Religious Movements, Roman Catholicism

Roman Catholicism’s Gospel: Is it true or is it false?

Discussing the Roman Catholic Church is a complex subject.  What do Romans Catholics believe? As far as history is concerned Roman Catholicism has always taught the Tri-Unity of God being the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Along with the Trinity being consistent the Roman Catholic Church teaches that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the One who died on the cross and rose again.

The atonement of Jesus and what was accomplished on the cross and resurrection is the main issue within this article.  The Bible teaches that Jesus completed the work (debt paid in full/ John 19:30) of atonement through His shed blood and death on the cross, and those who put their faith in Him have all sins forgiven.(1 John 1:7&9)  The Bible teaches that all those call upon the name of the Lord and turn to Him for salvation will be saved from their sins, and are justified by faith alone in Christ. (Romans 3:19-31&10:9-13)  With that being said the Roman Catholic Church has another gospel on how one is justified of their sins and who is saved.

One of the divisive things that makes Roman Catholicism Magisterium a major concern is that they teach those who refuse acknowledge them as the one true Church are not saved, though this is not known by the average Catholic.  Also, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that works are required for salvation, not by faith alone in Christ.  Another disturbing and false teaching is that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that there is a place called Purgatory where people go to purge out their own sins for justification, which in essence means that the blood of Christ does not atone for all sins once and for all. (Hebrews 10:10-14)  These teachings are false and we will examine and explain why

If you are a Roman Catholic we want encourage you to examine following quotes and information shared very carefully for yourselves.  Below will be various quotes from official teachings & doctrines within the Roman Catholic Church and the sources of Roman Catholicism on salvation.

QUOTES – What do Roman Catholics believe

Roman Catholic Church is the Only True Church For Salvation

“Outside the Church there is no salvation – Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church/Section Two/Article 9/Section #846)

“The Church alone dispenses the sacraments. It alone makes known the light of revealed truth. Outside the Church these gifts cannot be obtained. From all this there is but one conclusion: Union with the Church is not merely one out of various means by which salvation may be obtained: it is the only means.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, under Church)

Salvation By Works – Sacraments of the Church

“Holy Baptism holds the first place among the sacraments, because it is the door of the spiritual life; for by it we are made members of Christ and incorporated with the Church. And since through the first man death entered into all, unless we be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, we can not enter into the kingdom of Heaven, as Truth Himself has told us.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, under Baptism)

“Penance is a sacrament of the New Law instituted by Christ in which forgiveness of sins committed after baptism is granted through the priest’s absolution to those who with true sorrow confess their sins and promise to satisfy for the same.”  (Catholic Encyclopedia, under Penance)

“The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude.”(Catechism of the Catholic Church #1257)

“Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin…It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification…The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as “the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1446)

Purging Your Sins In Purgatory

“Purgatory (Lat., “purgare”, to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God’s grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, under Purgatory)

“That temporal punishment is due to sin, even after the sin itself has been pardoned by God, is clearly the teaching of Scripture.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, under Purgatory)

“All sins are not equal before God, nor dare anyone assert that the daily faults of human frailty will be punished with the same severity that is meted out to serious violation of God’s law. On the other hand whosoever comes into God’s presence must be perfectly pure for in the strictest sense His “eyes are too pure, to behold evil” (Hab., i, 13). For un-repented venial faults for the payment of temporal punishment due to sin at time of death, the Church has always taught the doctrine of purgatory.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, under Purgatory)

“Venial Sin – Since a voluntary act and its disorder are of the essence of sin, venial sin as it is a voluntary act may be defined as a thought, word or deed at variance with the law of God.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, under Sin)

Biblical Christianity vs. Roman Catholicism

The quotes that were posted are official beliefs and doctrines of Roman Catholicism.  The Roman Catholic Church’s message of salvation is quite different from what the Bible teaches.  The Bible teaches there is ‘one’ body of Christ, but many members.  When the Apostles wrote letters to various Christians they wrote to those in Christ who were a part of the Church.  The Church was identified in different ways.  The Church was called “the church of God” (1 Corinthians 1:2), “church of the firstborn” (Hebrews 12:23), “churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16), “Body of Christ” (Colossians 1:24), “House of God” (1 Timothy 3:15), “Bride of Christ” (Revelation 21:2).  The point is that the Church of God does not have ‘a’ name but is simply those in Christ who have come to know Him personally, and received His sacrifice for all our sins through His shed blood.  The Bible teaches:   ”But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin…If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us (our) sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:7&9) The Roman Catholic Church proclaims they are the only true Church which they are not.   Salvation is not in a Church, but in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and putting your complete trust in Him. (John 14:1&20:31/ Revelation 3:20)  The body of Christ is one, but one in unity in Christ.(Ephesians 4:5)

What Roman Catholics have been taught to believe concerning salvation is in opposition to what the Bible teaches.   The Roman Catholic Church teaches that works are needed for salvation, which in essence is a false gospel.  They teach that water baptism is essential for one to enter the kingdom of God.  The reference used to teach water baptism is required to enter the kingdom of God is John 3:5: “Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”  Does the word Baptism appear here? Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus about becoming a Christian and was speaking in earthly terms. Jesus was speaking of being born of water which meant being born of flesh and born into this earthly world. And went on to say that being born again of the Spirit is what is required for eternal life. That is what John 3:6 says:  “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”   Jesus was clearly contrasting the fleshly birth of which everyone is born into this world, and compared it to being born again by the Spirit. In John 3:15-18 you will see that Jesus taught on how to receive salvation and eternal life. Christ taught that by believing in Him that was all that was necessary for eternal life, not being water baptized.  When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and when we become a Christian the Holy Spirit comes into our heart and we are born again, and baptized through the Spirit into the body of Christ. (Ephesians 1:13-14 1Corinthians 12:13) Paul said that he was sent to preach the Gospel, not to water baptize. (1 Corinthians 1:17-18) Peter preached to Cornelius and those with him, and they believed the Gospel and received the gift of the Holy Spirit before water baptism.(Acts 10:43-48) Peter taught that spiritual baptism is required for salvation, not water baptism.(1 Peter 3:21) The Gospel is that Jesus loves us, and died for us, and through our faith in Him we have the forgiveness of all sins. (Romans 5:8-9/ 1 John 1:7&9)

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Penance are required for ones sins to be forgiven.  Penance in the Catholic Church means that people who have committed sins (whatever kind) are to go to the priest and confess their sins to him, and the priest will give him the forgiveness of that persons sins.  The Word of God says: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) In the New Testament we are told that we are to confess our sins to the Lord Jesus, He is our High Priest and Advocate. (Hebrews 3:1/ 1 John 2:1) Paul taught that Jesus is the Mediator between God and man. (1 Timothy 2:5) No where in the New Testament are we instructed to go to a priest and ask for him to forgive us of our sins.  When we sin against someone we ask them to forgive us what we have done to that person, and vice versa.  But we can not atone for their sins, they must seek God and confess their sins to Him.  Jesus is our advocate when we sin, and it is to Him we pray and confess our sins.  Teaching that a person must go to a priest to have their sins forgiven is un-Biblical, and is heresy.

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that when people die without repenting of their sins  they go to a place called Purgatory.  Purgatory is a place where people go to have their sins purged out or to be made clean, according to Roman Catholicism.  Depending upon the sins you have done is how long the person will be there.  The Roman Catholic Church states it is clearly a Biblical teaching, but where is it in the Bible?  The Roman Catholic Church teaches that ‘venial sins’ are sins that people commit that oppose the law of God.  That means that people commit everyday sins but are not opposed to who God is, and His Law.  Teaching that people have to go to place to pay for their own transgressions goes against the Word of God.  The Bible teaches that Christ shed blood and sacrifice bring atonement for all sins, and that when a person becomes a Christian they have the assurance of salvation and eternal life in Christ.(John 3:16-18&5:24/ Ephesians 1:13-14/ 1 John 1:7-9) Paul said “there is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) When a Christian dies they are not held guilty of their sins to where they have to have them purged by their own punishment.  Jesus came and reconciled us to God, and set us free from the punishment and condemnation: “8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” (Romans 5:8-9)  Teaching that the blood of Christ does not atone for all sins, and that a person will have to pay for their own transgressions is another gospel than what the Bible teaches.

The purpose of this information is examine what Roman Catholics believe and to properly inform and warn people of the dangers of Roman Catholicism and it’s false teachings concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   Again, the Roman Catholic Church teaches they are the true Church, and those who do not acknowledge them are not saved.  They teach that (doing) the sacraments (works) are required for salvation.  They teach one must go to a priest to confess their sins so they may be forgiven of their sins.  They teach that there are those who die who need to go to Purgatory to pay for their own sins.  The gospel of the Roman Catholic Church on salvation and justification is a false gospel, and it is not the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We welcome your feedback and comments you may have concerning this information or others topics.

Discussion

158 thoughts on “Roman Catholicism’s Gospel: Is it true or is it false?

  1. You simply caricatured what Catholics belief. You are welcome to read my page where I compare side by side Catholic and Protestant (or “Bible only” Christian) at

    http://vivacatholic.wordpress.com/223-2/

    Posted by vivator | December 31, 2011, 11:34 PM
  2. I suggest you actually study and learn what the Catholic Church teaches before you try to critique it. You will find that there is little difference between that which the Church officially teaches now and what was taught by the earliest Fathers of the Church, beginning from the Apostles. Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ and so is ignorance of history the ignorance of Christianity. There is a lot in this blog that shows the author has not bothered to actually try and understand the Catholic doctrine of purgatory or salvation, which is something that has been believed for 2000 years by the vast majority of Christians, and which is found in Scripture (when read intelligently). It is also found in pre-Christian Hebrew thought (i.e., the Books of Macabees). Seeing however that Protestants don’t accept all of the books of Scripture that Christians in the East and West have always read as canonical, I can only conclude that it is they who are not really the Bible Christians, but a more recent invention of man caught up in a rebellion against faith and reason.

    Posted by Brother Ruben FSF | January 1, 2012, 1:05 AM
  3. Reply to vivator:

    I am glad you found our site and you took a moment to share a comment with us. You said I “caricature what Catholic belief (believe)”. I looked up (lol) ‘caricature’ and it means to exaggerate or to distort. Could you provide where I caricatured what Catholics believe. Thanks.

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 1, 2012, 8:34 PM
  4. Reply to Brother Ruben:

    Hello there, thanks for coming and giving some feedback. Just so you know, I am very familiar with Roman Catholicism, my family is very Roman Catholic and I know of many friends who were in this as well. I have spent many years studying and discussing various topics within Roman Catholicism. Since you have come and given some comments I wish for you to give an intelligent and civil conversation here.

    You said: “There is a lot in this blog that shows the author has not bothered to actually try and understand the Catholic doctrine of purgatory or salvation, which is something that has been believed for 2000 years by the vast majority of Christians, and which is found in Scripture (when read intelligently)””

    Lets keep it simple and intelligent. Lets talk about Purgatory in the Scriptures, as you brought it up. Now, I as a follower of Jesus Christ believe that His blood atones for all sins, and when a person dies in Christ they will go to be with the Lord. (Luke 24:44-47/ John 19:30/ Eph.2:8-9/ Phil. 1:21-23/ 2 Cor. 5:6-9/ 1 John 1:7-9/ 1 John 5:10-13) I do not believe the view that a person has to go to a place called “Purgatory” to have their sins purged and that they have to suffer over a process of time, who knows how long, and then they get to go to be with the Lord. (heaven) I do not read this perspective anywhere in the New Testament from Jesus or the apostles. In fact I read the complete opposite.

    So, you say this is a doctrine taught, and you said when read intelligently it would be found. Ok, here is your chance to present your view.

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 1, 2012, 8:47 PM
  5. If you read my page you will understand what I meant. You want discussion then it must be two ways. You read what I wrote and leave comment, if any, in my blog and I will do the same in yours.

    Posted by vivator | January 2, 2012, 7:13 AM
  6. Hello vivator:

    You came here and made a comment. If you choose not to back up what you said then fine. I don’t have to go to your site to have the discussion. What I have posted is not exaggerated or wrong, but accurate. Have a good day.

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 2, 2012, 8:39 AM
  7. I did back-up what I wrote in my blog. If you don’t want to read it, there will be no discussion.

    Posted by vivator | January 2, 2012, 12:36 PM
  8. Hello vivator:

    Friend, you came here, you made an accusation about what I wrote, thus I have kindly given you the opportunity to give something here demonstrating that. I did not go to your blog and say, “hey check out my site and article on such and such”. So, the discussion is here, not your site. Now, I can respect it if you decide to not continue, that is your choice. However, as it still stands, you have not shown anything here that I was exaggerating or distorting anything.

    If you do not plan to give any type of reply on what was asked of your accusation, then you are right, the discussion is done. Actually it really never started.

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 2, 2012, 4:16 PM
  9. Here are a few passages from Scripture that have been interpreted by the Fathers of the church (Origen, Basil, Cyril of Jerusalem, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine and Gregory the Great), the opinion of great Christian men whose testimony simply cannot be dismissed by anybody serious about Christian apologetics.

    I should start by saying that while the word “Purgatory” will not be found in Scripture, neither are the words “Trinity”, “Incarnation” or even the word “Bible” itself. But the reality is there. The interpretation of the Divine Scriptures suffers when approached from the point of view that everything God wanted to reveal through them is deemed to be immediately understood or seen as plain and obvious. No, it has always been the Christian view that Scripture contains many layers of meaning, each of which enriches and complements the others, forming a unity of meaning that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. Also, we owe the scriptures we read to the Catholic Church who authoritatively canonized these books and made them her own, but it wasn’t until many years after the death of the last Apostle that we received the “Bible” in the form we have it now. Until then the Word of God was proclaimed and it formed a living Teaching, which today we call Tradition, the teaching of the Apostles handed down not only in written form but in word and sacrament.

    Here are a few relevant passages worth investigating: I Cor 3:10-15, the most relevant verses being vv.14-15: “If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” This “loss” is clearly not eternal, but temporary, a purifying fire which saves rather than damns. The doctrine of Purgatory does not in any way discount the efficaciousness of Christ’s redemptive love, rather it manifests his mercy and our duty to do our part in it. Christ has redeemed us by his blood, but this does not mean that we have no role to play in our own salvation; rather we are called to participate in it, as St Paul says “working out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12). The Lord causes us to work with Him and in Him, as St Paul said, “…in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body the Church.” (Col 1:24) To be in purgatory means that we are with the Lord, for salvation is assured to those who undergo this purification for sins.
    There are references too in the Gospels. In the context of coming judgment: “I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny” (Mt 5:26; Lk 12:59).
    Mt 12:36 implies that there can be forgiveness of some sins after death, with the exception of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. His Jewish listeners would have understood this as they did believe in praying for their deceased, something scripture clearly does not condemn as contrary to the salvation offered by Christ. 2 Tim 1:16-18 & 2 Sam 1:12 are indications that Christians and Jews pray for the dead.
    Mt 12:36 “on the day of judgment, men will render account for every careless word they utter”––this in the context of the sin that that is unforgivable after death. “Careless words” do not merit damnation, so there is a sense here of temporary punishment.

    Purgatory makes sense and is consistent with natural justice as well. A baptised Christian is redeemed and forgiven by Christ, but what happens if he or she sins afterwards? If a Christian does not make enough effort to overcome their sins and to do good (for charity atones for sin: see the Books of Tobit and Macabees), he/she must, in the name of justice, receive some punishment either in this life or in the next. All sin is destructive, even the minor ones that Christians commit, and the Gospel call to all believers is to do what they can by God’s grace to cooperative in their own salvation. This is itself a gift given to Christians, and is not a rejection the once-for-all offer of salvation by Christ, but rather enhances the freedom and dignity of the sons of God.

    Posted by Br. Ruben FSF | January 2, 2012, 9:37 PM
  10. Purgatory- 2 Esdras 7:78 -87 As far as I can tell , the unsaved are the ones in torment, not the saved. Verse 79-If it is one of those who have shown scorn and have not kept the way of the Most High, who have despised his law and hated those who fear God- such spirits shall not enter into habitations, but shall immediately wander about in torments, always grieving and sad, in seven ways. The saved-2 Esdra 7: 91- First off all, they shall see with great joy the glory of him who receives them, for they shall have rest in seven orders.
    Ref. The New Book of Knowledge (History of Christianity) and World Book Encyclopedia(Vatican, Pope)
    In the earliest years of Christians would have seemed to the outsider to be a group of Jews who differed from other Jews only because they held special beliefs about Jesus .
    On the Roman Catholic Church ,
    They acknowledge the supremacy of the pope , Vicar of Christ on earth
    Def. vicar- A clergy man who acts for or is the equivalent of another
    The Church also makes its own laws..They also , acknowledge the supremacy of the pope. Vatican I was called by Pope Pius IX. It opened Dec. 8, 1869, and is remembered primarily for aproving the doctrine of papal infallibility.
    Roman Catholics believe that the pope is infallible in matters of faith and morals. This means they believe that the pope cannot possibly commit an error when he speaks ex cathedra, of by virtue of his office, on matters concerning faith and morals. He claims divine assistance as the successor of St. Peter when he speaks in this manner. He has absolute authority. He is considered the highest teacher, judge, and governing power of the church. Do I need to say more? I agree that Roman Catholicism is a false gospel. He is trying to be Christ. The pope is no more than just a man.

    Posted by Donna(1 op ) | January 3, 2012, 11:57 AM
  11. Actually, the philosophy/belief of “Bible only” is solo scriptura, not sola scriptura.

    Sola Scriptura means; Bible only as final authority, whereas solo scriptura is Bible only as the final (not only) authority (meaning no commentaries, no ecclesiology, no liturgy, no creeds, nothing else).

    Within the Sola Scriptura view, one can and does utilize commentaries, social-sciences, literary forms, ecclesiology, liturgy, creeds, etc. In fact many Protestants hold to the first 7-ecumenical councils (these are old, not new). So sola scriptura utilizes the Bible as a litmus test, and often Protestants will utilize creedal statements to verify their interpretations. There is a science to Biblical interpretation through hermeneutics. Sure different forms of hermeneutics exist, and people can draw UN-biblical conclusions, but let’s face it no true-Protestant will deny the regula fidei such as; the virgin birth, Trinity, the death-burial-resurrection of Jesus.

    Correct, the word(s) Trinity, Bible is not in the Bible, Pope, and the word theology. But just because those words are not there doesn’t mean the concept is not there (except for Pope in my opinion).

    Posted by java37 | January 4, 2012, 7:52 AM
  12. Java37: You might also add that nowhere in the Bible will you find any such concept as “sola scriptura.” The Scriptures themselves do not claim to be a final authority, nor do the individual human authors imply this. The Scriptures require an authoritative body to interpret them authentically. What better authority than the compiler herself, i.e., the Catholic Church, to whom all Christians owe the Bible? There would be no Bible as we know it without the decision made by the Catholic Church to bring these books together and to recognise and proclaim their divine inspiration.

    Posted by Br. Ruben, F.S.F. | January 4, 2012, 3:13 PM
  13. BR. RUBEN,F.S.F: To your comments, the Bible says this:
    2 Timothy 3:16- All (every) scripture is inspired by God (God breathed) and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 2 Peter 1:20- But know this first of all, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, verse 21- for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. If it is inspired by God, then to me , scripture is the final authority because God has all authority. Where does it say that we need the “Church” to interpret the Bible?
    Jeremiah 31:33- But this is the covenant which I wil make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord, I will put My law within them, and on their heart, I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Verse34- And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying Know the Lord, for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, declares the Lord, for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more. There are more verses- Hebrews 8:7-12 and 1 John 2:27-And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. I agree that we need teachers, but for us to really know who Christ is and how we are suppose to live, we must study the Bible for ourselves. How else will we know what the truth is? We can listen to what other people have to say and if it is different than what we believe, we can study it for ourselves. I believe doing this can make us grow as Christians.

    Posted by Donna(1 op ) | January 5, 2012, 9:53 AM
  14. Reply to Donna:
    There is no denying that Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit and is therefore authoritative, but so many Christians interpret the Bible as they want to and many of these interpretations contradict each other! The verses you quoted don’t say or even imply that Scripture is the sole rule of faith. One of the reasons Christ founded the Church is that we so need somebody with God-given authority to authentically interpret Scripture. Otherwise we are all left to our own devices or personal claims that our reading is the one inspired by the Holy Spirit! It would not make sense for God to inspire Scripture and then to leave us without some definitive and authoritative means of interpreting and proclaiming it. As our Lord Himself said, speaking to the Apostles: “Whoever listens to you listens to me and whoever rejects you rejects me” (Lk 10:16); “and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Mt 16:18); “hold on to the traditions passed on to you, whether by word of mouth of by letter” (2 Thess 5:15) Did Jesus ever say that it those who read the Bible for themselves will be saved? How often does He or the NT authors urge the faithful to an independent reading of the Scriptures? Throughout the whole Bible, it is assumed that readers already have the faith and that the Word proclaimed to them comes to them through the authoritative covenantal communion (Moses or the Levites in the OT and the Church in the NT). Jesus told his apostles (and, by implication, their successors) to go out and teach all nations to believe and do everything that he had commanded his apostles. This means that there is something more to our faith than the authority of the Bible. It implies that the Scriptures come after, and are the fruit of, the proclamation of the Word. For the first few centuries of Christianity all we had was a Church that taught and proclaimed the Word, without the Bible (at least in the form we know it!)
    Listen to what St Augustine says: “But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me” (Against the Manichees, 5, 6; PL 4, 176)

    Posted by Br. Ruben, F.S.F. | January 5, 2012, 5:30 PM
  15. Hello Ruben. I want to thank you for taking the time to share what you believe concerning Purgatory. You have shown yourself to be able to communicate what believe in an appropriate way, of which I wanted to share my appreciation.

    You said: “I should start by saying that while the word “Purgatory” will not be found in Scripture, neither are the words “Trinity”, “Incarnation” or even the word “Bible” itself. But the reality is there.”

    I would agree with what you have shared here on the words Trinity, Incarnation, and Bible not being specifically mentioned in the Scriptures. I understand what you are saying here as I am often sharing the gospel with Jehovah’s Witnesses or Muslims and I will say basically what you have shared, in so many words. It is then our job to examine what the Scriptures teach in context to get to a particular understanding or doctrine.

    You said: “we owe the scriptures we read to the Catholic Church who authoritatively canonized these books and made them her own, but it wasn’t until many years after the death of the last Apostle that we received the “Bible” in the form we have it now. Until then the Word of God was proclaimed and it formed a living Teaching, which today we call Tradition, the teaching of the Apostles handed down not only in written form but in word and sacrament.”

    I realize you share this from your heart and what you have been taught or have studied, but this is not completely accurate. First off, the Old Testament has nothing to do with the Catholic Church. They had what is considered the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek 150 some years before Jesus came into the world, that translation was called Septuagint. Thus they had the Hebrew Scriptures to study and learn from way from the Catholic Church. Secondly, the Catholic Church did nothing for people to have access to the Bible as we do today up to the Reformation time frame with all the pressure of English and other language translations. It was then that they started making it more available for the people.

    It is true they did have traditions, that is not a perspective myself or other Christians would deny. However, you will not read anywhere in the Scriptures that their traditions were considered as authority to trump what the Scriptures teach. Also, what we have today in written form was in translation form around 170 A.D. though not officially known or accepted until the 3rd century with various councils. However, they had the Scriptures (books/letters/epistles) to study and read and teach from, just not in a “Bible” format. Basic point is, they have the Hebrew Scriptures, the Greek Scriptures of the OT, and Greek Scriptures of the NT, for resources way before the Catholic Church.

    You said: “Here are a few relevant passages worth investigating: I Cor 3:10-15, the most relevant verses being vv.14-15: “If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” This “loss” is clearly not eternal, but temporary, a purifying fire which saves rather than damns.”

    As was quoted before in this post I will post again: “Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God’s grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Purgatory)

    According to Catholicism a person is not truly set from from their sins if they die with any type of bad thoughts or current deeds that are not of God. So the blood of Jesus Christ was not sufficient for them thus they have to made atonement for certain sins themselves. That is another gospel my friend, because the blood of Jesus makes atonement for all our sins, for those who have been set free and become a new creation in Christ. If Jesus’ does not atone for all our sins, then Jesus failed, and His atonement was not once and for all as Scripture states.

    13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,   14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14 NASB)

    8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.   9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.   10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.   11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (Romans 5:8-11 NASB)

    2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.   3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,   4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,   5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:2-5 NASB)

    10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.   11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;   12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD,   13 waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.   14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. (Hebrews 10:10-14 NASB)

    Scripture teaches that it is our faith in Jesus and His blood that made complete atonement for our transgressions. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 do not indicate that a person will suffer for their sins in a place of holding which you call “Purgatory”. That is contrary to God’s Word and the context of what Paul was stating. Paul was addressing our deeds and rewards for how we lived, not about the after life of having to have some temporal punishment to purge our sins.

    You said: “The doctrine of Purgatory does not in any way discount the efficaciousness of Christ’s redemptive love, rather it manifests his mercy and our duty to do our part in it.”

    I realize you may think this but the doctrine of Purgatory is a slap in the face of Jesus and what He accomplished for our sins. The beautiful news of God’s grace is that we can be completely set free from all our sins, in Christ that is. If a person is truly bro again, they are truly free and saved by God’s grace. If not, then it is not of God’s grace but of our own merits and that is another gospel. (Gal. 1:6-9)

    You said: “Christ has redeemed us by his blood, but this does not mean that we have no role to play in our own salvation; rather we are called to participate in it, as St Paul says “working out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12). The Lord causes us to work with Him and in Him”

    Your first part is right, we are redeemed by Jesus’ atonement. Our role in being saved is to grow in our walk with the Lord Jesus, that is called sanctification. This is what Paul is addressing in Philippians 2:12-16, our Christian walk, not about our role in keeping saved or having some purging process for our sins. The “working out” means from the Greek ‘katergazesthe’ to carry on, to continue, to strive onward. Which is consistent with many of Paul’s teachings on pressing on to maturity (Phil.3:7-14) and fighting the good fight. (1 Tim. 6:12)

    Paul said: For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil.1:6 NASB)

    It would sure seem very strange for Paul to say at one point Jesus will complete the salvation that He started and then later to say for us to finish our own salvation. The clear consistent message is that we receive Jesus and become born again, we are saved, and through that we are in a process of growing in our faith which is called ‘Sanctification’. This is what Paul is speaking about in Phil. 2:12-16.

    You said: “as St Paul said, “…in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body the Church.” (Col 1:24) To be in purgatory means that we are with the Lord, for salvation is assured to those who undergo this purification for sins.””

    I absolutely have no idea how you connect Purgatory theory with Colossians 1:24. This is a hard text since there is no more information presented on what exactly Paul is addressing. But to say this is about Purgatory, well that is pure ‘eisegesis’, which is reading into the text something that is not there. What we do know from this verse is that through what Paul experienced in his sufferings (while he was alive on the earth, not anywhere else!) If could mean, as an opinion I have that Paul was suffering much more than many other Christians and he was suffering for those in Colossae, and for that he was pleased. But just being honest, this has absolutely nothing to do with what you have implied.

    One more comment on something you said. You said being in Purgatory is being with the Lord, really? Where is this at? The book of Revelation states Jesus is with the Father, in heaven. Where is purgatory? In heaven? Well I know its not there, its not anywhere cause this does not exist.

    
You said: “There are references too in the Gospels. In the context of coming judgment: “I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny” (Mt 5:26; Lk 12:59).”

    Friend, these Scriptures teach nothing of an afterlife purgatory doctrine. These were illustrations that Jesus was teaching the crowds that they could relate to on earth, not a spiritual purging for sins in the afterlife. If this had to do with them having to have their sins purged in the afterlife, then the blood of Jesus Christ was not sufficient and Jesus was not truly our Messiah, thus Jesus failed. But praise God, that is not the case, our Savior paid for all our sins and through His shed blood we have complete forgiveness of sins. (John 19:30/ Romans 5:6-11/ Isaiah 53 & Luke 24:44-47/ Hebrews 7-10)

    
You said: “Mt 12:36 implies that there can be forgiveness of some sins after death, with the exception of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. His Jewish listeners would have understood this as they did believe in praying for their deceased, something scripture clearly does not condemn as contrary to the salvation offered by Christ. 2 Tim 1:16-18 & 2 Sam 1:12 are indications that Christians and Jews pray for the dead.”

    Really? Hebrews 9:27 teaches that once we die, we are then judged, there is no second chances or a time for repentance. However, we will be accountable for what we say and do, 2 Cor 5:6-10 talks about that. As to 2 Tim 1 and 2 Sam 1:12, they teach or say nothing of what you said. In 2 Sam. 1 it talks about them morning, fasting, and weeping, there is no praying to or for the dead at all there. As to 2 Tim. 1:16-18 that is praying for the house and God’s blessing upon them and all that was accomplished. It was a way of honor and respect for what he had done. There is nothing here about praying for the dead or Purgatory.

    
You said: “Mt 12:36 “on the day of judgment, men will render account for every careless word they utter”––this in the context of the sin that that is unforgivable after death. “Careless words” do not merit damnation, so there is a sense here of temporary punishment.”

    I really have no idea how you come up with that perspective from this verse. It gives no indication of what you said, nada.

    You said: “Purgatory makes sense and is consistent with natural justice as well. A baptised Christian is redeemed and forgiven by Christ, but what happens if he or she sins afterwards? If a Christian does not make enough effort to overcome their sins and to do good (for charity atones for sin: see the Books of Tobit and Macabees), he/she must, in the name of justice, receive some punishment either in this life or in the next. All sin is destructive, even the minor ones that Christians commit, and the Gospel call to all believers is to do what they can by God’s grace to cooperative in their own salvation. This is itself a gift given to Christians, and is not a rejection the once-for-all offer of salvation by Christ, but rather enhances the freedom and dignity of the sons of God.”

    What you have shared here is why we have a site like we do and the articles we have. Cause you have been mislead and you do not see the seriousness of what you have posted. “What happens if he or she sins afterwords”? That is the dividing factor in what you have shared. The gospel according to what you have been taught by the RCC is that you have to do something in order to atone for your own sins, thus the blood of Christ does not save you entirely. That is another gospel, which different but similar to what Paul had to address in the book of Galatians on a works gospel. I would encourage you take some time to think about what you have shared and look at the atonement of what Jesus accomplished. It is either all or nothing. Romans 3:21-4:8 is a good place to read on our true justification of sins.

    Again, if there is something that we need to do in the next life to pay for our sins, than it is not about Jesus and what He did. Jesus would of never needed to come if we could purge our own sins. God the Father could of just given us the message of trusting in Him and whatever we did not settle we could settle later on in the next life, cause the blood of Jesus would not be enough! The gospel of Purgatory is a false teaching, it is contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, His death, shed blood, atonement, and resurrection.

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 5, 2012, 10:14 PM
  16. Thank you for this incredibly long speal! By the way I don’t appreciate having slabs of sacred scripture hurled at me as if I haven’t read the text myself! This has not been my approach in my arguments as you would have noticed, but I still want to respond to what you have said. I can see that you completely misunderstand the Catholic doctrine of salvation, as I said in my first post.

