Sunday, October 14, 2018

Can Catholics who are vegans eat the Eucharist?

Can Catholics who are vegans eat the Eucharist?

That depends upon how you define “meat,” and what you believe. For despite Catholic claims of taking Scripture literally as regards the Lord’s supper, and speaking of the Catholic Eucharist as being the “true Body of Christ and his true Blood,” (CCC 1376; 1381) with bread and wine 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) "the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he "poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins,"(CCC 1365) the fact is that in Catholic Eucharistic theology “this is My body…blood” is not taken purely literally.
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")
For “this is My body…blood” to be taken purely literally would mean that the apostles at the Lord’s supper would have indeed be consuming the same literal, manifestly incarnated body and blood of Christ that was crucified, which manifest physicality is stressed in Scripture, in opposition to a Docetist-type Christ who is materially not what He appears to be. (1 John 1:1-3)
Instead, akin to the latter Christ, if not precisely, the Christ of the Catholic Eucharist materially appears to be what He is not, that of ordinary unleavened bread and alcoholic wine. "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)
But which bread and wine themselves are held as no longer existing when the priest utters the word of consecration “this is My body….blood.”
"Every theological explanation which seeks some understanding of this mystery, in order to be in accord with Catholic faith, must firmly maintain that in objective reality, independently of our mind, the bread and wine have ceased to exist after the consecration, so that the adorable body and blood of the Lord Jesus from that moment on are really before us under the sacramental species of bread and wine." - Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003
Meaning that the point of Catholic sacerdotal priestly consecration (which office is itself not Scriptural) it is to be believed by Catholics that "true body" of Christ is present under a "new mode of being, " that the invisible substance of the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ. That at consecration the substance of the bread and wine is changed during the Eucharistic consecration into the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Christ under the appearance of bread and wine, while His body in its spatial existence in Heaven remains, with the "accidents" [a philosophical term referring to appearance] of the bread and wine replacing the accidents of Christ’s body: his tissues, bones, and cells. Thus "While Christ’s body is in heaven according to his natural mode of existence, it can simultaneously be present in the Eucharist according to a supernatural mode of existence." (http://www.catholicvirginian.org/archive/2013/2013vol89iss3/pages/article7.html)
Which is to be believed even though the Eucharistic species still looks, feels, behaves, and would taste and test as actual bread and wine, and thus such decays even though it is said to no longer exist.
At which point the body and blood of Christ are no longer said to be present as the Eucharist either.
(CCC 1377: "The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist." "...that is, until the Eucharist is digested, physically destroyed, or decays by some natural process." ibid, Mulcahy, p. 32)
A t which point it seems that neither the decaying bread or wine nor the body and blood of Christ really exist in that time and place. (Summa Theologiae, Question 77)
Therefore, according to both Eucharistic theology as well as scientific testing a vegan would not be consuming the same literal manifestly incarnated body and blood of Christ that was crucified. And also, according to the same evidence of physicality that would prove the Son of God was incarnated, then the bread and wine are just that, and actually exist after consecration, and thus both decay as well as being a problem for some persons with celiac disease, an immune reaction to eating gluten, and the Catholic church forbids gluten-free wafers (though low-gluten wafers can be allowed by the local bishop, as well as for low-alcohol wine).
However, in contrast to the Catholic metaphysical contrivance of the Lord’s supper, the Scriptural understanding of this ordinance is metaphorical, in which the members show/proclaim the Lord’s death for them until He returns by sharing food with others whom Christ purchased with His sinless shed blood. (Acts 20:28; 1 Co. 11:17–34) Thereby effectually remembering His death for them, and showing the unity with Him and each other (as being “one bread” themselves: 1 Co. 10:17).
And thus to eat independently to the neglect of others is to actually not come together to eat the Lord’s supper, and is that of not recognizing the body of Christ as being the church. As explained in 1Cor. 10,11

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Did the New Testament church believe in Roman Catholic Purgatory?

