<<he Church recognizes no new revelation from God since the end of Biblical times, but that doesn't mean our understanding of what has been revealed hasn't deepened, nor that there is only one way to express that revelation theologically.>>
The Church of Jesus Christ, as evolved, meaning those who heard, embraced the teachings and were baptized into the "community" of believers in Jesus Christ, did represent a loose organization, indeed, and where ever the Apostles traveled they gathered to learn of the doctrine. It was the responsibility of those so called, ordained and set apart for the ministry toteach the doctrine of the "kingdom of God"......and there was issued some strong warnings against apostasy from those teachings......a prototype for us to perhaps follow, who are concerned with truth, meaning that which came from the mouth of the prophets, apostles, and the Savior himself! In Matthew 16:15-17 Jesus is speaking to Peter, as He asks,"But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered, and said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.' And 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.....(revelation) and Christ then further states, "Behold thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The "rock" of revelation.....truth revealed from God has no need of being defended against the powers of hell.....for truth revealed will prevail for ever unchanged!! Christ then gave unto Peter, as Chief Apostle, the keys of the kingdom of heaven, stating, "whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Further Matthew 28:18-20 Christ charged the apostles to teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.Amen!" (my take on this, is through revelation, He would guide and direct "His Church" or followers, through those who were divinely ordained of HIm.......until the end of the world! He died, was resurrected, promised the Second Comforter to all, meaning the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and promised continued revelation from Him.)
You say that the Church today does not proclaim having had additional revelation to guide the church! Does that mean God no longer has that power to guide and direct His children on the earth today? A living church receives nourishment from its roots........are the roots of catholicism dead roots......this is not meant to be disrespectful, but in light of your comments about traditions practiced, adopted, and dispensed with, I would ask what are their purposes? I see, in the teachings and actions of the Savior, that they seem to all be directed towards the "perfecting of the saints, and bringing us into a unity of faith, that we no more are tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine...." One Lord, meaning Jesus Christ through Him is salvation wrought, One faith, and one baptism! This seems like a unity is required for salvation.....a unity of knowledge and understanding of the truths He taught! One of those truths He taught and set the example for was baptism by immersion! Could you tell me why the change in this ordinance to sprinkling and the baptism of infants? We are not born into sin.......if we are then we must deny the atonement of Jesus Christ for the Fall of Adam. Could you shed some light on this practice? I am deeply concerned........
Lookbeyond, you asked: Does that mean God no longer has that power to guide and direct His children on the earth today? A living church receives nourishment from its roots........are the roots of catholicism dead roots......this is not meant to be disrespectful, but in light of your comments about traditions practiced, adopted, and dispensed with, I would ask what are their purposes?
Actually, you gave the response I would have with the following, which you also wrote.
I see, in the teachings and actions of the Savior, that they seem to all be directed towards the "perfecting of the saints, and bringing us into a unity of faith, that we no more are tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine...."
But now, aha, for the old chestnut: One of those truths He taught and set the example for was baptism by immersion! Could you tell me why the change in this ordinance to sprinkling and the baptism of infants? We are not born into sin.......if we are then we must deny the atonement of Jesus Christ for the Fall of Adam. Could you shed some light on this practice? I am deeply concerned........
Now let me see: is your point that sprinkling does not provide sufficient water for the Baptism to "take," that it shouldn't be done to infants, or that infants aren't born with Original Sin? The latter point is easy: you are clearly wrong when you say "we are not born into sin." As for other points, this is an example of the kind of issues that aren't conclusively addressed in Scripture. We do learn in Scripture that all the members of certain households were baptized: might this have included infants? We also know that it was dangerous for the early Church to go out into the open in public places where there was a river or water supply to do immersion baptism--hence the provision for sprinkling. To suggest that Baptizing infants and doing so by sprinkling represents some kind of serious deviation from Christ's intentions (and you are suggesting that, I've no doubt) is but another example of the error one falls into with a Bible-only approach to things.
You're doing little more than re-hashing Fundamentalist-type criticisms of Catholicism here, which have been aired out many, many times. The web site I referred you to earlier has responses to all this. So does my book.
Do you have any questions about Church which do not imply infidelity to Christ's intentions by Catholics? If not, then know that you'll hear no more from me.
I must have touched a nerve......I apologize! You said I "am dead wrong" when I say we are not born into sin! Well, if you mean we come into this world with the sin of Adam upon our heads......then you deny the sacrifice of the Savior on the cross, and the scripture that reads, "as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." Baptism as taught by the Savior required repentance, and an infant hasn't the ability to repent, let alone commit sin. Sprinkling today has no merit........we are not in fear of the enemy to christianity as you infer was the reason for the change, and really suggests that without "revelation" today, man can change anything that is necessary, or convenient to satisfy man......this attitude disturbs me, for the God I believe in is sensitive to exactness and honor in defending and upholding truth, as was His charge to His disciples and the Apostles! If you insist on claiming I am a fundamentalist, meaning someone who believes in the basics of true Christianity, then I am proud of my distinction, and will remain rooted in my convictions that any church who manipulates, mauls and distorts the Bible, and true Christian principles, without the benefit of revelation from God, will indeed reap the wrath of God and will eventually come to naught, eventhough they have persuaded and blinded the eyes of countless millions to truth under the disquise of infallibility and ignorance. Revelation from the true God, and Jesus Christ His Son, witnessed by the Holy Ghost, will establish and correct the many philosophies of men, and countless errors fostered by the multitudes of religions! God has been rendered powerless by those who do not believe in modern revelation.......for they have yet to discover who God is and the true nature of the Godhead! That anyone can believe that God is a 3-1 personage, has no concept of the personal relationship that can be established between man and the Son of God! No vain repetitions in prayer, will ever establish a warm communication with the Gods I believe in. The hymn, "How Great Thou Art," sheds some insight on what man's relationship can be.........The scriptures are clear on their distinctive roles, each having a unity of purpose......to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.........all that they accomplish in their unified goals, will be to establish the "plan of happiness" and see that it is carried out by those they call to minister and reveal their secrets to accomplish that end. "Surely the Lord God, will do nothing, but He revealeth His secrets unto His Prophets." Catholicism, without revelation from God, is dead to all that is possible for mankind to receive through the power and authority of God, to bring them back to His presence in the eternal worlds to come!
Thanks Phil for the dialogue.........my search for truth will continue, and I appreciate your awakening all of the reasons I chose not to follow the faith of my father in my early youth, and caused me to set about to find those who shared my understanding of the New Testament or "New Covenant" with the children of God.........who had need of a Redeemer.......the Son of God, loved by His Father, as He loved the world! A loving Father, sent His Son into the world to redeem man from the sins of Adam, conquering death through His sacrifice on the cross, and making it possible for us, by our choices, to return to His presence! Shalom.......may the peace of the gospel of Jesus Christ ever be yours!
Sprinkling today has no merit........
How do you know?
Anyway, best wishes on your continuing search. I hope you find what you're looking for although, truth be told, sounds like you already know what you believe about all this.
The scriptures tell of those who would change the ordinances, depart from the doctrine, and sprinkling is no where to be found acceptable in the Church of Jesus Christ, and has no symbolism beyond a Priest's blessing.......the truth be told Phil, yes, the scriptures have caused me much pondering and searching and I do believe the only part of the original sin that remains, is our own personal sins once we reach accountability. Before then, we are innocent and incapable of committing sin or repenting! The disciples and apostles taught faith, repentance and baptism for the remission of sins......to condem an infant that may die before baptism is a man made doctrine without merit, as far as my research has carried me. Believe me Phil, when I tell you, I have tried in vain to reconcile the doctrines and Traditions; traditions of Catholicism with Christianity of the earliest times......and it just doesn't come together for me......the practice of celebacy among the priesthood is just one of the identifying circumstances of the apostasy according to scripture......again, how does one reconcile it........Nuns.......where did this service oriented fraternity come from in the teaching of Jesus? They scared hell out of me in my youth, and it has lingered in my memory, painfully! I have heard it said, "give me a child until they are twelve, and they will remain catholic forever." They succeeded with my father on that score, after being in an orphanage for so long.....and he never departed from the faith.......but then I never knew him to ever set foot inside the catholic church while he was alive! I guess something frightened him too! If the trail I travel leads me into darkness.....surely the peace I now enjoy in the knowledge I have and the understanding I seek, will not be in vain.....revelation of light and truth belong to the Church of Jesus Christ, and all truth seekers are encouraged to find it , so says the scriptures.......
"revelation of light and truth belong to the Church of Jesus Christ, and all truth seekers are encouraged to find it"
I believe that God, in desiring to be in relationship with us, draws each of us to him. I also firmly believe that each of us yearn for this as well. This yearning is what sends us to seek, but each of us is different and have traveled different journeys. Just as each revelation of God in Scripture is different, each of our experiences are different as well. Moses met him in a burning bush, Saul in a blinding light. Even when His Son walked among us, we had difficulty recognizing Him. Then too we are human and have difficulty seeing what is right before our eyes a lot of the time.
The point I am trying to make is the way we experience is not nearly as important as that experience.
I am not Roman Catholic, but I believe that through that tradition many have come to know God and therefore, it is a valid path... just as is the Anglican and the Methodist, etc. I do not believe that one way is better than another ( they are all human institutions and therefore subject to the same errors collectively as we are individually) simply that each one must find the way that is best for them.
Does it really matter if water is sprinkled or poured or we are submerged? Cannot the Spirit work with a little as well as a lot? It is the Spirit that baptizes after all not the water.
Lookbeyond, I understand the wrestling you are in the midst of because I have wrestled with many of the same issues. It is not an easy task but then not much that is worthwhile is easy. Keep on wrestling and questioning but keep an open mind - ask and learn and struggle and trust God to show you your path. Let our Lord light your way.
Lookbeyond, you continue to post here under the guise of a truth-seeker, but what you're really doing is using my forum as a podium to criticize Catholic beliefs and practices. Your critique is from the angle of biblical fundamentalism, as I have told you before, and so you basically don't acknowledge what we call Tradition. Without Tradition, we're left only with private interpretation of Scripture, which is what you're doing in most of the points you make.
It's really too bad that you and other family members who were hurt by the Catholic Church (same here), but that does not in any way invalidate the truth of Catholic doctrine. One could just as easily point out abuses inflicted by fundamentalist parents and ministers, but what's the point?
Here are a few examples of how you are preaching to us, rather than dialoguing:
sprinkling is no where to be found acceptable in the Church of Jesus Christ, and has no symbolism beyond a Priest's blessing.......
. . . I do believe the only part of the original sin that remains, is our own personal sins once we reach accountability.
to condem an infant that may die before baptism is a man made doctrine without merit,
I have tried in vain to reconcile the doctrines and Traditions; traditions of Catholicism with Christianity of the earliest times......and it just doesn't come together for me
......the practice of celebacy among the priesthood is just one of the identifying circumstances of the apostasy according to scripture
..Nuns.......where did this service oriented fraternity come from in the teaching of Jesus?
Those are not points for dialogue; they are critical conclusions you've reached about these topics.
Your agenda here from the beginning has been to criticize Catholicism. You go on to tell us about the great peace and joy that you have found outside of Catholicism. That's wonderful; enjoy it! Any further anti-Catholic post from you will be deleted promptly, however. This board does not exist to air out private rants against any religion.
I's really too bad that you and other family memebers who were hurt by the Catholic Church (same here), but that does not in any way invalidate the truth of Cahtolic doctrine.
Phil, you obviously love the CAtholic Church and have found it to be the ultimate way to experience God. Yet, you've been 'burned' a couple of times. How do you keep focused on the Truth when it seems that so much of what we learn and experience in our relationship with God is 'in spite of' rather than 'because of' what the heirarchy is trying to do to us in so many forums? This might not be the place to ask this, but it is not just a Catholic question. I suspect all traditions have this struggle going on.
Phil, I am not anti-catholic........I am concerned with TRUTH.......and catholicism was taught to me early in my life as truth......and when I began to be old enough to think for myself and read and ponder and study.....there became apparent many things in catholicism I questioned........wanting to be able to reconcile scripture and doctrine.......truth is the same for all of us.....it doesn't change with circumstance. God is the Father of us all, we are taught in the scripture. He sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to redeem the world from the consequence of Adam's sin! He conquered the grave for us.....we will all be resurrected, Catholics, Jews, Protestant....whatever!!!! Returning to His Presence.....is what the gospel of Jesus Christ was presented for, as I see it.....a guide for our achieving perfection....or qualifying to return to the presence of a Heavenly Father through our faith, repentance and baptism! Christ set the pattern, according to scripture........that pattern seemingly should be followed by all true followers of Christ! I am not preaching anything.....I simply am trying to share my observations.....if these observations are without merit from your stand point and you feel they are criticisim.....then perhaps there is a comfort zone being invaded here, that is not my intention, I simply am seeking an understanding of truth. If there is truth in the doctrine of revelation to the Church of Jesus Christ, and catholicism does not believe in it, then I question why? If revelation is not a true doctrine, then for what purpose was the Holy Ghost given by the Savior? Was it not for the revelation of truth, a witness???
Please Phil, I am not trying to find fault.......it is truth I seek.....if comparing doctrines with the Bible is unacceptable because you claim I am making a private interpertation of them, would not the Holy Ghost be a factor in helping us discern truth? You claim the church has only that right.....or so it seems, but I didn't see that qualifying statement anywhere.....I have just read the general statement.....if not for private, then the general rule seems to fit......truth will have a unifying effect among the believers of the doctrines Christ taught, and peace and comfort and an enlarged understanding will occur through the Spirit of the Holy Ghost, who is also referred to in scripture as the other Comforter, Christ being the first!
wanda, thank you for your post! My search for truth will remain with me for ever! The one thing I have found it has given to me, is a steady diet of scripture reading, pondering, and praying! I probably do much more of that than the average person, but I have truly been rewarded for my efforts, in ways I can't describe here. It concerns me that there is an attitude that truth can make it what we want it to be. That is folly.....truth is a constant and does not change, and that is why when speaking to the topic of what is church?, I have to define it "where is the church" meaning "Where Is The Church of Jesus Christ?" That group of followers who follow the fundamental principles of the gospel He taught.....faith, repentance, & baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, given by those in authority to those followers! Many churches exemplify my desire to be a bank owner.....I say to self, I am now the bank owner......I walk in and tell the teller of my assumed role, and ask for a check for $2,000,000. She does not reccognize my authority.....and calls for security to rid the bank of this unauthorized individual claiming assumed rights, having never been given that authority by one, having the authority to give it to me! My labor may well have been sincere, but it was in vain....the truth, I did not have the authority to act as owner! Who does have that authority to act, as the apostles & prophets of old, for God, and have Him recognize and acknowledge that authority??? The scriptures tell of some who tried to buy it.....some who tried to assume it.........that it was given by Christ .........to some.....and they in turn were instructed enlarge upon it........and then came the Dark Ages.....gross darkness covered the earth......could that be the time when the Light of Christ.....or Truth was taken from the earth.....and the Holy Ghost, who enlightens, was taken also? This is how I ponder.......and yet what happened in the 1700's? Things began to change......early 1800's and forward, look at the progress of man! Astounding that we have put a mon on the moon......they had to follow principles of truth to accomplish such a feat! Where did the enlightenment come from? We have come a long way since the early 1800's in communications, transportation, utilities etc. What a marvelous age of enlightenment we live in today!!! Truth abounds! Yet when we begin discussing religious truths there seems to be a lot of defenses within each denomination and people become territorial and do not maintain the same openmindedness that can and is enjoyed when researching medical science, or any other area of research allowing for truths to shine forth.....imagine a doctor defending an untruth, because of his pride....."blood letting is cleansing and should be done on a weekly basis" ........??? Finding truth is freedom to build upon it and find even more!!!!! Wow!
I am taking the position that you really sincere in your search for the truth and not simply looking to affirm your personal opinions. You see I do not believe that any of us can know the entirety of truth.... we do see through a veil darkly and live in the promise that someday all will be revealed. Here's just a few things to think about... just thoughts...
"It concerns me that there is an attitude that truth can make it what we want it to be."
Because we see through this veil, we all have a tendency to believe that the part we do see is the totality. Just as while the expansion of scientific knowledge has allowed us to see more, I doubt if you could find any true scientist who will say that we know all.
As I have mentioned before on this board - I as an Episcopalian use a three pronged method of trying to determine truth - Reason, Scripture, and Tradition. We read and study Scripture, learn and ponder what others have to say, then use our minds - our reason to reconcile the two. I still do not claim to know truth - but I can and do stand on what I believe to be truth. Reading the NT you see that the early church had many of the same struggles that the church faces today. Do Gentiles need to be circumsized to be Christian comes to mind... They even struggled with the idea of celibacy. We have been trying to "get it right" for 2000 years and have maybe succeeded in some things but fallen short in others. The thing is we keep trying both individually and communally as church. I don't see where we can do any more.
You speak of the Dark Ages and of the amazing time of accomplishment and enlightenment we are living in and yet - we are killing the earth with our contaminants from all of our wonderful scientific advancements - electricity, automobiles etc..., thousand of people starve to death, kids kill kids, workers shoot co-workers, husbands abuse wives and men children, divorce is rampant and sex sells... are we really so enlightened? Have we really come very far from the dark ages? Does Truth really abound or is it simply truth as we wish to see it? Are we enlightened or are we deceived?
Things are not always as they seem. Prudence requires the finding and facing of not only what we want to see, but of what we do not want to see. What is truth? I cannot claim to own truth... I'm not sure any of us can.
....wanting to be able to reconcile scripture and doctrine.......truth is the same for all of us.....it doesn't change with circumstance.
I'll re-write this for you, lookbeyond, expressing the truth, since that's what you're really after, right?
. . . wanting to be able to reconcile my understanding of scripture and the doctrines of the Catholic Church, as there seems to be a discrepancy, and I place my understanding of Scripture on an equal par with the Catholic Church's understanding of Scripture as expressed in its various Traditions . . . truth is the same for all of us, so if the Catholic Church differs from my take on truth, then the Catholic Church must be wrong . . . it doesn't change with the circumstances, so please don't factor in such inconvient considerations as the myriad cultures to which the Church had to address itself through the ages. The words of the New Testament say it all and need no interpretation or qualification. I understand what those words are and what they mean.
There now: do I hear you rightly? Can we stop playing your little truth-seeker game?
Wanda, <<You speak of the Dark Ages and of the amazing time of accomplishment and enlightenment we are living in and yet - we are killing the earth with our contaminants from all of our wonderful scientific
advancements - electricity, automobiles etc..., thousand of people starve to death, kids kill kids,
workers shoot co-workers, husbands abuse wives and men children, divorce is rampant and sex
sells... are we really so enlightened? Have we really come very far from the dark ages? Does Truth
really abound or is it simply truth as we wish to see it? Are we enlightened or are we deceived? >>
Viewing the negative side of the "enlightenment" today, one might draw the conclusions you have, but if one looks at it from the positive side, the earth, I believe, will survive to fulfill it's purpose as designed by God. That people will continue to starve and die in many countries is because they lack some of the medical and other advancements that would enable them to survive at a greater length......violence will continue to increase in direct proportion to man's drift from the plan of happines....or their denial of God and His purposes for us and failure to follow the Divine teachings of Jesus Christ, designed to bring joy and happiness to those who choose to be obedient to it's principles. Yes, we've come a long way.....and the gospel of Jesus Christ can now reach all nations of the earth through better transportation, understanding of languages and cultures. We are also enabled to learn service and a greater love for our fellowman as we seek to serve and lift those who are down troddened through our humanitarian efforts, regardless of their beliefs, but based on their needs. We can't change the world, but we can change ourselves, learning obedience to principles of happiness! Love thy neighbor as thy self; thou shalt not steal, murder or commit adultery or fornication....eliminate the lawyers in our lives by honesty and integrity! We are truly enlightened, but we choose not the better path by the lives we live.......pharmacuticals have a pill for everything....with side effects.......but changing our life styles is never promoted.....drugs, alcohol, sex and violence.....tools of the adversary which he succeeds quite well in destroying each civilization that becomes prideful and self sufficient......it is the cycle of man's destruction....but it doesn't have to be..........the gospel of Jesus Christ in it's fulness brings joy and happiness, this I truly believe, to all who embrace it........
anti-Catholic rant: deleted by Phil St. Romain, 2/27/02
Wanda: <<I am not Roman Catholic, but I believe that through that tradition many have come to know God and therefore, it is a valid path... just as is the Anglican and the Methodist, etc. I do not believe that oneway is better than another ( they are all human institutions and therefore subject to the same errors collectively as we are individually) simply that each one must find the way that is best for them. Does it really matter if water is sprinkled or poured or we are submerged? Cannot the Spirit work with a little as well as a lot? It is the Spirit that baptizes after all not the water.>>
Ephesians 4:11-14 establishes a pattern and verse 13 states how long this pattern should remain in force, "until we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; 14 That we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;"
Christ taught his apostles, gave them power and authority to preach and teach unto all people, baptizing them, calling them to repentance, and giving the gift of the Holy Ghost........... through the end of the chapter gives solid advice to truth seekers....... and on into Chapter 5 and Chapter 6.....what wisdom; good advice and counsel! Paul was an Apostle and spoke the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ in plainness.....at least I think so.....and Christ must have been aware of the influences of the time to give warning to establish the church, that we might become unified in our faith and knowledge of the Son of God.....He knew there were some who believed in the mystical essence of the godhead.......and not the literal Father and Son relationship, not unlike the Father and Son relationships of mortality. Not one and the same, but distinct personages, one in unity and purpose, and they desire all of the followers of Christ to be, but separate in body, parts and passions!
"That people will continue to starve and die in many countries is because they lack some of the medical and other advancements that would enable them to survive at a greater length......violence will continue to increase in direct proportion to man's drift from the plan of happines...."
And because we do not share these with them...we do not share our food but leave it to rot in warehouses so that we can be more prosperous. We do not share our medical advancements with them for fear there will not be enough for us. We do not share with them because we want it all for ourselves... they can have the left overs. There is violence because there is greed, and envy, and hate and maybe most of all fear.
You are right it doesn't have to be and it won't be when we can learn compassion for our neighbor. When we can start looking out for the other guy before we look out for ourselves. When we can learn to respect others and accept them for who they are - even those who may believe differently or look differently or speak differently. When we learn to judge people, not for what they do or have or have achieved but for who they are. When we can learn to trust the inate goodness in each other and to forgive that which is not so good... not only in others but in ourselves.
When we can look at the negative and accept it and understand it for what it is... a call for change. When we can look at the negative and understand and acknowledge that we all have a part in it.. a responsibility for it, and ask forgiveness, then maybe we can begin to change it. You are right that there is much good in this world but there is much evil as well. Hiding behind rose colored glasses or sticking our heads in the sand will not make it go away. The only way to defeat the enemy is to confront him.
"If you therefore go to the desert to be rid of all the dreadful people and the awful problems in your life, you will be wasting your time. You should go to the desert for a total confrontation with yourself. For one goes to the desert to see more and see better. One goes to the desert especially to take a closer look at the things and people one would rather not see, to face situations one would rather avoid, to answer questions one would rather forget.
Sorry if this seems overly harsh but Lent is a time for examination - a time for seeking the truth, naked and unvarnished and yes, to confront and examine myself and my part in all of it... so I tend to get a bit testy during Lent. It is not an easy time, but it is a good time because for me anyhow, it helps me better understand the incredible burden Christ took on for us when he took our sins and the magnitude of his love for us.
"Paul was an Apostle and spoke the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ in plainness.....at least I think so....." Sorry but Paul was not an apostle - at least not the Paul of Acts. He actually was a persecuter of the early Christians - (Acts 9:1-31). I do believe however, he spoke truth. Just wanted to clear that up.
Wanda, you say Paul was not an Apostle??? He was first known as Saul, and yes he did persecute the saints, until Jesus appeared to him....Acts 9:3-6; 15; 17; 20; 26 Acts 13:2-3; 9 Acts 14:14-16.....after his conversion he was known by his Latin name, Paul. Acts and the Epistles tell of his ministries to the Ephesians; Romans; Corinthians; Colossians; Thessalonians; Timothy; Philemon; Titus; and the Hebrews. He became one of the great Apostles after his conversion. The people actually feared him until they learned of his conversion. (I study exclusively, the King James Version of the Bible)
If we could follow the teachings given to him by Christ, and expounded to the various people, each in their specific needs how marvelous it would be.......my favorite reading in the Bible includes the writings of Paul, and his letters to the saints!
I feel an important part of our happiness depends upon how much we dwell upon the positive rather than the negative, and determine within our own circle of influence, to practice true Christian love, being selfless in our pursuit of truth and sharing that truth with others by our example, showing how that truth has influenced our lives and actions! I don't believe in a lot of lip service......a religion that walks the talk and reaches out to humanity, not only with the message of truth, but in humanitarian efforts, without cost to the recipients for what they receive, and who are willing to sacrifice for the good of others their time and service, without the expectation of "whats in it for me" but who willingly, because of their faith, and love of the Savior, choose to serve mankind, to lift the down trodden, to share hope and love and not fear and despair, in the message they bear. A loving Heavenly Father reaches down to His children....but like the unruly teenager, sometimes we fail to see His wisdom and His hand in things so simple, that surround us because of the long held traditions of man! The heavens are not sealed, there is a Living God, who Sent His Son to redeem the world, whose sacrifice conquered death, and whose teachings show us the way as we embrace and obey, the way back to the presence of the Father of us all! By the grace of God, after all that we can do to reach the degree of perfection possible in this life through His teachings, we will then ourselves be resurrected, regaining our bodies we laid to rest in the grave, and regain His presence! What a beautiful promise given by a loving, living Heavenly Father!
There can be no resurrection without the cross - there can be no life without death.
PS... there were 12 Apostles directly commissioned by Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels: Simon Peter, Andrew, Phillip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon, Judas, John, and James the son of Zebedee (Mk 3:14-19)(Mt. 10:2-4) (Lk.6:13-16) The apostolic traditions believe that through these twelve the grace and authority is descended from Christ and passed on to those lawfully appointed to succeed, thus upholding and maintaining the integral truths of the Church.
After Judas betrayed him and after the resurrection, Matthias was chosen by the eleven remaining to replace him. (Acts 1:23-26) Neither Matthias or Saul (Paul) were of the original twelve. Paul in face, claimed the title for himself (Romans 1:1)
wanda, how does your Bible read? Romans 1:1 in the King James Version says, Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (whe he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ"
Paul is here, addressing the Romans......and it appears clear to me, he was called as an apostle.....there are numerous other scriptures so attesting likewise......unless I am reading something wrong here! My Bible Dictionary gives many scriptures regarding his call, his ministry, where he was from, who he was....a persecutor of the Christians until he was converted by the Savior. He was once a member of the Sanhedrin and voted for the persecution of Christians in that position.....he took part in the martyrdom of Stephen.....he was compelled to flee, after about three years after his conversion....he went to Jerusalem......and so goes the myriad of citations of his life and missionary travels with the other apostles. How do you understand Acts 14:14 "Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of they rent their clothes and ran in among the people........????? Paul became a man of great faith and courage....and his teachings are profound and beautiful.......and one of the greats among the apostles.......
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (whe he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ"
Precisely - Paul is identifying himself here as an apostle. He is naming himself an apostle... He is taking on the designation of apostle for himself. He says... I am Paul writing this letter, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle.
Wanda, Paul is simply identifying himself, having been called as an Apostle. His teachings and associations with the other Apostles give evidence to his call from the Lord to be an Apostle.......Acts 14:14 identifies Barnabas and Paul as apostles..........but I guess that is my take.....and I have no problem accepting Paul as an Apostle, and value his teachings in my search for truth because of that calling and the authority with the other apostles they exercised in ordaining Elders, and office in the priesthood, in every church, commending them to the Lord...Acts 14:22-28 I Corinthians 1:1 again identifies Paul as one "called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God"
I cor. in another example of Paul identifying himself..
In the end though does it matter what we call him or what we call/name each other or outselves for that matter... it is what God calls us, names us that counts and how we live out the name He has given us.... Christians.
wanda, it only matters when one is searching to understanding the mind and will of the Lord concerning His children. The Church of Jesus Christ had apostles and prophets called by Jesus Christ to minister the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to go forth and teach the people truth! Faith, repentance and baptism! Take baptism as one facet to fully understand the Savior's purpose, example, method, authority surrounding this one ordinance He set in the Church for the salvation of man. The word itself is symbolic and it's Greek origin denoted dipping or immersion; baptism is a symbol of "new birth"; the death and burial of Christ; the resurrection! Baptism is a powerful covenant between those who can exercise faith and belief, and the Savior! Those who choose to accept the Savior, and follow His teachings and keep His commandments.....will be blessed by His promise that His Spirit will always be with them, and they can return to his Kingdom! Repentance was a requirement before baptism in all the teachings of the Savior and Apostles! Yet today we have the abominable teaching that says we are born into the original sin, which in essence denies the Atonement of Jesus Christ! That small infants who die without baptism are consigned to hell and suffering........yet they had not the capacity to believe, let alone repent.....and there was in actuality no need for them to be baptised! Sprinkling was adopted as a matter of convenience in the Roman Catholic Church, for those of ill health or in weakened conditions.........what kind of faith is exercised here? That man should change the Tradition of Christ in the mode of baptism gives me great concern!
Was there an apostasy, Wanda? Why is revelation not found in the Church? These are hard questions, and I mean no disrespect.......I just don't understand how we are any different today, as children of a loving Heavenly Father, from those of the early days of Christianity! Does He not love us enough to take away all the confusion abut religious doctrine by providing us with modern revelation, written for our generation and circumstance, in our own language? Cannot God do this?
God can do whatever He/She wants which makes the whole question of immersion or sprinkling rather moot... We do not baptize... God does. We do not name or call or justify God does and I am not comfortable trying to limit Him in any way. God will be what God will be and do what God will do - His the power, His the glory, His the kingdom.
Good talking with you. I hope you find the Truth you seek.
Wanda, <<We do not baptize... God does.>> How does He do it today? "Except a man be born of the water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." John 3:5 Is the Bible not a guideline for us to follow? Did Christ not set the example? I think I have found in this dialogue those who dance around issues because they appear threatening.......I apologize for entering here, but I sense I have worn out my welcome! Shalom,
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