Friday, August 06, 2010

Luke 22:35-53 A Prophecy of the Sufficiency of Scripture and of the successors of Peter

Luke 22:
35 And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?”
So they said, “Nothing.”
36 Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. 37 For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.”
38 So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.”
And He said to them, “It is enough.”
...........................
47 And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. 48 But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
49 When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.
51 But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.
52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

Jesus said to sell their garments and buy a sword. They didn't understand that He was not speaking of a physical sword, but a spiritual one: the word of God. The two swords are the word of God: old testament and new testament. Jesus said of the two swords, "It is enough." The scripture is sufficient for all our needs as God's people.
When Jesus was being taken, one of them, whom we know from the gospel of John as the Apostle Peter, struck the servant of the High Priest with the sword and cut off his right ear. Jesus rebuked Peter (in John) and in Luke said to permit what was happening. It is interesting that the one Peter struck was the servant of the High Priest. Jesus is our High Priest and 'Peter' has struck the servant of the High Priest many times throughout history. The popes have struck out with the sword against Christ's servants who carry the sword of the Word instead of the physical sword. They have misunderstood as Peter did that Jesus said the sword of the Word is enough. Someday 'Peter' will understand that he has denied his Lord, perhaps when the final cock crows as morning is about to break, and the Lord turns and looks at 'Peter' again; then he'll remember the Word of the Lord and understand his sin.

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150 comments:

John said...

Ah, all those evil popes. Because of them we are able to judge the truth. Thank goodness there is no guilty behavior from the protestant side of history. What a tired argument for understanding truth. Do we judge the truth of our arguments by which side has the most blood on their hands? If so, then I guess you win. Those nasty evil popes have been around much longer than all of the innocent protestants.

Jennie said...

The protestants who have done evil will be judged by God's word as well. This passage specifically refers to those who deny that God's word is sufficient, claiming to sit in Peter's chair, and who take up the physical sword against the servants of the High Priest.
I have never claimed that protestants have it all right, and I don't stand for 'protestantism', but for God's word. I have spoken about protestant issues too, but the purpose of this blog has mainly been to study Catholicism, since part of my family came from it, and some have gone back to it.

John said...

Oh, excuse me I misunderstood. Somehow I had the impression the purpose of your blog was to constantly refute any Catholic teaching and to show the Church as an evil institution. Not sure how I could have been so mistaken. By the way Eamon Duffy, quoted by Mr. Bugay, does not share that view. In fact quite the opposite. Perhaps you should read his book as well to further your study.

Jennie said...

I'm not sure why I should care what Eamon Duffy thinks; I don't know anything about him.

Maybe you should read more of what I've said in my posts before you decide what my perspective is, John. It's hard to sum up in a few sentences. I have a connection with Roman Catholicism in my family and my past, but I have seen that it does not line up with truth in its historical claims, in its historical actions, and in its historical and present doctrines. I also see that in some ways protestants, though they separated from Roman Catholicism, have retained or adopted various beliefs and practices of Rome. For instance, protestants also began harshly persecuting others who did not line up with their exact doctrines. In this way, some showed that they were still daughters of their mother. Neither understood what spirit they were of. But God always preserves a remnant even when most go astray.

Leo said...

Jennie,

Let me requote what I posted on your earlier carpet bomb.

Look, we can all go to contradictory historical sources with reckless abandon. Show me one thing in your lifetime that any of the popes have done that is contrary to holiness and the truest sense of what it means to be a Christian. Granted, it is only a sample of perhaps 2% of the Christian era, but it is unadulterated by anyone else's rewrite of history because you yourself have lived through it.

Leo said...

I am asking that you begin using the scientific method, as opposed to using spurious sources steeped in falsehoods and misunderstandings.

In other words, let's start with your personal knowledge of the popes of your lifetime. This will negate any false scholarship.

Jennie said...

Leo,
my understanding, in a very general sense, is that the papacy during earlier eras had political power and influence, as well as spiritual influence, and often abused it in persecutions and wars, etc. When the papacy lost its political power in the 19th century, it seemed its influence would be minimal; yet it remade itself and claimed even greater spiritual power and influence, and has had the appearance of being the peaceful spiritual leader of Christendom for many years now. I believe there has been much done behind the scenes to exert political influence as well, but not openly.

Jennie said...

That appearance of peacefulness has been, in the view of many, at least as dangerous as the open war it waged against all who opposed it in earlier centuries, because it is deceptive. It causes people to accept Rome's teachings while Rome is working to regain power and influence spiritually and politically.

Jennie said...

My personal knowledge of the popes of my lifetime is that they have been blatant worshipers of Mary, deceitful encouragers of an ecumencism that must end in every Christian being under their authority, all the while subtly encouraging violence against those who don't accept it in the nations where Catholicism has paramount influence with the government and the people. Nothing has changed except they have to be more subtle about their intentions.

John said...

Wow! You do have issues. What nation is being encouraged to violence by the Church? And I read your posts often and that is how I came to beleive what I said in my previous comment. And God forbid that you read anything by a recognized scholar such as Mr. Duffy. Better to rely on the source you continually cite.

Jennie said...

John, I don't have any problem with reading Eamon Duffy; as I said, I don't know anything about him. I had never heard of him to my knowledge until John B. and you mentioned him.
There are thousands of scholars, all with their own point of view. What's so special about him?

I've read and heard testimonies of things happening in Mexico, Honduras, and other countries in which Roman Catholic Church is prominent, that Pope JP2 spoke to the church there in ways that encouraged violence against protestants. His words did not openly say "go threaten people and force them out of their homes" but when this was done, nothing was done about it. The Church does not like its power to be diminished by the growing protestant movements in countries where it has control.

John said...

Please be specific. What did JP2 say? By the way, as I am sure that you believe we and the popes worship Mary, that is not the case. As for Eamon Duffy, since you claim you want to study, study. I just thought since you use Bugay to support your study, you may want to go to the source. He is not difficult to read.

John said...

I am still anxious to hear what Pope John Paul II said. Do you have anything at all that can be verified or do we just assume your slur is true? People that spout this evil about the Church need to back up there claims with more than a "testamony."

Christine said...

Wow! Jennie, I can't believe your statements here. Where in the world do you get your information? This is paranoia fueled by someone with a very hateful agenda. JP2 never, and I mean never, would encourage violence in any way. He'd always hold to Church teaching that Mary be honored, not worshiped. He was a major factor in the fall of Communism, and is the only Christian leader that speaks with world-recognized authority on human rights issues such as abortion, euthanasia, the poor. He brings conflict to political conservatives and liberals alike - as Christ's message does. His message was always love, and never power. And Benedict is that same.

Your failure to at least recognize these things betrays your position of out-and-out anti-Catholism that goes beyond doctrinal differences.

This same Church that you say had "invented" the papacy by the time of the 4th century, believed in the Real Presence, honored Mary, etc., is the entity which determined the canon of scripture. Arguments about the OT aside, the New Testament that you hold to be your basis, was written, preserved, and compiled by those same people. Are they right about the books of the canon, but wrong on everything else? How can that be? If they were already corrupted, how do you know that the Gospel of John is in and the Gospel of Peter or Thomas is out? You, yourself, recognize the authority of the Catholic Church just by considering the Bible to be the inspired word of God. You are recognizing an authority OUTSIDE of the bible itself, since the bible does not list anywhere the books to be included - and by the way, it DOES say that the CHURCH is the pillar and foundation of truth.

Methinks thou dost protest too much. You wouldn't make your blog with such an emphasis on anti-Catholicism unless you thought they had claims which are indeed difficult to refute.

Picture a Catholic blogger - rarely would they bother to post on the wrongheadedness of a certain Baptist denomination or the Methodists or whatever. It's because their Prostestant claims aren't even credible enough, and are of such recent historical origin, that it's not even a challenge.

But you feel the need to post false or misleading "facts", and biased sources. Why would anyone want information from Reformation sources to explain the Catholic faith? Hello, there's a built-in bias. But your statements about the recent popes are telling beyond even your denigration of Mary, which you did backtrack from to a degree. Something's very wrong here.

Jennie said...

John,
here is part of the information I was thinking of in my earlier comment about persecution in Mexico and other countries. I had to look up the info again because I have a different computer and haven't got my saved files on this one yet. The info about the pope (and other vatican officials and bishops) saying things that encouraged these actions was in another article that also had similar testimonies of violence. I'm still trying to find that one. I'll post it as soon as I find it.

http://religiousfreedom.lib.virginia.edu/rihand/Mexico.html

Jennie said...

Christine,
I know what I said sounds far-fetched, but there is documentation of such things in many countries and for many centuries, as far as the violence and striving for power goes.
The Mary worship part is documented too, especially of John Paul 2. If adoring her, praying to her, and dedicating his life to her alone (saying he is 'all hers') isn't worship, I don't know what is.

John said...

Really, that is the best you can come up with from a suspect source. Do your homework on The Rutherford Institute. Show me something from an unbiased source.

John said...

I agree your concept of worship and Mary is flawed. Sad for you.

Christine said...

Catholics and Protestants do have differing definitions of worship - and hence some understandable confusion with the honor given to Mary. Of worship, the Catechism states, "To adore God is to praise and exalt him and to humble oneself, as Mary did in the Magnificat, confessing with gratitude that he has done great things and holy is his name." So in being "totally Mary's", JPII is united to her example of literally bringing Christ to the world. And to be united to Mary is always seen as an act of worship TO HER SON, who with the Father and Holy Spirit are God alone. Again, the wedding at Cana - Mary brought the people's need to her Son and said to the people "Do whatever HE tells you". That's what it's all about - you may not choose it, but no way should you condemn it.

Our present pope, and his immediate predecessors are/were leaders who gave all for the glory of Christ, and stood firm for Christ's mission and message to a lost world. They upset many Catholics in other countries by rejecting "liberation theology" which did seek to justify violence for a good cause.

John said...

Thumbs up Christine. Camping in Columbia Gorge and iPhone signal weak. Still waiting for that info on JP2 preaching violence. Sad that she can even believe that nonsense.

Leo said...

By the way, Protestants do not typically worship at all. There is usually no kneeling before the Lord and the entire service ends up just being praise. Praise is good, but worship should never be left out.