No, and this is not taught in any of Scripture. Instead, Purgatory is based upon a false premise, not only that there is a need for further atonement some sins after death, but that justification is on the basis of actual  righteousness, beginning via "infused” righteousness via the act itself of baptism (and which for infants mean without even having to believe on the Lord Jesus with all their heart, which is contrary to Acts 2:38; 8:36,37; 10:43–47- 15:7–9). And after baptism -  since the unholy sin nature remains - entering Heaven is attained  by attaining perfection of character (if by grace) thru postmortem “purifying punishments” and sufferings, commencing at death in order to be with God in full salvation.
 
And which is contrary to what Scripture most manifestly teaches, which is that of penitent faith  appropriating justification, a faith that purifies the heart (Acts 15:9) and is counted for righteousness (Romans 4:5) and renders one accepted in the Beloved (on His account) and positionally seated together with their Lord in Heaven. (Ephesians 1:6; 2:6
 From  where they positionally await the Lord's return and His final subduing of our "vile body," that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body," (Philippians 3:21)and which is the only transformative change after this life that the Scriptures speak of.

However, this saving justifying faith is a faith which effects obedience by the Spirit, (Romans 8:14) in word and in deed, in heart and in life, whereby "the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, (Romans 8:4) insofar as we do. 
 And since faith and works go together like light and heat, sometimes they are used interchangeably as to what they effect. And which obedience includes penitent confession when convicted of not pleasing the Object of his faith for salvation, the risen Lord Jesus.

The appeal to the believer is to produce fruit consistent with faith, as a consequence of being accepted in the Beloved (on His account), to be practically (in heart and deed) as they are positionally in Christ, to be as much conformed to the Lord Jesus in this life as we can be, and will be in the resurrection. (Philippians 3:7-21)

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

But which progressive practical sanctification is not the
cause of the sinner's justification and acceptance in Christ, but testifies to such being a believer, evidencing "things which accompany salvation," (Hebrews 6:9) and fit to be rewarded. (Revelation 3:4) For this faith, as manifested in said obedience, God will recompense (Hebrews 10:35) under grace, even though it is God who motivates and enables all obedience, (Philippians 1:12,13) while the only thing we can and must take credit for it our disobedience.

In contrast to this salvation by effectual faith, is salvation by grace thru works, as in Roman Catholicism, in which, to reiterate, it is taught that by grace one is actually made good enough to be with God via the act of baptism.

However, since the carnal nature remains, and in Catholic theology few successfully attain to complete victory over any attachment to sin and perfection of character, then most baptized souls are sent to Roman Catholic (EOstrend to reject Rome's) Purgatory to endure purifying torments to atone for sins they sufficiently failed to provide for while on earth, and become good enough to enter glory.

The Catholic Encyclopedia states, “whosoever comes into God's presence must be perfectly pure for in the strictest sense His "eyes are too pure, to behold evil" (Habakkuk 1:13).
The Catholic Encyclopedia also states that St. Augustine "describes two conditions of men; "some there are who have departed this life, not so bad as to be deemed unworthy of mercy, nor so good as to be entitled to immediate happiness" etc. (City of God XXI.24.)

And thus by the close of the fourth century was taught "a place of purgation..from which when purified they "were admitted unto the Holy Mount of the Lord". For " they were "not so good as to be entitled to eternal happiness".

One "cannot approach God till the purging fire shall have cleansed the stains with which his soul was infested." (Catholic Encyclopedia>Purgatory)
CCC 1023: Those who die in God's grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ...(provided they were not in need of purification when they died, . . . or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death, . . .)

"Every trace of attachment to evil must be eliminated, every imperfection of the soul corrected." - John Paul II, Audiences, 1999.
Catholic professor Peter Kreeft states,

"...we will go to Purgatory first, and then to Heaven after we are purged of all selfishness and bad habits and character faults." Peter Kreeft, Because God Is Real: Sixteen Questions, One Answer, p. 224

