Pope: Second look at letting atheists into heaven?

posted at 5:21 pm on May 24, 2013 by Allahpundit

The pope starts talking like this and suddenly you’ve got atheists saying prayers. Let the healing begin.

I like him, and not just because he’s handing me easy content on a Friday afternoon when I’ve got nothin’. As other nonbelievers have noted, he’s a man who admirably emphasizes deeds over words. But did he really suggest that salvation awaits even the naysayers? At the Atlantic, David Perry says … not really, but sort of:

At mass on the 22nd, he said:

“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

Some have reacted to this as a doctrine articulating the salvation of atheists. Having read all reported versions of Francis’ homily, in both English and Italian, I do not find an explicit statement that an atheist who does that which is good, il bene in Italian, will be saved. However, Francis does emphasize the universality of Christ’s redemptive power, and it is through that redemptive power that salvation becomes possible. He is clearly open to the idea that Christ may well redeem even those who are non-believers. More fully articulated, that would open up a new wager, in which whether or not one believed, one’s actions in the world would determine one’s access to paradise. Even the hint of such an idea from man whose spiritual power stems from being the heir to St. Peter, holder of the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, is striking. Still, that God might save those who neither believe nor participate in the sacraments is not a new idea. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, one finds the statement, “God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.” If God wants to save someone, they will be saved.

I wrote about this at HA once before, after Hitchens died and Bill Bennett good-naturedly hoped that Hitch was getting a “big surprise” about the afterlife. You can read that post here. How can it be that, if the Church is the path to Christ and Christ is the path to salvation, someone who didn’t choose that path can find salvation regardless? It’s true that the Church since Vatican II has opened the door to salvation for non-Catholics — this compendium of Vatican pronouncements on the subject is useful although maybe slightly dated — but that seems to come with the caveats (a) that you’re in better shape salvation-wise if you’re a non-Catholic “through no fault of your own,” i.e. you live somewhere that the Church simply hasn’t penetrated, and (b) at the very least, you should be practicing some sort of religion, elements of which may bestow some of the grace that comes with Christianity. By those lights, atheists seem … poorly positioned.

You tell me, then, since virtually all of our readers are more theologically well-versed than I am: What exactly is Francis saying? He seems to be arguing, true to form, that Christian deeds are more important than words. But it’s unclear whether he means that’s enough for redemption, which seems unlikely, or merely whether it’s a necessary beginning. All he’s really saying, I think, is “baby steps.” Start out by doing good, which will give you common ground with (some) believers, and that might open you up to joining the Church later. It’s an important step on the path to salvation, but only a step. You’ve got to go the rest of the way through belief. It simply can’t be that the leader of the Church thinks there’s an end-around the gospels and sacraments to heaven simply by performing good works. Can it?


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SauerKraut537 on May 25, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Your disbelief is based on the very same faith as that of the believers.

Cindy Munford on May 25, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Well, a lot of Catholicism is working your way to Heaven so why wouldn’t they be able to? Christianity itself says as long as you accept Jesus into your heart, are repentant, and believe he is the true Son of God then you will go to heaven. You can decide you are an atheist at some point after, but as long as all those prerequisites are met above then you are still saved.

Honestly, I couldn’t care less what the pope thinks. He doesn’t lord over my faith or Christianity and thinking that one man can change what is actually in God’s Word is ridiculous.

Sammo21 on May 25, 2013 at 9:54 AM

AP,

Two parts.
-First The Pope discusses Christ. Jesus is the Redeemer. He died on the Cross for All. We are redeemed by His blood. Christ died once for All. So The Pope is addressing Christ’s saving Grace.
-Second As Christians we believe we are called to do good deeds

(And we all have a duty to do good)

Here The Pope addresses atheists to

meet (i.e. point of agreement) one another there

He is saying: We can all agree to do good deeds. can we not? Let’s start there which is a beneficial path towards peace. Salvation is a discussion yet to come, he wants to offer common ground which is beneficial to mankind and then one can assume a discussion of Salvation is to follow.

PS – The Catechism points out that God gives us a path to Salvation but God Himself is not limited. God ultimately decides who enters Heaven.

aigle on May 25, 2013 at 10:21 AM

For the Protestant, such loss cannot happen — the action you describe of losing Salvation (slowly or not) cannot happen. For a Catholic, it can.

Again, we have the matter of Adam and Eve, who wilfully turned from God.

unclesmrgol on May 24, 2013 at 7:56 PM

You need to get some different Evan friends. What they are telling you is not correct.

I can show you thousands of Protestants who will disagree with your hard-core Calvinist friends who tell you that you cannot lose your your salvation. The “Once save, always saved” mantra is flawed.

davidk on May 25, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Actually, it’s about the same thing the Romans have been saying since they sent Paul (aka Saul) in to take selected Jesus’ teachings as their own, i.e. the Gentiles. They ignored the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus said that the Law of Moses must remain in force (Matthew 5:17-19), and made Paul the ‘real Christian’ (Pauline Christianity) authority over “Jewish Christians.” Roman Emperor Constantine finalized it all by destroying all opposition (mainly from Arians) at Nicaea, e.g. only about 300 out of 1800 bishops attended (fearing Roman Emperor Constantine’s threats). The edict against Arius and his followers pretty much put an end to all opposition…the edict pretty much destroyed all writings by Arius, and promised death for anyone caught hiding any writings. No wonder the other 1200 bishops failed to even show up at Nicaea. The modern New Testament began with Constantine’s first canonized versions…17 books, if I recall correctly.

Karmi on May 25, 2013 at 10:28 AM

you who are here doing as I am. We merely disagree.

So, argumentativeness is now one of the fruits of the Spirit? LOL

I have no idea what you are speaking here about unless you are trying to imply that somehow I’m somehow doing something different that you are doing…..“arguing” with you, but that …..you are not doing the same with everyone on this board, even with me and in such a disdainful manner? How is that?
You’re sounding a bit smug here.

Yes, I do believe that God will allow us to make our own choices right up unto death. Else, How do you explain 2 Peter 2:20-22 if there is not falling from Grace?

And, yes, I do have a different relation with God than I did when I believed as you did.

If you are wrong, will I be doing you a favor by letting you post things that are wrong for others to follow, or yourself believe.

I’m thinking that God would say “no”.

avagreen on May 24, 2013 at 7:03 PM

2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

How about this: I’ll stick to what I know about God, and let you hash out what you believe while I amusedly watch you try to tell me that I don’t really know God like I think I do… :)

Anti-Control on May 24, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Again, more than a bit smug. You say you “know” about God, but deny that I can say the same thing??? Haughtiness (Uppidy, Arrogance, Disdainful, Proud and disdainful; having a high opinion of one’s self, with some contempt for others; lofty and arrogant; supercilious) is not an admirable thing. See Prov.16 and 2 Corinthians 12:7–10.

This attitude being displayed is a product of thinking that somehow you are free to do/say whatever in whatever disdainful manner you choose to use because somehow you can’t fall from grace with such an attitude. You are so wrong. This is one of the things that caused me to leave the Baptist church. This smugness and lack of humility while pointing fingers at everyone else couldn’t possibly be a part of the fruits of the Spirit.

