29 May, 2011

Discussion with "Saul follower of Jesus" on the meaning of Church and its necessity for salvation

(Cristoiglesia) ” What the church does say is that there have always been those believers known to God who will be saved and I agree "

(Saul follower of Jesus) Therefore we do not need the catholic church for receiving Salvation.

(Cristoiglesia) "I do not agree that those people are outside of His Church nor do I believe that it is possible for salvation without His Church "

(Saul follower of Jesus) You are saying only in your church can anyone receive Salvation. You cannot have your cake and eat it also. Either you can receive Salvation outside of the catholic church or you cannot, you cannot have it both ways.

(Cristoiglesia) And yes we are taught by God through His church which is Jesus.

(Saul follower of Jesus) If you acknowledge we can receive Salvation outside of the catholic church proves the Christian churches are the true church also, but if you insist Salvation is only from the catholic church shows that your church is a cult like the Mormon church.

So now the question is:" Is Salvation received only if a person is in the catholic church or can a person receive Salvation in a Christian church also?"

Therefore His Church is not the catholic church but His church is the body of all the believers in the world. Which means all the Christian churches are the true church and do have the fullness of Faith.

(Cristoiglesia) I am at a loss as to how you can logically come to the conclusions that you do. Your logic defies reason and does not follow the facts. The normative way for one to come to Christ is through His Church that He established on earth. He founded only one Church and that is the Catholic Church. All others claiming Christianity are man-made counterfeits like your own.

However, the Bible also says that the evidence of creation is all that is needed to come to faith but this is not the normative way that Christ established in His Church. We also have faith in God’s mercy that even those who are in protest of His Church and reject it will have the opportunity for the grace of salvation. But that grace comes only through His Church and the Sacraments. Even those who do not receive the Sacraments and thus God’s grace may be saved by His mercy if they were properly disposed to receive it but had no opportunity or knowledge of its necessity as in one being influenced by false teaching like is common in heretical sects like yours. As example, many Protestants deny the efficacy of Baptism or refuse the commandment to eat His Body and drink His Blood even though the Bible clearly a state that those who refuse these graces will not be in the familial relationship that He desires and indeed commands. They deny His Church as their teaching authority for faith and morals in favor of their man-made counterfeit teaching authority. They follow the doctrines of devils like Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide when the Bible clearly condemns such nonsense. Even though they may do all of these things God’s mercy may be such that even these people may be saved but only through the Church which is the door to salvation.

CCC-846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:
Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336
Contrary to what you desire and what you proclaim to the contrary Christ only founded one Church and not tens of thousands and that Church is the Catholic Church. All biblical, historical and patristic evidence confirms this fact. Historically, we can also understand that the Protestant sects have no claim as the true Church of Christ but can only claim legitimately to be a man-made counterfeit. Furthermore the Catholic Church is the only Church that legitimately should claim to be Christian as it is the only Church founded by Christ but the Church recognizes the possibility and prays that those who are outside of this one Church will receive a measure of God’s mercy that will allow them to be saved in spite of their disobedience and ignorance if they are validly baptized and God chooses to give them salvific grace. However this is very much in doubt since our Lord commanded that unless we eat His Body and drink His Blood that we have no life in us which is to abide in Him and Him in us. Without this great feast He provides Jesus say’s that one is not in the familial relationship that He desires according to the New Covenant He established on the cross when He said “It is finished” meaning the Old Covenant and introduced in the glory He revealed on the cross His new covenant with mankind and transformed the Passover into the new sacrifice of the New Covenant where He commands as His faithful to eat His truly real and substantial Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Just as in the Passover we must eat the real Lamb of God and not a metaphorical Body and Blood as some would claim in rejecting His commandment.

There is no authority from Christ for the Protestant sects and counterfeit churches and their claim of being a true Church has no biblical, historical or patristic evidence to support such a supposition. It is nothing more than wishful thinking by those who have created these white-washed tombs full of the appearance of obedience and worship but not in truth.
All authority was given to the apostles from Christ and at least some of that special authority is recorded in Scripture and is certainly attested to by the ante Nicene fathers.

There is no doubt that the apostles knew that their ministry would survive their death as it was needed to be a permanent living presence until the Parousia.

(Mat 28:20 DRB) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

Knowing their responsibility in preserving the teaching of Christ they ordained successors giving them the gift of the Spirit with Episcopal consecration:

(Act 1:8 DRB) But you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth.

(Act 2:4 DRB) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost: and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak.

(Joh 20:22 DRB) When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost.

(Joh 20:23 DRB) Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.

(1Ti 4:14 DRB) Neglect not the grace that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with imposition of the hands of the priesthood.

(2Ti 1:6 DRB) For which cause I admonish thee that thou stir up the grace of God which is in thee by the imposition of my hands.

(2Ti 1:7 DRB) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear: but of power and of love and of sobriety.