Another interesting thing is that Protestant churches usually have the pastor in the center and he is the focus of attention. In a Catholic church, the altar is in the center because that is where Jesus Christ is. The priest is off to the side when he speaks.

Jennie said...

Leo,
the pastor in our church isn't the focus, but the word of God that he is teaching is. You believe that the host is Jesus and is central to your worship. Your priest stands at the center alter when he offers up the host. We believe that the Word is Jesus, and that is central to our worship. We bow our hearts in submission to His word.

Leo said...

Jennie,

Au contraire...the pastor in your church is indeed the focus, unless you are equating him to the Word of God. In the center of your church is a man expressing his opinion. He is not even reading actual scripture to any degree. He is simply pontificating.

Now, I am not saying that the Holy Spirit does not speak through him, but he is not speaking through him without error. Yet, he is the center of your worship. You have no undivided authoritative teaching.

We hear actual scripture read and we receive the Word in the flesh. He is the focus of our worship. And yes, we do worship. That is what the Mass is all about. It is not about going for 'the experience'...

John said...

And still we wait for the JP2 evidence.

Leo said...

Jennie,

Just curious...Saul became Paul after his conversion, Simon was renamed Peter...

Hmmmm...I was thinking the Lord might change your name to Mary, with His great sense of humor, and all...your thoughts?

Leo said...

Actually, that can become your Confirmation name as a sort of atonement...

;-)

Jennie said...

Leo,
my twin sister is Mary, my mother is named Mary, and my Dad's mother was Mary. So that would be overkill, I thnk. I'm sure you'll have something to say about this; I can't wait ;)

Jennie said...

John,
be patient, I was out all day yesterday, and I'll be out all day today and this evening too.

Leo said...

Jennie,

Well, now I know why you are sick of Mary, ha ha ha...

Honestly, I was laughing so hard, I could not even compose a message in response.

I know this sounds crazy, but I am absolutely convinced that you are going to return home to the Catholic Church and will become a great apologist for us.

When I see true Catholics such as Elena, John, and Christine praying and working as hard for you as I am, I know that the Holy Spirit is working overtime here. This is no mere coincidence here.

I also suspect that you have been praying hard to understand Truth in order to separate all of the confusion in your mind. And God sends all of us your way in response...how irritating is that? Sheesh, if we would only all go away, you wouldn't have to confuse yourself with facts any more...

;-)

Jennie said...

Leo,
The pastor in my church is no more the focus than the priest in yours. We worship through the word, and you worship through the host. Our pastor reads the main passage before he teaches, and also reads many related passages during the message. Our worship leader reads psalms during our praise time. I put a scripture passage on the bulletin for everyone to read as well.
Our pastor is appointed by God to lead us, and he, prayerfully and with our prayers, prepares what God shows him as he studies during the week. I guess you know better than God and my pastor what God does in his life.

Jennie said...

I am glad you are amused, Leo.
I have a different idea and burden about why we are all together here, and we'll see what God does.

Jennie said...

John, I still haven't found the article I am looking for. I did find one about Guatamala that is from the opposite view point. I would like to post about it. It documents fundamentalist churches influenced by Pat Robertson and others like him. He and others funded one side of the wars there. This shows that power and money don't mix well with the things of God. It's wrong on both sides, and I hate it. I believe that those in high places are corrupt, and when churches get involved in power struggles the weak are trampled.

http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=927

Jennie said...

Along with this, I believe both political parties are evil and corrupt; I DON'T miss GWBush even though Obama stinks.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said, "he, prayerfully and with our prayers, prepares what God shows him as he studies during the week. I guess you know better than God and my pastor what God does in his life."

Really? What did I say that was wrong, unless, you are saying that everything your pastor says is without error?

If you are not saying that he is without error, then you cannot put him on the same level as the Word of God. Picking and choosing passages from scripture is not the same as reading the Word of God. He is interpreting and presenting what He believes to be true.

We hear entire readings verbatim so the congregation can God speak to them directly. We hear from the Old Testament, the Gopels, and the Epistles and cycle through the entire bible every 3 years.

Again, I am not saying that the Holy Spirit does not guide your pastor. He just does not protect him from teaching error, and so you cannot say that the Word of God is at the center of your church. Your pastor is at the center and there is a huge difference. Unless you are saying that he has the same inspiration that the scripture writers had, it is not the same thing.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said, "We worship through the word, and you worship through the host."

Actually, the Mass is the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucarist. We worship Jesus Christ in the Word and in the Flesh, as the Word of God how He chooses to present Himself to us.

You claim that you worship, but that is not how we define worship, unless you also kneel during your services. We call what you do 'praise' and we also do that during our Mass along with the worship. There is a difference.

Leo said...

Jennie,

And by the way, I am not saying or trying to insinuate in any way that your pastor is not a godly or a holy man. I am simply saying that you cannot equate him to the Word of God. What he does is very Jewish in that the rabbis teach on Scripture but each is to determine ultimate truth for themselves...i.e.Truth is relative

Christine said...

Jennie, the last paragraph of your original post here is acknowledging our pope to be "Peter"?

He can't just be Peter in the sinful times - if he's Peter with the sword and Peter denying Christ, then that is the SAME PETER who is the Rock upon whom Christ said he would build his Church, and who was given the keys to the kingdom ala Isaiah 22's keys of - yes - succession.

Your postings are like if a Catholic blogger posted "Scriptures doesn't contain a neat list of five solas" and misrepresented every aspect of that belief of yours. Then when you attempted to correct it, the Catholic blogger refuted you with sources from authorities who think all Protestants are doomed.

Why do you go out of your way to cast the very worst possible light on the Catholic view of anything?

Come on, we share so much. Why can't you share what God has done in your life without the breathtakingly illogical and unfair assertions about the Catholic Church?

Jennie said...

Leo,
I didn't say my pastor IS the word of God, I said he presents it to us in reading and interpreting and teaching. Of course he is interpreting, or bringing out what God has shown him, by comparing other passages so we can see how scripture interprets scripture. The Holy Spirit is at work, even if the pastor is not infallible. We don't always agree 100% with everything he says, but it's always little things that we disagree with. When a church is working correctly, people correct each other's errors over time by exhortation in the word that the Holy Spirit has taught them.

Jennie said...

Christine,
I believe it is a prophecy of those who claim to stand in the place of Peter, not that I believe this is a legitimate claim. I believe, and have posted about this under 'Peter' in the sidebar, that Peter (I got this from Augustine) stands for the church, and his stories are lessons for us. I also believe Mary represents the church in a similar way. We are meant to be like Peter in the ways that he submitted to God and walked in God's Spirit; and we are meant to avoid the errors of Peter when he walked in the flesh. Peter was walking in the flesh when he cut off the ear of the servant with the sword. The popes who did this were too.

Christine said...

How can it be fair to have it both ways? Bad prophecies about popes are legitimate but the scripturally founded Petrine role for popes are not? That's just illogical and, well, kind of weird.

You say Peter and Mary both "stand for" the Church. In a way, Catholics believe similarly.

Is it fair to use Augustine as a source for anti-Catholicism - a Catholic bishop who surely believed as the Church does today in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, the papacy, and the honored position of Mary? This is confusion. Or at least, I'm confused. Help me out, here, John, Leo, Elena.

Jennie said...

Christine,
It has nothing to do with fairness. Peter is part of the church, one of the founding stones along with the other Apostles, and he belongs to all who believe, not just Catholics.
There is no scriptural basis for the papacy: for one successor or for the Roman primacy.
Augustine is my spiritual ancestor too. He believed things you don't believe, and he also believed things I don't believe. He isn't exactly like either Roman Catholics or protestants. He didn't believe in the Eucharist, Mary, or the papacy in the exact same way that Roman Catholics do today, or did even several hundred years ago.

Jennie said...

John, there have always been varying views and ways of explaining the Eucharist. Believing in the 'real presence' is not the same as believing in transubstantiation.
It is not contradictory to believe that the bread and wine are symbolic and to believe that Christ's presence is there. I don't believe that Augustine believed the bread and wine actually become Christ.

Jennie said...

John your comment about Augustine and the Eucharist disappeared. Did you delete it, or did it get eaten?

Jennie said...

I don't want to sidetrack this thread to the Eucharist, but I will say that Augustine wasn't infallible; it's debatable whether he himself was being figurative sometimes, or to what extent he believed in the real presence, since there are many different degrees of belief in it in the church today and in the past. Augustine can tell us to some extent what he believed, to a lesser extent what the church of the day believed, and to an even lesser extent can he tell us what we should believe, since he isn't infallible.

Jennie said...

Well I've tried 3 times to post John's link and it keeps disappearing. I don't know why.

Jennie said...

John,
I have found one article (not the original one) that documents at least one instance, and implies others, of Pope John Paul 2 using strong language against 'sects and cults' and lumping evangelicals in with Jehovah's witnesses and Mormons. The article I remember reading had quotes from speeches he gave in other countries saying the same thing. This article seems to be written by an unbiased individual talking about both sides of the story.
Here's a quote: In his opening address at the Fourth General Conference of Latin American Bishops In 1968 a group of bishops held the 'Conference of Latin American Bishops at Medellín, Colombia, in which they agreed that the church should take "a preferential option for the poor.
..... Click the link for more information. (CELAM CELAM Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano (Latin American Episcopal Council) ), the pope said the sects were like "rapacious wolves" devouring Latin American Catholics and "causing division and discord in our communities." This was a key point in a speech meant to give direction to the Latin American church for the coming decade.


http://www.thefreelibrary.com/John+Paul+cries+%27wolf%3A%27+misreading+the+Pentecostals.+%28Pope+John+Paul...-a012911257

Jennie said...

Now my link isn't working for that article. Please go to www.thefreelibrary.com and do a search for the title (be sure to click the dot for title) for the article "John Paul cries 'wolf:' misreading the Pentecostals" by Edward L. Cleary.

