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» Ship of Fools   » Ship's Locker   » Limbo   » Purgatory: Are other Christians really Christian? (Page 5)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Are other Christians really Christian?
Newman's Own
Shipmate
# 420

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Brief, but I could not resist a comment:

Unam Sanctam (1302) was a direct result of a conflict with Philip the Fair of France, and had a good deal to do with Philip's overruling ecclesiastical authority. One main point had to do with taxation that would finance the Crusades.

Within that century, conflicts of this type would lead to papal 'exile' to Avignon, and the western Catholic world would be left to puzzle, soon afterward, over which of the two or three popes on offer was the true one.

Unam Sanctam was specifically designed to deal with the conflict with France. Lumen Gentium was a statement of a Council with a pastoral emphasis, and directed to the Church at large.

--------------------
Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

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Og: Thread Killer
Ship's token CN Mennonite
# 3200

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I think what bugs people JL is the whole idea of:
'Well, if you get saved, we did it, even if you don't think so.' That wouldn't sound just a tinsy bit arrogant now, would it?

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I wish I was seeking justice loving mercy and walking humbly but... "Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, And study help for that which thou lament'st."

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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quote:
Originally posted by OgtheDim:
I think what bugs people JL is the whole idea of:
'Well, if you get saved, we did it, even if you don't think so.' That wouldn't sound just a tinsy bit arrogant now, would it?

That's part of it, but what's bothering me is that I'm being told that I'm really something I'm not. I went to RC schools for twelve years, and there is much I love about the RCC. However, there are a significant number of things that I believe to be in error, and they are (or were) core doctrines of the RCC. I explicitly reject those, and I'm having a bit of a problem with someone popping up to tell me that no I'm not. I really am capable of thinking these things through and arriving at my own conclusions, and I resent people telling me otherwise.

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

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Josephine

Orthodox Belle
# 3899

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quote:
Originally posted by PeterY:
Yes, I agree, but it still does not answer why the sharing of the Eucharist is primarily a matter of ecclesiastical unity.

If you want to get a better understanding of how Orthodox Christians see ourselves, the Church, and the sacraments, and how we differ from the RCs, you might read this essay by Fr. Alexander Schmemann of blessed memory. It's an old essay, intended for an audience of Orthodox Christians, to address certain difficulties he saw in the then-current situation of the Orthdox Church. But his understanding of the Church and the Eucharist is thoroughly and deeply Orthodox.

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I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

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Xavierite
Shipmate
# 2575

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quote:
Originally posted by FCB:
But while I am not opposed to drawing lines, I'm not sure there is a need to draw one here.

As to how the above statements fit with Unam Sanctam. . . well, I suppose that's an intra-Catholic debate over the hermeneutics of church documents.

FCB,

I suppose the problem I have with what you've quoted is that it nowhere says anything which denies the absolute necessity of subjection to the Roman Pontiff in order to be saved. Neither of the sections you quoted from LG and UD contradict this point (although I'm aware that there are other parts of Lumen Gentium in particular which, with regard to non-Christians, mentioning their involvement in the plan of salvation; that too need not mean those particular individuals being saved, though.) Given the clear message of Unam Sanctam and, for instance, the Council of Florence's Cantate Domino, I think it difficult to avoid the interpretation I've been arguing for earlier on this thread - although I have also some sympathy for the rigorist positions of those such as the followers of Father Feeney. Here's the relevant section of Cantate Domino...

quote:
Originally posted by Pope Eugene IV:
The Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that none of those outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but neither Jews, nor heretics and schismatics, can become participants in eternal life, but will depart "into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life they have been added to the Church; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those abiding in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practised, even if he has shed [his] blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has abided in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.

(This risks turning into a prooftexting session, but I hope you can see why I'm posting it.)

Newman's Own,

The historical points you make are doubtless true, but the dogmatic point about salvation which is made in Unam Sanctam is universal ("absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature") and not restricted to the borders of France. Otherwise it would say "absolutely necessary for the salvation of every Frenchman"! And whilst I think the documents of Vatican II can be interpreted in maners contradictory to this sentiment, I also think they can be interpreted so as to be in harmony - which is what the existence of such promulgated dogmas demands of the Catholic.

quote:
Originally posted by OgtheDim:
'Well, if you get saved, we did it, even if you don't think so.' That wouldn't sound just a tinsy bit arrogant now, would it?

If we said that. But we don't. A better summary would be "if you get saved, Jesus did it, through the Catholic Church, even if you don't think so." Or is that arrogant of Jesus?

quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
I explicitly reject those, and I'm having a bit of a problem with someone popping up to tell me that no I'm not.

Actually, no-one's denying your ability to explicitly, in full knowledge, reject the Catholic Church. But given what it entails from a Catholic perspective, most Catholics would rather let there be some doubt in their own minds about the matter. Is that really so troublesome?

RuthW,

I would be pleased if you did explain it to me. I really am curious as to what the reasons are.

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Scot

Deck hand
# 2095

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This morning I heard my daughter tell my son that "Mommy is very upset that you <blank>." Since I knew my wife had said nothing of the sort, I immediatly called the child on the carpet and explained that usurping parental authority is not acceptable.

Jesus said that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life, and that everyone who confesses him before men, Jesus will also confess him before his Father who is in heaven.

Anyone who claims the authority to contradict him is stepping on very thin ice, indeed. Personally I would not do so, nor would I acknowledge the authority of anyone who does.

--------------------
“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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Anselmina
Ship's barmaid
# 3032

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quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
... as I have pointed out several times now, the dogma is generally interpreted by Catholic theologians as meaning that those who are saved are members of the Catholic Church in some sense, or at the very least receive their salvation through the Catholic Church.

I'm not as familiar with RCC teaching as I'd like to be, though this thread is very instructive, I must say. But the quote above seems to be saying, to my under-tutored mind, that the salvation wrought by Christ (in whichever way we believe that to have been accomplished), is actually dispensed alone by the ministry of the RCC, rather than by the ministry and grace of the Holy Spirit ('who blows where it chooses - where it comes from or where it goes, nobody knows' Jn:8)?

I'm not saying, btw, that the RCC doesn't have the Holy Spirit within her - of course she does. And I know it's probably a rather Protestant question, but it does sound a little bit as if Jesus has lost the patent on his own salvific efficacy [Eek!] ?

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Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

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Og: Thread Killer
Ship's token CN Mennonite
# 3200

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JL wrote:
quote:
I suppose the problem I have with what you've quoted is that it nowhere says anything which denies the absolute necessity of subjection to the Roman Pontiff in order to be saved....
Yeah, but nowhere in any bible I've seen does it say I have to be subject to the Roman Pontiff in order to be saved. I understand you are quoting dogma JL; but some of us will emotionally react to that dogma, either because we are [Ultra confused] or we are just [Disappointed] .

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I wish I was seeking justice loving mercy and walking humbly but... "Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, And study help for that which thou lament'st."

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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Jesuitical Lad:

There are several reasons why the idea that if I'm saved it's because I'm in some sense a Catholic offends me.

First, as I seriously considered becoming a Catholic and made an informed decision against it, it implies that I'm somehow incapable of discerning what is best for my spiritual life. Now of course I may (and of course do) make all sorts of poor decisions, but as my spiritual life has flourished in the Anglican communion, I feel sure that this was not one of them.

Erin brought up another of the reasons:
quote:
what's bothering me is that I'm being told that I'm really something I'm not.
Like Erin, I really am not a Catholic, for carefully considered reasons. So being told that if I'm saved I am somehow a Catholic says that I am a part of a church which has certain doctrines and policies that I truly abhor.

Third, there's an air of smug arrogance inherent in the statement - I don't mean to accuse you personally of being smug or arrogant, but I find that it comes part and parcel with the statement. "If you're saved, you're really one of us in spite of yourself" is automatically off-putting - which is why I will no longer be saying comparable things about non-Christians. It's got the feeling of a clubby, self-congratulatory in-group.

And finally, the closed table thing. Yes, I know the ecclesiology from which it stems, and I still don't like it. The "somehow Catholic" thing makes it even worse. If there are non-Catholics out there who are saved and thus really are in some sense Catholic, the RCC shouldn't be refusing to give communion to people seeking it at its altars.

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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P.S. Thanks for asking.

And not to say that Catholics have a corner on the in-group clubbiness thing. I wish I had a nickel for every time an Episcopalian told me in a conspiratorial and approving tone about a politician or celebrity, "He/she is an Episcopalian, you know."

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FCB

Hillbilly Thomist
# 1495

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quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
I suppose the problem I have with what you've quoted is that it nowhere says anything which denies the absolute necessity of subjection to the Roman Pontiff in order to be saved.

I suppose I was directing my remarks mainly to the OP (that's "original post" not "Order of Preachers"). But regarding the "submission to the Supreme Pontiff" and salvation question, I'll make a couple of remarks:

  • I don't think it is a denial of the Church's capacity to teach universal truths to place any one of those teachings in its historical context and read it accordingly. Even sacred scripture requires interpretation. For example, I don't think any Catholic would want to read what Paul says about the Law in Galatians apart from the context of the particular situation he is addressing. Even more so, I would think, could the same be said for Papal statements.
  • I tend to think of the Petrine office, like the sacraments, as a "means of grace" (to use a good, Reformation term). In other words, it is a means by which God helps us to be better Christians: to love God better and to seek the unity of Christ's body. But while God has bound himself to the sacraments, he is not bound by the sacraments. God can give grace apart from the means that he has ordained. Similarly with the Petrine office. I suppose that your response would be that you are allowing for something like "Baptism of desire" with regard to the Papacy. My fear in the position you outline is that (to use Thomistic language) it turns the Papacy into the "material object" of faith, which should only be God.
  • I don't want what I have said to be construed as a downplaying of the importance of the Papacy. I myself don't find your position arrogant or smug -- any claim to speak truthfully can be subjected to such a charge. But I also don't agree with it. As to those who do find your position arrogant, I suppose my question would be, don't you believe that conservative RC's, when they see God face to face, will realize that they were wrong about the Papacy, and that you were right? I don't see how this is any less subject to the charge of arrogance.
FCB

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Agent of the Inquisition since 1982.

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
JL wrote:the absolute necessity of subjection to the Roman Pontiff in order to be saved...
JL,

You mean that while you can't rule out God deciding to save some non-Catholic Christians, if He does so you're absolutely sure that it won't be because of their trust in Jesus, or the extent of their repentence of sin, their attempts to follow His way, or any other criterion that a plain man's reading of the Bible suggests, but because deep in their secret hearts they harbour a willingness to accept the authority of the Pope ?

Or are you intending to subject them to the Pope against their will, thereby meeting this absolutely necessary criterion for salvation ? After all, the document in question doesn't say anything about "willing subjection". Hmmm, maybe you could torture an acceptance out of them ?

There's no point going any further in trying to take the quoted proposition seriously. Seems to me (from the background that Newman's Own kindly posted above) that a fourteenth century pope abused his power by using the threat of damnation to encourage someone to pay him money. I'm not an expert on the period, but I suspect that worse things have happened.

Question is, JL, does your worldview allow for the possibility that one man who was unworthy of his office said in an official papal document something that should not be taken as a universal truth ? Or are you condemned to spend fruitless hours trying to reconcile falsehood with sense ?

Russ

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Tortuf
Ship's fisherman
# 3784

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I think its time people quit taking offense. People know their beliefs to be truth, or they would not believe them. Truth is exclusive. i.e. anything which is not within the truth cannot be true. In the case of people who believe salvation cannot be achieved without "subjection to the Roman Pontiff . . ." that is their belief, whether anyone else thinks it is true, or offensive, or not.

It is my understanding that Roman Catholics believe that the received wisdom and understanding of the Church is equally important to religious understanding as the Bible. (I am sure someone will be pleased to correct me if I am wrong here.) That should not be so strange to we Protestants who do not believe in the infallibility of the Bible. To fallibile Protestants the Bible is a collection of writings by people who believe they were inspired in those writings by God and, in some cases, Jesus. To a Roman Catholic the collected wisdom of the Church is inspired by God. If both are inspired by God then both must be correct.

In other words, we have been participating in an argument where neither side fully understands the other, no matter how articulate the arguments sound to those who are making them. Roman Catholics set forth the word of God as received through the Church and Protestants argue the Bible, or other belief. As has been seen, a Roman Catholic finds it offensive that Protestants do not take seriously Matthew 16:18 "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." Peter, and his successors the Popes, are the Church. If you follow what Jesus said you must believe in subjection to the Roman Pontiff. If something is "true" it is true whether offensive of not. For a Protestant the church was not Peter himself, but his answer that "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." To a Protestant that understanding and belief is the rock upon which the church is built. To a Protestant this is true whether Roman Catholics find it offensive or not.

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Scot

Deck hand
# 2095

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quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:
If you follow what Jesus said you must believe in subjection to the Roman Pontiff.

I realize that this is tangential to your main point, but I disagree with this statement. There is no reason to assume that in order to be founded on Peter, a church must trace its lineage through the big, shiny, powerful official Holy Roman Catholic Church. Jesus's own ancestry provides a fine example of how lineage does not always follow the expected or obvious path. It often veers though the minor, the weak, the obscure, and the seemingly insignificant.

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“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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Ley Druid

Ship's chemist
# 3246

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Oh goody!
We're being given a lesson in Mormon apologetics too.

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Og: Thread Killer
Ship's token CN Mennonite
# 3200

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Ley Druid, because I am a lazy sod and doing this on my lunch hour, could you please save me going back all the way through this thread and check everybody's profile?

Which post are you referring too?

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I wish I was seeking justice loving mercy and walking humbly but... "Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, And study help for that which thou lament'st."

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Archimandrite
Shipmate
# 3997

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Is it a bad time to introduce the concept of the Magesterium of the Church into the discussion?

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"Loyal Anglican" (Warning: General Synod may differ).

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by FCB:
I don't want what I have said to be construed as a downplaying of the importance of the Papacy. I myself don't find your position arrogant or smug -- any claim to speak truthfully can be subjected to such a charge. But I also don't agree with it. As to those who do find your position arrogant, I suppose my question would be, don't you believe that conservative RC's, when they see God face to face, will realize that they were wrong about the Papacy, and that you were right? I don't see how this is any less subject to the charge of arrogance.

Point well taken. But I think that in fact when we meet God face to face we will all be struck with how foolish and arrogant we have been, though not all about the same thing. (And I don't make a point of going around telling conservative RCs they're wrong about the papacy, or issue long documents in Latin on the subject. [Big Grin] )
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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Dear Scot

quote:
big, shiny, powerful
Isn't this what this about for you, really ... a visceral dislike?

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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I think Scot's put his finger on something important. "Big, shiny, powerful" is exactly what Jesus was not.
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Newman's Own
Shipmate
# 420

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JL,
I was genuinely trying to stress that context is very important to understanding theologians' writings, papal statements, even the statements of Councils. There may be others on this board who are not familiar with RC church history, and would not see the document you quoted in its proper relation to a century when there was far more flexibility than there would be in later centuries; the role of the papacy was not as developed as it would be in your own time; all of Western Christendom was Roman Catholic, but royalty often had enormous power not only in their own lands but over popes; and that the substantial arguments regarding papal authority during the 14th century had far more to do with the extent of the pope's temporal power - or whether he should have such power at all. Unam Sanctam was aimed at a particular problem. (Any concept of infallibility was centuries in the future - good thing, or the Curia would have needed to toss a coin to decide who was pope...)

I would say that many great theological writings of any century (I'm not classing Unam Sanctam with those) can appear enormously puzzling if one is unaware of errors they were refuting, specific problems being addressed, and so forth. Simple example: there are some excellent documents from the Council of Trent, but they could seem as if they were arbitrary, close minded, excessively legalistic, and so forth were one unaware of the serious problems being addressed - or that, internally, the Church had been in dire need of reformation for centuries.

I am very glad that FCB participated here - which is precisely that for which I was hoping. Heaven knows one can find perfectly solid theological documents, from the earliest onward, which support that all redemption is through Christ, but that this does not mean that even pagans are necessarily headed for hell. (Come to think of it, hell took a very long time to catch on... too bad that it ever did! There was a far more positive focus on the resurrection, our deification, and so forth previously.)

--------------------
Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Dear Ruth

As God, Jesus is certainly "big, shiny and powerful." I just react when people start going on about the Church being "big, shiny and powerful." It sounds oh so self righteous and judgemental. It's glib and a cheap shot.

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

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KenWritez
Shipmate
# 3238

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quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
Dear Ruth

As God, Jesus is certainly "big, shiny and powerful." I just react when people start going on about the Church being "big, shiny and powerful." It sounds oh so self righteous and judgemental. It's glib and a cheap shot.

Well FG, to someone who's not familiar with the RCC, it IS "big, shiny and powerful." It appears utterly monolithic and uniform, every priest, every nun, every abbot, every bishop, every cardinal, every altar boy in lockstep with one another and the Pope setting the pace.

As for the OC, it wasn't until I came onboard here last year and started reading you and MT's (among others) posts, that I realized Orthodox weren't just low-budget Catholics who really liked black. (OC priests are the ones I see wearing the all black vestments, correct?)

I can understand the RCC trying to ensure its own survival by setting up the exclusions and requirements JL has quoted (every religious or secular empire does likewise) but my complaint is they have signed God's name to their own org chart and have actively denied the grace of God to those outside that structure.

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"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd." --Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction

My blog: http://oxygenofgrace.blogspot.com

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
Dear Ruth

As God, Jesus is certainly "big, shiny and powerful." I just react when people start going on about the Church being "big, shiny and powerful." It sounds oh so self righteous and judgemental. It's glib and a cheap shot.

Now I'm just as much a sucker for liturgy as the next sane tat queen, but I think you need to take into consideration the manner in which God chose to interact with us -- as an itinerant preacher who regularly associated with the dregs of humanity. I'm not saying that God isn't big and shiny and powerful, but he eschewed that image in favor of something quite the opposite.

--------------------
Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
It sounds oh so self righteous and judgemental. It's glib and a cheap shot.

Something you wouldn't know anything about? Bucket, please.

I was referring, as Erin said, to the human life on earth Jesus lived.

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Eanswyth

Ship's raven
# 3363

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
Third, there's an air of smug arrogance inherent in the statement - I don't mean to accuse you personally of being smug or arrogant, but I find that it comes part and parcel with the statement. "If you're saved, you're really one of us in spite of yourself" is automatically off-putting - which is why I will no longer be saying comparable things about non-Christians. It's got the feeling of a clubby, self-congratulatory in-group.

My gut reaction to Ruth's comments here was to think of the Holocaust Jews who were retroactively baptized by Mormons. I feel a vaguely related (distaste? discomfort?) about a group that I have chosen to leave who might try to claim me after death. If you couldn't get me alive, leave me alone dead.
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Scot

Deck hand
# 2095

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quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
I just react when people start going on about the Church being "big, shiny and powerful." It sounds oh so self righteous and judgemental. It's glib and a cheap shot.

Really? Which adjective is inaccurate, especially in the context of my post?

Perhaps I am not the only one having a visceral reaction.

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“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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All of them together ... none of them separately.

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Fr. Gregory
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FCB

Hillbilly Thomist
# 1495

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Wow, Fr. Gregory speaking up for the Church of Rome?

Next he'll be extolling the virtues of the Filioque.

FCB

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Agent of the Inquisition since 1982.

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:
I think its time people quit taking offense. People know their beliefs to be truth, or they would not believe them. Truth is exclusive. i.e. anything which is not within the truth cannot be true. In the case of people who believe salvation cannot be achieved without "subjection to the Roman Pontiff . . ." that is their belief, whether anyone else thinks it is true, or offensive, or not.

I don't think my beliefs are "truth". I hope that my beliefs (in the sense of my understanding at this moment in time of how things are, rather than my values, although it can sometimes be hard to separate the two) are true, i.e. correspond to reality.

Like anyone else who aspires to discourse in terms of reasoned argument, when someone says something that strikes me as wrong (factually wrong or value-wrong) I can try to demonstrate its wrongness by showing its inconsistency with other propositions of fact or value which stand some chance of being commonly-held premises.

If someone won't agree any premises of common values, and won't accept the validity of apparent facts, then we just have to agree to differ.

More often, it's possible to recognise a re-phrased version of the other person's proposition as bearing some resemblance to reality, and one's own proposition as having over-stated or over-simplified the case, and go away with one's own model of the world enriched by a different perspective, having resolved the apparent contradiction.

If however, their argument comes down to "I believe this without understanding it because someone else has told me that it is so" then there is no enlightenment to be had from them. If they further hold the view that "I don't trust my own powers of reasoning enough to revise said belief, no matter how much of a contradiction you can demonstrate with any other propositions that I claim to believe" then no enlightenment is going to flow the other way either.

How far the rules of civilised discourse insist that all beliefs have to be respected, or that offensive beliefs should not be propounded even if they are sincerely believed or there is good evidence for them, is an interesting topic for another thread.

quote:
Peter, and his successors the Popes, are the Church.
Please forgive my incurable pedantry. Seems to me that there are an awful lot of Christians down the ages who, while never having been made Pope, might reasonably claim to be a part of the Church. A better term for what Peter and his successors as Bishop of Rome are is "the Popes" or "the Papacy".

Whilst the eleven Apostles are recorded as having selected by lot a successor to Judas, it's not clear to me from anything I've read that they collectively selected (by whatever means) successors to each of them as they died off one by one. So that no-one was a successor to Peter as Apostle, or to any of the other Apostles.

quote:
originally posted by Archimandrite:
Is it a bad time to introduce the concept of the Magesterium of the Church into the discussion?

Speaking for myself only, if you can define it briefly in plain language, go ahead. JL could do with some support...

quote:
originally posted by Fr.Gregory:
As God, Jesus is certainly "big, shiny and powerful."

Are there two concepts of "worshipping Jesus" emerging here ?

One which says, Jesus was humble and self-emptying, let us individually and collectively be as like him as we can.
One which says, let's baptise all the bigness, shininess, powerfulness in the world, put it to good use in His name to proclaim His message and His kingdom.

Or is your argument more along the lines that "we look up to things and people that are big, shiny and powerful, therefore worshipping Jesus means attributing these characteristics to His underlying nature, regardless of how little He exhibited them in His life on earth" ?

Russ

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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CorgiGreta
Shipmate
# 443

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FCB:

"Wow, Fr. Gregory speaking up for the Church of Rome?

Next he'll be extolling the virtues of the Filioque."

Perhaps, like Erin, he is, unbeknownst to himself, a Roman Cahtolic after all.

Greta

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Dear Russ

My only target here is the superior attitude which I believe is betrayed by the comment. The superiority is invested in the idea that the Roman Catholic Church is a grandiose corrupt organisation that perverts the simple message of Jesus. This MAY not what was intended by the sanitised reconstructed phrase "big, shiny and powerful" but it does read in the subtext as traditional Protestant polemic. That's why I think it is a glib cheap shot. I would challenge and defend any church that was spoken of in a similar way ... so I am not a closet or anonymous Roman Catholic nor am I about to buy into the flioque! [Big Grin]

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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This was Scot's post:

quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:
If you follow what Jesus said you must believe in subjection to the Roman Pontiff.

I realize that this is tangential to your main point, but I disagree with this statement. There is no reason to assume that in order to be founded on Peter, a church must trace its lineage through the big, shiny, powerful official Holy Roman Catholic Church. Jesus's own ancestry provides a fine example of how lineage does not always follow the expected or obvious path. It often veers though the minor, the weak, the obscure, and the seemingly insignificant.
And what this is all about is whether you gotta be Catholic to be saved.

As a member of a church that could probably be said to be shiny, and whose power outstrips its size (at least if you're measuring by the number of Presidents who were Episcopalians), I don't really have a problem with big, shiny, powerful churches per se. I just have a problem with the idea that one must in some sense be a part of such a church to be saved.

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Dear Ruth

quote:
I just have a problem with the idea that one must in some sense be a part of such a church to be saved.
... and there we can be in complete agreement.

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

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Tortuf
Ship's fisherman
# 3784

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Please forgive me for being unclear. [Embarrassed] When I made the statement" If you follow what Jesus said you must believe in subjection to the Roman Pontiff" it was not to imply my personal belief, but to set out what I understand to be a Roman Catholic belief. My personal belief is that one need not be a member of the Roman Catholic church to be either saved or a christian.

My central point was that people ought not to take the beliefs of others personally.

Just as a question, what exact aspect of big, shiny, or lockstep did Mother Teresa display in the slums of Calcutta?

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
Dear Ruth

quote:
I just have a problem with the idea that one must in some sense be a part of such a church to be saved.
... and there we can be in complete agreement.
Yikes! [Big Grin]
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KenWritez
Shipmate
# 3238

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O man...

I just popped over to Cybergrace and posted on the Bible beliefs > Suffrage & Feminism thread, and while I saw some posts I could agree with, I also got to wade through a WHOLE LOT of "you aren't a real Christian if you don't agree with me" posts, and, as a result...

JL and FG, I disagree with lots of RCC and OC doctrine and policy, but, FWIW, [Not worthy!] thank you both [Not worthy!] for never exhibiting the level of snot I saw on that thread from some of those posters. [Mad] [Eek!]

"Now I must away to bathe and refresh myself with water nobly hot and with rare scented oils and costly unguents, for lo, I do feel as though I have tap-danced daintily across the heaving crust atop a mighty river of sewage." [Cool]

--------------------
"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd." --Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction

My blog: http://oxygenofgrace.blogspot.com

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Scot

Deck hand
# 2095

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RuthW, thank you for reading my post carefully.

Fr. Gregory, if you would read as carefully as RuthW does, you would see that my phrase was descriptive rather than judgmental. In fact, my entire post was about the danger of making value judgments on the basis of size, appearance or strength. It would be refreshing if on occasion you could respond to what I actually write instead of assuming that my words are just “traditional Protestant polemic.” That is your bogeyman, not mine.

Tortuf, my post spoke of the RC church as an institution, not of individual Catholics. My point was not “Catholic bad, Protestant good” as Gregory would have it. Rather my point was that we have no reason to assume that the RC church is the only descendant of the original Christian church. The fact that it is the biggest does not make it the only. Thus, it is hard to claim that Jesus commands subjection to the Pope.

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“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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Og: Thread Killer
Ship's token CN Mennonite
# 3200

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Well, now that we have established that:
  • The RC church has some exclusivist dogma
  • The Missouri Synod is rather exclusivist
Is this the end of the exclusivist's among us?
Come on...there has to be somebody else? [Confused]

--------------------
I wish I was seeking justice loving mercy and walking humbly but... "Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, And study help for that which thou lament'st."

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Xavierite
Shipmate
# 2575

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quote:
Originally posted by OgtheDim:
there has to be somebody else?

"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

[Wink]

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Theophilus
Shipmate
# 2311

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Let's introduce some new material. Which of the following do you consider 'not Christian' and/or 'not saved' (phrases to be defined as you see fit.) No particular order. For 'deny' clauses, assume that the person believes all other tenets of what you consider to be orthodox Christianity (Not that this would, in all cases, be rationally possible, but never mind.)

(For 'not saved', I'm not trying to say that anyone is definitely 'going to Hell', but that believing or not believing this particular belief or set of beliefs impairs the salvific effiacy of the message of the Gospel.)

Orthodox Jews
Mormons
Literal inerrantists
Jehovah's Witnesses
Unitarians
Those who deny the physical resurrection
Those who deny the Virgin Birth
Those who deny any penally substitutionary element in the atonement
Those who deny the authority of Scripture
Those who deny the authority of the Church

My answers:
No/No
No/No
Yes/Yes
No/No
No/No
No/No
No/Yes (Saved, but not Christian, in the sense that I think the VB is a central tenet of historic Christianity.)
No/No. (Sorry. Start throwing things, people.)
Yes/Yes
Yes/Yes

Hope that gets the ball rolling.

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If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort, you will not get either comfort or truth, only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. C.S. Lewis

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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So are you saying that Orthodox Jews and Mormons are not saved? Regardless, I don't agree that anyone is automatically not saved. God can save whoever he wants however he wants, and I cannot even begin to imagine that he'd limit himself to a human institution or theological checklist.

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

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CorgiGreta
Shipmate
# 443

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Theo,

"Those who deny the physical resurrection
Those who deny the Virgin Birth
Those who deny any penally substitutionary element in the atonement
Those who deny the authority of Scripture
Those who deny the authority of the Church"

These may be viewed as trick questions. Do you mean those who explicitly deny these propositions, or do you mean those who IN YOUR OPINION (or in the opinion of some group of people) deny them? I think it might make a difference in the way some respondents answer the questions.

A litmus test for Christian belief cannot easily be articulated and will be even more difficult to apply.

Greta

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Scot

Deck hand
# 2095

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This one is easy:

maybe
maybe
maybe
maybe
maybe
maybe
maybe
maybe
maybe, and finally
maybe

Exclusive categorization and litmus testing are exactly the sort of thing that gets my hackles up.

--------------------
“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

Posts: 9515 | From: Southern California | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ley Druid

Ship's chemist
# 3246

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Wait a second.
Dear Scot,
Are you suggesting that Orthodox Jews maybe are Christians?
Thanks.
Just checking.

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CorgiGreta
Shipmate
# 443

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These people seem to believe one can be Christian and Jewish simultaneously: http://www.ifmj.org/english/index.html

Greta

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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I don't think the problem is the simultaneous part. Rather it's another one of those things where somebody is told that they're really something they vehemently claim to not be.

Reader Alexis

[infinitives split while you wait]

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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CorgiGreta
Shipmate
# 443

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Erin, Fr. Gregory, amd Messianic Jews. Strange bedfellows indeed.

Greta

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Karin 3
Shipmate
# 3474

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Doesn't the word Christian (in it's original sense, at least) simply mean one who believes in Christ as Lord and Saviour and tries to follow his example: one who accepts that he/she is far from perfect, but does his/her best, and accepts other people imperfections and all, with Christ's help ?

Isn't the rest irrelevant, except in the sense that it reflects our personal preferences?

--------------------
Inspiration to live more generously, ethically and sustainably

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Dear Karin 3

quote:
Isn't the rest irrelevant, except in the sense that it reflects our personal preferences?

No, from where we're coming from, the rest is certainly not irrelevant.

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

Posts: 15099 | From: Manchester, UK | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged



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