There is no doubt that “Apostolic Succession” is a historical fact. Scriptures, as well show clearly that Christ chose these apostles and commissioned them to establish and continue his work with his authority and they ordained successors. It is Apostolic Succession that is the link connecting the Church to Christ. It is the authority from Christ of the Episcopacy that brings so many knowledgeable people to return to the Catholic faith as I am a witness.

We see those who were ordained in apostolic succession fulfilling their ministry:

(Act 20:28 DRB) Take heed to yourselves and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the Church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood.

(1Th 1:1 DRB) Paul and Sylvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians: in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ.

(1Th 1:2 DRB) Grace be to you and peace. We give thanks to God always for you all: making a remembrance of you in our prayers without ceasing,

(1Th 1:3 DRB) Being mindful of the work of your faith and labour and charity: and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ before God and our Father.

(1Th 1:4 DRB) Knowing, brethren, beloved of God, your election:

(1Th 1:5 DRB) For our gospel hath not been unto you in word only, but in power also: and in the Holy Ghost and in much fulness, as you know what manner of men we have been among you for your sakes.

(1Th 1:6 DRB) And you became followers of us and of the Lord: receiving the word in much tribulation, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

(1Th 1:7 DRB) So that you were made a pattern to all that believe in Macedonia and in Achaia.

1Th 1:8 DRB) For from you was spread abroad the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and in Achaia but also in every place: your faith which is towards God, is gone forth, so that we need not to speak any thing.

(1Th 1:9 DRB) For they themselves relate of us, what manner of entering in we had unto you: and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.

(1Th 1:10 DRB) And to wait for his Son from heaven (whom he raised up from the dead), Jesus, who hath delivered us from the wrath to come.

(2Ti 1:6 DRB) For which cause I admonish thee that thou stir up the grace of God which is in thee by the imposition of my hands.

(Tit 1:5 DRB) For this cause I left thee in Crete: that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee:

(Tit 1:6 DRB) If any be without crime, the husband of one wife. having faithful children, not accused of riot or unruly.

(Tit 1:7 DRB) For a bishop must be without crime, as the steward of God: not proud, not subject to anger, nor given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre:

(Tit 1:8 DRB) But given to hospitality, gentle, sober, just, holy, continent:

(Tit 1:9 DRB) Embracing that faithful word which is according to doctrine, that he may be able to exhort in sound doctrine and to convince the gainsayers.

(1Ti 4:14 DRB) Neglect not the grace that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with imposition of the hands of the priesthood.

(2Ti 1:6 DRB) For which cause I admonish thee that thou stir up the grace of God which is in thee by the imposition of my hands.

St. Paul goes on to instruct St. Timothy as to who is a qualified candidate for ordination:

(1Ti 3:1 DRB) A faithful saying: If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth good work.

(1Ti 3:2 DRB) It behoveth therefore a bishop to be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, prudent, of good behaviour, chaste, given to hospitality, a teacher,

(1Ti 3:3 DRB) Not given to wine, no striker, but modest, not quarrelsome, not covetous, but

(1Ti 3:4 DRB) One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all chastity.

(1Ti 3:5 DRB) But if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?

(1Ti 3:6 DRB) Not a neophyte: lest, being puffed up with pride, he fall into the judgment of the devil.

(1Ti 3:7 DRB) Moreover, he must have a good testimony of them who are without: lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

(1Ti 5:22 DRB) Impose not hands lightly upon any man, neither be partaker of other men's sins. Keep thyself chaste.

We also find in the Scriptures that those in Apostolic Succession had particular and varied duties:

(1Co 12:27 DRB) Now you are the body of Christ and members of member.

(1Co 12:28 DRB) And God indeed hath set some in the church; first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly doctors: after that miracles: then the graces of healings, helps, governments, kinds of tongues, interpretations of speeches.

(1Co 12:29 DRB) Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all doctors?

(Eph 4:11 DRB) And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors:

(Eph 4:12 DRB) For the perfecting of the saints, for the word of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

We are further reminded of the foundation of the Church:

(Eph 2:19 DRB) Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners: but you are fellow citizens with the saints and the domestics of God,

(Eph 2:20 DRB) Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone:

This is only some of the Scriptures speaking of apostolic succession and the duties, need and authority of the office.

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. God bless You!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

08 May, 2011

Continuing discussion with "John the Baptist" about the celibate priesthood, fasting and prayer

(John the Baptist)1Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
6If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. 7Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

"who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created"
The catholic church forbids the priest from marriage.
The catholic church forbids eating meat on fridays.

(Cristoiglesia) First of all the Church does not forbid marriage but instead encourages marriage. Priests take a vow of chastity by their own choice. There are 23 Rites in the Catholic Church and of these 23 Rites only one chooses from among the candidates who have chosen to remain chaste. Both St. Paul and Jesus recommended chastity for those in ministry so your argument is with them and not with the discipline among priests being obedient to what Jesus and St. Paul recommended.