In case blogger eats my last comment I will repeat what I said there:

John,
I have found one article (not the original one) that documents at least one instance, and implies others, of Pope John Paul 2 using strong language against 'sects and cults' and lumping evangelicals in with Jehovah's witnesses and Mormons. The article I remember reading had quotes from speeches he gave in other countries saying the same thing. This article seems to be written by an unbiased individual talking about both sides of the story.
Here's a quote: In his opening address at the Fourth General Conference of Latin American Bishops In 1968 a group of bishops held the 'Conference of Latin American Bishops at Medellín, Colombia, in which they agreed that the church should take "a preferential option for the poor.
..... Click the link for more information. (CELAM CELAM Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano (Latin American Episcopal Council) ), the pope said the sects were like "rapacious wolves" devouring Latin American Catholics and "causing division and discord in our communities." This was a key point in a speech meant to give direction to the Latin American church for the coming decade.

Jennie said...

In light of the other article I mentioned earlier about Guatamala and the fundamentalists working with Robertson, Falwell, etc. there may be a reason for there to be bad feelings. This does not negate the possibility that catholics who had bad feelings against evangelicals took the pope's and other leader's words as an excuse to attack evangelicals. It also does not mean that there is any excuse on either side for attacking each other.

Christine said...

But where is the excuse for YOUR attacks? What kind of mindset searches and searches the internet to find the delicious anti-Catholic tidbit teasing your memory? YOU brought up Augustine to make a point, but when others do the same, suddenly we are all told how fallible and "figurative" he was, as if we ever claimed he was infallible.

"It has nothing to do with fairness". How about justice and charity? In a fair debate, it's ethical to be consistent and impartial, looking at things from all sides, giving the other the benefit of the doubt where there is no proof of wrongdoing.

Jennie said...

Christine,
I've been studying this subject partly because when someone close to me reverted I was very upset. There are lots of factors that contributed to my interest; one was 'why would they and others convert during the height of the priest scandals.'? As I went on, I wanted to know if the RCC really was the only church during earlier centuries. I wanted to find out if the RCC is totally a false church, or is it one of the churches Jesus warned in Revelation 2 and 3 that need to repent of some things, like most churches do. I think I have clarified some of these things in my mind.
The main thing is that I have understood that there are many believers in the RCC and that they are part of the churches that Jesus calls on in Rev. 2 and 3; and that all of us are commanded in Rev. 18 to 'come out' of any false system that has been disobedient and persecuted (killed) the people of God so we aren't judged along with this system.

Jennie said...

(continued)
I'm not 'attacking' individuals, who may be or may not be believers, but I'm trying to hold up the light of scripture to history and doctrines to see and show whether the hierarchy is right and has taught what is right or not.
My perspective is that the hierarchy is not good and right, and has added things over time that obscure the gospel. Hierarchies are corrupted by power and are not what Christ intended for His church. There are hierarchies in both the catholic and protestant churches. The problem I see with Catholics is that they can't see that their hierarchy is not infallible and therefore can't see that Jesus' warning to 'come out of her' applies to them. You do know that the RCC persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands of Bible believers over the centuries. Protestants persecuted too, though not on that scale, showing that some of them had not fully 'come out of her' at that time. What if this starts happening again? Actually it is happening in some places. Will you be able to see that it's time to obey Christ's command then? I believe both protestant and Catholic hierarchies will join in the persecution of those who obey Christ alone.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You posted the following scripture, "36 Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one."

Then you said, "Jesus said to sell their garments and buy a sword. They didn't understand that He was not speaking of a physical sword, but a spiritual one: the word of God. The two swords are the word of God: old testament and new testament. Jesus said of the two swords, "It is enough." The scripture is sufficient for all our needs as God's people."

Is this scripture pretzel salted or unsalted? Jennie, you cannot be serious about that interpretation. They had to sell their garments to buy a sword, and it just happens to be that they have two swords and one of them wasn't even written yet? So they had an advance copy of the New Testament? So they had to sell their cloak to buy that which they already had? So Jesus was mistaken?

Jennie, I prefer cinnamon and sugar on my scripture pretzels.

Jennie said...

Very funny, Leo,
Don't forget that Jesus knew the disciples did not understand many of the things that He said to them, and would not understand them until after He rose from the dead and then ascended, and sent the Holy Spirit. They would understand these things later, and these things are also for us to read and understand with God's help. They were not only for those who lived then, but 'for those who are afar off.'

John said...

I read the article re: JPII. There is really nothing there that any reasonable person could construe as papal incitement to violence. As for your statement regarding converts to the faith during the sex abuse scandal, perhaps they did so for intellectual reason or perhaps they read the John Jay University study which found that among groups likely involved in sexual abuse Christian clergy were the least likely to offend and that among Christian clergy Catholic priests were the least likely. As for the past persecution by the Church, you are right that was indeed wrong. However there is plenty of fault on both sides. Look at the history of the persecution in Ireland and England and even the history of discrimination against Catholics in our own country. It is a sad mistake to use the bad actions of Catholics or Protestants to arrive to an understanding of truth. It is hard to write more here as I am still camping on the Columbia Gorge and iPhone use is limited. Still beautify here. Blessings to all.

John said...

Still beautiful here that is. I hate my own typos.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said, "The problem I see with Catholics is that they can't see that their hierarchy is not infallible and therefore can't see that Jesus' warning to 'come out of her' applies to them. You do know that the RCC persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands of Bible believers over the centuries."

Please stop quoting that fabricated nonsense from those spurtious sources. The Church did not kill hundreds of thousands. I can show you REPUTABLE sources that the entire Inquisition affected fewer than 5000. Oh, I can also show you NON reputable sources that even go to millions.

In addtion, every member of the Church hierarchy is human and capable of personal sin. There have been scores of bishops and priests that have abused and misrepresented the Faith. Of course, there are many holy priests and bishops as well.

However, the Church cannot teach error on Faith and Morals...ever. The gates of hell will not prevail against the Catholic Church. You also failed to give even a small example of where a pope acted in anything but a holy way during your lifetime.

You did quote another disreputable source about a meeting with Latin American bishops. "This does not negate the possibility that catholics who had bad feelings against evangelicals took the pope's and other leader's words as an excuse to attack evangelicals."
First of all, Pope JPII was not even elected until 1978. Second of all, your conferences are all out of line as they did not occur as you said, but that is nitpicking. So let's talk about your comments that Catholics would feel free to use his supposed comments(which I did not even find, by the way)
Here are but a few of his actual word:

"The Gospels clearly show that for Jesus anything that would alter his mission as the Servant of Yahweh was a temptation (cf. Mt 4:8; Lk 4:5). He does not accept the position of those who mixed the things of God with merely political attitudes (cf. Mt 22:21; Mk 12:17; Jn 18:36). He unequivocally rejects recourse to violence. He opens his message of conversion to everybody, without excluding the very Publicans. The perspective of his mission is much deeper. It consists in complete salvation through a transforming, peacemaking, pardoning and reconciling love."

What is irritating, Jennie, is that you repeatedly quote anti-Catholic sources which have no basis in fact. All messages and speeches of the popes are available in their entirety on the Vatican website. I challenge you to go there and read for yourself.

It will be impossible for you to say such hurtful things about our Holy Father any longer if you do that.

Christine said...

I very much appreciate John's and Leo's responses here.

Jennie - your relative reverted and you wanted to study the subject. That's not how you come across at all. Every indication is that perhaps your relative's reversion made you feel threatened, which is understandable, and so you had to go on the offensive, seeking out every possible way to prove the Catholic faith to be wrong, even if you had to use the most questionable sources to do so. I can just picture you Googling, and if something comes up favorable to the Church - oh, no, try again, etc., until something fits your Whore of Babylon scenario, which is SO old, and SO tired, and SO 1960s Hal Lindsey propaganda.

Instead, you could have focused on listening, and sharing so much of your faith with your relative and with other Catholic Christians.

Your attacks are really sad and painful - we respond because we must defend the Church against them.

Jennie said...

John, that article only mentions one instance. The article or articles I read earlier had several instances by the pope himself in different Latin Am. countries, and had vatican officials and bishops making similar statements about 'stamping out' sects. It doesn't seem that there was any censure on the actions of the Catholics that murdered or chased people out of their homes.

Leo said...

Jennie,

It's interesting that you quoted this above:"the pope said the sects were like "rapacious wolves" devouring Latin American Catholics and "causing division and discord in our communities." which I could not find, by the way, but I will assume that it was stated.

Now read directly from your latest post on your website yesterday:
"The results of such divisions can be tragic, as demonstrated by the desperate plight of the Guatemalan village of Semuy. The residents were forced to flee their homes in 1981 after a member of a fundamentalist sect denounced the village as "communist" to the local military command because the people would not convert from Catholicism. The sect’s leader, with a bandana covering his face, led the army into the village and pointed out people he claimed were ‘subversives." Thirty-four villagers were taken away and never seen again; the rest fled into the mountains, where they hid for five and a half years. When they eventually emerged. under the protection of the local Catholic bishop. they found that Semuy was controlled by the same fundamentalists responsible for the 1981 raid.

Guatemalan fundamentalists remain unmoved by such suffering, for they believe the Indians are ‘demon-possessed" because so many of them are Catholics (at least nominally) And since demons are associated with communists, the Indians are subversives, too. Similarly. US. fundamentalists working in Guatemala agree with Swaggart that Catholicism is a false cult" and the "doctrine of devils." A letter from the U.S. head of one fundamentalist group in Guatemala. for example. spoke of doing "battle in the heavenlies" against the pope and his priests so that God would "arise and scatter [Guatemala’s] enemies and establish her upon the rock that is Jesus Christ." The tone of U.S. fundamentalist and Pentecostal radio programs, which blanket Central America, is equally aggressive."

So, would the pope have been out of line responding to that?

John said...

Perhaps Jennie you could be construed as inciting violence when you continue to reference sources that are so questionable and use labels like the harlot church. Not to mention your past posting that B16 seemed to be in favor of establishing a one world government. This is all the stuff of conspiracy wackos and endtimes delusionals. You often proove P.T. Barnums famous qoute. Only someone with a perverse understanding of current events could believe that the Church today or that John Paul could ever condone violence against Protestants or any particular faith. It is sad that that seems to be where your head is.

Jennie said...

So, would the pope have been out of line responding to that?

