Monday, February 11, 2019

Dialog with Catholics

The formulated dialog below is based on or derived from many Catholic assertions and responses I have engaged in (by the grace of God) or seen over many years as regards Catholic unity.

RC: Hi, I am a devout traditional Roman Catholic. Would you like to hear me tell you why your church cannot be right since you are so divided because of personal interpretation, instead of submitting to the one true church under the pope, under whom the church has unity.

Bible Christian: So instead of ascertaining what the NT believed by examination of the only wholly inspired record of what the NT church believed (especially Acts thru Revelation, showing how it understood the gospels), then 'the one duty of the multitude is to allow themselves to be led, and, like a docile flock, to follow the Pastors," "to suffer themselves to be guided and led in all things that touch upon faith or morals by the Holy Church of God through its Supreme Pastor the Roman Pontiff," "of submitting with docility to their judgment?"

(Sources

RC: That does not mean we must submit to everything modern popes and councils tell us.

Bible Christian: What is your basis for deciding which teachings require assent?

RC: We are to examine the historical teachings of The Church, which many teachings of Vatican Two and modern popes contradict.

Bible Christian: So you disagree with historical papal teaching such as teaches that for RCs there are to be, "no discussions regarding what he orders or demands, or up to what point obedience must go, and in what things he is to be obeyed... not only in person, but with letters and other public documents;" and 'not limit the field in which he might and must exercise his authority, " for "obedience must not limit itself to matters which touch the faith: its sphere is much more vast: it extends to all matters which the episcopal power embraces," and not set up "some kind of opposition between one Pontiff and another. Those who, faced with two differing directives, reject the present one to hold to the past, are not giving proof of obedience to the authority which has the right and duty to guide them." (Sources Cardinal Burke: Here’s What the Formal Correction of Pope Francis Will Look Like)

RC: That does not mean we must submit to everything modern popes and councils tell us. You need to submit to the One True Church to understand what these mean.

Bible Christian: But Catholics disagree on what such requirements entail .

RC: We can tell by examining historical teachings of The Church.

Bible Christian: Then that essentially makes you like a Bible Christian, ascertaining what valid church teaching is by examination of the historical sources, even if for you it is not primarily Scripture. Thus Catholicism itself abounds with divisions.

RC: Those who disagree with The Church are not real Catholics.

Bible Christian: But both publicly known liberal RCs as well as Traditionalists are overall manifestly considered as members by your church and pope in life and in death.

RC: The pope is not a true faithful Catholic.

Bible Christian: Are you saying you reject the pope as being pope? Those are whom your church calls schismatic as a class?

RC: Some do go that far, but the pope has not changed any dogma.

Bible Christian: So only infallible teachings require assent, while others can be disputable? And did not Vatican Two show how some parts of dogma can be interpreted differently to some degree.

RC: We can tell by examining historical teachings of The Church. We need not submit to anything that is not consistent with these teachings, and there are different magisterial classes of teaching, with different degrees of required assent.

Bible Christian: In any case, how do you know which magisterial class each teaching falls under.

RC: It is not that hard.

Bible Christian: Really? I recall a poster who was faced with this on a RC forum and thus asked in exasperation,
rrr1213: Boy. No disrespect intended…and I mean that honestly…but my head spins trying to comprehend the various classifications of Catholic teaching and the respective degrees of certainty attached thereto. I suspect that the average Catholic doesn’t trouble himself with such questions, but as to those who do (and us poor Protestants who are trying to get a grip on Catholic teaching) it sounds like an almost impossible task.

But the solution (before Francis) he was given was just obey everything:
Well, the question pertained to theology. The Catholic faithful don’t need to know any of this stuff to be faithful Catholics, so you are confusing theology with praxis.
Praxis is quite simple for faithful Catholics: give your religious assent of intellect and will to Catholic doctrine, whether it is infallible or not. That’s what our Dogmatic Constitution on the Church demands, that’s what the Code of Canon Laws demand, and that is what the Catechism itself demands. Heb 13:17 teaches us to “obey your leaders and submit to them.” This submission is not contingent upon inerrancy or infallibility. - Catechism "infallible?"

RC: That is correct, correctly understood.

Bible Christian: But in the light of your conditional assent, this means you are the arbiter of what valid Catholic doctrine is, and means.

RC: There is some room for interpretation.

Some is the problem. As another post wryly observed,

The last time the church imposed its judgment in an authoritative manner on "areas of legitimate disagreement," the conservative Catholics became the Sedevacantists and the Society of St. Pius X, the moderate Catholics became the conservatives, the liberal Catholics became the moderates, and the folks who were excommunicated, silenced, refused Catholic burial, etc. became the liberals. The event that brought this shift was Vatican II; conservatives then couldn't handle having to actually obey the church on matters they were uncomfortable with, so they left. ” Nathan, Against The Grain

RC: What some Internet posters says does not determine reality. The magisterium does.

Bible Christian: Which is the problem at issue. You want Bible Christians to submit to Rome rather than ascertaining the veracity of Truth claims based on what the most ancient wholly inspired sources say, and in which we do not see Catholic distinctives, while you judge the validity of church teaching based upon what your historical sources say.

RC: There is no contradiction btwn Scripture and Church teaching.

Bible Christian: So says your church, but which does not make it so, while absence of contradiction will not suffice as warrant for doctrine.

RC: You cannot correctly understand the Bible apart from Church Tradition.

Meaning what your church says Tradition and Scripture consist of and means, based upon the premise of the ensured veracity of your church (supreme magisterium), assurance of which itself rests upon that premise.

RC: Church Tradition provides more of the word of God, which is not restricted to the Bible, and supports the Catholic Church. Jesus did not commission the church to write a Bible, but to preach. The apostles preached what Christ taught before it was written, and enjoined obedience to their oral traditions. (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

Bible Christian: Actually,

1. Writing is God's writing is God's chosen most-reliable means of preservation. ( Exodus 17:14; 34:1,27; Deuteronomy 10:4; 17:18; 27:3; 31:24; Joshua 1:8; 2 Chronicles 34:15,18-19; Psalm 19:7-11; 119; John 20:31; Acts 17:11; Revelation 1:1; 20:12, 15; Matthew 4:5-7; 22:29; Luke 24:44,45; Acts 17:11)

And as abundantly evidenced , as written, Scripture became the transcendent supreme standard for obedience and testing and establishing truth claims as the wholly Divinely inspired and assured, Word of God. And while oral tradition failed to restore faith, reading and hearing the written word is shown to have done so. (2 Kings 22,23)

And which standard the Lord affirmed by His many references to the written word, and opening the minds of the disciples (not just apostles) to them, not traditions. (Luke 24:44,45) Thus if what Christ taught was to be preserved, then it would be by writing. And the veracity of oral preaching by even the apostles was subject to testing by established Scripture, (Acts 17:11) and not vice versa.

2. The apostles could and did speak as wholly inspired of God, and also provided new public revelation thereby, neither of which your popes and councils claim to do. And the wholly inspired word of God is not simply true, but as Hebrews 4:12 says.

3. The inclusion in wholly inspired Scripture from tradition, such as the names of Jannes and Jambres being who withstood Moses, (2 Timothy 3:8) provides assurance that such is Truth. Therefore, why should we believe what uninspired Catholic men say is the word of God?

RC: Without the Catholic Church you could not even tell what Scripture consisted of, and have the canon. And the promise of the Lord that He had more more to reveal to the apostles and thus their successors, and lead them into all Truth, (John 16:12-15) never leave them, and that the faith of Peter would not fail, (Luke 22:32) promise infallibility and which is required to provide for and preserve faith.

Bible Christian:

1. Rather than needing an infallible magisterium, common souls had ascertained both men and writings as being of God before Catholicism ever imagined it was essential for this, resulting in an authoritative body of inspired writings by the time of Christ. And sometimes the common people correctly were in dissent from the historical magisterial stewards of Scripture. Thus did the church begin in dissent (Mk. 11:27-33; Jn. 7:45-49) from those who sat in the seat of Moses, (Mt. 23:2) and thus Scripture provides for the establishment of a canon, and recognition of what is of God without a infallible magisterium.

2. The premise of ensured perpetual magisterial infallibility is novel and unScriptural. Nowhere do we see such promised or exampled, so that whenever it spoke to all the body on faith or morals then it could not err. Instead, authority did not require or infer doctrinal or moral infallibility, and required submission to authority was always conditional upon lack of real conflict with submission to God.

3. God has ever been leading His own into all Truth, and Scripturally/historically this was often thru men whom the magisterial powers persecuted, though their fallible authority remained (thus the church began upon dissidents, apostles and prophets). And assurance that something is part of the "yet many things to says."

4. The prayer to Peter that his own faith fail not, cannot be understood as precluding any failure, which Peter soon demonstrated, let alone being a promise of perpetual protection from error for his office when speaking according to a devised criteria, which is reading into the text that which is not there.

You need to read the church fathers. To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.

Actually, the uninspired words of men cannot be determinitive of what the NT church believed, and are not even for Rome, while the EOs have some substantial disagreements with the church of Rome over what Tradition teaches.

And what being deep in history reveals is that of the progressive degeneration of the NT church into Catholicism, if not total apostasy. Newman himself, whose statement you refer to, himself provided testimony, that It does not seem possible, then, to avoid the conclusion that, whatever be the proper key for harmonizing the records and documents of the early and later Church, and true as the dictum of Vincentius [that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all] must be considered in the abstract, and possible as its application might be in his own age, when he might almost ask the primitive centuries for their testimony, it is hardly available now, or effective of any satisfactory result. The solution it offers is as difficult as the original problem. (John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, p. 19)

Which necessitated his specious art of the Development of Doctrine due to lack of “unanimous consent ” of the fathers (while making use of forgeries ).


RC: How can you be sure that what you believe is True?

Bible Christian: Like as 1st century souls ascertained that man in a hair garment who are locusts and wild honey "was a prophet indeed," (Mk. 11:32) and that an Itinerant Preacher and preachers of His "sect" were of God, but the weight of Scriptural substantiation in word and in power.

What is your basis for assurance that something as the Assumption is the word of God.

RC: In the words of one famed apologist, "...the mere fact that the Church teaches the doctrine of the Assumption as definitely true is a guarantee that it is true." (Karl Keating, founder of Catholic Answers; Catholicism and Fundamentalism San Francisco: Ignatius, 1988, p. 275)

Bible Christian: What then, is your basis for assurance that the RCC is the one true and infallible church.

RC: I was persuaded by Tradition, history and Scripture that the Catholic Church was this church and to submit to it, whereby I found assurance that it was.

Bible Christian: Because it says it is, and as the one true church it must be right. However, how could you be persuaded by Scripture if as Catholic Encyclopedia asserts, "no matter what be done the believer cannot believe in the Bible nor find in it the object of his faith until he has previously made an act of faith in the intermediary authorities..." (Catholic Encyclopedia>Tradition and Living Magisterium) And Cardinal Avery Dulles: "People cannot discover the contents of revelation by their unaided powers of reason and observation. They have to be told by people who have received in from on high." (Cardinal Avery Dulles, SJ, “Magisterium: Teacher and Guardian of the Faith,” p. 72);

RC: As the Catholic Encyclopedia also states, when we appeal to the Scriptures for proof of the Church's infallible authority we appeal to them merely as reliable historical sources, and abstract altogether from their inspiration. (Catholic Encyclopedia>Infallibility) Whereby, aling with other evidences, the subject can see that submission to the Catholic church is warranted, and thereby also know what Scripture correctly consists of and means.

Bible Christian: So one is unable to ascertain what writings are of God but such can ascertain that the Catholic Church is the one true church of God?

RC: That is correct.

Bible Christian: The fact that souls could ascertain writings as being of God before there even was a church has already been stated, thus negating one of your premises, while Bible believers find just the contrary to the premise that seekers of Truth find warrant to submit to Rome.

RC: That is because they must submit to the Catholic Church in order to correctly understand Scripture.

Bible Christian: Which is simply not how the church began, as is clearly evident. While you may have made a fallible decision to submit to Rome based on some perceived warrant, rather than your assurance being based on the weight of Scriptural substantiation, it is really based on the novel and unScriptural premise of ensured perpetual magisterial infallibility. For Rome has presumed to infallibly declare she is and will be perpetually infallible whenever she speaks in accordance with her infallibly defined (scope and subject-based) formula, which renders her declaration that she is infallible, to be infallible, as well as all else she accordingly declares.

After conversion then a faithful RC is not to seek to ascertain the veracity of church teaching by examination of the inspired words of God, for to do so for that reason would be to doubt the church which you have placed your faith into as the unique instrument of God.

Thus as Stapleton asserts,

Once he does so [enters the Roman church], he has no further use for his reason. He enters the Church, an edifice illumined by the superior light of revelation and faith. He can leave reason, like a lantern, at the door. Therein he will learn many other truths that he never could have found out with reason alone, truths superior, but not contrary, to reason. These truths he can never repudiate without sinning against reason, first, because reason brought him to this pass where he must believe without the immediate help of reason.” — (John H. Stapleton, Explanation of Catholic Morals, Chapters XIX, the consistent believer (1904);

RC: You conclusions are in contrast to the many learned Protestants who have crossed the Tiber and become Catholics.

Bible Christian: Which is actually contrary to the Biblical model, in which the common people overall recognized what the learned would not, and which is how the NT church began. while the learned rejected the Christ of Scripture.

Those who become RC usually do so as a result of engaging in the error of understanding the Scriptures by the dimmed light of the uninspired words of post-apostolic men, which testify to the progressive accretion of traditions of men unseen in the only wholly inspired record of what the NT church believed (including how they understood the gospels), producing the most manifest deformation of the NT church.

RC: Whatever. Its apparent that you are driven by anti-Catholic bigotry, and who cannot be convinced due to your hatred of the Catholic Church. Probably the mother of God as well.

Bible Christian: Actually I am to go wherever the Truth leads, and which did lead me out of the RCC as i sought to know and serve Him. And frankly, rather than being able to convince objective seekers, I find your overall position untenable and even absurd, arguments to be specious.

RC: I find your comment offensive, and am reporting you to the moderators for being rude

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Response to a CF forum poster.


Which is the old  Catholic recourse to the antiquity=veracity fallacy:

Appeal to tradition - Wikipedia
Appeal to tradition (also known as argumentum ad antiquitatem,[1] appeal to antiquity, or appeal to common practice) is an argument in which a thesis is deemed correct on the basis that it is correlated with some past or present tradition.

Of course if the tradition is given by the wholly inspired word of God via reliable, substantive  transmission, then there is no fallacy. The problem is that oral tradition by nature simply by far is not the most reliable from of transmission, but God manifestly made writing His most-reliable means of reliable authoritative preservation.. (Exodus 17:14; 34:1,27; Deuteronomy 10:4; 17:18; 27:3,8; 31:24; Joshua 1:8; 2 Chronicles 34:15,18-19, 30-31; Psalm 19:7-11; 102:18; 119; Isaiah 30:8; Jeremiah 30:2; Matthew 4:5-7; 22:29; Luke 24:44,45; John 5:46,47; John 20:31; Acts 17:2,11; 18:28; Revelation 1:1; 20:12, 15)

Moreover, men such as the apostles could speak as wholly inspired of God and also provide new public revelation thereby (in conflation with what had been written), neither of popes and councils claim to do.

And thus as abundantly evidenced , as written, Scripture became the transcendent supreme standard for obedience and testing and establishing truth claims as the wholly Divinely inspired and assured, Word of God. Even the veracity of even apostolic oral preaching could be subject to testing by Scripture, (Acts 17:11) and not vice versa.


Now relying upon this "ordained antiquity" equals ensured veracity principle, let's imagine a debate btwn a first century member of "the sect of the Nazarenes" (Acts 24:5) and a Pharisees.

Nazarene: Sir, "stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God," [1 Samuel 9:27] from the Scriptures that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the very Christ.

Pharisee: Then answered the Pharisee, Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. [John 7:47]

Know ye not that as Saul of Tarsus affirms, we art "a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law." [Romans 2:19-20] For unto us "were committed the oracles of God. [Romans 3:2] Who are Israelites; 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," [Romans 9:4] promises of Divine guidance, presence and perpetuation as we believe? [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 are the descendants of the fathers, out of whom Christ shall come? [Romans 9:5]

Nazarene: But sir, you are like those who rejected prophets of old, who also were not ordained of thee, of thy office, nor had thine sanction, but who established their Truth claims upon conformity with the word of God and in power, as did Jesus of Nazareth.

Pharisee: And we build tombs to those prophets for "if we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets." [Matthew 23:30]

Nazarene: But by rejecting Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ thou hast rejected those prophets for it was of He that they spake! [Acts 10:43] John the baptizer, whom all count to be a prophet indeed, [Mark 11:32] also testified that Jesus was the Christ.

Pharisee: So? This people who knoweth not the law are cursed. [John 7:47-49] And the baptizer had no more valid authority then thy savior Jesus. And "search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet." [John 7:52] "We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is." [John 9:29]

Nazarene: Indeed, "in that saidst thou truly" [John 4:18] of they ignorance, for Jonah the prophet was of Galillee, (2 Kings 14:25) while Jesus the Christ was born in Bethlehem, "Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?" [John 7:42]

Pharisee: Hearsay. Is he "greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead:" [John 8:53. KJV) whom makest himself to be? [John 8:53]

Nazarene: Sir, He is the Divine Son of the living God, who by word and deed attested, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am."[John 8:58]

Pharisee: And "we have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God." [John 19:7]

Nazarene: And "ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;" and Him, "being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain." [Acts 2:23] However, "Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly." [Acts 10:40. KJV]

Pharisee: Nay, for the soldiers themselves have testified that you "disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept." [Matthew 28:12-13]

Nazarene: But "after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep." [1 Corinthians 15:6]

Pharisee: "And, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us." [Acts 5:28]

Nazarene: Oh, but that you would "let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." [Acts 2:36] "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." [Acts 3:19]

Pharisee: Again, just who are thee to instruct US? Do we not sit "in the seat of Moses" [Mt. 23:2] over Israel, who are the historical instruments and stewards of Scripture. Why without us you would not even have any Scriptures to quote from. And as dissent from our judgments is a capital offense under the Law (Dt. 17:8-13) then beware! I would have thee stoned if it were not for these unwashed detestable Romans ruling over us.

Which is another typical Catholic recourse, that of a  straw man:

Straw man - Wikipedia
A straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent's argument, while actually refuting an argument that was not presented by that opponent. One who engages in this fallacy is said to be "attacking a straw man."

"Sola Scriptura" which is what the  Catholic must attack (since the Catholic church and its doctrine law is supposed to be supreme) simply does not means only the Bible is to be used. One source states,

..like many core Christian convictions, the doctrine of sola Scriptura has often been misunderstood and misapplied. Unfortunately, some have used sola Scriptura as a justification for a “me, God, and the Bible” type of individualism, where the church bears no real authority and the history of the church is not considered when interpreting and applying Scripture. Thus, many churches today are almost ahistorical—cut off entirely from the rich traditions, creeds, and confessions of the church. They misunderstand sola Scriptura to mean that the Bible is the only authority rather than understanding it to mean that the Bible is the only infallible authority. Ironically, such an individualistic approach actually undercuts the very doctrine of sola Scriptura it is intended to protect. By emphasizing the autonomy of the individual believer, one is left with only private, subjective conclusions about what Scripture means. It is not so much the authority of Scripture that is prized as the authority of the individual. (Understanding Sola Scriptura)

In short, not necessarily more wisdom much less pity, but enlightenment,  and which we can claim for  basically  the same reason the common people heard Jesus gladly, and counted John the baptizer to be a prophet indeed, even though they were both rejected by those who sat in the seat of the valid historical magisterium. And they also had  a body of wholly inspired-of-God writings established as authoritative, even though  in Catholicism it is argued that faith in her is essential for knowing this.

And  which  valid historical magisterium 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.)

It can be argued that evangelical faith does not have as much immediate miraculous testimony as 1st century souls were given in the presence of Christ and the prima NT church (and thus does not see much in the way of negative, disciplinary miracles also), however, the principle of Truth claims being established upon Scriptural substantiation in word and in power remains. In contrast to the novel and unScriptural premise of ensured perpetual magisterial infallibility (with its historical argument) being the basis for doctrinal assurance, as it is to be for Catholics.

Who polemically appeal to Scripture when dealing with us, as if it was the supreme standard, yet their goal is to bring us to forsake that premise, and implicitly submit to their amalgamated "unified in diversity" Catholic system. http://www.peacebyjesus.com/RC-Stats_vs._Evang.html#TOC

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.