Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Conversation Between A Catholic (Leo) and A Protestant (Me)

Leo and I have been having an interesting conversation in the com box of this post. Leo is concerned for me because I am no longer Catholic; I am concerned for him because he doesn't see that I don't need to be Catholic to be a Christian. The church is not what Leo thinks it is, I think.
UPDATE: I would also add that if Leo is trusting in the Catholic Church as his salvation, as might be inferred by the fact that he thinks there is no salvation outside of it, then I am very concerned for his salvation too. We must trust in Christ alone and come to Him by faith, not to the Catholic Church. We don't come to Christ through the Church, but to the church through Christ.

79 comments:

Moonshadow said...

I read some of the comments and, God help me, I wouldn't want to repeat or use any of the approaches that Leo does. And God forgive me if I have. I'm still learning.

However, Jennie, you said this:

"We can't be united as brothers and sisters in Christ under the Catholic system of ritual and the papacy. Those things divide us."

which merely observes that "doctrine divides," in other words. Yes, it does, doctrine divides, but I can't imagine you, Jennie, think doctrine irrelevant or dispensable.

I have probably said this before but it seems to need repeating, that Catholics hear the voice of Christ spoken through the Church: "He that heareth you heareth Me." (Luke 10:16) And to disobey the Church is to disobey Christ Himself.

Peace.

Jennie said...

Teresa,
Yes, doctrine divides, but only because some doctrine is true and some is false. Certainly true scriptural doctrine is indispensable.
You can hear the voice of Christ spoken through the church if the church is following Christ and speaking the truth. If you read Revelation 2 and 3 you will see that the church (or churches) don't always do that. Also the church is not the magisterium, but it is the congregation of born again believers (saints). You are disobeying Christ if you are disobeying His word, which should be spoken by the church, but isn't always spoken rightly or spoken clearly.

Jennie said...

"He that heareth you heareth Me." (Luke 10:16) And to disobey the Church is to disobey Christ Himself.
This was spoken to the seventy whom Christ sent out, which I believe represents all disciples (believers) not a ruling magisterium. If a believer is following Christ and speaking His word, then the Holy Spirit is speaking through that person, and to disobey the exhortation and calling of the Holy Spirit is to disobey Christ Himself. God speaks to each believer through His word and Spirit, and if you are following one fallible man in a faraway city, then you may or may not be following someone who is speaking from the Holy Spirit; but the Scripture does not allow for one man to rule the entire church.

Elena said...

Leo, let me give you some advice...find a better use of your time. Jennie is so firmly entrenched where she is that no amount of prodding, pulling, pleading, logic or reason will move her. About your only recourse is prayer.

You've sown the seeds (God knows haven't we all) whether they take root or not is not up to us!

Moonshadow said...

As Leo doesn't appear to be reading this thread, as yet, I suspect Elena is rather addressing Jennie directly. Things we've heard her say before.

I studied Acts 20 with some Presbyterians yesterday and came away thinking that the Roman Catholic Church is much more "flat" - structurally speaking - than people suppose.

Terms like presbyteros - "elders" (v. 17) - episkopos - "overseers" (v. 28) - and poimnion, "flock" (also v. 28) (related to the word poimainō, "to feed, to tend a flock, to keep sheep") were encountered in the chapter.

Acts 20 is descriptive, not prescriptive: this is simply how the church in Ephesus was set up.

Jennie said: the church is not the magisterium

Maybe not, but a magisterium is biblical:

The elders/overseers/pastors in Acts 20 are charged by Paul with teaching and pastoring. Maybe, like on Luke 10:16, you think Paul's charge applies only to those very Ephesian men until their death or incapacitation. But, then 1 Tim. 1:3 and Titus 1:5 speak of these "disciples of Paul," Timothy and Titus, choosing men and controlling what they teach.

You're right, Jennie, the Catholics are wrong: St. Paul was the first pope, not St. Peter. :-)

Peace.

JD said...

off topic

Thought you'd be interested: LINK

-JD

Moonshadow said...

It is off-topic but, as it happens, I read something similar to that - Church fathers on baptism - from David Gibson, printed last week in my diocesan newspaper: "Meet a few Fathers of the church".

Jennie said...

Elena, Leo seems to be single-mindedly focused on that other thread, but like Teresa, I feel that you were actually speaking indirectly to me.
About what you said, I can only say that I have felt the same way about others and hope and pray the seeds I have sown will take root and grow and bear fruit. The thing is, though, that as a human being at a distance I can't possibly know your spiritual condition, or Leo's; only God does. I see things in the RC faith that 'get in the way' of the pure scriptural gospel, so I hope you are born again by the Spirit and are trusting in Christ alone. I see things in the Baptist churches too that 'get in the way'. But, on the other hand, what gives you the idea that I am not saved and need to be in the RCC in order to be saved? Can't you tell that I have faith in Christ alone by all that I've said consistently over the last year and a half?

JD said...

not sure why i had that particular comment in the link to the thread, but i mean for you i.e Jennie or moonshadow to read the whole post, not just the comments, sorry about that.

Jennie said...

Thanks, JD, I'll look at the post.

Moonshadow said...

I understood that the whole post was intended, JD. I read it and was about to comment there. Maybe I will, if I get the gumption.

When Fr. Kimel says, "My private opinion is that the Reformed understanding of predestination, perseverance, and assurance drives everything at this point," I want to reply, "No, God's sovereignty drives everything."

