Divisions among Christians

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Priscilla Ann, Mar 21, 2003.

  1. Priscilla Ann

    Priscilla Ann
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    Has anyone else noticed that some of the greatest divisions among Christians thoughout history have been about issues that Jesus and the apostles never even spoke about? For example, purgatory and indulgences...
     
  2. GH

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    Hi Priscilla,

    Yes, I have noticed. There really is so much that we have in common (our great Lord and Savior who if all the things He did were written down all the books in the world could not contain them) yet we seem to focus on our differences. Interesting, huh?

    But I am confident that He will complete what He has begun in us - for He is able. \o/

    Peace, GH


    I don't know who wrote this, but it's beautiful:

    HIS LIFE


    Oh it does require God to give us such a
    heart that "your will" alone we might become.

    Not by strength summoned within through
    grit and determinations won.

    But a steadfast Spirit plowing deep within,
    His seed and life that shall begin.

    For out of the dirt and rain soaked soil,
    shall emerge that which does not strive or toil.

    For life is the source that we all desire,
    as holy Love becomes our only flame of desire.

    Oh God I am in such a need weary and tired,
    of words of no profit that sink in the mire.

    Rest my child for deep within thee
    the Son shall arise for this has been decreed.

    When first flames rise within thy spirit be,
    alas, alas you shall see it is Me! It is Me!

    Then shall you know as you are known,
    face-to-face communion within shall be shone.

    No more I but Me, nor thou, shall be,
    that shall be My testimony raised up in thee.
     
  3. BobRyan

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    In Mark 7 Christ said "In vain do they worship Me - teaching for doctrines the commandments of men".

    In that case He was speaking of baptizing the hands to cleanse them from sin. (Something the Bible does not mention.).

    Basically - when man becomes in a position to invent doctrine - even to the point of contradicting scripture - you get "strange debates" over subjects that on the surface are not Bible doctrines promoted in scripture.

    Like prayers to the Dead.

    Prayers for the dead.

    Indulgences earned for the dead.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. donnA

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    Prephaps the reason they didn't speak about them is because they don't exsist. Otherwise it'd be covered in the bible.
     
  5. DanielFive

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    Bob,

    Prayers to the dead, prayers for the dead, indulgences and Purgatory are all dealt with in the apocrypha so if you are speaking to a catholic you'll have to address the authenticity of the apocryphal books before you can dismiss these things.

    2 Mach 12:43-46, I think these are verses they use, if you are interested.

    God Bless

    Enda
     
  6. BobRyan

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    2 Macc 12 is a perfect example of where the RCC would say that prayers for the dead are NOT allowed.

    The people in 2Macc 12 all died with mortal sin - they died in idolatry so according to the RCC they would not be in Purgatory - they would be in hell. The RCC rejects the idea of indulgences for those in hell.

    Secondly - the text of 2Macc 12 does not show anyone praying TO the dead.

    Thirdly - the text of 2Macc 12 is very explicit that the animal sacrifices (not prayers) were ONLY in consideration of the "Resurrection" not in consideration of a transition from Purgatory to Heaven. In fact it is explicit in pointing out that without the resurrection - there was no point at all in the sacrifices.

    But I do admit that this is the one place the Catholics go to find their "best" support.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  7. DanielFive

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    Bob,

    You don't need to convice me. I'm only pointing you where a catholic will start. I could show you other verses in support of these things but I don't want to go down that road.

    I am merely suggesting that you could avoid a lot of unnecessary debate by dealing with the aprocrypha issue first.

    God Bless

    Enda
     
  8. Charles33

    Charles33
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    Actually, How about free will vs predestination, things they did talk about? Calvinism and Armenianism? Some things that Christ and the Apostles spoke of in the NT. How about the dabate that raged over centuries about Christology (who Jesus was), and icons? How about the 'age of accountability'? How about smoking?

    How about works and faith, things they did talk about? Even AOG and Baptists cannot agree. Or Lutherans and Batptists. Infant Baptism, things Protestants still cannot agree on among themselves.

    What period of history are you speaking of??????

    At one time, except for the Roman Church, the entire Chistian world would have been Arian in theology. Would we call that a great debate in Chrisian history???????????

    No I have not noticed as much. The really important divisions and battles in Christianity that I have seen that affected the core of the Christian faith, were all discussed in the Bible. I would not call Purgatory one of the greatest debates in history by any stretch of the imagination. Indulgences was a biggie at one time, but hardly the real debate after the Reformation started. Plus, it was just an argument not over what Christianity was, but how we carried out particular parts of it. Not a defining issue of faith in the bigger picure.
     
