Thursday, May 23, 2019

Who was harsh?

De Maria August 9, 2012 at 5:30 PM
you said:
Steve, you are a convert to Catholicism from the Evangelical church. I am a convert from Islam into Christianity at large. Converts have a tendency to react harshly against their past, thus be fanatic.
Perhaps you are projecting. I have found that converts to Catholicism from Evangelicalism or Protestantism tend to be very charitable towards their former peers.
I love Catholic books; in fact, they are mostly what I read in Arabic Christian books. But if you convert to Catholicism, you don’t have to swallow every phrase of their own. It is okay to be a Catholic convert par excellent and still have reservations on their excesses. To have excesses is human. We as humans like to give big, huge titles such as the Holy Father, the Holy of Holies, the Best in the best or the best of the West, and it even gets more interesting when you deal with a Semitic person like me, we like to exaggerate; we thrive on exaggeration. Unless an Arab like me exaggerates, he hasn’t expressed himself. So, the phrase “Holy Father” while I see it as a title of respect and it is okay, but it is still an excess in expression, and it lends to man more than what he can afford.
Respectfully, I disagree. Perhaps you didn’t read the entire explanation which Steve gave. But I thought it was excellent. The title does not imply that the Pope will never sin. It means that he has been set apart, as have all of us who are Baptized. We are set apart and in that sense “holy”. The Holy Father is set apart in a more exclusive sense, since Jesus set him apart to shepherd His people (John 21:17).
He is indeed a man like you and me, same thing like our Lord Jesus Christ in His full divinity, a man like you and me.
I’m not quite following that one. Are you saying that Jesus Christ was a man like you and I? You have not left Islam behind completely, it seems. In Christianity, we believe that Jesus is God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.
De Maria
De Maria August 9, 2012 at 5:45 PM
There were comments made concerning that Steve may have been “harsh” in his response.
It seems to me, when someone yells out “The Pope is a sinner….” in the middle of a Catholic conference, that person is not being especially caring about Catholic sensitivities. Therefore, Steve’s response seemed perfectly attuned to the nature of the communication. That was not a question of inquiry. It was a question wrapped in an insult.
Just my two cents.
De Maria

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Christian initiation began in the Gospels

De Maria October 24, 2012 at 11:54 PM
No it is not a mistake.
The problem, is that you have not divulged your definition of the term “Christian initiation”. I asked you above. But that is thequestion you ignored.
Once you reveal that, we can come to an understanding as to why you are coming to all these erroneous conclusions.
Because God’s plan of salvation came to the Jews first John 4:22,
True. But it is besides the point. Christian initiation began in the Gospels when Jesus Christ began to teach His doctrines to the Apostles. They were the first Christians. He initiated them into His faith.
Matthew 10:5-7 and than the pattern of the plan of Salvation moved towards the Gentiles, subsequently.
True. But that has nothing to do with the fact that Christ Himself initiated the Jews and a few Gentiles into Christianity.
Christian Initiation starts only in the Book of Acts,
NO. It starts in the Gospels. And Christ brings the Apostles to a sufficient knowledge of His faith that He can command them to pass His doctrines to the entire world:
Matthew 28:19-20
King James Version (KJV)
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
the Holy Spirit being manifested to empower the Church to proclaim and spread the Gospel far and wide.
To culminate not to initiate the disciple into the Body of Christ.
Christian initiation never began in the period covering the four Gospels simply because the four Gospels cover the jewish period John 4:22Matthew 10:5-7 and not the Christian period.
The Christian era begins with Christ. In fact, it can be said that Christian initiation begins with the herald. St. John the Baptist.
Luke 3:16
John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
And also the four gospels cover a transitional period. Nothing was defintely settled as yet as Christ was not yet risen and glorified. The Comforter could come only after Christ ascension. If Catholic teaching is still stuck in the Gospels, its because it is not a Christian Church. its teachings are identical to that of Judaism.
If your group has set the Gospels aside, it is your group which is not Christian. The Gospels contain the foundational knowledge of the Christian faith.
No He went to John’s Baptism even when John restrained Him.
John 3:5 depicts Jesus explaining the Baptism which He instituted.
John 3:1-10
King James Version (KJV)
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 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. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. 9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
The Catholic Church wrongly interprets John 3:5 means baptism is the only ordinance required to enter the Kingdom of God.
I’ve never seen that teaching in Catholic literature. If you claim it is true, show it to me from official Catholic sources. Otherwise it simply amounts to you arguing against something you made up yourself.
That would contradict other scriptures that Jesus and the Apostles taught on Repentance from sin, Believing on Jesus, and Receiving the Holy Spirit – the same four-fold pattern I have mentioned that was articulated throughout the New Testament. Because Jesus when he said “Ye must be born again..” He is saying.. that what happens to begin your spirtual life has some kind of parallel with what happens when you began your physical life.
That is true. And the sign of that spiritual birth is the water.
In John 3:5 Jesus is having a conversation with Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee. Jesus spoke to Nicodemus in accordance to the Pharisee’s teaching- to be born of water meant to be born physically. 
That is a secular teaching as well. It is called the “breaking of the water” when a child is born.
This is proved by Nicodemus remark who thought to be born again meant a physical birth “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?
That is true. Nicodemus was confused.
In verse 5, Jesus proceeds to say, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, you cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
Again true. This is a typical double entendre of Jesus Christ.
1. The first birth is by water.
2. The second birth is by water and spirit. Water signifying the birth by the Spirit.
Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee, believed like the other Jews that because he was born a Jew and kept God’s ordinances that he should automatically enter into the kingdom of God. However, Jesus explains this is not enough. In verse 6, Jesus Himself interprets the water as flesh (a physical birth) “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
You have misunderstood. The verse prior has associated water with birth. Not with birth of the flesh only. Jesus, in verse 6, simply says that one must also be born of the spirit, that is “justified” by God in order to be received into eternal life.
Jesus says of being born of water is to be born of the flesh.
No, He doesn’t. You are reading that into the Scripture. Jesus uses water to signify birth and spirit. The child emerges from water in physical birth. The spirit is “living water” and the soul emerges from the living water in spiritual birth. That living water is signified by the physical water. That is why the Apostles insisted on “water” Baptism. Because that is what Jesus taught in the Gospel.
Jesus explains the difference, telling Nicodemus you have already had a physical birth, you are in need of a another birth “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ Literally from the Spirit above to enter the kingdom.
Absolutely. But Jesus said by “water and spirit”. And in the next Chapter, Jesus and the Apostles went to Baptize where water was abundant:
John 3:22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. 23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.
You must be born again “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” The new birth from above is a second birth which gives us eternal life.
That is true. That new birth occurs in the Sacrament of Baptism.
V.5 The new birth is invisible, he likens it to the wind.
It is not from the water beneath (the flesh)
The water signifies birth and spirit. It does not signify flesh.
but of the Spirit (literally, in the Greek, from above).
It is a double entendre. It means “again” and it means “from above” as well.
Jesus is saying, you have been born of water. Now you will born of the Spirit when you submit to the water of Baptism.
He is contrasting the natural (flesh) to the spiritual (Spirit).
He is contrasting the flesh to spiritualized flesh. Christ did not teach Gnosticism. There is such a thing as a spiritual body:
1 Corinthians 15:44
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
There is always a distinction between water and Spirit baptism.
Not in the Baptism of Jesus Christ. In the Baptism of Jesus Christ there is a connection between the two. The Baptism of water signifies the Baptism of the Spirit which the soul undergoes when he arises from the water.
Scripture tells us that John came baptizing in water but that, “There is one who will come after me. . . He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark. 1:7-8Matthew 3:11John 1:33).
Absolutely. Baptism means to wash. One can not wash without water.
The flesh and the spirit are two different properties, two different things.
That is true. But what is your point? You have drifted from claiming that Gospels did not initiate anyone into Christianity all the while using verses which point to Chrisitianity in the Gospels. Note that YOU posted that St. John the Baptist prophesied that Christ would baptize with the Holy Spirit. Note that YOU brought up John 3:5, wherein Jesus was teaching a Jew, Nicodemus, about His Baptism.
That is initiation into the Christian faith.
So there are two births- one of the flesh and the other of the spirit that comes from God. John 3:6-7 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
Absolutely! And one is born of the Spirit when one is Baptized in the Sacrament of enlightenment. The washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. The washing of water and the Word. Amen!
You see.. what I have discovered is that streams of church life have just got hold of a portion of the truth and NOT the whole truth.
The Catholic Church has the entire Truth. That is why Scripture says of the Church:
Ephesians 3:10
King James Version (KJV)
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
The Catholic Church is that Church which teaches the Wisdom of God. If your church is not, that is a sign it is not of God.
And that portion breeds heresies. For example the Liberal stream of Church life emphasises on REPENTANCE, The Catholic sacramental stream of Church life emphasises on BAPTISM, The Evangelical stream stresses on FAITH, and the PENTECOSTAL stream emphasies on baptism twice of the HOLY SPIRIT. So if we stress say, only on, BAPTISM or REPENTANCE that saves, at the expense of cutting out the other two, becomes a text for pretext that eventually breeds heresies. All that four-fold pattern (REPENT, BELIEVE, BAPTIZE and RECEIVE the Holy Spirit) i have mentioned is necessary and it is the basis of the complete Christian Initiation as articulated. Note BELIEVE by Faith in the Lord Jesus is the most important of all the other three, but it (FAITH) also rests behind the other said Three.
You are confused and confusing yourself. The four fold pattern you claim to have discovered has been known for centuries. And you stress that pattern to your own demise. Because there is much, much more to the faith of Jesus Christ than that which you teach. You have bred your own heresy by “stressing” your “personal stream” of understanding.
Here is another tenet of the Christian faith:
Hebrews 13:7
King James Version (KJV)
7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
So, tell me, who taught you the faith which you follow? Sounds to me as though you think you discovered the Christian faith 2000 years after Jesus appeared in the flesh.
How about this tenet which no Protestant can stomach? Do you accept it?
Hebrews 13:17
King James Version (KJV)
17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
So tell me, to which ruler of the Church do you submit and obey and admit that he must account for your soul? Oh, I see, you follow no man. Yet Scripture is clear that you must follow the men who taught you the faith and who follow Christ. And submit to them as they give account for your soul.
Jesus the Son of God was empowered by the Holy Spirit after he came out ouf the water of John’s Baptism.
The Holy Spirit appeared as a sign for the people to see that He is the Son of God. It was for their benefit. Christ is God from all eternity. Christ was empowered by the Father.
No one denies baptism because simply its an ordinance commanded by the Lord.
You haven’t talked to many Protestants. You probably have a small circle of like minded people with whom you discuss religion. But there are thousands if not millions of Protestants who deny the necessity of Baptism.
The only pertinent thing to note about baptism in the New Testament that it is:

1. A Believers only baptism in Christ Jesus only.
They who don’t understand the Scripture come to that conclusion based upon one verse. Mark 16:16. But it is a false conclusion.
a. Baptism is the circumcision without hands:
Colossians 2:11In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
b. Jesus said:
Matthew 19:14
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
c. Jesus pours His grace unto children by the faith of the parents:
Matthew 15:28
Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
2. Christian Baptism began from the Book of ACTS; not to be confused with John’s Baptism.
On the contrary, Christian Baptism was introduced by Jesus Christ in the Gospel of St. John chapter 3 and commanded in the Gospel of St. Mark verse 16:16 and in the Gospel of St. Matthew 28:19-20.
3. It is so called Christian baptism because one identifies himslef as a disciple of Christ ALONE by indentifying with his death/burial and resurrection.
a. I have yet to see the words “Christ ALONE” in the Scriptures.
b. Scripture says:
1 Corinthians 11:1
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Hebrews 13:7
King James Version (KJV)
7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
4. Its an outward testimony of what God has done to our regenerate our inner-self by grace through faith in the finished redemption work of Christ on the Cross HIM being a substituinary atonement for us.
Sacramental Baptism is an outward sign which causes an inner reality. Jesus Christ has associated the Baptism of water with the washing of the Holy Spirit.
5. It is also outward testimony that we de-link from the dark past and begin a new clean life in Christ living in us through his in-dwelling Spirit.
That is true. But it is also a culmination of a process of learning to show oneself approved (2 Timothy 2:15) and of seeking God in faith (Hebrews 11:6).
I see you simply don’t understand and it is simply not my opionion.
It is simply your opinion. It is not the teaching of Christ nor of the Church. Nor even of Scripture.
One can see clearly that the Epistles and the Book of Revelation where meant for those who already became followers of Jesus Christ.
They were addressed to believers, true. But why? Why did St. Paul and the Apostles edify the Church? Here is the answer in a nutshell:
2 Timothy 2:2
King James Version (KJV)
2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
Apparently you have forgotten the Great Commission of Jesus Christ:
Matthew 28:19-20
King James Version (KJV)
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
But, if you are committed to this strangest of ideas, please show me a verse in the Epistles or in the book of Revelations or in the Gospels, which should not be taught to non-Christians and explain why. Perhaps you can show the Scripture which says, “Thou shalt not teach these things to non-Christians”.
In the Epistles were writings the Apostles of Jesus wrote to those early Christian churches dealing with warning of false teachings and ravening wolves in sheep clothng inflirtating thir ranks, spreading a false gospel. Offcourse the contents of other epistles were exhortations on how a Christian must have to endure suffering, persecution and living the Christian life – these things cannot be taught to persons who were not already Christians.
Why? The only reason I can see is your own opinion. There is nothing in the Scriptures which forbids teaching any of the Epistles to non-Christians.
They had to become Christians
Where is it written?
and that is only documented in the book of Acts how Jesus Apostles who lead potential non-Christians to become Christians. This is not my imaginations as you claim. Its proveb from contextual reading of New Testament scripture itself.
You have simply adopted your own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. But Scripture is clear:
2 Peter 1:19-21
King James Version (KJV)
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
God didn’t inspire the Apostles so that you could re-interpret their teachings in your own personal way. God established a Church, the Pillar of Truth (1 Tim 3;15) to teach His wisdom even in the Heavens (Eph 3:10). And He also warned that those who did not obey the Church, would be treated as the heathen (Matt 18:17).
God Bless you abundantly.
And you also,
De Maria

Monday, May 20, 2019

Christianity relies upon the knowledge of the person of Jesus Christ.

De Maria October 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM

You said:
Hi De Maria,A few more things to add … :)

No problem.
The Gospels are too early to rely on for a study on Christian initiation – the reasons i’ve already outlined in my earlier post above.
I hope I’ve disproven that idea in my previous message. But it is also illogical for another reason. Christianity relies upon the knowledge of the person of Jesus Christ. And that knowledge exists mainly in the Gospels.
We cannot also introduce a person to the Christian faith relying on the Epistles and the Book of Revelation either, because they were exhortations to those who were already Christians. So you can now see the Catholic teaching has lost its moorings. :)
All I can see is that those statements of yours make no sense. They are simply opinions of yours which are disproven by the fact that throughout history, the Church has used all those writings to teach the doctrines of Jesus Christ to all who seek righteousness and eternal life.
God Bless you,
And you.
De Maria