Leo, I actually said that myself, that the fundamentalist actions may have been part of why the pope responded this way. That's why I posted the article on Guatamala and the fundamentalists, because i wanted to show that both sides have been involved in power struggles and caused bad feelings.
Nobody should be killing and chasing people out of their homes on either side.

I am trying to show that hierarchies of states and religions become corrupt, and often say one thing and mean another. Some 'conservative evangelicals leaders' and their polititians, like GWBush and others, are involved in alot of corruption. I believe, while there are good people on both sides, those in high places are not what they seem.

Leo said...

Jennie,

I am glad you said that. If you note my previous post quoting the Holy Father, you will see that he always demands the peaceful approach. You will never see him condoning those types of actions. Again, you can and should read for yourself on the Vatican website.

Don't read what people say about what the pope wrote or said, when you can see the truth for yourself.


I propose your relative reverted precisely because of seeing the world and the Church the way they really are.

Jennie said...

John, Leo, and Christine,
all I can say is, Jesus knew 'what was in man' as far as the lust for power, etc.. Many within and without the RCC have spoken out against the corruption they have seen in the hierarchy through the centuries. Many in other hierarchies have seen the same corruption, such as in our own government on both sides. The institution claiming infallibility and power over the whole church is not what Christ intended, and has gone wrong for a long time. So have many protestant institutions. Christ will come and judge all who have done evil in his name, and we are commanded to come out of it before it's too late. That's all.

Leo said...

Jennie,

Also regarding the Holy Father, show me one thing he has said during your lifetime that does not exude Christian love and charity. When you read what he says, you will hear the Holy Spirit speaking. I never hear any other current voice that remotely approaches the clarity or depth that comes from the present pope.

Who created the university system we have today? the Catholic Church

Who gives more money per capita than any other organization? the Catholic Church

Who teaches the world unfailingly on morality and addresses new technologies such as in-vitro fertilization, embryonic stem cell research, etc.? the Catholic Church

How many people has the Catholic Church condemned to hell? ZERO

Who prays for the salvation and conversion of the world at every Mass? the Catholic Church

Who do Satanists despise and attack? the Catholic Church

Who do all despots hate? the Catholic Church

Where will you be after you open your eyes? the Catholic Church ;-)

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said, "The institution claiming infallibility and power over the whole church is not what Christ intended."

Yes, it is exactly what He intended. Again, show me where the Church has ever changed her teaching on Faith and Morals. If you live according to Church teaching, you will be assured heaven.

You claim that you are already assured heaven and that is the sin of presumption. How does Jesus separate the sheep from the goats? By what we have done and what we have failed to do...don't forget that. If you think you can do what you want and not do what you don't want, you are gravely mistaken.

Jennie said...

John,
Do you believe there was, is, or will be a 'Harlot of Babylon' church? Scripture says there is. The Bible believers of centuries recognized it when it happened to them. Will you recognize it when it shows itself again to the whole world? The harlot is a woman who leaves her husband's protection and authority and commits adultery with others, depending upon them and herself instead of him. The 'Harlot church' is a church that leaves God's authority and protection and attaches herself to states for shared power and protection and wealth. She is shown as drunk with the blood of the saints. It's happened before and it is still happening and it will happen again before Christ comes to judge the church and the world, as scripture says.

John said...

What I believe is that the Church is composed of saints and sinners now and also in the past and will in the future. I also believe that the Church is a mystery that we will never fully understand in our lifetime. I do not believe it has or will be your so called "harlot church." I also believe you think the opposite based on a very flawed understanding of history and especially of the book of revelation in particular. I believe there is a sad egoism at play when some Christians get caught up in all the latest endtimes garbage online and in published works that says it is happening soon, heck it may even be in my lifetime. I also love the Church and that in spite of it's flaws, it is in fact the true Church.

John said...

While I am on my soapbox, I also believe that in real and mystical sense Mary is also our mother and that she does hear our petitions and I ask her often to bring my petitions to the Lord as I ask all members of the body of Christ to pray for me and for the world. As you love the Lord, so do I.

Jennie said...

John,(and Leo and Christine),
I'm asking you just to remember the things I've said for the future, because I say them out of concern for brothers and sisters, not out of hatred. I do hate all that's evil, but of course I am only one person, and I may be wrong about any or all of what I've said. I do believe that I'm on the right track or I wouldn't say it. Just remember the words of the Lord I've quoted if nothing else. Maybe this is enough of this subject for now.

Elena said...

"Wow! You do have issues"

John, you summed it up nicely there!

Christine said...

Again, Jennie, we're are supposed "remember the words of the Lord I've quoted", as though without your help we wouldn't know what He said. We've quoted the words of Lord, too, especially regarding Peter and the Church that Jesus said He'd build.

Yes, there is the "Whore of Babylon" in Revelation - but the whole anti-Catholic interpretation is a much-discredited fabrication by haters. It's old news - any Catholic apologist has heard of it ad nauseam. It's very easy to find refutations of it - IF you wanted to. But we know you don't, because it's useful to you in the pretense of having a special insight into the end times and the fate of Catholics - this is the egoism that John mentioned.

Jennie said...

Christine,
scripture tells believers to exhort one another, because each person has different insights that God has taught them. That's why it's called the Body of Christ, because we each have a special function.
Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Jennie said...

Christine,
I have read refutations of the RCC and the 'Whore of Babylon'. The RCC did fulfill that prophecy in earlier times. Whether it is the final fulfillment of the prophecy is still to be seen. Maybe others will fulfill it; maybe it will be a conglomeration of many groups. However, those who knew God's word during those earlier centuries knew the fulfillment when they saw it. I can't deny their experience and understanding when they were eyewitnesses of it.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You must be joking. You said, "The RCC did fulfill that prophecy in earlier times...I can't deny their experience and understanding when they were eyewitnesses of it."

You have just accused the Church of being the whore of Babylon based on biased hearsay evidence. First of all, that is not a prudent thing to do, for several reasons:

1. You risk bringing down judgment upon yourself for attacking the Bride of Christ. You should at least consider the possibility that your sources are depraved and/or wrong.

2. Satan is the father of lies and his children follow suit nicely.

3. You cannot bring a single viable example where the Church has done something wrong in your lifetime, yet you are willing to accept the words of heretics as gospel.

4. The Church has never condemned anyone to hell and even St. Michael did not condemn Lucifer. He simply told him, "the Lord rebuke you."

5. I find it amazing that the courts will not accept hearsay evidence from living people, yet you eagerly swallow it as truth itself. Because others have said so, it must be true...you have developed a mob mentality whether you know it or not.


6. We ourselves have testified firsthand about the Church and you refuse to believe us. We are providing you direct testimony and yet you accept centuries old hearsay over us.

7. People lie. You need to have better discernment.

8. Your hatred of the Church has completely blinded you to Truth. You claim to follow scripture, yet you are inadvertently following in Satan's footsteps by attacking the Church. You have become an unwitting pawn in his game.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said, "Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some,"

I find great humor in that, since he was referring to the believers blowing off Sunday Mass. You see, Judas was the first to leave Mass early, many early believers began blowing off the weekly precept.

Jennie said...

Leo,
Mass has nothing to do with me. I'm not Roman Catholic, and I meet with assembled believers at least once a week.
It's very convenient that you can dismiss the suffering and eyewitness accounts of people who lived during the times of persecution that was done by the Roman Catholic Church. Just call them heretics, even though 'heretic' should only be used of those who depart from the true faith of the Apostles, which was departed from by the papacy and those who followed it.

Christine said...

LOL, Leo, about earliest Christians already blowing off Mass.

Jennie - Catholics and Protestants alike have been both victims and perpetrators over the long years of history. We've been asking you about the current and recent popes.

You've never answered how it can be that the same Church that believed in the same doctrines of the RCC today, compiled the New Testament that you believe to be sufficient in all matters of faith. We are talking about councils of the Church WITH its hierarchy and pope. They are the ones who had the authority to say "in" or "out" about each gospel or letter in question. The Christian believers were ONE for a whole millenium, during which the liturgy was almost identical to today's Catholic mass, and transubstantiation, Mary, everything. Jesus' final prayer with his twelve (John 17) was that His Church be "one, as the Father and I are one". Not an ever-multiplying number of denominations flailing their way through our times.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said, "Mass has nothing to do with me. I'm not Roman Catholic, and I meet with assembled believers at least once a week."

I didn't say it had anything to do with you. I was just pointing out what Paul was referring to. Everyone who believed went to Mass back then. There was no other formal assembly of believers.

You also said,"It's very convenient that you can dismiss the suffering and eyewitness accounts of people who lived during the times of persecution that was done by the Roman Catholic Church."

I am not dismissing anyone's suffering. I am simply stating that just because some people in the Church acted improperly, that does not make her the 'whore of Babylon'.
And, the Roman Catholic Church did not do that...members of the Church did that. Why does that make a difference? Peter cut off the guy's ear, right? He thought he was defending the Lord and doing right until the Lord corrected him.

Did not Jesus still only pray Peter back into the kingdom so he, in turn, would pray the other Apostles back? He did not abandon Peter or remove his authority because of his wrongful actions.

Finally, you said, "'heretic' should only be used of those who depart from the true faith of the Apostles, which was departed from by the papacy and those who followed it."

Sorry, but it is you who have departed from the true faith of the Apostles. All of your kicking and screaming will not change that fact. You still have been unable to provide one convincing example of a teaching on Faith and Morals that has ever changed in Church teaching since the Apostles. I can show plenty in Protestant teaching.

John said...

Regardless of bad actions in the past or even now, that is not a rational reason for rejecting the Church. Would we say that our country and constitution are false or evil based on past or current actions of our leaders. Think Clinton/Lewinsky or Nixon/Watergate as recent examples. Your thinking is what contributed to all the early persecution of Catholics in this country. That is what is not only sad but tragic in you misguided understanding of scripture and history.

Jennie said...

Leo,
because you've swallowed all that the RCC says about itself and about the so-called heretics, you say alot of things that overwhelm me with their presumptuousness. Like that the Last Supper was the first mass, and that all of us protestants are heretics, and that it wasn't the RCC that perpetrated those things but only it's members. Sorry but it was under the orders of the popes that those things were done.