"The purpose of purgatory is to bring you up the level of spiritual excellence needed to experience the full-force presence of God." (Jimmy Akin, How to Explain Purgatory to Protestants).
There is some wiggle room as regards the conditions of purgatory since what this suffering actually entails, and how long, for such are are not dogmatically taught, but while salvation by grace thru faith as in sola fide means it is effectual faith being imputed for righteousness that justifies, salvation by grace thru works means that by grace one is actually made good enough to be with God, which premise either requires perfection of character in this life (and which merely being made clean in baptism would actually not effect) or postmortem purifying torments.
However, wherever Scripture clearly speak of the next conscious reality for believers then it is with the Lord, (Lk. 23:43 [cf. 2Cor. 12:4; Rv. 2:7]; Phil 1:23; 2Cor. 5:8 [“we”]; 1Cor. 15:51ff'; 1Thess. 4:17) Note in the latter case all believers were assured that if the Lord returned, which they expected in their lifetime, so would they “ever be with the Lord,” though they were still undergoing growth in grace, as was Paul. (Phil. 3:7f)

And the next transformative experience that is manifestly taught is that of being like Christ in the resurrection. (1Jn. 3:2; Rm. 8:23; 1Co 15:53,54; 2Co. 2-4) At which time is the judgment seat of Christ, which is the only suffering after this life, which does not begin at death, but awaits the Lord's return, (1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Timothy. 4:1,8; Revelation 11:18; Matthew 25:31-46; 1 Peter 1:7; 5:4) and is the suffering of the loss of rewards (and the Lord's displeasure) due to the manner of material one built the church with, which one is saved despite the loss of such, not because of. (1 Corinthians 3:8ff)

In addition, the whole premise that suffering itself perfects a person is specious, since testing of character requires being able to choose btwn alternatives, and which this world provides. Thus it is only this world that Scripture peaks of here development of character, such as "Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations." (1 Peter 1:6)

And even in making the Lord "perfect" as in experiencing testing, being "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin," (Hebrews 4:15) then it was in this world: "For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." (Hebrews 2:10)

For support,  Catholics cite 2 Maccabees  12;44-46 (atonement for the dead to free them from sin ).

However, of what support is that of praying for men whom the text clearly stated were slain for their idolatry, which is a mortal sin? Meanwhile believing this book was Scripture proper was not required until after Luther died, almost 1400 years after the last book was penned.

Other texts which Catholic  often attempt t use for support are as follows:
•  1 Peter 3:18-20;4:6 ( Peter preaching to the spirits in prison ) ,

Which was to the lost souls like those of Noah's day, "wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water," and it is obvious they had not attained to perfection of character. But with His resurrection (Matthew 27:52) the Lord set free those in Abraham's bosom, (Ephesians 4:8,9) which is not purgatory but OT paradise (Luke 23:43) which is now Heaven. (2 Corinthians 12:4)
1 Cor 15:29-30 and 1 cor 15:29-30 (baptizing the dead)

You resort to that for support? So do the Mormons, and it supports nothing than was it was invoked for, that of their being a resurrection which some ("they," not "we") thought postmortem baptism would effect, but with nothing inferred as purgatory. And which the Holy Spirit would never fail to clearly teach on, if it indeed was of Catholic importance.
1 Cor 315 (saved through fire)

Utterly invalidated as explained above in bold, by God's grace.
Mt 5:26 (where you will not be released until you pay the last penny)

So you must resort to dark sayings. Rather than Matthew 5:25-26 being "explicit about Purgatory" as Staples imagines this either refers to this life, or punishment in Hell, which is the context of Matthew 5:24-25 (Matthew 5:22; Matthew 5:27-29; cf. Mark 9:43), and Caths argue (Mt. 1:25) that "until" need not mean a terminus is inferred.

And here this story cannot be analogous to purgatory, since that is for forgiven souls who have some expiation to make for venial sins, but in Matthew 5:22-26, rather than a mere venial sin, the description here is of a "mortal sin." And neither was this man forgiven, but was damned, and given the vast amount he had to pay, i think "Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing" (Matthew 5:26) is saying he never will come out,
Mt 12:32 (sin is forgiven in this age or the next)

That is simple, except Rome rejects the 1,000 year reign of Christ in which there will be sin and forgiveness of sins, as Ezekiel shows in his many chapters which defy then as being mere allegory.
1 John 5:16-17 (degrees of sin distinguished)

Which refers to apostasy, and there are degrees of sin, and of accountability and guilt, thus degrees of punishment, (Matthew 11:20-24) but which description are only about Hell, not some interim place.