Yes, after baptism and the new birth, the old man of sin is gone and one becomes a new man after baptism, but there is nothing to say this is permanent. Nothing.

[In order to back up your claim, I notice that you keep inserting the word “supernatural” (which supernatural happening “can’t be undone”). This word is a concoction inserted into the bible lessons being taught, but which is not found in the bible. No where, no how.]

Nothing in the bible speaks about that after becoming a new man during baptism, that it is a permanent condition. In fact,even Paul used himself as an example to encourage the brethren in Corinth to work hard and be diligent in their service to God, saying, “but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:21). Are you saying that he wasn’t “saved” to begin with?

Peter says it like this, “Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you” (2 Pet. 1:10-11).

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 10:32 AM

The way I see it, roughly speaking, is that because of Adam’s sin, we are all born goats. Some of us goats reach for the life ring of salvation, which when touched, supernaturally & instantly causes a transformation of these goats into sheep. Once that transformation has happened, there is no possibility of going back to goat status, because Jesus will not let that happen.

Anti-Control on May 24, 2013 at 8:01 PM

That’s a very crude way of putting. it.

We are all born into sin. The only way to the Father is by perfection. Jesus lived a perfect life, but suffered for the sins of us all. He fulfilled the law, but took our punishment on Himself. Jesus’ suffering satisfied God’s justice.

We are now able to experience God’s mercy by accepting Jesus’ finished work.

The debate about one’s losing his/her salvation will continue til Jesus comes. I have read and studied the Scriptures and have come to the understanding that one can reject his/her salvation.

I wish it were otherwise, but I fear not.

davidk on May 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Re Sauerkraut

People who are happy don’t try to hijack & bully on threads to promote antitheism.

They just don’t.

22044 on May 25, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Karmi on May 25, 2013 at 10:28 AM

You misunderstand the Scriptures and history.

Jesus did not abolish the law; He fulfilled it.

He also taught that the entire law can be summed up in “Low God with all you being and your neighbor as yourself.”

Love is patient, love is kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

That is the standard by which we will be judged. if we are not “covered by the Blood” we will be cast into eternal darkness.

davidk on May 25, 2013 at 10:40 AM

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance.

Hebrews 6:4-6a

davidk on May 25, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Karmi on May 25, 2013 at 10:28 AM

The Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction.

davidk on May 25, 2013 at 10:48 AM

SauerKraut537 on May 25, 2013 at 9:45 AM

.
Your disbelief is based on the very same faith as that of the believers.

Cindy Munford on May 25, 2013 at 9:53 AM

.
Politely disagreeing with Cindy’ ……. faith that believes in God comes from hearing (or reading) God’s word.

Any other type of “faith” (or lack thereof) is based on an individual’s perception of the chaos that is experienced by all of us, in this current world condition.
Each individual person perceives the chaos in a different way.

But those who have heard (or read) God’s word have a more sure foundation upon which to base their faith.

listens2glenn on May 25, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Call me determined and we’re good.

Even though that word does not fully express my thought? Since I won’t call you merely, “determined,” I guess we aren’t good?

I’m not obsessed, and it’s not every day I get into these conversations. I just think it’s an important conversation worth having and I wished people weren’t such sheep following the herd into this battle royale that seems to be brewing between Islam and Christianity.

Religions do more to divide us than unite us.

SauerKraut537 on May 25, 2013 at 9:40 AM

I see you as more than just “determined”; the more someone like you tries to tell me you’re not obsessed, the more obsessed I realize you are! You should be asking yourself why you get defensive, why you can’t simply accept my unflattering opinion of your behavior.

I fully expect you to deny what I am saying here, and again, that only reinforces what I already see about you.

btw I notice you never did explain how someone like you who believes that “perfection is boredom” isn’t stuck in a nutty circuit! :)

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Mt Sinai vs Mt Zion ? (Hebrews)

pambi on May 24, 2013 at 8:27 PM

Pambi! you’re quite the theologian.

davidk on May 25, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Actually Father Z has been quite a good spiritual and liturgical guide in counseling traditional Catholics from having knee jerk reactions to the transition from Benedict XVI to Francis.

He runs an interesting blog.

workingclass artist on May 25, 2013 at 8:25 AM

He actually is twisting himself into knots and doing mental gymnastics on Francis. Yes, Bergoglio is a Catholic priest and therefore is going to be against abortion and the devil and love Mary. However, Francis clearly isn’t focused on the liturgy and could care less about Father Z’s and co’s ridiculous obsession with the TLM. There is no way there would be any liturgical changes if Bergoglio had been elected in 2005. I also think that he would probably chastise traditionalists for focusing solely on the liturgy. For instance, when is the last time any of the people who comment on that blog did charity work? Visited a soup kitchen? Do the traditionalist churches they attend have active social justice ministries? Or are they so obsessed with the proper form of the Mass that they’ve forgotten the big picture?

I’m glad everyone is calmed down and pleased that Bergoglio is indeed Catholic. (Although why would they expect otherwise?) Hopefully, they’ll get Francis’ message now.

Illinidiva on May 25, 2013 at 11:04 AM

listens2glenn on May 25, 2013 at 10:57 AM

True but he isn’t going to hear the word of God, he’s going to run from it. He doesn’t even have science to back him up on his belief in the nonexistence of God. Coming right out with the admission that I am far from a biblical scholar, how in the world does anyone read the Bible and consider it a text on warring with other religions? I can maybe see that in the attitude of man’s desire to claim his way of worship is the “best” i.e. denominations, but you can’t just go to the word and find justification of violent acts for differences in belief.

Cindy Munford on May 25, 2013 at 11:10 AM

I have no idea what you are speaking here about unless you are trying to imply that somehow I’m somehow doing something different that you are doing…..“arguing” with you, but that …..you are not doing the same with everyone on this board, even with me and in such a disdainful manner? How is that?

You’re sounding a bit smug here.

Again, more than a bit smug. You say you “know” about God, but deny that I can say the same thing??? Haughtiness (Uppidy, Arrogance, Disdainful, Proud and disdainful; having a high opinion of one’s self, with some contempt for others; lofty and arrogant; supercilious) is not an admirable thing. See Prov.16 and 2 Corinthians 12:7–10.

This attitude being displayed is a product of thinking that somehow you are free to do/say whatever in whatever disdainful manner you choose to use because somehow you can’t fall from grace with such an attitude. You are so wrong. This is one of the things that caused me to leave the Baptist church. This smugness and lack of humility while pointing fingers at everyone else couldn’t possibly be a part of the fruits of the Spirit.

Yes, after baptism and the new birth, the old man of sin is gone and one becomes a new man after baptism, but there is nothing to say this is permanent. Nothing.

[In order to back up your claim, I notice that you keep inserting the word "supernatural" (which supernatural happening "can't be undone"). This word is a concoction inserted into the bible lessons being taught, but which is not found in the bible. No where, no how.]

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 10:32 AM

1) There is a difference between simply disagreeing, and arguing; I see you being guilty of the latter, not the former. Anyone who believes that an argumentative spirit might come from God is not on the same page as I when it comes to Christianity. With that said, you should be able to understand why I’ve expressed disdain in your direction.

