Answering chalcedon451, of All Along the Watchtower, on the Church of Rome


 


Luke 10:21

NASB

At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.”


1 Timothy 3

14 I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. 


.4. We believe that there is one holy church, comprising the whole assembly of the elect and faithful, that have existed from the beginning of the world, or that shall be to the end thereof. Of this church the Lord Jesus Christ is the head – it is governed by His word and guided by the Holy Spirit. In the church it behooves all Christians to have fellowship. For her He [Christ] prays incessantly, and His prayer for it is most acceptable to God, without which indeed there could be no salvation.

Waldenses Confession of 1544


chalcedon451, all that I know about you is that you are a convert to Catholicism, a father, and that you write about the early Church. I’m a former Catholic who after being raised a Catholic and educated in Catholic schools came to the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance and faith in 1979.

A few weeks ago I wrote in a comment at your blog, All Along the Watchtower, that Jesus did not found the Church of Rome. You replied that this was merely an assertion without proof. Below is a link to the post where our discussion happened, followed by some comments for context, and after these I’ve given reasons for my assertion. As a scholar you’ve heard these before, but contending for the faith is worth the best effort of every Christian. My desire is to warn God’s sheep, protecting them from harm. (Hopefully too, please, our discussion doesn’t have to be continued.)

The Miracle at Fatima: the centenary

chalcedon451: “Jesus did not leave us without a guide. He founded a Church that is with us still. Do you believe he founded a Church, Maria?”

Maria, a gentle iconoclast: “The Lord gave us His Holy Spirit to guide us. Yes, He built His Church and it is still with us. It is not the Church of Rome.”

chalcedon451: “Maria, I think such a statement requires an argument with some evidence, otherwise it remains an assertion without any evidence.”

Maria, a gentle iconoclast: “I agree with you and will attempt to give a reason for the hope that is in me at my own blog.”

This what I believe: It is impossible for the Church of Rome to be “the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:1). The Word of God, Rome’s fruits, and history disprove her claim to be the Church founded by Jesus.

To begin, Rome believes and promotes deceptions such as the Fatima Apparitions. I say this upfront because we began this discussion on your post about the Centenary of the apparitions. The Apparitions often contradict the Bible and glorify Mary.

Words spoken by Mary at Fatima

“Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the conversion of sinners?”

Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne.”

“No, my daughter. Are you suffering a great deal? Don’t lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”

Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially when you make some sacrifice: O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

Theotokos Catholic Books: Fatima Books and Information: Nine Major Approved Apparitions

But the chief reason that I and many other Christians believe that Rome is not the Church Jesus founded is that Rome does not preach the Gospel. For, though she seems to offer Christ, it is the Christ of the Eucharist not of the Bible, and in this way she actually keeps people from coming to the Lord. Additionally, Rome’s focus on “mystery” acts as a smokescreen under which errors are brought forward. Here are errors Rome teaches.

Transubstantiation. Among the many problems with this doctrine is that Jesus Christ – the Son of God, God in the flesh – has a human body, and although it is a glorified body it cannot be in multiple places simultaneously. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is Omnipresent for He is Spirit, but Jesus cannot be at the same time at the right hand of the Father, waiting until His enemies be made His footstool (Hebrews 10:12-14), and present on every Catholic altar in the world. You will say, But this is a Mystery, Maria, but I must answer that the Lord Who is the Truth desires truth in our innermost being (Psalm 51:6). chalcedon451, you realize, don’t you, that men and women have been killed for refusing to worship “the Host”? 

Rome’s teachings about Mary, Jesus’ Mother, aren’t Biblical. For example, Divine titles have been given to her, such as, Mediatrix of all graces (Mediator), Conciliatrix (Conciliator, Counselor), Co-Redemptorix (Co-Redeemer), Advocate, Helper. Also, to encourage Catholics to come to the Lord through her because she is His mother (and therefore more approachable) contradicts and undermines:

The Lord’s testimony that He is “the only way to the Father” (John 14:6),

Paul’s teaching that Jesus is “the only Mediator between God and man” (1 Timothy 2:5), 

And, the true comfort found in the Lord’s promise to sinners recorded in Matthew 11:

28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

We do not need a mediator to bring us to Him.

The dogma of Mary’s “Immaculate Conception”:

In the constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December, 1854, Pius IX pronounced and defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary “in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.”

Society of Saint Pius X

But Mary the mother of Jesus testified to her own need for a Savior: 

Luke 1:47

“And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”

The Sacrifice of the Mass: Since Jesus died for sins, “once for all,” why would further sacrifice be needed? I realize that Rome claims that the Mass is in reality the same sacrifice, but if so then still why would it be needed? Here is Rome’s answer, with an important admission upfront:

“It is a notable fact that the Divine institution of the Mass can be established, one might almost say, with greater certainty by means of the Old Testament than by means of the New. . .

