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Re: Dumped my post, eh? #57337 10/21/02 01:06 PM
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Father Deacon Ed Offline
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Ed,

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That is kind of the direction I was heading. Now let me parse this a little finer. Are you saying that there is a difference between being "of Christ" as a Christian is (in varying degrees) and simply having Jesus inside as you indicate below regarding Jews and Muslims.

I guess this is where my understanding breaks down and takes a distinctly Protestant set (remember, 25 years of condemning everyone who is not Christian to hell -- that ain't easily dumped overnight, but I am trying). I am from rites which consider only Christians as those who "have Christ", so the idea that Jesus resides in a non-baptized Jew, Muslim, or even atheist, is like the Windows "blue screen of death" in my mind when I think on it. Yet I am not the sum and total of truth in my thoughts on this. When I came into the Faith, I made a decision that I would accept all that it teaches doctrinally because the "depositum fidei" was given to the apostles, and my name......shucks, I just couldn't find it among them!!

So....this is a teaching of the Church. I am bound to accept it. I have seen this thought expressed in many writings of many people. But I really do not understand it.
I'm going to reply to just this part of your post because I don't want to dilute this too much.

I think that the key to this whole thing is found in your last sentence. One of the very detrimental aspects of Protestantism is the idea that we can understand, that we can know. Although the Protestant Reformation was primarily European, it was heavily influenced by the rationalist philosophers of the day. Further, in the United States it was coupled with both the concepts of Divine Destiny and Individualism.

Sadly, neither of these concepts are part of what Christ taught. Jesus stressed over and over the communal aspects of our faith. Look at what St. Paul writes about the Body of Christ comparing it to a loaf of bread made up of many grains of wheat. There is nothing special about any particular grain of wheat, but there is about the one loaf.

Understanding is not a requirement, faith is. I doubt that very many people would understand living on a pillar, but people did it because of faith. Being an aesthetic in the desert living alone is hardly something people can understand, but it is an expression of faith.

When we really believe we can give over our anger and our desire to know because we realize, in the end, that knowledge is less important than how we reflect the love of God in our lives.

Quote
I am referring to the way that these people resist Christ, persecute his missionaries, and generally want nothing to do with the Gospel. If Jesus is in them, how is He in them?
I guess I do have to address this as well...

A pope that many think was out of his mind was Pope Pius IX. Yet, he wrote that we can never know what keeps people from coming to Christ or to His Church. Yet he also taught that if people are following whatever light from Christ they perceive, that Jesus is working in them. Finally, he also said that we should not judge them and their inability to come to Christ becuase we cannot know what limits them.

Perhaps you might want to reflect on a small part of the Lord's Prayer. Just the part that limits how God can forgive us: "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." -- We tell God He can only forgive us in the same way that we forgive. I find that a pretty terrifying thought, don't you?

Edward, deacon and sinner

Re: Dumped my post, eh? #57338 10/21/02 04:03 PM
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Thank you again for your response and willingness to discourse with me. I have found this most edifying and challenging.

Perhaps you might want to reflect on a small part of the Lord's Prayer. Just the part that limits how God can forgive us: "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." -- We tell God He can only forgive us in the same way that we forgive. I find that a pretty terrifying thought, don't you?

INDEED!!!

I say this in all truth, this is one of the main verses of Scripture which sticks in my mind and comes to it frequently. My ability to forgive is really a gauge of my ability to recieve forgiveness. Please forgive me for engaging in a tad of metaphysical speculation here, but I read what I consider to be an wonderful treatsie on the afterlife -- RIVER OF FIRE in which the author expresses the thought that what we are in life continues with us through the gates of death into the afterlife. Therefore, the torments of hell are not that God creates a place called hell, but that hell is OUR INABILITY to recieve as blessing the all pervasive love of God. The same love which will bless those who have developed the love of Christ in this life will be a curse and torment to those who have lived in hatred and selfishness. If we have passion for love of God and forgiveness in this life, the river of fire which is the love of God shall indeed find resonance in us and become an all consuming blessing. But in like manner, if our passions are for that which is hateful, disordered, and without love, those passions will gnaw unfulfilled at us forever, and the love of God will be torment indeed, for it will find no resting place in us.

I find this description of God much more in line with the scriptural description of God as love than I do the Calvinist idea that God actually proactively elects to torment some of His own will and fiat. Brrrrrrrrr!!! Sounds more like the pagan deities of Greek mythology who would toy with human beings at their whim. frown

Yes, often when I am tempted to indulge myself in a spate of unforgiving behavior, I remember that the standard of God's forgiveness to me is being set right now by my willingness to forgive.

Unfortunately, as the anger of my posts shows, I have but taken the smallest possible steps towards removing that anger. I believe that all anger really comes from our determination that all of life must go the way we want it to....and it we don't get what we feel we are entitled to.....POWWWWWW!!!! To da moon, Alice!!

Your prayers for my condition are appreciated.

Cordially in Christ,

Brother Ed

Re: Dumped my post, eh? #57339 10/21/02 05:54 PM
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I guess I take a more western view of God's judgement and punishment.

Scripture is crystal clear in reference to those who have not put their faith in Jesus Christ, they are condemned. There are no footnotes, no dancing around this fact. I could go to length in quoting Scripture, but I'm sure I don't have to. I will just post a few excerpts from Scripture as to the fate of unbelievers:

1. "They are already condemned"
2. "Their worm dies not"
3. "They are cast into darkness, where there is wailing and knashing of teeth."
4. "They are under God's wrath"

If there is another way to Heaven, save faith in Jesus Christ, then Christianity is a sham. It is one of many paths to God. Christ's death is in vain. Why can't we just accept what Christ Himself said about those who don't believe?

Why don't some people believe? Scripture gives us a clue in that God doesn't give the ability to believe to everyone. I don't claim to espouse the heresy of Calvinism, but faith is a gift. It is given to everyone in different amounts. They who have turned their backs on God, God allows them to continue down the path of destruction. We should pray for everyone's salvation, knowing that not everyone will be saved. Scripture tells us that the majority of people will be lost.

I was recently asked if I thought Ghandi was in heaven. I had to say no. I pray he repented in time, but his good works, devoid of faith, are as "filthy rags."

I only claim to believe what Jesus clearly taught in Scripture. Salvation is of Jesus Christ, period.

Columcille

Re: Dumped my post, eh? #57340 10/21/02 07:30 PM
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FrDeaconEd,

Thank you for the reply. I understand you more clearly now.

Justin

Re: Dumped my post, eh? #57341 10/21/02 08:48 PM
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Columcille,

I thought that the Church taught that those who try their best to follow God as closely as they know how can attain salvation, even if they are not Christian. Is this not true? I thought the Church basically says that yes, on the whole, salvation is attained through Jesus Christ, but that is it possible (albeit rarely) for non-Christians to attain salvation. Thanks.

ChristTeen287

Re: Dumped my post, eh? #57342 10/21/02 08:50 PM
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P.S. - Why would God give certain people different amounts of faith? This seems unfair (no, I am NOT trying to judge God's motives, lol!). Where does it state this in Sacred Scripture? I'm interested in why this would be done though, if true, I certainly do not question its validity.

Re: Dumped my post, eh? #57343 10/21/02 08:57 PM
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ChristTeen,

God gives us more than we could ever hope to accept. It is up to us to respond to these supernatural gifts and make them a part of our everyday lives and LIVE the faith as well as accept it. God doesn't necessarily give others more faith, others respond to God's gift more readily than his neighbor. And the neat thing about faith is that a little goes a long way (e.g. Christ's discourse on faith moving mountains) and once you have a little, you want more. There's a traditional ejaculatory Catholic prayer that says simply, "Lord, increase my faith!".

In Christ,
mikey.

Re: Dumped my post, eh? #57344 10/22/02 12:28 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by ChristTeen287:
P.S. - Why would God give certain people different amounts of faith? This seems unfair (no, I am NOT trying to judge God's motives, lol!). Where does it state this in Sacred Scripture? I'm interested in why this would be done though, if true, I certainly do not question its validity.
I remember as a young child Catholicism was what I knew as God and truth, truth and God, and Priest represented God to me. The holiness of the Church was unquestioned. I felt so lucky that I was "born" into the Catholic Church, where others were not.

As I got older though (high school) the Church lost that aura and meant less.

Unlike some here may think, it was not of my own doing or will that I was brung into the Catholic Church by my mother, also a cradle Catholic.

Salvation? Salvation should come in this life not in the next. Some have so much faith that space ships are awaiting to take them away that they commit suicide to meet it. Their faith greater then the Catholic, then the Methodist - yes I think so. Faith should be something rooted in experience also - at least this is what I am learning. If the Muslim has learned through his prayers to Allah and the discipline that Islam brings, that Islam has brung him salvation and peace. The Muslim should remain Muslim. Same thing for the Christian.

What happens when the Christian recieves no salvation from Christianity or the Muslim from Islam? Perhaps one must look else where. If you are Abid in Mauritania there is a good chance you believe, from brain washing, you should be Abid in Mauritania. But I say question. Truth does not fear questions only lies do. I say salvation now not in mythical tales of Never-Never Land.

I thought for many years that the only reason I continued to suffer was because I had not suffered enough. I thought I was justly paying for past sins. My confersor knows this because I've already told him this in the past. But over seeing repeatedly others arise from out of their own difficulties to reject Christ/God and live in very criminal and sinful ways for their own gain. I had to awake from out of the dream land that some God in the sky actually gives two hoots about any sincerity I have to serve Him or how hard I try. The truth is the Bible is a very unique book but that's all it is, is a book. One is free to put all their trust in it. But I personaly am all the god I need, and it is in that god that I shall find peace. With a little help from those in the after life and El Cid Campeador too perhaps smile

Pure mind. Pure heart. Pure spirit

Justin

Re: Dumped my post, eh? #57345 10/22/02 02:23 PM
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I had to awake from out of the dream land that some God in the sky actually gives two hoots about any sincerity I have to serve Him or how hard I try. The truth is the Bible is a very unique book but that's all it is, is a book. One is free to put all their trust in it. But I personaly am all the god I need, and it is in that god that I shall find peace.

Does anytone else here find these statements shocking, or am I just misunderstanding something here?

Brother Ed

Re: Dumped my post, eh? #57346 10/22/02 03:29 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Altar Boy:
[b]I had to awake from out of the dream land that some God in the sky actually gives two hoots about any sincerity I have to serve Him or how hard I try. The truth is the Bible is a very unique book but that's all it is, is a book. One is free to put all their trust in it. But I personaly am all the god I need, and it is in that god that I shall find peace.

Does anytone else here find these statements shocking, or am I just misunderstanding something here?

Brother Ed[/b]
This statement puzzled me as well. It certainly isn't a Christian view on things.

Columcille

Re: Dumped my post, eh? #57347 10/22/02 08:24 PM
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Father Deacon Ed Offline
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The statements would be puzzling if Justin claimed to be Christian. He has not made that claim.

Edward, deacon and sinner

Re: Dumped my post, eh? #57348 10/22/02 11:10 PM
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Yes this would be true FrDeaconEd.

I should in all responsibility, encourage ChrisTeen287 to follow his heart and Christ as best he can, not to get to wraped around my own personal feelings. If Christianity is where a person finds their hope. Then I encourage them to be true to Christianity.

*************************************************

Hey FrDeaconEd,

Maybe one day I'll tell you about my two seperate dreams of Satan and Christ. I've kept then hush for the most part over the course of my six years in Christianity except for telling two clergy men and one lay person. I've begun to talk about it more now though. Of course I am forced to accept these two incidents as mere dreams for my rejection of Christianity. Mind you I still consider Jesus my Lord and I still pray to Him. If he is the Son of God I don't know.

But this is not the thread for this.

Wish everyone well in the practice of their faith though. Hope people would question things though and not just swallow everything that is handed to them. Just my thoughts.

Justin

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