2) I see you calling me “smug” to be a projection, and if you don’t like, it’s not my problem! :)

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Maybe this will help put things in perspective.

http://www.hellofide.org/

Know It All on May 25, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Religions do more to divide us than unite us.

SauerKraut537 on May 25, 2013 at 9:40 AM

.
Christianity is NOT … a “religion”.

It has been corrupted by some to appear as any other religion.

Christianity is a relationship with the living God.

If you claim to be a Christian, go to church, give to the poor, etc … etc … but don’t practice a personal relationship with God, then you have a religion.

listens2glenn on May 25, 2013 at 11:13 AM

davidk on May 25, 2013 at 10:40 AM

No, davidk, it is you who misunderstand the Scriptures and history. Especially non-Biblical history, which was around in written form long before there were any Hebrews, and thousands of years before there were any Hebrew writings. Since all the Abrahamic Religions (mainly Judaism, Christianity and Islam) are based on The Tanakh, that is where one must start…which creates a major problem for the Abrahamic Religions. Judaism as a religion wasn’t actually formalized until about the same time a Christianity, and a lot of plagiarism occurred – mainly in Genesis and Exodus , from ancient Sumer and Egypt. Basically, there is no non-Biblical evidence that shows a people called Hebrews until a very brief possible mention around 1000 BC and not much else for another 300-500 years. Moses, no such person, etcetera.

Karmi on May 25, 2013 at 11:19 AM

listens2glenn on May 25, 2013 at 10:57 AM

.
True but he isn’t going to hear the word of God, he’s going to run from it. He doesn’t even have science to back him up on his belief in the nonexistence of God. Coming right out with the admission that I am far from a biblical scholar, how in the world does anyone read the Bible and consider it a text on warring with other religions? I can maybe see that in the attitude of man’s desire to claim his way of worship is the “best” i.e. denominations, but you can’t just go to the word and find justification of violent acts for differences in belief.

Cindy Munford on May 25, 2013 at 11:10 AM

.
Touche ….. I didn’t back-track to read SauerKraut‘s comment that you were replying to.

My fault.

listens2glenn on May 25, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Still, don’t you think that atheists and believers working together for the common good of the community could be a powerful and helpful alliance?

Cindy Munford on May 25, 2013 at 11:23 AM

listens2glenn on May 25, 2013 at 11:22 AM

No problem, Darlin’, I knew your comment was a friendly one. In these threads I have only my faith to sustain me since I am so poorly educated compared to most.

Cindy Munford on May 25, 2013 at 11:26 AM

listens2glenn on May 25, 2013 at 11:22 AM

No problem, Darlin’, I knew your comment was a friendly one. In these threads I have only my faith to sustain me since I am so poorly educated compared to most.

Cindy Munford on May 25, 2013 at 11:26 AM

.
b l u s h: )

listens2glenn on May 25, 2013 at 11:29 AM

That’s a very crude way of putting. it.

Yes, it was. So what? :)

We are all born into sin. The only way to the Father is by perfection. Jesus lived a perfect life, but suffered for the sins of us all. He fulfilled the law, but took our punishment on Himself. Jesus’ suffering satisfied God’s justice.

We are now able to experience God’s mercy by accepting Jesus’ finished work.

The debate about one’s losing his/her salvation will continue til Jesus comes. I have read and studied the Scriptures and have come to the understanding that one can reject his/her salvation.

I wish it were otherwise, but I fear not.

davidk on May 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM

And my understanding of, “once saved, always saved,” differs from yours.

I find that you mentioning “fear” is telling, because we as Christians understand that perfect love casts out all fear – I see fear like yours as a sign that you are not saved.

I believe that from a logical point of view, believing that a person can lose her or his salvation diminishes the power of God when it comes to protecting His own church – I take it as proof that those who believe such nonsense are stumbling blocks, still operating in their fleshly emotions & understandings, never having totally given over their egos to Jesus, which is a requirement for salvation.

Here is another way to express my thought on the obviousness of salvation as a one-time event: Jesus is the gallium, we are the aluminum, and once the gallium touches the aluminum, the aluminum is permanently altered, never to return to its previous condition! :)

Gallium Induced Structural Failure of a Coke Can

Gallium Induced Failure of a Heat Sink

btw, I am so gonna put some gallium on all of Axe’s heat sinks, if any are aluminum, that is! :)

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Karmi on May 25, 2013 at 10:28 AM

The Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction.

davidk on May 25, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Aaaand a mediocre one at that…built on a very flawed premise that John the Beloved in DaVinci’s Last Supper Fresco is really a female.

A casual observer would have to be blind and ignorant to buy that one…

Brown synthesized the warped theories of iconoclasts that for a hundred years have been floating around on the fringes of serious study in a number of semi-related academic fields.

Mildly clever hooey…Now Brown takes on Dante most likely with predictable and profitable results.

There’s a sucker born every minute – PT Barnum

*shrug*

workingclass artist on May 25, 2013 at 11:34 AM

He actually is twisting himself into knots and doing mental gymnastics on Francis. Yes, Bergoglio is a Catholic priest and therefore is going to be against abortion and the devil and love Mary. However, Francis clearly isn’t focused on the liturgy and could care less about Father Z’s and co’s ridiculous obsession with the TLM. There is no way there would be any liturgical changes if Bergoglio had been elected in 2005. I also think that he would probably chastise traditionalists for focusing solely on the liturgy. For instance, when is the last time any of the people who comment on that blog did charity work? Visited a soup kitchen? Do the traditionalist churches they attend have active social justice ministries? Or are they so obsessed with the proper form of the Mass that they’ve forgotten the big picture?

I’m glad everyone is calmed down and pleased that Bergoglio is indeed Catholic. (Although why would they expect otherwise?) Hopefully, they’ll get Francis’ message now.

Illinidiva on May 25, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Oh My…

Your screed sounds like the screed of a spanked liberal (c)atholic troll.

But do continue…It’s mildly amusing.

workingclass artist on May 25, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Pope: Second look at letting atheists into heaven?

The Abrahamic Religions have been fighting over the Ownership of God for…well, for about 1400-2000 years, and that’s not likely to change for at least another 1500 years.

Karmi on May 25, 2013 at 11:45 AM

davidk on May 25, 2013 at 10:40 AM

.
No, davidk, it is you who misunderstand the Scriptures and history.
Especially non-Biblical history, which was around in written form long before there were any Hebrews, and thousands of years before there were any Hebrew writings.

Karmi on May 25, 2013 at 11:19 AM

.
That last line tells me all I need to know ….. but I’ll continue, anyway.
.

Since all the Abrahamic Religions (mainly Judaism, Christianity and Islam) are based on The Tanakh, that is where one must start…which creates a major problem for the Abrahamic Religions.

Karmi on May 25, 2013 at 11:19 AM

.
“f a c e p a l m”
.

Judaism as a religion wasn’t actually formalized until about the same time a Christianity, and a lot of plagiarism occurred – mainly in Genesis and Exodus , from ancient Sumer and Egypt. Basically, there is no non-Biblical evidence that shows a people called Hebrews until a very brief possible mention around 1000 BC and not much else for another 300-500 years. Moses, no such person, etcetera.