Fasting is a form of prayer to God in which we sacrifice for Him in order to focus on Him instead of worldly desires. Fasting is a practice of the Church from the beginning of the Church and it is a practice which was started by the apostles and continues today. So no food is forbidden it is just that once a week the faithful were asked to focus on the Lord instead of one’s earthly desires. Clearly this is not in opposition to biblical teaching which means that the food laws of the Old Testament are no longer necessary for Christians. Please refer to the first Council of Jerusalem where this was discussed and decided. It opened the way for the Gentiles to become Christians.

(John the Baptist) "irreverent, silly myths"
The doctrines of mary the catholic church has invented.

(Cristoiglesia) The teaching about the blessed mother of God is not irreverent, silly myths but is instead the truth. You should ask yourself why you and your sect hate the blessed mother of God so much and why you are not a part of those who call her blessed as the Bible states the faithful in Christ will do. Do you really believe that Jesus approves of you and others attempting to marginalize his mother who always points to her Son as the source of our salvation and hope?

(John the Baptist) This is what is happening to the catholic church today.

(Cristoiglesia) If you mean teaching the truth then you are correct but you are suggesting error without any reasonable explanation and only making empty accusations.

(John the Baptist) "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
7"And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.

"meaningless repetition"
The Rosary is a meaningless repetition of a prayer to mary.

(Cristoiglesia) Personally I rarely pray the Rosary but instead I pray the Breviary. It is obvious that you do not know anything about the Rosary prayer. The Bible forbids vain repetition in prayer. The operative word is “vain”. The Rosary prayer is as far from a vain repetition as one can get when praying. The Rosary prayer focuses on God, especially his passion for us, and in the Rosary prayer we evoke the blessed mother of God as our prayer partner to her Son. It is far from meaningless, vain or repetitious in the sense of the Scripture you recite out of context and understand by eisegesis.

(John the Baptist)You really should listen to people like Dr. Stanley and Dr. McGee for they do have a lot of knowledge about God and His Book the Bible. They have millions and millions of Christians learning from them.

How many people are listening to you? Very few if any.

(Cristoiglesia) I did not enter into ministry for fame and fortune but to spread God’s Word. The people you cite are false teachers who satisfy the itching ears of those who cannot endure sound doctrine. If one learns false teaching does that make on more faithful to Christ or less faithful. I would suggest the latter. That is the reason that the Bible says we are not to follow such teachers. The Bible further states that such misplaced devotion may be the cause of the destruction of the soul. The Bible warns such people that at judgment that our lord will state, “depart from me, I never knew you.” There are over a billion Catholics who listen to and follow the teaching of the Church to the best of their ability.

(John the Baptist) The catholic church and you are Irrelevant today, you cannot keep the people from following Jesus like the catholic church has done for hundreds of years. Hopefully on day you will wake up to the truth in the Word of God the Bible.

(Cristoiglesia) By irrelevant you are saying that the teaching of the disciples and Jesus are not relevant in these modern times and that modernist teachers are more in line with what people want to hear than Christ’s own Church. Certainly you seem to be an example of one enticed by their worldly relevance. Such relevance does not please God who spoke of abstaining from the worldly and embracing his kingdom instead. Do you really believe that those teachers that are in protest of Christ’s own Church and his teaching through his Church are provoking people to come to Jesus by their heretical false and worldly teaching. Do you not believe the Bible when it says that his Church is the “pillar and foundation of the truth” and not these heretics? Do you think that maybe people who follow these false teachers are in danger just like Jesus said?

A reasonable person not persuaded by the doctrines and churches of men would reject these false teachers and be faithful to the authority that Jesus placed on earth for his faithful which is his Church. The Church has endured for 2000 years as Christ promised and will endure until the Parousia just as he promised. You may remain outside of the Ark of His Church that he provided for all humanity from a sinful and seductive world and suffer the fate that he warns all men which is hearing his words, “depart from me, I never knew you”. Jesus calls all men to be faithful to his Church. He is calling you home to his Church. Give up your worldly pride and do his will. Jesus prayed at the mount of olives at the Garden of Gethsemane before his arrest and subsequent sacrifice to his Father that we all be one as he and the Father are one.” That unity of his will is in his Church. God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

07 May, 2011

Continuing discussion with one calling himself "John the Baptist"

(John the Baptist) Its interesting that Scriptural teaching actually involves the Scriptures in the bible!

(Cristoiglesia) Correct and it involves all of the Scriptures and using a proper hermeneutical approach to them. It also involves all of the Scriptures including all of the books that the Protestants have removed from Scriptures. Only if the Bible is approached this way can anyone come to rational and correct theological conclusions.