“. . .Since sacrifice is thus essential to religion, it is all the more necessary for Christianity, which cannot otherwise fulfil its duty of showing outward honour to God in the most perfect way. Thus, the Church, as the mystical Christ, desires and must have her own permanent sacrifice, which surely cannot be either an independent addition to that of Golgotha or its intrinsic complement; it can only be the one self-same sacrifice of the Cross, whose fruits, by an unbloody offering, are daily made available for believers and unbelievers and sacrificially applied to them.”

New Advent

Also, among the many difficulties with the Mass are the teachings that it is an “unbloody sacrifice,” which contradicts the truth that “without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22); and, that it actually deals with sin (is expiatory) beyond what the Lord did “once for all” on the Cross, contradicting His declaration from the Cross,

John 19

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. 30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

Rome believes and teaches that “The Sacrifice of the Mass” was not only instituted on the night before He died, but that Christ’s sacrifice of Himself began then (“the mystical shedding of blood in the chalice”), and that not only was it a true  and real sacrifice but that “the ‘shedding of blood’ spoken of in the text took place there and then and not for the first time on the cross,” that,

“. . .Christ, therefore, at the Last Supper offered up His Body as an unbloody sacrifice. Finally, that He commanded the renewal for all time of the Eucharistic sacrifice through the Church is clear from the addition: ‘Do this for a commemoration of me’ (Luke 32:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24).”

New Advent

This view contradicts the Epistle to the Hebrews:

Chapter 9:15-17

 15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16 For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. 17 For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.

These verses prove that the New Testament in His blood could never have been inaugurated on the night before He died, because He had not died yet.

Rome’s teachings about the Sacrifice of the Mass also contradict Hebrews 9: 

24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

One death, one sacrifice, was all that was needed, chalcedon451! 

The Temple sacrifices (God-ordained sacrifices) ended with Christ’s atoning death for sins. The Temple was then destroyed. Why is Rome continuing to sacrifice? Rome and pagans continue to sacrifice.

The priesthood. Here is the testimony of Hebrews 7 about the Lord, our great High Priest, Who holds His priesthood eternally in contrast to the Aaronic priesthood (human priesthood), followed by John’s statement in Revelation 1 about Christians being a kingdom of priests, that is, that Christ’s kingdom is comprised of priests (“the priesthood of all believers”).

23 The former priests [Aaron and his descendants], on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, 24 but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. 25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

(Please notice that it is the Lord Jesus Christ Who “always lives to make intercession” for us, not Mary.)

Revelation 1

4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood— 6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen

We need no other priest than Jesus Christ! chalcedon451, God’s Word is clear. You believe you need a priesthood because you believe that you must continue to offer sacrifice, when:

Psalm 51:17

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

And when, the “pure oblation” of Malachi 1 is not the Sacrifice of the Mass, as Rome claims:

10 “Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of hosts, “nor will I accept an offering from you. 11 For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord of hosts

As a kingdom of priests, Christians offer the incense of prayer and thanksgiving, not the body and blood of the Lord Jesus. I’m not a scholar but know that the origin of the word “eucharist” has to do with feeling and being joyful and thankful. I’m not going to convince you, I know, if the wisdom of Christians through the ages can’t convince you that we need no priest to mediate for us with God, only Jesus Christ, Who offered Himself “once for all.”

Rome teaches that we are justified by Baptism. We are justified by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:4-10

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Rome’s teaching on Baptism: 

1227 . . .Through the Holy Spirit, Baptism is a bath that purifies, justifies, and sanctifies.31

1266 . . .The Most Holy Trinity gives the baptized sanctifying grace, the grace of justification

1271 Baptism constitutes the foundation of communion among all Christians, including those who are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church: “For men who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in some, though imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church. Justified by faith in Baptism, [they] are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.”81 “Baptism therefore constitutes the sacramental bond of unity existing among all who through it are reborn.”82

The Catechism of The Catholic Church, The Sacrament of Baptism

Under the headship of “Peter”, the history of the Papacy is one of scandal, treachery, and immorality. For example, contrary to the teaching of God’s Word, Rome insists that the great majority of her clergy be celibate, when marriage is the God-ordained remedy for sexual immorality.

1 Corinthians 7:2

Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 

The Office of the Papacy robs God of His glory by, among many other things, usurping His Names, one of the most tragic usurpations being “Holy Father” (John 17:11). 

Rome’s rationalization of her use of images of God and of Christ demonstrates that she delights in what God has forbidden. Please take this link to view the lengths to which her idolatry goes, stripping an image of “Jesus” nearly bare:

Portrait of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI 
“The Truth, The Way and The Life”
Collection:  Vatican, Rome ©Studio Babailov 

Again, we Christians affirm that it is impossible for the Church of Rome to be “the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). 