Karmi on May 25, 2013 at 11:19 AM

.
Any document . . . . . . . . . . . . . that contradicts the Bible record is worth less than the pig excrement on the bottom of my work shoes … period.
That’s not negotiable.

“Judahism” was formalized between God and Abraham looooooong before anyone understood the ‘New Blood Covenant’ (Christianity).

listens2glenn on May 25, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Judaism as a religion wasn’t actually formalized until about the same time a Christianity, and a lot of plagiarism occurred – mainly in Genesis and Exodus , from ancient Sumer and Egypt. Basically, there is no non-Biblical evidence that shows a people called Hebrews until a very brief possible mention around 1000 BC and not much else for another 300-500 years. Moses, no such person, etcetera.

Karmi on May 25, 2013 at 11:19 AM

ehemmm…

http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=hsJPK0PIJpH&b=689705&ct=8385919

workingclass artist on May 25, 2013 at 11:49 AM

‘God’ and ‘Heaven’ may simply be delusions that many in samsara cling to. Merely shadows of Mara eclipsing minds.

DarkCurrent on May 25, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Karmi on May 25, 2013 at 11:19 AM

You seem to mis-understand the basics of tradition development in cultures…much less theology.

workingclass artist on May 25, 2013 at 11:53 AM

The Abrahamic Religions have been fighting over the Ownership of God for…well, for about 1400-2000 years, and that’s not likely to change for at least another 1500 years.

Karmi on May 25, 2013 at 11:45 AM

.
Christians who “fight over the ownership of God” are immature zealots.
There’s nothing to fight over, except the good fight of faith.
That’s not a fight over a singular claim to “ownership of God”.

This world as we know it now, won’t be around for another 1500 years ….. or even 150 years (maybe not even 15).

listens2glenn on May 25, 2013 at 11:55 AM

‘God’ and ‘Heaven’ may simply be delusions that many in samsara cling to. Merely shadows of Mara eclipsing minds.

DarkCurrent on May 25, 2013 at 11:50 AM

And, they may be something other than that, too! :)

PS how could a place without suffering that I can conceive of, “Heaven”, be some of delusion?

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 12:10 PM

*be some sort

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 12:11 PM

1) There is a difference between simply disagreeing, and arguing; I see you being guilty of the latter, not the former. Anyone who believes that an argumentative spirit might come from God is not on the same page as I when it comes to Christianity. With that said, you should be able to understand why I’ve expressed disdain in your direction.

2) I see you calling me “smug” to be a projection, and if you don’t like, it’s not my problem! :)

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Oh, ok. I’m arguing(when I confronted you), but you are merely disagreeing when you confronted me and others even while laughing at them. Got it.

No projection of the smugness….it’s apparent for all to see. Even this last post of yours was smug (highly self-satisfied).

That aside…..was Paul “saved” or not when he made his statement: “but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:21).

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 12:15 PM

PS how could a place without suffering that I can conceive of, “Heaven”, be some of delusion?

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Do you mean how could a place you can imagine not be some delusion?

DarkCurrent on May 25, 2013 at 12:20 PM

I find that you mentioning “fear” is telling, because we as Christians understand that perfect love casts out all fear – I see fear like yours as a sign that you are not saved.

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Anti-Control, in your answer to davidk, it is obvious that you do not read the whole bible.
Just more smugness, coupled with blatant ignorance of the Word of God. Please!…. get your head out of your quarterlies and your Baptist books with its cherry-picking of scriptures. Again, this is why I left the Baptist church.

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phil 2:12, 13 KJV)

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Oh, ok. I’m arguing(when I confronted you), but you are merely disagreeing when you confronted me and others even while laughing at them. Got it.

No projection of the smugness….it’s apparent for all to see. Even this last post of yours was smug (highly self-satisfied).

That aside…..was Paul “saved” or not when he made his statement: “but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:21).

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 12:15 PM

self-satisfied,” as though I’m only amusing myself, and you aren’t the one amusing me? :)

If I were in your position, thinking I was so wrong, I would have dropped the conversation already…you keep picking at me, and you do not understand why you are doing so.

Feel free to continue as you wish, but know in advance what my reaction will be!

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 12:26 PM

I’m not reading through the entire thread to see if anyone came up with this before, but Francis is – pretty obviously – referring to the following verses:

Luke 12:47-48(KJV)

47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes …refers to the non-saved (those who have not recognized the Christ). Francis was referring to this in acknowledging that believers will see people in heaven whom they hardly expected to see (from their earthly existence).

Many of Paul’s writings/verses are the warning (if you will) from the next part of v48: For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. From the saved – i.e., Christians – much is, indeed, required. “More”!

My apologies if someone has previously introduced this in the thread.

davisbr on May 25, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Do you mean how could a place you can imagine not be some delusion?

DarkCurrent on May 25, 2013 at 12:20 PM

I mean, since I can conceive of Heaven, it does exist somewhere; who is anyone else to tell me it could only be a delusion to believe I will one day fully exist there? What kind of person would say that to another? That is what anti-theists do, and they do not understand how unauthoritative and ridiculous that argument is. I am not lumping you in that category, just to be clear.

When a person is free from Samsura, would you consider that they are free from eternal suffering?

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 12:34 PM

“self-satisfied,” as though I’m only amusing myself, and you aren’t the one amusing me? :)

If I were in your position, thinking I was so wrong, I would have dropped the conversation already…you keep picking at me, and you do not understand why you are doing so.

Feel free to continue as you wish, but know in advance what my reaction will be!

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 12:26 PM

I understand perfectly why I’m doing so……..I’m refuting your complacency and illustrating that your understanding of the bible and it’s teaching is wrong and that you are misleading people with your misunderstandings of what the bible says. I see that you are about doing the same thing. ??

To illustrate: Again, was Paul “saved” or not when he made his statement: “but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:21).

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 12:41 PM

workingclass artist. Given my crush on Paul Ryan, I don’t think I’m a liberal. However, the traditionalist Catholic types and their narrow mindedness ruined my experience with Catholicism. B16 sadly enabled them over the past eight years. I’m so glad that they’ve finally been repudiated. And really hope that we get enough years of lady foot washing and social justice from Bergoglio that his vision of the Church sticks. I also hope that Chicago gets a new archbishop who ascribes to Francis’ pastoral vision rather than a Burke clone.

And my criticism still stands. That blog is basically people whining about the fact that their friends and neighbors aren’t keen on having 1950s Catholicism foisted on them. I haven’t heard a peep about how they serve their communities.

Illinidiva on May 25, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Anti-Control, in your answer to davidk, it is obvious that you do not read the whole bible.
Just more smugness, coupled with blatant ignorance of the Word of God. Please!…. get your head out of your quarterlies and your Baptist books with its cherry-picking of scriptures. Again, this is why I left the Baptist church.

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 12:25 PM

“If you don’t agree with my interpretation of Biblical verses, you are a smug cherry-picker, probably bound for Hell!” -typical, smug, obnoxious Christian (or other type of believer) who doesn’t have a good, close relationship with humility nor with persuasive argumentation…

I don’t argue with deluded people like you who beclown themselves with projected insults (I include you with others like non-nonpartisan, Shallow HAL, and verbaloser here) – take your bait elsewhere!

I am confident you will insult me again, as you try to “maturely” explain why I am wrong for thinking this way. Have fun with yourself now! :)

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 12:49 PM

To illustrate: Again, was Paul “saved” or not when he made his statement: “but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:21).

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Yes.

See Acts 9.

22044 on May 25, 2013 at 12:50 PM

To illustrate: Again, was Paul “saved” or not when he made his statement: “but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:21).

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Yes, he was saved.
He was preaching discipline to others, and feared being disqualified AS A HYPOCRITE, not disqualified of his salvation/eternal life.

pambi on May 25, 2013 at 1:04 PM

I doubt the pope would want to describe a limit on God’s ability to save whomever He wishes, for whatever reason. Only God knows our hearts. At any rate, acting as if you believe is the easy part of being a believer. Unlike salvation, acting as a believer (e.g., doing good) is the part you can accomplish without divine intervention – thus easy enough for believer or unbeliever, alike. Put another way, let believer and Atheist alike agree to do right, and not wrong – regardless of where either of us think the authority for doing so derives.

Knott Buyinit on May 25, 2013 at 1:04 PM

I mean, since I can conceive of Heaven, it does exist somewhere; who is anyone else to tell me it could only be a delusion to believe I will one day fully exist there?

Sure. In that sense Santa Claus exists too.

When a person is free from Samsura, would you consider that they are free from eternal suffering?

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Yes, by definition

DarkCurrent on May 25, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Sure. In that sense Santa Claus exists too.

I dispute that they’re the same thing, and I believe that you honestly do, too.

Since I believe that you aren’t going to be serious enough for me about this topic, I’ll take a pass on discussing it further with you…

Yes, by definition

DarkCurrent on May 25, 2013 at 1:05 PM

In your opinion, are those freed from Samsara consciously aware of their status?

If you say, “yes,” you believe in Heaven just like I do – we just label it differently.

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 1:18 PM

In your opinion, are those freed from Samsara consciously aware of their status?

If you say, “yes,” you believe in Heaven just like I do – we just label it differently.

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 1:18 PM

In my understanding outside of samsara there is no individual consciousness nor immortal souls.

DarkCurrent on May 25, 2013 at 1:36 PM

I understand perfectly why I’m doing so……..I’m refuting your complacency and illustrating that your understanding of the bible and it’s teaching is wrong and that you are misleading people with your misunderstandings of what the bible says. I see that you are about doing the same thing. ??

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Your vision is faulty…

The difference between us is this: we both believe the other is wrong, but unlike you, I am not pursuing a discussion in order to change your mind, because I’ve already decided that you are blatantly wrong, obstinate, and in denial.

I see that true salvation occurs when a person puts both feet in Christ’s circle, not just one. Once that’s happened, Jesus will spiritually brand you, and under no possible scenario will He unbrand you, not even if you tell Him you want Him to – as a good parent, He knows what He’s doing! :)

Not only do you reject that idea, you seem to believe that a person can be spiritually branded after putting only one foot in, and I don’t buy that that person is ever able to receive a branding, having never met the minimum requirement of, “both feet in, or you don’t get the prize!”

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 1:45 PM

I do not believe there has ever been any communication between any God and any man.

VorDaj on May 25, 2013 at 6:53 AM

I’m sorry.

pambi on May 25, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Christ asked Peter: “Who do you say that I am”….what are we to do with Him? Either He is the Son of God, a lunatic, or a liar. I’m with Peter on this one. I believe one question may be posed to each of us when we stand before God “What did you do with my Son”

ziggyville on May 25, 2013 at 1:53 PM

“The daughters of Māra appeared to him glittering with beauty
Taṇhā, Arati, and Rāga
The Teacher swept them away,
as the wind sweeps away bits of fallen cotton”

- Māra-saṃyutta

DarkCurrent on May 25, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Christ asked Peter: “Who do you say that I am”….what are we to do with Him? Either He is the Son of God, a lunatic, or a liar. I’m with Peter on this one. I believe one question may be posed to each of us when we stand before God “What did you do with my Son”

ziggyville on May 25, 2013 at 1:53 PM

I once asked my sister .. “ok, here’s the important, scriptural question .. who do you say He is ?”
She replied ‘I’m not familiar with that question in my bible. Is it some sort of regional thing ?’
We’d just recently moved to Texas, and she actually thought our bibles would be different !!
Well, it was obvious that HER bible was different than mine, but not cuzza the Bible Belt ! oy.

pambi on May 25, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Paul had his Pentecost on the road to Damascus.

pambi on May 25, 2013 at 1:01 AM

That’s one way of saying what happened to Paul, but Pentecost is a Jewish holiday, and something particular happened to a particular set of people on THE PENTECOST — the one us Catholics celebrate in our liturgical season.

As for Paul, the road to Damascus wasn’t his Pentecost — in which the Holy Spirit came to him [I assume that's what you mean by the word] — no, that happened in Damascus where Ananias healed him — when the scales fell from his eyes, so to speak.

But you will note what happened prior to the healing. Had Saul not prayed, had not accepted what Jesus desired of him — what would have happened?

We’ll never know, but Saul always had free choice as to whether he became Paul. Even on the road to Damascus he could have chosen otherwise.

Brother Saul, I have been sent by the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, so that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

unclesmrgol on May 25, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Those who see salvation as a process rather than as a singular event don’t understand how salvation works.

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 1:32 AM

Those who see salvation as a singular event in the middle of life don’t understand how salvation works.

unclesmrgol on May 25, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Don’t get testy, now.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.
The only thing that I’m denying is your version of the Truth, which is more than a little judgmental.

Your vision is faulty…

The difference between us is this: we both believe the other is wrong, but unlike you, I am not pursuing a discussion in order to change your mind, because I’ve already decided that you are blatantly wrong, obstinate, and in denial.

I see that true salvation occurs when a person puts both feet in Christ’s circle, not just one. Once that’s happened, Jesus will spiritually brand you, and under no possible scenario will He unbrand you, not even if you tell Him you want Him to – as a good parent, He knows what He’s doing! :)

Not only do you reject that idea, you seem to believe that a person can be spiritually branded after putting only one foot in, and I don’t buy that that person is ever able to receive a branding, having never met the minimum requirement of, “both feet in, or you don’t get the prize!”

I have no idea of what you are talking about here in these last two paragraphs. What is the scripture that backs this up?

Yes, he was saved.
He was preaching discipline to others, and feared being disqualified AS A HYPOCRITE, not disqualified of his salvation/eternal life.

pambi on May 25, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Thank you, pambi. Yes, I know that Paul was saved. It was a rhetorical question on my part. However, regarding the “disqualified” part, now that you mention this, I do remember a sermon in which this was discussed as the most likely meaning, especially the part where he feared as being viewed as a hypocrite (he, of all people, was mindful of that). The actual word he used was adókimos:
Thayer’s Definition

1.not standing the test, not approved
a.properly used of metals and coins
2.that which does not prove itself such as it ought
a.unfit for, unproved, spurious, reprobate
http://www.studylight.org/lex/grk/gwview.cgi?n=96

Here is a bible study on this very subject on whether or not a Christian can fall from grace, which provides multiples of examples of the apostles’ words.
http://www.biblestudyguide.org/articles/salvation/salvation-fall-grace.htm

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 3:18 PM

In my understanding outside of samsara there is no individual consciousness nor immortal souls.

DarkCurrent on May 25, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Do you believe that there is any consciousness at all outside of samsara, even if it is only a singular one?

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Those who see salvation as a singular event in the middle of life don’t understand how salvation works.

unclesmrgol on May 25, 2013 at 3:07 PM

This is silly…you believe that people can alternately achieve and lose their salvation, as though being “a new creature in Christ” is not an unchanging spiritual condition. How is such a mindset not susceptible to anxiety?

You have a fear-based psychology, which does not allow for room for a stable sense of peace & joy – how could it, when you fear that you might eventually lose your gift of salvation?

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 3:27 PM

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Where I stand is that one cannot ‘lose’ one’s salvation as you would your pen or car keys, even thru sins. Lost sheep and all that.

Yes, ‘once elightened, having tasted the goodness that is God’, one needs to make the consious choice to reject it all, and is therefore unable to return to the former state of salvation.

Sinning after salvation is inevitable, and our salvation is not voided by those. It’s as if salvation clothes us in a white garment, that our sins will stain. Even simply having to walk through this darkened world can dirty up the hem !!

God is faithful to convict us of those as we go along, and our repentance and his forgiveness washes those out.

pambi on May 25, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Don’t get testy, now.

Which of us was the one who complained about “disdain” coming from the other? Was it me? :)

LOL you are uptight, unobservant, and delusional…

I have no idea of what you are talking about here in these last two paragraphs. What is the scripture that backs this up?

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 3:18 PM

I know that you have no idea, because you do not approach the idea of salvation with a logical or a spiritual perspective – you use your ego and human emotion only, which is why there is no common ground between us on this subject – you are a cultist hopelessly mired in your dogma as far as I am concerned, which is why I’ll stop talking to you now! :)

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Dear one (with no snark intended), do you understand the intended revelation of fhe difference between Mt Sinai and Mt Zion, as described in Hebrews?

WHO is the High Priest, and what did he accomplish for us ?

pambi on May 24, 2013 at 11:57 PM

We both know the answer: Jesus is the High Priest, and His was the Final Sacrifice to God for the sins of the world.

So let’s examine the concept of the High Priest, and determine what He does. First of all, He is a teacher of those things which we must do which are pleasing to God. Second, He is the mediator between us and God. Thirdly, He is the fulfilment of the Levitic priesthood — no more first sons are needed after His full and pure sacrifice — and this in spite of the fact that He is of the House of Judah!

But that does not absolve you from the consequences of your personal sin. The sacrifice has been made, so you don’t need to. But you must first acknowledge the damage your sins have caused, and then work diligently to repair the damage they have caused.

We know that Jesus has the power to forgive sins — that is mentioned over and over in Scripture. Yet, at the same time, Jesus gives that power to other humans (Peter first, and then to the other Apostles later) in the binding and loosing verses of Matthew. If Jesus is always to be approached directly, then what need for any of what was given to Peter or the Apostles?

What need is there for approaching a Christian wrongdoer to bring an end to the wrongdoing if the sins of the wrongdoer are dismissed by Jesus in the moment of their commission?

While Hebrews describes the natural consequences of the Eucharistic act (Jesus does tell us to “do this in memory of me”), the rest of the New Testament describes, outside of that Sacrifice, what to do to live in a manner pleasing to God.

With respect to the priesthood of the faithful, we Catholics call our more educated individuals “priests” and, by virtue of the powers given to Peter and handed down through the ages, those men inherit the ability to bind and loose.

The actions associated with binding and loosing — Confession/Reconciliation, and Penance, are described repeatedly in Scripture.

You do not need to sacrifice to God for your sin (Jesus has done that for you) but you do need to acknowledge the sin to the community and make whole the damage you have done.

The big question: Does Jesus’ Sacrifice cover wilful and unrepentant sin? Does Jesus’ Sacrifice render moot the Ten Commandments?

If you say yes, then nothing we do on Earth, for good or ill, affects our Salvation, and we might as well just toss our Scripture into the trash and cease any attempts to do what said Scripture says we ought to do.

unclesmrgol on May 25, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Having been set free from that abominable fear (taught in many religions)is what I believe is the Amazing Grace.

:-)

pambi on May 25, 2013 at 3:41 PM

This is silly…you believe that people can alternately achieve and lose their salvation, as though being “a new creature in Christ” is not an unchanging spiritual condition. How is such a mindset not susceptible to anxiety?

You have a fear-based psychology, which does not allow for room for a stable sense of peace & joy – how could it, when you fear that you might eventually lose your gift of salvation?

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Lambs can become lost, and sometimes the shepherd can’t bring them back.

We are indeed to fear the Lord. In the Catholic mind, that means both loving Him and wanting to do what He wants us to do, and believing that wilful disobedience to his strictures will result in punishment.

And it’s not a matter of losing my Salvation — it’s the matter of not having it at all if I don’t do what is necessary to accept it.

It is not a gift given to me without strings.

In the parable of the prodigal son, what did the prodigal son have to do to be restored?

unclesmrgol on May 25, 2013 at 3:45 PM

I confess my sins BOTH to him, and to others, when I’ve sinned against them as well.
Are my personal confessions and his sweet forgiveness illegitimate, without having confessed it to a human ?
Don’t think so.
I do not need a RELIGION to follow Him, hear Him, please Him.
I find that most often ‘religions’ can become/replace God, and idolatry is not a good thing.

pambi on May 25, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Lambs can become lost, and sometimes the shepherd can’t bring them back.

God as a powerless shepherd? Ahhhhhh!

You believing that a spiritually-renewed person could ever possibly become separated from God says to me that you don’t understand the omnipotence angle of God very well.

And it’s not a matter of losing my Salvation — it’s the matter of not having it at all if I don’t do what is necessary to accept it.

It is not a gift given to me without strings.

unclesmrgol on May 25, 2013 at 3:45 PM

This isn’t a difficult, complex process: all you have to do to accept salvation is to release your grip from the sinking (worldly) ship you’ve been clinging to, which necessitates having the faith that Jesus will (spiritually) pull you into His rescue vessel.

Jesus does the saving, the work – we only have to let go. Once onboard His rescue vessel, it’s not possible to revert back – believing otherwise is to belittle the supernatural aspects of salvation.

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Jesus does the saving, the work – we only have to let go. Once onboard His rescue vessel, it’s not possible to revert back – believing otherwise is to belittle the supernatural aspects of salvation.

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Describe this “letting go”. Isn’t that what most of Scripture is trying to tell us how to do? But you must have a shortcut to make it be so easy.