Jennie said...

You've never answered how it can be that the same Church that believed in the same doctrines of the RCC today, compiled the New Testament that you believe to be sufficient in all matters of faith. We are talking about councils of the Church WITH its hierarchy and pope. They are the ones who had the authority to say "in" or "out" about each gospel or letter in question. The Christian believers were ONE for a whole millenium, during which the liturgy was almost identical to today's Catholic mass, and transubstantiation, Mary, everything. Jesus' final prayer with his twelve (John 17) was that His Church be "one, as the Father and I are one". Not an ever-multiplying number of denominations flailing their way through our times.

Christine, I say the same to you as I said to Leo about saying 'alot of things that overwhelm me with their presumptuousness'. None of those things are true, except for Jesus' prayer. But I have a new post in preparation that talks about the divisions in the church.

Jennie said...

There are not really very many Protestant denominations that adhere to scripture alone as their rule of faith. There are many that are outside this category, and it is not surprising that non-scriptural groups should multiply over time. The basic Bible believing denominations have not multiplied much. That's a myth that is constantly repeated by Catholic Apologists. The number they throw around, 33,000 right now, actually includes Catholic and Orthodox groups as well, AND many that Bible believers consider heretical.
http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=2218

Elena said...

I for one never use the 33,000 number. I just leave it as "thousands" because really, who knows? It certainly isn't what Christ wanted or intended. He founded one church, and it wasn't in any of the above.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said, "because you've swallowed all that the RCC says about itself and about the so-called heretics, you say alot of things that overwhelm me with their presumptuousness."

What I have been swallowing are too many of your scripture pretzels. ;-) The Sanhedrin had exactly the same problem with Jesus as God, that you do with the Church as His official authority on earth until His return.

Then you said,"Like that the Last Supper was the first mass, and that all of us protestants are heretics" It was the first Mass because Jesus said so. You just have a hard time accepting the truth so you severely mangle the meaning of scripture to your own ends.

Finally you said, "Sorry but it was under the orders of the popes that those things were done."

Do you have all of those signed orders as proof?

Jennie said...

Leo,
where's the passage of scripture in which Jesus says 'This is the first mass"?

I don't need 'signed orders'; go read some history about the Inquisition, the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, and the massacres of the Vaudois and the Albigenses.

John said...

Yea, yea. Let's all agree the Church has done some horrible things. But as I sit here camping in the beauty of the Columbia Gorge a thought occurs to me. We as Christians share belief in the most incredible of things, Christ was foretold, Christ was born of a virgin, He is God become man, He performed incredible miracles, He was crucified, died, and rose again, and ascended to heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. We as Christians share these incredible beliefs and yet the notion that Christ did establish a church designed to preserve truth and protect us from error is for some reason the most difficult belief. For me it seems like the most sensible belief.

Jennie said...

The Sanhedrin had exactly the same problem with Jesus as God, that you do with the Church as His official authority on earth until His return.

Here's my version:
The Magisterium had the same problem with the Bible Christians, that the Sanhedrin had with Jesus as God and with His disciples who preached Him.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said,"where's the passage of scripture in which Jesus says 'This is the first mass"?"

Then you said, "I don't need 'signed orders'; go read some history"

Fine...I don't need a passage of of scripture; go read some history... but by real historians.

Every Mass is a replication of the Last Supper. You simply refuse to believe that which is so...

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said,"Here's my version:
The Magisterium had the same problem with the Bible Christians, that the Sanhedrin had with Jesus as God and with His disciples who preached Him."

I said it first, nyah nyah..

Actually, the Magisterium has fought heresies of all sorts for 2000 years...Gnosticists, Nestorians, Arians, Jansenists, Iconoclasts such as yourself,etc. They have no problem defending themselves as the Truth never changes. You, however, do...

John said...

Tomorrow my wife and rise early to head for higher wilderness country not far from a Greek Orthodox monastery of nuns, St. Johns, where we will pause for the best Greek pastry and camp for two nights. I may not have iPhone service there and so may miss more of this spirited conversation. If so, I will rejoin it again Friday or Saturday. Blessings to all in our mutual search for truth.

Jennie said...

We as Christians share these incredible beliefs and yet the notion that Christ did establish a church designed to preserve truth and protect us from error is for some reason the most difficult belief. For me it seems like the most sensible belief.

John,
It would be sensible if leaders were infallible, but scripture never teaches this.
The difference is in our understanding of what the church is. The church is the 'ekklesia', the called out assembly. It isn't an unbroken infallible hierarchy. If it were, Jesus and the Apostles and other N.T. writers would not have continually stressed to the believers to look out for false teachers; and that 'even if I or an angel from heaven teaches a different gospel than the one I delivered to you, let him be accursed' as Paul taught. The church was meant to be carried out in local assemblies, which could also communicate with one another and exhort one another. There is no idea in scripture that there would be a central hierarchy. God gave His inspired written word to help us after the eyewitnesses would die, and His Holy Spirit to work through the word and on His own as well, to call people and to give them gifts to serve the assemblies and to teach those that come behind them to continue.
People are not infallible and that's why we need the Spirit and the word to correct us; and we and our leaders correct each other as we abide in the Spirit and the word.
If indeed leaders are claiming infallibility when scripture denies that leaders have this, then these leaders can claim that they have never erred; then they can convince people that their doctrines are true, even though they are not found in scripture. When leaders claim infallibility then they set themselves up on a level with scripture because people then accept them as the very word of God. Then any error can be taught as truth.
An example of this is something a friend shared here once. He is an avid student of the Church Fathers, and he brought to my attention that during the Arian controversy in early centuries, at one point almost all the bishops in an entire region were Arians, but their people did not follow them into that heresy, and the churches were eventually led out of that heresy by the lead of the Alexandrian bishop Athanasius. The bishop of Rome, Liberius, had given in to Arianism along with many western bishops. Where was the succession, and the infallible magisterium then?

Jennie said...

Thanks for joining in John. God bless you and yours.

Jennie said...

Actually, the Magisterium has fought heresies of all sorts for 2000 years...Gnosticists, Nestorians, Arians, Jansenists, Iconoclasts such as yourself,etc. They have no problem defending themselves as the Truth never changes. You, however, do...

I mentioned something about the Arian heresy in my last comment to John, by the way.
Yes, the church has fought heresies, but some it didn't fight enough, and the church changed over time because of this.
I haven't changed in my understanding of the hierarchy of the RCC throughout history ever since I started studying it. I have gained some more insights into Roman Catholics themselves; that many are saved, in spite of some errors. I'm saved in spite of my errors too, but we need to grow out of them.

Leo said...

Jennie,

The false teachers we were warned about are the sources you repeatedly refer to. You are allowing your ears to be tickled with nonsense...if it's anti-Catholic, it must be true...if it's pro-Catholic, it must be proven in 12 different ways from scripture. You are like the person in a round room who was told there is a penny in the corner and you keep looking. Let's start with your avid friend's research on Arianism and Pope Liberius. Here is a quote from the pope:

"where the fear of God and the institutes of the Apostles alone suffice for everything, that in that place, before all else, the Faith of the Church be set forth, just as it was defined by the Fathers in the Nicene Council; then let all be ejected who are of the Arian opinion, and let their heresy be anathematized; then finally let a judgment on Athanasius be delivered, or upon any other person deemed guilty: and as many as are found guilty, so many let there be ejected, and as many as are pure, let them be absolved of guilt. For it cannot be allowed that those should sit in the Synod who are impious in belief, nor is it proper to question any one's deeds before we have security as to his religion. Every discord about faith is to be first abolished, and then action may be taken upon other things." The consequence of this worthy reply was the exile of the Pontiff into Thrace. On his way to punishment, Liberius had an interview with the sovereign, and as we know from St. Athanasius he thus repelled the renewed attempts to seduce him: "Cease to persecute Christians. Do not try, through me, to bring heretical impiety into the Church. We Christians are prepared to sustain everything, ere we will suffer ourselves to be called Arians." Liberius also declared, "he thought it more important to keep the laws of the Church than to reside at Rome." When about to depart, he was offered a sum of money for his journey, in the name of the emperor, but he rejected it, saying "Thou hast pillaged the churches of the earth, and now thou offerest me alms as to a guilty one! Go first, and become a Christian."

Now, I can give you a lot more detail to address the countless other charges from anti-Catholics desperately trying to show error in teaching. I thought this simple quote would suffice. Why are you so oblivious to the fact that your original sources may be lying?

Leo said...

Jennie,

Please stop with your absolutes. The concept 'if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it' is not of Christian origin. You said, " There is no idea in scripture that there would be a central hierarchy."

Again, we have given you plenty of examples from scripture, which you continue to toss in your pretzel machine so you don't have to look at them. I can even give you a name for your pretzels...remember the Mister Salty brand? Well, I will go with Missed or Faulty Scripture Pretzels. The novelty of this brand is that the pretzels can be seasoned according to personal preference ;-)


Throw away Abraham, the seat of Moses, the high priest(lest we forget that Jesus COMMANDED His Apostles,"because the scribes and Pharisees sit on the seat of Moses, you MUST do as they tell you"(in case you forgot). Oh, and toss away the keys given to Peter for good measure. Let's not let facts get in the way of your opinions.

You also said,"When leaders claim infallibility then they set themselves up on a level with scripture because people then accept them as the very word of God. Then any error can be taught as truth."

Jennie, that would be totally correct if the Holy Spirit were not protecting the Church from teaching error. That is why we don't follow any bishop; only the Holy Father is DIRECTLY led by the Holy Spirit. By the way, scripture was written by fallible men too. Why do you put so much stock in it?

Well, lo and behold, the same Holy Spirit was wise enough to provide inerrant interpretation for inerrant writings. Amazing...

Leo said...

By the way, I don't need any new shoes right now, but thanks for offering...

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said,"I have gained some more insights into Roman Catholics themselves; that many are saved, in spite of some errors. I'm saved in spite of my errors too, but we need to grow out of them."

Be careful with the sin of presumption here. We have a gift of free will and we are free to walk away at any time. That is why Paul said that he was working out his salvation in fear and trembling, worrying that he would help others while losing his own soul if he wasn't careful.

