Interfaith...

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by ONENESS, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. ONENESS

    ONENESS
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    I was reading an article out of the EndTime Magazine. In this magazine Irvin Baxter Jr had an interview with NPR's Maureen Fiedler, a Catholic nun and host of the program "Interfaith Voices"

    How many Catholics on the board have heard of Naureen Fiedler? If you have heard of her and know what she believes, do you believe the same things as what she teaches?
     
  2. dumbox1

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    Hi Oneness,

    I've never heard the show on NPR, although the name sounds vaguely familiar.

    Anyhow, based on about 30 seconds of research, I see that in addition to her affiliation with NPR, Maureen Fiedler is also affiliated with the Quixote Center (a left-wing advocacy group) and is a member of the Sisters of Loretto (a group with a history of taking in liberals whose extreme views led to their leaving other, more mainstream orders).

    If, as I imagine, she's teaching "love God and love your neighbor," I agree wholeheartedly with those ideas. If, as I imagine, she's also promoting a liberal agenda with respect to sexuality, theology, etc., then I'm likely to disagree vehemently with those ideas.

    No way (again, based on very quick research) would I give her the "blanket endorsement" you seem to be requesting.

    Did you have something in particular in mind?

    Mark H.
     
  3. ONENESS

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    Actually I did Mark.

    Fiedler says and I Quote" First of all, Catholics do not take the scriptures literally. Catholics look at any piece of scripture in terms of the overall message of the Gospel and the teaching of Jesus. No single passage is looked at in and of itself."

    Do all Catholics belive this like Mrs. Fiedler proclaims?

    God Bless

    Brian
     
  4. LaRae

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    Actually I did Mark.

    Fiedler says and I Quote" First of all, Catholics do not take the scriptures literally. Catholics look at any piece of scripture in terms of the overall message of the Gospel and the teaching of Jesus. No single passage is looked at in and of itself."

    Do all Catholics belive this like Mrs. Fiedler proclaims?

    God Bless

    Brian
    </font>[/QUOTE]NO this woman is misrepresenting Catholics.

    We take Jesus very literally when he said "This is My body....this is My blood"


    LaRae
     
  5. ONENESS

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    Actually I did Mark.

    Fiedler says and I Quote" First of all, Catholics do not take the scriptures literally. Catholics look at any piece of scripture in terms of the overall message of the Gospel and the teaching of Jesus. No single passage is looked at in and of itself."

    Do all Catholics belive this like Mrs. Fiedler proclaims?

    God Bless

    Brian
    </font>[/QUOTE]NO this woman is misrepresenting Catholics.

    We take Jesus very literally when he said "This is My body....this is My blood"


    LaRae
    </font>[/QUOTE]What about the rest of Scripture?

    Brian
     
  6. dumbox1

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    Hi Brian,

    Interesting question! Since the quote is taken from a larger interview, I wonder if some of the surrounding context might provide some elaboration on what Ms. Fiedler was trying to say.

    But, for purposes of answering your question, I'll assume that there was no other context -- sort of as if Ms. Fiedler walked up to me on the street, said exactly those words you quoted and ONLY those words, and then walked away before I could ask for further explanation. How would I evaluate it?

    I think the second part of her statement (i.e., that we "look at any piece of scripture in terms of the overall message of the Gospel and the teaching of Jesus. No single passage is looked at in and of itself.") should be relatively non-controversial. I think we would all agree that scripture verses should be interpreted in their proper context, and with an eye to what is said elsewhere in the Bible (and in Jesus' teachings in particular). Otherwise, you face a danger of creating interpretations that suggest that the Bible is contradicting itself -- an impossibility.

    Her first statement, though, I have problems with. It's simply not true that "Catholics do not take the scriptures literally," although it would be true to say that Catholics don't ONLY interpret the scriptures literally.

    In general, I would say that we look at scripture first in the literal sense -- that is, the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation. All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal.

    However, a particular scripture passage obviously can have a meaning beyond a simple literal recital of a historical event. That is, events can have meanings that are larger than themselves. (An example would be Moses' raising of the bronze serpent in the desert -- a historical event which, as John's gospel points out, also prefigured the later raising up of Christ on the Cross.)

    These deeper meanings of scripture passages are referred to as the "spiritual sense" -- that is, the sense in which a passage may be a sign or prefiguring of other events or realities.

    The spiritual sense is subdivided into the "allegorical," "moral," and "anagogical" senses.