The New Testament of the Bible is written by Catholic Christians and it is about the Catholic Church. The Bible obviously follows the Church. Contrasted to the Protestant churches use the Bible to support their man-made doctrines and practices without considering its broader contextual teaching. What results is cobbled together theology that supports preconceived conclusions. The Catholic Church has a different approach and that is to go to the Bible to learn instead. We do not need a book to base our beliefs on as we have our founder Christ a we represent His teaching in practice. We are His promises of an enduring Church that is free from apostasy because of the teaching authority He left on earth that remains through apostolic succession. Sometimes one has to study for things to make sense but study is much like when a athlete practices. His practice must be perfect for the athlete to become perfected. Practicing to do something incorrectly just makes one better at error. So too when you study you must use good source material otherwise you just get better at knowing what is false instead of the truth. Studying the Scriptures requires good teachers knowing sound doctrine. The Bible teaches us what happens to people who gather around them those teachers who satisfy our itching ears instead of those who teach the truth. It is through learning that we accept sound doctrine that is sometimes hard teaching as Jesus gave the example in the Synagogue in Capernaum in John 6 where almost all of His disciples left Him over His teaching to eat His Body and drink His blood. He said these hard teachings are not understood by reason or carnal and worldly knowledge but by faith through our spirit for those who are in Christ.

The Protestant churches are based on worldliness and secular humanist philosophy. Coming out of Scholasticism the world was prepared by Satan to receive false teaching. Many people found the Church repressive by demanding that to be in Christ we must be obedient to Christ in His Church. Out of pride they grew weary of a God and a Church that taught that our purpose was to serve God. They were susceptible to the teaching of a God that served man instead. This began the spread of schism and all kinds of false teaching. There are now well over 30,000 exponentially increasing schisms in the Church with each representing a wound to the Corpus Christi. We know that the Bible teaches us that we will know them by their fruits and the fruits of Protestantism is division and false teaching mixed with some truth.

So, in conclusion, The Catholic Church, Christ's own Church which inspired with the guidance of the Holy Spirit the New Testament Scriptures and canonized the entirety of the Christian Bible by all reason and scholarship must contradict the Bible the least of all. In this case the Church does not contradict the Bible in any sense but is the personification of the Bible and heaven on earth.

(John the Baptist) One more time for Scriptural teaching. Where in the Scriptures of the bible does God say mary is the Queen on Heaven?

(Cristoiglesia) I am sorry, I made the assumption when I answered you previously that you were familiar with the Scriptures that point to Jesus as our King. But since you are unfamiliar with Scriptural teaching here are some of the Scripture verses that support Jesus being King:

• when the Lord your God was your king, 1 Sam. 12:12
• King of glory shall come in, Ps. 24:7
• God is the King of all the earth, Ps. 47:7 (Zech. 14:9, 16).
• Holy One of Israel is our king, Ps. 89:18
• Lord is a great God, and a great King, Ps. 95:3
• children of Zion be joyful in their King, Ps. 149:2
• mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts, Isa. 6:5 (2 Ne. 16:5).
• Thine eyes shall see the king, Isa. 33:17
• your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King, Isa. 43:15
• Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer, Isa. 44:6
• Lord … is the living God, and an everlasting king, Jer. 10:10
• King shall reign … execute judgment, Jer. 23:5
• thy King cometh unto thee, Zech. 9:9 (Matt. 21:5; John 12:15).
• I am a great King, saith the Lord, Mal. 1:14
• Where is he that is born King of the Jews, Matt. 2:2
• Jerusalem … city of the great King, Matt. 5:35
• King say … Come, ye blessed, Matt. 25:34
• Art thou the King of the Jews, Matt. 27:11 (Mark 15:2; Luke 23:3; John 18:33).
• This Is Jesus the King of the Jews, Matt. 27:37 (Mark 15:26; Luke 23:38; John 19:19).
• Blessed be the King that cometh, Luke 19:38
• Son of God; thou art the King of Israel, John 1:49
• Jesus therefore perceived that they would … make him a king, John 6:15
• Hail, King of the Jews, John 19:3
• Behold your King, John 19:14
• there is another king, one Jesus, Acts 17:7
• unto the King eternal, immortal … be honour and glory, 1 Tim. 1:17
• King of kings, and Lord of lords, 1 Tim. 6:15
• true are thy ways, thou King of saints, Rev. 15:3
• on his thigh a name written, King of Kings, Rev. 19:16 (Rev. 17:14).

As you can see the Bible clearly states on many occasions that Jesus is our King. If you had studied the culture of biblical times you would know that the mother of the king is always referred to as the queen. So, in calling the blessed mother of our Lord “Queen” it is simply affirming and giving praise to her Son as we recognize Him as King. This is just another way that the blessed mother of God points to her Son as to where our hope lies and our worship should be directed. Do you also need me to provide the Scriptures telling us that the blessed mother is the mother of Jesus? I can do so but it would be better for you if you researched the Scriptures for yourself to enhance your knowledge.

(John the Baptist) To do Scriptural teaching of this doctrine you need to show actual Scriptures that back up this doctrine. Not man's logic and wisdom in what the catholic church wants to be a doctrine. You need proof that this doctrine is from God. But all i see from the catholic church is man' rambling about nonsense and pure gobble **** with absolutely no evidence from the very Bible your church claimed to have written.

