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Showing posts with label sanctification. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sanctification. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

And My Sister Ought To Read This Before She Ever Considers Catholicism Again

The emphasis is mine.

-----Original Message-----
From: Actionline
To: Nicole Czarnecki
Sent: Tue, Mar 20, 2012 10:15 am
Subject: Re: GOA Web Feedback - orthodox


First, please accept our apologies for a very tardy reply.

I am not sure that I understand your question, but I will do my best to respond. To begin, there is a difference between factual accuracy and truth. If I were to refer to a close friend as a brother, that is not factually accurate (he's not really my biological brother), but it does testify to a greater truth, which is that I love him and care for him as deeply as I would if he were my own brother. Likewise is many elements of our life in God, including the Bible. 
There are parts of the Bible that we can fully trust to be factually accurate, and some which are not (e.g. we don't maintain the creation was completed in an actual seven days). But, every part of the Bible, every word of it, testifies to the Truth of God. We are not so concerned with facts, but with Truth. 
The facts are that parts of Scripture are in-arguably redundant, contradictory, incomplete as a simple text. And if you regard it just as a simple text, you will be disappointed. But the truth is that the Holy Spirit lives and breaths through Scripture, and gives life to the Church and its people. The fact that it may be "errant", strictly speaking, makes no difference and takes nothing away. It indeed remains the Word of God.

In Christ,


-----Original Message-----
From: "Nicole Czarnecki" <>
Sent 9/16/2011 10:45:40 PM
Subject: GOA Web Feedback - orthodox

Why doesn't the Orthodox Church believe in the inerrancy of the Word of G-d (the Bible)?

The Catholic (in this case, Byzantine Catholic) Church believes that fact is not necessarily truth, and vice versa. The Catholic Church also believes that facts are not important, thus that truth is actually not that important. They also believe that Jesus (Who is the Word), is "in-arguably redundant, contradictory, incomplete"; and that Jesus can't actually remain the Word of G-d.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Non-Evangelical Catholicism Even Inadvertently Admits That It's Not Christianity

Google "Catholicism and fundamentalism". For example, the Catholics admit that they don't believe in the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible, and that do so is "fundamentalist" in a derogatory sense according to Catholicism. The Catholics even criticize Evangelical Catholics:

"Fundamentalism is a relatively new brand of Protestantism started in America that has attracted a tremendous following, including many fallen away Catholics. How did this popular movement originate? The history of Fundamentalism may be viewed as having three main phases. The first lasted a generation, from the 1890s to the Scopes "Monkey Trial" of 1925. In this period, Fundamentalism emerged as a reaction to liberalizing trends in American Protestantism; it broke off, but never completely, from Evangelicalism, of which it may be considered one wing. In its second phase, it passed from public view, but never actually disappeared or even lost ground. Finally, Fundamentalism came to the nation’s attention again around 1970, and it has enjoyed considerable growth. 
"What has been particularly surprising is that Catholics seem to constitute a disproportionate share of the new recruits. The Catholic Church in America includes about a quarter of the country’s inhabitants, so one might expect about a quarter of new Fundamentalists to have been Catholics at one time. But in many Fundamentalist congregations, anywhere from one-third to one-half of the members once belonged to the Catholic Church. This varies around the country, depending on how large the native Catholic population is."

Many of these Evangelical Catholics are Protestants who are Evangelical (Christian) and still Catholic at heart, just Evangelical Catholics and Protestants who would be still Catholic if the Catholic Church were Evangelical.  Evangelical Catholics do not like the following criticized by the Catholic Church:

The fundamental doctrines identified in the series can be reduced to five: (I) the inspiration and what the writers call infallibility of Scripture, (2) the deity of Christ (including his virgin birth), (3) the substitutionary atonement of his death, (4) his literal resurrection from the dead, and (5) his literal return at the Second Coming. 

Catholics particularly hate the following:

"Although the doctrine of the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible is most commonly cited as the essential cornerstone of the Fundamentalist beliefs, the logically prior doctrine is the deity of Christ. For the Catholic, his deity is accepted either on the word of the authoritative and infallible Church or because a dispassionate examination of the Bible and early Christian history shows that he must have been just what he claimed to be—God. 
"Most Catholics, as a practical matter, accept his divinity based upon the former method; many—the apologist Arnold Lunn is a good example—use the latter. In either case, there is a certain reasoning involved in the Catholic’s embrace of this teaching. For many Fundamentalists, the assurance of Christ’s divinity comes not through reason, or even through faith in the Catholic meaning of the word, but through an inner, personal experience."

In other words, Catholics have to lie about what Protestants and Evangelical Catholics believe. Protestants and Evangelical Catholics believe in grace through faith alone, and vice versa, based on what the Bible says. Protestants and Evangelical Catholics do not believe in a New Age "inner, personal experience". And the experience is not personal-- for "there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one." 
There is nothing personal in salvation-- one must answer to and be saved by the Spirit. Salvation is not a choice, but an election and calling which all the members of Eloheinu Echad choose to confer on someone-- and thus the saved have no individual choice and are held accountable in regards to salvation:
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses,“I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”[f] 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”[g] 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. 
19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 
22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 

The blood, by the way, is the witness of and for particularly Jesus; and the water of baptism, and of particularly the Father and the Spirit-- maybe just particularly the Father, though (which is a long discussion). 

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Mom Jokes That I Ought To Become Catholic...

Yeah; I've been down that road before. I was baptized Roman Catholic, raised English Catholic (Episcopalian), went to a Roman Catholic college that.... I'd better stop before I talk about a certain church to which it could be paralleled. I also still have Anusi Catholic and Non-Catholic (and openly-Jewish and Non-Jewish Catholic) family members. So, I get the gist of being Catholic, and I'm far from becoming Catholic any time soon.

That doesn't mean that I don't think that there are Evangelical Catholics, though-- my cousin Sue is an Evangelical Catholic. My maternal grandma, as far as I know, is an Evangelical Catholic. My late, seminary-educated granddad was an Evangelical Catholic and actually getting ready to leave the Roman Catholic Church before he died; and his sister Margaret studied the Bible quite a bit if not every day (Her GNT version has markings in it, bookmarks and other placeholders, etc.). There are other Evangelical Catholics; but being Catholic, even an Evangelical Catholic, is not for me. In order to be considered a good Catholic and not a "fundamentalist", one has to:

  • Disbelieve the inerrancy of the Word of G-d. I keep coming back to Reform Judaism and Amy Scheinerman on this because Reform Judaism is the Catholicism of Judaism in many senses:
"Reform Jews, however, understand the texts to have been written by human beings -- our ancestors. In my personal opinion, the texts are certainly divinely inspired and reflect our ancestors' best understanding of God and their covenant with God, as well as their view of God's will, but that is not the same as being divinely-authored. Hence, Reform Jews read the texts through the spectacles not only of a religious person, but those of the scholar as well. Some institutions are considered to be a product of the cultural milieu and societal norms of the ancient Near East when the Hebrew Scriptures were written down, and do not speak to our lives today." 

Take those words and Catholicize them, and you'll have stolen them right from the mouths of "Doctor" Lyle Weiss, Marcus J. Borg, Sisters Sharon Kanis and Eileen Eppig, etc.. "Dr." Weiss once said that the Bible is (or at least he said something like) "Man's experiencing G-d... with some nuances." 

A good Catholic also has to:
  • Be Anti Death Penalty.
  • Be Democrat or Socialist (Look at how Speaker John Boehener was excoriated for being a Republican by Catholic universities.).
  • Believe in transubstantiation.
  • Allow that priests, nuns, and other clergy not marry.
  • Believe in Miryam bat-Eli as the daughter of a Joachim and Anna who stayed a Virgin after Jesus was born, and that Miryam is the Queen of Heaven who can intercede for us just because she gave birth to Yeshua; regardless of what Scripture says.
  • At least observe Christmas and Easter if not also the Feast Days, Days of Solemnity, Sunday mass, etc.
  • Go through baptism, confirmation, etc. if he or she can.
  • Go to Pre Confirmation and Confirmation Preparation classes.
  • Go to Sunday school and even Catholic school if he or she can.
  • Pray the rosary at least once in his or her lifetime.
  • Believe that he or she can lose his or her salvation by doing a bad work and has to get it back by confession and penance.
The list goes on, but the point is that being a Non-Evangelical (Non-"Fundamentalist"), good-enough Catholic entails being a "good enough" person and doing works that are good within the context of Catholic thinking. Catholicism isn't about faith through grace alone, salvation through mercy alone, etc..

So no matter how much I joke or say that I'm going to Hell for doing something bad or seemingly bad, I won't be a Catholic.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Isn't A Time To Forsake the Truth For "Good Tidings"...

In fact, truth is a good tiding. Too often we forget that what came is "[w]oe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" Remember that "He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. " For "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

The darkness and those of darkness do not want the truth and light. They don't want to comprehend them. For "[y]et the LORD has not given [them] a heart to perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear, to this very day." That doesn't mean truth is to be forsaken:

Isaiah 43:8-9

New King James Version (NKJV)
8 Bring out the blind people who have eyes,
      And the deaf who have ears.
       9 Let all the nations be gathered together,
      And let the people be assembled.
      Who among them can declare this,
      And show us former things?
      Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified;
      Or let them hear and say, “It is truth.” 

Every forsaker of truth will be repaid:

Psalm 69:22-23

New King James Version (NKJV)

 22 Let their table become a snare before them,
         And their well-being a trap.
 23 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see;
         And make their loins shake continually.


Psalm 118:22

New King James Version (NKJV)

 22 The stone which the builders rejected
         Has become the chief cornerstone.

Also as written:

Luke 20:13-18

New King James Version (NKJV)
13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.’ 14 But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’ 15 So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.”
And when they heard it they said, “Certainly not!”
17 Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written:

      ‘ The stone which the builders rejected
      Has become the chief cornerstone’?

 18 Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”