    The allegorical sense involves the more profound meaning that an event may have when it is viewed in terms of its significance in Christ. The serpent example I mentioned would fall in this category -- that OT episode meant more than merely a cure for snakebite!

    The moral sense refers to the way that events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act in a just and moral manner as Christians. For example, when we read in Acts and in Paul's letters about the early Church taking care of the needs of the poor, we shouldn't merely say "that's nice that they did that back then." We should read it as indicating that we should do the same today. As Paul wrote, the scriptures were written "for our instruction."

    Finally, the anagogical sense (from the Greek word "anagoge," meaning "leading") involves the sense in which an event or reality described in scripture points toward our heavenly destiny or eschatological issues. An example would be the Jerusalem temple -- an actual, physical structure which also prefigured the heavenly sanctuary, as described in the Book of Revelation.

    Maybe this is what Ms. Fiedler was getting at, or maybe it's not -- I've got no way of knowing.

    Hope this helps,

    Mark H.

    (Edited to call Brian by his name rather than "Oneness").

    [ June 24, 2003, 11:26 AM: Message edited by: Mark H. ]
     
  7. ONENESS

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    Thanks Mark. I will see if I can find a site where the article is. And if i find it I will post it and maybe you could read it if you have time. It should not take but about 10-15 mins to read.

    I look when i get back from Lunch.

    Thanks

    Brian
     
  8. Ray Berrian

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    Why is it that some Protestants and Catholics take the Scriptures more or a little less literally except all of the O.T. prophecies and the Book of Revelation? Who gives these people the liberty to change their method of exegesis only in these areas?

    One quarter of all of the writings in the Word of God are directly connected with prophecy. Things like the birth of Jesus from a maiden virgin, the building of the third temple, the Great Tribulation one, and the fourth Temple which the Messiah, our Savior will build/supervise the construction. Also, the Messianic Kingdom of God is referred to in many, many O.T. along with N.T. passages. [Micah 5:2; Zechariah chapter 14 and Revelation 20:2-7]
     
  9. LaRae

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    Not all the Bible is a literal example....do you really think the man in the OT plowed his field with 40 (I think it was 40..might of been more) oxen?


    LaRae
     
  10. ONENESS

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    Not all the Bible is a literal example....do you really think the man in the OT plowed his field with 40 (I think it was 40..might of been more) oxen?


    LaRae
    </font>[/QUOTE]Well let me ask you this:

    Do you believe there was a flood that covered the whole earth.

    And do you believe it had never rained before on the face of the earth before the Flood?

    Do you take things like that literal?
     
  11. ONENESS

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    Here is the part of the interview. So tell me what you think:


    Baxter: As a Roman Catholic nun, how do you approach scriptures such as
    1 John 2-22 that says, “…he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist.” And Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” Can we say that Muslims are included in salvation when the Bible seems to teach that to not accept Jesus as the Messiah would throw you into an antichrist posistion?

    Fiedler: First of all, Catholics do not take the scriptures literally. Catholics look at any piece of scripture in terms of the overall message of the Gospel and the teaching of Jesus. No single passage is looked at in and of itself. Let me give you an example. If you read the passage that Paul wrote about women that says “Wives be subject to your husbands”, and where Peter says, “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the forward”, we would see that they are reflecting the culture of their time. However, today w would see them as being in conflict with the Gospel’s larger message of love and equality. So, we don’t read them literally. At least, most mainstream Christians and I would not. It would be the same with these passages.
    Furthermore, in Catholic teaching, there is very strong belief in conscience, and that a person is not just permitted, but required to follow his or her conscience. We should have an informed conscience as well, but even if we are misinformed, we should follow it. I think that people of another faith tradition who genuinely and devoutly believe in Islam, for example, would also be bound to follow their conscience and that God would love them for doing so.
     
  12. LaRae

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    Not all the Bible is a literal example....do you really think the man in the OT plowed his field with 40 (I think it was 40..might of been more) oxen?


    LaRae
    </font>[/QUOTE]Well let me ask you this:

    Do you believe there was a flood that covered the whole earth.

    And do you believe it had never rained before on the face of the earth before the Flood?

    Do you take things like that literal?
    </font>[/QUOTE]Yes there are parts of the Bible which are to be taken literally.

    Do you really think someone plowed a field with 40 oxen? You didn't answer that.


    LaRae
     
  13. ONENESS

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    Not all the Bible is a literal example....do you really think the man in the OT plowed his field with 40 (I think it was 40..might of been more) oxen?