 

Because confessions of faith are truly helpful, and because no individual should try to reinvent the wheel, I’m including the following links on the Church from Protestant or Evangelical confessions:

Westminster Confession of Faith.

Savoy Declaration (1658), Chapter 26, Of The Church

London Baptist Confession of Faith 1689

The Augsburg Confession

..

Here is a video about Fatima with which I agree:

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57 thoughts on “Answering chalcedon451, of All Along the Watchtower, on the Church of Rome

  1. Thanks for this post, Maria. I remember reading the New Testament as a Catholic and becoming increasingly disturbed by the differences between the Bible and Catholic doctrine. The final straw was the Book of Hebrews. I could not reconcile priests and the ongoing sacrifice of the mass with the finished sacrifice of Christ.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Let try to deal with each point:

    1 Fatima – you say it is not real, the Church says it is; I see no actual reason you offer for accepting your view.
    2 Preaching the Gospel. That there is a book called the New Testament and the list of books that are in it both owe their existence to the fact that the Church collected and authorised these books and no others. It seems odd to argue that later folk know how to read that book better than the Church which canonised it.
    3 Transubstatiation: God is either omnipotent or He is not God. You seem to be stating God cannot make the body and blood of Christ available everywhere through his priests. That seems to be an argument that God is not omnipotent- an omnipotent God can do what His Holy Chuch says He does.
    4 Our Lady – I am unsure why you state that the Church does not think Mary needed a saviour, as she clearly teaches the opposite. She was saved through her Son. Can perfection and God coexist? Mary’s womb bore Our Blessed Saviour, who could not be conceived in sin or inherit the taint of Adam’s sin, so God saved Mary from the womb so she could bear the sinless one. If you do not believe this, how could the Son of Mary be sinless?
    5 Her titles – perhaps your catechism was as poor as it often is in my Church? All these titles are to be read in context. As the handmaiden of the Lord, her consent to the Angel’s news made her a cooperators in the plan of Salvation. No other human has ever borne the Saviour of the World, and these titles are ones of honour.
    6 The Mass commemorates the bloody sacrifice at Calvary, so of course it is bloodless – the precious blood was shed once for all who will receive the Christ. It is clear that St Paul accepted this, and the Last Supper foreshadows what happened on the morrow.
    7 The priesthood – we see it in Acts and the Church continues with it. The priest acts on behalf of the successors of the Apostles. What they bound is bound in heaven, etc.
    I

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    • chalcedon451,

      My husband is relaxing now.

      1. I didn’t say that Fatima isn’t real, that is, that real phenomena weren’t happening there, but that Fatima is a deception, quoting the Apparition’s words to the children to support this. The Apparition was a deception – was not Jesus’ Mother – because her words sought glory for herself. The quotes were copied from a Catholic website about those Apparitions which have been approved by the Church of Rome.

      2. You wrote, “It seems odd to argue that later folk know how to read that book better than the Church which canonised it.” The early Church recognized the Canon of Scripture, yes. But truly, you stand as far away in time from the early Church as I do.

      3. You wrote, “You seem to be stating God cannot make the body and blood of Christ available everywhere through his priests. That seems to be an argument that God is not omnipotent – an omnipotent God can do what His Holy Church says He does.” Of course God is Omnipotent and the Lord Jesus is God in the flesh – God Almighty. But God cannot do anything, that is not omnipotence. For example, He cannot sin. Do you really believe that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ would put Jesus Christ in the position of being invoked upon an altar by a human priest times without number? How little you think of the Father and the Son!

      4. The Lord Jesus Christ is sinless for this reason:
      Luke 1:34-36
      34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.
      This seems an insufficient answer in contrast with the theology that has grown up around this but it is all that is certainly known.

      5. You wrote, “No other human has ever borne the Saviour of the World, and these titles are ones of honour.” It is a good thing to honor where honor is due, yes – she is highly favored! But these titles are not honorary but have substance, you believe, and in this way deflect glory from the Beloved, the Holy One of Israel. I remember walking in procession, reciting the Litany of the Blessed Virgin – if this is not worship, what is worship?

      6. Did you even read what I quoted from New Advent Encyclopedia about the New Testament in His blood beginning the night before He died, that is, the shedding of blood began then not on the Cross, as NA stated?

      7. The priests of Apostolic times were those of the Temple in Jerusalem and priests of pagan religions. The Douay-Rheims speaks of “priests” in the Church, for example here, but the NABRE speaks of presbyters:

      Douay-Rheims
      Acts 14 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
      Public Domain
      20 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and to Antioch:
      21 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith: and that through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God.
      22 And when they had ordained to them priests in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, in whom they believed.