    Posted by Br. Ruben, F.S.F. | January 5, 2012, 11:02 PM
  17. I will not go into detail here because I simply don’t have the time or energy, but I do want to express my bewilderment at your condescending attitude. By the way your verbosity seems to be a way of indimidating; well that doesn’t work for me. If you read Scripture you will find that our Lord was not verbose! I suggest a little more economy in your thoughts, especially if you are trying to encourage conversation.
    You seem to think that I am a complete ignoramus, speaking “from the heart” as you so say. You are so full of pride! You do not know my level of education (which mind you is not as little as you think) and I did not say that the Old Testament comes from the Catholic Church. But if you study history (something Protestants don’t seem to like doing) you will realize how wrong you are. You didn’t mention that the Catholic Church was already translating scriptures into the vernacular as early as the 4th Century A.D did you! And the Catholic Church did canonize the books of the OT, accepting as inspired many books that the Jews had accepted at Jamnia, but also more.
    Regarding purgatory, what I said was that we participate in our salvation. How does our participation in our salvation obstruct or negate the once-for-all sacrifice of Calvary? It is Jesus himself who gives the grace to do so. Salvation does not happen at one moment in time. It’s happening constantly and we still need purification from sin, the purification that has its source in Calvary. I admit that the Catholic doctrine of salvation is not easy to understand; it is after all a mystery. But this does not mean that you write it off. Remember that your history of interpretation of Scripture only goes back 500 years and is thereby severely lacking. Just go and read Augustine on grace and salvation!
    “I absolutely have no idea how you connect Purgatory theory with Colossians 1:24. This is a hard text since there is no more information presented on what exactly Paul is addressing. But to say this is about Purgatory, well that is pure ‘eisegesis’,” ––what you really mean here is that you don’t understand the passage yourself and then you have the hide to accuse me of eisogesis! This might be “hard” for you who are ignorant and only have a 500 year old Christian history, but it isn’t so hard for those who read Scripture according to a 2000 year history like Catholics.
    I conclude with something I thought from the very beginning of our conversation, you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. Learn to escape from the error of the Sadducees! Interpret Scripture according to the mind of God and stop sticking your heads in the sand, all the time revolting against the Catholic Church instead of your real enemy! I will not keep you any longer, unless you open your mind and heart to listen to what others say.

    Posted by Br. Ruben, F.S.F. | January 5, 2012, 11:52 PM
  18. Hello Ruben,

    You said: “Thank you for this incredibly long speal! By the way I don’t appreciate having slabs of sacred scripture hurled at me as if I haven’t read the text myself! This has not been my approach in my arguments as you would have noticed, but I still want to respond to what you have said. I can see that you completely misunderstand the Catholic doctrine of salvation, as I said in my first post.”

    I could of given you 10 replies in what you said, but I kept it all together for easier reading and context, trying to be polite. I posted the Scriptures for consideration and context of what I was sharing. Whether you appreciate that or not, that is your choice. Are you saying you have all Scripture memorized and you don’t need anyone to post them to you to see? Wow, you are impressive. Notice my tone, it will be changing slightly now with how you have responded to me and you false accusations. Also, I have not misunderstood what I have shared in my comments, and your accusations against me in regards to Catholic doctrine are simply in wrong.

    You said: “I will not go into detail here because I simply don’t have the time or energy, but I do want to express my bewilderment at your condescending attitude. By the way your verbosity seems to be a way of indimidating; well that doesn’t work for me. If you read Scripture you will find that our Lord was not verbose! I suggest a little more economy in your thoughts, especially if you are trying to encourage conversation.”

    It was your choice to come to this post and express your thoughts, which is still available for you to do. You accuse me of condescending attitude, seriously? I have been considerate in my comments to you, talking with you, not at you. Your perception is interesting since it has been your attacks on myself in regards to me not knowing what I am talking about and Protestants.

    Quoting your first comment: “I suggest you actually study and learn what the Catholic Church teaches before you try to critique it. You will find that there is little difference between that which the Church officially teaches now and what was taught by the earliest Fathers of the Church, beginning from the Apostles. Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ and so is ignorance of history the ignorance of Christianity. There is a lot in this blog that shows the author has not bothered to actually try and understand the Catholic doctrine of purgatory or salvation, which is something that has been believed for 2000 years by the vast majority of Christians, and which is found in Scripture (when read intelligently). It is also found in pre-Christian Hebrew thought (i.e., the Books of Macabees). Seeing however that Protestants don’t accept all of the books of Scripture that Christians in the East and West have always read as canonical, I can only conclude that it is they who are not really the Bible Christians, but a more recent invention of man caught up in a rebellion against faith and reason.”

    Talk about condescending attitude and pride!!! Who is trying to intimidate you? Not me. I have been very fair with how I have responded to you thus far. I am now expressing some “attitude” to make some points in regards to your false statements in regards to me.

    
You said: “You seem to think that I am a complete ignoramus, speaking “from the heart” as you so say. You are so full of pride! You do not know my level of education (which mind you is not as little as you think) and I did not say that the Old Testament comes from the Catholic Church. But if you study history (something Protestants don’t seem to like doing) you will realize how wrong you are. You didn’t mention that the Catholic Church was already translating scriptures into the vernacular as early as the 4th Century A.D did you! And the Catholic Church did canonize the books of the OT, accepting as inspired many books that the Jews had accepted at Jamnia, but also more.””

    Well I had to look up the word “ignoramus” just to make sure I knew what that meant. First off you are wrong on how you have taken what I have shared to you. I have not implied or stated you were ignorant. As to my comment concerning you “from the heart” was a way of consideration for what you believe. I could do what most people do is call you an idiot, a moron, say that you are whacked, etc, BUT I DID NOT DO THAT. I tried to show you some consideration for what you believe. I would say your comments HAVE BEEN FAR from consideration and respect to me.

    Pride? Pride? Pride? Where in the world do you get that from what I shared with you? Who said I was talking about your education? Friend, I have not been to any College, I have no degrees, I graduated High School, and for over the last 20 something years been a studier of God’s Word and learning more and more of what it means to follow Christ Jesus. I have been a Christian since 1977 and I am far from perfect, I have many areas I am trying to work on. Please, please, please, do not accuse me of pride or I am something great attitude, cause that is flat out wrong. I take truth seriously, I am passionate, and I love the Lord Jesus and want to help people come to know Him truly and be saved.

    I never said you said the Old Testament came from the Catholic Church. What I said was your statement of the Bible coming from the Catholic Church was wrong. You seem to think we owe the Catholic Church some praise or something cause you think it was them that gave us the Bible. As I shared before, that is wrong.

    “But if you study history (something Protestants don’t seem to like doing” you will realize how wrong you are”.

    Have you ever heard the saying, if you point one finger at someone you got three pointing right back at you? You accuse me and Protestants of a lot of things, and frankly you need to look in the mirror before you accuse anyone. Friend, the Catholic Church did not nothing of the sort to canonize the Old Testament books, they were already in existence 100’s of years before the time of Christ. You attack Protestants on history, you need to do some more research.

    
You said: “Regarding purgatory, what I said was that we participate in our salvation. How does our participation in our salvation obstruct or negate the once-for-all sacrifice of Calvary? It is Jesus himself who gives the grace to do so. Salvation does not happen at one moment in time. It’s happening constantly and we still need purification from sin, the purification that has its source in Calvary. I admit that the Catholic doctrine of salvation is not easy to understand; it is after all a mystery. But this does not mean that you write it off. Remember that your history of interpretation of Scripture only goes back 500 years and is thereby severely lacking. Just go and read Augustine on grace and salvation!”

    What you have shared here is simply misconstructed and in error. Purgatory as I have shared from the Word of God is another gospel, there is no way around that. It is stating someone needs to purge out their own sins in the next life, something that the blood of Jesus did not atone for. Again with your accusations, “Remember that your history of interpretation of Scripture only goes back 500 years and is thereby severely lacking.”. Friend, you can accuse all you want, the Scriptures teach nothing of a Purgatory doctrine. The early church according to the Scriptures were studying/examining the Scriptures to see whether Paul was right or not, (Acts 17:10-11) the early church was instructed to study the Word of God for truth and accuracy and not to take anyone’s word for it. (2 Timothy 2:15/ 1 Thess. 5:21/ Jude 1:3)

    Salvation starts when a person becomes born again in Christ, from there it is a life process of Sanctification, and from there onto glory. When a person is truly born again and saved, they are saved and set free from sin. That is the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Catholicism teaches another gospel, not just on Purgatory, but also with regards to the Sacraments involved in a person’s salvation. Oh wait, I don’t know what I am talking about on that either, I will save you the typing for that one…

    
You said: “I absolutely have no idea how you connect Purgatory theory with Colossians 1:24. This is a hard text since there is no more information presented on what exactly Paul is addressing. But to say this is about Purgatory, well that is pure ‘eisegesis’,” ––what you really mean here is that you don’t understand the passage yourself and then you have the hide to accuse me of eisogesis! This might be “hard” for you who are ignorant and only have a 500 year old Christian history, but it isn’t so hard for those who read Scripture according to a 2000 year history like Catholics.”

    LOL, there you go again with your accusations! What I really mean to say, good grief dude. I was honest, I shared in truth, and you then attack. I mean seriously! What I stated in context is that you were wrong, what you said was not accurate, and I was courteous in how I stated that to you. I used the word “eisogesis” which is exactly what you are doing, reading into a text something that is not there, and for that matter no where else. I also pointed out from that verse that Paul WAS STILL ALIVE, how in the world could he be making any type of purging through his sufferings? Again, the context shows it does not in any way indicate what you believe.

    Again, “This might be “hard” for you who are ignorant and only have a 500 year old Christian history.” Do I really need to make a reply? You have issues, I will leave it at that. As to your view on Catholics have 2000 years of history to read and understand the Scriptures, friend you are wrong. Oh wait, I have no idea what I am talking about on that too, I forgot. I will save you the time of typing that one as well…

    
You said: “I conclude with something I thought from the very beginning of our conversation, you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. Learn to escape from the error of the Sadducees! Interpret Scripture according to the mind of God and stop sticking your heads in the sand, all the time revolting against the Catholic Church instead of your real enemy! I will not keep you any longer, unless you open your mind and heart to listen to what others say.”

    Indeed… You know with your attitude in your conclusion I have to ask a question. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church #100 it states the following.

    “The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.”

    Since the Magisterium is the sole authority for interpreting the Word of God, who gave you the right and authority to teach people?
    I will conclude with this if you are done here. I want you to know that I welcome discussions, even from people like yourself who seem to have a grudge against people like me and Protestants. This site is to help people come to know Jesus truly and be set free from sin and the deceptions that lead people astray. Many people do not like what we share, many false accuse of us things that are not true, but I realize that is the cost of what we do here. I do not belittle, I do not slander, I try to give respect and consideration for people whom I am in contact with. I really hope you see my heart in how I have been in discussion with you. My comments in this one have been more direct to respond to you misguided accusations towards me. If you choose not to respond anymore, I wish you well in your journey.

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 7, 2012, 4:58 PM
  19. To me it is a question of credibitlity. The Catholic Church was founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ the only son of God.
    The Anglican/Protestant Churches were founded by a debauched murderer and thief – Henry VIII. There is simply no comparison.

    Posted by Paul Grech | January 7, 2012, 5:26 PM
  20. You have just confirmed for me that you don’t how to communicate without being verbose.

    Posted by Br. Ruben, F.S.F. | January 7, 2012, 6:04 PM
  21. Reply to Paul:

    It isn’t surprising that ever since Henry VIII, Martin Luther, and the types of which arrogantly professed to know better than the Church founded by the Son of God, broke away from Church unity and that these splinters groups just kept on fragmenting. The further they moved away from the Catholic Church’s teachings and supposedly closer to the Bible, the further they departed from the beliefs of the early Christians. As they got further and further from truth mad sects like the Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons arose. I have heard that there are now so many denominations that one simply can’t keep up with them all, and they all profess something radically different from the creed of Nicaea/Constantinople.

    Posted by Br. Ruben, F.S.F. | January 7, 2012, 8:16 PM
  22. Thank you Br.Ruben for your enlightening comments about Roman Catholicism. Your explanation of Purgatory has inspired me to investigate Catholic doctrine from a historical perspective.By examining what early Christians believed my journey home has begun!

    Posted by Chris | January 19, 2012, 4:44 AM
  23. Hello Chris. I wanted to thank you for taking the time for visiting our site and reading this article. Though I have some major differences of perspective with Ruben, I want to have a place where people can share their views. (without cursing and silly slanderous posts) I would encourage you to continue on your quest for understanding the Bible more and the topic of Purgatory.

    I would ask you to read what I shared in response to Ruben to examine Purgatory more thoroughly and see that this it is not accurate at all. The gospel of Jesus Christ is that He died and gave His life as an atonement for all our sins, and all those who are born again in Christ have all their sins forgiven through the finished work of the cross and the victory of the Jesus’ resurrection. Purgatory is another gospel which is not the gospel at all. (Galatians 1:6-9)

    “6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” (Romans 5:6-11 NASB)

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 19, 2012, 6:38 PM
  24. Since we don’t seem to agree on the interpretation of scripture with regard to the doctrine of purgatory, which I still maintain can be found in Scripture, I would like to propose the following very interesting quote from St Cyril of Jerusalem, who lived ca. 315-386 A.D.

    “The we make mention also of those who have already fallen asleep: first, the patriarchs, prophets, Apostles, and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition; next we make mention also of the holy fathers and bishops who have already fallen asleep, and to put it simply, of all among us who have already fallen asleep; for we believe that it will be of very great benefit to the souls of those for whom the petition is carried up, while this holy and most solemn Sacrifice is laid out.” (Mystagogical catecheses)

    No matter how some might interpret Scripture these days, it becomes quite clear on reading the writings of the early Fathers of the Church, that they believed in what we now call purgatory and in praying the dead. They also believed in the communion of the saints, or in the power of the prayers of those already in Heaven for those of us still on our earthly pilgrimage. To dismiss this, and much other such evidence, is to dismiss the views of those who lived Christianity during the persecutions of the Roman emperors, Christians who are the heroes of the faith, many of whom shed their blood for Christ. How can we discount their beliefs as if they weren’t biblical or as if they believed in another gospel apart from Christ’s?

    In fact I think that if we are serious about the Bible, then we ought to study Scripture according to the mind of those heroes of the Christian faith who went before us, because they bear witness as authentic followers of Christ. They also knew their Scriptures better than any of us living today, and the earliest Fathers of the Church had the advantage of being the disciples of the Apostles (e.g., Polycarp of Smyrna, Ignatius of Antioch, Papias, Irenaeus of Lyons) i.e., they sat at the feet of Christ’s own disciples and had the Word of God passed on to them from “the horse’s mouth” so to speak.

    Posted by Br. Ruben, F.S.F. | January 19, 2012, 10:26 PM
  25. Hi Kelly, I have read your responses to Br Ruben & frankly I got similar responses from my Pastor when I discussed the issue of Purgatory with him. I knew very little about Puragtory until coming on to this site & reading Br Rubens posts which lead me to investigate the doctrine for myself. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you what I have discovered about this doctrine for our mutual benefit.

    Protestants deny the canonicity of the Maccabean books, nevertheless I have come to think there historical value cannot be denied. 2 Maccabees 12,43-46 shows that the Jews in the Old Testament certainly believed in a state where the dead could profit from the sacrifices & prayers of the living, the full text reads as follows:

    ” He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver,& sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well & honorably, taking account of the resurrection. For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superflous & foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in Godliness, it was a holy & pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.”

    If the Jews had invented the doctrine of purgatory or prayers for the dead, undoubtedly Christ would have condemned it, as He condemned them for a long list of changes in doctrine & discipline in St. Matthew 23.

    It’s interesting to note that even Jewish prayer books today contain prayers for the dead ( the Mourners Qaddish ).

    Apart from the Biblical passages Ruben already quoted implying the doctrine of purgatory, 1 Peter. 3, 19 tells us that after His death Jesus preached His redemption “to the spirits in prison.” Based on this, the concept of another temporary, intermediate place such as purgatory is not out of the question.

    As for the early Christians, here is what Augustine of Hippo had to say (421AD)
    ” We read in the book of Maccabees that the sacrifice was offered for the dead. But even if it were found nowhere in the Old Testament writings, the authority of the universal Church which is clear on this point is of no small weight, where in the prayers of the priest poured forth to the Lord God at His altar the commendation of the dead has its place.”

    I have to say, when I first read this quote I nearly fell over! Here we have an early Christian who recognizes the Book of Maccabees!! Why doesn’t my Bible have the book of Maccabees? Who is keeping what from me? Am I reading ” another Gospel”? as you like to put it. Further more this early Christian is strongly implying that he is bound by the authority of a “Universal Church” & not by what is contained in the Bible alone!! This completely rocked my belief in Sola Scriptura. This ” Universal Church” has a priest & an altar. This certainly does not resemble the church I attend where we have a pastor & a drum kit on a stage. It does however resemble the Catholic church (catholic means universal) which does have both a priest & an altar, not to mention the doctrine of purgatory. And so my search for truth continues.

    To sum up, the Catholic church teaches that purgatory is a temporary process of purification, where those who have died undergo expiation to remove all temporal punishment due to mortal sin duly forgiven, or all stain of unrepentant venial sin. It is not a second chance or a place where souls who are not good enough for heaven but too good for hell go. All the selfishness, inordinate attachment to creatures, dross & impurities in our souls is burned away by the fiery love & holiness of Christ. Souls undergo purgatory, as ” nothing unclean ” can enter heaven & behold the glorious & overwhelming light of the Beatific Vision ( Revelations. 21,27). We do nothing ourselves to purify our souls. The purification is done solely by God.

    I hope this helps you on your journey of faith.
    Your brother in Christ,
    Chris.

    Posted by Chris | January 20, 2012, 5:40 AM
  26. WOW – Quite a debate going on here. I’d like to join in if I may.

    I have a friend who’s sister is thinking about becoming a Roman Catholic and she is taking some classes right now. He’s been asking me some questions so I’ve been doing some research.

    There’s lots open for discussion here right now but Purgatory and then who or what book has the authority to tell about it seem to be the biggest issue right now.

    I have a couple of questions to start off with. It appears to me that the books that Catholics have in their Bible contain a lot of important info about Purgatory.

    Why don’t Protestants use these books? Do Jews include them in their sacred scriptures?

    Posted by BOB | January 20, 2012, 5:57 PM
  27. Hi Bob,

    At the time of Christ there existed two collections of the Old Testament, the Hebrew version of the Palastinian Jews & the Greek version of the Alexandrian Jews also referred to as the Septuagint. The Septuagint was a translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek begun about 250 BC by 70 Greek speaking Jewish scholars. The Jews living outside of Palastine felt the need to have such a transaltion as Hebrew or Aramaic where no longer their first language. Greek became the popular & common language of that part of the world after the conquests of Alexander the Great, much like English today.

    The Hebrew version of the Old Testament has 39 books whilst the Greek version has 46 books including 1 & 2 Maccabees which is relevant to our discussion about Purgatory. In short, protestants adhere to the Hebrew version & catholics adhere to the Greek version.

    At the time of Christ, the Old Testament canon had not yet been determined & made certain for all Jews. For the Jews, no final determination of the Old Testament was to be made until the council of Jamnia in 90 AD. The Jews in this council where seeking to establish a new focal point for their beliefs after the destruction of their temple in 70 AD by the Romans, & to counter early Christians who quoted the Greek version of the Old Testament ( Septuagint) in support of the claims of Christ.

    There are many hundreds of quotations & allusions to the Septuagint found in the New Testament. For example when Our Lord quoted Isaiah to condemn those who ” leave the commandment of God, & hold fast to the precepts of men” (St Mark 7, 6-8), He used that version of Isaiah found only in the Septuagint. In St. John 10, 22-36 Our Lord & the Apostles observed the key feast of the Dedication, or Hanukkah, which celebrates events only recorded in 1 & 2 Maccabees from which I quoted in relation to the doctrine of purgatory in my earlier post. As a further point, out of the 350 verses cited in the New Testament from the Old Testament , 300 are taken from the Septuagint. The Dead Sea scrolls extensively cite passages from the Septuagint, particulary the books of Tobit & Sirach.

    In any case, for Christians, Jamnia is not authoritative, as all legitimate authority had passed to the catholic Church sixty years earlier at Pentecost. By rejecting the seven additional books of the Septuagint, Protestants therefore effectively follow the canon of the Old Testament as determined by the Jews at Jamnia. I hope this goes some way to answering your questions.

    Posted by Chris | January 20, 2012, 8:51 PM
  28. Hello Chris,

    You said: “I have read your responses to Br Ruben & frankly I got similar responses from my Pastor when I discussed the issue of Purgatory with him. I knew very little about Puragtory until coming on to this site & reading Br Rubens posts which lead me to investigate the doctrine for myself. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you what I have discovered about this doctrine for our mutual benefit.”

    I have a few questions I wish to ask you, if that is alright:

    – If I read your posts right, you seem to have very recently started looking at the topic of Purgatory, right? How is it that you are quoting so much from the Roman Catholic beliefs as if they are right when this is relatively something new you are now studying?

    – Are you still going to the Protestant church you said you asked your Pastor about Purgatory whom gave a similar explanation as myself?

    – May I ask, you said to Ruben you are on your way home, which I understand to mean on your way back to the Roman Catholic Church, right? How long ago were you RC and how long were you not, and how long have you been on your way back. This just helps me understand you better

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 20, 2012, 9:10 PM
  29. Thanks for the info. I did some looking and this is what I found.

    “The Council of Jamnia or Council of Yavne is a hypothetical late 1st-century council at which the canon of the Hebrew Bible was alleged to have been finalized. First proposed by Heinrich Graetz in 1871, this theory was popular for much of the twentieth century. It was increasingly questioned from the 1960s onward, and is no longer considered plausible.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Jamnia

    “But for greater exactness I add this also, writing of necessity; that there are other books besides these not indeed included in the Canon, but appointed by the Fathers to be read by those who newly join us, and who wish for instruction in the word of godliness. The Wisdom of Solomon, and the Wisdom of Sirach, and Esther, and Judith, and Tobit, and that which is called the Teaching of the Apostles, and the Shepherd. But the former, my brethren, are included in the Canon, the latter being [merely] read; nor is there in any place a mention of apocryphal writings. But they are an invention of heretics, who write them when they choose, bestowing upon them their approbation, and assigning to them a date, that so, using them as ancient writings, they may find occasion to lead astray the simple.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melito%27s_canon

    This is much more complicated than I thought. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_canon

    Posted by BOB | January 20, 2012, 10:33 PM
  30. Bob: I wouldn’t rely solely on Wikepedia for accurate information. Reliable books on the Fathers of the Church are much more trustworthy. Origen, Irenaeus of Lyons, Hippolytus, Tertullian, Cyprian of Carthage, Justin Martyr, St. Augustine and the vast majority of early Christians and many other Church Fathers quote from the “apocrypha” as if they were quoting Sacred Scripture. By the way this is the first I have heard of Jamnia coming under question. It was assumed to be an historical event at the University of Sydney when I was studying there in 2005.

    Posted by Br. Ruben, F.S.F. | January 20, 2012, 11:46 PM
  31. Hi kelly,

    In answer to your questions:

    I have been reading Catholic Apologetics & accessing Catholic websites such as http://www.lumenverum .com & the Catholic Answers website to research & better understand Catholic doctrine such as purgatory. What I have come to appreciate is the big picture approach Catholics have towards explaining & interpreting the Gospel message. I encourage you to take a look at these sites, you will find them refreshing as they are not fixated with quoting Bible passages out of context thus distorting the Gospel message as a whole. In short, yes I have embraced the Catholic Church teaching on purgatory. I for one have found the Biblical evidence & the beliefs & practices of the early Christians to be overwhelming thus my journey home has begun. Journey Home is an expression used by Catholics when refering to Protestants who convert over to Catholicism. Crossing the Tiber is another expression. Catholics consider protestants to be separated brethren & i guess regard their true home to be the Catholic church.
    “How long have you been on your way back” this is difficult to say, there have always been questions & there are still many more.

    Posted by Chris | January 20, 2012, 11:48 PM
  32. Hi Chris, thanks for sharing. I am still a bit in amazement in how in such a short time you are talking the way you are here. Maybe I am not getting the bigger picture with you, have you been looking at things about Catholicism prior to coming here and seeing what was posted about Purgatory? If so, how long, that is what I was asking about.

    You have embraced the Purgatory teaching, but are you still at Christian (protestant) church?

    I do understand “journey home”, I have heard that before, I was wanting to know about you a little more.

    As can see, I am fair with allowing posts to be published here though I believe completely different concerning the Scriptures. As I have shared, the gospel of Jesus Christ is that His shed blood atones for all of our sins, it is a finished work, and those in Christ have eternal life and are complete. (John 19:30/ Romans 5:6-11/ Colossians 2:9-16/ Hebrews 10:10-14)

    I do encourage you to continue in searching, I pray that you come to know the gospel of Jesus Christ and become born again, a new creation in Christ, and know fully that in Christ you are saved and when you die you will be with Christ, apart from any purging in a middle state.

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 21, 2012, 12:01 AM
  33. Thanks Ruben – Regarding the Apocrypha:

    So far what I understand is that these books were included in the Greek version of the Old Testament and Jesus and the Apostles quoted from this version so these books should be considered legit by everyone. Yet Luther decided not to and the other Reformers followed his lead. I am understanding this right so far?

    Do you think this article is accurate?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_apocrypha

    So why the disagreement?

    Posted by BOB | January 23, 2012, 11:16 AM
  34. Hi Everybody,

    I have been reading the conversations within this post and I have noticed something:

    It seems that the Roman Catholics on this page are telling Protestants that they don’t have the authority to interpret scripture, only the Roman Catholic Church does. From what I understand, the Roman Catholic Church has only dogmatically defined a handful of scriptures, and the rest are just interpretations of individual scholars and layman. The strange thing is that this is the same thing that Protestants are doing, but it is condemned by Roman Catholics. Isn’t this kind of a double standard?

    Posted by Tim | January 23, 2012, 4:50 PM
  35. Hi Tim,

    The catholic church considers itself to be the church that Christ established.
    “and I tell you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church” (St Matt.16,18) ” If he refuses to listen even to the church,let him be to you as a gentile & a tax collector” (St. Matt.18,17).

    The church that Christ established is said to be identifiable by being One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic.

    ONE
    “I will build my church”(st Matthew. 16,18)…not churches (33,000 different protestant denominations)

    Holy
    “And for their sakes I sanctify myself , so that they also may be sanctified in truth” (st John 17,19)
    (holiness derived from Christ alone)

    Catholic (universal)
    “going therefore & make disciples of all nations” (St Matthew 28,19)

    Apostolic
    The true Church will trace it’s history, episcopal succession & doctrine right back to the Apostles themselves…”I am with you always ” (St Matthew 28,20). It was not established in 1517, 1534,1540 or in the 19th century. It must have existed since the Apostles, exist now, & continue until the end of the world.

    The following is how St Irenaeus of Lyons put it when commenting against heresies (c.180 AD)
    “when therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek among others the truth which is easily obtained from the church. For the Apostles, like a rich man in a bank, deposited with Her most copiously everything which pertains to the truth; & everyone whosoever wishes draws from her the drink of life. For she is the entrance to life, while all the rest are thieves & robbers.”………”In the church, God has placed Apostles, prophets & doctors, & all the other means through which the Spirit works; in all of which non have any part who do not conform to the church. On the contrary, they defraud themselves of life by their wicked opinion & most wretched behaviour.”

    Seen from this perspective it’s not so much a case of double standards, more like a case of copy right infringement by the “thieves & robbers.”

    Posted by Chris | January 24, 2012, 5:09 AM
  36. Hi Chris, I’d like to address your comments about Peter being “the” rock. I’ve always understood that to mean Peter’s confession that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah. “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

    Just a couple of days ago I happened to be reading this: http://www.noiseofthunder.com/articles/2012/1/20/upon-this-rock-i-will-build-my-church-petrospetra-debate.html

    I found this part really enlightening “Furthermore, Catholic historian, Ignaz von Dollinger admits that the early church did not view Peter as “the rock” upon which the church was built, or that he had the sort of authority claimed by the popes”

    I know how important the opinions of the early church fathers are to you so this alone convinces me that the idea that Peter was the first Pope and all Christians need to fall in line behind whoever is the current Pope was a later invention created by someone seeking power for themselves and wanting to claim that it came direct from God.

    There is only one true church (ecclesia) but it is made up of ALL those people who have put their faith in Christ alone. No person or institution or denomination on earth can claim exclusive rights.

    Posted by BOB | January 25, 2012, 10:33 AM
  37. Hi Bob, here are a couple of websites explaining the Catholic Church position on the Papacy & its authority. I found them to be helpful as they refer to the Bible, Apostolic tradition & the early history of the church. I don’t pretend to know much about Ignaz Von Dollinger, from what i did read he was once in support of the Papacy then later changed his mind….not sure why. Regardless though Bob, there no doubt are countless people from various backgrounds who hold varied opinions about the Papacy & the Catholic Church. The litmus test for me will always be the Bible & Apostolic tradition. It’s not a matter of claiming “exclusive rights,” it’s a case of having those rights conferred upon you by Christ!

    http://www.cfpeople.org/Apologetics/page51a084.html

    http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/no-rocks-required

    Posted by Chris | January 25, 2012, 7:36 PM
  38. I read this in one of your links: “Peter is uniquely empowered by Jesus to walk on water, and when his faith begins to falter, our Lord does not allow him to go under. This is a prelude to Jesus promising to give his authority that can never fail to Peter in Matthew 16. The gift of the papacy is here assured not to depend upon the person of Peter or of his successors, but on the promise and power of Christ.”

    But back in the Bible In the very next paragraph of Matthew 16 right after it is claimed that Jesus confires this authority on him we read this: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

    This makes me wonder how many other “Popes” have been the mouthpiece for Satan just as Peter was at this time. And this comes right after Jesus (according to you) declared him to be THE rock?

    I don’t see this passage as giving ANY support to the notion that Peter was the ROCK upon which the Church is built.

    When does the Apostic traditon begin to embrace the Papacy and the idea of Peter being the first Pope?

    Chris if this is your litmus test then please provide me with some evidence.

    Posted by BOB | January 25, 2012, 9:36 PM
  39. Bob,
    In the old testament we find God himself more than once changing the names of certain men. This He does when he gives one of his faithful followers a change of mission. So with Abraham we read the following:

    “behold, my covenant is with you & you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shal your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations” (Gen.17,15).

    Likewise with Jacob:

    “and He said to him,’ what is your name?’ And he said ‘Jacob.’ Then He said, ‘your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God & with men, & have prevailed'” (Gen.32, 27-28)

    On first beholding Simon, Our Lord changed his name to Cephas : ” So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (st john 1,42) Cephas & Peter both mean rock. The significance of this name change cannot be ignored.It was to contrast what Simon Peter was before he met our Lord to what he would become afterwards, that is, the firm rock on which our Lord would build his church (st Matt. 16,18ff.).

    The website you referred me to is misleading. The article says in relation to St. Matt. 15-19:

    “This is how it reads to us in English, but in Greek (the original language of the New Testament) the words for rock are more specific. It reads” :

    “And I (Jesus) say unto thee, That thou art petros, and upon this petra I will build my church …”

    While Greek might have been the language of the New Testament, Jesus himself spoke Aramaic & not Greek. Our Lord would have said ” Anath-her kipha, v’all hode kipha.” Numerous protestant scholars today acknowledge this point, including the Baptist Biblical professor D.A. Carson who wrote:

    ” …the underlying Aramaic is in this case unquestionable; & most probably Kepha was used in both clauses ( ‘ you are kepha’ & ‘ on this kepha’), since the word was used both for a name & for a ‘rock’…..The Greek makes the distinction between petros & petra simply because it is trying to preserve the pun, & in Greek the feminine petra could not very well serve as a masculine name.”

    If Christ had intended to charecterize St. Peter as a “little stone” as distinct from a “massive rock,” he could have chosen other more suitable words to make the contrast, for example evna in Aramaic means “little stone.” Like wise had St Matthew really wanted to record in his gospel that st. Peter was only a “little stone” he would have used the word lithos, which means “stone” of virtually any size.