I’m interested in knowing it. My sister who shoplifts and then confesses to the Lord knows it — I want to know it too — this method of managing to get around “what you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me”.

unclesmrgol on May 25, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Which of us was the one who complained about “disdain” coming from the other? Was it me? :)

LOL you are uptight, unobservant, and delusional…
Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Saying that you used “disdain”(which you did and still are) in your replies in no way matches all the name-calling and accusations you’ve been doing throughout this thread…to everyone.

You really just don’t fit the image of a peace-filled Christian or do I see any Spirit-filled replies that would make anyone hunger for your type of understanding…. despite all your statements that you are. It’s just not evident. At all.

And, telling people they are lost just because they don’t fit your understanding?

I have no idea of what you are talking about here in these last two paragraphs. What is the scripture that backs this up?

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 3:18 PM

I know that you have no idea, because you do not approach the idea of salvation with a logical or a spiritual perspective – you use your ego and human emotion only, which is why there is no common ground between us on this subject – you are a cultist hopelessly mired in your dogma as far as I am concerned, which is why I’ll stop talking to you now! :)

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Seems that you are the one doing the projecting.
If you could just let go of your ego and human emotion and let’s talk scripture, this would go much better. I’m a cultist, now? Hopelessly mired in my dogma? More name-calling.

Beyond all the name-calling….let’s get back to basics…..where are your scriptures to support your claims?

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Well said. Whew, eh ?
The God I know is MOST capable of finding His lost sheep, and tending His flock.

pambi on May 25, 2013 at 4:27 PM

I do not need a RELIGION to follow Him, hear Him, please Him.
I find that most often ‘religions’ can become/replace God, and idolatry is not a good thing.

pambi on May 25, 2013 at 3:56 PM

The far greater risk is that you construct your own God. I have behind me a Faith and Tradition stretching back to Jesus himself. I feel very comfortable that I am not constructing my own God.

In that faith, my chances of being led — or leading myself — into error are considerably reduced. Not made zero, but considerably reduced.

We Catholics require, as one of our acts of faith, an informed conscience. Self education is rarely the way to go in these matters, for it leads to an ill-informed conscience. Catholics are not immune to this problem — you just have to examine the supposedly Catholic utterances of Nancy Pelosi or Joseph Biden to understand that.

unclesmrgol on May 25, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Describe this “letting go”. Isn’t that what most of Scripture is trying to tell us how to do? But you must have a shortcut to make it be so easy.
I’m interested in knowing it. My sister who shoplifts and then confesses to the Lord knows it — I want to know it too — this method of managing to get around “what you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me”.

unclesmrgol on May 25, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Your sister believes a lie. I’ve heard that thinking referred to as ‘greasy grace’. That is FAR from ‘letting go’, it’s an offense to God himself, I’d say.

“Letting go” is NOT an easy step to take.
If he means the same as I understand it, it’s very much like Gethsemani.
It’s amazing just how much of US we need to release into His hands, to make room for more of Him.

pambi on May 25, 2013 at 4:36 PM

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Hint: unclesmrgol disagrees with me, too, yet we are not having the same personal problem that I have with you – I suggest that you take a step back, and figure out the explanation for the difference first before you try talking to me again.

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 4:40 PM

unclesmrgol on May 25, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Not that ‘living in danger of constructing your own god’ line, again.
Every catholic in my family throws that out at me. You’ve learned well, grasshopper. ;-)

We belong to a fellowship, with a pastor and plently of others for accountability. Bible study is a way of life for us all.
None of us have constructed our own God, but we havemet the one, holy, true God. We are no longer bound by religious traditions, yet He keeps us on our toes.

pambi on May 25, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Just give some scriptures to back up your claims and get off the personality part of this discussion.

I’ve yet to see a scripture, only talk and accusations against everyone.

Don’t you have scriptures?

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Describe this “letting go”. Isn’t that what most of Scripture is trying to tell us how to do? But you must have a shortcut to make it be so easy.

I’m interested in knowing it. My sister who shoplifts and then confesses to the Lord knows it — I want to know it too — this method of managing to get around “what you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me”.

unclesmrgol on May 25, 2013 at 4:22 PM

The shortcut is, “faith” i.e. “I need to truly trust that God can run my life better than I can.”

To me, this starts to happen when a person finally realizes he isn’t happy going down the same old path, and needs to effect a cosmic shift in his life. It’s similar to what addicts must do in 12-step programs – until a person faces the roots of his discontent and sincerely admits he needs outside help, the problems he’s having will only reoccur.

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Well said. Whew, eh ?
The God I know is MOST capable of finding His lost sheep, and tending His flock.

pambi on May 25, 2013 at 4:27 PM

:)

It’s nice knowing that we can never be lost, forgotten, or forsaken! I can’t imagine what it would be like to live life with a different attitude than that.

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Just give some scriptures to back up your claims and get off the personality part of this discussion.

I’ve yet to see a scripture, only talk and accusations against everyone.

Don’t you have scriptures?

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 4:47 PM

I find you to be bossy, rude, and unpleasant – what makes you think I might want to do for you what you want me to do?

Sorry, I am not interested! :)

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Likewise, plus a delaying effort on your part.

Now…….the scriptures. If you won’t/can’t, I’m beginning to think there aren’t any. Are you a preacher, btw, and expect people to just take your word for whatever you’re putting out?

I really just want some scriptures…..you know….”Study to shew (show) thyself (yourself) approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” ~ 2 Timothy 2:15 – KJV

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 5:24 PM

davidk on May 25, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Love the Statler Brothers!

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 8:01 PM

I would just warn people reading here to not get your biblical education from comments on a political blog. Do some research. Read the scholars and not just the sexy, popular ones who like to promote themselves with contrary propositions. Read the sober, well-respected scholars and educate yourselves. Then you can laugh at the internet experts who are less than a dime a dozen.

mbabbitt on May 26, 2013 at 12:16 AM

avagreen on May 25, 2013 at 5:24 PM

2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!

Anti-Control on May 26, 2013 at 5:05 AM

I don’t think highly of you.

I don’t think I can bear bear up under the burden.

I seriously have my doubts as to whether you’re the kind of person Jesus had in

mind when he imagined his flock.

I’m exactly the kind of person Jesus “imagined.”

Do you think he would walk with you while you spew venom toward those he

sought to save?

Ad hominem attack. (Did you get your widdle feelings hurt?)

Your username links are cute. Pretty fly for a false-prophet. Capitalist Hog on

May 24, 2013 at 7:23 PM

You are little more than a boorish agitator. A piss-poor one at that. (But I thank you for the “pretty” compliment. I think my wife is gorgeous.)

davidk on May 26, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Not that ‘living in danger of constructing your own god’ line, again.
Every catholic in my family throws that out at me. You’ve learned well, grasshopper. ;-)</blockquote

Your dislike of the messengers doesn't detract from the truth of the message. You, I think, will find at the end of your life's journey that the things us Catholics teach are important in that life's journey were important to the Lord too.

We belong to a fellowship, with a pastor and plently of others for accountability. Bible study is a way of life for us all.
None of us have constructed our own God, but we havemet the one, holy, true God. We are no longer bound by religious traditions, yet He keeps us on our toes.

pambi on May 25, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Why do you need all of this fellowship stuff if you only need to do exactly one thing, which is to believe? Are you now telling me that there are other important things too?