      New American Bible Revised (NABRE)
      © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC
      21 After they had proclaimed the good news to that city and made a considerable number of disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch. 22 They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” 23 They appointed presbyters[e] for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith.
      [e] 14:23 They appointed presbyters: the communities are given their own religious leaders by the traveling missionaries. The structure in these churches is patterned on the model of the Jerusalem community (Acts 11:30; 15:2, 5, 22; 21:18).

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      • Again, many thanks for the engagement and dialogue.
        Fatima: I understand you think it it is not Mary, but not why? You say her words are about her, but even the ones you choose to quote are about leading souls to God and away from Hell; I can’t see that is about her, per se.
        The Church: my point here is that the Church traces its practice back to the Apostles, so I can’t accept that what my Church practices is as far away from that time as the practices of your Church. It seems to me to be telling that my own Church and the Orthodox Church, the two which can trace a direct line back to the Apostles, have very similar practices.
        Ominipotence: you might note I did not say that God could do whatever he wanted, I specifically stated there was no reason he could not do what the Church teaches he does, which is to make the body and the blood of his son available to all.
        St Paul in 1 Cor 10 tells us: ‘The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (v.16)’ Was He wrong?
        In 1 Cor 11 he writes: Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord (v.27). The Greek text—enochos estai tou somatos kai tou haimatos tou kyriou—translates as “will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.warned that those who partook unworthiliy of the body and blood brought damnation on themselves.
        Now, if I have to choose between St Paul saying we partake of the body and blood, and if we do so unworthily we are damned, and your suggestion God cannot make that body and blood available to all who receive it, I am going with St Paul – as my Church does.
        Mary: I am not sure you are understanding the theology. Mary was without sin because nothing that is sinful can coexist with God, so Jesus, who is the Second Person of the Trinity and sinless, could not have been in the womb of a sinner; that seems merely Logic 101.
        On you and that Litany, I cannot speak for what was in your heart. If you were treating Mary as though she were God, then your were guilty of idolatry; I know no Catholic who thinks Mary is God, and since worship is given only to God, and since the Church makes that clear, I stick with my initial statement.
        Shedding blood: Yes, I read it, and it makes it clear that the Last Supper is the foreshadowing of what was to come on the morrow. Christ gave them his body and blood, foreshadowing the Eucharist. This is clear from every Church Father and from both Catholic and Orthodox teaching from the very beginning. For me it is inadvisable to adopt later, man-made interpretations.
        Priests: well, again, the word is Greek, and the Greek Orthodox translate it as ‘priest’. quite why anyone should prefer a modern, English language version over the one the Greeks use, is unclear to me. Are you saying the translations of that modern American version knew better than native Greek speakers? Seems unlikely.

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        • About the Lord’s Supper, you wrote: “Omnipotence: you might note I did not say that God could do whatever he wanted, I specifically stated there was no reason he could not do what the Church teaches he does, which is to make the body and the blood of his son available to all.” But until Vatican II (I was in high school then) we lay Catholics only received the host and not the wine. So, if it is true that the wine is Christ’s blood, then the Church of Rome sinned in denying the wine to the laity whatever their reasons. Before this council, both bread and wine were only for the priests and the Utraquists of Czechoslovakia, one exception I’m aware of. Is this not so?

          Yes, as Paul teaches, the Lord’s Supper is a participation in Christ’s body and blood and it is a very very serious matter to participate wrongly, without recognizing the body. This doesn’t mean we literally ingest Christ physically. Didn’t the Lord say, as recorded in John 6 this?

          Geneva 1599
          63 It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, are spirit and life.

          and

          1 Corinthians 2
          12 Now we have receiveth not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit, which is of God, that we might know the things that are given to us of God.
          13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the holy Ghost teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.
          14 But the natural man perceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
          15 But he that is spiritual, discerneth all things: yet he himself is judged of no man.

          You wrote this: “Are you saying the translations of that modern American version knew better than native Greek speakers? Seems unlikely.” Should people for whom Greek is their first language have the final say in all matters of translation? Those who study Greek can both learn from them and add insights as well. The Bible needs to be in the vernacular, chalcedon451 – this was a key issue in the Reformation. Praise God!

          I understand the theology (the Immaculate Conception) that has grown up around the Jewish maiden, Mary of Nazareth, but can see that it isn’t Biblical, that is, confirmed by the Scriptures or sometimes in contradiction to them (her perpetual virginity). The Immaculate Conception wasn’t always mandatory to be believed by all Catholics as a “matter of faith” until the 19th century – you know this. Suddenly it became something that must be believed.

          About this: “On you and that Litany, I cannot speak for what was in your heart. If you were treating Mary as though she were God, then your were guilty of idolatry.” Yes, I was guilty of idolatry; as a child my Catholic teachers taught me to idolize her. You can’t pretend that things are just a matter of misperception by “the laity”.