    The website you referred me to states “the concept of rock always referred to God or Christ.” This may or may not be true but so what? In the context of the whole Old Testament, Jesus the rock gives his teaching about the rock. Specifically, the important passage of Isaiah 51 describes God as the “rock from which [the people of Israel] are hewn,” but they are told to “look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who gave you birth.” Stephen Ray’s masterful work Upon This Rock piles up evidence showing that the Jewish teachers repeatedly referred to Abraham as the God-appointed foundation stone of the Jewish people. God was the ultimate rock, but Abraham was his earthly presence. Just as Abram was given a new name to indicate his new foundational status, so Jesus gives Simon a new name—Rock —to indicate his foundational status in the new covenant.

    I could write so much to argue against the unhistorical claim that Constantine was the 1st pope but I will limit myself to quoting the Church Fathers….please note the date…way before Constantine was on the seen:

    St Irenaeus of Lyons, against heresies 3,3,2 ( C180 AD):
    ” The successions of the bishops of the greatest & most ancient Church known to all, founded & organized at Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter & Paul, that Church which has the tradition & the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the Apostles. For with this whole world; & it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the Apostolic tradition….”

    St Cyprian of carthage (251AD)
    ” there is one God & one Christ, & one church,& one chair founded on Peter by the word of the Lord. It is not possible to set up another altar or for there to be another priesthood besides that one altar & that one priesthood. Whoever has gatherred elsewhere is scattering.”

    Posted by Chris | January 25, 2012, 11:38 PM
  40. Bob,

    here is another website you might look at to help answer some of your questions.

    http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/stewards-of-the-kingdom

    Posted by Chris | January 26, 2012, 3:13 AM
  41. Hi Chris,

    I hear so many Roman Catholics quote the 30,000 Protestant denominations. I don’t believe that number is accurate. Can you tell me the source of your information?

    Also, in reference to Peter being the rock, I have to agree with Bob that the interpretation should be that it was Peter’s confession that “Jesus was the Christ” in which the church would be built. If Jesus intended Peter to be the one that Jesus would build his Church upon, why didn’t he say, “You are Peter, and upon YOU I will build my church”?

    Posted by Tim | January 26, 2012, 10:31 AM
  42. Hi Tim,

    This bit down below taken from wikipedia says there are 38,000 different protestant denominations. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations

    “Note: This is not a complete list, but aims to provide a comprehensible overview of the diversity among denominations of Christianity. As there are reported to be approximately 38,000 Christian denominations,[2] many of which cannot be verified to be significant, only those denominations with Wikipedia articles will be listed in order to ensure that all entries on this list are notable and verifiable. ”

    I believe I have given a thorough response in relation to Peter being the rock. I have given scriptural evidence & quoted from Church fathers. There is so much more that could be said in support of this teaching but I am assuming that you have taken the time to explore the websites I have referred to & explored the arguments I put forward & that your mind is made up. In which case I respectfully agree to disagree.

    Perhaps you can elaborate a little on your idea regarding Peter’s confession “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter here doesn’t mention the word rock or church or built…..so I am a little confused about your interpretation…..in short HOW does this quote translate in your thinking to mean that Peter was saying to Jesus that he is the Christ upon which the church would be built? I agree it’ a confession that Christ is the Messiah & that He is divine, but for me it stops there.

    You said “why didn’t he say ‘you are peter, & upon YOU I will build my Church.’ ” Well Jesus more or less did…..He changed his name to ROCK & then said…”upon this Rock I will build my church” It seems a lot easier to connect the dots here than it does in your interpretation of “Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God.”

    In any case your interpretation is not how early Christians saw it. Refer to tertullian (C.200AD)

    ” Was anything hidden from Peter, who was called the ROCK wheron the church was to be built: who obtained the keys of the kingdom of heaven, & the power of loosing and of binding in heaven & on earth.”

    Posted by Chris | January 26, 2012, 1:58 PM
  43. I’m not sure why our Lord’s rebuke of St Peter should indicate that Jesus had taken away Peter’s role as the Rock. It simply indicates that like Peter, many Christians prefer their own will to Christ’s. But don’t forget, Peter repented. Even Peter sinned, but does that mean that Christ had taken away the authority that he had originally given him? It is clear in the Acts of the Apostles that Peter is in charge of the early Church. It was Peter who first accepted non-Jews into the Church, Peter who addressed all the brethren at Pentecost. Recall that the Apostle John, even though he reached the tomb first, let Peter into the tomb before himself on that Easter Sunday morning. Peter’s authority was recognised by his fellow apostles as something bestowed on him by the Lord Himself.

    Posted by Br. Ruben, F.S.F. | January 26, 2012, 3:37 PM
  44. Bob: Sorry for not responding to you earlier. I haven’t been keeping up to date until today. Yes, you are correct about the Apocrypha. That wikepedia article looks OK, from the brief look I have given it. As far as I’m concerned no “reformer” has the right to determine what books are to be included or excluded from the canon of Scripture. Only the Church has this God-given mandate and the Church has in both the East and the West accepted the inspiration of these books. There was an argument that because these were written in Greek that they should not be accepted as canonical. However in more recent history discoveries were made of versions of these books in Hebrew and Aramaic at Qumran, versions that can be dated earlier than their Greek translations.

    Posted by Br. Ruben, F.S.F. | January 26, 2012, 4:00 PM
  45. In relation to St. Peter and the primacy of the Pope I would suggest to Bob abd Tim to read the book
    “Upon this Rock” by Stephen K. RAY who was an Evangelical Protestant born and bred for many,
    many years. It is an eye opener.

    Posted by Paul Grech | January 26, 2012, 5:41 PM
  46. Hello Chris, thank you for contributing to this post. I am still scratching my head with you “so recently” having an interest in Roman Catholicism and how much you are now defending it. In any case, I wish to give a simple reply to what you have shared in regards to the Papacy and Peter being the Rock upon which the Church was build.

    You said: “Perhaps you can elaborate a little on your idea regarding Peter’s confession “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter here doesn’t mention the word rock or church or built…..so I am a little confused about your interpretation…..in short HOW does this quote translate in your thinking to mean that Peter was saying to Jesus that he is the Christ upon which the church would be built? I agree it’ a confession that Christ is the Messiah & that He is divine, but for me it stops there…

    In any case your interpretation is not how early Christians saw it. Refer to tertullian (C.200AD)

    ” Was anything hidden from Peter, who was called the ROCK wheron the church was to be built: who obtained the keys of the kingdom of heaven, & the power of loosing and of binding in heaven & on earth.””

    First, I would like to point you and any other Roman Catholics here to check out the following link on what the early church fathers believed “in context” in regards to Peter and him being a rock.

    http://www.christiantruth.com/articles/mt16.html

    Secondly, the context of what Jesus taught Peter was in regards to Jesus being the promised Messiah to come. (Psalms 118:22/ 1 Corinthians 10:4/ Ephesians 2:20-22/ 1 Peter 2:4-9) Jesus was the long awaited Messiah to come, the Christ, and Jesus spoke to Peter upon his confession of which Peter was declaring Jesus was the One to come. As was pointed out, petros is a little rock and petra means large rock. Jesus is the Rock, our foundation in Matthew 7:24-27 and 1 Corinthians 3:11. Peter and others were witnesses, living stones, and Peter had a life changing conversion upon with him the early church was established in Acts 2 with Peter preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. In Acts 2:47 it states the Lord was adding to the church those who were saved, not Peter. Jesus is the Rock, Jesus is the cause, Jesus is the One whom is the foundation for the church.

    There is absolutely nothing in the New Testament writings from the book of Acts to Revelation that gives any indication of Peter being a Pope or of a Papacy in authority. Where were you read from Paul, Peter, John, James, Jude, Luke, etc., that Peter was in authority over the church as a Pope? Where is this found in the New Testament Church after Jesus’ ascension? I submit to you it is no where. What you have read is from “cut and pasted” statements from certain church fathers, but when they are properly examined they do not state what the Roman Catholic Church teaches on Peter being the Rock.

    As a born again Christian in Christ Jesus, my allegiance is to follow the instructions that are in the Bible with people like Peter, Paul, John, James, etc., for what is truth. If Peter himself did not declare this, if it is not declared by the other writers, why would we want to believe this? You figure if anywhere it would be in the Scriptures, right?

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 26, 2012, 7:21 PM
  47. Here’s a thought…IF Peter was the rock upon which the church was built then why was James the first leader of the church when it was just in Jerusalem? Why did Peter have to go to Rome to set up shop as the first Pope?

    Jerusalem has always been the focal point for God. Rome was the capital city of a pagan empire.

    Just wondering.

    Posted by BOB | January 26, 2012, 8:03 PM
  48. Here’s another thought on Matthew 16. Jesus initiates the conversation by asking a question about himself and ends the conversation by ordering them not to reveal that he is the Messiah. Immediately after we read that he begins to talk about his upcoming crucifixion.

    13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

    14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

    15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

    16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

    17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[b] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[c] will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

    21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

    The key point in this passage is NOT Jesus telling his disciples who was going to be the head honcho after he was gone but the fact that HE IS the long awaited Messiah. The focus of this passage is on Jesus, who he is and what he will do. It’s not about Peter being the first in a long line of Popes.

    Posted by BOB | January 26, 2012, 8:23 PM
  49. Thanks for that link Kelly – it’s very helpful

    http://www.christiantruth.com/articles/mt16.html

    I’ve only read the first couple of sections and I’m already convinced that the early church fathers never saw Peter as the proto-Pope.

    “It is a common practice of Roman Catholic apologists to omit part of the quotation given above by Tertullian in order to make it appear that he is a proponent of papal primacy.”

    Sorry Chris, Ruben and Paul but that’s exactly what I’ve been seeing happen here. Let’s try to keep everything in it’s proper context please.

    :-)

    – BOB

    Posted by BOB | January 26, 2012, 8:39 PM
  50. I had a look at that article (christiantruth.com) recommended by Kelly and it’s just amazing to see how selective some writers can be. Gee, talk about eisogesis! This article does not show conclusively that what Catholics believe is false at all. There is not one direct quotation from the Fathers that contradicts anything that Catholics believe about St Peter and the papacy. It is all eisogesis. I would like to see how this author would go about trying to contradict what the early Fathers and the Catholics believe about the Eucharist, or devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary or the communion of saints. Because they certainly wrote about all these subjects! And their thoughts on these issues are not what Protestants believe today.
    There is no question that our Lord is the Rock, but what Protestants need to realize about Christian theology is that God has deigned to share his own life with us, and even his own divinity. So if God has in Christ shared his divinity with created human nature, what is the logic behind failing to see that Jesus can share his authority with St Peter? It is because Protestants won’t bring themselves to understand this that there is no longer any unity among them, and there are as we all know thousands upon thousands of these denominations who all believe something radically different to what the early Christians believed.

    Posted by Br. Ruben, F.S.F. | January 26, 2012, 9:16 PM
  51. “Jesus the Nazarene, a man destined by God for you,’ and so forth. (Peter) himself, therefore, was the first to unbar, in Christ’s baptism, the entrance to the heavenly kingdom, in which kingdom are ‘loosed’ the sins that were beforetime ‘bound;’ and those which have not been ‘loosed’ are ‘bound,’ in accordance with true salvation…”

    In accordance with true salvation sounds to me a whole lot different than saying in accordance with papal authority.

    Would you agree?

    Once again, why was James chosen to be the first leader if Jesus had already picked Peter?

    Posted by BOB | January 26, 2012, 10:14 PM
  52. Reuben your reference to Protestants being divided is overstated.

    I don’t know who you are including in that list but if a group is teaching something radically different than what is found in the Bible (like JW’s) then they aren’t Christians and can’t be considered Protestants..

    I find lots of agreement between the various Protestant denominations. The Baptist church that I go to rents out our building to a small Presbyterian church. We have had joint worship services with them. We do disagree on many points but the essential core beliefs are the same.

    I think the idea that there is unity and conformity within the RCC is mostly myth. What’s the point of making a bunch of rules if nobody obeys them?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/14/98-percent-catholic-women-birth-control_n_849060.html

    Even in the country at the heart of the Catholic world it’s a problem.

    http://www.doki.net/tarsasag/novedelem/upload/novedelem/document/birth_rate_in_Italy.htm

    That’s not unity, that’s a RADICAL disregard for Papal authority!

    Posted by BOB | January 26, 2012, 10:46 PM
  53. Reuben said: “I had a look at that article (christiantruth.com) recommended by Kelly and it’s just amazing to see how selective some writers can be. Gee, talk about eisogesis! This article does not show conclusively that what Catholics believe is false at all. There is not one direct quotation from the Fathers that contradicts anything that Catholics believe about St Peter and the papacy. It is all eisogesis.”

    Friend, in all those so called references that are quoted by RCC in that article I shared it was shown that they did not say what was being said by RCC. The point was that church fathers talked about all those who are in Christ, His followers, as being “rocks” for Jesus, meaning living testimonies. NOTHING about Peter being the Pope or as the ROCK of the church in authority.

    I restate what I stated before. Where did Peter, Paul, James, John, Jude, NT writers state this teaching? Where is this taught in the early NT church from the book of Acts? Where did Peter address this in his letters? Where did Paul teach this in his letters? I submit to you and others here that if this was such an important teaching of the church of Jesus Christ it would be found within the New Testament writers such as Peter, Paul, James, John, Jude, etc…….

    The foundation of the church is Jesus, Jesus is the ROCK, Jesus spoke of Peter being a rock, used to be a witness and defender of the church, not a Pope. We see as Bob pointed out as James being one in charge, we see Paul rebuking Peter, we even Peter addressing himself as a fellow servant and elder within the church, not an authority over the church. (1 Peter 5)

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 26, 2012, 11:36 PM
  54. Bob: There are many Protestant groups that have arisen since the reformation, many of which differ enormously, and just a small list includes Calvinists, Lutherans, Anabaptists, Church of England, Quakers, Menonites, and many others, some which don’t even believe in baptism. Even within the Church of England itself are differing beliefs, from something like evangelical Christianty to those within it who actually consider themelves “Anglo-Catholic.” While you may not think the Mormons or JWs to be Christian they are the fruit of disunity within Protestantism.
    Sure there is dissent within the Catholic Church, but you will find that these types couldn’t even be called Christian, let alone Catholic. They are actually a very loud minority, some of whom don’t even believe in the Bible let alone Papal authority.

    Posted by Br. Ruben, F.S.F. | January 27, 2012, 2:27 AM
  55. Kelly: Have you ever read the Acts of the Apostles carefully? Also, have you ever considered that Peter’s authority was taken for granted and that as such there was no need to explicitly define it as early at NT times? You yourself have admitted that there are Christian doctrines that are not explicitly defined nor named in the Bible.

    Posted by Br. Ruben, F.S.F. | January 27, 2012, 2:32 AM
  56. Thanks for that website Kelly ( Christiantruth.com), though I have to say I agree with Reuben…” there is nothing there that conclusively shows that what catholics believe is false.”

    you say this particular teaching is not in the Bible & yet it is manifestly evident in numerous places that St. peter was made by Christ & regarded by others as the head of the Apostles:

    i) The keys of the kingdom of heaven to bind & loose on earth were given by our Lord to St.Peter (St. Matt.16,19)

    ii) St Peter’s name is listed 1st when he, St james & St John are mentioned as being with Our Lord at the transfiguration ( St Matthew. 17,1)

    iii) Our lord made St Peter’s home his headquarters while staying in capernaum ( St.Mark 1,19)

    iv) The Resurrection of Christ was 1st pronounced by the angel to St.Peter (st.Mark. 16,7)

    v) Our Lord prayed for St.Peter alone & instructed him to ” strenghten your brethren” (St Luke 22, 31-32)

    vi) After his resurrection, St Peter was the 1st of all the Apostles to whom Christ appeared ( St Luke 24)

    vii) At his 1st meeting with St. Peter, Our Lord gave him the new name of “CEPHAS” ( ROCK) (St John,1,42)

    viii) It was to St Peter that our Lord entrusted the care of his flock , lambs & sheep (St John 21, 15-17)

    ix) the election that chose St Matthias as the replacement for Judas was conducted by St Peter (Acts 1,25)

    x) the 1st miracle at the temple was performed by St Peter (Acts 3)

    xi) St Peter responded to the sanhedrin on behalf of the church ( Acts 4)

    xii) The case of Ananias & Saphira was judged by St Peter ( acts 5)

    xiii) St Peter was the 1st to preach to the Jews (Acts 2,14) & to receive gentiles into the church (Acts 11)

    xiv) At the council of Jerusalem the multitudes “kept silence” after St Peter rose up & spoke (acts 15,12)

    xv) after his conversion St Paul 1st went to St Peter (Gal 1, 18)

    xvi) The lists of Apostles in St Matthew 10, st mark 3, st luke 6, & acts all place the name of St Peter 1st

    xvii) In the New Testament St Peter is mentioned 195 times . The other Apostles all together are mentioned only 130 times.

    We find Simon (Peter) specifically called “CEPHAS” (ROCK) throughout the New Testament…. 1Cor.1,12; 1Cor.3,22; 1 Cor .9,12; 1 Cor . 15,5; Gal. 2,7&11&14 for example.

    Bob, Tim, Kelly…. if you can’t accept the truth of Apostolic tradition at least be good Bible Christians & accept the above! It’s very obvious Peter had a special place conferred to him by Christ & acknowledged by the other Apostles.

    Kelly this was part of my response to Bob in my earlier post relating to your “little rock” theory.

    ‘While Greek might have been the language of the New Testament, Jesus himself spoke Aramaic & not Greek. Our Lord would have said ” Anath-her kipha, v’all hode kipha.” Numerous protestant scholars today acknowledge this point, including the Baptist Biblical professor D.A. Carson who wrote:

    ” …the underlying Aramaic is in this case unquestionable; & most probably Kepha was used in both clauses ( ‘ you are kepha’ & ‘ on this kepha’), since the word was used both for a name & for a ‘rock’…..The Greek makes the distinction between petros & petra simply because it is trying to preserve the pun, & in Greek the feminine petra could not very well serve as a masculine name.”’

    No disrespect to you Kelly but I am going to have to side with your own Baptist Biblical professor on this one, after all you did say in your earlier post to Reuben ….. “Friend, I have not been to any College, I have no degrees…..” & DA Carson is a professor.

    Ethelbert Stauffer a Lutheran Scholar notes the following in relation to St Luke 22,31-32 (“strenghten your brethren”):

    ” what is the basis of Peter’s unique position? Not upon any special qualification of the apostle, but upon the intercession of the Lord…..in praying specially for Peter, Jesus is protecting & delivering the young community as a whole. He prays for fallen Peter so that Peter uplifted might strengthen his brethren in the faith, & so all atain the goal reserved for them – the Kingdom. So in this one saying it is made clear that the only possible ground of the churches existence & the very basis of its life is the mediatorial office of Christ, and also that Peter’s own mediatorial function is to be co-ordinated with & subordinated to this Christological office of the mediator.”

    Posted by Chris | January 27, 2012, 3:53 AM
  57. Bob, Tim & Kelly since you dont accept Apostolic tradition here is some history indicating the Primacy of the Papacy in the early church:

    Some examples of how the primacy of the Bishop of Rome was exercised in the first few centuries after Jesus:

    Pope Clement (88-97) wrote to the Church in Corinth in the year 96 to tell them to make changes in their attitudes and practices. The Early Church On-Line Encyclopedia (Ecole) Initiative, a cooperative effort on the part of Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant scholars across the Internet to establish links of early Church history, says “This letter is important because it indicates that the author was acting has the head of the Christian Church and that it was centered in Rome.”

    Pope Victor (189-199) ordered Easter to be celebrated throughout the world on Sunday, rather than on the 14th Nisan, whichever day of the week it happen to fall. All of the churches adopted Easter Sunday except those in Asia Minor. Pope Victor then excommunicated all the bishops in Asia Minor. While the Pope eventually relented in the excommunication, no one ever suggested that he did not have the authority.

    Pope Calixtus (217-222) overruled those bishops who excommunicated for life all apostates, adulterers, and murderers, regardless of their repentance. The Pope decreed that all sinners with contrition could be absolved and received back into the Catholic Church.

    After Pope Cornelius (251-253) was elected, he was faced with an antipope, Novatian, who promptly went about trying to consecrate bishops throughout the world who would be loyal to him. Naturally, this created tremendous uncertainty and confusion wherever Novatian tried to create false bishops over the heads of the legitimate bishops. This unequivocally shows the power of the Pope as the recognized leader of the worldwide Catholic Church.

    These are but a few examples.

    ….by the way ….Kelly stop scratching! :-)

    Posted by Chris | January 27, 2012, 3:59 AM
  58. Kelly,

    It is no surprise that many catholics don’t follow the teachings of their Pope or their church, after all they are a congregation of sinners just like any other congregation gathered under the banner of protestanism. But the same is true for protestants, only the dynamics of protestant disobediance is different.

    Protestants effectively out ‘Pope’ catholics 38000 to 1. Each ‘pope’ / elder/pastor/rev/ (whatever title the various leaders of different protestant denominations give themsleves) effectively dictates what their congregation must believe inorder to remain a part of their community. If a protestant of a particular denomination doesn’t agree with his current ‘pope’ then he will just shop around for another denomination whose ‘pope’ teaches that which suits him.

    For example a homosexual belonging to a conservative christian protestant denomination may decide he no longer agrees with the conservative take on Leviticus & decides that the real real issue in sodom was not homosexuality but lack of hospitality….hence he can leave his conservative christian church & jump ship to another protestant church whose ‘pope’ promotes this particular teaching….all of course under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. …..just like his last church!

    Only protestanism caters for this kind of divisiveness, & yes kelly there are many divisions despite what you claim. You only have to canvas the issues of Abortion, homosexuality, the sabbath, the Trinity, the divinity of Christ…..need i go on. The only thing that unites protestanism is its objection to the catholic church that Christ himself established.

    Posted by Chris | January 27, 2012, 4:42 AM
  59. Chris, I will reply to you very shortly in reply to what you have shared to me. I think one of your replies was meant for Bob or Tim, cause in it I was not addressing what you were addressing back to me, on unity and denominations stuff. In any case I will be giving you a thorough reply since you are taking many things out of context.

    Reuben, I will be giving you a reply as well. One thing though on what you said to me, “You yourself have admitted that there are Christian doctrines that are not explicitly defined nor named in the Bible.” That means as I shared the words “Trinity” or other words may not be directly there but the doctrines/teachings are. Hence I can accept the perspective of a teaching if found within the Scriptures even if the exact title/word is not there. (Sanctification/ Second Coming, Spiritual Growth, Discipleship, etc)

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 27, 2012, 7:04 AM
  60. Reuben can you explain this to me please.

    “Also, have you ever considered that Peter’s authority was taken for granted and that as such there was no need to explicitly define it as early at NT times?”

    Then why is James explicitly defined as the leader of the church in NT times?

    If Peter’s authority was taken for granted then how could Paul publicly rebuke the first Pope?

    Why didn’t Paul fall into line with what Peter was doing?

    Posted by BOB | January 27, 2012, 11:20 AM
  61. “Pope Clement (88-97) wrote to the Church in Corinth in the year 96 to tell them to make changes in their attitudes and practices.”

    Well so did the Apostle Paul, it’s called 1 & 2 Corinthians. Does that make Paul a Pope?

    “Pope Victor (189-199) ordered Easter to be celebrated throughout the world on Sunday, rather than on the 14th Nisan, whichever day of the week it happen to fall. All of the churches adopted Easter Sunday except those in Asia Minor. Pope Victor then excommunicated all the bishops in Asia Minor. While the Pope eventually relented in the excommunication, no one ever suggested that he did not have the authority.”

    Getting all the churches to agree on a standard date doesn’t impress me as being a feat of Papal authority. But what does this tell me about Papal infallibility? I thought that once the Pope pronounces something that’s it, no turning back.

    All bark no bite?

    Posted by BOB | January 27, 2012, 11:53 AM
  62. Bob,
    It’s clear to me from some of your posts that you have your head firmly stuck in the sand. I would have thought given the many divisions amongst protestants that you would have been impressed by the Pope getting all the churches to agree on a date for Easter.

    I notice how you left out this important bit from my quote of Pope Clement (88-97)

    The Early Church On-Line Encyclopedia (Ecole) Initiative, a cooperative effort on the part of Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant scholars across the Internet to establish links of early Church history, says “This letter is important because it indicates that the author was acting has the head of the Christian Church and that it was centered in Rome.”

    Context please Bob, Context!

    Here is some more context for you Bob:

    Pope Calixtus (217-222) overruled those bishops who excommunicated for life all apostates, adulterers, and murderers, regardless of their repentance. The Pope decreed that all sinners with contrition could be absolved and received back into the Catholic Church.

    After Pope Cornelius (251-253) was elected, he was faced with an antipope, Novatian, who promptly went about trying to consecrate bishops throughout the world who would be loyal to him. Naturally, this created tremendous uncertainty and confusion wherever Novatian tried to create false bishops over the heads of the legitimate bishops. This unequivocally shows the power of the Pope as the recognized leader of the worldwide Catholic Church.

    Pope Stephen (254-257) removed certain bishops in Africa for heresy. Later he overruled a synod of African bishops which wanted to re-baptize lapsed Catholics returning to the faith and those converting to Catholicism from schismatic sects. The Pope made it very clear he was in charge and eventually prevailed in this matter.

    Pope Dionysius (260-268) reprimanded Bishop Dionysius of Alexandria for misstatements on the Trinity. The Bishop then followed the Pope’s guidance.

    Pope Sylvester (314-335) did not attend the First Council of Arles (314), thinking it unbecoming for him to leave Rome. Following Arles, the bishops there commended him for not leaving the spot “where the Apostles daily sit in judgment.” He repeated this example at Nicaea, which his successors followed in the councils of Sardica (343), Rimini (359), and the Eastern ecumenical councils. At Nicaea, Pope Sylvester sent two priests as his legates, who helped preside over the sessions and who were the first to sign the cannons.

    Pope Julius (337-352) decided that Athanasius, rather than Pistus, should be the Bishop of Alexandria. At the same time, he read the riot act to the Arians in Alexandria.

    Because Pope Liberius (352-366) stood firm against Arianism, Emperor Constantius had him kidnapped and replaced with an antipope, Felix, who no one accepted. In captivity, the Pope was tortured until he signed a semi-Arian document, which, of course, was not valid. This episode clearly showed the vital role of the Pope in determining Catholic doctrine. The Pope returned to Rome and continued his fight for orthodoxy. He eventually succeeded in seeing many Arians come back to the Catholic Church.

    These examples take us through the first three centuries after Jesus founded the Church. Of course, there are scores of other examples after 366.

    In any case Bob, Tim & Kelly these arguments have already been had & won by the Catholics..please refer to
    http://www.cfpeople.org/Apologetics/page51a084.html

    Bob, please try to get past the 1st paragraph this time.

    Posted by Chris | January 27, 2012, 1:25 PM
  63. Chris I would like to hear your response to my questions in my previous post please.

    Posted by BOB | January 27, 2012, 1:51 PM
  64. I would like to congratulate Chris and Ruben for their erudite contributions to this blog. It is indeed refreshing to read their well founded comments as against mere misguided opinions proferred by others. As to Bob’s question about St. James in Jerusalem the answer is so obvious ! James was the head of the converted Jews in Jerusalem where it all started. As head of the whole church it was Peter’s responsibility to proceed to Rome, (then the capital of the known world) to ensure the spreading of the Gospel “to the ends of the earth” in accordance with Our Lord’s command.

    Posted by Paul Grech | January 27, 2012, 5:30 PM
  65. Bob : Where is James explicitly referred to as leader of the Church in NT times? He was the leader of the Church in Jerusalem, which, as we all know, is not the centre of Christianity. The church is Jerusalem is significant for its having started there and for the history of this city as centre of the Jewish faith, but it has never been the most important city in the Christian world. Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, and Alexandria have out-ranked it by far.
    Paul’s public rebuke of Peter doesn’t in any way undermine his authority. If your own pastor did something outrageous wouldn’t you rebuke him in a spirit of fraternal correction? Surely you wouldn’t be undermining his authority as pastor of your church?
    Also you can’t say that Paul was going against Peter in the sense that Paul had a radically different view of the faith to Peter. I think you are exaggerating here, because Peter’s actions were done out of fear of what the other Jews thought of him. It was a fault of weakness, not something he was promulgating for the whole Church to follow. It was actually Peter who first accepted Gentiles into the Church as we read in the Acts of the Apostles, so how could Paul be going against him? After Paul’s conversion and his having spent time in Arabia and in the desert he went to present himself to Peter and the other Apostles in Jerusalem, so he wan’t acting independently of the Peter and the Church in his missionary activities.

    Posted by Br. Ruben, F.S.F. | January 27, 2012, 5:55 PM
  66. Kelly, in your comment of 26.1.2012 you say: “There is absolutely nothing in the New Testament writings………………
    that gives any indication of Peter being a Pope or of a Papacy in authority.” I suggest you read carefully Matthew 16,
    verses 16 to 19 inclusive. You will see that after our Lord calls Peter a rock upon which Jesus builds his church, He continues to say: “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” In my view there can be no greater authority conferred on any human being. Think about it !

    Posted by Paul Grech | January 27, 2012, 6:27 PM
  67. Hi Chris,
    First off, let’s cut right to the chase. Why don’t you just admit that you are a Roman Catholic and not a Protestant who just started to look into the doctrine of purgatory? I agree with Kelly that you are defending the RCC way to much not to be a Roman Catholic.

    —————————————————————————-

    38,000 denominations:

    I checked your source in reference to the number that was given and your source goes all the way back to the World Christian Encyclopedia. Although I do not agree with the numbers from the WCE, I did take a look at it and the data shows that the number listed under Protestant denomination is actually 8,973. The rest were made up of independent and marginal Christian groups, many of which could be discounted like JW’s, Mormons, Oneness Pentecostals (who are non-trinitarians) and others.

    Now before you say something like, “Well, anything more than 1 denomination is too much”, the WCE also states that there are 242 denominations within the Roman Catholic Church. So if you accept the validity for the number of denominations for Protestant Churches, will you do the same for the number of denominations within the Roman Catholic Church?

    —————————————————————————-

    Papal Primacy:

    The Seventh Council of Carthage Under Cyprian
    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0508.htm

    “For neither does any of us set himself up as a bishop of bishops, nor by tyrannical terror does any compel his colleague to the necessity of obedience; since every bishop, according to the allowance of his liberty and power, has his own proper right of judgment, and can no more be judged by another than he himself can judge another.”

    Doesn’t sound like the primacy of Rome is being taught here.

    —————————————————————————-

    Peter and the keys:

    You said that Peter alone is given the keys to bind and loose in Matthew 16, but if you look at verse 19 you will see that Jesus says he WILL give Peter the keys of the Kingdom of heaven to bind and loose…

    Notice the “I will” statement is the future tense, which is actually fulfilled in Matthew 18:18-19 when Christ gives the power of binding and loosing to all the apostles, not just to Peter alone.

    —————————————————————————-

    Matthew 16 in the Aramaic:

    You also said that Matthew 16 in the Aramaic language would read, “You are Kepha and upon this Kepha I will build my Church”. Can you point me to any original manuscripts that were written in Aramaic that has Matthew 16 reading the way that you say it does? If not, that means I could just as easily say the second use of rock should be the Aramaic word “minra” just as much as you say it should be “Kepha” because I have no proof that it does read that way either.

    If you want to site DA Carson as your source to justify using the word Kepha, I can site Kurt Aland who wrote in a book that he believed the New Testament was only written in Koine Greek, so if you are going to argue your point from the original language it should be made about the Greek, not Aramaic.
    http://books.google.com/books?id=2pYDsAhUOxAC&pg=PA52

    My whole contention with Matthew 16 is that although Christ was talking to Peter (Petros), the rock (petra) that Jesus was going to build his church upon was the confession of Peter that Jesus was the Christ.

