faith into the heavenly Sanctuary for its completion...

This woman had to mentally digest the Spirit’s doctrine if she should ever receive His power, for we are “to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man,” Ephesians 3:16. We understand that she did just this because she says, “My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour,” Luke 1:47. The “power” of God is not, and cannot mingle with flesh; “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit,” John 3:6.

Thus, our perception of this woman, and of the events here mentioned, take a turn when understanding that no thing here spoken of is literal. A “woman,” in Scripture, is figurative language denoting a church,..

There is no perverse record of the LORD interacting with flesh, but we read, “The angel came in unto her,” Luke 1:28. It was an “angel” that cast into the spirit of a church called Mary the power and wisdom of the LORD’s holy Spirit, and an “angel” is, in the Bible, language representing a human messenger of God’s Faith, as it says, “Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire,” Psalm 104:4.

What really occurred to this woman was the impression of a spirit upon her conscience, which impression conceived and brought up one young in years of faith within her bowels. This young man, being already a human being, and no thing more or less “in the likeness of sinful flesh,” Romans 8:3, picked up this understanding to know the name that He should take and the mission that He should fulfill. ..

While only human flesh, His baptism to His LORD is no different than ours to that same LORD...

His “father” was David’s doctrine, which doctrine led Him to David’s God for the baptism of the Spirit of that God,

. There are only ten transgressions to commit against God, for He gave ten “and he added no more,” Deuteronomy 5:22.”

What is a born-again Christian?

Linwood Jackson Jr, Author,
A true Christian is an individual reconstructed within their mental and moral faculties to honor every commandment of God without any conflict or reproach of heart, which modern and ancient Christians failed to do, which failure is represented by a rejection of the fourth commandment (the seventh-day Sabbath), for a spurious sabbath, a first-day devotion to the Roman god of the sun...

Pagan people, or Gentiles, at this time in Paul’s day, honored Roman religion, which religion celebrated the god of the sun on the same Roman first day of the week as ours is in North America, Sunday. When there is an acceptance of Christ, a new mind is born, and this new mind puts away old former religious habits and tendencies..

The Christ of the Bible’s God, and the living religion of the Bible, is based upon the fact that “Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son,” Hebrews 5:5....

There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” 1 Timothy 2:5.

This confession by Paul is the state of a living Christian’s mind. To such an individual, there is an acknowledgment of the God of the Bible, “the LORD God of the Hebrews,” Exodus 3:18, “the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,” Genesis 14:22, and the Chief Representative of mankind standing in the direct presence of the living God. ..

Heaven” is no sensual place to find yourself after death; such a place does not exist, along with its strange counterpart.
Christ is therefore a Minister of the LORD, and if this Minister is our Minister, the LORD His God will also be our God, for what priest, unless fraudulent, will call himself the god his congregation?...
Linwood Jackson Jr, Author
There is no difference between Catholicism, or Christianity as a whole, and the ancient Roman religion...

The book of the Revelation is written for the churches of Asia. “Asia” is no literal location because no vision is literally construed,..

We pick up at Pagan Rome: “He magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.” Daniel 8:11

This phrase “taken away” does not mean to remove, as in the sense of taking trash out of the house, but in Hebrew it means to exalt, to magnify. The “daily sacrifice,” in short, is a term used to reference the pagan religion that began in Babylon and found itself inherited by the Romans...

The passing away of the flesh of the living God’s Man on the tree; or the cross; signified the passing away of such flesh-based or pagan ordinances, such as baptisms by water,...

they reverted to a dark understanding that inevitably became darker under Constantine, who is the creator of Christianity...

Rome’s system of paganism was not taken away, but was magnified within the Christian religion,..and the location for Constantine’s religion was Asia, and he called this location for his religion Constantinople...
we are made to observe seven churches in Asia, which are not literal churches, but are the character, or the nature, of the specific age that the churches born from that church in Asia should pass through....

We begin in Eph’esus because, at this point in early church history, Christian elders were, while the first apostles were alive, worshipping that “image” and religion fallen out from Jupiter,...

At the time Matthew was written, along with the other three companion books, it was at a time when Christians were removing from the original seventh day’s Sabbath to the Roman first day, for they had admitted into their religion pagan Greek and Roman ethics. ...

Roman paganism is linked to their sun god and their sun-day (Sunday) feast; the pagan Religion of Rome will for ever find itself acknowledged by its sun-day feast, despite what name it should go by. And by the foundation of Diana, who is today “Mary,” and their translating the name of Jupiter’s son to “Jesus,” this cult removed from the apostles right understanding and began to fulfill the saying, “They return, but not to the most High,” Hosea 7:16,

We learn what to be “saved” from through the illustration of the living God’s man on the tree,...What is hanged on the tree is not to be thought of as a literal man, but the “flesh” of the man represents what is accursed,...

What is to be “saved,” because this act on the tree is for the personal religious conversation, is the mind and conscience of the religious conversation,...

Therefore, for example, when we hear of a religious law concerning a first-day or third-day sabbath, we may understand that because it is not that Sabbath of creation, it is a handwritten religious ethic. ..the doctrine of his first-day, or Sunday sabbath, is but a nonexistent entity; the living God abolished the philosophy of the religious law from His Faith..

when one is “born again,” the conversation’s conscience is enlightened to its course with “sin”;..

Being free from that religious error nailed to the tree, the mind may now experience the benevolence ordained for it, and this is the living God’s salvation,












Thursday, November 15, 2018

Partial List Of Divergent Beliefs Between Catholics

Partial List Of Divergent Beliefs Between Catholics

  • Within official teachings:
  1. Where unbaptized babies go if and when they die?
  2. Geocentricity or Heliocentricity
  3. Whether Trent closed the canon or not
  4. Whether canonizations are or always infallible.
  5. Who all the [so-called] “church fathers” are.
  6. What the church Fathers meant in many cases.
  7. How many Scripture verses have been infallibly or officially interpreted.
  8. What multitudes of Scripture verses mean.
  9. The meaning and scope of the inerrancy of Scripture (“for our salvation” or more).
  10. The official immutable position on many theological issues.
  11. The reconciliation of the efficacy of grace with human freedom.
  12. The relationship between Scripture and Tradition: partim-partim or not.
  13. How many infallible teachings there are, and what they all are
  14. What magisterial level multitudes of teachings belong to, and thus the manner of assent required.
  15. How many magisterial levels there are.
  16. What required assent to official teachings all entails.
  17. The meaning of official Catholic teaching to varying degrees.
  18. How to reconcile Extra ecclesiam nulla salus and Lumen Gentium,and if former Catholics who die as faithful evangelical-type Protestants are lost.
  19. Whether the anathemas of Trent apply to Protestants today and what they entail.
  20. Whether or not a pope can be deposed.
  21. How many bishops are necessary for this Collegial infallibility to be ensured?
  22. Whether the Virgin Mary died and then was assumed or whether she was assumed before death
  23. Whether Roman Catholicism promoted slavery
Meanwhile, those who testify to most strongly holding to Scripture as the accurate and wholly inspired word of God, with its basically literal conveyance (as in historical accounts, unlike so much modern RC scholarship), testify to being the most unified in many basic beliefs.

In stark contrast to those overall whom Rome manifestly considers members in life and in death.

Thus based upon facts and the Biblical criteria for determining belief, (James 2:18) the RCC cannot be one in belief, while as for being the one true NT church, Catholic distinctives are simply not manifest in the the only wholly inspired substantive authoritative record of what the NT church believed (including how they understood the OT and gospels), which is Scripture, especially Acts thru Revelation.

Therefore some  Catholics   essentially argue that in any conflict, Scripture, history and tradition only consist of and mean what she says - if she does say so herself.

In contrast to which is the only wholly inspired substantive authoritative record of what the NT church believed (including how they understood the OT and gospels), which is Scripture, especially Acts thru Revelation.  which  distinctive Catholic are not manifest.  See http://peacebyjesus.witnesstoday.org/deformation_of_new_testament_church.html  by God's grace.