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          • Did not even some of those who followed the Lord turn away at the hard saying that we would have to eat his body and drink his blood? It seems far more probable that Greek speakers and the historic Churches got this right. You prefer a recent man-made tradition, I prefer the one the historic churches received from the Apostles. Christ is fully present in both bread and wine, as you must have been taught.

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        • chalcedon451, I’ve finished doing what I told you I planned to do here at my own blog, in answering why the Lord Jesus Christ didn’t found the Roman Catholic Church. Praise God forevermore, unto eternity!
          Please read this text prayerfully:
          Revelation 18
          4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

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          • Thank you. As you can see, I am far from persuaded. But I pray for you and for all who prefer their own judgement to that of the Church founded by Christ.

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                • my testimony in Scripture:

                  John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me,

                  John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

                  Revelation 18:4 I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;

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                • Since, for me, that happened in the Church, I have to respect that for you it took you out of the Church. A mystery which we shall know the answer to only when, as I pray we both do, we are received into His loving arms.

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  3. Second part:

    You say we need no priesthood, yet we see it in Acts and in my Church and the Orthodox Church which go back to the beginning. Is it not a sign of human pride to suppose one knows better than the early Church?

    Rome does not teach justification by baptism. It does not accept the recent Protestant notion. If you look at the Catechism it teaches we are justified by faith in Christ through Grace. Baptism is a sacrament and an outward and visible sign of indwelling Grace.

    I am travelling at the moment, so will stop here and await your moderation before proceeding. I shall check in later to see whether you have, as I hope, approved these comments so far. C451

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    • This is what I quoted about baptism and justification:

      1227 . . .Through the Holy Spirit, Baptism is a bath that purifies, justifies, and sanctifies.31
      1266 . . .The Most Holy Trinity gives the baptized sanctifying grace, the grace of justification: 

      What you quoted, “Baptism is a sacrament and an outward and visible sign of indwelling Grace,” is what I learned in Catechism class but isn’t the whole story.

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      • I am not quite clear of your point here, Maria. I do not think anyone, except perhaps you here, has ever claimed that those two parts of the Catechism are all the whole story. For the sake of completeness, let me give the ‘whole story’ from the Catechism (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c1a1.htm)
        ARTICLE 1
        THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM

        1213 Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua),4 and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”5

        I. WHAT IS THIS SACRAMENT CALLED?

        1214 This sacrament is called Baptism, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek baptizein) means to “plunge” or “immerse”; the “plunge” into the water symbolizes the catechumen’s burial into Christ’s death, from which he rises up by resurrection with him, as “a new creature.”6

        1215 This sacrament is also called “the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” for it signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one “can enter the kingdom of God.”7

        1216 “This bath is called enlightenment, because those who receive this [catechetical] instruction are enlightened in their understanding . . . .”8 Having received in Baptism the Word, “the true light that enlightens every man,” the person baptized has been “enlightened,” he becomes a “son of light,” indeed, he becomes “light” himself:9

        Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift. . . .We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God’s Lordship.10
        II. BAPTISM IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION

        Prefigurations of Baptism in the Old Covenant

        1217 In the liturgy of the Easter Vigil, during the blessing of the baptismal water, the Church solemnly commemorates the great events in salvation history that already prefigured the mystery of Baptism:

        Father, you give us grace through sacramental signs,
        which tell us of the wonders of your unseen power.
        In Baptism we use your gift of water,
        which you have made a rich symbol
        of the grace you give us in this sacrament.11

        1218 Since the beginning of the world, water, so humble and wonderful a creature, has been the source of life and fruitfulness. Sacred Scripture sees it as “overshadowed” by the Spirit of God:12

        At the very dawn of creation
        your Spirit breathed on the waters,
        making them the wellspring of all holiness.13
        1219 The Church has seen in Noah’s ark a prefiguring of salvation by Baptism, for by it “a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water”:14

        The waters of the great flood
        you made a sign of the waters of Baptism,
        that make an end of sin and a new beginning of goodness.15
        1220 If water springing up from the earth symbolizes life, the water of the sea is a symbol of death and so can represent the mystery of the cross. By this symbolism Baptism signifies communion with Christ’s death.

        1221 But above all, the crossing of the Red Sea, literally the liberation of Israel from the slavery of Egypt, announces the liberation wrought by Baptism:

        You freed the children of Abraham from the slavery of Pharaoh,
        bringing them dry-shod through the waters of the Red Sea,
        to be an image of the people set free in Baptism.16
        1222 Finally, Baptism is prefigured in the crossing of the Jordan River by which the People of God received the gift of the land promised to Abraham’s descendants, an image of eternal life. The promise of this blessed inheritance is fulfilled in the New Covenant.

        This is a fuller account than you offer. I would be interested to know whether you disagree with any part of it.

        Like

            • Definitions are by nature “narrow”, that is, they’re specific.

              Please don’t speak as though what Protestants believe began in the 16th century. It is Apostolic, not manmade. We need to stop because we cannot agree. Okay? Yes, of course I will pray for you too.

              Like

              • If it were Apostolic there would be a trace of it in the early Church Fathers; there is none. I am content to rest on the verdict of nearly 2000 years of Christian consensus. Of course we pray for each other, as we are Christians, and I wish you all the best.

                Like

                • chalcedon451,

                  “Similarly we also, who by His will have been called in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, or our own wisdom or understanding or godliness, nor by such deeds as we have done in holiness of heart, but by that faith through which Almighty God has justified all men since the beginning of time. Glory be to Him, forever and ever, Amen.”- St. Clement of Rome (? – ~101 AD) (Letter to the Corinthians,  par. 32)

                  https://actheologian.com/2016/04/21/church-fathers-on-sola-fide/

                  We must stop here, please – thank you.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • We can, dear Maria, agree on that. At the last, the Lord will, we hope, have mercy on us, pardon us from all our sins, and make it so that what we see now, as through a glass darkly, we shall see in the clear light of his presence. Bless you.

                  Like

  4. Thank you Maria. On Justification, a good place to trace the similarities and differences between some Protestants and the Church is here:http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_31101999_cath-luth-joint-declaration_en.html

    The Papacy: there are many posts on my own site dealing with the history of this. It was accepted as early as the second century that the bishop of Rome had a special position, and that remains the position of the Orthodox and Anglicans, despite differences in defining what that oisition entails. The Petrine verses in Matthew see Jesus change Simon’s name to ‘Rock’ and the Lord saying ‘on this Rock I found my Church’. Not until 1500 years later did sinful men come up with ingenious explanations for not accepting the words of the Incarnate Word. Why prefer a late and man-made tradition to the older one?

    I find arguments about the sinfulness of individual Popes and Catholics unconvincing reasons for supposing the Church not to be the one Jesus founded. All are sinners. Is there any Institution other than the Church which has lasted nearly 2000 years? Indeed, the fact it has prevailed against the sins of men, seems an argument for suggesting it is not a purely human institution.

    Images: God forbades worshipping them. A ‘graven image’ was an image worshipped by pagans. No Catholic worships an image. The one fairy I know which forbids making images is Islam; not an example to be followed, I think you’ll agree.

    On Creeds and confessions. I am content with the one agreed at Constantinople in 381- commonly called the Niceness Creed.

    My thanks to you for your courteous manner, and allowing me space here to respond. It is through such dialogue that we end up with a better sense of what others believe.
    C451

    Liked by 1 person

    • chalcedon451,

      Did you take the link and look at the portrait of Benedict XVI? Doesn’t it bother you in any way? Doesn’t it argue against images? Doesn’t Francis I’s bowing before the image at Fatima and offering it a rose made of gold argue that while you say this isn’t worship, it IS worship and sin? Please go look and tell me how Benedict could allow this image, nearly stripped bare. It’s unholy. Anyone who has the Spirit will discern this.

      http://babailov.homestead.com/PopeBenedictXVIsitting.html

      Here is a link that you may want to read. I’m going to tackle it though it’s demanding:

      http://www.christiantruth.com/articles/lutheranRC-JDanalysis.html

      The title is:
      The Lutheran-Roman Catholic Joint Declaration on Justification
      An Analysis
      Includes a Critique of the Comments of Roman Catholic, Robert Sungenis, on the Joint Declaration
      By William Webster

      About belonging to the Church of Rome built upon Peter, I’m not “of Peter” but simply a Christian.
      NASB
      1 Corinthians 1
      10 Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. 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?

      Yes, the Church is very old, older than the Church of Rome. It existed since God’s covenant with Abraham.

      Like

      • Of all the heresies, Iconoclasm is the one that puzzles me most. God is clear, we are to worship no one but him, which is why the making of ‘graven images’ is wrong. Those words refer not to any image, so they are not, as Muslims and the Greek iconoclasts tried to claim, a prohibition against making statues or other works of figurative art, but a prohibition against idolatry. So no, I have no problems with works of art. Some may be more to my taste than others, but I see no reason to ban them.

        On the Church, we shall not agree. I am not part of Abraham’s Covenant, because I am not a Jew. The Jews threw the Christians out of the synagogues. I am part of the Church Christ founded, as he said he did. I am part of that Church the Apostles spread to all corners of the globe. Indeed, about 2 billion people currently share my faith.

        Like

        • chalcedon451,

          About Abraham’s covenant:
          29 And if you be Christ’s, then are you the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise.

          About numbers of people in your Church, is this truly important to this discussion?