    —————————————————————————-

    Lastly, I agree with Bob that James was the one who presided over the council in Jerusalem, not Peter who was supposed to be the pope according to the RCC. Look at Acts 15:13-20. James was the one who passed the final judgment at the council, not Peter.

    Posted by Tim | January 27, 2012, 6:55 PM
  68. All this emotional arguing merely points to the fact that we need a Pope to show us what is the truth (“to confirm your brethren.”–Luke 22:32) We can argue ’til the cows come home, but if we believe that Christ is the truth why don’t we listen to what he tells us in Scripture? How many conflicting interpretations of Christianity can there possibly be and what does this indicate to unbelievers? I would like to know why having a pope causes so much bitterness for Protestants. Also, why don’t Protestants attack the Eastern Orthodox Churches like they do the Catholic Church? The Orthodox believe something very similar to Catholics; they retain the priesthood and the Eucharistic Sacrifice, devotion to Mary and the saints, but I so rarely hear them being attacked by “Bible Christians.” Perhaps the Catholic Church has pricked the Protestant conscience?

    Posted by Br. Ruben, F.S.F. | January 27, 2012, 10:06 PM
  69. Hello Chris. Chris, I have been very considerate to you as you have come here. I have to be honest with you, I really do not believe that you have recently started looking into Catholicism cause you act as if you have all the answers, and you speak to us in an aggressive attitude. I would ask you to talk with us, those here who are not Catholic who are replying to you. If you truly care about us and believe we are wrong and in error please demonstrate that in your words, as what Scripture states in 1 Peter 3:15. With that being said I will give a few comments here.

    In my post to you this was not addressed: “what Jesus taught Peter was in regards to Jesus being the promised Messiah to come. (Psalms 118:22/ 1 Corinthians 10:4/ Ephesians 2:20-22/ 1 Peter 2:4-9) Jesus was the long awaited Messiah to come, the Christ, and Jesus spoke to Peter upon his confession of which Peter was declaring Jesus was the One to come. As was pointed out, petros is a little rock and petra means large rock. Jesus is the Rock, our foundation in Matthew 7:24-27 and 1 Corinthians 3:11. Peter and others were witnesses, living stones, and Peter had a life changing conversion upon with him the early church was established in Acts 2 with Peter preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. In Acts 2:47 it states the Lord was adding to the church those who were saved, not Peter. Jesus is the Rock, Jesus is the cause, Jesus is the One whom is the foundation for the church.”

    That was what I posted to you, can you reply to those Scriptures and my comments. Who is the “Big Rock” in those verses?
    You said: “Thanks for that website Kelly ( Christiantruth.com), though I have to say I agree with Reuben…” there is nothing there that conclusively shows that what catholics believe is false.””

    You did not take a serious look at that article and the references given. The references demonstrate in clarity that Peter is not the ROCK or the Foundation but Jesus is. Along with that Peter was not the only one in whom was given the authority to be a rock, but all disciples were.

    That link I gave gave a lot of references but I will address a couple here in reply to you. First on Tertian:
    “(Peter) himself; (Peter) himself essayed the key; you see what (key):  “Men of Israel, let what I say sink into your ears:  Jesus the Nazarene, a man destined by God for you,” and so forth. (Peter) himself, therefore, was the first to unbar, in Christ’s baptism, the entrance to the heavenly kingdom, in which (kingdom) are “loosed” the sins that were beforetime “bound;” and those which have not been “loosed” are “bound,” in accordance with true salvation” (Ante-Nicene Fathers,Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen, Parts First and Second -Chapter XXI.—Of the Difference Between Discipline and Power, and of the Power of the Keys)

    Here is a link in which this can be read online which you need to do: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf04.iii.viii.xxi.html

    This has to do with Peter being the one in whom be the voice to preach the gospel at Pentecost and many came to know Jesus personally that day and the church was being established. The “Rock” in regards to Peter was him preaching the gospel and people getting saved and becoming a part of the church. Where do you read anywhere in his writings on Peter being in papal authority over the church, a Pope?

    Secondly reference from that article I will present is what Origen said:
    “And perhaps that which Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” if we say it as Peter, not by flesh and blood revealing it unto us, but by the light from the Father in heaven shining in our heart, we too become as Peter, being pronounced blessed as he was, because that the grounds on which he was pronounced blessed apply also to us, by reason of the fact that flesh and blood have not revealed to us with regard to Jesus that He is Christ, the Son of the living God, but the Father in heaven, from the very heavens, that our citizenship may be in heaven, revealing to us the revelation which carries up to heaven those who take away every veil from the heart, and receive “the spirit of the wisdom and revelation” of God. And if we too have said like Peter, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” not as if flesh and blood had revealed it unto us, but by light from the Father in heaven having shone in our heart, we become a Peter, and to us there might be said by the Word, “Thou art Peter,” etc. For a rock Or, a Peter. is every disciple of Christ of whom those drank who drank of the spiritual rock which followed them, and upon every such rock is built every word of the church, and the polity in accordance with it; for in each of the perfect, who have the combination of words and deeds and thoughts which fill up the blessedness, is the church built by God.” (Origen Commentary on Matthew, Book 12, The Promise Given to Peter Not Restricted to Him, But Applicable to All Disciples Like Him/ http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf09.xvi.ii.v.x.html)

    “But if you suppose that upon that one Peter only the whole church is built by God, what would you say about John the son of thunder or each one of the Apostles?  Shall we otherwise dare to say, that against Peter in particular the gates of Hades shall not prevail, but that they shall prevail against the other Apostles and the perfect?  Does not the saying previously made, “The gates of Hades shall not prevail against it,” hold in regard to all and in the case of each of them?  And also the saying, “Upon this rock I will build My church”? Are the keys of the kingdom of heaven given by the Lord to Peter only, and will no other of the blessed receive them?  But if this promise, “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven,” be common to the others, how shall not all the things previously spoken of, and the things which are subjoined as having been addressed to Peter, be common to them?  For in this place these words seem to be addressed as to Peter only, “Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,” etc.; but in the Gospel of John the Saviour having given the Holy Spirit unto the disciples by breathing upon them said, “Receive ye the Holy Spirit,” etc.  Many then will say to the Saviour, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God;” but not all who say this will say it to Him, as not at all having learned it by the revelation of flesh and blood but by the Father in heaven Himself taking away the veil that lay upon their heart, in order that after this “with unveiled face reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord” they may speak through the Spirit of God saying concerning Him, “Lord Jesus,” and to Him, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And if any one says this to Him, not by flesh and blood revealing it unto Him but through the Father in heaven, he will obtain the things that were spoken according to the letter of the Gospel to that Peter, but, as the spirit of the Gospel teaches, to every one who becomes such as that Peter was.  For all bear the surname of “rock” who are the imitators of Christ, that is, of the spiritual rock which followed those who are being saved, that they may drink from it the spiritual draught.  But these bear the surname of the rock just as Christ does.  But also as members of Christ deriving their surname from Him they are called Christians, and from the rock, Peters.” (Origen Commentary on Matthew, Book 12, The Promise Given to Peter Not Restricted to Him, But Applicable to All Disciples Like Him/ http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf09.xvi.ii.v.xi.html)

    This is another church father demonstrating that Peter was not a Pope as your Roman Catholicism has taught you to believe. In fact Origen states all the disciples of Christ were “Peters”, how can that be? Does that mean thousands upon millions of Popes? No, it does not, it means as it was written by Origen all those whom are followers of Jesus are living testimonies of the Messiah, the Rock, Jesus.

    The above was in response to what you said and I ask you to take some time to think those things over some more.

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 28, 2012, 12:35 AM
  70. Attention friends, can I ask something? If you are going to give a reference for something saying a church father said this or that, can we have the link or exact reference to look them up? This way it makes it a real honest discussion where each of us can look at what is being shared and examine it together.

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 28, 2012, 12:51 AM
  71. Chris said: “Kelly this was part of my response to Bob in my earlier post relating to your “little rock” theory.

    ‘While Greek might have been the language of the New Testament, Jesus himself spoke Aramaic & not Greek. Our Lord would have said ” Anath-her kipha, v’all hode kipha.” Numerous protestant scholars today acknowledge this point, including the Baptist Biblical professor D.A. Carson who wrote:

    ” …the underlying Aramaic is in this case unquestionable; & most probably Kepha was used in both clauses ( ‘ you are kepha’ & ‘ on this kepha’), since the word was used both for a name & for a ‘rock’…..The Greek makes the distinction between petros & petra simply because it is trying to preserve the pun, & in Greek the feminine petra could not very well serve as a masculine name.”’

    No disrespect to you Kelly but I am going to have to side with your own Baptist Biblical professor on this one, after all you did say in your earlier post to Reuben ….. “Friend, I have not been to any College, I have no degrees…..” & DA Carson is a professor.”

    I would agree with Tim on where are the Aramaic Manuscripts to examine this that you bring up? Where are you getting your reference from? Can you provide this please for us to all read?

    As to my education and “no disrespect” comment, that gave me a good smile by the way. I am sure you would not side on DA Carson as a professor stating the Roman Catholic Church is false and teaches another gospel, would you? Would you side with him on being a 5 Point Calvinist as well? Please do not play silly games! My comment was in response to Reuben stating something about me that was in error and on what I said to Reuben was that I do not claim to be something I am not, but what I do share is from what I have learned. And another thing, just because someone is a professor or has degrees, that does not make them the proof. Which of the 12 apostles that Jesus choose to be His witnesses were professors or professionally educated? Get the point?

    As I shared before with various Scriptures on Jesus being the Rock, the Foundation, the context is clear in regards to what Matthew 16:18 means. It was the testimony of what Peter was acknowledging in regards to Jesus being the Christ, and this was the message that Peter preached in Acts 2 where people were getting saved and becoming a part of the church.

    Chris all those Scripture references you cited to prove Peter is a Pope demonstrate you really have to make Scripture say what you want it to. In none of those Scriptures do we get that teaching, that belief, that is no where found in the New Testament, no where. So as I asked previously would you be willing to reply to those Scriptures I shared concerning Jesus being the Rock and Foundation? Would you kindly give a reply to what I shared on Tertullian and Origen concerning them not in any way indication Peter as being a Pope or one in authority.

    Since you claim at one time you were of the Christian faith (meaning evangelical) I really hope you take some time to think about what you are now claiming to be right.

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 28, 2012, 1:01 AM
  72. Reuben said: “Kelly: Have you ever read the Acts of the Apostles carefully? Also, have you ever considered that Peter’s authority was taken for granted and that as such there was no need to explicitly define it as early at NT times? You yourself have admitted that there are Christian doctrines that are not explicitly defined nor named in the Bible.”

    Have I ever read the Acts of the Apostles carefully? Is this a trick question? Is this a derogatory way of saying something? To answer you, yes, I do read the book of Acts carefully. In fact I have taught through the book of Acts chapter by chapter and verse by verse twice. So yes, good grief what a statement.

    Have I every considered that Peter’s authority was taken for granted? Seriously? (I waited about a minute before I went back to typing on that one…) Friend, do you really mean that? Taken for granted? Wow. I am still at a loss at that statement. There was no need to explicitly define this in the NT times, really? Reuben, is not the Pope the main area for Roman Catholicism? Don’t ya think that this would be addressed somewhere in regards to church ministry and gifts? Paul talks about ministry and gifts in 1 Corinthians 12-14, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, don’t ya think somewhere this would be stated? Anywhere in Acts?

    As to you statement about me stating “that there are Christian doctrines that are not explicitly defined nor named in the Bible”, here is what I actually said:

    “I would agree with what you have shared here on the words Trinity, Incarnation, and Bible not being specifically mentioned in the Scriptures. I understand what you are saying here as I am often sharing the gospel with Jehovah’s Witnesses or Muslims and I will say basically what you have shared, in so many words. It is then our job to examine what the Scriptures teach in context to get to a particular understanding or doctrine.”

    Please quote me right! I never said doctrines, I said “words”. I never said what you said.

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 28, 2012, 1:21 AM
  73. Paul said: “I would like to congratulate Chris and Ruben for their erudite contributions to this blog. It is indeed refreshing to read their well founded comments as against mere misguided opinions proferred by others. As to Bob’s question about St. James in Jerusalem the answer is so obvious ! James was the head of the converted Jews in Jerusalem where it all started. As head of the whole church it was Peter’s responsibility to proceed to Rome, (then the capital of the known world) to ensure the spreading of the Gospel “to the ends of the earth” in accordance with Our Lord’s command.”

    You wish to congratulate them? Oh man, that is really a funny statement. Paul, you are very recent here and you have not really shared much but you said, “mere misguided opinions proffered by others.” So you congratulate those whom want to stick with their beliefs that are not based in truth from God’s Word and you wish to insult those here whom are trying to follow God’s Word in truth, good one Paul!

    There were many leaders in the early church, there was not one in charge of everyone else. As Bob pointed out James was the one whom made the authoritative decision in Acts15, does that make him the Pope?

    Paul said: “Kelly, in your comment of 26.1.2012 you say: “There is absolutely nothing in the New Testament writings………………that gives any indication of Peter being a Pope or of a Papacy in authority.” I suggest you read carefully Matthew 16,verses 16 to 19 inclusive. You will see that after our Lord calls Peter a rock upon which Jesus builds his church, He continues to say: “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” In my view there can be no greater authority conferred on any human being. Think about it !”

    Ok Paul, I read Matthew 16:18-19, where is Pope mentioned? Where is Peter followed in the book of Acts as a Pope? Where did Paul in all of his writings about spiritual gifts, callings, ministries, leaders, those in authority, ministers, WHERE did Paul talk about Peter as being a Pope and him having successors?

    I did think about it, and it’s wrong…I would suggest to you to take some time to look into what I shared with Chris on those Scriptures about Jesus being the Rock, the Foundation of the church. (Matthew 7:24-27/ 1 Corinthians 3:11/Ephesians 2:20-22) And also those points I shared on the church fathers stating all those who are followers of Christ are “Peters”. Pretty cool when you think about that, right?

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 28, 2012, 1:33 AM
  74. 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” (Romans 10:9-13 NASB)

    A really good article we have on what it means to become a Christian and know that you are saved is at https://rootedinchrist.org/2008/01/01/what-must-i-do-to-be-saved/

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 28, 2012, 1:36 AM
  75. Kelly: I am not quite sure how you have come to the conclusion that the Pope is the main area for Catholicism. That would be like me saying that the main area for your version of Christianity is your pastor. No, Catholics love Christ, and they follow Christ’s teaching by not mis-reading the Bible and changing texts like Matthew 16 to suit their own bitter attitude toward authority figures. If our Lord wanted Peter to be the Rock on which to build His Church so be it! Why not just follow what Christ taught? I have had a look at your take on interpreting Matthew 16 and this is not the interpretation of any of the Church Fathers. Can you find me even one?
    Since you are very familiar with the Acts of the Apostles, I would like to make this proposal. From the following passages, Acts 1:15-26; 2:14ff.; chaps 10 & 11; 15:6-11, the burden of proof lies with you to show us that it was not taken for granted by the Apostles and disciples that Peter was leader of the Church. The final passage, 15:6-11 is Peter’s speech at the Council of Jerusalem. I am particularly interested in learning of your conclusions here with regard to who was in charge at this Council.

    Posted by Br. Ruben, F.S.F. | January 28, 2012, 3:09 PM
  76. Bob, I think Paul & Reuben have covered the questions. Do you still want a response from me?

    Posted by Chris | January 28, 2012, 3:56 PM
  77. Hi Tim,

    You said

    “First off, let’s cut right to the chase. Why don’t you just admit that you are a Roman Catholic and not a Protestant who just started to look into the doctrine of purgatory? I agree with Kelly that you are defending the RCC way to much not to be a Roman Catholic.”

    Tim, this debate is not about me. It is about kelly’s false & misleading allegations about the Catholic church & it’s teachings! Your statement above just goes to show that your arguements are weak & that you need to play the person because quite simply you haven’t been able to present the facts.

    But, to put your mind at ease. Yes i am much more catholic at heart than I am protestant. I have been “journeying home” on & off for some time now. The catholic church is 2000 years old & has lots of doctrine (such as purgatory) which requires time to study & investigate. I am not officially catholic yet though as I am required to enrol for R.C.I.A which is the right of christian initiation, until then I cannot be formally received into the church. And yes, this is my intention.

    Tim,
    In relation to the 38,000 different protestant denominations comment.

    The catholic church does not consider herself to be a denomination as it is the one true church founded by Christ. What you refer to as “denominations” within the church are actually churches who have varying liturgical traditions but who recognise the Pope as their leader appointed by Christ & are therefore no less catholic. For example the Maronites.

    Tim, in relation to papal primacy you said:

    “For neither does any of us set himself up as a bishop of bishops, nor by tyrannical terror does any compel his colleague to the necessity of obedience; since every bishop, according to the allowance of his liberty and power, has his own proper right of judgment, and can no more be judged by another than he himself can judge another.”

    Doesn’t sound like the primacy of Rome is being taught here.

    This qoute you have given above in no way negates the primacy of the pope. I think Tim, you are looking for something that just isn’t there as far as the early church fathers are concerned …in particular Cyprian ..here is another quote from him:

    Cyprian of Carthage

    “The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever things you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, they shall be loosed also in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]). … On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were also what Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all [the apostles] are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?” (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [A.D. 251]).

    Tim, this quote clearly shows in what context the other apostles where assigned a “like power” & very much affirms the primacy of the Pope.

    “If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?” (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [A.D. 251]). ”

    Are you sure Tim?

    Tim, in reference to

    Matthew 16 in the Aramaic: you said

    “If you want to site DA Carson as your source to justify using the word Kepha, I can site Kurt Aland who wrote in a book that he believed the New Testament was only written in Koine Greek, so if you are going to argue your point from the original language it should be made about the Greek, not Aramaic.”

    Tim, you missed the point of my arguement. I wasn’t denying that the Bible was written in Greek, rather I was asserting the fact that the Bible is a Greek translation of the Aramaic that was spoken by Jesus & the Apostles & that to get the real meaning of Matthew 16 one has to have knowledge of this. Hence the quote by DA Carson.

    Posted by Chris | January 28, 2012, 4:59 PM
  78. Kelly and Tim, as the saying goes, there is no one so blind as the one who does not want to see or so deaf as the one who does not want to hear. Where does it say in the Holy Bible that the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven where given to Henry VIII, or to Luther or to Calvin or to any of the 38,000 or so different denominations of pseudo Christians which followed who preach the myriad different interpretations of the Word of God? How can you truly claim to be calling on the name of the Lord when in the same breath you completely distort His Holy Word to fit your warped idiosyncracy? The arrogance, pride and presumption implied in your comments clearly denote that you are misguidded. I pray to the Good Lord Jesus to open your eyes and to help you see the True Light.

    Posted by Paul Grech | January 28, 2012, 5:17 PM
  79. Reuben said: “I am not quite sure how you have come to the conclusion that the Pope is the main area for Catholicism. That would be like me saying that the main area for your version of Christianity is your pastor. No, Catholics love Christ, and they follow Christ’s teaching by not mis-reading the Bible and changing texts like Matthew 16 to suit their own bitter attitude toward authority figures. If our Lord wanted Peter to be the Rock on which to build His Church so be it! Why not just follow what Christ taught? I have had a look at your take on interpreting Matthew 16 and this is not the interpretation of any of the Church Fathers. Can you find me even one?”

    Reuben, since this discussion has been shifted over the last week or two on the topic of Peter as being the Rock upon which the church is founded, then when you think about it this is main area in which your defence stands or falls. If what you believe is true then people like Bob, Tim, myself and others need to repent, and turn our allegiance to the foundation of the body of Christ, namely Peter and all his successors whom are in Papal authority. However, if what you believe is not accurate and not Biblical, then you and the others here defending Roman Catholicism need to turn from what you have believed and come to Jesus more accurately. And no, comparing a local pastor to the Pope of the RCC is no where in the same arena, they are vastly different!

    Jesus did not say Peter was the Foundation and Rock upon which the church is sustained, that is not taught by Jesus nor anywhere in the New Testament.

    As to finding one Church Father that shares in my perspective on Matthew 16:18 there are many examples. The one from that link posted something from Eusebius Commentary of Psalms 17 which was as clear as day. The only reason I have not shared that here is cause it seems that work has not been translated into English and is not available directly for people to read online. The author of that link translated it into English and it demonstrates clearly what I have been sharing, along with Bob and Tim. My rule of thumb is if I cannot not verify something of a reference for accuracy and others to be able to look into, I will not use that as a source.

    With that being said I found something of interest from Augustine which presents something very interesting in relation to Peter and upon whom we are to put our trust in as the rock and foundation of the Church.

    “For that Church is founded on a rock, as the Lord says, “Upon this rock I will build my Church.”23142314 Matt. xvi. 18. But they build on the sand, as the same Lord says, “Every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand.”23152315 Matt. vii. 26. But that you may not suppose that the Church which is upon a rock is in one part only of the earth, and does not extend even to its furthest boundaries, hear her voice groaning from the psalm, amid the evils of her pilgrimage. For she says, “From the end of the earth have I cried unto Thee; when my heart was distressed Thou didst lift me up upon the rock; Thou hast led me, Thou, my hope, hast become a tower of courage from the face of the enemy.” 23162316 Ps. lxi. 2, 3. See how she cries from the end of the earth. She is not therefore in Africa alone, nor only among the Africans, who send a bishop from Africa to Rome to a few Montenses,23172317 That the Donatists were called at Rome Montenses, is observed by Augustin, de Hæresibus, c. lxix., and Epist. liii. 2; and before him by Optatus, Book II. c. iv. That they were also called Cutzupitani, or Cutzupitæ, we learn from the same epistle, and from his treatise de Unitate Ecclesiæ, c. iii. 6. and into Spain to the house of one lady.23182318 Lucilla. See how she is exalted on a rock. All, therefore, are not to be deemed to be in her which build upon the sand, that is, which hear the words of Christ and do them not, even though both among us and among you they have and transmit the sacrament of baptism. See how her hope is in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,—not in Peter or in Paul, still less in Donatus or Petilianus.” (NPNF1-04. Augustine: The Writings Against the Manichaeans and Against the Donatists/ http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf104.v.v.iv.cix.html)

    Here we see the Church is founded upon a rock. Notice Augustine goes on to elaborate more going into the text of Matthew 7:24-27 which is Jesus being the Rock upon which our foundation is established. Notice also that the various churches are to put their trust in the exalted rock, is this Peter? Augustine states the church is to hear the words of Christ, that is the Rock and foundation of the Church. Augustine also states the Church’s hope is in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, “not in Peter or Paul.” This is sufficient for me as to what I have been sharing in regards to what Jesus was stating in Matthew 16:18 with Peter’s confession and testimony being the instrument in Acts 2 to preach the Gospel and the early start of the Church being built up in Christ.

    Heres one more for the gander:

    “So does the Church act in blessed hope through this troublous life; and this Church symbolized in its generality, was personified in the Apostle Peter, on account of the primacy of his apostleship. For, as regards his proper personality, he was by nature one man, by grace one Christian, by still more abounding grace one, and yet also, the first apostle; but when it was said to him, “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven,” he represented the universal Church, which in this world is shaken by divers temptations, that come upon it like torrents of rain, floods and tempests, and falleth not, because it is founded upon a rock (petra), from which Peter received his name. For petra (rock) is not derived from Peter, but Peter from petra; just as Christ is not called so from the Christian, but the Christian from Christ. For on this very account the Lord said, “On this rock will I build my Church,” because Peter had said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”19771977 Matt. xvi. 16–19. On this rock, therefore, He said, which thou hast confessed, I will build my Church. For the Rock (Petra) was Christ;19781978 1 Cor. x. 4. and on this foundation was Peter himself also built. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus.19791979 1 Cor. iii. 11. The Church, therefore, which is founded in Christ received from Him the keys of the kingdom of heaven in the person of Peter, that is to say, the power of binding and loosing sins. For what the Church is essentially in Christ, such representatively is Peter in the rock (petra); and in this representation Christ is to be understood as the Rock, Peter as the Church.” (NPNF1-07. St. Augustine: Homilies on the Gospel of John; Homilies on the First Epistle of John; Soliloquies/ http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf107.iii.cxxv.htmlhighlight=upon,this,rock,i,will,build,my,church#highlight)

    Notice Peter is said to be at this time primacy of apostleship, not the Pope over the Church or the Rock. Notice how Augustine here addresses how Jesus is the Petra, the Rock of which the Church is built upon the representation of Peter and his testimony of Jesus. Peter is built upon the foundation of whom Jesus is, the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus is the Rock upon which anyone sins are forgiven, which Peter preached the gospel for people to be saved. Peter was a rock, not Petra, Peter was in the the Rock (Jesus) and he represented Christ to the world as Savior and the One to come.

    I have given you two places in which statements were in line with what I have shared and others such as Bob and Tim. One thing I have noticed in Church Fathers writings, they have a lot of disunity in what they wrote and taught, thus I do not put my trust in them as my authority for truth. I put my trust in God’s Word for truth and as I have shared before the teaching of Peter being the Pope over the Church is no where in the New Testament teachings, at all! I find something of interest in this that Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians 1:12-18 on people putting their trust in men, which fits Roman Catholicism.

    “12 Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” 13 Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one would say you were baptized in my name. 16 Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. 18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:12-18 NASB)

    Notice how Paul said people were following Peter? How did Paul address that? Was it commended? No, Paul even said there were those who were doing the same with himself and Apollos, but that was not to be! Just as in the early church there were splits and various sects, this has continued thorough the centuries which we see in the Church Fathers writings. So stop putting your trust in the Church Fathers and stop talking things for granted when they are not true. Put your trust in the LORD and His Word.

    You said: “Since you are very familiar with the Acts of the Apostles, I would like to make this proposal. From the following passages, Acts 1:15-26; 2:14ff.; chaps 10 & 11; 15:6-11, the burden of proof lies with you to show us that it was not taken for granted by the Apostles and disciples that Peter was leader of the Church. The final passage, 15:6-11 is Peter’s speech at the Council of Jerusalem. I am particularly interested in learning of your conclusions here with regard to who was in charge at this Council.”

    No more games, I have shared things to you which you did not address in my previous posts, and I challenge you to prove to me from the Scriptures that what you have said is true. As to Acts 1 says nothing of Peter being the Pope/The Rock over the Church as a doctrine. Acts 2 says nothing of Peter being a Pope/The Rock over the Church. Acts 10 & 11 & 15 says nothing of Peter being a Pope/The Rock over the Church. What Acts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, and 15 demonstrate is that Peter was a leader in which Jesus called him to be, and upon the Lord’s calling and gifting Peter stood up for truth. There is nothing in those references that indicate what the Roman Catholic Church teaches on Peter being the Pope or Rock over the Church, nothing.

    So here we go as we have in the past. Will you provide Scriptures that demonstrate this as a doctrine and understanding in the New Testament or will you reply on talking things for granted and trust in men over the centuries who have conflicting teachings? The choice is yours.

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 28, 2012, 8:37 PM
  80. This is for those whom come here. I will make this real simple. If there is any slanderous or insulting type of posts addressed to whomever, I will simply not publish them. I have no problem with people standing up for what they believe, and at times words can be heated, but they can be expressed without slanderous or insulting statements.

    So before you post anything, think about what you wish to write before you hit “Post Comment”…

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 28, 2012, 8:58 PM
  81. Hello Paul.

    You said: “Kelly and Tim, as the saying goes, there is no one so blind as the one who does not want to see or so deaf as the one who does not want to hear. Where does it say in the Holy Bible that the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven where given to Henry VIII, or to Luther or to Calvin or to any of the 38,000 or so different denominations of pseudo Christians which followed who preach the myriad different interpretations of the Word of God? How can you truly claim to be calling on the name of the Lord when in the same breath you completely distort His Holy Word to fit your warped idiosyncracy? The arrogance, pride and presumption implied in your comments clearly denote that you are misguidded. I pray to the Good Lord Jesus to open your eyes and to help you see the True Light.”

    The keys of the kingdom was the message of the cross and resurrection in Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of sins and new life. I am not sure about why you would launch out to Tim or myself in with those accusations. As my above post stated I will now be enforcing how people address people, if it is within a context of respect and standing up for what ones believes then it will be accepted. But if it states things like “to fit your warped idiosyncrasy” or “The Arrogance, pride and presumption implied in your comments clearly denote that you are misguided” then friend, it will not be tolerated anymore here. Be mature in how you reply to people here.

    The problem is you assume many things about people like Tim or myself on what we believe. Why not ask a few questions and see what we believe and go from there. With a person like yourself being a Roman Catholic, Tim & Bob and myself to some extent can make comments pertaining to Roman Catholic Doctrine and what Roman Catholics are to believe, because of the Magisterium teachings and doctrines. But what I have shared is not in a derogatory or slanderous attitude, but trying to share things to challenge people to examine what they believe and why, as I would ask from those whom correspond with me. I hope your “pray to the Good Lord” is truly of your heart cause it appears not to be that way with how your type. As I have shared with people at various times if I am wrong, I want to know it, I want to be following the Lord in truth and grace. The problem is most people put their trust in some organization, some system or sect, rather that truly trusting in Christ and the Word of God. I strive to follow the Lord the best I can from the Word of God, and I am continually trying to align myself with God’s direction.

    Are you willing to do what I asked you in my previous post?I asked you to look into “Jesus being the Rock, the Foundation of the church. (Matthew 7:24-27/ 1 Corinthians 3:11/Ephesians 2:20-22) And also those points I shared on the church fathers stating all those who are followers of Christ are “Peters””. Paul who does Jesus say is the Rock in Matthew 7:24? Whom does Paul say the foundation is in 1 Cor. 3:11 and Ephes. 2:20-22?

    Paul could you give a reply to what Origen said: “For all bear the surname of “rock” who are the imitators of Christ, that is, of the spiritual rock which followed those who are being saved, that they may drink from it the spiritual draught. But these bear the surname of the rock just as Christ does. But also as members of Christ deriving their surname from Him they are called Christians, and from the rock, Peters.” (Origen Commentary on Matthew, Book 12, The Promise Given to Peter Not Restricted to Him, But Applicable to All Disciples Like Him/ http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf09.xvi.ii.v.xi.html)

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 28, 2012, 9:11 PM
  82. This is an intense discussion but I’m really appreciating getting the different perspectives on these things.

    I was watching this on TV tonight – found a short trailer for it on YouTube

    The Lotus and the Cross: http://youtu.be/MQkpIgXFyLU

    I thought it was very interesting.

    Posted by BOB | January 28, 2012, 11:27 PM
  83. Hi Chris,

    I will be the first one to apologize if you felt that I was attacking you personally. I just felt that by your comments you didn’t seem to be a Protestant who was just beginning to look at some of the Roman Catholic doctrines, but that you were closer to being a Roman Catholic if not already one.

    ——————————————————————————-

    On Cyprian:
    I guess I should have qualified my quote of Cyprian from the Seventh Council of Carthage. I do agree that Cyprian believed that the chair of Peter existed, but the point of my quote was to say that he believed ALL bishops held that chair, not just the bishop of Rome. That’s why he said, “For neither does any of us set himself up as a bishop of bishops, nor by tyrannical terror does any compel his colleague to the necessity of obedience; since every bishop, according to the allowance of his liberty and power, has his own proper right of judgment, and can no more be judged by another than he himself can judge another.”

    It is my contention that Cyprian did not believe that the bishop of Rome was the supreme ruler of the church (“Neither does any of us set himself up as a bishop of bishops”).

    ——————————————————————————-

    You said the following about Matthew 16 in the Aramaic:
    Tim, you missed the point of my argument. I wasn’t denying that the Bible was written in Greek, rather I was asserting the fact that the Bible is a Greek translation of the Aramaic that was spoken by Jesus & the Apostles & that to get the real meaning of Matthew 16 one has to have knowledge of this. Hence the quote by DA Carson.