(Cristoiglesia)The misuse of Scripture does not help credibility for one may encounter those knowledgeable in Scriptures like those encountered by St. Paul and St. Silas in Acts 17:11. When one practices this kind of deception it makes them appear as a demagogue instead of one being a teacher in truth. It would be better if one simply stated one’s opinion without the “proof text”, which with proper exegesis does not prove or support one’s opinions. Certainly, the Bereans would have been even more skeptical if St. Paul and St. Silas had used improper hermeneutical methods in spreading the Gospel and would have had little success. The Bereans would have noticed that the use of Scriptures did not support the claims when understood using proper methodology. In fact, proper understanding of the Scriptures often illustrates the opposite of what is claimed. Much too often those attempting to convince others of their views are those that are predisposed to hate others and find it necessary to justify their own beliefs while demogoguing those beliefs held by others.

Before one uses “proof texts” to support one’s position, one should be aware that the scriptures they are using are a translation from another language that most often does not allow a word for word translation but instead the translator must seek equivalence in meaning rather than it being an exact word for word translation. Today we are two thousand years removed from the writing of the NT Scriptures, are in a different place and a different culture. For proper exegesis these things must be taken into consideration. This is why the Reformers, especially Martin Luther, were frightened and feared damnation by the misunderstanding of the new theory of “sola Scriptura”. This theory was meant to be a partnership between the layman and the scholar and not a license for each individual to become their own theologian. This is how false teaching propagates itself and is responsible for thousands of exponentially increasing schisms within the body of Christ.

This is why many of us (conservative, traditional and orthodox) in the Christian academic community use the interpretation theory of grammatico-historical exegesis. This method dictates that one coming to understanding of Scripture take into consideration the language , history and culture in which it is written or the context of the time, culture and history. To do otherwise is to allow our preconceptions to determine the meaning causing great error. We must learn and to strive to turn off our mental filter and allow the Scriptures to instruct instead of allowing our preconceptions to obscure what the Scriptures teach. When doing apologetics it is better to use “proof texts carefully as not to misuse them to spread false teaching and doctrine.

The proof text methodology of understanding Scripture meaning puts too much emphasis on the practical side of understanding. Typically the interpreter searches for topical texts to support their preconceptions. For instance, if one begins with a preconception that the Catholic Church is apostate, and that it’s various teaching and doctrines are false; one finds value in these texts and use them for their short, epigrammatic use of several key words that coincide with your presuppositional theme or topic rather than the evidence or support they actually bring from their own context. It is the ignoring of the context that makes this methodology wrong and, in fact, useless. This methodology treats the Bible as some sort of magical, mythological book where one can choose from its anthology of sayings for every occasion to support ones worldly views or fleshly desires. This is no different from the liberals or progressive Christians who use the Scriptures as a menu for creating their own personal theology and god, picking and using Scriptures without understanding. Scriptural texts always belong to larger units and address specific situations, coming out of historical purposes for which they were written and contexts for which they are now relevant. Most often, interpretation using this method shows a na├»ve reading of the text and disregards the purpose for which the text was written. There is no regard for the historical context which is relevant for understanding or the genre conventions which shape the understanding. What many have engaged in when using these texts is allegorization and other forms of reckless use of Scripture texts to support one’s prejudices against those whom they disagree, such as the Catholic Church, and have ignored their intended purpose and usage as determined by context, grammar and history. I cannot over emphasize the importance of context.

Generally in apologetics those using improper methodology are among the thousands of cult groups just making attempts to spread animosity among the body of Christ. They are not attempting to contribute to the learning of others or to participate in a discussion or debate but to proselytize their cultist views or to confuse those who are seeking and are weak in knowledge.

(John the Baptist) Sound doctrines? The doctrine of mary being the Queen of Heaven is not a sound doctrine. Sound doctrines are those in the Bible. Those which God has given us through the Word of God, not through a false church your Roman catholic church.

(Cristoiglesia) So are you denying that Jesus is King or that the blessed Mother is indeed his mother?

(John the Baptist) Your church has no authority to make up stories from men and call them doctrines of God. Your church has no authority to teach your doctrines as commandments of God.

(Cristoiglesia) Correct but you would spend many lifetimes trying to find where the Church has done what you claim. The only man our doctrines come from is Christ which is why we are called the “pillar and foundation of the truth” as opposed by what the Bible says about people like yourself that can not endure sound doctrines and who seek out false teachers that will satisfy their itching ears.

(John the Baptist) Your church the Roman catholic church is Irrelevant.

(Cristoiglesia) Nothing Jesus founded or taught is irrelevant. In Christian theology the Protestants are those who are irrelevant.

(John the Baptist) Repent and return back to Jesus before it is too late and you miss out on entering into heaven.

(Cristoiglesia) Jesus warned at the synagogue in Capernaum and emphasized the literalness of his words redundantly that we must eat His Body and drink His Blood for eternal life. Have you done as He commanded? He said that this was necessary for us to abide in Him and He in us. God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

05 May, 2011

Continuing discussion with John the Baptist about the blessed mother of God

(John the Baptist) How can we be one in church when your church teaches false doctrines about mary?