          You know as well as I do – perhaps better – that in the Eastern Empire tens of thousands of Iconoclasts (after briefly being in power and foolishly destroying the property of others) were executed and dispersed. A “gentle iconoclast” should never participate in breaking images unless the destruction of these images was desired by their owners, for we aren’t under a Theocracy as in Israel (e.g., King Josiah’s rediscovery of the Book of the Law led to his zealous iconoclasm.). Images of God and of Jesus Christ are forbidden as well as images of pagan deities. For this principle please see Deuteronomy 4:

          Douay-Rheims
          10 From the day in which thou didst stand before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord spoke to me, saying: Call together the people unto me, that they may hear my words, and may learn to fear me all the time that they live on the earth, and may teach their children.
          11 And you came to the foot of the mount, which burned even unto heaven: and there was darkness, and a cloud and obscurity in it.
          12 And the Lord spoke to you from the midst of the fire. You heard the voice of his words, but you saw not any form at all.
          13 And he shewed you his covenant, which he commanded you to do, and the ten words that he wrote in two tables of stone.
          14 And he commanded me at that time that I should teach you the ceremonies and judgments which you shall do in the land, that you shall possess.
          15 Keep therefore your souls carefully. You saw not any similitude in the day that the Lord God spoke to you in Horeb from the midst of the fire:
          16 Lest perhaps being deceived you might make you a graven similitude, or image of male or female,

          Did the icons (images) help the Emperor and his people defend Constantinople in 1453? Perhaps the scourge of Islam was a punishment for the multiplicity of images there. We “walk by faith, not by sight”!!

          Like

          • The Jews were faithless, we Christians inherited their place, as Paul makes clear in Romans.
            Numbers matter. The Holy Spirit does not lie. God’s Church was founded by The Incarnate Word and endures from that day to this – the Gates of Hell have not prevailed.
            No, the icons did not help 5000 men defeat a force of nearly 100,000. But then the Orthodox had gone into schism in 1054. Of the ancient Patriarchal Sees, Rome, and Rome alone, has survived – nearly 2000 years. Is this not a sign?

            Like

            • chalcedon451,
              You were right to say this:
              “The Holy Spirit does not lie. God’s Church was founded by The Incarnate Word and endures from that day to this – the Gates of Hell have not prevailed.”
              But you have identified this Church with Rome. This was the whole reason for my post to demonstrate why the Church of Rome is not the Church Jesus founded.
              The Lord did not reject the Jewish people. He is the descendant humanly speaking not just of Adam but of Abraham and David. Please reread Romans 9-11 to find the truth about the irrevocable call of God. We Gentiles are the wild olive branches grafted in, and someday Israel will recognize the Messiah, when “the fulness of the Gentiles come in.”

              Liked by 2 people

    • chalcedon451, twice you’ve mentioned Islam in relation to rejection of images. In the comment above, you wrote “The one fairy I know which forbids making images is Islam; not an example to be followed, I think you’ll agree.” This is the kind of argument that hopes to discredit an opponent’s argument by association. Simply because Islam rejects images, and Islam is a false religion, doesn’t make the rejection of images wrong.

      Enough about images, okay? We know that Rome uses them and historic Protestantism doesn’t.

      Like

  5. Indeed, maybe a third view somewhat between Maria’s and Chalcedon’s would be appropriate.

    Fatima, I have no real opinion on, but I have seen evidence of Mary’s work in this world. I’ll leave that there.

    The Gospel came about exactly as Chalcedon says, my church as well accepts the Patristic Fathers’ interpretation, although some have been to a point superseded as conditions change.

    This explanation of the Immaculate Conception I can accept. Mary was indeed the first Christian, there have been some others proposed that are well beyond this, and are unacceptable.

    The titles, yeah, Rome carries it a bit far, I think, not that they aren’t justified, but they can leave the wrong impression. Rome has a tendency to overblown rhetoric, that sometimes works against it. Which may be why I tend to focus on Our Lady of Walsingham, the laid back Anglo-Saxon, Northern European verbiage just suits me better.

    The priesthood? Well, we abolished it first, long ago, kind of, what we established is the universal priesthood of all believers, which Rome has come to accept as well.

    Rome indeed does not teach justification by baptism, I’m not aware of any that do. Rome teaches justification by Faith alone, just as the Lutheran Church does. Granted some corrupt practices grew up in the Medieval church, which is why there was a Reformation, and Rome (later) reformed as well. I agree with Chalcedon on that document, it clarifies many things that few congregants on either side are aware of.

    The Pope, well yes, he is a venerable figure worthy of respect, the last remaining Patriarch of the early church, that doesn’t make his every utterance in the back of the plane infallible, nor does the Catholic Church say it does. There have been bad ones, indifferent ones, good ones, and a few great ones. All were men, and sinful men at that. I’m willing to concede Patriarch of the West, but a mark of honor, and respect, not much more. And remember the Roman Church, just like ours, is an institution of sinful men, irregardless of its founding. It has proved its worth many time over, not least in the defense of the Faith and of Christendom.