    My point to you was that if you want to use the original language of the bible to argue your point, you should stick to the Greek and not try to introduce an Aramaic translation of a scripture verse that does not exist to try to prove your point. Since there are no Aramaic originals, there is no actual proof that both uses of “rock” would be Kepha when the word minra could be another legitimate alternative.

    ——————————————————————————-

    To All,

    Before I give some quotes to you from the church fathers, I wanted to say that I don’t believe that all of the church fathers unanimously agreed on everything as we are about to see. To me, all Christians (even the church fathers), must be tested against the word of God that is contained in the scriptures.

    With that said, here are some quotes from church fathers that show Peter’s confession was the rock that Christ built His church upon:

    John Chrysostom

    What then saith Christ? “Thou art Simon, the son of Jonas; thou shalt be called Cephas.“Thus since thou hast proclaimed my Father, I too name him that begat thee;” all but saying, “As thou art son of Jonas, even so am I of my Father.” Else it were superfluous to say, “Thou art Son of Jonas;” but since he had said, “Son of God,” to point out that He is so Son of God, as the other son of Jonas, of the same substance with Him that begat Him, therefore He added this, “And I say unto thee, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church; that is, on the faith of his confession. Hereby He signifies that many were now on the point of believing, and raises his spirit, and makes him a shepherd. “And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” “And if not against it, much more not against me. So be not troubled because thou art shortly to hear that I shall be betrayed and crucified.”
    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf110.iii.LII.html

    He speaks from this time lowly things, on His way to His passion, that He may show His humanity. For He that has built His church upon Peter’s confession, and has so fortified it, that ten thousand dangers and deaths are not to prevail over it.
    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf110.iii.LXXVIII.html

    ——————————————————————————-

    Augustine

    Then He added, “and I say unto thee.” As if He had said, “Because thou hast said unto Me, ‘Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God;’ I also say unto thee, ‘Thou art Peter.’” For before he was called Simon. Now this name of Peter was given him by the Lord, and that in a figure, that he should signify the Church. For seeing that Christ is the rock (Petra), Peter is the Christian people. For the rock (Petra) is the original name. Therefore Peter is so called from the rock; not the rock from Peter; as Christ is not called Christ from the Christian, but the Christian from Christ. “Therefore,” he saith, “Thou art Peter; and upon this Rock” which thou hast confessed, upon this Rock which thou hast acknowledged, saying, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, will I build My Church;” that is upon Myself, the Son of the living God, “will I build My Church.” I will build thee upon Myself, not Myself upon thee.
    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf106.vii.xxviii.html#vii.xxviii-Page_340

    In a passage in this book, I said about the Apostle Peter: ‘On him as on a rock the Church was built’…But I know that very frequently at a later time, I so explained what the Lord said: ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ that it be understood as built upon Him whom Peter confessed saying: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ and so Peter, called after this rock, represented the person of the Church which is built upon this rock, and has received ‘the keys of the kingdom of heaven.’ For, ‘Thou art Peter’ and not ‘Thou art the rock’ was said to him. But ‘the rock was Christ,’ in confessing whom, as also the whole Church confesses, Simon was called Peter. But let the reader decide which of these two opinions is the more probable
    http://books.google.com/books?id=DikZ4GEmgUIC&pg=PA90&lpg=PA90&dq=Saint+Augustine,+The+Retractations+Chapter+20

    ——————————————————————————-

    Epiphanius

    This is first of all because he confessed that ‘Christ’ is ‘the Son of the living God,’ and was told, ‘On this rock of sure faith will I build my church’—for he plainly confessed that Christ is true Son
    http://books.google.com/books?id=brxgNsxJKkUC&pg=PA109&lpg=PA109&dq=#v=onepage&q&f=false

    ——————————————————————————-

    Lastly, I found this to be an interesting quote from the RCC Catechism. I believe that this shows the rock was Peters confession.

    #424 – Moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit and drawn by the Father, we believe in Jesus and confess: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. On the rock of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church.

    Posted by Tim | January 29, 2012, 12:08 AM
  84. Kelly: It looks as though you won’t publish my previous post. I didn’t think it was any more frank than any of my previous posts which you have published. I’m simply asking you to justify your argument from Scripture, especially from those pertinent passages from the Acts of the Apostles. Once we can agree on Peter’s role as revealed clearly in the Bible then we can move on to discuss further issues about the papacy.

    Posted by Br. Ruben, F.S.F. | January 29, 2012, 1:05 AM
  85. Hello Kelly & Tim,
    Kelly, yes you have been generous with me & for that I thank you. Though i don’t agree with you, i do sense that your intentions are good. Sorry if i have come across agressive but I believe that I have given a very tempered response to some of the unsubstantiated defamatory comments made about my beliefs. And yes I do truly care about my protestant brothers & sisters & that is why i am here sharing with you.

    Kelly you said:
    I would agree with Tim on where are the Aramaic Manuscripts to examine this that you bring up? Where are you getting your reference from? Can you provide this please for us to all read?

    Kelly & Tim,

    I did not know this in my earlier post to you Tim regarding the Bible being written in Greek. Here is what I found :

    Papias ( c. AD 60-130) wrote: ” Matthew put together{ the oracles of the Lord } in the Hebrew language and each one translated them as best he could” ( fragments of Papias 6, ANF 1:155)

    Irenaeus, writing about 180 Ad informs us ” Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect” ( Against heresies 3,1,1, ANF 1:414)

    Origen ( c. Ad 185-254) consistent with the early witness wrote “among the four Gospels which are the only indisputable ones in the church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the 1st was written by Matthew, who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from judaism, and published in the Hebrew language.” ( Commentary on Matthew, quoted in Eusebius, church history 6,25,npnf2,1:273). Aramaic the language of Jesus was closely related to Hebrew.

    In the gospel of Matthew, after Peter by divine revelation declares Jesus to be the Christ, Jesus answers ” Blessed are you Simon Bar-Jona” The name Bar-Jona is confirmation that Jesus was speaking Aramaic, not in Greek. Just for your interest Bar is Aramaic for ‘son’ ( Daniel J. Harrington, the gospel of Matthew{collegeville,Minn : liturgical press 1991} 247) “Jonah means dove.” combined the surname of Simon means having the revelation of the Holy Spirit. “Bar-Jonah” means son of the Holy Spirit (the King & the Kingdom of heaven{ New York: Christian fellowship pub 1978} pages 192-193).

    Through this divine revelation that only Peter was privileged to receive out of all the apostles, and Peter’s statement of faith. Jesus working in cooperation with the Father, recognized or agreed with the Father’s choice & appointed peter as the kepha, the ROCK & the steward who would carry the keys of the kingdom.

    W.F. Albright, eminent Protestant scholar & internationally regarded as the “dean of biblical studies,” writes;

    “This is not a name but an appellation & a play on words. There is no evidence of Peter or Kephas as a name before christian times……..Peter as Rock will be the foundation of the future community. Jesus, not quoting the old testament, here uses Aramaic, not Hebrew and so uses the only Aramaic word that would serve his purpose. In view of the background of verse 19 …… one must dismiss as confessional interpretation any attempt to see ‘this rock ‘ as meaning the faith , or the messianic confession of Peter. To deny the pre-eminent position of Peter among the disciples or in the early christian community is a denial of the evidence……(W.F Albright & C.S Mann , the Anchor Bible: Matthew {garden city , NY :Doubleday & co 1971 } 195).

    David Hill, Presbyterian minister & senior lecturer of biblical studies, University of Sheffield, writes:

    ” It is on Peter himself, the confessor of His messiahship that Jesus will build the church……attempts to interpret the ‘rock’ as anything other than peter in person (e.g his faith, the truth revealed to him) are due to protestant bias” …. (the Gospel of Matthew, New century Bible commentary {grand rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans,1972},261)

    Posted by Chris | January 29, 2012, 2:59 AM
  86. Here is what Protestant scholar Oscar Cullman had to say on the topic of Peter being the rock:

    ” But what does Jesus mean when He says: ‘ on this rock i will build my church’? The idea of the reformers that He is referring to the faith of peter is quite inconceivable in view of the probably different setting of the story. for there is no reference here to the faith of peter. Rather, the parallelism of ‘thou art rock’ & ‘on this rock i will build’ shows that the second rock can only be the same as the first. It is thus evident that Jesus is referring to Peter, to whom he has given the name Rock.He appoints peter, the impulsive, enthusiastic but not persevering man in the circle to be the foundation of His church . To this extent Roman Catholic exegesis is right & all Protestant attempts to evade this interpretation are to be rejected.”Oscar Cullman, Peter: Disciple, Apostle, Martyr: A Historical and Theological Study (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1958),

    I think it is overwhelmingly clear here guys that Peter was the Rock!

    Tim you said:

    Lastly, I found this to be an interesting quote from the RCC Catechism. I believe that this shows the rock was Peters confession.

    #424 – Moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit and drawn by the Father, we believe in Jesus and confess: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. On the rock of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church.

    Tim, i’m not being rude but you have taken this way out of context in the same way that you have the quotes you have given from the Church Fathers.

    please refer to the cathecism of the catholic church (1992):

    No.882: The pope, Bishop of Rome & Peter’s successor is the perpetual & visible source & foundation of the unity both of the bishops & of the whole company of faithful…….

    The rock referred to in no424 is Peter!

    Kelly I will get back to you soon.

    Posted by Chris | January 29, 2012, 3:35 AM
  87. Kelly, you said:

    As to my education and “no disrespect” comment, that gave me a good smile by the way. I am sure you would not side on DA Carson as a professor stating the Roman Catholic Church is false and teaches another gospel, would you? Would you side with him on being a 5 Point Calvinist as well? Please do not play silly games! My comment was in response to Reuben stating something about me that was in error and on what I said to Reuben was that I do not claim to be something I am not, but what I do share is from what I have learned. And another thing, just because someone is a professor or has degrees, that does not make them the proof. Which of the 12 apostles that Jesus choose to be His witnesses were professors or professionally educated? Get the point?

    I certainly wouldn’t side with him on being a five point calvanist & stating that the roman catholic church is false, but then neither would Jesus whom I have clearly demonstrated in my previous posts, established a visible church upon Peter the Rock.

    If I had quoted catholic scholars to back my arguement no doubt you would have discredited them because they came from catholics & you would allege that they were bias. I use Protestant scholars to demonstrate the truth of Papal primacy only for you to accuse me of “playing silly games”! I’m getting the impression that you would rather have me say nothing at all.

    Kelly, in an earlier post i said this to Bob:

    In the old testament we find God himself more than once changing the names of certain men. This He does when he gives one of his faithful followers a change of mission. So with Abraham we read the following:

    “behold, my covenant is with you & you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shal your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations” (Gen.17,15).

    Likewise with Jacob:

    “and He said to him,’ what is your name?’ And he said ‘Jacob.’ Then He said, ‘your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God & with men, & have prevailed’” (Gen.32, 27-28)

    On first beholding Simon, Our Lord changed his name to Cephas : ” So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (st john 1,42) Cephas & Peter both mean rock. The significance of this name change cannot be ignored.It was to contrast what Simon Peter was before he met our Lord to what he would become afterwards, that is, the firm rock on which our Lord would build his church (st Matt. 16,18ff.).

    From some of your posts kelly, you seem to be inferring that Catholics hold Peter to be more important than Christ because we refer to him as the Rock. I wanted to make clear that this is not the Catholic position at all. As you can see from my earlier post to Bob…..Our Lord is the builder of His church, Peter is important only because Christ conferred upon him the privilege of being the “Firm rock on which He would build his church.”(Matt.16,18)

    Posted by Chris | January 30, 2012, 3:41 AM
  88. Chris, I asked you a few times for a reply: “So as I asked previously would you be willing to reply to those Scriptures I shared concerning Jesus being the Rock and Foundation? Would you kindly give a reply to what I shared on Tertullian and Origen concerning them not in any way indication Peter as being a Pope or one in authority.” (over the church)

    Chris said: “I certainly wouldn’t side with him on being a five point calvanist & stating that the roman catholic church is false, but then neither would Jesus whom I have clearly demonstrated in my previous posts, established a visible church upon Peter the Rock.

    If I had quoted catholic scholars to back my arguement no doubt you would have discredited them because they came from catholics & you would allege that they were bias. I use Protestant scholars to demonstrate the truth of Papal primacy only for you to accuse me of “playing silly games”! I’m getting the impression that you would rather have me say nothing at all.”

    Chris, I have been providing Scriptures for what I believe, and I have only cited church fathers in reply to what you have said. Your using Carson did not prove anything and you still did not give a reply to what I asked on that, where is the Aramaic text? As to the silly games comment, I said that in reference to my statement of education was to Reuben, and your trying to use a professor to trump me statement as if he was more credible cause he was a professor was playing a silly game. Just say Professor Carson says such and such, do not throw my statement about education out there the way you did, get it?

    So I still wait for replies on what I have asked numerous times now, I am not going to reply to new stuff each time you post something when you do not reply to what I have asked.

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 30, 2012, 9:24 AM
  89. Is this relevant to our conversation?

    Matthew 20:

    20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.

    21 “What is it you want?” he asked.

    She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”

    22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”

    “We can,” they answered.

    23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”

    24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    Posted by BOB | January 30, 2012, 5:31 PM
  90. Hello Bob, I am sure it is. Can you expound on what you wish to share from that for us here.

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 30, 2012, 7:21 PM
  91. I was thinking that if just 4 chapters earlier Jesus told everyone that Peter was the “Pope” then why would James and John even entertain the idea that they could get the prime seats – and why didn’t Jesus just point out the fact that Peter was the already given the top dog spot? Why didn’t Jesus just set the record straight at this point and tell them all that Peter was the head of the Church?

    Posted by BOB | January 30, 2012, 7:33 PM
  92. Kelly, you said:

    would you be willing to reply to those Scriptures I shared concerning Jesus being the Rock and Foundation? Would you kindly give a reply to what I shared on Tertullian and Origen concerning them not in any way indication Peter as being a Pope or one in authority.” (over the church)

    Kelly, I believe I have given a very thorough answer to all these questions through out my numerous posts. In short, no one is disputing that Jesus is the Rock & foundation. What we have been disputing is whether or not he conferred these qualities on Peter & in so doing established a visible church with Peter as its leader. The Catholic church says He did, the bible says He did, the church fathers say He did, many eminent protestant Biblical scholars (as I have quoted) say He did & based on all this evidence so do I. I have pointed you to the evidence, if you choose not to see it there is nothing more I can do about it accept to say that i will pray for you.

    Kelly in reference to Tertullian & Origen: ” concerning them not in any way indication Peter as being a Pope or one in authority.” (over the church)

    Tertullian:
    “For though you think that heaven is still shut up, remember that the Lord left the keys of it to Peter here, and through him to the Church, which keys everyone will carry with him if he has been questioned and made a confession [of faith]” (Antidote Against the Scorpion 10 [A.D. 211]).

    “[T]he Lord said to Peter, ‘On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. . . . Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church” (Modesty 21:9–10 [A.D. 220]).

    Origen:

    “[I]f we were to attend carefully to the Gospels, we should also find, in relation to those things which seem to be common to Peter . . . a great difference and a preeminence in the things [Jesus] said to Peter, compared with the second class [of apostles]. For it is no small difference that Peter received the keys not of one heaven but of more, and in order that whatsoever things he binds on earth may be bound not in one heaven but in them all, as compared with the many who bind on earth and loose on earth, so that these things are bound and loosed not in [all] the heavens, as in the case of Peter, but in one only; for they do not reach so high a stage with power as Peter to bind and loose in all the heavens” (Commentary on Matthew 13:31 [A.D. 248]).

    kelly, how from these quotes do you fail to see that Peter is the pope, the one in authority? They are very explicit !

    Kelly you said: “where is the Aramaic text”

    did you not read my previous post addressed to you & Tim??

    Bob,

    The answer to your last post is obvious, look at Jesus’s reply:

    “Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”

    What Jesus is saying here is …sorry fellas that spot is taken!!

    Through this divine revelation that only Peter was privileged to receive out of all the apostles, and Peter’s statement of faith. Jesus working in cooperation with the Father, recognized or agreed with the Father’s choice & appointed peter as the kepha, the ROCK & the steward who would carry the keys of the kingdom.

    God Bless everyone it’s been nice chatting with you all! Once again, thanks Kelly for being such a good host.

    Posted by Chris | January 31, 2012, 3:25 AM
  93. Chris, I’m on my iPhone right but I will give a couple thoughts. We are not saying Peter was put in charge as a leader early on to build the church, that is vastly different than being called the Pope. Also we are not saying Peter was not given power (keys of the kingdom), the problem is not there at all. The problem is what the RCC states and teaches concerning Peter being THEE Rock is not true and Peter being THEE chief leader in authority is not true either. None of anything scripture states teachings that. As to the church fathers they are all inconsistent in what they say thus the can be looked at but they are not our truth for truth. In fact you just gave one reference saying only keys given to Peter and in the reference you gave before it said everyone who had a confession of faith had the keys as well. Which is it?

    I want to give you a reply later when I’m home so if you done mind I ask for you to wait for my reply before you reply to this. I believe are things which you share that have some validity but you are missings some very keys points in this discussion. Ok I will be on later, thanks for comments to me and your willingness to be here.

    Posted by Kelly Powers | January 31, 2012, 11:12 AM
  94. Sorry forgot a word “not” where it should of read: not saying Peter was not put in charge…

    Be on later

    Posted by Kelly | January 31, 2012, 11:22 AM
  95. On Matt.16:18-
    What about all the apostles forming the foundation of the church?
    Eph 2:19- So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God- verse 20- built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone .
    Rev. 21:14- And the wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

    Posted by Donna 1op | January 31, 2012, 7:19 PM
  96. Chris, hello again. As to Peter being in authority or an early leader in the church, that is not in question by any of us here. It is the issue of the RCC dogma on him being the Pope over the church in authority and that type of leadership being passed on, and the issue of what being the Pope encompasses. (infallability) I do not see this as I have said before in the NT nor in the church fathers.

    You said:

    Tertullian:
    “For though you think that heaven is still shut up, remember that the Lord left the keys of it to Peter here, and through him to the Church, which keys everyone will carry with him if he has been questioned and made a confession [of faith]” (Antidote Against the Scorpion 10 [A.D. 211]).
    “[T]he Lord said to Peter, ‘On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. . . . Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church” (Modesty 21:9–10 [A.D. 220]).

    One states “everyone” will be able to have the keys if they have made a confession of faith. The other says this is to Peter and not to the church. Which is it? They both say two things. Problem though, they both do not teach that Peter was a Pope in charge over the church.
    One other thing I have shared before. The problem with using Church Fathers as references is they are inconsistent and at times even conflict within themselves and with other fathers. That is why the rule is to stick to the Word of God in context and that way you have the best source to examine something for truth. I know using other sources is important, not dismissing that, just we have the foundation of God’s Word and that we know we can believe.

    You said:

    Origen:
    “[I]f we were to attend carefully to the Gospels, we should also find, in relation to those things which seem to be common to Peter . . . a great difference and a preeminence in the things [Jesus] said to Peter, compared with the second class [of apostles]. For it is no small difference that Peter received the keys not of one heaven but of more, and in order that whatsoever things he binds on earth may be bound not in one heaven but in them all, as compared with the many who bind on earth and loose on earth, so that these things are bound and loosed not in [all] the heavens, as in the case of Peter, but in one only; for they do not reach so high a stage with power as Peter to bind and loose in all the heavens” (Commentary on Matthew 13:31 [A.D. 248]).
    kelly, how from these quotes do you fail to see that Peter is the pope, the one in authority? They are very explicit !

    Friend, no, not explicit at all, there is nothing there again on this teaching of being a Pope in charge over the church. It does talk about him having keys, which implies leadership and authority, but problem is that this also in Matthew 18:15-18 which talks to the disciples/church and not specifically to Peter alone. Again the teaching of Peter having this authority and keys solely is not taught, nor is he the head of leadership.

    You said: Kelly you said: “where is the Aramaic text” did you not read my previous post addressed to you & Tim??

    I did, it does not address again what I have asked, where is the text for us to see? And since Greek is the text upon which we have for the text, context is the key, no matter which language. I still wait to see what the Aramaic states. If you are going to quote that from Carson, give us what he has for the actual text or something of it to be examined.

    You reply to Bob said: The answer to your last post is obvious, look at Jesus’s reply:
    “Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”
    What Jesus is saying here is …sorry fellas that spot is taken!!

    Chris, that is not what Jesus is saying. This has nothing to do with Peter as being a Pope, nothing. I believe Bob shared this showing that if Peter was now in charge, as you have been taught from the RCC, why would they even ask this? It makes it clear there was not view on Peter being a Pope in charge over the church.

    You said: Kelly, I believe I have given a very thorough answer to all these questions through out my numerous posts. In short, no one is disputing that Jesus is the Rock & foundation. What we have been disputing is whether or not he conferred these qualities on Peter & in so doing established a visible church with Peter as its leader. The Catholic church says He did, the bible says He did, the church fathers say He did, many eminent protestant Biblical scholars (as I have quoted) say He did & based on all this evidence so do I. I have pointed you to the evidence, if you choose not to see it there is nothing more I can do about it accept to say that i will pray for you.

    You have not addressed Psalms 118:22, Matthew 7:24, 1 Cor. 3:11, Eph. 2:20, all are dealing with Jewish Messianic prophecy which was fulfilled in Jesus, not Peter. That is what I was wanting you to check out. Peter’s confession was upon Jesus being the Messiah, and upon that Rock (Peter confession of whom Jesus was as Messiah the Son of God) Peter would be used to help build the church.
    Chris I quoted to you in the post I have asked you about a few times which you have not replied to as well.

    For all bear the surname of “rock” who are the imitators of Christ, that is, of the spiritual rock which followed those who are being saved, that they may drink from it the spiritual draught. But these bear the surname of the rock just as Christ does. But also as members of Christ deriving their surname from Him they are called Christians, and from the rock, Peters.” (Origen Commentary on Matthew, Book 12, The Promise Given to Peter Not Restricted to Him, But Applicable to All Disciples Like Him/ http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf09.xvi.ii.v.xi.html)

    How can all those who bear the name of rock? How can all be called Peters? If Peter, the rock, is in charge as Pope over the Church, how can others be as him?

    Chris, this is a case of adventures of missing the point. If we were in person this would be so much easier, but writing can be at times hard cause the point is missed or things overlooked. I wish you well if you are meaning in your last post farewell. I appreciate your time here and really hope that my last post made the most clear and concise sense in what we have been discussing and the areas I wish for you to examine more.

    Posted by Kelly Powers | February 1, 2012, 10:30 AM
  97. Hi Chris,

    If Jesus meant to say something like “sorry fellas that spot is taken” then why didn’t he just say that and affirm Peter as being the head honcho?

    Why didn’t the “fellas” already know that Peter had the top spot already reserved for him if Jesus had already confirmed him as the “ROCK”?

    Clearly they were not aware of Peter being in a position of superiority otherwise this event would never have happened. If the men who were there when Jesus said “ROCK” didn’t understand it to mean that Peter was the ROCK then how can you make that claim?

    I just finished watching this video: http://youtu.be/YNbREOhih6Q

    A bunch questions came to mind the first one I want to ask is this – Why are the RCC’s 10 Commandments different from the Protestants? Who made the change?

    – BOB

    Posted by BOB | February 1, 2012, 11:28 AM
  98. This might help- Council of Laodicea in 364AD- changing the sabbath Saturday to Sunday
    Council of Trent in1545AD – taking about sacred objects
    Around the year 321AD , Constantine, yeilding to the suggestion of church leaders passed the first Sunday law. They wanted to be different from the Jews, and wanted the Christians and Pagens to come together.

    Posted by Donna 1op | February 1, 2012, 1:41 PM
  99. Oh I get it!

    By claiming to merge what is said about idolatry into the first commandment it makes it much easier to overlook and ignore what the Bible actually says when the 10 Commandments are printed up. Hidden in plain sight so to speak. Very clever.

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/command.htm

    http://www.jewfaq.org/10.htm

    http://carm.org/roman-catholicism-mary-idolatry

    Posted by BOB | February 1, 2012, 6:26 PM
  100. I am waiting for a response to the quotes I gave from the church fathers (John Chrysostom, Augustine and Epiphanius) as well, especially the fact that although Cyprian believed that the chair of Peter existed, he did not believe that it resided with the bishop of Rome alone. ALL bishops sat in the chair of Peter is my understanding from his comment.

    Also, the Roman Catholic Magisterium has not dogmatically defined every scripture verse used to back up all of their doctrines. If they have, I would like to see this list. If not, that means that the interpretations are coming from Catholic scholars and laymen within the RCC.

    Kelly, I agree with you. A lot of Roman Catholics use quotes from the church fathers thinking that they are unchallengeable. The thing that must be remembered is that these men were the Christian scholars of their day, but were not infallible, and they must ultimately be tested against the word of God just like any other man. The church fathers did not agree on everything as we are starting to see.

    It’s funny how this is glossed over within the RCC, but is magnified to the N’th degree if Protestants don’t agree on something.

    Posted by Tim | February 1, 2012, 7:14 PM
  101. I think we can all agree that Christ established a Church, “upon this rock I will build my church” (Matt16-19) Please note it is only one church not 38000 churches! This one church established by Christ would endure forever “the gates of hell will not prevail against you”(st.Matt. 16-19) so no doubt it must be with us today!

    I have asserted that this one church established by Christ, built upon Peter the rock, the church of the Bible is the Catholic church. I have supported this claim by quoting the church fathers, Bible references & presenting historical facts. I suspect that you fail to acknowledge the evidence because to do so would destroy the very foundations upon which your denominations are built. None the less the truth has been presented for the serious seeker to see.

    You maintain that Christ built his church not on Peter the rock personally but on his “confession” I have shown this to be a “false gospel” & I have quoted eminent protestant scholars who deny this false interpretation. Tim, in reference to your quotes on the Church Fathers, I’m sorry but I don’t see anything in them that would change my point of view. Kelly despite what you say, you haven’t been able to show that the Church Fathers conflict the views I hold to be true about the catholic church.

    In any case I have a few questions for you Bob:

    1) Is the “false Gospel” that Christ built his church on Peter’s “confession” the only thing you have linking your church to the original church, the church of the bible? If not could you please explain what other links there are & how the link is made?

    2) Since you refute the fact that the Catholic Church is the church of the bible, can you please point out to me which of the 38000 different protestant churches in existence today is that very same church that Christ established?

    3) If the Catholic church didn’t establish the canon of scripture thus giving us the bible can you tell me which church did? I would imagine being a “bible christian” this would be easy for you to answer.

    4) Since the early church community existed before the canon of scripture was formulated thus giving us the bible. Obviously then early christians didn’t subscribe to your “false Gospel” of sola scriptura ( since they didn’t have a bible to go on). Can you please point out where this invented doctrine is in the bible. I expect to see the words Bible alone in your use of scripture references! Could you please give your answer in light of (1 Tim 3,15) ” the church is the pillar & bulwark of the truth.”

    Posted by Chris | February 2, 2012, 4:06 AM
  102. Kelly, please try & follow. I never said the bible was written in Aramaic. What i said was that jesus spoke Aramaic.
    We know that Jesus spoke Aramaic because some of his words are preserved for us in the Gospels. Look at Matthew 27:46, where he says from the cross, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ That isn’t Greek; it’s Aramaic, and it means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’

    What’s more,, “in Paul’s epistles—four times in Galatians and four times in 1 Corinthians—we have the Aramaic form of Simon’s new name preserved for us. In our English Bibles it comes out as Cephas. That isn’t Greek. That’s a transliteration of the Aramaic word Kepha (rendered as Kephas in its Hellenistic form).

    Tim & kelly,It’s in this context that your whole little rock argument falls apart. This is what i said earlier:

    ‘While Greek might have been the language of the New Testament, Jesus himself spoke Aramaic & not Greek. Our Lord would have said ” Anath-her kipha, v’all hode kipha.” Numerous protestant scholars today acknowledge this point, including the Baptist Biblical professor D.A. Carson who wrote:

    ” …the underlying Aramaic is in this case unquestionable; & most probably Kepha was used in both clauses ( ‘ you are kepha’ & ‘ on this kepha’), since the word was used both for a name & for a ‘rock’…..The Greek makes the distinction between petros & petra simply because it is trying to preserve the pun, & in Greek the feminine petra could not very well serve as a masculine name.”’

    Tim you said:
    My point to you was that if you want to use the original language of the bible to argue your point, you should stick to the Greek and not try to introduce an Aramaic translation of a scripture verse that does not exist to try to prove your point. Since there are no Aramaic originals, there is no actual proof that both uses of “rock” would be Kepha when the word minra could be another legitimate alternative

    Please read the above Tim clearly i wasn’t ” introducing an Aramaic version of scripture”! Once again you seem to be reading too much into things.

    Posted by Chris | February 2, 2012, 6:06 AM
  103. Tim & Kelly in reference to your quotes of the church fathers please refer to historians:

    Shotwell, James T. and Loomis, Louise, The See of Peter New York, NY: Columbia Univ. Press, 1927, 1991

    ” The orthodox catholic view has been the simple & literal one, – that the rock was Peter (Kepha in both cases). But it was also held by some of the Fathers that it was the confession which Peter made – ” thou art Christ the son of the living God”…..”This view was especially seized upon by the fathers who were disputing with the bishop of Rome or with the heretics who denied the statement of Christ’s divinity”…….” In course of time, however, as the creed was settled the literal meaning became the common one, exalting the “fisherman’s chair” above the other apostolic foundations as the historical embodiment of Christ’s promise. This was not seriously challenged until the protestants theologians found the text as commonly accepted to be a stumbling block in their denial of papal claims.”

    And it remains a stumbling block for you! Some church father’s supported your “confession” idea when they where is dispute with the “Bishop of Rome” but overwhelmingly the early Christians accepted Peter as the rock!

    …….” In course of time, however, as the creed was settled the literal meaning became the common one, exalting the “fisherman’s chair” above the other apostolic foundations as the historical embodiment of Christ’s promise. ”

    So just like your bible references Tim & kelly, you have been quoting way out of context. In the case of the church fathers…out of historical context.

    Tim you said inrelation to the church fathers:
    It’s funny how this is glossed over within the RCC, but is magnified to the N’th degree if Protestants don’t agree on something

    Its seems you are the one doing the glossing over.! You glossed over the historical context & the fact that Peter the rock was the “settled creed”

    Tim you said:
    Kelly, I agree with you. A lot of Roman Catholics use quotes from the church fathers thinking that they are unchallengeable. The thing that must be remembered is that these men were the Christian scholars of their day, but were not infallible, and they must ultimately be tested against the word of God just like any other man. The church fathers did not agree on everything as we are starting to see.

    Is your or your churches interpretation of scripture infallible Tim? There are 38000 different protestant denominations out there all saying “ultimately it must be tested against the word of God” & each one coming up with a different interpretation! so much for sola scriptura.

    Posted by Chris | February 2, 2012, 7:03 AM
  104. Chris, I was considering stopping with your last few replies since you continue to not address the questions that have been repeatedly asked to you. I have allowed your last three only because I this is an open forum. However, since you still have not specifically addressed questions I have asked you, if you continue to post things that are not giving your own answers to things that were asked, then those will not be published you continue to say the exact things over and over. I am being fair and will continue to be fair, but in a discussion like this with some much information at times and the time for people to give a reply can be a bit, we want to value each person and what they say and show them the respect here by giving them the replies. You have given some replies, I am not saying you not given any actual replies, but you do not address specific questions with the references, and you continue to keep giving more references and not dealing with the ones already quoted. That is why I said this would be so much better and easier if this type of dialogue was in person cause then these issues would not be going in circles, but obviously we cannot have that.