(Cristoiglesia) According to the Bible it is impossible for the Church to teach false doctrines. What your statement clearly reveals is that you cannot endure sound doctrines. By not enduring sound doctrines you willfully place yourself outside of Christ’s Church.

(John the Baptist) Your church teaches:
Mary was conceived without original sin
Marry lived a sinless life
Marry was bodily assumed into heaven at the end of her earthly life

(Cristoiglesia) We are all born with original sin which was caused by our original parents bringing sin and death into the world. We have inherited that sin nature from the original fall from grace.

As was prophesied in the Old Testament a virgin will bear a son called Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14). That Son is to become the Lamb of God and a replacement for the Paschal Lamb of Passover which is emblematic of Christ as the feast of the New Covenant. This prophecy is important in that it illustrates the necessity of the perfect sacrifice. Not one of a perfection of the flesh as the Paschal Lamb refers but the perfection of the soul which requires a divine nature as no human alone could fulfill the perfection required by the Father but only the God-man in Jesus. Being fully God, He could not dwell and be nurtured in a vessel containing sin nor could the Lamb of God inherit the original sin of our original parents. So, out of necessity and in preparation to the blessed mother’s obedience she was saved by Christ at her conception. The blessed mother was in such a state of grace before conceiving and nurturing the unborn Jesus that she is described as being “full of Grace”. Of course being full of God’s grace leaves no room for sin.

Now keep in mind that some may argue that Jesus does not qualify as a type of the Paschal Lamb because the Paschal Lamb was required to be without any physical blemish. Certainly, the wounds of Jesus by His scourging left Him as anything but a physically unblemished sacrifice. It is significant to acknowledge that the Paschal Lamb of the Passover saved one from physical death while Jesus being emblematic saves one from the death of the soul into sin. Therefore, the Lamb of God had the perfection of the soul necessary to atone for sin which causes spiritual death.

Furthermore, while the obedience of the Israelites at Passover instituted a special kinship of the people as the family of God so too does the new kingdom instituted by Christ’s atoning sacrifice institute a new kinship or Covenant signified by the fact that we are to eat the Lamb in all its Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity just as the Israelites had to eat the Lamb to be saved. Just like them it could not be a symbolic Lamb but its real flesh consumed; so too are we to partake of the reality of the feast provided by our Lord.

People may argue that it is not possible for Christ to save the blessed mother at her conception as the atoning sacrifice on the Cross has not yet occurred; this same argument by critics of the Eucharist argue similarly. But the fact is that God dwells outside of time where everything is in the eternal present without future or past. In the Scriptures according to St. Johns account of Jesus’ Colloquy at Capernaum in chapter 6 he said, “do this in remembrance of me” as translated into English but this is often a misunderstanding as to what Jesus was really saying because in English “remembrance means to recall a past event which is an approximation of the Greek meaning since there is no corresponding English equivalent. . However, the Koine Greek word used was “anamnesis” which has in its meaning an expectation of a miracle which transcends time and place. So what was truly being conveyed by Jesus’ words recorded by St. John is that the disciples truly ate the sacrificed flesh and drank the spilt Blood of our Lord just as we do today sharing in that one sacrifice presented by our Lord and shared by the entire Church in all its glorious manifestations. Therefore His atoning sacrifice provides for all humanity past, present and future.

All Christians will agree that there is at least one person who never sinned and that is our Lord and Savior. Being an exception means that there may be other possibilities of exceptions although we can agree that the circumstances of our Savior are unique being fully man and fully God. No other person future or past can make such a claim. As you know the Bible says that the blessed mother is "full" of God's grace at the Annunciation. We believe that God had prepared her for that moment of saying yes to be the God bearer. The womb that bore and nurtured our Lord is the Ark of the New Covenant which is Christ our Lord. God cannot dwell within sin so the blessed mother was saved by God's grace before she was even conceived in the womb immaculately. She was in need of a Savior as we all are and our Lord provided for her salvation and indeed her sanctity even before her conception. Being and remaining full of grace means that the blessed mother of God never sinned but would have been tempted to sin as the new Eve just as the original Eve was tempted. But just as her Son withstood temptation, her grace was so great that she was able to overcome all temptation.

Yes, the Church teaches the truth that the blessed mother of God was assumed into heaven at the end of her earthly life.

(John the Baptist)Mary is a mediatrix
Mary is a co-redemptrix

(Cristoiglesia) Here is the teaching of the Church from the Catechism in regards to your claims:

488 "God sent forth his Son", but to prepare a body for him, he wanted the free co-operation of a creature. For this, from all eternity God chose for the mother of his Son a daughter of Israel, a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, "a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary":
The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother, so that just as a woman had a share in the coming of death, so also should a woman contribute to the coming of life.

489 After a long period of waiting the times are fulfilled in her, the exalted Daughter of Sion, and the new plan of salvation is established."