    Images: I agree with Chalcedon wholeheartedly, and remind all that before modern schooling most of this art was a teaching aid, to help in disseminating the Faith. The Catholics no more worship images than any other Christian does.

    Creeds, well actually I prefer the Anthanasian Creed, although it is awfully long to recite each week, it details things that should be more effectively explained. I have no problem with either the Nicene or the Apostle’s Creed, which are also valid statements of faith. As they are in Roman, Anglican, and most other practices.

    And C’s last paragraph is completely true, this is how we find out how we are different, but mostly we find out how similar we really are.

    And yes, I am an Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Catholic Christian. In short, a Lutheran.

    Thanks for your time, Neo.

    Like

    • To Neo,
      RE: “Fatima, I have no real opinion on, but I have seen evidence of Mary’s work in this world. I’ll leave that there.” * Mormons attests to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon due to a “burning in the bosom” so that must make the BoM true also?
      RE: “The Gospel came about exactly as Chalcedon says…”
      * What church council authorized the OT canon for the Jews prior to 400 B.C.? The local councils of Hippo and Carthage merely affirmed what was and what was not already accepted by the churches, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
      RE: “This explanation of the Immaculate Conception I can accept.”
      * I can’t. By this logic, Mary’s parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc., etc., must also have been without sin as well.
      RE: “The priesthood? Well, we abolished it first, long ago, kind of, what we established is the universal priesthood of all believers, which Rome has come to accept as well.”
      * Rome never did deny the priesthood of all believers in the sense of spiritual community but what does that have to do with the Catholic sacerdotal priesthood which is the backbone of its religion?
      RE: “Rome indeed does not teach justification by baptism, I’m not aware of any that do. Rome teaches justification by Faith alone.”
      * Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2010 ; “Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion (i.e., baptism). Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God’s wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions.” No Catholic grounded in their catechism will claim justification by faith ALONE. Every Catholic apologist worth his salt argues AGAINST faith ALONE.
      RE: “The Pope, well yes, he is a venerable figure worthy of respect.”
      * No one argues the pope is sinless, but whether he is infallible when it comes to teaching on faith and morals. Catholics are understandably reluctant to affirm when a pope has taught ex cathedra except for papal infallibility, the immaculate conception, and the assumption but a quick review of history (Peter’s compromise at Antioch, Inquisitions, Crusades, forced baptisms, anti-Semitism, Galileo, the massacres of Protestants) would show popes actually “struggled” with infallibility.
      RE: “The Catholics no more worship images than any other Christian does.”
      * Pagans didn’t believe the idols they made with their hands were the ACTUAL gods themselves but that they were a spiritual pathway to the entity, same as Catholics believe. God condemns this type of idolatry repeatedly in the Bible. Sorry, but Bible Christians don’t pray to statues like Catholics do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, Tom, like the founder of my church the Rev Dr Luther, I venerate Mary, as he did both before the Reformation and till his death, as did Calvin for that matter.

        Nope, that’s why C’s is acceptable, it was a once and only. Many of the explanations do say what you do, that’s why they are not.
        The Small Catechism says this: “It is not the water indeed that does them, but the word of God which is in and with the water, and faith, which trusts such word of God in the water. For without the word of God the water is simple water and no baptism. But with the word of God it is a baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Ghost, as St. Paul says, Titus, chapter three: By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior, that, being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying.”
        This Sacrament is when Grace is first offered us.

        Good works such as mentioned here come from Grace, which Rome accepts fully as you’d realize if you had read that joint Catholic-Lutheran document that C. linked.

        Hardly one-sided, we Protestants killed plenty of Catholics as well, in plenty gruesome ways, all of which are best left in the past.

        Papal infallibility didn’t really exist before the late nineteenth century, and was strenuously argued against by such people as Bl John Henry Newman. Before that time the Pope was certainly primus inter pares but rarely more than that.
        You are simply wrong, likely because you haven’t read enough of the Fathers of our faith. If memory serves, they just discovered frescoes in the Roman catacombs going back some 1500 years. Art is part of our heritage, much of it relating to our faith, that does not mean that veneration is worship, a concept that some have a great deal of difficulty understanding.

        Like

  6. To chalcedon451,

    You wrote, “Since, for me, that happened in the Church, I have to respect that for you it took you out of the Church. A mystery which we shall know the answer to only when, as I pray we both do, we are received into His loving arms.”

    The Lord did not take me out of His Church, the Body of Christ, His bride.
    Your position and mine can’t both be true.
    There has to be assurance greater than what can be inferred from your comment, however kindly you meant it.

    “Fear hath torment” and so He would not want His children in torment but to grow to mature assurance based on faith in His many great and precious promises (Peter).

    Like

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