Skip to comments.Radio Replies Second Volume - Manichaeism
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Preface To Volume One of "Radio Replies"
By RT. REV. MSGR. FULTON J. SHEEN, D.D
There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church which is, of course, quite a different thing. These millions can hardly be blamed for hating Catholics because Catholics "adore statues"; because they "put the Blessed Mother on the same level with God"; because they say "indulgence is a permission to commit sin"; because the Pope "is a Fascist"; because the "Church is the defender of Capitalism." If the Church taught or believed any one of these things it should be hated, but the fact is that the Church does not believe nor teach any one of them. It follows then that the hatred of the millions is directed against error and not against truth. As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.
If I were not a Catholic, and were looking for the true Church in the world today, I would look for the one Church which did not get along well with the world; in other words, I would look for the Church which the world hates. My reason for doing this would be, that if Christ is in any one of the churches of the world today, He must still be hated as He was when He was on earth in the flesh. If you would find Christ today, then find the Church that does not get along with the world. Look for the Church that is hated by the world, as Christ was hated by the world. Look for the Church which is accused of being behind the times, as Our Lord was accused of being ignorant and never having learned. Look for the Church which men sneer at as socially inferior, as they sneered at Our Lord because He came from Nazareth. Look for the Church which is accused of having a devil, as Our Lord was accused of being possessed by Beelzebub, the Prince of Devils. Look for the Church which, in seasons of bigotry, men say must be destroyed in the name of God as men crucified Christ and thought they had done a service to God. Look for the Church which the world rejects because it claims it is infallible, as Pilate rejected Christ because He called Himself the Truth. Look for the Church which is rejected by the world as Our Lord was rejected by men. Look for the Church which amid the confusion of conflicting opinions, its members love as they love Christ, and respect its Voice as the very voice of its Founder, and the suspicion will grow, that if the Church is unpopular with the spirit of the world, then it is unworldly, and if it is unworldly, it is other-worldly. Since it is other-worldly it is infinitely loved and infinitely hated as was Christ Himself. But only that which is Divine can be infinitely hated and infinitely loved. Therefore the Church is Divine.
If then, the hatred of the Church is founded on erroneous beliefs, it follows that basic need of the day is instruction. Love depends on knowledge for we cannot aspire nor desire the unknown. Our great country is filled with what might be called marginal Christians, i.e., those who live on the fringe of religion and who are descendants of Christian living parents, but who now are Christians only in name. They retain a few of its ideals out of indolence and force of habit; they knew the glorious history of Christianity only through certain emasculated forms of it, which have married the spirit of the age and are now dying with it. Of Catholicism and its sacraments, its pardon, its grace, its certitude and its peace, they know nothing except a few inherited prejudices. And yet they are good people who want to do the right thing, but who have no definite philosophy concerning it. They educate their children without religion, and yet they resent the compromising morals of their children. They would be angry if you told them they were not Christian, and yet they do not believe that Christ is God. They resent being called pagans and yet they never take a practical cognizance of the existence of God. There is only one thing of which they are certain and that is that things are not right as they are. It is just that single certitude which makes them what might be called the great "potentials," for they are ready to be pulled in either of two directions. Within a short time they must take sides; they must either gather with Christ or they must scatter; they must either be with Him or against Him; they must either be on the cross as other Christs, or under it as other executioners. Which way will these marginal Christians tend? The answer depends upon those who have the faith. Like the multitudes who followed Our Lord into the desert, they are as sheep without a shepherd. They are waiting to be shepherded either with the sheep or goats. Only this much is certain. Being human and having hearts they want more than class struggle and economics; they want Life, they want Truth, and they want Love. In a word, they want Christ.
It is to these millions who believe wrong things about the Church and to these marginal Christians, that this little book is sent. It is not to prove that they are "wrong"; it is not to prove that we are "right"; it is merely to present the truth in order that the truth may conquer through the grace of God. When men are starving, one need not go to them and tell them to avoid poison; nor to eat bread because there are vitamins in bread. One need only go to them and tell them that they are starving and here is bread, and the laws of nature will do the rest. This book of "Radio Replies" with 1,588 questions and answers goes out on a similar mission. Its primary task is not to humble the erroneous; not to glorify the Catholic Church as intellectual and self-righteous, but to present the truth in a calm, clear manner in order that with the grace of God souls may come to the blessed embrace of Christ.
It is not only the point of "Radio Replies" to prove that the Church is the only completely soul-satisfying Church in existence at the present day; it is also to suggest that the Catholic Church is the only Church existing today which goes back to the time of Christ. History is so very clear on this point, it is curious how many minds miss its obviousness. When therefore you, the readers of "Radio Replies" in the twentieth century, wish to know about Christ and about His early Church, and about His mysteries, we ask you to go not only to the written records but to the living Church which began with Christ Himself. That Church or that Mystical Person which has been living all these centuries is the basis of our faith and to us Catholics it speaks this way: "I live with Christ. I saw His Mother and I know her to be a Virgin and the loveliest and purest of all women in heaven or on earth; I saw Christ at Caesarea-Philippi, when, after changing Simon's name to Rock, He told him he was the rock upon which the Church would be built and that it would endure unto the consummation of the world. I saw Christ hanging on a cross and I saw Him rise from His tomb; I saw Magdalene rush to His feet; I saw the angels clad in white beside the great stone; I was in the Cenacle room when doubting Thomas put fingers into His hands; I was on Olivet when He ascended into heaven and promised to send His Spirit to the apostles to make them the foundation of His new Mystical Body on earth. I was at the stoning of Stephen, saw Saul hold the garments of those who slew him, and later I heard Saul, as Paul, preach Christ and Him crucified; I witnessed the beheading of Peter and Paul in Rome, and with my very eyes saw tens of thousands of martyrs crimson the sands with their blood, rather than deny the faith Peter and Paul had preached unto them; I was living when Boniface was sent to Germany, when Augustine when to England, Cyril and Methodius to the Poles, and Patrick to Ireland; at the beginning of the ninth century I recall seeing Charlemagne crowned as king in matters temporal as Peter's vicar was recognized as supreme in matters spiritual; in the thirteenth century I saw the great stones cry out in tribute to me, and burst into Gothic Cathedrals; in the shadows of those same walls I saw great Cathedrals of thought arise in the prose of Aquinas and Bonaventure, and in the poetry of Dante; in the sixteenth century I saw my children softened by the spirit of the world leave the Father's house and reform the faith instead of reforming discipline which would have brought them back again into my embrace; in the last century and at the beginning of this I heard the world say it could not accept me because I was behind the times. I am not behind the times, I am only behind the scenes. I have adapted myself to every form of government the world has ever known; I have lived with Caesars and kings, tyrants and dictators, parliaments and presidents, monarchies and republics. I have welcomed every advance of science, and were it not for me the great records of the pagan world would not have been preserved. It is true I have not changed my doctrine, but that is because the doctrine is not mine but His who sent Me. I change my garments which belong to time, but not my Spirit which belongs to eternity. In the course of my long life I have seen so many modern ideas become unmodern, that I know I shall live to chant a requiem over the modern ideas of this day, as I chanted it over the modern ideas of the last century. I celebrated the nineteen-hundredth anniversary of the death of my Redeemer and yet I am no older now than then, for my Spirit is Eternal, and the Eternal never ages. I am the abiding Personage of the centuries. I am the contemporary of all civilizations. I am never out of date, because the dateless; never out of time, because the timeless. I have four great marks: I am One, because I have the same Soul I had in the beginning; I am Holy, because that Soul is the Spirit of Holiness; I am Catholic, because that Spirit pervades every living cell of my Body; I am Apostolic, because my origin is identical with Nazareth, Galilee and Jerusalem. I shall grow weak when my members become rich and cease to pray, but I shall never die. I shall be persecuted as I am persecuted now in Mexico and Russia; I shall be crucified as I was on Calvary, but I shall rise again, and finally when time shall be no more, and I shall have grown to my full stature, then shall I be taken into heaven as the bride of my Head, Christ, where the celestial nuptials shall be celebrated, and God shall be all in all, because His Spirit is Love and Love is Heaven."
Introduction To The American Edition Of "Radio Replies" Vol One
"Radio Replies" by Rev. Dr. Rumble, M.S.C., is the result of five years of answering questions during a one-hour Question Box Program over Radio Station 2SM Sydney, N.S.W. The revision of "Radio Replies" for American readers was prompted by the widespread interest the Australian edition created among Protestants and Catholics during the summer of 1937, when I was carrying on as a Catholic Campaigner for Christ, the Apostolate to the man in the street through the medium of my trailer and loud-speaking system. In the distribution of pamphlets and books on Catholicism "Radio Replies" proved the most talked of book carried in my trailer display of Catholic literature. The clergy and laymen engaged in Street Preaching agree that it is not so much what you say over the microphone in answer to questions from open air listeners but what you GET INTO THEIR HANDS TO READ.
My many converts of the highways and parks throughout the Archdiocese of St. Paul have embraced the faith as a result of studying this book. Whole families have come into the Church through reading the book by this renowned convert from Anglicanism. The delay in getting copies from Sydney and the prohibitive cost of the book on this side of the universe led me to petition the author to have published a CHEAP AMERICAN EDITION in order to get this Encyclopaedia of Catholic Doctrine into the hands of fellow citizens. Because of the author's genius for brevity, preciseness, fearlessness and keen logic that avoids the usually long Scriptural and Traditional arguments of the average question and answer book, which is beyond the capacity of the man in the street, this manual of 1,588 questions and replies has already attracted readers throughout Australia, New Zealand, Africa, India, England, Ireland, Canada and now the United States.
The questions he answers are the questions I had to answer before friendly and hostile audiences throughout my summer campaign. The piquant and provocative subject matter of this book makes it a fascinating assembly of 300 or more worth-while pamphlet tracts, a dictionary of doctrine for the desk of the FAMILY, the STUDENT, the SHOP HAND, the OFFICE WORKER, the ATTORNEY, the DOCTOR, the TEACHER, and the PREACHER. It is a handy standard reference book of excellence for popular questions which are more than ever being asked by restless and bewildered multitudes. It is a textbook for the Confraternities of Christian Doctrine Classes and Study Clubs.
A non-Catholic Professor after reading the book stated that, "If the Catholic Church could defend herself so logically as 'Radio Replies' demonstrates, then I do not see why you don't get more converts." Members of the Knights of Columbus, the Holy Name Societies and numerous women's societies have written in that they no longer have to apologetically say, "I can't answer that one." Catholic students in non-sectarian colleges and universities write in that they now walk the campus with this book under their arms, ready for all challenges and that this manual of ready reference has cured their INFERIORITY COMPLEX ON EXPOSITION OF CATHOLIC CLAIMS. Lapsed Catholics have come into my trailer-office to confess that the reading of "Radio Replies" has brought them back to the Church.
I am grateful to His Excellency Archbishop John G. Murray, D.D. for his approval of this compendium of dogmatic and moral theology for readers of the American Commonwealth and I am deeply appreciative to Rt. Rev. Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen, D.D. for writing the Preface to this American edition.
From my experience on the Catholic Radio Hour, on the lecture platform, and in the pulpit, I do not hesitate to say that HERE AT LAST is the book that has something for everybody, the book for the UNINFORMED CATHOLIC, THE UNEDUCATED AND EDUCATED LAPSED CATHOLIC, and the PROSPECTIVE CONVERT.
Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty
Historical Context of "Radio Replies"
If one recalls the time frame from which Radio Replies emerged, it can explain some of the frankness and lack of tact in the nature of the responses provided.
It was during this timeframe that a considerable amount of anti-Catholic rhetoric came to the forefront, particularly in this country. Much of this developed during the Presidential campaign of Al Smith in 1928, but had its roots in the publication of Alexander Hislop's The Two Babylons, originally published in book form in 1919 and also published in pamphlet form in 1853.
While in Britain (and consequently Australia), the other fellow would surely have experienced the effects of the Popery Act, the Act of Settlement, the Disenfranchising Act, the Ecclesiastical Titles Act, and many others since the reformation (that basically boiled down to saying, "We won't kill you if you just be good, quiet little Catholics"). Even the so-called Catholic Relief Acts (1778, 1791, 1829, 1851, 1871) still had huge barriers placed in the way.
And of course, they'd both remember the American Protective Association, "Guy Fawkes Days" (which included burning the Pontiff in effigy), the positions of the Whigs and Ultra-Torries, and so on.
A strong degree of "in your face" from people in the position of authoritativeness was required back in the 1930s, as there was a large contingent of the populations of both the US and the British Empire who were not at all shy about being "in your face" toward Catholics in the first place (in other words, a particularly contentious day on Free Republic would be considered a mild day in some circles back then). Sure, in polite, educated circles, contention was avoided (thus the little ditty about it not being polite to discuss religion in public, along with sex and politics), but it would be naive to assume that we all got along, or anything resembling that, back in the day.
Having said all of the above, reading the articles from the modern mindset and without the historical context that I tried to briefly summarize above, they make challenging reading, due to their bluntness.
The reader should also keep in mind that the official teaching of the Church takes a completely different tone, best summed up in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
817 In fact, "in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame."269 The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ's Body - here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism270 - do not occur without human sin:Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers.271
818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers .... All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."272
819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276
838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter."322 Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church."323 With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist."324
269 UR 3 § 1.
270 Cf. CIC, can. 751.
271 Origen, Hom. in Ezech. 9,1:PG 13,732.
272 UR 3 § 1.
273 LG 8 § 2.
274 UR 3 § 2; cf. LG 15.
275 Cf. UR 3.
276 Cf. LG 8.
322 LG 15.
323 UR 3.
324 Paul VI, Discourse, December 14, 1975; cf. UR 13-18.
Radio Replies Volume Two: Destiny of Man/Death
Radio Replies Volume Two: Immortality of Man's Soul & Pre-existence Denied
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Human Free Will
Radio Replies Volume Two: Determinism Absurd
Radio Replies Volume Two: Necessity of Religion
Radio Replies Volume Two: Salvation of the Soul
Radio Replies Volume Two: Voice of Science
Radio Replies Volume Two: Religious Racketeers
Radio Replies Volume Two: Divine Revelation
Radio Replies Volume Two: Gospels Historical
Radio Replies Volume Two: Missing Books of the Bible
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Bible Inspired
Radio Replies Volume Two: Biblical Account of Creation
Radio Replies Volume Two: New Testament Problems
Radio Replies Volume Two: Source of Christian Teaching
Radio Replies Volume Two: Jewish Rejecton of Christ
Radio Replies Volume Two: Christianity a New Religion
Radio Replies Volume Two: Rational Foundation for Belief
Radio Replies Volume Two: Causes of Unbelief
Radio Replies Volume Two: Divisions Amongst Christians
Radio Replies Volume Two: Schisms Unjustified
Radio Replies Volume Two: Facing the Problem
Radio Replies Volume Two: Wrong Approach
Radio Replies Volume Two: Is One Religion as Good as Another?
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Petrine Text
Radio Replies Volume Two: St. Peter's Supremacy
Radio Replies Volume Two: St. Peter in Rome
Radio Replies Volume Two: Temporal Power
Radio Replies Volume Two: Infallibility
Radio Replies Volume Two: Unity of the Church
Radio Replies Volume Two: Holiness of the Church
Radio Replies Volume Two: Catholicity of the Church
Radio Replies Volume Two: Apostolicity of the Church
Radio Replies Volume Two: Indefectibility of the Church
Radio Replies Volume Two: Obligation to be a Catholic
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Claims of Science
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Holy Trinity
Radio Replies Volume Two: Creation and Evolution
Radio Replies Volume Two: Angels
Radio Replies Volume Two: Devils
Radio Replies Volume Two: Grace and Salvation
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Sacraments [Baptism]
Radio Replies Volume Two: Confession
Radio Replies Volume Two: Holy Eucharist
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Sacrifice of the Mass
Radio Replies Volume Two: Holy Communion
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Catholic Priesthood
Radio Replies Volume Two: Marriage and Divorce
Radio Replies Volume Two: Extreme Unction
Radio Replies Volume Two: Judgment
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Inquisition
Radio Replies Volume Two: Astrology
Radio Replies Volume Two: Other Superstitions
Radio Replies Volume Two: Attendance at Mass
Radio Replies Volume Two: Sex Education
Radio Replies Volume Two: Burial Rites
Radio Replies Volume Two: Candles and Votive Lamps
Radio Replies Volume Two: Rosary
Radio Replies Volume Two: Lourdes Water
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Scapular
Radio Replies Volume Two: Communism Condemned
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Fascist State
Radio Replies Volume Two: Morality of War
Radio Replies Volume Two: May Individuals Become Soldiers?
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Church and Peace
A disappointing post. I was hoping for a much fuller discussion of Manichean beliefs, of which early non-Catholic Christians were often accused (largely without basis in primary sources). I have a reason. As a Baptist, I have long been informed of the great persecution Baptists (and others) have had to endure just to reach the present century in any measurable numbers. It is exquisite irony to me to hear Sheen speaking then of knowing the true church by where the most hatred has been directed. If that is the test, surely it is us Baptists who bear that crown, theology notwithstanding. Nobody likes us.
But of course we don’t see it that way. For us the measure of truth is whatever God says is true. He has a book out, you know. We’ve read it. It’s pretty helpful, if what you want is truth.
There is another premise in the article which is shot through with irony. Supposedly all the rejection of Catholicism is just one big misunderstanding, resulting from centuries of biased misrepresentation. If we “outsider” Christians just understood what y’all really were about, we would find our common ground and join in happy kumbaya singing.
But it is the early dissenters from Rome who have almost no representation in the court of historical evaluation. Exterminated by the tens of thousands, self-testimony of beliefs and practices nearly wiped out, described almost exclusively through the biased testimony those who labored mightily for their demise, which exterminators sincerely thought they were doing God a service.
It passes my simple little mind how any institution can claim the mantle of the One True Church with so many real skeletons in their closet. Honestly. It rings hollow to me. Just like Religion of Peace does.
However, I make no pretense to being an expert historian. For those who wish to see a fuller discussion of the relevant historical/theological issues, represented by some of the most capable advocates for either side right here on FR, please see the following link:
You mean you did were not impressed with the latest post of the obligatory promoting of the church of Rome, who has infallible declared that she is infallible?
There are many Catholic scholars who see historical research as showing a reality that is contrary to the desired version of Rome and her rhetoric of a church under a pope Peter ruling over all the church from the beginning of the church.
In the light the diversity of the early church situation it must be remembered the true church of born again believers was established upon Scriptural substantiation in word and in power, not handling the word in craftiness, or by using the sword of men, (1Cor. 4:20; 2Cor. 4:2; 6:1-10) and it has ever been a remnant after its beginnings, and will be. May we all daily choose to be fully of it in purity and power. Pray for all and I.
Klaus Schatz [Jesuit Father theologian, professor of church history at the St. Georges Philosophical and Theological School in Frankfurt] on Priesthood, Canon, and the Development of Doctrine in his work, Papal Primacy:
The further question whether there was any notion of an enduring office beyond Peters lifetime, if posed in purely historical terms, should probably be answered in the negative. That is, if we ask whether the historical Jesus, in commissioning Peter, expected him to have successors, or whether the authority of the Gospel of Matthew, writing after Peters death, was aware that Peter and his commission survived in the leaders of the Roman community who succeeded him, the answer in both cases is probably no
.. if we ask in addition whether the primitive church was aware, after Peters death, that his authority had passed to the next bishop of Rome, or in other words that the head of the community at Rome was now the successor of Peter, the Churchs rock and hence the subject of the promise in Matthew 16:18-19, the question, put in those terms, must certainly be given a negative answer. (page 1-2)
“If one had asked a Christian in the year 100, 200, or even 300 whether the bishop of Rome was the head of all Christians, or whether there was a supreme bishop over all the other bishops and having the last word in questions affecting the whole Church, he or she would certainly have said no.” (page 3, top)
We probably cannot say for certain that there was a bishop of Rome [in 95 AD]. It is likely that the Roman church was governed by a group of presbyters from whom there very quickly emerged a presider or first among equals whose name was remembered and who was subsequently described as bishop after the mid-second century. (Schatz, 4). More: http://thulcandra.wordpress.com/2007/11/30/klaus-schatz-on-priesthood-canon-and-the-development-of-doctrine/
The late Catholic priest and major Biblical scholar Raymond Brown (twice appointed to Pontifical Biblical Commission) states,, The claims of various sees to descend from particular members of the Twelve are highly dubious. It is interesting that the most serious of these is the claim of the bishops of Rome to descend from Peter, the one member of the Twelve who was almost a missionary apostle in the Pauline sense a confirmation of our contention that whatever succession there was from apostleship to episcopate, it was primarily in reference to the Puauline tyupe of apostleship, not that of the Twelve. (Priest and Bishop, Biblical Reflections, Nihil Obstat, Imprimatur, 1970, pg 72.)
Peter Lampe is a German theologian and Professor of New Testament Studies at the University of Heidelberg, whose work, From Paul to Valentinus: Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries, was written in 1987 and translated to English in 2003. The Catholic historian Eamon Duffy (Irish Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Cambridge, and former President of Magdalene College), said all modern discussion of the issues must now start from the exhaustive and persuasive analysis by Peter Lampe. (Saints and Sinners, A History of the Popes, Yale, 1997, 2001, pg. 421).
The picture that finally emerges from Lampes analysis of surviving evidence is one he names the fractionation of Roman Christianity (pp. 357408). Not until the second half of the second century, under Anicetus, do we find compelling evidence for a monarchical episcopacy, and when it emerges, it is to manage relief shipments to dispersed Christians as well as social aid for the Roman poor (pp. 4034). Before this period Roman Christians were fractionated amongst dispersed house/tenement churches, each presided over by its own presbyterbishop. This accounts for the evidence of social and theological diversity in second-century Roman Christianity, evidence of a degree of tolerance of theologically disparate groups without a single authority to regulate belief and practice, and the relatively late appearance of unambiguous representation of a single bishop over Rome. Review of this work, from Oxfords Journal of Theological Studies: http://reformation500.blogspot.com/2008/08/review-of-from-paul-to-valentinus.html)
Roger Collins (M.A., D. Litt., F.R.Hist.S., F.S.A. Scot., English medievalist at Edinburgh) in his quite thorough history of the papacy, “Keepers of the Keys of Heaven: A History of the Papacy,” states
There was no individual, committee or council of leaders within the Christian movement that could pronounce on which beliefs and practices were acceptable and which were not.
This was particularly true of Rome with its numerous small groups of believers. Different Christian teachers and organizers of house-churches offered a variety of interpretations of the faith and attracted particular followings, rather in the way that modern denominations provide choice for worshipers looking for practices that particularly appeal to them on emotional, intellectual, aesthetic or other grounds (15-16).
Today, I actually was reading A History of Christianity, by Paul Johnson, educated at the Jesuit independent school Stonyhurst College, and at Magdalen College, Oxford, author of over 40 books and a conservative popular historian, but liberal here, supposing the epistles were written in the second century, and evidencing a lack of knowledge and of discernment of Scripture, but useful for to a degree for information on historical development.
Eusebius presents the lists [of successors] as evidence that orthodoxy had a continuous tradition from the earliest times in all the great Episcopal sees and that all the heretical movements were subsequent aberrations from the mainline of Christianity.
Looking behind the lists, however, a different picture emerges. In Edessa, on the edge of the Syrian desert, the proofs of the early establishment of Christianity were forgeries, almost certainly manufactured under Bishop Kune, the first orthodox Bishop.
In Egypt, Orthodoxy was not established until the time of Bishop Demetrius, 189-231, who set up a number of other sees and manufactured a genealogical tree for his own bishopric of Alexandria, which traces the foundation through ten mythical predecessors back to Mark, and so to Peter and Jesus.