  9. SolaScriptura in 2003

    SolaScriptura in 2003
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    These things are NOT the main cause of division today! The main cause of division among those who think they are Christians is the answer to the question "How do does a person become a Christian?" The Christians say that baptism of believers by immersion for the remission of sins is essential to becoming a Christian and those who think they are Christians say it isn't (either that baptism in general isn't necessary or that it doesn't have to be for believers only or by immersion only) and then proceed to invent various other ways (which are divisive) to become Christians. As Jesus said, he that does not enter by the door is a thief.

    How can I say baptism is essential to becoming a Christian?

    (1) Belief grants power to become sons of God

    (John 1:12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

    Notice that belief does not make a person a son of God, but is the point at which He gives them POWER TO BECOME sons of God - they are not YET sons of God but CAN BECOME such.

    (2) A person must be re-born or water and the spirit

    (John 3:5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    Obviously, those who believe have power to become sons of God, but how do they then utilize this power and become sons of God? They must be born again, but of what? Water and the Spirit. But HOW?

    (3) Baptism

    (Gal 3:26-27) For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. {27} For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

    FAITH - gives you the power
    BAPTISM - uses the power

    In baptism there is the water and the Spirit. The minister dunks a person into the water and the Spirit baptizes them into the body of Christ. (1 Cor 12:13) Thus, in baptism there is both water and the Spirit, and since Paul connects baptism with faith in making one a son of God, it is obvious that baptism is the re-birth whereby a person is born of water and the Spirit. Thus, baptism is called the "washing of rebirth" where Paul says
    Furthermore, that baptism is for believers only is quite evident from Gal 3:26-27, for it is by FAITH & BAPTISM that a person becomes a child of God. Without the POWER that Christ gives us at the point of faith, baptism is worthless.

    [ March 22, 2003, 03:18 AM: Message edited by: SolaScriptura in 2003 ]
     
  10. BobRyan

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    I offer that brief statement about 2Macc12 as my "treatment of the appeal to the Apocrypha". (Since it does not require that I first "Get the Apocrypha out of the Catholic Bible" before making the point.)

    In this case the Apocrypha fails to outline the teaching of Purgatory that Catholics endorse today. In fact 2Macc12 is a good example of souls NOT in purgatory according to Catholic teaching.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  11. AITB

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    Excellent points, Charles :D
     
  12. Priscilla Ann

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    Charles:

    The period of history I was specifically thinking of was the Reformation. Weren't Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses statements that attacked the sale of indulgences? Wasn't the sale of indulgences one of the issues that really started the Reformation? Also, doesn't the Catholic Church still offer indulgences today? If so, it is still a relevant issue.
     
  13. raymond

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    Priscilla Ann&gt;&gt;&gt;The period of history I was specifically thinking of was the Reformation. Weren't Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses statements that attacked the sale of indulgences? Wasn't the sale of indulgences one of the issues that really started the Reformation? Also, doesn't the Catholic Church still offer indulgences today? If so, it is still a relevant issue.&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;

    raymond: Hello Priscilla Ann...I noticed you are an ex-catholic from your post, so I hope you don't mind me asking you a question. Your question makes me wonder: 'how much do you yourself know about Catholicism?'

    There are plenty of ignorant Catholics around, who would have a hard time naming the Persons of the Trinity, knowing that Catholicism is a monotheistic religion, or that there is a hell, or that Jesus Christ was crucified, etc.....

    Were you one of those types of Catholics?
    I would say, for the good of your soul, it is far better to be in a Faith, e.g.the Baptist Faith, you understand and agree with, than in a Faith you don't understand or do understand and don't practice.

    raymond
     
  14. Charles33

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    Well, I love reading history, Christian and secular, which is really all tied together anyways. You said thoughout history. This sounded inclusive of most of Christian history, not one specific spot on the map. Right? Just to let you know, there have been brutal brutal debates in Christian history that make indulgencies pale in comparision. The Arian debates, which almost changed Chrisianity as you know it forever. Christiology, Iconoclasts, etc. These battles covered centuries, not one small stretch. And they involved core matters of faith such as salvation, grace and faith. These were big fights. Just like Calvin and Aremenius. Big issues, such as grace, and salvation.

    Yes the Reformation started with Indulgencies from Martin Luther. In fact 99% of his tratise were indulgencies. This however, is not what the Reformation was really about 'once it started'. It was a whole-scale revolution in thought and theology. It redefined most matters of faith and practice. Indlugencies is insignificant to your salvation or any Catholics. Whether they are real or false or abused or not abused, nobody says you go to hell without them right? That is why nobody cares much about the topic with real ferverency. It just does not affect the core enough.

    Besides, your post is antigonistic in nature, and is just begging for an argument. So why don't you just create a thread specific to what you really want to get into with some Catholic, so you can actually get a response that might have direction?
     
  15. Charles33

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    Bob Ryan said:
    I think this goes on just as much in the Protestant cirlce as they think it does in the Catholic circle. Could you please provide me with some examples of NT conversions, where the text of Scripture explicitly shows a person asking Jesus Christ into their hearts to be saved? This should not be a problem since it is the very chief way a person can get into heaven. Could anything this important for an Evangelical Church in the first 30-60 years of Christianity be overlooked in the Bible? The text should at least support this teaching so we can remove a lot of subjective interpretation techniques.
     
  16. Priscilla Ann

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    Charles:

    You are right! My post was antagonistic and I apologize to you and anyone else I offended. I need to read more closely before posting.

    Charles, I guess indulgences is a difficult issue for me. I didn't understand it when I was a Catholic, and I still don't.

    Paragraph #1471 of the CCC says, "An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints."

    "An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin. Indulgences may be applied to the living or the dead."

    Hebrews 10:16-18 says, "...I will put my laws in their hearts and I will write them on their minds." Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more. And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin."

    1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

    I guess I just don't understand the need for indulgences. If scripture says that once sins have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin, why is there still a need for indulgences?
     
  17. BobRyan

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    Well the Bible does tell us "To as many as BELIEVED to THEM He gave the right to be called the children of God" - so we know it is a free will "Choice" that is made.

    Col 1:27 tells us that "Christ IN you is the hope of Glory".

    Hebrews 8 and 10 tell us that the New Covenant IS the promise of "A NEW HEART" that is placed within us.

    Gal 2:20 tells us that "It is NO LONGER I who live but CHRIST that LIVES IN me".

    Christ IN you is something that will happen - only if you choose to accept it - choose faith in Christ.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  18. BobRyan

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    However I do agree that "inventing" doctrines like Purgatory and Indulgences may be very obvious in the case of Catholics - but is also possible for non-Catholics.

    It is wrong in either case.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  19. Charles33

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    Precilla,

    I got to tell you, I am not well studied in Indulgencies on a technical level. I don't think I can really help much here. Just being honest.

    The verse you quoted from Hebrews about there no longer being a need for a sacrafice for sins. That needs to be understood in context of the discussion taking place. God does not ever need OUR sacrafice for sin. It simply is not good enough. We know and all teach that Jesus' one sacrafice suffices for all sin also. So God does not need Jesus' sacrafice for sin a second time either. This is what I beleive the verse means. Punishment for sin is another subject, and is more likely what Indulgencies is regarding. Punishment for sin can certainly occur to anybody depending on the sin.

    I will likely have to find time to really study this and understand the doctrine better. I guess you may have figured out that I am not counting on Indulgencies for much. [​IMG]
     
  20. Priscilla Ann

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    Raymond:

    Hi! You asked what kind of Catholic I was. I guess I tried to be the best Catholic that I could. The Church was very important in my childhood and early adult life.

    Both my mother and father are devout Catholics and that is the way I was raised. We attended mass every Sunday, usually went to confession at least once a month. Novenas and the Rosary were a regular part of my childhood. I attended 11 years of CCD (had to get a job in my Senior year of high school). I was very well instructed on Catholic teachings, but always had questions about the reasons for those teachings.

    As a young adult, I continued to attend mass and receive the sacraments. When I meet the man I would marry, he agreed to join the Catholic Church (he came from an evangelical protestant family). We attended the required marriage classes, and were married in the church. We raised our son as a Catholic, and sent him to Catholic schools.

    As I approached my mid-30's, I began to feel that something was missing in my relationship with God. I began to search for answers -- in the bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. After several years of study, questions, and discussions with our priest, I realized that there were teachings in the Catholic Church that I could not reconcile with the Bible. My husband admitted that he had never accepted some of the teachings of Catholicism -- even though he had joined the church.

    When I asked questions, I was told (by a priest) that unless I believed all that the Catholic Church taught I could not be a Catholic. I haven't either the time or the space here to list all of the issues.

    After much thought and prayer, my husband, son and I left the Catholic Church. For the last five years, we have attended a small Baptist church, where we are free to ask questions, to learn and to grow in our faith and in our knowledge of God's Word. Through the Bible, God has become real in our daily lives. I guess the most significant thing about the Bible is that it has helped us to understand the character of God...his power, his perfection, his wrath and righteousness, as well as his love and mercy. It has also helped me to see my own sinfulness and my need of a Savior.

    I am still learning and still praying. I have no bitterness toward the Catholic Church -- just lots of questions that were never answered.

    I've rambled on much too long already, and I have probably bored you to tears. Hope this gives you some idea of what kind of Catholic I was...or tried to be!

    God Bless!
     

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