And, in the WCF, I detect a difference in how baptism "works" (i.e., is effectual) from how the Lord's Supper "works" (i.e., is effectual) in time. In 28:6, we read "The efficacy of baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered; yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited and conferred by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongeth unto, according to the counsel of God's own will, in his appointed time." Repeat it with me: "God's sovereignty."

Alternately, the Lord's Supper benefits true believers. [WCF 29:1]

Catholics tend to lump the grace of the sacraments all together but I don't think the Reformed do. They are sensitive to the ordinances' respective purposes.

See also.

Peace, Teresa

Leo said...

First to Teresa,

There is no need to be melodramatic... Please...my comments were intended for Jennie and I think that she took them for the intendes hyperboles which they were. Did not Jesus say to pluck out your eye if it causes you to sin, etc...If we all took His comments literally, most of us would be blind, deaf and without limbs. Perhaps you do not realize that I do not take myself so seriously...As a question for you, do you believe everything the Church teaches on Faith and Morals?


Jennie,

I hope you understand that my comments were not meant to do anything but get through the 'Protestant force field' you always put up. I hope you were not offended, but I can see by this post that I did not make my points clearly enough for you to understand them.

Leo said...

Jennie,

Please allow me to clarify.

1.One does not need to be a Catholic to be a Christian. I can clearly see that you have a living faith and that you place incredible energy in trying to live for Jesus Christ. I am in no way inferring that you will not be saved; nor am I saying that I will. I hope and pray that this will be the case for both of us, however, and I trust in God's mercy.

2. Saying that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church is the same as saying there is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ. Hopefully, you understand the concept that any number of Jews, Hindus, Muslims, etc. may get to heaven, but they will do so through Jesus Christ by His decision and working through His Church. The Catholic Church offers prayers daily for the salvation of all souls, and so, intercedes for ALL of us.

3. Christ is the head of the Church and every prayer in Mass is
directed to the Father through Christ our Lord and in the name of the Trinity.

4. The Church is actually not what you think, or you would never have left it. If I thought it were what you think it is, I would have left it long ago. I don't believe what is taught because the Church says it. I believe it because it's the Truth.

5. Let me ask again. Are you honestly trying to see if it could be true, or is your mission to discredit it?

Moonshadow said...

Alright, going forward, Leo's the only one allowed "personality," such as it is, online.

Anyway, Jennie invited her blog readers to read your interaction in the comments on the previous post. I know from experience that Jennie's good with personal email, too, for private remarks. If you wanna go that way next time.

Leo asked: do you believe everything the Church teaches on Faith and Morals?

Pretty much. Ask me some "first instances" and I'll let you know specifically.

In general, I'm about making sense of whatever biblical text ... or other writings (prayers, church documents, etc.) ... under consideration ... giving something a fresh reading, perhaps ... and then seeing how other people understand the same. I have no qualms allowing something for argument's sake - something I may in reality actually object to - to see where the assumption leads. Only by admitting another's narrative can the pitfalls been shown up anyway. I call this "being vulnerable."

Peace.

Leo said...

Jennie,

My comments about the peace that surpasses all understanding were meant to share insights from returning Catholics that I have learned over the years. Friends that have left the Church related that it was the Eucharist which they missed while gone. Mind you, they became active Christians in other churches, but felt something missing over time. This was eventually discovered to be the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ which they no longer received. I have other friends that relate the same loneliness you shared in your blog. That is what triggered my response. I could feel their comments through your comments.

A Christian who has never received the Eucharist would never feel that loss. That is a point which I obviously miserably failed to make.

Another point is that we Catholics view all Saints in heaven as our elder brothers and sisters and we view Mary as our spiritual Mother, given to us by Jesus Christ Himself. It is beyond offensive the way you often speak about our Blessed Mother, whom we love deeply.

By the way, it is a scientific fact that the blood of the mother and child completely mix with each other to the extent that each is actually affected by the other.

If Jesus is God and He healed by merely touching, just think of what effect having His blood mingle with Mary's for 9 months would have. Now think of the effect He has on us if we consume the Eucharist and if it is His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity...

Rather than respond with several hundred spurious sources or interpretations, please just meditate on that last paragraph for a while...you may be glad you did ;-)

Leo said...

Theresa,

Thanks for accepting my often strange sense of humor. Just think how lucky you don't have to listen to me regularly like my children...

Your point on a private contact is well taken...I did not see any e-mail address...up to you Jennie. I am at tralfazj@aol.com. In case you are wondering, that is the real name of the Jetsons' dog...my sense of humor...I had to add the 'J' because someone already had Tralfaz...I am not alone...there are at least two of us ;-)

You may contact me there as well, Theresa. I am not sure that my Catholic questions would apply on this blog anyway...your call

Well, I need to get up early...

Jennie said...

You're right, Jennie, the Catholics are wrong: St. Paul was the first pope, not St. Peter. :-)
I think you're onto something there, Teresa :)

Moonshadow said...

The Jet-who?!

Funny, I said aloud "Ruh-roh" yesterday when I heard my kid crying on the playground but I couldn't remember whose dog ... I guess I thought Scooby-Doo.

Voir dire me on my blog, Leo, or friend me on Facebook. I'm in a new springtime of learning so I'm at peace about God not being finished with me yet. :-) Deo gratias.

Jennie said...

Leo,
my email address is linked on my profile page.
I'll be back tomorrow; seems like old times :)

Jennie said...