Even in Antioch, where both Peter and Paul had been active, there seems to have been confusion until the end of the second century. Antioch completely lost their list; When Eusebiuss chief source for his Episcopal lists, Julius Africanus, tried to compile one for Antioch, he found only six names to cover the same period of time as twelve in Rome and ten in Alexandria. http://reformation500.wordpress.com/2010/01/14/historical-literature-on-the-earliest-papacy/
...the Church, operating on the principle of collective commonsense, was a haven for a very wide spectrum of opinion. In the West, diversity was disappearing fast; in the East, orthodoxy was becoming the largest single tradition by the early decades of the third century. The Church was now a great and numerous force in the empire, attracting men of wealth and high education, inevitably, then, there occurred a change of emphasis from purely practical development in response to need, to the deliberate thinking out of policy.
This expressed itself in two ways: the attempt to turn Christianity into a philosophical and political system, and the development of controlling devices to prevent this intellectualization of the faith from destroying it. The twin process began to operate in the early and middle decades of the third century, with Origen epitomizing the first element and Cyprian the second. If Paul brought to the ?rst generation of Christians the useful skills of a trained theologian, Origen was the first great philosopher to rethink the new religion from first principles.
He [Origen] slept on the floor, ate no meat, drank no wine, had only one coat and no shoes. He almost certainly castrated himself,..
The effect of Origen’s work was to create a new science, biblical theology, whereby every sentence in the scriptures was systematically explored for hidden [prone to metaphorical] meanings, different layers of meanings, allegory and so forth.....
Cyprian came from a wealthy family with a tradition of public service to the empire; within two years of his conversion he was made a bishop. He had to face the practical problems of persecution, survival and defence against attack. His solution was to gather together the developing threads of ecclesiastical order and authority and weave them into a tight system of absolute control...the confession of faith, even the Bible itself lost their meaning of used outside the Church.
Without the office of bishop there could be no Church: and without the Church. no salvation. The man who determined who was or was not a member of the Church. and therefore eligible tor salvation. was the bishop. He interpreted the scriptures in the light of the Church’s needs in any given situation; the only unambiguous instruction they contained being, to remain faithful to the Church and obey its rules.
With Cyprian, then, the freedom preached by Paul and based on the power of Christian truth was removed from the ordinary members of the Church, it was retained only by the bishops, through whom the Holy Spirit still worked, who were collectively delegated to represent the totality of Church members. They were given wide powers of discretion, subject always to the traditional and attested truth of the Church and the scriptures. They were rulers, operating and interpreting a law. With Bishop Cyprian, the analogy with secular government came to seem very close. But of course it lacked one element: the ‘emperor figure’ or supreme priest...
[Peter was ]the beneficiary of the famous ‘rock and keys’ text in Matthew. There is no evidence that Rome exploited this text to assert its primacy before about 250 - and then, interestingly enough, in conflict with the aggressive episcopalian Cyprian - but what is clear is that in the second half of the second century, and no doubt in response to Marcion’s Pauline heresy - the first heresy Rome itself had experienced - Paul was eliminated from any connection with the Rome episcopate and the office was firmly attached to Peter alone...
The Church survived, and steadily penetrated all ranks of society over a huge area, by avoiding or absorbing extremes, by compromise, by developing an urbane temperament and erecting secular-type structures to preserve its unity and conduct its business. There was in consequence a loss of spirituality or, as Paul would have put it, of freedom... (A History of Christianity, by Paul Johnson, pp. 51-61,63. transcribed using OCR software)
Is there any part of the Albigensian heresy, or of Manicheism, that you feel a kinship to, as a Baptist? If so would you lay out the relevant theological points?
Different indeed:Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 9): The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium. Satis Cognitum (# 9): June 29, 1896: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_29061896_satis-cognitum_en.html
Nestorius on Mary as the Mother of God (Ecumenical)
The Day Nestorius Rocked the Church and an Empire
How Quickly Catholic Heresy Took Over the Church (Immediately)
Hilaire Bellocs The Great Heresies now available in EPUB format
Chapter 6: The Modern Phase [The Great Heresies]
Chapter 5: What Was The Reformation? [The Great Heresies]
Chapter 4: The Albigensian Attack [The Great Heresies]
Chapter 3: The Great and Enduring Heresy of Mohammed [The Great Heresies]
Chapter 2: The Arian Heresy [The Great Heresies
Chapter 1: Scheme Of This Book [The Great Heresies]
Introduction: Heresy [The Great Heresies]
The Great Heresies
John Calvins Worst Heresy: That Christ Suffered in Hell
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Succumbs to Heresy
The Bishop Discovers Heresy?