Mark 9:49 (all will be salted by fire)

Which is simply another example of the egregious extrapolation you must resort to in order attempt to postulate some sort of support for what you can only wish Scripture manifestly taught, but which it does not!
Here the only postmortem reality that is seen in the context is that of Hell: "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:48) and otherwise it speaks of salt (Mark 9:49,50; cf. Lev. 2:13; Eze 43:24) which represent holiness, which works for peace, and one either has it or they are good for nothing, (Mt. 5:13) and and there is nothing that infers purgatory in order to get it or more of it, though this would be one of many places we could expect to see it if it were true.

Purgatory and 1Co, 3:

Which cannot be Purgatory due to the fact that,

1. The judgment event of 1Co. 3 is the judgment seat of Christ, with its giving of rewards and loss thereof, which does not occur until the Lords return and the believers resurrection. (1Cor. 3:8ff; 4:5; 2Tim. 4:1,8; Rev.11:18; Mt. 25:31-46; 1Pt. 1:7; 5:4) versus purgatory, which (typically prolonged) suffering commences at death in order to enable souls to enter Heaven.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2 Timothy 4:1)

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8)

[
The judgment of 1 Cor. 3:15 will reveal what manner of workmanship they were building church with, for “Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire,” and while saving faith is one that characteristically walks in the obedience of faith, (Heb. 5:9) believers may suffer loss of rewards due to their manner of workmanship.

The fire burns up the fake stones, which like the tares of Mt. 13:40 at the end, are represented here as wood, hay or stubble, while the precious stones with fire-tried faith (1Pt. 1:7) endure, and gain rewards for the instruments of their faithfulness. Thus Paul says to the Thessalonians, "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? " (1 Thess. 2:19; cf. Rv. 3:11) And to the Corinthians, “we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 2Cor. 1:14) And to the Philippians, that being “my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” (Phil. 4:1)


2. Wherever NT Scripture manifestly deals with the next life location for believers, it is to be with the Lord . (Phil 1:23; 2Cor. 5:8 [“we”]; Heb, 12:22,23; 1Cor. 15:51ff'; 1Thess. 4:17)
Not only did the penitent criminal go to "paradise" at death (Lk. 23:43; cf. 2Cor. 12:4; Rv. 2:7) as did Stephen, (Acts 7:59) but so would Paul and co. be with the Lord once absent from the body (Phil. 1:23,24) - even though Paul told the Philippians that was he not “already perfect.” (Phil. 3:12). Likewise he stated to the Corinthians, "We [plural] are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:8) and so would every believer if the Lord returned in their lifetime: “to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Thess. 4:17; 1Cor. 15:51ff - even though many believers were in need of greater holiness. (2Cor. 7:1)
Paul confessed he was not already practically perfect, (Phil. 3:12) but he earnestly desired to become as much in this life (to "know him, and the power of his resurrection, being made conformable unto his death" - Philippians 3:10) as he would via the resurrection, yet he knew that if he died before that then he would be with the Lord.

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight). We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: (Philippians 1:21-23)

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. (Philippians 3:14-15)

Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (Philippians 3:17)

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:20-21)

3. And as expressed in that verse and others, the resurrection is the only transformative event the believer manifestly 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.

4. Furthermore, Scripture only reveals growth in grace and overcoming as being realized in this world, with its temptations and trials, (1 Peter 1:6-7; 1Jn.2:14; 5:4,5; Rv. 2.7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21) where alternatives to submitting to God can be made (suffering itself does not make one mature) and thus it was here that the Lord Himself was made “perfect,” (Heb. 2:10) as in being “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15)

Thus what Scripture teaches is that it is on earth that testing and overcoming takes place, and that the elect go to be with the Lord upon death, or at His return, whichever comes first, and then they are judged as to the manner of works, reflecting their faith, and rewarded or suffer loss of rewards.

While perfection of character in this life. Mt 5:48 is invoked in support of this perfection being needed to be with God (which in context refers to treating your enemy benevolently), yet this does not teach that the achievement of absolute moral perfection in this life is a perquisite for salvation, which idea requires redefining salvation as to mean progressing to a state of being just enough by moral perfection to be with the Lord, and that being absent from the body means present in purgatory, not with the Lord, contrary to what is expressly stated. And which is akin to placing one under the Law, (Gal. 3:10) versus justification by imputed righteousness (justifying the unGodly by faith: Rm. 4:5) appropriated by a faith, but a faith which effects holiness.

For while salvific faith is one which characteristically effects the “obedience of faith” toward its Object (which faith in any moral authority will do), and which is an overcoming kind of faith, (Rv. 2,3), and grows towards the maturity which is called perfection, (Col. 1:28; 4:12; Ja. 1:4; 3:2; 1Jn. 4:17) and which faith has “great recompense of reward,” (Heb. 10:35), yet Scripture states that believers (being of true faith) are presently saved (Titus 3:5), and positionally perfect (Heb. 10:14) and seated in Heaven. (Eph. 2:6) And thus Christ can dwell with them now - "Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27) - and as shown, they can and will go to be with the Lord at death, or at the Lord's return.

Finally, this RC interpretation of 1Co. 3 is not one which is even officially taught by Rome as requiring assent, and is contradicted by the notes in the official RC Bible which notes  state,

The text of ⇒ 1 Cor 3:15 has sometimes been used to support the notion of purgatory, though it does not envisage this. - http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__PZ8.HTM#$4AC
^

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

How did the serpent seduce Eve to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?


How did the serpent seduce Eve to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?


Actually, it was essentially by using the same tactics as classic Communism and liberal leaders, which was to persuade the victim of deception that she was being treated unjustly, being kept from what should be hers by the one who possessed it. And with the devil playing the role of advocate for the victim (in order to selfishly obtain power for himself), fostering the victim-entitlement mentality, and enticing her to illicitly obtain what belonged to the one who rightfully possessed it, as if it was her right.

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (Genesis 3:1-6)

Note that the original sin of the devil was that of arrogantly asserting he was going to sit in the throne of God, (Isaiah 14)  the first “occupy movement,” not by being rewarded for obedience that God commands and requires, by as if it was his right.

In contrast, those who believe in the risen Lord Jesus Christ, and trust Him to save them on His account, and then faithfully obey Him in response to” so great salvation,” will sit with Him in His throne: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Revelation 3:21) But “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” (John 10:1)

In contrast is the presumption that without merit, and not even by appeal to mercy and grace, one has a right to what others possess by virtue of the merit of the latter. Such is the case with the indolent and wasteful being told (in so many words) that they are victims who have a right to what others have lawfully earned (or even inherited), or that the worker has the right to the same benefits that that an owner has accrued by risking capital and in building a business. That such must be compelled to “share the wealth” by penalizing the productive by progressively burdening them with supporting a state system which effectively rewards the opposite of productivity. Or by actually forcing divestiture by state takeover of established lawful businesses.

And with the ones who promote this doing so in order to obtain power, not by actual merit, but by inculcating a victim-entitlement mentality, and spending the money of others they compelled to provide in order to support their socialist or Communist paradise which actually works poverty insofar as it is not modified by capitalist principals, and in the end, if unrestrained, it is these promoters and their tenuous friends who end up being virtually the only ones enjoying the standard of living they promised to all. Think Venezuela [2018] as a modern example.

To be sure, there are real victims of circumstance as well as prejudice, and their own regretful wrong choices, and those who have inherited benefits as well as those who earned them have a moral obligation to help such, to show mercy and give grace, and which is to be an incentive to the recipients to better their lives and thereby help others.

But in the victim-entitlement ethos, there is no mercy or grace, as instead one who refuses to be productive and actually engages in immoral behavior is told in so many words that they have a right to what others obtained by merit (versus a right to earn benefits without discrimination on account of such amoral aspects as race).

And it is also Biblical and right to take taxes from those who can pay them in order to support valid government services, from infrastructure to defense. And which in Scripture included tithe of one’s increase at the end of three years for a provision at that time for non-paid government servants, and for stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow within the border. (Deuteronomy 14:28,29) And government should enable even waste scavengers and gleaners to do what they do.

However, without further digression, the short answer to your question “How did the serpent seduce Eve to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?,” is that it was by appeal to Eve as a victim of injustice, who had a right to that which was not hers, and which victim-entitlement mentality, with its fostering of envy and lust, was inculcated in order for the devil to obtain what he selfishly wanted, power in the realm of man, the earth, which he thereby gained, (Luke 4:6) to his own just eternal damnation. (Revelation 20:10)

 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

What are some substantial differences between Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism?

What are some substantial differences between Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism?
This reply is rather long, and supplemental links more fully answer the question, but there is much to this issue, and this reply may leave you better informed than some others.
First and mainly to be considered is the largest single church, Roman Catholicism, which is a religion that developed over time as a deformation of the NT church. It officially (if not all effectually) affirms valid Scripturally Truth (though not all) but progressively added mere traditions of men, these being distinctive Catholic beliefs (many of which are shared by the Eastern Orthodox) which 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.
For Catholicism exalted herself as the sure and supreme authority on faith and morals, effectively being superior over Scripture.
Pope Leo_xiii in Providentissimus Deus presumes,
Catholic doctrine, as authoritatively proposed by the Church, should be held as the supreme law; for, seeing that the same God is the author both of the Sacred Books and of the doctrine committed to the Church,” but which is a false premise. For the only substantive source of express public Divine revelation is Scripture. And both men and writings of God were being recognized as being so by common souls before a church presumed she was essential for this as conditionally incapable of error, which Catholicism does presume.
And rather than being subject to Scripture as supreme, Rome began to use the sword of men for ecclesiastical discipline and to achieve power (something early Protestantism, had to unlearn).
By the 4th century, we have a pope, Damasus 1, employing murderous thugs in order to secure his throne from his rival, and the beginning of the Caesario-papacy.
Eamon Duffy (Pontifical Historical Commission, Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Cambridge, and former President of Magdalene College) reports:
Damasus’ grass-roots supporters included squads of the notoriously hard-boiled Roman fossores, and they massacred 137 followers of the rival Pope Ursinus in street-fighting that ended in a bloody siege of what is now the church of Santa Maria Maggiore...”
In addition, the conversion of Constantine, “propelled the bishops of Rome into the heart of the Roman establishment. Already powerful and influential men, they now became grandees on a par with the wealthiest senators in the city. Bishops all over the Roman world would now be expected to take on the role of judges, governors, great servants of state..” (Saints and Sinners,” New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1997, 2001, pp. 37-38)
J. N. D. (1989 confirms the carnal means of the ascendancy of Damasus, and also records that he was,
indefatigable in promoting the Roman primacy, frequently referring to Rome as 'the apostolic see' and ruling that the test of a creed's orthodoxy was its endorsement by the Pope. In 378, he persuaded the government to recognize the holy see as a court of first instance and also of appeal for the Western episcopate... In tune with his ideas, Theodosius 1 (379-95) declared (February 27, 380) Christianity the state religion in that form…for Damasus this primacy was not based on decisions of synods, as were the claims of Constantinople, but exclusively on his [presumption of] being the direct successor of St. Peter...” Upon which false premise he presumed “judicial power to bind and loose, and the assurance of this infused all his rulings on church discipline. (Kelly, J. N. D. (1989). The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 32,34)
This would later result in the the formal declaration of the novel and unScriptural premise of ensured perpetual papal infallibility by Vatican 1. For Rome has presumed to formally “infallibly” declare she is and will be perpetually infallible whenever she speaks in accordance with her (scope and subject-based) criteria, which renders her declaration that she is infallible, to be infallible, as well as all else she accordingly declares.
However, while men such as the manifest (2Co. 6:4–10) New Testament apostles could speak and write as wholly inspired of God, and also provide new public Divine revelation thereby - which Catholic “fathers” and popes and prelates did and do not do - Catholic researchers themselves, among others, provide testimony against the New Testament church even looking to Peter (a true apostle) himself as the first of a line of infallible popes reigning as the exalted head of the church from Rome.
**Klaus SchatzJesuit Father theologian, professor of church history at the St. George’s Philosophical and Theological School in Frankfurt] in his work, “Papal Primacy,” finds: “If one had asked a Christian in the year 100, 200, or even 300 whether the bishop of Rome was the head of all Christians, or whether there was a supreme bishop over all the other bishops and having the last word in questions affecting the whole Church, he or she would certainly have said no." **
Moreover, by teaching such things as “It follows that the Church is essentially an unequal society, that is, a society comprising two categories of per sons, the Pastors and the flock...the one duty of the multitude is to allow themselves to be led, and, like a docile flock, to follow the Pastors,” (Vehementer Nos, an Encyclical of Pope Pius X promulgated on February 11, 1906) then when leadership overall goes “South” then so do those who follow them, or they are left looking for salvation, versus finding that via Scripture, which never falls into immorality or false doctrine.
Being overall not grounded in this sure foundation, then as Cardinal Ratzinger observed, referring to the 14th century,
"For nearly half a century, the Church was split into two or three obediences that excommunicated one another, so that every Catholic lived under excommunication by one pope or another, and, in the last analysis, no one could say with certainty which of the contenders had right on his side. The Church no longer offered certainty of salvation; she had become questionable in her whole objective form--the true Church, the true pledge of salvation, had to be sought outside the institution.“ (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith for the Church of Rome, “Principles of Catholic Theology,” trans. by Sister Mary Frances McCarthy, S.N.D. (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1989) p.196)
And presently Roman Catholics are part of a church which consists of different brands of Catholics, more so more so than in typical evangelical churches. The most extreme on the “right” are those who espouse the medieval Catholic position of implicit obedience to most everything the pope publicly teaches, but reject modern popes. And those who reject some of the modern Catholic teachings based upon their judgment of what valid church teaching consists of and means, and attack the present pope. As well as those who affirm that modern teaching is not in contradiction to historical Catholic teaching, which are clarifications of it, and are not be submitted and (at the least) not publicly objected to. Then there are the very liberal members such as publicly reject even modern Catholic moral positions. But all of whom (except the first class described) are manifestly considered, in life and in death, to be members in communion with “the Church.”
As for Eastern Orthodoxy, while typically less technical in its theology, and somewhat prone to appeal to mysticism, as said, they hold to many of the same distinctive beliefs which are not not manifest in the only wholly inspired substantive authoritative record of what the NT church believed, including subscribing to the premise that the church is the supreme sure standard for what is of God:
It is the Church that tells us what is Scripture, and it is also the Church that tells us how Scripture is to be understood...The decisive test and criterion for our understanding of what the Scripture means is the mind of the Church (http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema...)
However, while it is true that as seen in Acts 15, magisterial church office is to be the supreme authority in determining what it is to be taught, and as the Westminster Confession states, “It belongs to synods and councils, ministerially to determine controversies of faith..and authoritatively to determine the same; which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the Word of God, are to be received with reverence and submission,” (Chapter XXXI) the issue is that of the sure infallible status that Catholicism ascribes to its magisterial church office in formally teaching by her ecumenical councils on faith and morals for the whole church.
Which is never seen or promised (or necessary in Scripture. Instead, contrary to the premise that being the magisterial authority over the cooperate body from which Scripture came, and which affirms what it is, means that it possesses ensured infallibility, the reality is that the church actually began in dissent from those who sat in the seat of Moses over Israel, (Mt. 23:2) who were the historical instruments and stewards of Scripture, "because that unto them were committed the oracles of God," (Rm. 3:2) to whom pertaineth" the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises" (Rm. 9:4) of Divine guidance, presence and perpetuation as they believed, (Gn. 12:2,3; 17:4,7,8; Ex. 19:5; Lv. 10:11; Dt. 4:31; 17:8-13; Ps, 11:4,9; Is. 41:10, Ps. 89:33,34; Jer. 7:23)
And instead they followed an itinerant Preacher (as far as those who sat in the seat of Moses was concerned) whom the historical magisterium rejected, and whom the Messiah reproved by Scripture as being supreme, (Mk. 7:2-16) and established His Truth claims upon scriptural substantiation in word and in power, as did the early church as it began upon this basis. (Mt. 22:23-45; Lk. 24:27,44; Jn. 5:36,39; Acts 2:14-35; 4:33; 5:12; 15:6-21;17:2,11; 18:28; 28:23; Rm. 15:19; 2Cor. 12:12, etc.)
And despite both Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox both laying claim to the title “Catholic” and as being the One True Apostolic Church, after over 1,000 years they remain divided due to irreconcilable differences. (see EO_vs_Rome)
The Orthodox Church opposes the Roman doctrines of universal papal jurisdiction, papal infallibility, purgatory, and the Immaculate Conception precisely because they are untraditional." (Orthodox apologist and author Clark Carlton: THE WAY: What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church, 1997, p 135)
The East never accepted the regular jurisdiction of Rome, nor did it submit to the judgment of Western bishops. Its appeals to Rome for help were not connected with a recognition of the principle of Roman jurisdiction but were based on the view that Rome had the same truth, the same good. (Roman Catholic theologian Yves Congar, Diversity and Communion (Mystic: Twenty-Third, 1982), p. 26)
Roman Catholicism, unable to show a continuity of faith and in order to justify new doctrine, erected in the last century, a theory of "doctrinal development."…On this basis, theories such as the dogmas of "papal infallibility" and "the immaculate conception" of the Virgin Mary (about which we will say more) are justifiably presented to the Faithful as necessary to their salvation. (http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/ortho_cath.html)
Finally we have Protestantism, but which as typically defined is far too diverse to be meaningful, often encompassing everything from evangelical Christian churches to so-called Christian science” to Swedenborgism. Therefore it cannot be critically examined as one single church. However, based upon its most basic distinctive, that of Scripture being the sure and supreme sufficient standard for faith and morals, as the wholly God-inspired word of God, with its basically literal hermeneutic, then its members attest to being both the most strongly unified major religious group in many core beliefs as well as being a diverse community.
And rather than adopting such unScriptural Catholics beliefs, from prayer to created beings in Heaven, including the virtual worship of its unScriptural Mary by many Catholics, to her mistaken belief in the Lord’s supper, to compelled clerical celibacy, evangelical Bible faith overall tends to be more Scriptural (with some exceptions such as women pastors).

However, the prophesied overall later-day spiritual declension of the church is being seen today, first by lessened commitment to Scripture and its integrity.
And while Catholicism presumes too much of an office and thereby what it promulgates, and to the expense of the authority of Scripture, evangelicalism presumes too much of Scripture as far as practical authority is concerned, and too little of the magisterial office established thereby, as mentioned before
In addition, while Scripture requires separation from false believers, (1 Corinthians 5:9; 2 Corinthians 6:14–18) and dissent from corrupt tyrannical authority when the latter is contrary to the word of God (Acts 4:19) and rejects those who validly dissent (which again, is how the NT church began), yet in Protestantism this too much became the standard recourse in dealing with differences, and fails to pursue a central magisterium. The fact that the church of Rome has effectively rendered that as something to be avoided, in principle a central magisterium of Godly men is Scriptural.
The basic unity of the NT church church was under men of supreme Scriptural integrity, "not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. (2 Co. 4:2) And who, unlike what is typically seen today, could say that they, "in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God..." (2 Co. 6:4)
In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, (2 Corinthians 6:5-7)
And today Christianity (and I) fail of the degree of holiness and faith the prima NT church exampled and is needed for the church of the living God to manifest itself as being so, and as grounded in and supporting the Truth.
And besides Catholicism, the rest of what is called Protestantism fails more , being liberal.
However, God does not change, and Scripture is His sure established word, and teaches the way of salvation. In which the redeemed have come to God as souls damned by their works of sin - not saved because of works - and as destitute of any means or merit whereby they may escape their just and eternal punishment in Hell Fire and gain eternal life with God.
But who, 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 by His sinless shed blood. (Rm. 3:9 - 5:1) And whose faith is thus counted as righteousness, but it is a faith that will follow Him, being baptized under water and led by the Spirit of Christ in living according to the word of God (and repenting when convicted by conscience of not doing so).
To God be the glory in Jesus Christ.