    LaRae
    </font>[/QUOTE]Well let me ask you this:

    Do you believe there was a flood that covered the whole earth.

    And do you believe it had never rained before on the face of the earth before the Flood?

    Do you take things like that literal?
    </font>[/QUOTE]Yes there are parts of the Bible which are to be taken literally.

    Do you really think someone plowed a field with 40 oxen? You didn't answer that.


    LaRae
    </font>[/QUOTE]Umm...I don't recall that story. Do you know where it is at so I can read it?

    God bless

    Brian
     
  14. dumbox1

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    Hi Brian,

    A couple quick (and not entirely organized) thoughts, since it's the end of the afternoon.

    With respect to Mr. Baxter, I think he's ripping 1 John 2:22 out of context to a degree. In 1 John 2:18-19, it seems clear that the reference is to nonbelieving ex-"Christians" who were, in John's time, denying that Jesus was the Christ -- "... [N]ow many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us ..." Applying this verse directly to Muslims, most of whom never associated with Christians to any significant degree, in fact goes beyond the literal sense of the text.

    His Acts 4:12 reference relates to the question of whether someone can be saved through Christ who, due to his circumstances, has no opportunity to come to know and accept Christ. That issue's being flogged to death on another thread, so I won't belabor it here. To state my position briefly, I'd say that a loving God who "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" can, if he wishes, find a way through Christ's sacrifice to save those who live out their lives in circumstances which deny them an opportunity to receive that "knowledge of the truth." Whether and to what extent he actually does so, I don't know, but I certainly won't say that he can't. (He's the boss, not me.)

    With respect to Ms. Fiedler, I would agree with her to the extent that she's saying that biblical interpretation should be done with some awareness of the culture of the times in which the scriptures were written. Thus (despite some 19th century arguments to the contrary), the references in Ephesians 6 to the proper behaviour of slaves should not be read as an endorsement of slavery in general, nor should wives' subservience to their husbands be taken too far (although I think this is a less good example of her point than slavery).

    While "love" is clearly a part of the gospel message, I'm not sure I'd agree that "equality" (in the modern feminist/secular/legal/political/etc. sense) necessarily is. Certainly we're equal in terms of God's love -- in Christ "[t]here is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female" -- but I think Ms. Fiedler may mean something beyond that when she says "equality."

    Her comments on conscience are also a bit worrisome. While she's right about the requirement that we follow our consciences, she should have (IMHO) been a bit stronger in her statement regarding the duty to properly form our consciences in the Christian faith insofar as we are able to do so. With regard to Muslims, I would certainly agree that God loves them, but not "because" they follow consciences formed in the Muslim faith. Rather, he loves them because it's his nature to do so. Their "responsibility" (for want of a better word) for having a conscience formed according to Muslim rather than Christian principles depends on the opportunity they have had to learn the truth contained in the Christian faith.

    To sum up -- as I said in my first post, I'm fairly certain that there are some areas where I disagree strongly with Ms. Fiedler. With respect to the quotes you posted, though, my disagreements (if any) are mostly rather subtle ones. Maybe she and I do disagree on some of these points, or maybe we're thinking similar concepts but neither of us, off the tops of our heads (her in an interview, me in a rushed post here), is phrasing them with as much precision as we might like.

    With some time to reflect, I may even disagree with myself by tomorrow morning! (Not on basic issues, but in a "gee you didn't phrase that very well" sense).

    Mark H.
     
  15. Ray Berrian

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    Many sharks teeth and fish impressions have been found in rock formations in the high mountains of California, a sure proof of the world wide flood. I have a professional tape that was sent to me by a biology teacher saying that scientists have found such data.

    Think. If the flood was only localized around Israel, Turkey, and the Iraq area what kept the water contain to this local area. Of course, the flood was world wide.

    I don't think the issues and questions you sited will affect our eternal security, or our final destination.
     
  16. ONENESS

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    Thanks for the reply Mark. Also let me ask this. Maureen Fiedler believes that just b/c someone does not know Jesus can inherit eternal Life. Is that a teaching of the Catholic Fatih?

    And if it is how is that reconsiled with Scripture?

    God Bless

    Brian
     
  17. dumbox1

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    Hi Brian,

    I really do think there's another ongoing thread around here someplace on that issue. (I'm not following it, or I'd be able to point you to which one it is!)

    Take a look over there (wherever it is), and if you think that my poor thoughts would really add anything to what's already being said, let me know and I'll write something up. (May take a few days, though -- I'll be away most of the day tomorrow).

    Thanks,

    Mark
     

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