494 At the announcement that she would give birth to "the Son of the Most High" without knowing man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith, certain that "with God nothing will be impossible": "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word." Thus, giving her consent to God's word, Mary becomes the mother of Jesus. Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him, by God's grace:

As St. Irenaeus says, "Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race." Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert. . .: "The knot of Eve's disobedience was untied by Mary's obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith." Comparing her with Eve, they call Mary "the Mother of the living" and frequently claim: "Death through Eve, life through Mary."

502 The eyes of faith can discover in the context of the whole of Revelation the mysterious reasons why God in his saving plan wanted his Son to be born of a virgin. These reasons touch both on the person of Christ and his redemptive mission, and on the welcome Mary gave that mission on behalf of all men.

511 The Virgin Mary "cooperated through free faith and obedience in human salvation" (LG 56). She uttered her yes "in the name of all human nature" (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 30, 1). By her obedience she became the new Eve, mother of the living.

964 Mary's role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. "This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to his death"; it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion:
Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her: to be given, by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: "Woman, behold your son."

967 By her complete adherence to the Father's will, to his Son's redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church's model of faith and charity. Thus she is a "preeminent and . . . wholly unique member of the Church"; indeed, she is the "exemplary realization" (typus) of the Church.

968 Her role in relation to the Church and to all humanity goes still further. "In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior's work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace."

969 "This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation .... Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix."

970 "Mary's function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin's salutary influence on men . . . flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it, and draws all its power from it. No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source."

973 By pronouncing her "fiat" at the Annunciation and giving her consent to the Incarnation, Mary was already collaborating with the whole work her Son was to accomplish. She is mother wherever he is Savior and head of the Mystical Body."

(John the Baptist) Mary is the Queen of Heaven

(Cristoiglesia) Jesus is the King and the mother of the King in the first century was always called the Queen. We give the same respect for our king to his mother.

(John the Baptist) Yet none of these doctrines about mary are found anywhere within the pages of Scriptures!

(Cristoiglesia) Really? So are you are saying that none of these teachings are in the Bible either explicitly or implicitly and that it is impossible to come to the theological conclusions of any of these teachings from the Bible. Additionally, are you not putting the cart before the horse by attributing to the Bible, which is the product of the Church, a teaching authority that usurps the authority of the Church given by Christ? In other words, how does something not being mentioned in the Bible detract from the teaching of the Church? It does not.

(John the Baptist) The mary of the bible is far different from the picture portrayed above. Indeed the biblical mary is a "bondslave of the lord", Luke 1:38, a humble servant of God.

The humble attitude of the biblical mary is far removed from the veneration paid to her by the Roman catholic church.

(Cristoiglesia) Behold the handmaid. With all modesty and humility of heart and mind, the blessed Virgin consented to the divine will: and from that moment in her was conceived the Savior and Redeemer of the world. (Witham) --- Thus ought the virgin, who brought forth meekness and humility itself, to shew forth an example of the most profound humility. (St. Ambrose)

(John the Baptist) There is nothing in the bible about any of the doctrines about mary held by your church.

(Cristoiglesia) You cannot be serious.

God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

04 May, 2011

Continuing discussion with "John the Baptist"

(John The Baptist) Its interesting that the Rock in Matthew is Jesus and not peter. Through out all the Bible the Rock has always been Jesus, not peter.

(Cristoiglesia) Clearly in this instance Jesus is speaking to St. Peter in the presence of the other disciples and is in the process of changing Simon’s name to Peter. Throughout the Old Testament name changes are significant and most often represent a calling to special service to God. In this case Jesus is emphasizing the fact that Simon, being known as Peter, is the prime minister of His Church as prophesied.

Matthew 16:18: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church."

Of course, this is the verse where our Lord appointed Simon as the leader of the disciples, head of the Church on earth and the Pope. It is believed by some Protestants that they can defend their position of Simon not receiving the authority from Jesus by using the original Greek.

The claim made is that there is a difference between the Greek words “petra” and “petros”. Now, if this discussion between Jesus and Simon had occurred a few centuries earlier before Attic Greek had ceased to be and lost in antiquity it might be a valid argument. However, in the first century when this discussion occurred the Greek language was Koine Greek instead. In Koine Greek there is no difference in the meaning between “petra” and “petros” except in Koine Greek “petra” is feminine and “petros” is the masculine form. So what I am saying is that one is making a great error in interpretation to assign the Attic Greek meanings large stone and small stone, which was used in ancient Greek poetic writings, when that language was gone for centuries in usage.

Now, let us look at the Aramaic which is the familial language spoken by Jesus and the disciples which is the language which this discussion recorded in the Scriptures in Koine Greek occurred. We know that Jesus spoke in Aramaic because His words on the cross are in Aramaic (Matt 27:46). In fact, the book of Matthew was originally written in Aramaic according to most scholars including myself. Also in the St. Paul’s letters to the Galatians and to the Corinthians we see the word Cephas a total of eight times which is the English equivalent of kepha. Kepha always means rock. So, in Matthew 16:18 it would read using the Aramaic “You are Kepha and on this Kepha I will build my Church.” There is no big rock and pebble as evidence was given in the then dead Attic Greek. So in the original language Jesus does not offer a contrast but instead He clearly is calling Simon the rock.