Maybe not, but a magisterium is biblical:

Teresa, Jesus and the Apostles set up 'servant leaders' who would shepherd His flock, not 'masters' who would rule over them and keep them in childhood and bondage, unable to grow to maturity if they remain completely under their authority. You apparently are not receiving all you seek from your church, or you wouldn't be going to other churches to learn.
The root of 'magisterium' is 'magister' which comes from 'master'. Jesus is our only master and Lord.
Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Jennie said...

In other words, Teresa, I don't believe a 'magisterium' is biblical. I

Moonshadow said...

You apparently are not receiving all you seek from your church

My reasons for "going outside" are a commentary on me, not my church.

Jesus and the Apostles set up 'servant leaders' who would shepherd His flock

1 Cor. 12:28 - "first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers [διδάσκαλος]" - also Eph. 4:11. Thayer's Lexicon and KJV Concordance.

Matt. 10:24 - "the disciple is not above [his] master [διδάσκαλος], nor the servant above his lord"

James 3:1 - "My brethren, be not many masters [διδάσκαλος], knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation."

That's alright, Jennie, I can see you're busy/tired/not interested. It's just amazing to me that you think Christ set up personal autonomy (twinned most graciously with the indwelling Holy Spirit) among his chosen people.

Jennie said...

I hope you understand that my comments were not meant to do anything but get through the 'Protestant force field' you always put up. I hope you were not offended, but I can see by this post that I did not make my points clearly enough for you to understand them.

Leo,
I was not offended at all, but what you take for a 'protestant force field' is really just the fac that I have seen that Roman Catholicism is not what it claims to be: the one true and original church which holds the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. On the contrary, it is a development within the visible church whose leadership gradually gained power by usurpation and whose magisterium was continually corrupted by that power; also over time many doctrines were added that are anti-scriptural. I have no need to go into a church like that. Being born again and then following God within a local church is all I need. God is using me, a shy person, to help connect our members by beginning a ladies' prayer circle. He is moving to unite our local body as His word dictates. He often uses those who seem least qualified to show His glory.

Jennie said...

That's alright, Jennie, I can see you're busy/tired/not interested. It's just amazing to me that you think Christ set up personal autonomy (twinned most graciously with the indwelling Holy Spirit) among his chosen people.

I am probably a little distracted. We've been through all this before. I DON'T believe Christ set up personal autonomy, but instead dependence of each believer upon Christ Himself, WITH the guidance of a pastor and interaction between believers to help, pray for, exhort, and encourage each other. That is quite different than 'me and the Holy Spirit'. Though sometimes it may have to be 'me and the Holy Spirit' in hard times, hopefully also with the prayers of the saints to lift one up.

Jennie said...

1.One does not need to be a Catholic to be a Christian. I can clearly see that you have a living faith and that you place incredible energy in trying to live for Jesus Christ. I am in no way inferring that you will not be saved; nor am I saying that I will. I hope and pray that this will be the case for both of us, however, and I trust in God's mercy.
Leo,
I see now that you are not saying I'm not saved, though it seems that you don't think anyone can know if they are saved. I know that I am saved, and that God will finish what He has begun in me. If I abide in Him (John 15) then I will not fall into sin and be punished. I don't believe a born again person will be judged for salvation, but will be judged by their works and possibly be temporarily chastised for sin or disobedience. They will be rewarded for the works they do by the power of God's grace. The works they do by their own flesh will be burnt up.

Leo said...

Thank you for defining purgatory
;-)

Jennie said...

Ha ha, I thought you would say something like that, Leo. :b

I don't think what I described, or tried to, is the same as purgatory. For one thing, I don't think it will last long, but be quickly done, like a whipping. Also, it may possibly be accomplished here on earth by trials, etc.

Leo said...

Jennie,

Oh my gosh, you are becoming Catholic again :-0 ha ha ha...

Let me explain...

1. God wants all people to be saved, and so every single person on earth receives sufficient grace to get to heaven immediately upon death. No one will be able to stand before Christ and say "hey, you forgot about me."

2. We are meant to be perfected through our life's trials here on earth. However, we have free will. If we avoid some of the tests(i.e. through artificial contraception, abortion,lying, cheating, being selfish with our possessions, etc.), the work may not be completed here. If the sins are grave enough, it may result in eternal separation from God if not addressed through perfect contrition prior to death. Regardless, we need to be perfected before we can enter heaven. By the way, good works(feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, etc.) done in a state of grace help to atone for our sins and those of others. We can offer up all sufferings and unite them to Christ's and gain merits in heaven. Paul speaks about that. We are not saved by the works, but our souls can be made clean through them in reparation for the damage our sins have caused. Salvation is apart from holiness, but holiness is necessary to enter heaven.

3. The only official teaching on Purgatory is that it exists and that the souls there already have the assurance of heaven. There is no definition of time or circumstances. It is simply the final purification of those saved souls who are not quite ready to enter heaven yet. We have some ideas from the saints and mystics who have seen revelations throughout the centuries, but those are private revelations and the faithful are not bound to believe them.

Leo said...

Jennie, you said, "I have seen that Roman Catholicism is not what it claims to be: the one true and original church which holds the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."

Jennie, you need to separate yourself from anti-Catholic sources and unfortunately, from most Catholics, to see what the Church really is. You must realize that if the Church is really what she claims to be, Satan is doing everything in his power to keep people away from her by attacking her. It is not a coincidence that Satanism has as their highest ritual the 'black mass' and their greatest act of worship is the desecration of a consecrated host from a Catholic Church. He knows where the bread is buttered, so to speak. I have learned much about exorcisms and demonology and trust me, there are things that will more than curl your toes. We are in a war for the salvation of souls.

Remember that God reveals himself to all and that all religions have their basis in God and point to Him. However, the full deposit of Faith has been entrusted by Christ to the Catholic Church alone. The Church is also a hospital for sinners. It is not a museum for saints. Just look at the fact that 53% of self-professed Catholics voted for Obama despite clear teaching from the shepherds that no Catholic can in good conscience support someone who is pro-abortion. Many die in hospitals--some because of bad doctors, and some because they don't follow doctor's orders when they are outside of the hospital. The same is true spiritually if you think about it. Patients can refuse treatment and may not be willing to change their lifestyles.

The Church is like the ark in Noah's time. Yes, you can swim if you wish, but it is a whole lot easier to come aboard.

Jennie said...

and we view Mary as our spiritual Mother, given to us by Jesus Christ Himself. It is beyond offensive the way you often speak about our Blessed Mother, whom we love deeply.

Leo,
I don't believe I have ever said anything against Mary, only about the Catholic view of Mary. I don't think you are seeing that it is offensive to me, and I believe to God, that an idea of Mary is lifted up as someone to adore and pray to and depend upon for mercy and grace and help. God has commanded that we pray to Him alone and look to Him alone, and Jesus died so that there would be no other between us and Him: no veil, no person, no mediator but Himself, so we can be with Him, and He with us. It offends me that 'Mary' is interposed between us and God.

Moonshadow said...

Jennie said, "We've been through all this before."

I am sorry; you are right to say that we have been through this before. That possibility didn't dawn on me until after I made my comment above.

Well, I'm terribly sick right now (stuffy, runny nose) and we'll be going on vacation for a few days soon, so I'll leave you, Jennie, to Leo the Lion. :-) The MGM one, not the zodiac. :-)

shabbat shalom.

Jennie said...

Hi Teresa,
I apologize for being both rude and distacted and not giving your comments the attention I ought. I hope you feel better soon and have a restful vacation :)
A parting thought: Is the word for 'master' as in 'teacher' (which you quoted above) the same Greek word as the word for 'master' as Jesus and Paul used it when referring to a lord or master of slaves?

Leo said...

Jennie,

You are right about my comments about Mary. I was speaking about Protestants as a rule and did not make myself clear.

However, you also said,"It offends me that 'Mary' is interposed between us and God."

Mary was put there by Jesus Christ Himself, so take it up with Him. Mary said, "My soul doth magnify the Lord". She is meant to bring Christ closer to us. Her only command in Scripture is "Do whatever He tells you." She is the only person who was there when the Word became flesh and when He was consecrated in the Temple. He performed His first miracle at her request and she was at His death on the cross. He also gave her to us(only if you see yourself as a beloved disciple)as our mother and the Book of Revelation repeats that all disciples of Jesus are her offspring...obviously her spiritual offspring.

Any time you ask ANYONE to pray for you it is YOU who are interposing them between you and Jesus.

Jennie, with all due respect, you are reading far too much anti-Catholic nonsense and you are misinterpreting Scripture. Just as you misunderstood what the Church teaches about salvation, so too this. ALL AUTHENTIC MARIAN DEVOTION IS CHRISTOCENTRIC. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. That is the Truth.

Leo said...

Jennie, you said, "Being born again and then following God within a local church is all I need".

And I suppose you place yourself under the authority of the local pastor. It's either that, or you are your own pope. Every doctrine that you believe that is correct, comes from the Catholic Church. Well, guess what...every priest in the Catholic and Orthodox churches can trace the laying on of hands all the way back to the Apostles. Your pastor cannot. Paul said to be careful whom they laid their hands on precisely because they were transmitting the very authority of Jesus Christ.

Jennie said...

Leo,
the Woman in the book of Revelation is not Mary. She is Israel. The Child is not only Christ: the Head is Christ and the Body is the church.

Leo said...

Jennie,

Where in Scripture does it say that the woman in Revelation is not Mary? Please don't quote theories...you cannot choose what to read figuratively.

Moonshadow said...

Jennie asked: Is the word for 'master' as in 'teacher' (which you quoted above) the same Greek word as the word for 'master' as Jesus and Paul used it when referring to a lord or master of slaves?

No, it's kyrios, as in Eph. 6:5, 9; Col. 3:22, 4:1 - the so-called "Household codes."

(Hey, I'm going to hear Fr. Felix Just, SJ lecture this summer at St. Elizabeth's in Convent St., NJ! So excited! I might take a page of his website above for him to autograph.)

But you know that sometimes kyrios is translated "Lord," "lord," "master," "sir," depending on the reference.

Obviously our true loyalty swifts from humans to Christ when we believe but we still have our obligations to our fellow men.

Jennie said...

Leo,
for one thing, when did Mary flee to the wilderness after her child was caught up to God and His throne, and then be fed there for One thousand two hundred and sixty days?

Moonshadow said...

Read Zech 12:10-11; 13:1 this morning at a mass celebrated with my bishop and was thinking of this conversation here. Who's to say that the one whom they have pieced, an only son, a firstborn is NOT Israel, and only Israel?

Because we have this hermeneutic that says Christ fulfilled the role of Israel as a faithful son. Any other reason?

Jennie said...

Teresa, are you comparing the Zechariah passage to the Revelation passage and saying we can't tell who it is talking about. I'm not sure what you mean. But I think in each case it's pretty obvious from the context and the details given ('pieirced' refers to Christ being pierced on the cross) as to whom each passage refers. A 'woman' in prophetic passages always refers to the people of God, whether Israel or the church or both. The woman is obviously not one person, but is the collective people whom God will care for during the tribulation.

Leo said...

Jennie,

Funny you should ask... Where did Joseph and Mary flee with Jesus when Herod was going to kill all young boys in the area? They went to Egypt, which is 96% uninhabitable desert, which qualifies as a wilderness in my books. According to the Egyptian historian Hippolytus, Jesus was there for.....yep, 1,260 days. Amazing coincidence, you might say
;-)

But...the time frame is not clear from Scripture, you say...so where did Hippolytus get his info? Well, we know for sure that he and Origen met in 212A.D., so he would have learned what the Church believed at that time. According to Tradition, it has been believed that he learned this directly from the Egyptian church(yes, it was connected to Rome).

Jennie, don't forget that even though Scripture is inspired, that does not imply that everything else is false. Truth is truth and we always operate based on Faith and Reason working together. It is impossible for a scientific fact to contradict our Faith and vice versa.

The Church has always asked independent scientists to examine and evaluate miracles, for example. I may have mentioned before that all Eucharistic miracles of consecrated hosts bleeding and wine turning into blood, have the same blood type as on the Shroud of Turin. Tests such as carbon dating are relied upon as well.

Leo said...

By the way, Scripture actually says 'desert'...

Jennie said...

But Leo, it says she fled to the wilderness AFTER her child was caught up to God and His throne, not while He was on earth. And its a prophecy, not a description of a past event, but what is to come.

Jennie said...

And in Exodus, Egypt was not a desert, but a pleasant land, and the wilderness was a separate place that the Israelites wandered in. The prophecy is referring back to the symbolism of the wilderness, which is a continuing theme for the people of God. Egypt is always the place of bondage to sin; the wilderness or desert is a place of testing or walking with God under His special provision in hard times.

Leo said...

Jennie,

Sorry, but Egypt was clearly a desert when Mary and Joseph went there with Jesus. It did not just become so overnight. And yes, 96% of Egypt is that way. 99% of the population lived in the 4% of the land. By the way, most translations of Scripture use the word desert and not wilderness.

Also, it is interesting to note that the woman in Revelation was seen to be Mary by the early Church Fathers. Yet, you claim to have better insights than what has been faithfully handed down for 2000 years.

May I make a few points here?
1. You have misunderstood what the Catholic Church teaches about salvation, Mary, the papacy, etc.

2. All of the above teachings are clearly explained in the Catechism, yet you continue to use spurious sources which abound in specious reasoning and clever sophistry. It is the prerogative of each person to refuse to believe or follow Church teaching. That is what free will is all about. However, one needs to truly understand exactly what the Church teaches.

3. Christ did not mean for everyone to rediscover His teachings from scratch. This is why He handed down a deposit of Faith through the apostles. This is also why they chose Matthias to succeed the office which Judas vacated by his untimely demise.

4. Why not address actual Church teachings and then tell me where you disagree and why you disagree. Perhaps this will lead to more fruitful dialogue.

Just my thoughts...

Jennie said...

Teresa,
If the Greek words for 'master as teacher' and 'master as Lord' are different, then you can't use those passages about teachers to prove that we should have 'masters' that are 'Lord' as Jesus is Lord. They should be 'teachers' not 'slave masters.' Jesus is the only one who has a right to be 'Master' in the church. The word 'magisterium' comes from the same source as 'magistrate' and is the same a 'master as Lord', not 'teacher.' Jesus said our leaders should not 'lord it' over us.

Jennie said...

Any time you ask ANYONE to pray for you it is YOU who are interposing them between you and Jesus.
Leo,
there's a difference between asking a person on earth, whom you know is another sinful person, but who loves you and God, AND asking a person in heaven, whom you think is sinless and perfect and whom you adoringly give the names that belong only to God. One is fellowship; the other is idolatry.
God didn't set up an idol for us, so we can look to her instead of to Him for provision. He gave her to John because she couldn't be the mother of His Godhood when He arose, only the mother of His humanity while He was on earth.
And in praying for one another, we are learning to love each other and to love God, which is God's plan for eternity.

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"there's a difference between asking a person on earth, whom you know is another sinful person, but who loves you and God, AND asking a person in heaven, whom you think is sinless and perfect and whom you adoringly give the names that belong only to God. One is fellowship; the other is idolatry."

Jennie, I am saddened that you even said that.

1. EVERYONE in heaven is sinless and perfect. No one can enter without being so, or it would no longer be heaven. No one in heaven is capable of ever sinning again. This is why we can ask anyone in heaven to pray for us and their prayers are most effective, whether it be Abraham, Elijah, Moses, Peter,...well, you get the point.

2. Mary was singularly protected from the stain of sin by the grace of God. She was given a preeminent place in heaven by God on our behalf. Take it up with Him.

3. I give no names that belong only to God to anyone other than God. Please stop trying to create something which does not exist. Leave that to God.

4. I love Mary and the Saints in heaven and do my best to love everyone on earth. The last part is much harder because of sin...both my sin and that of others...However, we are all merely creatures and it is impossible to even imagine putting any on a plane with God. Have you ever admired a beautiful work of art? If someone said you worshipped it, would you not think they were silly because your admiration clearly honored the artist? Have you never admired your children? Does that not AUTOMATICALLY make you thank God in your heart? Of course it does.

Leo said...

By the way, all of the souls in Purgatory can pray for us too, and vice versa. The difference is that they can no longer pray for themselves...

Jennie said...

EVERYONE in heaven is sinless and perfect. No one can enter without being so, or it would no longer be heaven.
Leo, I know that, but the point wasn't that Mary is NOW perfect, but that Catholics believe she always was, and that she is specially made above us so that we can look up to her to guide us to heaven. Jesus is the only Way, and the One Mediator between God and man. Most aren't just asking a fellow Christian to pray for them when they pray to Mary, they are looking to her instead of coming straight to God's throne as scripture says we may now because of what Jesus did for us. He is the One who leads us to the Father directly. We don't need another go-between to lead us to Jesus first; that's why He is called 'God with us.'

Jennie said...

That's WHY He died, to remove all that's between us. Your 'Mary' is another veil of flesh, but Jesus came in the flesh, and His flesh was torn for us so there would be no more veil between us and the Father.

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"He gave her to John because she couldn't be the mother of His Godhood when He arose, only the mother of His humanity while He was on earth."

Some points here:

1. If Mary had other children as you claim by misinterpreting Scripture, there is NO WAY that John would have taken Mary in. That would have been a huge insult to the family and would never have been allowed. But, since no family existed, there was no insult.

2. It is not a coincidence that John used the words 'beloved diciple' when talking about whom Jesus gave Mary to as mother. John had the deepest theological insights and Jesus also said nothing earthly from the cross. Everything pertained to heaven. For example, He also said, "in order that Scripture may be fulfilled, I thirst". He was not talking about simple thirst there either. He was referring to the fourth cup of the Passover meal.

3.Follow the 4 Gospels:
Matthew wrote about Jesus as king, and so his geneology goes back to King David.
Mark wrote about Jesus as servant and so there was no geneology, as servants had none.
Luke wrote about Jesus as man, so his geneology goes back to Adam.
John wrote about Jesus as God, so his geneology goes back to God, "...and the Word was God."

Clearly, John wrote at a different level than the synoptic Gospels. You really need to see the deeper meanings contained therein. What you are doing is akin to reading 'Animal Farm' and saying it's just a cute story about a bunch of farm animals...

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"We don't need another go-between to lead us to Jesus first; that's why He is called 'God with us.'"

Oh really? So you discovered Jesus on your own? You happened to find a bible in your backyard and God told you it was His inspired word and to only believe it?

Jennie, you are missing the whole point. God continues creation through us and we cooperate with Him to actually create more eternal beings through marriage. He also expects us to be His messengers to proclaim the good news to the world.

He just happened to choose to use Mary in a more profound way. Why do you think He allowed her to get Him to perform His first miracle? His human side knew full well that this would begin His march to the cross.

Leo said...

Again, like it or not, all of the kings of Judah, David's descendants, had a mercy seat next to theirs which was a throne for their mother, who ruled at the king's right hand as long as she lived. The difference is that their wills were not always one with their son's wills, so the answer was sometimes "no."

Jennie said...

This is also why they chose Matthias to succeed the office which Judas vacated by his untimely demise.
Leo, the Apostles decided they needed to choose a replacement for Judas. But God chose Paul and called him directly face to face. God still does this today, without any help from anyone.

Leo said...

Jenny, you said,"Leo, the Apostles decided they needed to choose a replacement for Judas. But God chose Paul and called him directly face to face. God still does this today, without any help from anyone."

Although it is true that God calls whom He wills to do His work, He only ordains successors to the Apostles(bishops) through His Church. This does not mean that He will not accomplish great things through lay people, however. St. Francis of Assisi is considered to be among the greatest of the saints, yet he was not even a priest.

Jennie said...

Leo,
Scripture only mentions the 'Mercy Seat' in reference to the Ark of the Covenant and the Temple of God. It never mentions such a practice of having a Queen mother's seat called the mercy seat. I don't know of any historical references to this. I've only heard it repeated by Catholics who've been reading Catholic apologists. Where does this come from? The Mercy Seat represents Christ Himself, the covering of the Ark.

Jennie said...

He just happened to choose to use Mary in a more profound way.

Leo,
the whole sweep of scripture shows God using weak and fallible people to fulfill His plan by HIS strength so that He is glorified. There is no hint in scripture that Mary is any more than any other human. She, a fallible and sinful woman, was chosen to bear the Savior; she was shown much grace and favor. She is not the giver of grace, but the receiver, like all of us. You insist that Mary is some higher being, but there is no evidence in scripture of this.
You said: Oh really? So you discovered Jesus on your own? You happened to find a bible in your backyard and God told you it was His inspired word and to only believe it?
The point is, again, that God uses weak and sinful people to show His glory. He uses us to share His eternal plan of salvation. Mary was a part of that as a woman who submitted to His plan. She had to give up her son, because He is also her Creator and Savior. The whole church will be exalted as the Bride in due time, but Mary is only part of that Bride. The church will be Queen, not Mary. We don't need a goddess to save us or to lead us to Christ. He uses each one who obeys Him, and He Himself is our Way to the Father.

Jennie said...

Leo,
to me it all comes back to the flesh vs. the Spirit. The Catholic Church focuses on 'seeing' and on the 'physical'. For example, you believe the physical bread and wine are the physical body and blood which somehow confers spiritual benefits. You have seen and heard of the bread and wine becoming actual flesh and blood and being tested and found to be the same blood type as the Shroud of Turin, etc. Another example: You believe there has to be a physical passing on of the Apostolic succession. But many of these 'Apostles' in the chain have not been true believers, but have been terrible sinners who show no sign of repentance. The succession is by the Spirit and the Word, not only (or necessarily at all) by the laying on of hands.
Another example: you look to a human of flesh, Mary, to connect you to a God of Spirit. Jesus said everyone who worships God must worship in Spirit and Truth. He also said "Blessed are they who do not see, and yet believe." Then He said, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me." We believe because we hear the Word of God, the Spirit draws us and makes us new creations when we believe; then we abide in His word and the Spirit and the Word transform us into His image. "Sanctify them by Thy Truth. Thy Word is Truth."

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"There is no hint in scripture that Mary is any more than any other human. She, a fallible and sinful woman..."

Did you really mean that? No hint? This is a perfect example of what I mean when I point out your lack of objectivity with regards to Truth. Let's try this...

1. When Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit upon Mary's visit, she obviously knew that she was in the Lord's presence. Yet, she gave more honor to Mary than to our Lord. She said," How blessed am I that the MOTHER of my Lord has come to visit me." She did not say that she was blessed because the Lord was in her presence.

2. The Holy Spirit, speaking through Elizabeth again, said,"Of all women you are most blessed." and, "The moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leaped for joy."

3."From now on, all generations shall call me blessed."

4. The language used by Luke describing the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit and the leaping of John in the womb, is identical to the language used to describe God overshadowing the Ark of the Covenant and David leaping for joy. The parallels are unmistakeable.

Jenny, no sincere person can say that these verses are not at least a hint. You are so intent on disparaging the Catholic Church that God is allowing you to be blinded to the Truth.

Here is a simple challenge for you. Since all generations shall call the Virgin Mary blessed, simply refer to her as the Blessed Virgin Mary in your response. You would be following Scripture, yet I believe that you won't be able to do that. If you cannot, you need to consider the possibility that it is a spirit other than the Holy Spirit who inspired the very Scripture that is preventing you from saying that...

Jennie said...

Leo,
Let me ask you the same question you asked me. 'Did you really mean that' when you said "Yet, she gave more honor to Mary than to our Lord" and ,"Of all women you are most blessed"? Do you really think Elizabeth was giving more honor to Mary than to the Lord? Do you really think it would be right to do this? Does it really say 'most blessed' or does it say 'blessed among women'?
I have no problem with calling Mary 'blessed' because she was blessed by God. I don't use the words 'Blessed Virgin Mary' because I don't believe it should be a title; and I believe scripture teaches that Mary and Joseph had other sons and daughters after Jesus was born. I believe it is my conscience and the Holy Spirit and my desire to be truthful that prevents me from using that title. I also would be more able to express honor for her if I didn't feel constrained by the Catholic over-doing of it, that seems to fall into 'worshiping and serving the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever' as Paul said in Romans 1.
And since the Holy Spirit never inspired anyone in scripture to use the title 'Blessed Virgin Mary' I will be content to call her 'the mother of my Lord' with honor to the Lord and honor to her only through Him.

Leo said...

Jennie, you said, "Do you really think Elizabeth was giving more honor to Mary than to the Lord? Do you really think it would be right to do this? Does it really say 'most blessed' or does it say 'blessed among women'?"

Of course, I meant it! I do not evade your questioning as you do mine. Allow me to repeat my question. Do you really mean that there is no hint in Scripture that Mary is any more than any other human?



Jennie, I must be terrible at making my points :-) What I was saying was that it is God Himself who is honoring Mary, since the Holy Spirit was speaking through Elizabeth. It is God Almighty who elevates Mary and it is you who are downgrading her. And, yes, the Jerusalem Bible says " most blessed"...I will not add to Scripture, as Martin Luther did. Nor will I take away, as he did also...

Be careful about calling Mary a fallible and sinful woman, lest you bring judgment upon yourself. You are speaking disrespectfully and you are disparaging the woman that the Word chose as His most pure vessel to enter humanity, before time began.

So, I ask again,"Do you really mean that there is NO HINT in Scripture that Mary is any more than any other human?"

Leo said...

Jennie, you said,"Leo,
to me it all comes back to the flesh vs. the Spirit."

This is part of your issue. It is not "flesh vs. the Spirit." Rather, it is flesh AND the Spirit. Just as Jesus cleansed the unclean by touching them and the waters of Baptism by being baptized, so He sanctified humanity by becoming man.

The Word(Spirit) united with humanity and now maintains that union eternally as Jesus Christ. He is forever fully God and fully man. It is this action that enables us to share in His Divinity. Those in heaven are the adopted children of the Father for all eternity. We become one with the Trinity and love flows equally through all.

You view the Church as being no more than all believers as a whole, with no physical form or oneness of doctrine. Sorry, but that is simply not so.

Jesus refers to the Church as His body, which is visible as the Catholic Church. He would have referred to the Church as His soul if it were this nebulous group of believers.

Jennie said...

This is part of your issue. It is not "flesh vs. the Spirit." Rather, it is flesh AND the Spirit. Just as Jesus cleansed the unclean by touching them and the waters of Baptism by being baptized, so He sanctified humanity by becoming man.

Yes, He did, and it is by faith and by the Spirit that we are sanctified, not by eating a physical piece of bread. And our flesh is to be 'crucified with Christ' so our souls can be saved, and when Christ returns He will make our bodies new as well. But I wouldn't say it is flesh and spirit.
Jesus said in John 6:63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life."
And Paul said "We walk by faith, and not by sight" because we groan in these fleshly bodies to be clothed "with our habitation which is from heaven." So we are not to focus on the flesh, but on the Spirit and on the unseen hope that we have.

Jennie said...

You view the Church as being no more than all believers as a whole, with no physical form or oneness of doctrine. Sorry, but that is simply not so.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean here. Maybe you mean that the church must be a visible united organization that can be seen as such by everyone. I don't believe that this is necessary or that it is what Jesus meant. The local church is what most people have seen through history, until recent times, when the world is so connected by multi-media. And I think most of what has been seen of the Organized Church on the world stage in the last 1000 years has been negative. I think the local body is what has the best influence in the world around it. Remember what happened when the world united and tried to work together to build a tower to heaven? They had disobeyed God who told them to spread out and multiply and basically live in small humble groups, so He did it for them, confusing their languages and dividing them, so they would have to do as He commanded. I think this is the same thing that happened with the church during the Reformation. Division came because the Church tried to create a monolithic organization that ruled over the world to try to reach heaven in their own way, in disobedience to the command to go into all the world as humble servants.
The church will be united when they are united in Spirit and truth, under Christ alone as their head. Ephesians 4 says:
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Jennie said...

And yes, Leo, I really meant to say that there is no hint in scripture that Mary is to be lifted up above other people. As far as I know, no other translations say what the Jerusalem Bible says, unless it is another Catholic bible. So who is off base here?

Leo said...

Wow...to say that you do not even see a hint of the parallels to Mary as the new ark of the covenant and Elizabeth's greeting...you are spiritually blind...you have no real interest in Truth...there is nothing more I can say.

Jennie said...

Leo,
I have a whole post about Mary and the Ark of the Covenant, which I think you may have commented on a long time ago. I believe the parallels are there, but that the Ark represents Christ and the Church together, and Mary represents both Israel and the church who have God's Spirit with them and in them. She is the point at which Israel and the church become one, but she is representing something larger than herself, God's people with Him dwelling in them.

Jennie said...

If you look at the famous people of the Bible, you see fallible people strengthened by God to do His will. Many of these are foreshadows of Christ or of His church. Joshua, Moses, Joseph, David, and Solomon are all foreshadows of Christ in different ways. But of course they can only partly represent Him since they are sinful men. Ruth and Esther are foreshadows of the church. Naomi represents Israel. I believe Mary represents both Israel and the church as they are united in Christ. She as one woman, whom scripture shows as a normal woman who had faith to obey God, but also doubted and sinned sometimes, is representing something larger than herself.

Elena said...

.there is nothing more I can say.

A noble effort Leo - but I saw this coming 65 comments ago.

Jennie said...

Leo,
I'll respond to your email soon.

Moonshadow said...

Jennie said: "If you look at the famous people of the Bible, you see fallible people strengthened by God to do His will."

How about Elijah, Elisha, Nathan or Samuel?

Thing is, the Catholic Bible contains a few illustrative characters like Judith, Tobit and Daniel (in the latter chapters) who are pretty much perfect in their devotion and lives.

The biblical trajectory in the Catholic imagination is from Fall to Perfection in the coming of Christ: the closer to Christ, the more perfect. Mary, his mother, being the closest.

Jennie said...

What about the Apostles? None of them were perfect, even after Pentecost. I don't see Mary as perfect in scripture. The stories show her as sometimes doubtful along with Christ's brothers, sometimes 'butting in' where she shouldn't, not understanding who Jesus was when He was in the Temple at age 12, and so on. I see her as a normal woman who submitted to God and then struggled with the reality of what this means all her life, just as we all do. I don't believe the Bible has a trajectory towards perfection in the human beings shown there. In many stories an individual grows toward that, but in some they get worse as they go on, and they fail and must repent. Jesus is the only perfect one I see.

Jennie said...

Leo,
back to the 'flesh vs. Spirit' idea: please read Romans chapter 8 which speaks expressly about this subject. Romans 8 also has the passage I quoted at the end of my email about the Holy Spirit interceding for us.
Here's part of it:
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.


It goes on from there, and in verse 34 it says "Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us."
So the Holy Spirit and Christ Himself make intercession for believers. There is no mention of Mary doing this by the writers of the New Testament. The Holy Spirit therefore did not see fit to teach this doctrine. Mary being a special intercessor is a doctrine added by men. It is dangerous to
try to convince me of such a thing.

Moonshadow said...

Jennie said: "the Holy Spirit and Christ Himself make intercession for believers. There is no mention of Mary doing this by the writers of the New Testament."

The idea comes from Acts 1 & 2, a picture of the early church - "And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.

These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren."
(Acts 1, v. 13 & 14)

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
(Acts 2 verses 1-4)

As well as the leadership role that Peter displays in Acts 2.

Unless one suspects that the Holy Spirit fell only upon the Eleven. Here's El Greco's famous version.

Jennie said...

Teresa,
the Holy Spirit falling upon all the believers at Pentecost has nothing to do with Mary taking on the role of the Holy Spirit as the major intercessor. It says the Holy Spirit fell on all of them. But what does this have to do with Mary hearing our prayers in heaven and interceding for us? With people praying to her as if she can make our prayers better heard by God? As if God can't hear us. If anything Pentecost shows that all believers have the Holy Spirit and He intercedes directly for us.

Leo said...

By the way, as long as anyone continues to limit God to only Scripture according to their personal interpretation, He will likewise continue to limit their understanding of the Truth. He will not be mocked.

Jennie said...

Leo,
It is God Himself who has limited His people to Scripture, which can be understood with the help of the Holy Spirit and also the body of Christ. The Word, the Spirit, and the Body all work together to edify each member, but the body is subject to the Word and the Spirit.
Psalm 138:2
I will worship toward Your holy temple,
And praise Your name
For Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.


The understanding of Truth is also limited if people add their own traditions to God's word.

Leo said...

Yes, Elena, you are right again...