How can you be sure that you have met the one, holy, true God rather than your own construct? How can you be sure that your pastor has the wisdom imparted by the Apostles? After all, anyone can become a pastor and open a church, while to become a priest means training with guys who, in a chain, were trained by the Apostles themselves.

The church my sister goes to has a pastor who is an ex-Catholic. He didn’t want to go through the bother of theological training, so he got a like-minded set of people together in “fellowship” and that was that. He’s the guy who tells her that nothing is important to Salvation other than believing. She is a believer, trust me. Yet there is no repentance, no attempt to make right the things she breaks as she goes through life.

Like you, she has driven a wedge between herself and the rest of her family.

“Whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me.”

If I want to converge on truth, I use the best sources of knowledge that I can, and some guys who disparage any ideas more than 500 years old are not going to be getting anywhere near the truth.

Just the way it is.

unclesmrgol on May 26, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Your sister believes a lie. I’ve heard that thinking referred to as ‘greasy grace’. That is FAR from ‘letting go’, it’s an offense to God himself, I’d say.

“Letting go” is NOT an easy step to take.

Thank you for understanding that “letting go is a lot of work”. Since we humans are prone to sin, I would submit that it is a life-long work, and one is never quite sure that they’ve got it right.

If he means the same as I understand it, it’s very much like Gethsemani.
It’s amazing just how much of US we need to release into His hands, to make room for more of Him.

pambi on May 25, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Even after that release, we still have free will to withdraw from Him. In Hebrews Paul (or whoever wrote it) describes a perfect person, one who has given themselves over completely to God.

At Gethsemane, Jesus is that person — but that’s a bit unfair, for He is also God. But what of His Disciples — the ones He asked to stay with Him? Did they?

Even Peter, who is the rock upon which the Church is built, denies Him when put to the test.

I have yet to meet one person so controlled by the Holy Spirit as described in Hebrews. Not even myself, as conceited as I may be. Such a personage is an ideal — to be strived for.

I have moments when I think I am truly at one with the Lord. Those moments of strength last for a few hours and disappear when I lapse into my human sinfulness. God is not responsible for that lapse — I am — but I am responsible to reach out again for His aid. In “Pilgrims Progress” by John Bunyan, there is the allegory of the swamp, and a man (Help) rescues Christian from the swamp, but what must be done for Christian to be rescued from the swamp? Is Help’s proffered hand enough?

Perhaps the best way to put it is that I am being Saved. It is not at all clear that I will be Saved, but I am being Saved. Whether I will be so should I withdraw my hand at the last moment is by the Will of God — a Will I do not presume to know all of as of the present, but must seek earnestly.

unclesmrgol on May 26, 2013 at 6:19 PM

The shortcut is, “faith” i.e. “I need to truly trust that God can run my life better than I can.”

To me, this starts to happen when a person finally realizes he isn’t happy going down the same old path, and needs to effect a cosmic shift in his life. It’s similar to what addicts must do in 12-step programs – until a person faces the roots of his discontent and sincerely admits he needs outside help, the problems he’s having will only reoccur.

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Similes rarely describe the reality, but in that 12-step program, what happens if you backslide? In fact, what happens if you backslide so badly that the program can no longer help you?

I do believe that God can run my life better than I can. But I’ve got free will given by Him, so I can’t rely on Him to run my life. I’m running it myself, with His help, and like the guy in the 12-step program, I backslide occasionally — slap that helping hand out of the way because it really doesn’t know things like I know them. Heh.

What I believe is that, even after slapping that hand out of the way, and after all the bad things that have happened as a result, that hand will still be there, held out, waiting for me to grasp it. But the Offerer of that helping hand has told me that part of the help involves making right the things I’ve damaged when I go my own way trampling through the wilderness.

If I apply those thoughts to what Pope Francis is saying, he’s saying that the Lord is holding out a hand even toward the atheist — the guys who’ve violated the Mosaic First Commandment, and that if such people try to operate under a Christian ethos, there’s a chance that they may be reaching for Him too.

unclesmrgol on May 26, 2013 at 6:33 PM

This is silly…you believe that people can alternately achieve and lose their salvation, as though being “a new creature in Christ” is not an unchanging spiritual condition. How is such a mindset not susceptible to anxiety?

The big question is whether a person who has “lost” Salvation ever had it in the first place, regardless of what they might personally believe.

You have a fear-based psychology, which does not allow for room for a stable sense of peace & joy – how could it, when you fear that you might eventually lose your gift of salvation?

Anti-Control on May 25, 2013 at 3:27 PM

I’ve got quite a bit of peace and joy — but quite a bit of legitimate fear. I do not presume to have the gift of Salvation. I presume to be attempting to get the gift of Salvation, but I do not know if, when, or whether God will grant it to me. He offers His grace, but in the moment that I spurn that offering through sin, what has happened?

If nothing I can do affects my Salvation, then I need do nothing, and, by your reckoning, all of my fears are for naught. I am Saved.

If, as I believe, what you do of your own free will does affect your Salvation, then all of my fears are well founded. I might be Saved — but possibly not.

To put it another way, I take comfort in my fear. It keeps me on the straight and narrow, for a man who fears the Lord is much less apt to do wrong — to keep His Commandments, as it were.

I offer again the example of my sister, who loves the Lord, and by your reckoning and her own, is Saved, regardless of what she does. She is so content in that Salvation that she views her sins as being forgiven in the moment of commission.

I think a bit of fear is prudent, and as I argue with you, I also argue with her.

unclesmrgol on May 26, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Unclesmrgol, I just popped back in here to tell you that I honor you for your faithfulness to your beliefs, and readiness to promote those to others. Honestly.

I believe you are as saved as I am.
That’s what a few years of seeking the Lord alone proved to me…. that having grown up in the Catholic tradition, my heart met the ‘qualifications’ for salvation.
Yet, my heart was also drawn to understand that the bible was written TO ALL who believe, and that it was safe for me to apply His teachings within to myself, with no interpretation necessary. “Come follow me” is an invitation to all who believe.
Did it confuse ? Certainly ! Did it point out my darkness and sin ? Truly ! Did it tell me I could fall at his feet in repentance, and be cleansed ? Absolutely !
Did it say that I could approach the throne of grace without fear ? Yup.
That’s when I began to know how much He truly desires to be in conversation with His kids. It thrills Him no end !

Your discernment of false teachings surrounding those you have had contact with is right on. I’m sorry that you attribute those erroneous beliefs to all others not in Catholocism, tho. That isn’t accurate discernment. There ARE others out here who judge all teachings by the Cornerstone, and are/stay on His path. Do some go off-base ? Absolutely ! Seems you’ve met plenty. ;-) So have we. Just know those don’t represent all outside of the RCC, ok ?
Perhaps someday you WILL meet someone who faithfully walks in the Spirit, and I expect that you’ll then fully recognize the freedom of such a life.
He came to set us free, after all. :-)
Matt 11:29.

pambi on May 30, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Ahhhh … v 28 …
“Come to ME, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

His rest is sublime.
:-)

pambi on May 30, 2013 at 11:25 AM

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