If one is not yet convinced that the rendering in Attic Greek is improper let us look at Matthew 16:18 with the Attic Greek interpretation and see which one makes the most sense…. “Blessed are you Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father in heaven. And I tell you, you are just a little pebble and upon this rock I will build my Church.” Instead of the Koine Greek “you are Rock (Petros) and upon this rock (petros) I will build my Church. He goes on to give Simon Peter the keys to heaven showing the authority of the rock named Peter. As the King of Kings Jesus is making Peter His prime minister of His kingdom and we can see the foreshadowing from Isaiah 22: 21-22 and the leader of the flock from John 21:15-17. It shows in Isaiah the passing on of the keys from one to another for authority of the kingdom just as the authority of the papacy is passed on.

(John the Baptist) Its irrelevant what you or the catholic church says for neither one of you have the truth. The truth is that Jesus is the Rock the church was built on not peter.

(Cristoiglesia) It is interesting that you claim to be a follower of the Bible and yet deny the teaching of Scripture that says that the Church is the “pillar and foundation of the truth”. So, your argument against the Church that Christ founded not having the truth is, in fact, contrary to the teaching of Scripture. I assume you ignore this teaching as it threatens your prejudice against Christ’s Church and your own desire to support your disobedience by ignoring this teaching and remaining outside of his Church preferring instead those false teachers that satisfy your itching ears.

(John the Baptist) In Matthew 18 Jesus also gives all authority to all the disciples not just to peter.

(Cristoiglesia) Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Here Jesus is speaking to and about Peter. Perhaps you are speaking of Matthew 18:18 when Jesus said the following:

Matthew 18:18 (New International Version, ©2011)
18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be[a] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[b] loosed in heaven.

Here Jesus was indeed speaking to all the disciples and giving this authority to them and thus to the Church. This, however, does not detract from the clear teaching of Scripture that St. Peter is the prime minister of the Church appointed by Christ to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah.

(John the Baptist) Therefore what you says is irrelevant for you do not have the truth.

(Cristoiglesia) As I quoted from Scriptures Christ’s Church the Catholic Church does have the assurance of truth as the Bible calls the Church the “pillar and foundation of the truth”. What I have shown you is the teaching of the Church for 2000 years. May the Holy Spirit inspire you top the truth proclaimed in Christ’s own Church. God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

03 May, 2011

Authority of the Pope

(John the Baptist) The church is the body of Jesus and Jesus is the head of the body. The pope has no authority over the church, only Jesus has that authority. If the pope did have authority then he has to follow what Jesus says not what he wants. Listening to all the things the pope is saying, it seems the pope is moving away from the truths in the Bible and away from Jesus.

Colossians 1:15
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

(Cristoiglesia) Let us look at what the whole body of Scriptures says instead of using an eisegetical approach to understanding as you have done. The Bible teaches us that Jesus is the high priest, St. Peter is the prime minister and the twelve disciples are the foundation stones of the Church. Unlike what you claim without citing a single example, papal teaching has never contradicted anything that our Lord has taught but instead has confirmed His teaching and proclaimed it to the world. Nothing in the Scriptures you provided denies the authority that Jesus gave to St. Peter and His successors as prophesied by Isaiah in fulfilling the Scriptures. The Church is given all authority on earth by Jesus and St. Peter and His successors are the prime ministers. In the late first century after the founding of the Church at Pentecost St. Ignatius the third bishop of St. Peters bishopric at Antioch defined the Church as it was understood in the apostolic times as those who gather around the bishops saying, “where the bishops is there is the Church” (Letter to the Smyrnaeans). Without the Pope and the other bishops there is no Church as the visible and invisible Church are those who are obedient and faithful to the bishop. The Pope is the visible head of the Church serving as the servant of servants.

Jesus gave the authority to St. Peter saying to him with the witness of the other disciples:

Matthew 16:13-19 (King James Version)
13When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

In using the construction vernacular Jesus was speaking of building His Church and giving the authority, represented by the keys, to St. Peter. In doing so He fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah of the Messiah appointing an earthly prime minister of the Church and establishing the enduring office of prime minister that would endure for all times.

(John the Baptist) Jesus says He is the head of the church not the pope.

(Cristoiglesia) As you can clearly see, Jesus being the high priest does not detract from the fact that Jesus with the authority of the High priest appointed St. Peter as His prime minister of His enduring Church on earth. We further understand from Scriptures that it is this Church under the leadership of the prime minister appointed by Jesus that contains those who are obedient and faithful to Christ’s desire that we be one in His Church.

John 17:21 (King James Version)
21That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph