09 October, 2009

Continuing discussion with "Chrispy" about his revisionist history of the Church

(Chrispy) The Church was never just a building. It was a group of believers who followed Jesus and His teachings from the Bible...

(Cristoiglesia) The invisible Church are those who have faith in our Lord but one cannot discern who are a part of His invisible Church. However, Jesus and the disciples founded a visible Church and we see the formation of that Church in the book of Acts. This Church is the Catholic Church and is the self-same Church that Jesus prayed that we would all be one within. Otherwise as professed Christians and not being obedient to His Church would place us outside of His will, blessings, promises and grace; if not fully but in great measure. Those outside of His will would be those that some describe as "playing" at Christianity and not following Jesus.

There are some outside of the visible Church which some call a "remnant" that are not be on the path to the narrow gate but may be saved by God's mercy. These are those who seek God but are deceived into being outside of His visible Church by no fault of their own. While not a part of the visible Church they can be considered a part of the invisible Church. So, Jesus and the disciples formed a visible Church as we see after Pentecost recorded in the book of Acts and it could be said that there are those known only to God who are a part of that visible Church against their will or knowledge that will be received in Glory to be a part of the Church Triumphant. But, as one can see in Scripture this is not the ordinary way to be saved through His Church but as an extraordinary example of His mercy.

The gates of hell will never prevail against His visible Church because of the protection of the Church by the Holy Spirit given at Pentecost. The Church is other worldly and heavenly in its nature and is endowed with its holiness and veracity from its founder Jesus. Jesus gave His promises to His visible Church so that the world could see the testimony of His Church as the pillar and ground of the truth and a shining city on a hill (Mat 5:14) It is the will of God that all should be saved by and through His Church as it is the Church that was commissioned to spread the Gospel throughout the world both corporeally and individually. The Church is a refuge and the Ark from the sins and temptations of the world. It is heaven on earth where Christ dwells in the Tabernacles and is worshipped. So if the visible Church ceased to exist it would make Jesus a liar and a pretender as the Messiah and Savior of the world because all of His promises would be proven false.

Unity requires that there be a knowledge and physical manifestation of that unity. That is the Catholic Church which is the visible Church. The invisible Church does not represent unity because it is known only to God which may be unified in faith but not in purpose.

The purpose of the Church is its testimony in spreading the "good news" to the world. That requires a visible unity. The world will never know if those who are in the invisible Church are preserved but the visible Church will always be the witness to the world that it remains after empires and governments have fallen, political ideologies have been born and died and false and counterfeit religions have come and gone. It is a testimony that Jesus is God of the Trinity and that His will be done on earth as well as in heaven regardless of the snares of Satan and His lies against humanity.

(Chrispy) The Seventh Day Sabbath (changed in 364AD)

(Cristoiglesia) No, I gave you the history of the Church adopting the Lord’s Day as the day of worship in the previous discussion.

(Chrispy) Here is some History of the Church. During the Dark Ages, Christians believing in Christ were persecuted for their beliefs by the Romans.

(Cristoiglesia) No, the persecution of Christians occurred before the beginning of the Dark Ages. The practice was stopped by the Emperor Constantine who ended it with the Edict of Milan. He ordered freedom of religion in the Empire.

(Chrispy) Christianity was being stomped out of existence by Paganism.

(Cristoiglesia) Actually Christianity was growing despite persecution.

(Chrispy) In 321AD the Roman Emperor Constantine was "converted" and decided that he wanted to convert Rome as well.. So he marched 1000 Pagan soldiers through a river and "baptized" them into Christianity. He Christianized Paganism...After this he went around naming everything Christian names, and even gave all his soldiers Christian names too. Effectually though he did not bapitze his soldiers, but only made them "wet Pagans".

(Cristoiglesia) The Emperor Constantine did not convert to Christianity after the Edict of Milan but remained a sun worshipper until His deathbed when legend says he did convert. But He did stop the persecution of Christians and even recruited Christians into his military. I never read where he marched 1000 soldiers into the river and called them baptized and I would like to see a source for this legend. Christianity did experience great growth as a result of being accepted in the Empire but Constantine did little to promote Christianity even though his mother was a Christian. He certainly did not encourage the pagans to become Christians.

(Chrispy) Now Christianity suddenly went from being the minority to being the majority, literally over night. Even the Statue of "Peter" was there before Peter was born. This statue was one among many things renamed by Constantine in an attempt at government reform. Constantine was not said to have a "full" conversion until on his death bed. Pagan/Christians now had the majority and forced Pagan beliefs on the few Christians who were left. These faithful Christians were deemed "heretics" by the Church and sentenced to death at the Church's convenience. Those were the Dark Ages. Constantine was the Roman Emperor who became CHRISTIAN, and then decided that EVERYONE was going to be Christian too.. so it went from pagans murdering Christians, to pagans becoming Christians, to Pagans who say they are Christians murdering Christians.. this is how the popularity of Catholicism was born.... by FORCE... back then there was one church.. the Roman church or NO church.

(Cristoiglesia) The Roman state did not suddenly become Christian as you say but it was attractive to the educated populace who were familiar with Greek and Roman philosophy. What appealed to the populace the most was the order of Christianity and the moral example provided by the faith as opposed to the immoral actions of their pagan gods. Conversion of the pagans occurred quickly as a result of people having a choice and not because any religion was favored over another. There is no evidence of any kind of Pagan takeover of Christianity or forced Pagan beliefs on the Christians. In fact we do not see any real syncretism with Pagan practices. Certainly Christians were not the majority under the rule of Constantine. There is no historical evidence that any Christians were sentenced to death for not accepting Paganism as there was freedom of religion by edict from Constantine. There was no such thing as a state church under the Emperor Constantine. There was no Roman Church.

The statue of St. Peter has through the years had several theories or legends attached to it, none of which can be proven. One of those theories is that it is the statue of Jupiter and that the name was changed to Peter. Another is that a previous statue of a Greek god was melted to cast the statue of St. Peter. Personally I do not see that it matters, St. Peter is a known historical figure and not a god. The theory that it is a former statue of Jupiter was popularized among Catholic critics by Alexander Hislop in his anti-Catholic works two Babylon’s.

(Chrispy) . this allowed for many doctrines that are simply not taught to enter into our churches... the reformation exponged some of this, but there are still some minor(and some major) discrepencies regarding the doctrines taught by the Bible..

(Cristoiglesia) No, this never happened. Doctrines never change and have remained the same since Pentecost. There is no Catholic teaching that is contradictory to Scriptures. I suspect you know this since none are quoted or evidence given. What remains is just an empty accusation.

(Crispy) this all stemmed from the force of Religion/Government rules by the Catholics who got their power in 538AD in 538AD emperor Justinian left for Constantinople and gave the western part of his empire to the ARCH BISHOP OF ROME.. the arch bishop then proceeded to use his power to enforce government mandates regarding the free practice of religion.. and thus the world was truly plunged into the DARK AGES.

(Cristoiglesia) Well, the Catholoic Church has a different view of the Emperor Justinian than you. We saw him as a semi-Monophysite and a tyrant who opposed the Church. It is certainly false that he gave any power to the Bishop of Rome. I know of no proof of you allegations about Justinian’s reign and must see your historical account as just fanciful anti-Catholic revision.

(Chrispy) this ended when General Berthier of FRANCE in 1798AD marched on ROME and took the arch bishop of his throne where he dies in captivity. this opens the way for the reformation to blossom.

(Cristoiglesia) There is a little truth to your claim. There was a political battle over the sovereignty of the Papal States but you take on to a most ridiculous twist of history that destroys any attempt at being truthful. This event had noting to do with the Reformation

(Chrispy) This also gives full allowance during the exodus for Christian believers to escaping persecution and fleeing to the New World(America)

(Cristoiglesia) There was persecution on both sides and you seem to be trying to say that only the Protestants were being persecuted and this just is not true. Catholic Christians were being persecuted as well.

(Crispy) I am pretty dry when I present historical facts. I posess no animosity towards the Catholic Church or any other church. I simply see the Historical facts, and the history tells the story.

(Cristoiglesia) The fact that you twist history to make it fit your “facts” shows not only animosity but bigotry towards Christ’s Church. The truth is that what you call facts just are not.

(Chrispy) Constantine Christianized Paganism. This is part of the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse. During Constantine's reign was the Sabbath changed to "honor the venerable day of the Sun" or "Sun god"... These things are FACTS... Just study history.

(Cristoiglesia) No, the facts do not match your prejudice no matter how hard you want them to match.

(Chrispy) The "heretics" exterminated by the Church in the Dark Ages were the minority because Constantine made Christianity popular to Pagans..

(Cristoiglesia) Nonsense!

(Chrispy) Again... Please study the history behind this top verify my statements. I don't speak to edify myself, but for the truth do I speak.

(Cristoiglesia) Sorry, your history does not match real history.

God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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