Although it is true that God created us without our permission, He will not save us without our cooperation.

Jennie said...

No idea where the shoe ad came from. I deleted it. Weird.

Christine said...

Yes, Leo! The concept of an infallible magisterium is similar to what we AND Jennie believe about the Bible. Doesn't that make it more understandable, Jennie? If someone accused you of idolizing the Bible, written by fallible men, setting it up as a false God, etc., wouldn't your response be like what Leo said, namely, "that would be totally correct if the Holy Spirit were not protecting the [Bible] from teaching error?"

Re: the Church. This is how I became a Catholic, by asking myself what did Jesus intend? Did he intend to have denominations all interpreting scripture differently? I NEVER thought the Catholic Church was where I'd end up. But the thing is - Jesus did speak about the Church he'd build. He talked about Peter as the Rock, keys, the gates of hell not prevailing against it, binding and loosing, etc., etc.

Yes, you do not interpret the verses the way we do - but to say "There's no basis" is really dishonest.

I know you thought my last post was presumptuous, about what the early Church believed. But the writings of the early Fathers are so easily accessible in unedited form so that no one's bias is entering in. Their writings give us great insight into the beliefs of that time - so there is no need to presume or assume.

Leo said...

Well said, Christine...and, if you read the Fathers of the Church, you will find that they developed their thoughts over time as well.

Even Paul, who worked out his salvation in fear and trembling in his earlier writings, spoke of having finished the race and having fought the good fight towards the end of his life. It is not uncommon for the Saints to struggle their entire lives and then to get a grace of revelation of their ultimate salvation prior to death. This is not something that they ever dared to presume upon God ahead of time. It is also never for us to judge the state of any other person's soul, including our own. For all we know, for example, Judas may be in heaven. It is not for us to say.

If the 'powerful' Roman Catholic Church has never condemned anyone for eternity, who are we to do so? As for me, I am still working out my salvation in fear and trembling, but with the peace that surpasses all understanding...

Jennie said...

Christine,
the difference between the infallible word of God and the infallible magisterium is that we know scripture is the word of God, but the word of God doesn't ever say that the church leadership will be infallible.
We know that scripture is the word of God partly because the earliest churches knew it, and in the same way they knew it: by faith and the Holy Spirit. Jesus said "my sheep know My voice". This was long before the councils made an official list.
The main protestant denominations which hold to scripture as the final authority do have some small differences, but overall they agree. I agree that many of the differences should not be there, but they are not more than existed in the earlier centuries in the 'Catholic' church. Many of those earlier arguments were even more bitterly contested than any differences are now.

Jennie said...

Christine,
the Reformers saw many errors and offenses in the Church of their times, and they eventually had no choice but to separate from it, though they did not wish to. Most of these errors have not been corrected, and more have been added since that time, such as declaring the infallibility of the pope and the immaculate conception of Mary.
These errors have been well documented and explained by many.

Jennie said...

Leo,
1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

This says that we who believe can and should know that we have eternal life.

Christine said...

Jennie said "the difference between the infallible word of God and the infallible magisterium is that we know scripture is the word of God, but the word of God doesn't ever say that the church leadership will be infallible."

Catholics believe that the word of God DOES say that the Church built on the Rock that is Peter will be infallible (in doctrine, not personally) because Jesus said that the "gates of hell will not prevail" against that Church (built on the Rock that is Peter!)

The bible also says to hold to "the Church, which is the pillar and foundation of truth".

Again, though you may disagree with the interpretation, this is the basis Catholics see clearly in the Word of God that we share.

I would have more respect for your position if you ever said "Ok, I don't agree, but I can see where you're getting that."

Christine said...

I understand the horror you have at some Catholic notions. I was raised in the Evangelical Free Church, and my goodness, the idea of any authority outside the bible was just completely unthinkable. Truly. A Catholic bookstore with its gory statues and rosaries was a totally foreign piety to us. And we were taught distortions about what Catholics believe. We thought we had all the answers. Though we memorized our pet bible verses, we ignored many many others - and when I read them for myself, I felt a bit cheated. But my experience in the evangelical world brought me to Christ and give me a heck of a lot of bible knowledge, and I'm grateful for that.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said, "such as declaring the infallibility of the pope and the immaculate conception of Mary.
These errors have been well documented and explained by many."

Show me where scripture denies either the infallibility of the Church on Faith and Morals, or the immaculate conception of Mary.

You can't. Also, the errors of you and your sources have been well documented and explained by many as well.

Your argument is lost because you have resorted to saying that you have sources that disagree with Church teaching and so that settles it. Unfortunately your many sources have been discredited time and again.

Jennie, when will you open your eyes to realize that we are not devout Catholics because we are stupid? We are Catholic because we see the truths that you have blinded yourself to. You have at least acknowledged that some of us Catholics 'may be saved'. Well thank you for showing us mercy.

I think Elena is right when she says that you have some deep seated issues. Satan absolutely hates the Catholic Church, so it should at least bother you fall on the same side of the fence in that regard. I know it would scare the heck out of me. It would make me dig a whole lot deeper to see where I might be mistaken.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said,"This says that we who believe can and should know that we have eternal life."

Yes, but you can still fall out of grace and lose eternal life as well. Eternal life can begin in this world but mortal sin can separate you from God once again.

Jennie said...

Catholics believe that the word of God DOES say that the Church built on the Rock that is Peter will be infallible (in doctrine, not personally) because Jesus said that the "gates of hell will not prevail" against that Church (built on the Rock that is Peter!)

Christine,
I may have said this before but just about every scripture that refers to the Rock, as in Petra the huge immovable rock, or in the Old Testament the Hebrew word for huge rock, is referring to God. Therefore many believe that the Rock in Matthew 16 is Jesus Christ Himself, and that Peter is the first stone built upon the immovable foundation of Christ. With his testimony of Jesus as the Christ, Peter became the first stone built upon Christ. Please see my posts under 'Peter' in the side bar for more detail on this.

Jennie said...

Those posts also talk about 'the gates of death shall not prevail'. I don't want to rewrite everything, so I'll just refer you to those.

Jennie said...

Christine,
I was born into the Catholic church, and after we left we went to mostly Baptist churches, but none really talked about Catholicism at all. I gradually became fascinated again with some aspects of Catholicism, such as Pope John Paul 2, Mother Teresa, and St. Francis, since these were very much admired in evangelical circles. I started reading about St. Francis and watched a movie about him which I really liked. But at about this time I also ran into info. about contemplative prayer and the dangers of it; that it is basically transcendental medititation and is not a valid form of prayer. You may not agree.
I then began alot of study about all these related subjects, which naturally led me into some aspects of Catholicism that are mystical. This all led me to more study on history and doctrine. At some point in this after I had already become skeptical about the RCC, my brother reverted with his family. This was very hard on me because I had read alot about the persecution done to so many Bible Christians, and the differences in doctrine. I didn't get this from church, but from study. My husband also taught me alot about the doctrines of justification and salvation and righteousness which gave me a good foundation in scriptural teaching on this, which I have seen conflicts with Roman Catholic teachings. He isn't familiar with Catholicism and so has not influenced me against it, by the way.

Jennie said...

I also want to say that I don't like the websites that have alot of sensational stuff about Catholicism, like Jack Chick (his drawings give me the creeps), or some of the other ones that have the pope with horns, etc. I try to stick to sites that have alot of historical, doctrinal, and scriptural information. I have found that thoughtful men that have come out of Catholicism have alot of carefully researched information that is supported by scripture and historical documentation. I know you all consider these men as heretics and traitors, but they have gravely considered their decision to leave the RCC. I have links to several of these at the bottom of my blog page. Berean Beacon and Just for Catholics are two of them.

Jennie said...

Christine,
You said, I would have more respect for your position if you ever said "Ok, I don't agree, but I can see where you're getting that."

Actually, I do see where you are getting these things from in scripture. I should say that, but I guess I forget that people who are new don't know where I'm coming from. I just have a totally different perspective than you do, and actually a different perspective in some ways than some of the people I agree with too. My husband has been called to teach and has been teaching me too for the past 12 years as he studies only scripture; he has listened to the Bible over and over as he drives, and he has done in depth studies all throughout scripture on many areas of Christian doctrine and living. We don't tow the Baptist line, but have dropped many traditional beliefs that conflict with scripture, like 'once saved always saved'.
I also believe that I have a gift of seeing the big picture in scripture and history, and of seeing how the Old Testament stories and prophesies are fulfilled in Christ and in God's plan for the ages. I see many analogies between things that have happened all throughout history, and I see how Israel and the church are spoken of. I see more and more as I study history and scripture. I know this will not impress you, as you probably don't believe in personal interpretation of scripture, but I am just telling you that I'm not following some ignorant anti-catholic rhetoric. I'm seeing very clearly, as if I'm looking from the outside in on how history and scripture fit into God's plan, and although I understand what you're saying, I see the places in scripture that conflict with it. You have to look at all of scripture as a whole, not take little parts of it to support your view. That's what my husband has taught me.

Elena said...

"I have found that thoughtful men that have come out of Catholicism have alot of carefully researched information that is supported by scripture and historical documentation"

I have found that thoughtful men who come into Catholicism have a lot of carefully researched information that is supported by scruipture and historical documentation.

Jennie said...

Elena,
I've seen that it's often a very long and sometimes painful process either way. But in one case it's someone coming to accept the word of God about itself, the church and history; and in the other case it's coming to accept the word of the Church about itself, scripture, and history.

Leo said...

Jennie,

We have gone back and forth on a number of topics, and I must agree with Christine. It is never clear to me in your postings that you remotely see or acknowledge the logic of our position. Quite frankly, you come across like Jack Chick sometimes and I suspect that it is because you hold something deep in your heart against the Church. What is in the heart always comes out.

It is painful to have the family of God attacked by one of its own members. Look, there are many of us with a deep and abiding faith and you need to realize that we are continuously healed and renewed with the Sacraments as they have real power. Our relationship with the Lord is both real and mystical.