    I am on my way to work, so I will have to address this more later on tonight if I can. So if you happen to post any more replies without addressing specific things addressed I will have them on hold and then remind you of which things we are still dealing with.

    Posted by Kelly Powers | February 2, 2012, 7:31 AM
  105. On Matt 16:16-19 : Jesus said that My Father – revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Christ, v18- Peter the “rock”
    Christ is the chief cornerstone-He laid the foundation- Did He build an actual building on earth?
    John 2:19-Jesus answered and said to them ” Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
    v21- But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
    John 18:36- Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world…”
    Heb 9:8-11 Christ is the high priest- tabernacle not made with hands
    If Jesus being the cornerstone\foundation, the Peter “rock”, is apart of the “building”, so are all of the disciples and everyone who is saved. The Holy Spirit brings us to Christ. Christ chooses us.John 15:16- You did not choose Me, but I chose you… So, if it isn’t an actual building, then it must be Peter’s faith and believing in Jesus’ teachings.We are the “church”- people-not a building.
    I Cor 3:9-( paul wrote) For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. v10- According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man becareful how he builds upon it. v11-foundation is Jesus Christ
    What about these verses?
    I Cor 10:4-…drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them;and the rock was Christ
    Acts 20:28-…church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
    Why would Jesus shed His blood for a building ? And if Peter is the “rock” then why would the scriptures state that the rock was Christ? I believe its Peters faith.

    Posted by Donna 1op | February 2, 2012, 9:25 AM
  106. Paul not Peter
    Acts 23:11- the Lord told Paul he must witness at Rome
    Gal 2:7- Paul to preach to the Gentiles, and Peter to preach to the circumcised(Jews)
    Catholic Popes 1st St Peter (32-67)
    Bishops of Antioch 1st St Peter (37-53)
    Gal 2:11- around 44ad Peter in Antioch and lived there for sometime
    Apostolic Council of Jerusalem 50ad- Peter is there
    I peter 5:13- She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings…
    she means church, Babylon sometmes was a code word that meant Rome
    written around 60ad
    Peter died around 64ad in rome

    Posted by Donna 1op | February 2, 2012, 2:19 PM
  107. My question is how is it possible for peter to be pope and bishop at the same time? In 2 different places? I can find only one place in the Bible that puts peter in rome, assuming that Babylon meant Rome, that is in I peter. Ref- http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01567a.htm, then u type in st peter, click on cat encyclpedia,apostle, the look at missonary jouneys and wikipedia – early centers of christianity

    Posted by Donna 1op | February 2, 2012, 2:31 PM
  108. Chris,

    You said, “I think we can all agree that Christ established a Church, “upon this rock I will build my church” (Matt16-19) Please note it is only one church not 38000 churches! This one church established by Christ would endure forever “the gates of hell will not prevail against you”(st.Matt. 16-19) so no doubt it must be with us today!”

    The church is made up true Christian believers, so yes it is one church, but It’s not an institution or some visible building. Again, your 38,000 denominations has been debunked unless you want to admit that the RCC has 242 denominations which you adamantly denied, so throwing around that erroneous number proves nothing in my mind.

    You then presented a quote from The See of Peter, and then said, “And it remains a stumbling block for you! Some church father’s supported your “confession” idea when they where is dispute with the “Bishop of Rome” but overwhelmingly the early Christians accepted Peter as the rock!”

    So now the church fathers that didn’t agree with Peter being the rock were opposers to Rome? Well, of course there was opposition to Rome. As history shows, there were many arguments between Eastern churches and the West (Rome). One of the arguments was the bishop of Rome’s claim to universal jurisdiction over the entire church (which I contend is unbiblical). All these arguments eventually led to the Schism of 1054 which split the church into the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. Both claim Apostolic tradition and that they are the one true church, so how can you both be right?

    You said, “Is your or your churches interpretation of scripture infallible Tim? There are 38000 different protestant denominations out there all saying “ultimately it must be tested against the word of God” & each one coming up with a different interpretation! so much for sola scriptura.”

    Chris, I have never claimed infallibility for me nor have I claimed it for anyone else. No man is infallible, not even the pope! That is my whole point. When it comes to the scriptures, not even the Magisterium has infallibly interpreted all the ones needed to backup every Roman Catholic doctrine.

    So is it your contention that traditions of men should not be tested against the scriptures? I say we should do as the Bereans did and examine all that is preached to us (Acts 17:11). Evidently it is possible to do and seemed to be encouraged (as noble-minded) by the writer of the book of Acts.

    Posted by Tim | February 3, 2012, 6:45 PM
  109. Chris,

    A few more things to note as it pertains to the office of pope of the universal church. In Paul’s writings to Timothy and Titus, why doesn’t he make it know about a pope (namely Peter) being the head of the universal church?

    Also, don’t you think that Peter would have talked about himself being the head of the universal church as well in his own epistles? How about we let Peter speak and see how he identifies himself when it comes to the early church:

    1 Peter 1:1 – an apostle of Jesus Christ
    1 Peter 5:1 – a fellow elder
    2 Peter 1:1 – a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ

    Nowhere in these scripture verses does Peter describe himself as the head of the universal church (a pope or a bishop of bishops), but that he is an equal with the other apostles and elders in the church. Don’t you think that in Peter’s own epistles would be the perfect time to set the record straight about what role he has in the church?

    Posted by Tim | February 4, 2012, 9:42 AM
  110. Hi Chris – What is the CHURCH? You seem to be hung up on the idea that there is one true INSTITUTION that is to be known as the one true church but is that correct?

    Today we use that word church differently than it was used when the Bible was written.

    Ekklesia is a Greek word that means a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly. In Act 19:32 it is used to describe the mob that assembled to kill Paul.

    Christ was calling people to leave the ways of the World behind and become part of his assembly. Anytime, anywhere that people who are true disciples of Christ come together it is a gathering of Christ’s CHURCH.

    If someone has REPENTED of their SINS (rejected the ways of the World) and put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ ALONE for the COMPLETE forgiveness of their SINS (become part of his assembly) then they are a TRUE disciple of Christ and a TRUE member of HIS Church.

    It doesn’t matter what name you put on the outside of the building or if you have differences of opinion about some of the non-essential beliefs like whether Baptism is immersion or sprinkling etc. FYI the RCC is wrong on that point – but they’re also wrong on the essentials of Salvation so that’s why I can call a Presbyterian a brother in Christ but wouldn’t say that about a Catholic.

    The claim that there is an unbroken line of authority which has passed down to Benedict XVI from the Apostle Peter is based solely on human tradition. Even if you want to believe that it started with Peter there is no guarantee that the present Roman Catholic lineage has remained true and pure. (check out Catholic history)

    There is a Coptic church not far from the building my local branch of my Protestant denomination uses to meet on Sundays for worship. They had and open house one summer so I went to check it out. They gave us a tour and talked about their history and explained how what is now the RCC broke away from the one true Church. They remained true to the teachings of the Apostles and the early church fathers and the rest of them went wonky.

    They have their own true Pope and consider all of the other Catholic versions as apostates.

    So who is right? And please don’t tell me that Rome is the center of the Universe.

    – BOB

    Posted by BOB | February 4, 2012, 12:51 PM
  111. Anybody want to share their opinions on this: http://youtu.be/tEnIUdL-luo

    A lot of what these people said sounds like what I understand to be the teachings of the RCC.

    Posted by BOB | February 4, 2012, 6:06 PM
  112. Yes, it does seem like teachings of RCC. I dont believe that they are as dangerous as the
    RCC. We should pray for both.Here’s something to think about. RCC changed the Sabbath. Most christians worship on Sunday, which follow the change made by them.I dont believe in the 7th day adventist. RCC is a “mother” church. Rev 17:5-“…BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH”
    RCC killed many christians. Rev 17:6-… drunk with the blood of the saints. Remember, I wrote of Babyion was sometimes used as a code word for Rome.Look at Rev 17:18-“And the woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.” Who has our presidents gave special honor to? what man do people give honor to, by bowing down? What man claims to be christ on earth? Think about it. Matt 24:15 and Mark 13:14 says ( let the reader understand), KJV says in 2Tim 2:15-Study to shew thyself approved unto God… and in Rev 1:3-” Blessed is he who reads…

    Posted by Donna 1op | February 5, 2012, 8:14 AM
  113. I want everyone who reads my comments to know that I do not hate anyone in the RCC, or any other . I dont set out to hurt people. I search for the truth. I studied on the RCC’s teaching harder than I have ever done.The comments made , were of people that held true to their beliefs. They convenced me to see if they were right. My beliefs are now stronger than ever.

    Posted by Donna 1op | February 5, 2012, 8:36 AM
  114. Just stumbled upon this:

    http://www.john1429.org/vidbox/engine/swf/player.swf?url=../../data/video/godonearth.FLV&volume=75

    What do you think?

    Posted by BOB | February 5, 2012, 3:55 PM
  115. Forgot to include this one too: http://networkedblogs.com/tA2by

    Posted by BOB | February 5, 2012, 3:57 PM
  116. yep, yep. U got it . There is much more.

    Posted by Donna 1op | February 5, 2012, 7:46 PM
  117. Shouldn’t she get excommunicated for this?

    “I am going to stick with fellow Catholics’ in supporting Obama birth control mandate”

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pelosi-i-am-going-to-stick-with-fellow-catholics-in-supporting-obama-birth

    Posted by BOB | February 8, 2012, 6:04 PM
  118. The most damnable and pernicious heresy that has ever plagued the mind of man was the idea that somehow he could make himself good enough to deserve to live with an all-holy God. ~ Martin Luther

    Posted by BOB | February 9, 2012, 11:29 AM
  119. [quote]The Scriptures require an authoritative body to interpret them authentically. What better authority than the compiler herself, i.e., the Catholic Church, to whom all Christians owe the Bible? [/quote]

    No where in the Bible does it state an authoritative body to interpret scriptures, unless you are willing to concede that the Holy Spirit is the authoritative body. The Catholic church did not compile the Bible, they only affirmed the books. It is the word of God not the word of the catholic church, it wasn’t written to us but for us.

    Times have changed and the locking up of the scriptures (before Christians were able to have their own Bibles) did nothing to further develop the church. With today’s technology of print and internet we find many valuable resources to aid in hermeneutics. Sola Scriptura does not imply a Bible only mentality and allows for use of commentaries and reading of early church fathers about interpretations (historically).

    Posted by java37 | February 13, 2012, 11:56 AM
  120. Would any of our Catholic friends like to comment on this?

    Mary’s Intercession Is Necessary For Our Salvation

    http://www.fatimacrusader.com/cr11/cr11pg29.asp

    Posted by BOB | February 22, 2012, 5:24 PM
  121. Bob, you said:

    Hi Chris – What is the CHURCH? You seem to be hung up on the idea that there is one true INSTITUTION that is to be known as the one true church but is that correct?

    Bob,
    The typical Protestant conception of the Church is that it is invisible. Though individuals may group together for fellowship and Bible study, their churches are really like clubs in a city. The real church, say Protestants, is the broad and unseen group of the saved.

    The Catholic Church, in contrast, teaches that the Church is a visible organization. Being a visible organization, it can be identified–it has marks. The marks are that it is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic–“one” in that it is a unified organization, “holy” in that it is an organization divinely established, “catholic” in that it is to embrace all of mankind, and “apostolic” in that a line of succession has been kept with the authority Christ passed to Peter and the apostles.

    Bob, here are some Bible references supporting the fact that The Church is Visible and One:

    Matt. 5:14 – Jesus says a city set on a hill cannot be hidden, and this is in reference to the Church. The Church is not an invisible, ethereal, atmospheric presence, but a single, visible and universal body through the Eucharist. The Church is an extension of the Incarnation.

    Matt. 12:25; Mark 3:25; Luke 11:17 – Jesus says a kingdom divided against itself is laid waste and will not stand. This describes Protestantism and the many thousands of denominations that continue to multiply each year.

    Matt. 16:18 – Jesus says, “I will build my ‘Church’ (not churches).” There is only one Church built upon one Rock with one teaching authority, not many different denominations, built upon various pastoral opinions and suggestions.

    Matt. 16:19; 18:18 – Jesus gave the apostles binding and loosing authority. But this authority requires a visible Church because “binding and loosing” are visible acts. The Church cannot be invisible, or it cannot bind and loose.

    John 10:16 – Jesus says there must only be one flock and one shepherd. This cannot mean many denominations and many pastors, all teaching different doctrines. Those outside the fold must be brought into the Church.

    John 17:11,21,23 – Jesus prays that His followers may be perfectly one as He is one with the Father. Jesus’ oneness with the Father is perfect. It can never be less. Thus, the oneness Jesus prays for cannot mean the varied divisions of Christianity that have resulted since the Protestant reformation. There is perfect oneness only in the Catholic Church.

    John 17:9-26 – Jesus’ prayer, of course, is perfectly effective, as evidenced by the miraculous unity of the Catholic Church during her 2,000 year history.

    John 17:21 – Jesus states that the visible unity of the Church would be a sign that He was sent by God. This is an extremely important verse. Jesus tells us that the unity of the Church is what bears witness to Him and the reality of who He is and what He came to do for us. There is only one Church that is universally united, and that is the Catholic Church. Only the unity of the Catholic Church truly bears witness to the reality that Jesus Christ was sent by the Father.

    Rom. 15:5 – Paul says that we as Christians must live in harmony with one another. But this can only happen if there is one Church with one body of faith. This can only happen by the charity of the Holy Spirit who dwells within the Church.

    Rom. 16:17 – Paul warns us to avoid those who create dissensions and difficulties. This includes those who break away from the Church and create one denomination after another. We need to avoid their teaching, and bring them back into the one fold of Christ.

    1 Cor. 1:10- Paul prays for no dissensions and disagreements among Christians, being of the same mind and the same judgment

    Bob, maybe you can provide some scripture references to support the “invisible” church.

    Bob, you said:
    The claim that there is an unbroken line of authority which has passed down to Benedict XVI from the Apostle Peter is based solely on human tradition. Even if you want to believe that it started with Peter there is no guarantee that the present Roman Catholic lineage has remained true and pure. (check out Catholic history)

    Posted by Chris | February 23, 2012, 4:12 AM
  122. Bob, here are some scripture references to support Peter’s Keys and Papal Succession:

    Jer. 33:17 – Jeremiah prophesies that David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the earthly House of Israel. Either this is a false prophecy, or David has a successor of representatives throughout history.

    Dan. 2:44 – Daniel prophesies an earthly kingdom that will never be destroyed. Either this is a false prophecy, or the earthly kingdom requires succession.

    Isa. 22:20 – in the old Davidic kingdom, Eliakim succeeds Shebna as the chief steward of the household of God. The kingdom employs a mechanism of dynastic succession. King David was dead for centuries, but his kingdom is preserved through a succession of representatives.

    Isa. 22:19 – Shebna is described as having an “office” and a “station.” An office, in order for it to be an office, has successors. In order for an earthly kingdom to last, a succession of representatives is required. This was the case in the Old Covenant kingdom, and it is the case in the New Covenant kingdom which fulfills the Old Covenant. Jesus our King is in heaven, but He has appointed a chief steward over His household with a plan for a succession of representatives.

    Isa. 22:21 – Eliakim is called “father” or “papa” of God’s people. The word Pope used by Catholics to describe the chief steward of the earthly kingdom simply means papa or father in Italian. This is why Catholics call the leader of the Church “Pope.” The Pope is the father of God’s people, the chief steward of the earthly kingdom and Christ’s representative on earth.

    Isa. 22:22 – we see that the keys of the kingdom pass from Shebna to Eliakim. Thus, the keys are used not only as a symbol of authority, but also to facilitate succession. The keys of Christ’s kingdom have passed from Peter to Linus all the way to our current Pope with an unbroken lineage for almost 2,000 years.

    Acts 1:20 – we see in the early Church that successors are immediately chosen for the apostles’ offices. Just as the Church replaced Judas, it also replaced Peter with a successor after Peter’s death.

    John 21:15-17; Luke 22:31-32 – Jesus’ creation of Peter’s office as chief shepherd with the keys passed to Linus, Cletus, Clement I, all the way to our current Holy Father.

    Matt. 23:2 – this shows that the Jews understood the importance of succession to the chair and its attendant authority. Here, Jesus respects Moses’ seat (“cathedra”) of authority which was preserved by succession. In the Church, Peter’s seat is called the “cathedra,” and when Peter’s successor speaks officially on a matter of faith or morals, it may rise to the level of an “ex cathedra” (from the chair) teaching.

    Eph. 3:21 – this divine word tells us that Jesus Christ’s Church will exist in all generations. Only the Catholic Church can prove by succession such existence. Our Protestant brothers and sisters become uncomfortable with this passage because it requires them to look for a Church that has existed for over 2,000 years. This means that all the other Christian denominations (some of which have been around even less than one year!) cannot be the church that Christ built upon the rock of Peter.

    Bob, maybe you can provide some scriptural references to show there was no such succession.

    Bob, here is a good site where you can read about what the catholic church is all about, i fear that your protestant indoctrination, causing you to hate all things catholic is really starting to get the better of you.
    When your “invisible” church tells you that the catholic church is “the whore of babylon” & that the pope is the “anti christ” you should be asking yourself: why does my pastor need to take cheap shots at the Catholic Church in order to build up his ministry?

    http://www.catholic.com/documents/pillar-of-fire-pillar-of-truth

    Posted by Chris | February 23, 2012, 4:42 AM
  123. Bob, you said:

    “There is a Coptic church not far from the building my local branch of my Protestant denomination uses to meet on Sundays for worship. They had and open house one summer so I went to check it out. They gave us a tour and talked about their history and explained how what is now the RCC broke away from the one true Church. They remained true to the teachings of the Apostles and the early church fathers and the rest of them went wonky.”

    Bob,

    The term “Catholic”, derived from the Greek word καθολικός (katholikos), which means “universal” or “general”, was first used to describe the Church in the early 2nd century.[13] The term katholikos is equivalent to καθόλου (katholou), a contraction of the phrase καθ’ ὅλου (kath’ holou) meaning “according to the whole”.[14] Thus the full name Catholic Church roughly means “universal” or “whole” church.

    The combination “the Catholic Church” (he katholike ekklesia) is found for the first time in the letter of St Ignatius, written about the year 110. The words run: “Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be, even as where Jesus may be, there is the universal [katholike] Church.”[15] Later, in the “Catechetical Discourses” of St. Cyril of Jerusalem we see the name “Catholic Church” to identify the church from various sects. St Cyril writes, “And if ever thou art sojourning in any city, inquire not simply where the Lord’s house is–for the sects of the profane also attempt to call their own dens, houses of the Lord–nor merely where the church is, but where is the Catholic Church. For this is the peculiar name of the holy body the mother of us all.”

    The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria[1] is the official name for the largest Christian church in Egypt and the Middle East. The Church belongs to the Oriental Orthodox family of churches, which has been a distinct church body since the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, when it took a different position over Christological theology.

    So there you have it Bob, it was the copts who broke away in 451 AD! By the way, notice how the quotes by St Ignatius & St Cyril describe a very visible church. Wikipedia is great isn’t it!

    Posted by Chris | February 23, 2012, 5:04 AM
  124. Bob, in reference to your “fatima crusader” website which i didn’t even bother to look at (having seen the derogatory & un christian nature of the other websites you posted), below is what the early Christians had to say about the Mother of God, when you read the quotes you can’t help but think:

    * wow these early Christians sure do sound Catholic don’t they?

    * Just for the record Bob if you refer to the catholic catechism you will note that catholics venerate Mary not worship Her! ” all generations will call me blessed”….Mary here inspired by the Holy Spirit must have been talking about us catholics since we venerate Her & are the only Christians that have been around “all generations”

    Mary is our Powerful Intercessor:

    “For as Eve was seduced by the word of an angel to flee from God, having rebelled against His Word, so Mary by the word of an angel received the glad tidings that she would bear God by obeying his Word. The former was seduced to disobey God, but the latter was persuaded to obey God, so that the Virgin Mary might become the advocate of the virgin Eve. As the human race was subjected to death through [the act of] a virgin, so it was saved by a virgin.” Irenaeus, Against Heresies, V:19,1 (A.D. 180).

    “Under your mercy we take refuge, O Mother of God. Do not reject our supplications in necessity, but deliver us from danger,[O you] alone pure and alone blessed.” Sub Tuum Praesidium, From Rylands Papyrus, Egypt (3rd century).

    “Let, then, the life of Mary be as it were virginity itself, set forth in a likeness, from which, as from a mirror, the appearance of chastity and the form of virtue is reflected…. Nor would I hesitate to admit you to the altars of God, whose souls I would without hesitation call altars, on which Christ is daily offered for the redemption of the body. For if the virgin’s body be a temple of God, what is her soul, which, the ashes, as it were, of the body being shaken off, once more uncovered by the hand of the Eternal Priest, exhales the vapor of the divine fire. Blessed virgins, who emit a fragrance through divine grace as gardens do through flowers, temples through religion, altars through the priest.” Ambrose, On Virginity II:6,18 (A.D. 378).

    “Recalling these and other circumstances and imploring the Virgin Mary to bring assistance, since she, too, was a virgin and had been in danger, she entrusted herself to the remedy of fasting and sleeping on the ground.” Gregory of Nazianzen, Oration 24:11 (A.D. 379).

    “For it is said that he [Gregory the Wonderworker] heard the one who had appeared in womanly form exhorting John the Evangelist to explain to the young man the mystery of the true faith. John, in his turn, declared that he was completely willing to please the Mother of the Lord even in this matter and this was the one thing closest to his heart. And so the discussion coming to a close, and after they had made it quite clear and precise for him, the two disappeared from his sight.” Gregory of Nyssa, On Gregory the WonderWorker (A.D. 380).

    “Mary, the holy Virgin, is truly great before God and men. For how shall we not proclaim her great, who held within her the uncontainable One, whom neither heaven nor earth can contain?” Epiphanius, Panarion, 30:31 (ante A.D. 403).

    “Give milk, Mother to him who is our food, give milk to the bread coming down from heaven …give milk to him who made you such that he could be made fruitfulness in conception and in birth, did not take from you the ornament of virginity.” Augustine, Sermon 369:1 (A.D. 430).

    “Hail to thee Mary, Mother of God, to whom in towns and villages and in island were founded churches of true believers.” Cyril of Alexandria, Homily 11 (ante A.D. 444).

    “Hail, our desirable gladness; Hail, O rejoicing of the Churches; Hail, O name that breathes out sweetness; Hail, face that radiates divinity and grace; Hail, most venerable memory…” Theodotus of Ancrya, Homily 4:3 (ante A.D. 446).

    “The Virgin’s festival (parthenike panegyris) incites our tongue today to herald her praise …handmaid and Mother, Virgin and heaven, the only bridge of God to men, the awful loom of the Incarnation, in which by some unspeakable way the garment of that union was woven, whereof the weaver is the Holy Ghost; and the spinner the overshadowing from on high; the wool the ancient fleece of Adam; the woof the undefiled flesh from the virgin, the weaver’s shuttle the immense grace of Him who brought it about; the artificer the Word gliding through the hearing.” Proclus of Constantinople, Homily 1 (ante A.D. 446).

    “The Virgin received Salvation so that she may give it back to the centuries.” Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 140 (ante A.D. 450).

    “O Virgin all holy, he who has said of you all that is honorable and glorious has not sinned against the truth, but remains unequal to your merit. Look down upon us from above and be propitious to us. Lead us in peace and having brought us without shame to the throne of judgment, grant us a place at the right hand of your Son, that we may borne off to heaven and sing with angels to the uncreated, consubstantial Trinity. ” Basil of Seleucia, PG 85:452 (ante A.D. 459).

    “Cease your laments; I will make myself your advocate in my Son’s presence. Meanwhile, no more sadness, because I have brought joy to the world. For it is to destroy the kingdom of sorrow that I have come into the world: I full of grace … Then curb your tears; accept me as your mediatrix in the presence of him who was born from me, because the author of joy is the God generated before all ages. Remain calm; be troubled no longer: I come from him, full of grace.” Romanos the Singer, On Christmas 2,10-11 (ante A.D. 560).

    “Raised to heaven, she remains for the human race an unconquerable rampart, interceding for us before her Son and God.” Theoteknos of Livias, Assumption 291(ante A.D. 560).

    “Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, because thou didst conceive Christ, the Son of God, the Redeemer of our souls.” Coptic Ostraca (A.D. 600).

    “Mary the Ever-Virgin — radiant with divine light and full of grace, mediatrix first through her supernatural birth and now because of the intercession of her maternal assistance — be crowned with never ending blessings …seeking balance and fittingness in all things, we should make our way honestly, as sons of light.” Germanus of Constantinople, Homily on the Liberation of Constantinople, 23 (ante A.D. 733).

    “O, how marvelous it is! She acts as a mediatrix between the loftiness of God and the lowliness of the flesh, and becomes Mother of the Creator.” Andrew of Crete, Homily 1 on Mary’s Nativity (ante A.D. 740).

    “She is all beautiful, all near to God. For she, surpassing the cherubim. Exalted beyond the seraphim, is placed near to God.” John of Damascene, Homily on the Nativity, 9 (ante A.D. 749).

    “We today also remain near you, O Lady. Yes, I repeat, O Lady, Mother of God and Virgin. We bind our souls to your hope, as to a most firm and totally unbreakable anchor, consecrating to you mind, soul, body, and all our being and honoring you, as much as we can, with psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles.” John of Damascene, Homily 1 on the Dormition, 14 (ante A.D. 749).

    “Let us entrust ourselves with all our soul’s affection to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin: let us all, with all our strength, beg her patronage, that, at the moment when on earth we surround her with our suppliant homage, she herself may deign in heaven to commend us with fervent prayer. For without any doubt she who merited to bring ransom for those who needed deliverance, can more than all the saints benefit by her favor those who have received deliverance.” Ambrose Autpert, Assumption of the Virgin, (ante A.D. 778).

    “Let us approach with confident spirit the throne of the high Priest, where he is our victim, priest, advocate and judge.” Radbert Paschasius, On the Assumption (ante A.D. 786).

    “For she who brought forth the source of mercy, Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, receiving from him all things, will and through him, grant the wishes of all.” Paul the Deacon, (ante A.D. 799).

    “You scatter your favors with still greater abundance since you possess more fully him who is their source and who is entirely willing to give them to us, rather you possess almost everything by yourself and you show largesse to whom you will and to him who begs it of you.” John the Geometer, Life of Mary (A.D. 989).

    “May we deserve to have the help of your intercession in heaven, because as the Son of God has deigned to descend to us through you, so we also must come to him with you.” Peter Damian, (ante A.D. 1072).

    “The Mother of God is our mother. May the good mother ask and beg for us, may she request and obtain what is good for us.” Anselm, Oration 7(ante A.D. 1109).

    “O whoever you may be who feel yourself on the tide of this world drifting in storms and tempests rather than treading firm ground, turn not your eyes from the effulgence of this star, unless you wish to be submerged … if she holds you, you do not fall, if she protects you, you have no fear; with her to lead you, you tire not; with her favour, you will reach your goal, conscious thus within yourself how rightly the word was spoken: ‘And the Virgin’s name was Mary.'” Bernard, Homily 2:17, Respice stellam (ante A.D. 1153).

    Top

    Posted by Chris | February 23, 2012, 5:27 AM
  125. Thanks for the reply Chris, I haven’t had time to look through everything you said but I did want to make one observation.

    You said that you didn’t bother to look at some of the stuff I posted because you consider it derogatory and un Christian.

    If you are serious about this dialogue then you should take a serious look at what I post rather than just ignoring it because you don’t like it. From my perspective as a Christian there are LOTS of things about the Catholic church that I consider un Christian and derogatory towards true Biblical Christianity but I don’t use that as an excuse for not addressing those issues.

    :-(

    Posted by BOB | February 23, 2012, 8:40 AM
  126. Bob, I think i have more than addressed the issues you have presented. What i said was that I didn’t bother to look at the “fatima crusader” site. I did look at the other sites you posted & i have to say they are mostly very cliche anti catholic protestant propaganda ….nothing i have not seen or heard before. My point is that if i want to learn about the Catholic faith & it’s teachings then I will go to the source. I will go to see what the Magesterium of the Catholic church has to say, I will refer to the Catholic Catechism….not some fringe sect self appointing itself as a religious authority …..

    Bob, judging from some of your post , one of the “unchristian” issues you have with the CC is to do with IDOLATARY. Here is a defense of the CC in regards to this claim:

    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/do-catholics-worship-statues.

    ” True Biblical Christianity” you mean like the concept of Sola Scriptura ( one of the pillars of protestantism) which can no where be found in the Bible!

    By virtue of the divinely-appointed authority, the Catholic Church determined the canon of Scripture (what books belong in the Bible) at the end of the fourth century. We therefore believe in the Scriptures on the authority of the Catholic Church. After all, nothing in Scripture tells us what Scriptures are inspired, what books belong in the Bible, or that Scripture is the final authority on questions concerning the Christian faith. Instead, the Bible says that the Church, not the Scriptures, is the pinnacle and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15) and the final arbiter on questions of the Christian faith (Matt. 18:17). It is through the teaching authority and Apostolic Tradition (2 Thess. 2:15; 3:6; 1 Cor. 11:2) of this Church, who is guided by the Holy Spirit (John 14:16,26; 16:13), that we know of the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, and the manifold wisdom of God. (cf. Ephesians 3:10).

    Gen. to Rev. – Scripture never says that Scripture is the sole infallible authority for God’s Word. Scripture also mandates the use of tradition. This fact alone disproves sola Scriptura.

    Gen. to Rev. – Protestants must admit that knowing what books belong in the Bible is necessary for our salvation. However, because the Bible has no “inspired contents page,” you must look outside the Bible to see how its books were selected. This destroys the sola Scriptura theory. The canon of Scripture is a Revelation from God which is necessary for our salvation, and which comes from outside the Bible. Instead, this Revelation was given by God to the Catholic Church, the pinnacle and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15).

    Bob, i think before we go on with discussing other catholic doctrine, you need to address the sola scriptura issue. It’s very hard for me to take protestant arguements seriously when they can’t even show scriptural evidence to support a pillar of its foundations.

    Posted by Chris | February 23, 2012, 6:14 PM
  127. Bob, on Feb the 8th you referred to a lifesite news article website & you said:

    “I am going to stick with fellow Catholics’ in supporting Obama birth control mandate”

    Bob,
    Christians have always condemned contraceptive sex. Both forms mentioned in the Bible, coitus interruptus and sterilization, are condemned without exception (Gen. 38:9–10, Deut. 23:1). The early Fathers recognized that the purpose of sexual intercourse in natural law is procreation; contraceptive sex, which deliberately blocks that purpose, is a violation of natural law.

    Every church in Christendom condemned contraception until 1930, when, at its decennial Lambeth Conference, Anglicanism gave permission for the use of contraception in a few cases. Soon all Protestant denominations had adopted the secularist position on contraception. Today not one stands with the Catholic Church to maintain the ancient Christian faith on this issue.

    Ok, so there are many cafeteria catholics around who pick & choose what church teachings to follow & obey …so what? What is your point? Sadly this is a product of secularism & relativism. But, at least The Catholic Church teaching has remained true to the Bible unlike that of protestant denominations . This can also be said in the case of divorce, gay marriage, abortion. The fact Bob that you support obama’s birth control mandate goes to show that you are not a “true bible christian” at all !

    Posted by Chris | February 24, 2012, 3:01 AM
  128. Dear Chris:

    This is my reply to your most recent post of February 24.

    I would like to reply to the other things you have posted but I haven’t had the time to take a careful look at the information that you have provided.

    Taking time to review what is said and honestly trying to understanding what the other person’s position really is are truly important to me. That’s always the first step in the search for truth. Carefully identifying the opposing points of view and then sorting out the facts being presented.

    Clearly truth is not important to you!

    Taking time to understanding the facts being presented doesn’t really interest you. To me it seems that all you want to do is mindlessly spew Catholic dogma. You refuse to even look at what I post.

    In my post of February 8, I stated:

    Shouldn’t she get excommunicated for this?
    “I am going to stick with fellow Catholics’ in supporting Obama birth control mandate”

    You will note that there are quotation marks around the words, this is a quote from Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi is the “she” that I was referring to in this post. This is Pelosi’s opinion.

    At the conclusion of your post February 24 post you stated:

    “The fact Bob that you support obama’s birth control mandate goes to show that you are not a “true bible christian” at all !”

    What ever gave you the idea that I support Obama’s birth control mandate? I was simply quoting Nancy Pelosi!

    It is not a “fact” that I support this and yet you are making that claim. Your claim is compete fantasy!

    Were you too lazy to even look at the link (http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pelosi-i-am-going-to-stick-with-fellow-catholics-in-supporting-obama-birth) and even take 2 seconds to think about what I was asking?

    This example of your inability or unwillingness to get some of the most basic FACTS in this discussion straight really points out the FACT that your mind is clouded and confused and not open to understanding.

    This type of knee-jerk response that you have just provided just proves to me that you really are not interested in a search for true understanding on any of the topics we have touched on. Your mind is closed and your only interest is in defending your position regardless of what anyone else has to say. You are just looking for excuses to condemn anyone who opposes you. Your intent is entirely self-serving.

    I have honestly looked at what you have said and carefully considered your position but YOU don’t even have the decency to grant me that same courtesy.

    God is not afraid of the truth!

    It’s the Devil that lies and deceives and wants to create confusion.

    Chris your mind is confused!

    Chris will you now be honestly willing to search for the truth with an open mind or are you going to continue reacting out of ignorance?

    Posted by BOB | February 24, 2012, 8:58 AM
  129. Bob, you said:

    In my post of February 8, I stated:

    Shouldn’t she get excommunicated for this?
    “I am going to stick with fellow Catholics’ in supporting Obama birth control mandate
    What ever gave you the idea that I support Obama’s birth control mandate? I was simply quoting Nancy Pelosi!

    My bad here Bob & I apologise, but it doesn’t change the TRUTH of what I said:

    “Every church in Christendom condemned contraception until 1930, when, at its decennial Lambeth Conference, Anglicanism gave permission for the use of contraception in a few cases. Soon all Protestant denominations had adopted the secularist position on contraception. Today not one stands with the Catholic Church to maintain the ancient Christian faith on this issue.”

    Bob, you said:

    “Clearly truth is not important to you!

    Taking time to understanding the facts being presented doesn’t really interest you. To me it seems that all you want to do is mindlessly spew Catholic dogma. You refuse to even look at what I post.”

    Really Bob! You think truth is not important to me just because i don’t agree with your version of it!

    What facts Bob? most of what you have presented is opinion!

    Bob, it is you Kelly & Tim that are “mindlessy spewing Catholic dogma” Im just providing a defense of the dogma.
    What I have “spewed ” out is heaps of Bible references supporting “catholic dogma”

    Bob, be honest,your intention in posting that lifesite news website on feb 8 was to ridicule the catholic faith by making the point that Catholics do not listen & obey church teachings particularly regarding contraception.

    I suspect that the real reason you are so upset is because my response on feb24:

    “But, at least The Catholic Church teaching has remained true to the Bible unlike that of protestant denominations . This can also be said in the case of divorce, gay marriage, abortion.”

    has left you with egg on your face!

    Bob, with the exception of the 1 time i misquoted you, I have given you clear & concise responses to all of your posts (which is more than i can say for you)! This hardly justifies you calling me lazy, confused, self serving, close minded & even going so far as to infer that the devil is the cause of my confusion hehehe! But I see here that you are merely keeping in line with that great protestant tradition of demonising catholics for the simple fact that you can’t support your own position.

    Oh & ignorant too….you also said i was ignorant.

    :-)

    Posted by Chris | February 24, 2012, 1:27 PM
  130. Chris I’m not upset by anything you have said here. I really don’t care what the RCC teaches about contraception and that’s not the point of what I’m trying to say. I’m talking about you Chris and your attitude.

    I said you reacted OUT OF IGNORANCE which simply means that you didn’t know what you were talking about which you have admitted. Thank you for the apology.

    I’m not saying that TRUTH is unimportant to you because we disagree. I’m saying that because you aren’t paying attention to what is being posted here. You are jumping to (wrong) conclusions. You are sloppy when dealing with information. If TRUTH is important to you then you better make sure you understand what is being said.

    My point is simply this – you aren’t taking the time or investing the energy to look at what is going on here.

    This isn’t the first time you have ignored what I have posted.

    February 23 I posted this:

    “You said that you didn’t bother to look at some of the stuff I posted because you consider it derogatory and un Christian.

    If you are serious about this dialogue then you should take a serious look at what I post rather than just ignoring it because you don’t like it. From my perspective as a Christian there are LOTS of things about the Catholic church that I consider un Christian and derogatory towards true Biblical Christianity but I don’t use that as an excuse for not addressing those issues.”

    Things have gotten worse with you instead of better and this latest post is once again another example of how you confuse what I am saying and come to the wrong conclusion.

    This makes any dialogue about the Bible or the RCC pointless because you can’t even get something as basic as my comments posted here straight. If your understanding of the Bible is as messed up as what I see you doing with my words then I see no hope for you.

    My prayer for you Chris is that God would grant you true repentance, you would surrender your will to Him and put your faith in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation and that His Word would be opened to you by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Open your eyes Chris.

    Posted by BOB | February 25, 2012, 10:04 AM
  131. Bob, with all due respect it is you that needs to open their eyes! You said:

    “From my perspective as a Christian there are LOTS of things about the Catholic church that I consider un Christian and derogatory towards true Biblical Christianity”….

    I suspected way before this post of yours that your mind was completely closed to the truth & therefore any real dialogue, this post merely confirmed it.

    You said:
    “I said you reacted OUT OF IGNORANCE which simply means that you didn’t know what you were talking about which you have admitted. Thank you for the apology.”

    Your welcome! But, though I made the mistake of attributing pelosi’s quote to you(that is all i admit to) this in no way demonstrates that I do not know what I am talking about. The fact that I know what I am talking about is clearly evident. Your lifesite news post you posted on Feb8 has absolutely no relevance to the debate we have been having. Your intention in posting it was obviously to cause ridicule to the Catholic faith. My Post in response on Feb24 threw this ridicule back in your face by showing how protestanism has completely capitulated to secularism with regards to contraception, divorce, gay marriage & abortion…thus showing that it is not “true Bible Christianity” at all!

    In response to this all you have to say is:
    “I really don’t care what the RCC teaches about contraception…..” Talk about ignorance & not paying attention!

    Speaking of not paying attention & not taking a serious look at what has been posted, you have still failed to address the following:

    #”Bob, i think before we go on with discussing other catholic doctrine, you need to address the sola scriptura issue. It’s very hard for me to take protestant arguements seriously when they can’t even show scriptural evidence to support a pillar of its foundations.” posted feb 23

    #Bob, maybe you can provide some scriptural references to show there was no such succession Feb 23

    #Bob, maybe you can provide some scripture references to support the “invisible” church Feb 23

    # Is the “false Gospel” that Christ built his church on Peter’s “confession” the only thing you have linking your church to the original church, the church of the bible? If not could you please explain what other links there are & how the link is made? Feb2

    # Since you refute the fact that the Catholic Church is the church of the bible, can you please point out to me which of the 38000 different protestant churches in existence today is that very same church that Christ established?Feb2

    # If the Catholic church didn’t establish the canon of scripture thus giving us the bible can you tell me which church did? I would imagine being a “bible christian” this would be easy for you to answer. FEB 2

    # Since the early church community existed before the canon of scripture was formulated thus giving us the bible. Obviously then early christians didn’t subscribe to your “false Gospel” of sola scriptura ( since they didn’t have a bible to go on). Can you please point out where this invented doctrine is in the bible. I expect to see the words Bible alone in your use of scripture references! Could you please give your answer in light of (1 Tim 3,15) ” the church is the pillar & bulwark of the truth.”Feb2

    My goodness & you have the hide to get all high & mighty because i made 1 small error which in no way negated the point i was making & say that i am not paying attention to the posts! That’s laughable Bob! Based on this 1 small error on my part you have the audacity to say:

    “Things have gotten worse with you instead of better and this latest post is once again another example of how you confuse what I am saying and come to the wrong conclusion.

    This makes any dialogue about the Bible or the RCC pointless because you can’t even get something as basic as my comments posted here straight. If your understanding of the Bible is as messed up as what I see you doing with my words then I see no hope for you.”

    Bob, apart from this pelosi quote error can you show me another example where I have confused what you where saying and where I came to the wrong conclusion.?

    In regards to your comment:
    “If your understanding of the Bible is as messed up as what I see you doing with my words then I see no hope for you.”

    Wow, that is a bit rich coming from you Bob seeing as your understanding of the Bible is so limited that you haven’t even been able to answer my questions above let alone give bible references for sola scriptura hehehe! Why don’t you demonstrate that my understanding of the Bible is messed up! Unlike you I Have given you tonnes of bible references to support the Catholic position.

    It’s ok Bob, i won’t be holding my breath. I am surmising from this last comment of yours that you are blowing the pelosi quote error way out of proportion to cowardly weasel your way out of answering my questions & continuing this dialogue. I at least can hold my head high. Any body who takes an honest look at what has transpired here will be able to see my use of Bible references, quotes from the church fathers & even quotes from protestant historians & scholars ( all of which i have referenced so they can check out the truth for themsleves) to support the Truth of the catholic church which Christ established. This is a stark contrast to your posts. They will also recognise the fact that I did not resort to demonising, name calling or to posting irrelevant websites with the aim of ridiculing the catholic faith & distracting from the .issues being discussed.

    Posted by Chris | February 25, 2012, 1:30 PM
  132. Here are some examples of protestant attempts to demonise the Catholic Faith. I wonder why the need to do this!

    Anyone care to comment……

    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/anti-catholic-whoppers

    Posted by Chris | February 26, 2012, 2:58 AM
  133. Here is some more info on Apostolic succession.

    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/apostolic-succession

    Posted by Chris | February 26, 2012, 3:07 AM
  134. Hello Chris. You have been busy at these posts again. I thought you said you were “done”? Chris, I am glad to see you back, but frankly all that you are doing is showing how you have been deceived in the RCC teachings. From Scripture I demonstrated that “Purgatory” was un-Biblical, against the gospel, and frankly another perversion of the gospel message. I demonstrated that from the Scriptures there was no proof or reasonable perspective that Peter was the Pope over in authority of the church. I was very gracious to you, as you even stated. There are various things you did not reply to from previous discussions, thus you come back to address Bob with your merry go round posts.

    Chris, I am going to be very direct with you. Any posts from now on that you do not provide SCRIPTURAL beliefs on with your comments, they will not be published. I really do not want to push you away, that is not my intention at all. What I wish to see is actual Bible discussions, not this guy said such and such, or this site says such and such. You have shared many things here, but for me the heart of all of this is what does God’s Word say or teach. So Chris, if you wish to continue in posting here what is before you is to share from the Scriptures what you believe them to be teaching, not what you believe the church fathers or some catholic sites. If you believe this is to hard, then what you have to admit is that you are going outside of the Scriptures for what you believe and are not standing on God’s Word for truth.

    Now to be fair, let me state this clearly, FROM now on, anyone who posts here with just a link, it will not be published, cause that is not a real discussion. If someone wishes to post a link, the person will need to give some Scriptural reasons on what and why they are sharing what they are sharing.

    So as this article addresses, the gospel of the RCC is another gospel, it is not the gospel of what the New Testament teaches for salvation and eternal life. The RCC teaches many things like sacraments, Purgatory, necessity of Mary in salvation process, which are contrary to the simplicity message of the true gospel. How about we focus on what matters most, “What must a person believe to be saved?”

    Posted by Kelly Powers | February 26, 2012, 11:10 PM
  135. Dear kelly, Once again thank you for being so gracious. I was done, but i felt Bob was being provocative & so I felt compelled to reply to his posts. Contrary to your opinion, my “merry go round posts” have conclusively shown that Purgatory is a biblical fact! I would refer you to my post on Jan 20 where i gave bible references relating to purgatory. I believe Br Ruben also gave extensive bible references pertaining to purgatory in his post on Jan 2. Like wise, my “merry go round “post on Jan 27 gives extensive bible references conclusively showing that Peter was the leader of the early church. The fact that you fail to acknowledge the biblical evidence just goes to prove how strongly you are bound to your protestant human traditions. I fear that it is you that has been deceived!

    Speaking of deception I find it astounding that the protestant bible does not contain 1&2 Maccabees in its Old Testament, which clearly proves the doctrine of purgatory(refer to my post Jan 20). Luther obviously omitted these books because they did not fit in with his newly invented theology. Yet 1&2 maccabees where good enough for Jesus:

    In St. John 10, 22-36 Our Lord & the Apostles observed the key feast of the Dedication, or Hanukkah, which celebrates events only recorded in 1 & 2 Maccabees from which I quoted in relation to the doctrine of purgatory.

    Why would a “bible Christian” choose Luther over Our Lord???

    Kelly, you said:

    “So Chris, if you wish to continue in posting here what is before you is to share from the Scriptures what you believe them to be teaching, not what you believe the church fathers or some catholic sites. If you believe this is to hard, then what you have to admit is that you are going outside of the Scriptures for what you believe and are not standing on God’s Word for truth.”

    I would like to point out kelly that apart from church fathers, catholic websites, & Protestant scholars & historians, I have extensively quoted from the scriptures! So no! it’s not too hard for me in fact as reflected in my posts it hasn’t been hard at all. What you have said here brings up another great deception. The false gospel of sola scriptura!

    The silence of Scripture on sola scriptura is deafening. But when it comes to the true authority of Scripture and Tradition and to the teaching and governing authority of the Church, the text is clear:

    “If your brother sins against you go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. . . . But if he does not listen, take one or two others with you. . . . If he refuses to listen . . . tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. (Matt. 18:15-17)”

    According to Scripture, the Church is the final court of appeal for the people of God in matters of faith, morals, and discipline.

    Kelly, i am more than happy to play by these rules but, where you even aware that scripture itself goes outside of scripture? For example:

    Jude 6-9 : ” yet when Michael the archangel was fiercly disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, he did not venture to bring against him an accusation of blasphemy, but said ‘may the lord rebuke thee’.”

    This reference to Michael’s altercation with the devil over the body of Moses was taken from some tradition apparently familiar to the readers he was addressing but nowhere recorded in scripture!

    So i have to ask, if it is ok for scripture to go outside of scripture well why can’t we?…I’m sure you would note that this also destroys the concept of sola scriptura.

    Posted by Chris | February 27, 2012, 7:03 AM
  136. Hi Chris. I will give a reply to what shared very soon. ttyl

    Posted by Kelly Powers | February 27, 2012, 8:03 AM
  137. I believe we can study the scriptures for ourselves. In 2 Tim 2:15, tells us to study . We rely on the Holy Spirit to teach us what it says, John 14:26. In Heb. 8:10 to 12, it says that He will put His laws in our minds and He will write them on our heart. In verse 11, it says, For all shall know Me.
    The “real” church is to come, it is not here yet. Heb 13:14- For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come. Heb 11:10- for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Heb 12:22- But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the myriads of angels( notes: or angels in festal assembly, and to the church), verse 23- to the general assembly and church of the first born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect.
    We are not to add to the Bible what ever we want. Rev22:18- I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book : if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book;
    We can read or listen to others, but the scripture, and the Holy Spirit who teaches us,is what we should go by. Everything else is opinions.

    Posted by Donna 1op | February 28, 2012, 12:38 PM
  138. Donna, thanks for sharing, some good points.

    Chris, I have to apologize, I just have not gotten to replying yet, please hold on a little longer, I will try to get a reply Thurs or Fri. I am busy these next few nights. I prefer discussions based upon quality, not quantity.

    Posted by Kelly Powers | February 28, 2012, 9:59 PM
  139. Hi Donna,

    Donna, every difference between catholics & protestants ultimately stems from their beliefs about the source of God – given authority in this world.

    Protestants claim that the Bible is the sole infallible authority (sola scriptura). For you church is a friendly gathering of believers, all of whom have their own authority to interpret the bible for themselves, ( although in many protestant denominations some have more “authority” than others).

    Catholics believe that to be a Christian is to be part of the original apostolic tradition conveyed to the world by those appointed by Christ himself. The catholic church authority to declare christian truth comes directly from God-made flesh. Catholics look to the church for God’s word as revealed not only in scripture but also in the apostolic tradition. Thus, sacred scripture & apostolic tradition constitute the full deposit of faith. On matters of christian faith, while it is important to demonstrate that a teaching is biblical, for catholics, the real question is whether or not it is consistent with the teachings of the catholic church ” the pillar & bullwark of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15).

    As can be seen in our discussions here, comparing & debating catholic & protestant doctrines is futile when neither party respects the others claim to authority.

    So the big question is: who has that God – given authority!

    I have already stated the biblical evidence supporting the fact that the Catholic Church is the church of the bible that Christ himself established upon Peter the Rock & that the catholic church has God-given authority. I would refer you to my posts on January 24,25,27,28, 29 & February 23.

    Now, lets take a look at Sola scriptura!

    Is it true that God has revealed nothing outside of scripture that is necessary for salvation?

    NO! This is not true! For example, all christians would agree that knowing which books belong in the canon of scripture(the bible) is necessary for our salvation. Without this knowledge, non inspired writings might be confused with divine revelation which would be detrimental to our salvation.

    One problem with sola scriptura is that nowhere does the bible say which books are to be included in the bible or which are divinley inspired. This fact forces us to look outside the bible to understand how its canon was determined. This is a glaring contradiction to the theory of sola scriptura. The canon of scripture so necessary for our salvation was defined by the Catholic church, at regional councils in Rome in A.D .382, Hippo in 393, & Carthage in 397. Therefore, christians who accept the canon of scripture are accepting an infallible decision made by the Catholic church.

    Does the bible instruct us to follow the bible alone?

    NO! Nowhere in scripture does Christ or any apostle command the faithful to observe only what is found in the scriptures. In Matthew 28:20 Jesus says “observe all that i have commanded you.” And yet we also know that not all that Jesus taught was recorded in scripture ( see Jn20:30), if it where John writes ….”the world itself could not contain the books that would be written”(Jn21:25)

    On the other hand, the bible is full of references emphasising the importance of following sacred apostolic tradition, here are a couple:

    Acts 2:42 ” and they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching & fellowship, to the breaking of bread & the prayers”

    1 Cor 11:2 ” I commend you because you remember me in everything & maintain the traditions even as i have delivered them to you”

    One of the most compelling examples of the early church’s use of apostolic tradition to teach the faith came at the council of Jerusalem as recorded in Acts 15. The church had to decide whether or not christians had to be circumcised. If the church took a sola scriptura approach she would have undoubtedly imposed a circumcision requirement on new christians. After all according to scripture,circumcision was the sign of God’s everlasting covenant with Abraham (Gen 17:11, Rom 4:11).

    As we know, the church did not impose a circumcision requirement. Based on a teaching of Christ
    that He entrusted to the apostles ( not the scriptures) Peter declares that Jews & gentiles are not saved by circumcision but by the Grace of our Lord Jesus (Acts 15:10-11).

    Donna, you said:

    Posted by Chris | February 29, 2012, 5:35 AM
  140. Donna, you said:

    I believe we can study the scriptures for ourselves. In 2 Tim 2:15, tells us to study . We rely on the Holy Spirit to teach us what it says, John 14:26. In Heb. 8:10 to 12, it says that He will put His laws in our minds and He will write them on our heart. In verse 11, it says, For all shall know Me.

    Yes Donna, I agree, but if your interpretation of scripture is not consistent with the teachings of the catholic church ” the pillar & bullwark of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15), then quite simply it is wrong & not guided by the Holy Spirit at all!

    If God’s written word was so clear & easy to interpret & no resource outside of the bible is required to help interpret it, then there wouldn’t be so many doctrinal divisions among protestants.

    The scriptures themselves teach that the word of God is not as easy to interpret as you suggest. For example :

    in Acts 8:29-39 Phillip encounters the Ethiopian eunuch reading isaiah the prophet, & asks “do you understand what you are reading?” The eunuch responds “how can i, unless someone guides me”

    Heb 5:12 ” For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principals of God’s word”

    Donna, you said:

    “The “real” church is to come, it is not here yet…”

    your interpretation here is a complete contradiction to :

    “the church is the pillar & bullwark of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15),

    Eph. 3:21 – this divine word tells us that Jesus Christ’s Church will exist in all generations. Only the Catholic Church can prove by succession such existence. Our Protestant brothers and sisters become uncomfortable with this passage because it requires them to look for a Church that has existed for over 2,000 years. This means that all the other Christian denominations (some of which have been around even less than one year!) cannot be the church that Christ built upon the rock of Peter.

    I’m sorry Donna but because i believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God & that there is no contradiction in what God has reveled to us, I’m going to have to say that you where guided by the wrong spirit on this one!

    Donna you said:

    We can read or listen to others, but the scripture, and the Holy Spirit who teaches us,is what we should go by. Everything else is opinions.

    I have shown that this idea of “scripture alone” is not biblical! i think you have it the wrong way around. It should be : The infallible teachings of the catholic church guided by the Holy Spirit is what we should go by & everything else is opinion.

    Posted by Chris | February 29, 2012, 6:09 AM
  141. Hi Chris
    Who has the God – given authority to interpret the Bible? Anyone He calls or choses.John 15:16. We receive the Holy Spirit, He leads and guides us into all truth, John 16:3. You have not proved to me the Catholic church is the “true ” church. I have not read anything that says that. We know from the history books that the first group of Christians, were Jews who believed in Jesus, worshiped on the Sabbath Saturday, who met in different homes of people. They had no physical church. The catholic church is not infalible. Rom 3:23- for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Scripture is the word of God , and if u believe that then, u must also believe that God is infalible.John 1:1- In the begining was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Heb 4:12- For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit of both joints and marrow and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
    1 Tim 3:15- ..the household of God, which is the church of the living God , the pillar and support of the truth. It does not say the catholic church. Rev11:19- And the temple(sanctuary) of God which is in heaven
    The temple of Moses time was a shadow of the church or temple in heaven. If there were a church here on earth, then it would be in Jerusalem. Eph 3:21- to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.Amen. You have to believe that there is a true church building on earth that He set up before u can believe the way u stated it. Eph 2:21 to 22- in whom the whole building being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. Those who are saved, have the gift of the Holy Spirit. He is promised to all believers Acts 2:17-…That I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind.. Matt 23:8- But do not be called Rabbi; for One is you Teacher, and you are all brothers. verse 9- And do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. verse 10- And do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader that is, Christ.

    Posted by Donna 1op | March 2, 2012, 5:56 PM
  142. Bob, Tim, Donna, etc. Just so you know I have chosen to now not allow any more posts of Chris here for a few reasons.

    1. He had a recent 16 post rant on various articles, including this one, which he copied and pasted info word for word from other sites, and he did not even give credit for the info being from other sites or where they were from. I looked them up online and found each post that he had word for word.

    2. Unfortunately he has not been truly willing to have real discussions, thus as Scripture teaches us we have to mark those whom cause divisions and we have to know when to say when. (Romans 16:17, Titus 3:10-11, some Scriptures on this)

    3. My purpose for allowing people to comment on articles we have is to have honest genuine discussions, but this has been seen not to be the case with Chris and some others as well.

    You are welcome to give me some feedback if you wish. I just wanted you or anyone else to know that he cannot reply to any future posts.

    2 Peter 3:14-18 NASB “14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

    Posted by Kelly Powers | March 3, 2012, 10:40 PM
  143. I am SAVED and I am Not a Catholic nor Roman Catholic. I am a nondenominational born again Christian. It is not about Religion. It is about a Personal Relationship with Christ Jesus.

    Acts 11:26– “and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”

    After the Apostle’s died it was Not the Roman Catholic church that took over the Apostle’s teachings as they were taught by Jesus. They were called Christians. If anything the Catholic church made up their own religion and created their own belief system just like the Protestants and other religions did and still do to this day.

    We can keep it simple: Just read your Bible (exclude the apocrypha), attend church to seek God and fellowship with other believers, Pray, try to do the best you can as you read the Bible, study the bible and follow it. Be Mission minded. I do not need any church telling me how to worship, seek, study, etc. Jesus is all I need.

    I do not need to read the opinions of others like Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine and Gregory the Great. Although I do like what Martin Luther did, because he was correct in his findings of the Roman Catholic church. Among other rituals, Purgatory was just a way the RC priests collected money (indulgences) from the people. They believed in purgatory so much because they wanted their loved ones to have a second chance (or what have you). They did not want their unsaved loved ones to go to hell. If you say they have to be saved to enter into purgatory than go for it. The church can Not say who is saved and unsaved. What the priests did with the indulgences was not honest.

    The apocrypha is not divine. I can read those books and clearly know they are not divinely written. Anyone with the Holy Spirit indwelt in them can know the truth as He counsels them into all Truth.

    Transubstantiation, the worship of Mary and Apostles, the holy water, Baptism by sprinkling among other Rituals are all ideas made-up by the Roman Catholic Church. I do not need to do all that stuff and I am just fine with it within my Spirit and relationship with Jesus. The Holy Spirit will lead ME into all truth, not the church. I am Not saved by works. But I do believe Faith without works is dead. I need to continue working out my salvation as I am a Sinner.
    I do love attending church and I like to be active in the church. I believe these things are important. But I did not allow a church to tell me how to be a Christian. I read my bible and that is how I know. My personal relationship with God reveals to me what I do as a Believer Not the church. 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus are divinely written books that help me understand the roles of leadership and how I am to respect them. Why they are leaders in the church and how they are to help me in my journey. Not a pope, not priests. They are human. Not holier than me…. not my judge.

    1 Cor 1:20-24 –Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

    1 Cor. 1:26-31 –For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

    Posted by gsmol0034 | April 18, 2014, 10:14 AM
  144. #”It is not about Religion. It is about a Personal Relationship with Christ Jesus.”

    If by a personal relationship you mean that a person must accept Jesus Christ as his personal lord and savior, admit that he is a sinner and that he needs Jesus’ sacrifice to wash away his sins & that one must regularly pray and read the Scriptures. Then Catholics (Roman Catholic & Catholic are the same thing) have this in abundance.

    Catholics not only have a relationship with Jesus Christ in prayer, but also have a relationship with His actual physical, real presence. Catholics commune with Jesus Christ in the way that He commanded us (John 6:53 and other Scriptural references). We read that Jesus Christ says “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” – Catholics not only have the relationship which Protestants have, but also the genuine, sacramental relationship which connects us to the once and for all sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The only true sort of personal relationship with Jesus Christ is found in the Catholic Church.

    Jesus says that if we love Him we will keep His commandments – do you keep all the clear commandments of Jesus Christ that we read in the Scriptures? This includes reception of the Eucharist – the most important command of all. Can a relationship be called real and genuine if it doesn’t take into account what the person wants from the relationship? What Jesus wants from us is for us to eat His flesh and drink His blood so that we can participate in His once and for all sacrifice made on the cross. If you are not doing this (and bear in mind that it is only in the true Church that the Real Presence is found) then do you really have a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ?

    Having a relationship which is merely personal is not enough – in addition to having the correct relation with Jesus Christ through understanding who He is and by participating in the Eucharist, Christians are called to have a corporate relationship which takes into account the communion of saints and the Church established by Jesus Christ as the means for salvation.

    #”After the Apostle’s died it was Not the Roman Catholic church that took over the Apostle’s teachings as they were taught by Jesus. They were called Christians. If anything the Catholic church made up their own religion and created their own belief system just like the Protestants and other religions did and still do to this day.”

    False dichotomy. Catholics are Christians.
    Do you have any evidence to back up your false assertions?
    This may come as a shock to you but; “nondenominational” is just another brand of protestant pretending to know the truth of the gospel under the guidance of the Holy Spirit,… just like the other 30 odd thousands protestant denominations all claiming to be inspired by the HS & to be the arbiters of truth. Your religion (which you claim is no religion at all) is man made. Most of what you believe cannot be reconciled with early Christian beliefs.

    #”I do not need any church telling me how to worship, seek, study, etc. Jesus is all I need.”

    But, isn’t the church the pillar & foundation of the truth” 1Tim3:15.

    & didn’t Jesus say of His church:

    “He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”
    Luke 10:16.

    #I do not need to read the opinions of others like Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine and Gregory the Great.

    We all have a tendency to hear what we want to hear. No doubt you choose to reject the opinions of the early Church Fathers because they conflict with your man made beliefs. Should we listen to your opinion just because you claim to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit & able to discern what is truth? Do you not see your own sense of pride at work here? Normally, I would go to the the trouble of giving you scripture references in defense of the doctrine of purgatory but that would be futile here since you claim to be the arbiter of truth.

    #”the worship of Mary and Apostles, the holy water, Baptism by sprinkling among other Rituals are all ideas made-up by the Roman Catholic Church. I do not need to do all that stuff and I am just fine with it within my Spirit and relationship with Jesus.”

    We don’t worship Mary & the Apostles, we worship God alone.

    “and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also–not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” 1Pet3:21.

    This only serves to prove my point above; that yours is a man made religion.

    #But I did not allow a church to tell me how to be a Christian. I read my bible and that is how I know. My personal relationship with God reveals to me what I do as a Believer Not the church. 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus are divinely written books that help me understand the roles of leadership and how I am to respect them. Why they are leaders in the church and how they are to help me in my journey. Not a pope, not priests. They are human. Not holier than me…. not my judge.

    You contradict yourself here. How can you claim to respect leaders in your church, recognizing they are there to help you on your journey & at the same time say; “i do not allow a church to tell me how to be christian.”

    You also contradict yourself here:

    “I am Not saved by works. But I do believe Faith without works is dead.”

    If good works are required and necessary to at least turn faith into a justifying faith. Then, good works are required for justification. You can’t separate it, this is faith plus works.

    Your claim to be non denominational is also a contradiction since non denominational is a denomination.

    Your claim that it is “not about religion” contradicts the bible which says:

    James 1:27
    New International Version (NIV)
    27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

    How am I to believe your claim that you are indwelt by the HS & able to discern all truth when you are a walking, talking contradiction?

    Posted by Jo | April 21, 2014, 1:58 PM
  145. I am sorry Jo that you thought I was being contradictory. I probably was as I wrote my post in haste. My bad………

    I just wanted to send the message to readers about purgatory, but I got off track.

    My comment about not allowing the church to tell me how to be a Christian was merely from an experience I had with the church. I do attend church regularly and I do serve in the church gladly. I do respect the leaders and care for them as my brothers and sisters in the Lord.

    I am saved and I do have the indwelt Holy Spirit. I was stating that I do not believe that I am saved by the church, or church attendance, living a good life or being religious. God’s ideal plan is that I have a personal relationship with Him because I believe in Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the Cross. I am born again! Period.

    I do not believe it is by anything I do. (works) that saves me. It is definitely a spiritual matter by God alone.

    Ephesians 2:8-9– For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

    As far as the denominational comment, I merely meant I attend a nondenominational church, but I am a Christian (which to me…. is Not a denomination).

    Acts 11:26– “and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”

    What I meant by my comments about that I am saved, but not saved by works is……….

    In 1989 after I was saved by accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I had this great desire to want to Know God more. It was such a hunger I can not describe. After I was saved, that was when the “works” came into play. In seeking God with all of my heart I read in His Word that He wants me to grow as a Christian (among other things).
    I started attending a church for the first time in my life. The process of sanctification took it course and is continuing to do so.

    James 2:14-18– What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
    But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

    I believe the problem we have is You are Catholic and I am Christian. Now if you want to call yourself Catholic Christian …. by all means….. go for it. But I am sure the Roman Catholics would be offended. lol
    Why are so many of my Catholic friends converting away from Catholicism? Several of my Catholic friends say because of all the Rituals that are expected of them.

    You may say you don’t worship Mary, but the outward appearances shows that is what you are doing. When you kneel down to her idol and you pray to her instead of Jesus, that is idolatry. Every bead you touch on your rosary is praying to her instead of Jesus.

    1 Timothy 2:5-7– For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

    I am saved and I do not need to pray to her or any other person. Jesus’ mother is Blessed beyond a doubt, but she is not to be worshipped …. And that is what it looks like you are doing.

    I do not believe in Purgatory. Are you going to tell me I don’t know the history of your church well enough. Are you going to tell me I am not saved because I say the holy water is Not holy? Are you going to tell me because I do not participate in the Eucharist, that I do not take into account the communion of saints that I am not saved and I am bound for Hell??? You are not God and you nor the Catholic church has the right to judge me!

    Your statement: “Having a relationship which is merely personal is not enough – in addition to having the correct relation with Jesus Christ through understanding who He is and by participating in the Eucharist, Christians are called to have a corporate relationship which takes into account the communion of saints and the Church established by Jesus Christ as the means for salvation.”

    In the Bible I read there isn’t any scripture that tells me I have to do or believe in these things!

    We know that Protestants do not have the same relationship with Jesus like Catholics do. Every religion began making up their own church rules and rituals. All those rituals you do are not a prerequisite for salvation. If you want to do all those rituals and believe that God commands you to do them, well, good for you. If you believe that it makes you a better person and you are saved by works and that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ IS NOT ENOUGH, well….. good for you. If you think by doing all those rituals is enough to make you Right with God…. GO FOR IT.
    BUT DON’T tell me I am not saved because I do not follow the Catholic Church. I would never be a Catholic when I can have a personal relationship with the Lord knowing He does not expect me to do all that junk!
    I have made Jesus the Lord of my life through personal commitment…. that means I trust Him. I have given Him total control over my life….. NOT THE CHURCH. That’s why I say Personal relationship. It is personal between God and me. I allow the Holy Spirit to guide and empower my life. Being “filled” with the HS is just not a suggestion, it is a command given by Paul in Ephesians 5:18. The results of being filled with the HS is HOLINESS and joy. Ephesians 5:19-20.

    “One of the divisive things that makes Roman Catholicism Magisterium a major concern is that they teach those who refuse acknowledge them as the one true Church are not saved, though this is not known by the average Catholic. Also, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that works are required for salvation, not by faith alone in Christ.” ~Kelly Powers

    JO~~~ this statement that Kelly Powers writes about the R. Catholic church is true. I agree with her statement wholeheartedly. This is why I am a “Christian.” I am Not a Mormon, a JW, Protestant, Baptist ……. I am saved, I serve in the church, I am a missionary, and seek THE LORD IN ACCORDANCE WITH HIS WORD AND PRAYER..(among other things)… I find my guidance from having spiritual discernment and testing the spirit to be sure it is “of God.”

    For example: When I attend church on Sunday, I take my Bible. When the preacher teaches the Bible I open mine. Whatever Book, chapter, verse he is teaching from I am listening with spiritual discernment to be sure he is not taking scriptures out of context. We all agree with what he is saying because the indwelling Spirit of God plus the presence of God in HIs sanctuary (among other things) …. is leading us into ALL truth!
    WE ARE THE CHURCH. WE ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST.

    We don’t need incense, holy water, Eucharist (Transubstantiation) :((
    We don’t need to repeat everything the priests says, with statues of the saints all around, to worship God or to be right with God or to be in God’s presence. I just hope Jo that you understand that you do not need all that stuff. It is Not necessary!! God will make us who He wants us to be….. not a pope, not a priest, not those rituals, not a church. They are mere fallen, sinners.

    Father of peace, I pray for Jo and myself that You will continue showing us how to share what we believe so that we will have a clearer understanding of who You are. Each one of us has a different journey to share. Help us to Trust in the Lord with all our hearts and to not lean on our own understanding.
    Thank you Lord for when I confess my sins to You that you are faithful and righteous to forgive me of my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. You are all I need. Amen.

    Posted by gsmol0034 | April 29, 2014, 3:22 PM
  146. No need for apologies GSMO, I am open to frank discussion.

    The problem I find with your theology at large is that you tend to treat the bible as a “do it yourself guide to salvation.”

    You readily claim the bible to be the sole rule of faith, your only authority (despite the fact that the bible never claims this for itself) & yet you undermine it by choosing to privately interpret it, directly contradicting:

    2 Peter 1:20-21
    King James Version (KJV)
    20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

    21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

    I can’t help but suspect that the reason you reject the authority of the church is because it challenges your self appointment as arbiter of truth.

    Christ established a church; Matt 16:18 KJV ” And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

    The church is the “pillar & foundation of truth” 1 Tim 3:15. The words pillar and foundation indicate assurance and stability, not division and confusion, as one finds among the thousands of denominations that have sprung up since the Reformation.

    God communicates His truth through the church & not through you & your private interpretations:

    Ephesians 3,9-10
    King James Version (KJV)

    9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

    10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

    The function of the Church’s hierarchy is clearly shown in Scripture. Consider the following:

    Peter and the council of Jerusalem, over which he presided, taught by the power of the Holy Spirit: “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities…” (Acts 15:28).

    All of the Churches were to abide by the decision: “As they (Paul and Timothy) traveled from city to city, they handed on to the people for observance the decision reached by the Apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem” (Acts 16:4).

    Bishops were in authority over congregations: “For this reason I left you in Crete so that you might set right what remains to be done and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you” (Titus 1:5). The office of bishop is spoken of eight times in the New Testament. The Greek words used are episcopos (ἐπίσκοπος), which means a superintendent or overseer, someone who visits, and episskope (ἐπισκοπή), which just refers to the office.

    Presbyters were reminded of their responsibilities: “From Miletus he had the presbyters of the Church at Ephesus summoned. ‘Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock, of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the Church of God that He acquired with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them'” (Acts 20:17, 28-30). How do you suppose those deceivers will appear? “Even Satan masquerades as an angel of light. So it is not strange that his ministers also masquerade as ministers of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). That is why John says, “We belong to God, and anyone who knows God listens to us, while anyone who does not belong to God refuses to hear us. This is how we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit” (1 John 4:6). This is a reflection of Jesus’ own words, “Whoever listens to you listens to Me. Whoever rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16), and “If he refuses even to listen to the Church, then treat him as you would a gentile or a tax collector” (Matthew 18:17).

    Consequently, believers were to submit to Church authority, “Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings…obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account, that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow, for that would be of no advantage to you” (Hebrews 13:7-9, 17). The word “leader” is translated from the Greek word hegeomai (ἡγέομαι) and means to lead with official authority. Similarly, in 1 Peter 5:5 we read, “Likewise, you younger members, be subject to the presbyters.”

    The teaching of the early Church parallels the scriptures. In the year 110, Ignatius of Antioch wrote in his letter to Polycarp, “You must be made holy in all things by being united in perfect obedience, in submission to the bishop and the priests.” That Rome was the source of authority is confirmed by Irenaeus (140-202 AD): “We point to the tradition of that very great and very ancient and universally known Church, which was established at Rome…for with this Church, because of its superior authority, every church must agree” (Against Heresies 3, 3:2).

    You said:

    “I believe the problem we have is You are Catholic and I am Christian. Now if you want to call yourself Catholic Christian …. by all means….. go for it. But I am sure the Roman Catholics would be offended. lol”

    Again you present a false dichotomy. Catholics are not only Christian, we are the original Christians, we are the church of the bible, we are the church that gave you your bible. What is the history of your church? Fact is none of your beliefs can be reconciled with the beliefs of the early Christians.

    You said:

    “Why are so many of my Catholic friends converting away from Catholicism? Several of my Catholic friends say because of all the Rituals that are expected of them.”

    I dare say the real reason is because they want to be little popes like you. But please, let’s not talk about numbers since you are in the minority.

    You said:

    “You may say you don’t worship Mary, but the outward appearances shows that is what you are doing. When you kneel down to her idol and you pray to her instead of Jesus, that is idolatry. Every bead you touch on your rosary is praying to her instead of Jesus.”

    I Hope no one thinks you are worshiping your bible when they see you pray before it. Your display of ignorance is astounding.

    You said:

    “I have made Jesus the Lord of my life through personal commitment…. that means I trust Him. I have given Him total control over my life….. NOT THE CHURCH. That’s why I say Personal relationship”

    King James Bible Luke 10:16
    He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

    If Jesus was the lord of your life you would submit to the authority of His church & not to DIY theology.

    I have already addressed your issues regarding the Eucharist , purgatory & good works in previous post in this thread. You should take a read you might learn something.

    Posted by Jo | May 2, 2014, 5:20 AM
  147. Is Purgatory a Biblical Concept? Let’s go to God’s infallible Word.

    First Corinthians 3:13-14 and the Idea of Purgatory. The apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 3:13-14, makes this statement: “Each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”Paul’s statements are clear. It is the man’s works that are being judged, not his person or soul. The issue at stake is not his salvation or eternal state (heaven or hell), but his rewards. The fire of Christ’s judgment will test the nature of his earthly works; this judgment does nothing to the sanctification of his soul. In fact, Paul makes it very clear that though his rewards may be lost, yet “he himself will be saved. “When Paul mentions “the Day,” he refers to “the Day of the Lord”: the day of the return of Christ and the final judgment of the living and the dead.

    Verse 14 simply explains verse 13.–Paul’s point is obvious: not all Christian ministers (or saints) will receive the same reward. The final judgment will test the nature of our life’s work. Some men’s work will prove to be as pure as gold, silver, or precious jewels and will be greatly rewarded. Other Christians will do little with their lives, and their works will be like wood, hay, and straw-consumed by Christ’s fiery judgment. The person who has trusted in Christ, however, will be saved and brought through the fire of judgment because of his faith in Christ. Some will have greater rewards, some will have lesser rewards, but the works of a man do not determine if he goes to heaven or hell. Faith in Christ (or not) seals a person’s eternal destiny. .

    Second Maccabees 12:39-46 and Prayers for the Dead. This passage from the Apocrypha says nothing about purgatory. It is merely the interpretation of the writer concerning a bizarre incident. A closer reading of this text indicates four things.

    First, Second Maccabees makes no direct reference to purgatory.

    Second, the passage is self-contradictory and inconsistent. It states that these dead “had gone to rest in godliness” (v. 45), but then it tells us that these dead warriors were idolaters, killed by God due to their idolatry.

    Third, there is nothing in the law of Moses that comes close to telling us about prayers for the dead. What we find in Second Maccabees and the rabbinical writings surrounding these events are the merging of pagan ideas with Israelite religion.

    Fourth, the Apocrypha, while useful for background information, is full of historical inaccuracies, myth, superstition, and ideas contrary to the rest of Scripture. The anonymous author of Second Maccabees does not speak for God, but to condense some five volumes of a man named Jason of Cyrene (2 Macc. 3:23).9 We cannot and should not look to Second Maccabees for Scripture-based doctrines.

    First Peter 3:18-22 and the Idea of Post-Death Probation.
    What Peter states in this passage is not Jesus Christ going to purgatory or hell to preach to people in order to help them get to heaven. Peter simply states that the crucified and dead Christ was raised by the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit by whom Noah preached to the people of his day prior to the flood “long ago” (v. 20). Those souls now in prison (hell) are there because they refused to heed Noah’s call to repentance and faith. Christ is compared to the ark of Noah-if people enter into Christ by faith and baptism, they will be saved from God’s final judgment just as Noah and his family were saved from the flood by faith and the ark. “The passage describes no second chance for repentance after death. Even less does it promise universal salvation.”

    Matthew 12:32 and Salvation after Death. Finally, when Jesus says that those guilty of the sin of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven “either in this age or in the age to come,” Christ is not pointing to purgatory. Our Catholic friends are incorrect to say that “this suggests that there are some sins that will be forgiven in the age to come. If there is no purification after death, then this passage doesn’t make sense.” To the contrary, Christ’s statement makes perfectly clear sense, and the introduction of the concept of purgatory merely confuses the plain meaning of Scripture. Leon Morris interprets the passage easily: “This does not, of course, mean that some of those who are not forgiven in this world may hope for forgiveness after death. Such a possibility is not contemplated. The meaning is something like ‘neither in time nor eternity; never!’”

    The Laws of Hermeneutics. The interpretation of Scripture (called hermeneutics) is built on three preliminary laws. The first is this: Scripture interprets Scripture, called “the rule of analogy.” The second law of hermeneutics is this: The plain meaning of Scripture is usually the true meaning. The third rule is this: Simple passages of Scripture help explain complex passages of Scripture-the simple informs the complicated. Roman Catholic hermeneutics concerning supposed proof texts for purgatory violate all of these laws of hermeneutics. There is no clear, plain, and simple text about purgatory, as there is about both heaven and hell. The Apocrypha cannot be placed equal to inspired Scripture. The Bible plainly speaks about life, death, and judgment: “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Heb. 9:27). We live, we die, we are judged, we go to heaven or hell; and when Christ comes a second time the final judgment, final hell and final heaven arrive. There is no mention of postmortem purgation at all. Purgatory is an extrabiblical idea, imported into the church in the Middle Ages-a product of tradition but not Scripture. And the Catholic efforts at grasping for hermeneutical straws to support this false belief-”fire,” “the age to come,” “souls in prison”-betray a lack of clear, precise, and biblical evidence for that place called purgatory.

    Posted by gsmol0034 | May 2, 2014, 11:26 AM
  148. Is Purgatory a Biblical Concept? Let’s go to God’s infallible Word. Yes lets. But this time lets look at it through the lens of an infallible interpreter…..the Catholic Church.

    1st of, what is purgatory?

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines purgatory as a “purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven,” which is experienced by those “who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified” (CCC 1030). It notes that “this final purification of the elect . . . is entirely different from the punishment of the damned” (CCC 1031).

    The purification is necessary because, as Scripture teaches, nothing unclean will enter the presence of God in heaven (Rev. 21:27) and, while we may die with our mortal sins forgiven, there can still be many impurities in us, specifically venial sins and the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven.

    Souls in purgatory are saved. You will not find the word purgatory in the bible just like you will not find the word Trinity or Incarnation. It is a word used to describe a place of purification before entering heaven.

    It is entirely correct to say that Christ accomplished all of our salvation for us on the cross. But that does not settle the question of how this redemption is applied to us. Scripture reveals that it is applied to us over the course of time through, among other things, the process of sanctification through which the Christian is made holy. Sanctification involves suffering (Rom. 5:3–5), and purgatory is the final stage of sanctification that some of us need to undergo before we enter heaven. Purgatory is the final phase of Christ’s applying to us the purifying redemption that he accomplished for us by his death on the cross.

    Prayers for the dead and the consequent doctrine of purgatory have been part of the true religion since before the time of Christ. Not only can we show it was practiced by the Jews of the time of the Maccabees, but it has even been retained by Orthodox Jews today, who recite a prayer known as the Mourner’s Kaddish for eleven months after the death of a loved one so that the loved one may be purified. It was not the Catholic Church that added the doctrine of purgatory. Rather, any change in the original teaching has taken place in the Protestant churches, which rejected a doctrine that had always been believed by Jews and Christians.

    The tradition of the Jews is found in 2 Maccabees 12:42-46: “Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out…He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice…if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death…Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin.”

    The Jewish historian Josephus, while commenting on the endurance of the Jews under siege in the year 63, writes, “Just as if deep peace enfolded the city, the daily sacrifices, offerings for the dead, and every other act of worship were meticulously carried out to the glory of God” (The Jewish War). If this is wrong, as some contend, and it was practiced in Jesus’ day, why didn’t He or the Apostles condemn it? If the Jews had invented the doctrine of purgatory or prayers for the dead, undoubtedly Christ would have condemned it, as He condemned them for a long list of changes in doctrine & discipline in St. Matthew 23.

    n 1 John 5:17, we see that there are different degrees of sin: “All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.” The Greek word used for deadly, Thanatos (θάνατος), signifies spiritual death as a consequence of sin – what we would call eternal damnation. The book of Revelation tells us that nothing unclean shall enter heaven (21:27). What would happen if we did not repent of a sin that was “not deadly” and we died? We are neither damned nor forgiven – yet we must be forgiven to enter heaven.

    Temporal punishment, which is one aspect of divine justice, is found in at least two places in the Old Testament. Once, when Moses and Aaron are not allowed to enter the Promised Land because of their sin, (Numbers 20:12) and again when David is found guilty of murder and adultery. Although they all repented and were forgiven, God still punished them (2 Samuel 12:13-14). Purgatory is a place where satisfaction is made for unrepented venial (not deadly) sins and for temporal punishment due for all past sins.

    In Matthew 12:32 Jesus says, “And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” Why does Jesus talk about forgiveness after death?

    Jesus speaks of purgatory in Matthew 18:23-35. While speaking on forgiveness He says: “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to…” and then He tells a story about a king who forgave a servant’s large debt. That same servant refused to forgive a much smaller amount of a fellow servant. The king then threw the first servant into prison “until he should pay back the whole debt.” Jesus then says, “So will my Heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.” What prison is there in the kingdom of heaven where you might remain until your debt is satisfied? Purgatory is the only thing that makes any sense.

    In 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 Paul tells us: “The work of each will come to light, for the day will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire [itself] will test the quality of each one’s work. If the work stands that someone built upon the foundation, that person will receive a wage. But if someone’s work is burned up, that one will suffer loss, the person will be saved, but only as through fire.” If that is not Purgatory what is it?

    1 Peter. 3, 19 tells us that after His death Jesus preached His redemption “to the spirits in prison.” Based on this, the concept of another temporary, intermediate place such as purgatory is not out of the question.

    Those detained in Purgatory can be aided by the prayers of the faithful. Inscriptions in the catacombs bear witness to this ancient Church teaching. One reads, “Intercession has been made for the soul of the dear one departed and God has heard the prayer, and the soul has passed into a place of light and refreshment.” Another one reads, “In your prayers remember us who have gone before you.”

    PAUL HIMSELF PRAYED FOR THE DEAD!

    http://www.catholic-convert.com/wp-content/uploads/Documents/Onesiphorus1.pdf

    Regarding the apochrypha:

    There are many hundreds of quotations & allusions to the Septuagint found in the New Testament. For example when Our Lord quoted Isaiah to condemn those who ” leave the commandment of God, & hold fast to the precepts of men” (St Mark 7, 6-8), He used that version of Isaiah found only in the Septuagint. In St. John 10, 22-36 Our Lord & the Apostles observed the key feast of the Dedication, or Hanukkah, which celebrates events only recorded in 1 & 2 Maccabees. As a further point, out of the 350 verses cited in the New Testament from the Old Testament , 300 are taken from the Septuagint. The Dead Sea scrolls extensively cite passages from the Septuagint, particulary the books of Tobit & Sirach.

    Posted by Jo | May 2, 2014, 2:30 PM
  149. GOOD WORKS:

    definition of justifying faith = a faith that naturally results in good works.

    If no good works are produced, then there ceases to be justifying faith

    Therefore Salvation is the result of faith + works & not faith alone.

    You can’t have justifying faith and then good works as a result. Because unless you have good works then it is not a justifying faith. You can’t say that justifying faith is all that is required (and good works are just a natural consequence) when good works are necessary for their to be justifying faith in the first place!

    If good works are required and necessary to at least turn faith into a justifying faith. Then, good works are required for justification. You can’t separate it, this is faith plus works.

    If we are saved by faith alone why is it that our reward of eternal life is contingent upon our good works?

    Matthew 25:31-46
    English Standard Version (ESV)
    The Final Judgment

    31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’

    41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

    If we are saved by faith alone why are we judged according to our works? why are we judged at all? Why is our entering eternal life contingent upon our good works?

    Galatians 6, 7-8:

    7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

    “sowing to the spirit” is a work, doing good is a “work” & as the verse says we will reap eternal life by doing good works.

    so again, if we are saved by faith alone why is our “reaping eternal life” contingent upon our good works?

    2 Corinthians 5,10:

    “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”

    Once again why are we judged at all if we are already saved by faith alone? Why are we judged according to what we have done?

    Revelation 20:12
    English Standard Version (ESV)
    12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

    Posted by Jo | May 2, 2014, 6:27 PM
  150. Is it faith alone that justifies, or is it faith + works? Very simple. No tricks.

    On this issue I believe Luther was simply right; and this issue is absolutely crucial. What happened in the church in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was tragic for the Catholic church because of the tragedy of Christian disunity, because of Luther’s bold stand against the Catholic church as it failed to preach the gospel.

    The Catholic Church was preaching one of two “other gospels”: the gospel of old-fashion legalism and the gospel of new-fangled humanism. The first means making points with God and earning your way into heaven, :((
    the second means being nice to everybody so that God will be nice to you. :((

    There are many churches, Protestant and Catholic, that are preaching the true Christian gospel, but not often enough and not clearly enough and often watered down and mixed with one of these two other gospels. And the trouble with “other gospels” is simply that they are not true: they don’t work, they don’t unite man with God, they don’t justify.

    As far as the American Catholic and Protestants go, I can agree to disagree with some on both sides about certain foundational beliefs, but since I was not born a Jew, I was not raised in the Catholic church….. I am a Gentile. I do not believe that God will hold it against me for not joining the Catholic church. Instead I choose to seek God in a way that I believe the best way for me. I choose not to be Catholic for reasons that are between God and me… NOT the church, not the Pope or any Fallible man.

    Romans 3: 21-29 — But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

    27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

    Romans 4:13-15— 13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

    Galatians 2:16 — know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in[a] Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

    Galatians 3:1-14 — Faith or Works of the Law

    3 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?[a] 4 Have you experienced[b] so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

    7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

    10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

    Galatians 3:23-29 — Before the coming of this faith,[j] we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

    26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

    ### This is what you are missing when we speak about Justification by Faith alone. You are missing that we are saved first THAN comes works. Belief in Jesus Christ is First. After that…. we have a great desire to want to know God more than ever and we have a great desire to serve, work and do as Jesus did. He did not come to Be served, … But to serve. That was His example for everyone who believes. We can Not do any of those things without being justified by faith (as the scriptures I have shared pertaining to this subject proves.)

    If anyone is going to discuss Justification by Faith, we need to study God’s Word and Not use Scriptures that are not going to explain the point at hand.

    Matthew 25: 35 & 36 — For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat.
    The good works here mentioned in this passage is works of charity to the poor. It does not mean that many will be found on the right hand who never had a chance to feed the hungry, but were themselves fed by the charity of others; and it teaches us that faith working by love is the Christian thing to do. The good works found in this passage must be found in all that are saved. I serve the Lord in this capacity because I am already saved, I have a great desire to serve the Lord already because of my salvation and belief is in Jesus Christ alone.

    What are you doing good works for? Are you doing it because of the reward? …quantum meruit—an estimate of merit, or upon the promise of God purchased by Jesus Christ? What is your true intent? God will judge you On That Day and believe me…. He will know your true heart.

    Ephesians 6:5-7 —Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,

    I would not turn down a person that needed help. I would be condemned on that Great Day if I did. I would do anything that was in my power to help the poor, clothe someone that had no clothes, use the resources given to me by God to further His kingdom. These works can be accomplished through the church I attend and support (among other ways.)

    Why are so many of my Catholic friends leaving the Catholic Church? One reason (I had to ask permission to share this)…. My friend was brought up in the Catholic church, unfortunately her son was molested by a priest there. Families have to make decisions. We cannot trust mere men that serve in the church. God bless those who are pure and holy. But shame on those priests and even Popes who hold the Eucharist in their hands and place the wafer in your mouth with sexual immortality on them. Outwardly they show Holier than thou personalities, but inwardly they harbor impure sins they struggle with knowing they are held on Higher standards than others in their parish.

    Children of God are the Church. We are the Body of Christ.
    I am not saying “don’t attend church.” or “don’t follow your church leaders.” I am saying “when Christ is the head of the church—I will follow. The church is the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
    Col. 1:24 — [ Paul’s Labor for the Church ] Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.

    Numbers, who cares about Numbers. it does not matter how many a religion group may have. There will not be a great number present at the Bema Seat of the Lord on that Day. There will be only a small remnant of true believers that will be saved. God is not about numbers.

    Romans 9:27 — And Isaiah calls out (solemnly cries aloud) over Israel: Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, only the remnant (a small part of them) will be saved [from perdition, condemnation, judgment]!

    Romans 11:5 — So too at the present time there is a remnant (a small believing minority), selected (chosen) by grace (by God’s unmerited favor and graciousness).
    Not just for the Jew, but also for the Gentiles.

    My name is in the Lambs Book of Life!!! No one has to be Catholic to be saved. You can be a Catholic and be saved. After a person believes in Jesus Christ and is saved, = Faith by works comes into play.

    Posted by gsmol0034 | May 3, 2014, 12:01 PM
  151. GSMO wrote:

    I believe Luther was simply right; and this issue is absolutely crucial.

    Luther wrote:
    “Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides… No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day” [‘Let Your Sins Be Strong, from ‘The Wittenberg Project;’ ‘The Wartburg Segment’, translated by Erika Flores, from Dr. Martin Luther’s Saemmtliche Schriften, Letter No. 99, 1 Aug. 1521. – Cf. Also Denifle’s Luther et Lutheranisme, Etude Faite d’apres les sources. Translation by J. Paquier (Paris, A. Picard, 1912-13), VOl. II, pg. 404].

    Jesus:
    Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matt 5:19.

    “If you love me, keep my commands. John 14:15.

    John 15:10
    If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

    I cannot fathom how you can think Luther was right when he contradicts our Lord. I thought you said you were committed to Jesus not Luther.

    Sure enough the church is constantly in need of reform. But true reform comes from & remains within the church. An example of a true reformer is St.Francis of Assisi who whilst he sought to reform the church submitted to its authority.

    “And all of us lesser brothers, useless servants, humbly ask and beg all those who wish to serve the Lord God within the holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church…that all of us may persevere in the true faith and in penance, for otherwise no one will be saved.” (St. Francis of Assisi)

    Essentially, Francis teaches us that we cannot fight heresy by creating new heresies. Francis always submitted to the Church, the popes, and the bishops. Luther was a heretic.

    GSMO wrote:

    I do not believe that God will hold it against me for not joining the Catholic church. Instead I choose to seek God in a way that I believe the best way for me.

    Like I said, yours is a “do it yourself” theology. I prefer to rely on Christ & his Church.

    I believe Jesus, when He said that he would guide his Church “unto all truth” John 16:13.

    I believe Jesus when he said of His church; “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.” Luke 10:16.

    I trust Paul when he says; Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit. Hebrews 13:17.

    And I trust Peter when he says; “prophecy of scripture is not a matter of private interpretation” 2 Peter 1:20.

    Salvation is a process & not a one time event. I choose to submit to the teachings of the Catholic Church which Christ established & of which he is the head. Why risk forfeiting my salvation by relying on myself when Christ established a visible church for me to follow.

    Isaiah 49:6 about the church:

    “I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

    Christ commissioned His church to:

    Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
    teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”
    Matthew 28:19-20

    His Church has authority:

    If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 18:17-18

    The Bishops have been placed in charge of the Church by the Holy Spirit:
    Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. Acts 20:28 (Douay-Rheims) (note many Bibles translate the Greek word, episkopos, as “overseer”. The traditional rendering is “bishop”, however. The King James version, for instance translates it as “bishop” in every instance except this one. In any event it shows that the Church has a heirarchical structure by the design of Almighty God.)

    I don’t read anywhere in the bible where Jesus says follow me which ever way best suits you. lol.

    I leave judgement to God, but I would advise you to “work out your salvation in fear & trembling” Philippians 2:12.
    The best way to do that is to submit to the Church Christ gave us to follow. Do it His way not your way.

    I find it ironic that you accuse catholics of “works righteousness” when you hold to a DIY theology.

    Your whole spiel about good works is a straw man argument. When Catholics speak of good works we are not referring to “works of law” we are referring to works done under the system of grace.

    Catholics believe that salvation is by Grace alone.

    The catholic position is that justification is a process & not a one time event. We are justified by faith initially(imputation) but good works complete our justification.

    Faith & good works go hand in hand, it is never good works alone apart from faith & it is never faith alone. It is faith plus works.

    Because protestants fail to distinguish between works of law & works done under a system of grace they accuse Catholics of believing a false gospel of works righteousness. But this is not so.

    “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10.

    When we come to faith in Christ we become a new creation, we are transformed by His grace.

    it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will & to work for his good pleasure” ( Phil 2:13)

    Catholics acknowledge that it is all God’s work! Our faith & our good works are both only possible because of the impetus of God’s grace.

    Before we come to faith in Christ we exist as our natural selves without grace. When we are in this state we cannot merit God’s favour or any reward by our good works. What Paul was condemning was the idea that one could be saved by circumcision or for that matter fulfilling any of the OT laws apart from faith in Christ. This idea is purely legalistic whereby the person performing the good works believes they are owed a reward by God in return for having done good works.

    When we come to faith in Christ we become a new creation in Him for the sole purpose of performing good works.

    Eph2:10: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

    We are no longer our natural selves, we are now SUPERNATURAL & in this state we can merit reward from God. We can only become SUPERNATURAL by God’s grace which is freely given & it is under the impetus of God ‘s grace that we come to faith & are able to perform good works which are pleasing to him.

    We share in Christ’s divinity, we become partners with Christ:

    …..”that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (II Peter 1:2-4).

    If you believe in the bema seat judgement ( I don’t) then you have no problem with the concept of being rewarded for good works since you believe in the “judgement of the righteous.”

    But the bema seat judgement doesn’t hold water with scripture:

    The problem is GSMO that there are way too many scripture verses, many of which have already been given to you, which clearly tell us that the reward for good works is eternal life itself. This is a direct contradiction to the doctrine of the bema seat.

    Galatians 6, 7-8:

    7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reapeternal life.

    Romans 2, 6:10:
    He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.

    Here is a good commentary on the Bema seat if you care to read it:

    http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/faq/bema.html

    For now I will leave you with:

    Galatians 5:6
    King James Version (KJV)
    6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

    And faith working through love = faith plus works.

    Posted by Jo | May 3, 2014, 2:24 PM
  152. I bid you adieu, Jo.

    Since you state you believe salvation is a process… I must depart from our discussion.

    As you know I believe salvation is NOT a process!!!

    Jesus says I should shake the dust off my feet and not to throw pearls to the swine.

    May God bless you.

    Posted by gsmol0034 | May 3, 2014, 10:16 PM
  153. lol.

    It’s funny how whenever I point out scriptures which clearly tell us that the reward for good works is eternal life itself. protestants like you go scampering.

    Gal. 6:7-9 – whatever a man sows, he will reap. Paul warns the Galatians not to grow weary in doing good works, for in due season they will reap (the rewards of eternal life).

    You are in my prayers.

    Posted by Jo | May 4, 2014, 12:07 AM
  154. John 6: 25 – 29
    25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?”
    26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.
    27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal.”
    28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”
    29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

    I’m curious as to what protestants make of this scripture.

    When they asked Jesus “what must we do, to be doing the works of God?

    Notice how Jesus didn’t say….”you don’t have to do any work, all you need do is have faith”

    Notice how Jesus describes believing as a work.

    Notice how Jesus says works contribute to our salvation. “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life”….

    Posted by Jo | May 5, 2014, 12:16 AM

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