When your goal is to lead someone away from the Church, you are doing them a disservice. The Church is a hospital for sinners with all of the latest medicinal graces for treatment. You are like someone who convinces a diabetic to quit taking insulin or a cancer patient to quit chemo by telling them there is an easier way that you have read about and believe in.

The problem is not that the you have not learned a lot. Quite the opposite... The problem is that you have learned so much that simply is not true. For example, let's take your comment to Christine. You equate contemplative prayer to transcendental meditation by saying that they are basically the same thing and that this was a major reason you shied away from the Church. Yet you seem to be oblivious to the fact that the Church has expressly condemned TM.
They are absolutely not the same thing, so again you misrepresented and maligned the Church.

Jennie, it is deeply troubling that Elena, John, Christine and I have been able to point out dozens of specific falsehoods that you have presented as facts and you just shake it off and ignore it each time. If I were to share anything not true, I would immediately feel terrible for not sharing Truth and apologize. You never did for any of your erroneous teachings. It would have been different had you presented them as opinions, but you presented them as facts.

You are communicating to Christine her not in a way to help her improve her relationship with Jesus Christ, but rather to get her away from the Catholic Church. THAT is the real issue.

If you see a Catholic who does not attend Mass or is fallen away and does not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, please do introduce him or her. It may well be that we did not do a proper job of introducing them ourselves.

I have dear friends who are Protestant and understand that our major mission is to get everyone to experience the love of God and to surrender completely to Jesus Christ on a daily basis. We are not all about slamming each other's churches.

Jennie said...

Leo,
did you even read my last several comments? I can't stand Jack Chick. I do believe many Catholics are believers. I don't believe the hierarchy is trustworthy or is what Christ intended. Also, I don't believe the Catholic teachings on salvation and justification are scriptural, so the gospel is not being clearly taught. I don't have any deep-seated unconscious grudge against the RCC. I was fascinated with it for a while, but then I learned that contemplative prayer is the same practice as TM. Jesus didn't teach it, nor did the Apostles. It is dangerous because you can't tell what entity you are connecting with, and since it is in disobedience to God's way of prayer, God will not speak to you in it.

Jennie said...

Jennie, it is deeply troubling that Elena, John, Christine and I have been able to point out dozens of specific falsehoods that you have presented as facts and you just shake it off and ignore it each time. If I were to share anything not true, I would immediately feel terrible for not sharing Truth and apologize. You never did for any of your erroneous teachings. It would have been different had you presented them as opinions, but you presented them as facts.

Leo, nothing you all have said has made me think anything I've said has bee a falsehood. I believe what I am saying is the truth, and I feel the same about you as you have just accused me. I feel that you cannot see the truth of scripture and history because you trust in the word of the Church over God's word and over eyewitnesses in history.
I am saying that we come to Jesus to become part of the church, not come to the Church to get to Jesus. I am saying that the RCC has been the false church of Revelation in the past, so you might need to pay attention to the words of our Lord in Revelation 18. That is not a lie.

Christine said...

Amen to Leo's comment. There'd be a fun discussion here instead of painful attacks and defense, if Jennie granted us that we are following God's will as we see it.

As Catholics consider both Mary and the Church to be our Mother, it is SO difficult not to respond in anger to falsehoods and illogic. And as a kid would say "Jennie, you started it!"

We don't have blogs where most days start with a link to a questionable anti-evangelical site, along with a misinformed post. If we did, you'd have every reason to respond forcefully.

When we look at our hurting and broken world, I see those of us who claim the name of Christ and seek to follow Him as being on the same side! Please consider whether your attacks on Catholics are fruitful, bringing peace, joy, love, patience, etc. They are often an occasion of sin for me, I always get angry at injustice, and that's for me to work on. I will say that at times you are gracious and reasonable in your reponses - may that increase, and may we respond kindly as well.

Jennie, how can you condemn me, who started with Jesus, and a completely open mind/heart and said, "Lord lead me to your truth, and I will follow no matter WHERE you lead me". No one even proselytized me. Our neighborhood Catholic church members were people who showered us with friendship and generosity, but never tried to "argue" us in. Surely you agree that I MUST obey what God shows me to be truth. You must do the same. You may say "I am not condemning you", but when you call my Church the "Harlot Church", etc., you are doing so.

Jennie, flat unsupported statements such as this: "I am saying that the RCC has been the false church of Revelation in the past, so you might need to pay attention to the words of our Lord in Revelation 1. That is not a lie" are as ridiculous as if we inserted "bible-only churches" for "RCC". Don't we ALL need to pay attention to ALL the words in Revelation as well as all of scripture? It's pretty patronizing to say "YOU better pay attention" to such and such a verse as though the book of Revelation is new to us.

I find I have more in common with faithful "bible" Christians (if they're not anti-Catholics like you) and other faith-filled practicing Protestant than I do with liberal, relativist or nominal Catholics, Lutherans, etc.

I'm running on and on here - Two questions: 1. - per Leo, would it occur to you to investigate what the Church herself would say about TM and contemplative prayer? Or would you be all to ready to believe the untrue statement. 2. Is there anything in the Nicene Creed that you do not agree with? It is a wonderful statement of the basics of Christian faith that I believe we would almost entirely share. And that's a lot!

Elena said...

" It is never clear to me in your postings that you remotely see or acknowledge the logic of our position. "


You know, that really would do it for me. Something like,

"I see where you are coming from. I see that your stand is from scripture and history. I totally get where you're coming from. However, I disagree and here's why..."

That would be great. The blatant refusals and ad hominems from Jennie are irritating, aggravating and after a while, not really worthy of a lot of thought time.

Elena said...

"But in one case it's someone coming to accept the word of God about itself, the church and history; and in the other case it's coming to accept the word of the Church about itself, scripture, and history."


I can tell you what did it for me, because I was a very luke warm Christian and then when I got challenged on my Catholic faith and didn't know the answers I decided I was going to find the answers and if they were bogus, I would leave and find another church.

But every issue I studied brought me closer to the church. And I eagerly looked at Protestant responses, eager to see if they could rip the Catholic argument - and was disappointed each and every time.

I remain Catholic because it is backed by scripture, history, logic and common sense, and I have yet to see a Protestant argument that was remotely compelling or persuasive.

Christine said...

Elena: "But every issue I studied brought me closer to the church. And I eagerly looked at Protestant responses, eager to see if they could rip the Catholic argument - and was disappointed each and every time.

"I remain Catholic because it is backed by scripture, history, logic and common sense, and I have yet to see a Protestant argument that was remotely compelling or persuasive"

Exactly my own viewpoint and experience; also, I agree with you about Jennie's approach to disagreements. And that I'm spending more time on it than I should when you just end up going in circles. Can't help myself . . . I just want to achieve a degree of respect and understanding.

Jennie said...

Christine,
You are seeing that though I try to be gracious, I have not learned enough about how to balance truth and love yet. I tend to be like the Church of Ephesus in Revelation 2, and the Lord has been teaching me about love, but I'm not there yet obviously. I'm trying to show love by telling what I see as the truth, but it often doesn't come across that way. I apologize for trying to push things too hard. This blog is a record of my own thoughts and also links of things I want to remember, so it's a work in progress, and no one has to accept it; but also you can't understand it by only reading part of it.
Anyway, maybe I'll learn that it's not really my business to keep repeating these things, but to get on with other things. I think my perspective is worth alot of thought though, at least to remember for the future.
I can't say that you're wrong for the path you've taken, since God leads us all in different circumstances. Maybe we're coming to the same place from opposite ends: I've learned not to 'trust in man' (maybe I've learned that lesson too well?) but need to learn to love my brothers and sisters better; You may be coming from the other way. I really do think that we will all have to make a choice to leave institutional churches soon.

Christine said...

Learning to "love my brothers and sisters better" is something we can all agree is the tough, necessary road. May we all bless each other for the journey.

Jennie said...

Elena,
There are alot of things in protestantism that aren't right, either. I only call myself a protestant by default, since my husband and I don't agree with alot of the established ways of looking at things. We're trying to just look at scripture and it leads down a different path than any established denomination or church has come.

Leo said...

Jennie,

By the way, my references to scripture pretzels were meant not only to add levity, but to get you to think about our discussions more out of the box. You have been quite ingrained in your thought process, but I suspect that this has been the case every step of your faith journey.

You may not even realize that your views are becoming more Catholic every day. Your most recent comments about rejecting 'once saved, always saved', denies a major Protestant plank. That is a huge statement on your part, whether you realize it or not. It indicates that we have a role to play that goes way beyond just accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior as a one time deal. Thus, it is not faith alone as Martin Luther said when he added the word 'alone' to scripture.

Jennie said...

Leo,
I think we all need to become more 'catholic' in the original sense, and less of whatever else is added to it. Biblical doctrines are one thing, and the Papacy and everything that comes with it is another thing.

Jennie said...

If anyone wants to give me a link on what the RCC teaches about contemplative prayer, I'll look at it. I do believe it's pretty clear that TM and contemplative prayer are the same process, though. Richard Foster and others who teach it are clear on that, and many who have come out of it say the same.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said, "nothing you all have said has made me think anything I've said has bee a falsehood. I believe what I am saying is the truth..."

1."I don't have any deep-seated unconscious grudge against the RCC. I was fascinated with it for a while, but then I learned that contemplative prayer is the same practice as TM." I just got done telling you that the Church expressly condemns TM and there you go repeating the lie, saying that TM kept you out of the Church.

2. "Sorry but it was under the orders of the popes that those things were done." No evidence for that...

3. "The bishop of Rome, Liberius, had given in to Arianism along with many western bishops. Where was the succession, and the infallible magisterium then?" I gave you what Pope Liberius actually said and it clearly showed that you were in error.

How's that for starters?

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said, "I think we all need to become more 'catholic' in the original sense, and less of whatever else is added to it. Biblical doctrines are one thing, and the Papacy and everything that comes with it is another thing"

That is what you are missing. You are accusing the Church of adding when, in fact, it is you who have subtracted. Paul said that we are to follow what has been written in addition to the traditions they have passed down.

You are like the person assembling a jigsaw puzzle while refusing to use the cover for a guide. You say that there is no yellow flower there until you finally get to that part(like when you when from 'once saved,always saved' to the Catholic perspective). Then, once you see the yellow flower, you can no longer understand why anyone cannot see the flower.

Of course, you still cannot see the birds or tall trees yet, so you are quick to criticize anyone who claims that they are there.

Food for thought...

Jennie said...

I just got done telling you that the Church expressly condemns TM and there you go repeating the lie, saying that TM kept you out of the Church.

TM, also called centering prayer, is the same process that many in Christian meditation circles call contemplative prayer, influenced by Trappist Monk Thomas Keating and Basil Pennington. There may be some confusion about what contemplative prayer is, or there may be more than one thing called 'contemplative prayer'. That may be part of the problem.


"Sorry but it was under the orders of the popes that those things were done." No evidence for that...
This thread is getting too long already and I'm not going to post a bunch of stuff here, but if one reads the histories of the persecution of Bible Christians there is much evidence that the popes directly ordered massacres of these people and celebrated their deaths too. http://www.reformedreader.org/history/wylie/toc.htm

"The bishop of Rome, Liberius, had given in to Arianism along with many western bishops. Where was the succession, and the infallible magisterium then?" I gave you what Pope Liberius actually said and it clearly showed that you were in error.

Here is what I read: "Indeed, Liberius, bishop of Rome, caved in under Imperial pressure, and signed the Arianized Sirmium Creed. It was Alexandria, under the noble leadership of Athanasius, that led the way and eventually led to the defeat of Arianism." From aomin.org

Here's another from wikipedia, Semi-Arianism: "According to Sozomen, at this point pope Liberius was released from exile on his signing three fornmulæ combined by Basil; against this story see LIBERIUS, POPE."
Apparently there is controversy on whether Liberius signed?

Leo said...

Jennie,

Okay, so why do you automatically accept outside sources when the actual statements are available, as with Pope Liberius? Here is one link that goes into great detail:

http://www.old.vaticaninexile.com/TheologicalDiscussions/Papacy/Liberius.html

Also, regarding TM, it is a focus on self which is Brahma. TM is not allowed for Catholics and yoga is not either. You may not know that yoga means 'searching for god' and each position is worship to a pagan god. Yoga masters know that it is a pagan worship and the goal is to get people to altered states of consciousness. People that dabble in it for exercise, have no clue.

Freemasonry is also forbidden and the 33rd degree level reveals that the architect of the universe is none other that Lucifer himself. Here is a link on TM

http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfmed.htm

Leo said...

Jennie,

Again, you quoted a heretic, who 'discovered' centering prayer just a few years ago. Here is another good link to give you insight in the Church position:

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1997/9711fea1.asp

Jennie said...

Is the heretic who 'discovered' centering prayer just a few years ago Thomas Keating? I would agree he is a heretic. Same for Basil Pennington. I think Richard Foster is off the deep end too.
What would you say the difference is in centering prayer and contemplative prayer?
I agree that yoga is dangerous, and TM. I've always had a bad feeling about those, and learned alot that confirmed that feeling.

Jennie said...

Same with freemasonry. I've known for a while it's very bad; I would include any secretive society in that category.

Leo said...

Jennie,

Yes, Thomas Keating was heretical on that concept. Again, I don't know what else he taught, but he did a lot of damage when he brought this occult practice into his monastery. Fr. Meminger actually started the concept which is probably just a variation of Pelagianism. Keating just popularized it. Satan always recycles the same old heresies.

The difference between contemplative prayer and centering prayer is that the former is always focused on Jesus Christ while the latter is on self and everything is God. Centering prayer is not really prayer, either. It is a form of altered consciousness which is a form of channeling.

Channeling is allowing the demonic to gain access to us. The Church warns against even looking at daily horoscopes, for example. The reason is that it is a form of idolatry to seek supernatural help from any source whose origin is not God.

Most people do not know that even a Ouija board has resulted in demonic possession. The movie the Exorcist used actual recordings of a 12 year old boy who became possessed by playing once on a Ouija board. It took over a year to cast the demon out and it required a bishop and to be done during Holy Week. Since all demons are commanded to identify themselves when asked in Latin in the name of the Lord, this one identified himself as Lucifer himself. They actually had films where holy objects were tossed around the room supernaturally when brought into the possessed boy's presence.

Once freed, the boy remembered nothing whatsoever...another tidbit is that every archdiocese is supposed to have a priest expressly trained in exorcism.

Leo said...

Jennie,

One more thing is that all true meditation is focused on Jesus Christ.

Leo said...

Jennie,

One more thing about the jigsaw puzzle analogy. By not having the tradition handed down from the Apostles, it is like assembling the puzzle upside down.

You know in a jigsaw puzzle that some pieces look like they fit, and the picture prevents you from putting 2 wrong pieces together. Well, when you rely on scripture alone, you end up forcing some pieces that don't belong together.


Well, when you force even one piece, it ends up displacing other pieces and it may look okay from the back side. However, if you turn it over, instead of seeing a Michelangelo, you end up with a Picasso...no slam on him, but you get the picture.

Leo said...

By the way, as I am sure you know, Pelagianism is the concept whereby man is seen as basically good, without original sin, and he can of free will choose God on his own with no divine prompting or intervention.

This is a heresy since we can only respond because God calls us and enables us. We would be totally lost without Him.

Leo said...

Jennie,

By the way, the Church needed to infallibly rule on centering prayer precisely because it was causing the faithful to be led astray. The concept only came up in the last 30-40 years.

There were many nuns and priests, especially in California, who fell victim to many other new age heresies in a similar way and each heresy was specifically identified and addressed by the Church for the sake of the faithful.

Jennie said...

Actually I think Thomas Merton was the one I was thinking of. He may have been similar to Thomas Keating. Merton is the one I'm more familiar with, though.

Leo said...

Now I know where the confusion comes in. Thomas Merton defined centering prayer as 'centering entirely on the presence of God'. His was a response to the Holy Father's request to update and renew the practice of deep spiritual prayer. Unfortunately, people like Fr. Keating and Meminger perverted the truth and got involved in occultic practices which have caused great damage to many. This is why the Church needed to step in an squash the heresy that had entered in.

If you look at the lives of the Saints, they were able to often pray with a complete focus on Jesus Christ with a blocking out of the world around them. This is the idea behind 'centering prayer', whose meaning has now unfortunately been perverted by many.

Incidentally, that is one of the strengths of the rosary. When we pray, it is often with much distraction of the world around us. This is because each side of our brain operates independently and one half can be saying words while the other is thinking about what to give the kids for dinner.

The rosary used to be 150 psalms but was modified by St. Dominic. It includes prayers and meditations on the life of Christ.

Thus, each decade addresses part of the Gospel story. We have the Anunciation, the Presentation, Birth, Agony in the Garden, Crucifixion, Resurrection, etc.

When we meditate on the specific scriptural events while saying the words of the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary(both also from scripture), we are praying with our whole mind. In other words, it is not half-brained prayer ;-)

Jennie said...

So, are you saying that 'centering prayer' is the same as 'contemplative prayer'?
And are you saying that different people define and practice them differently?
Is Thomas Merton considered NOT heretical?
I'm confused on what you mean on these questions.

Jennie said...

Leo,
I pretty much regard any mysticism, 'Christian' or not, as suspect, and as all part of varying levels of the same process of being in an altered state and opening oneself up to unknown influences. I believe conscious prayer to the Father and conscious meditation on the word of God is the only safe way.

Jennie said...

Here's an article on Catholic Answers about Merton:
http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2008/0805fea1.asp

The author seems to be saying that while his ideas are dangerous, he was still a faithful Catholic. I have my doubts about whether he ever really was a converted Christian in the Biblical sense.

Leo said...

Jennie,

I am honestly not that familiar with Thomas Merton and what he taught, but as long as the prayer focuses on God, it is okay...assuming you are addressing the Trinity. There are so many heresies that we must be ever vigilant.

IN fact, the reason Jesus compares us with sheep is because sheep are really dumb animals who don't even recognize danger. For example, if two sheep are next to each other and a wolf attacks one, the other will just stand there and be oblivious that he is next. They will also stand in streams and tip over from the weight of their wet coats, and drown.

This is why Jesus gave us the Church. This is why we start every prayer with the sign of the cross, recognizing the Trinity and reminding ourselves that the cross is meant for us too. This is why we are compelled to go to Mass every week and recite the Nicene Creed while we are there. This is why we make three signs of the cross(one on our forehead, on our lips and over our heart) before the Gospel reading, saying "May the Gospel of our Lord be ever on our minds, on our lips, and in our hearts."

Satan throws heresies at us regularly and Jesus made it simple for us by giving us clear instructions through scripture and Tradition passed down from the Apostles.

That is one of the profound things about Mass. I have heard it in Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, Indian, Chinese, etc., and it is the same words and prayers(most of them) passed down from the Apostles and found in the Didache and other ancient prayer books. Of course, the words of Consecration are identical. This is also true in Orthodox churches that I have been to.

There is no way humans could have kept it the same in all countries for all time. It is so awesome to see that it sometimes brings me to tears.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You are correct that our prayers are to be focused and reliant upon God. I do not want to mislead you about any of these so called 'centering prayers', etc., because I do believe that the definitions have been usurped by many. The best rule of thumb is to focus solely on Jesus Christ and His life and mission. In fact, just prayerfully repeating the name 'Jesus' is powerful in and of itself.

Leo said...

Also, what I meant to say was that the same prayers are recited everywhere in the world at every Mass, and that most of them are identical to the prayers the Apostles developed...

Jennie said...

Here's another article from a Catholic viewpoint on 'centering prayer'. I think he is saying there is a difference between 'centering prayer' and traditional Catholic mysticism. I am skeptical. But I agree with him on the dangers of centering prayer and similar practices.
http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1997/9711fea1.asp

I need to put these in a post later.

Jennie said...

Here's another article from Catholic Answers written in reaction to Fr. Drehrer's article that I just posted.
http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1998/9802ltrs.asp

Leo said...

Yeah, I guess that's probably right. I never believed in or used 'centering prayer'. Everything I have seen indicates new age type activity. Contemplative prayer is totally on the up and up, however. You contemplate on Jesus Christ and listen for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.