From Orthodox to Heresy: The Secularizing of Catholic Universities
Progressivism/Liberalism is Heresy [Excellent read & reference]
Is heresy better than schism? [Ecumenical]
Modernism: The Modernist Heresy
THE GREAT HERESIES-THE MODERN PHASE
The Protestant Heresy
The Gospel According to Mary Magdalene
Americanism, Then and Now: Our Pet Heresy (encyclical of Pope Leo XIII)
Heresies then and now: ancient Christian heresies practiced in modern times
The Plain Truth About The Baptist Bride Heresy
Balthasar, Hell, and Heresy: An Exchange (is it compatable with the Catholic faith?)
Know Your Heresies
The Rev. John Piper: an interesting look at "heresy vs. schism"
Pietism as an Ecclesiological Heresy
Arian Heresy Still Tempts, Says Cardinal Bertone (Mentions Pelagianism As Well)
Catholic Discussion] Church group stays faithful (to heresy!)
An overview of modern anti-Trinitarian heresies
Where heresy and dissent abound [Minnesota]
Gnostic Gospels - the heresy entitled "Gnosticism."
Christian mavericks find affirmation in ancient heresies
The So-Called Gospel of Judas: Unmasking an Ancient Heresy
Benedict XVI Heresies and Errors
Donatism (Know your heresies)
The Heresy of Mohammed (Chapter 4, The Great Heresies)
Father & Son Catholic Writers Tag-Team Old & New Heresies
LOL! That's right up there with "have you stopped beating your wife yet?" The jury has convened and a verdict rendered, now let's hear from the defendant. Or not.
Did you trouble yourself to read the second link in my earlier post? The question is not whether Baptists are dualists, gnostics, etc. Clearly not. The question, raised in the thread referenced, is whether the many, many souls destroyed by the Roman jihadists were actually guilty of the theological crimes of which they were accused. As both a Baptist and an attorney, it concerns me that virtually all the condemnatory testimony is coming from hostile witnesses. Hearsay testimony from hostile witnesses, without cross-examination. No primary testimony from the pre-convicted theological criminals that actually supports the claims. And you want me to defend that quicksand? Seriously?
How about a plea bargain then? You admit some primary testimony, something which incontrovertibly represents the actual confessional posture of those who were killed as Albigensians (or otherwise) as described in my first link, and we'll discuss whether such testimony contradicts divine revelation in any way. I am genuinely open to learning. But I am trained to the maxim "innocent until proven guilty," and I have an incredibly high standard of proof when it comes to capital theological crimes. I doubt if you can meet it, but give it your best shot.
I have started ignoring religion threads because they have become nothing but protestant bashing. Plus every time I see something interesting, they somehow venerate everyone except Jesus who never seems to be mentioned.
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
You really do have to question any alleged ministry, of any persuasion, that does not tend in that direction. Great point.
And what primary, confessional testimony supports that claim? I am not that interested in hostile testimony, not without the power of cross-examination, and not without the defendant being given the chance to speak for himself. I wish to hear them speak for themselves, as I would want if it were me defending my faith at the point of a sword.
And isn't murder in the name of Jesus a heresy too? I am having trouble finding the high moral ground here, considering Jesus' explcit rejection of the use of lethal coercion on behalf of His kingdom:
Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Oh, and one more thought. If they were so set against reproduction, wouldn't they be a self-correcting problem, simply depopulating themselves into historical oblivion? Would not the approach of Gamaliel have been more appropriate, more resigned to the infallible sovereignty of God than the fallible arm of human flesh? Something doesn't add up here.
Noticed that, did you? I did too.
No I did not read the link, and I only scanned your lengthy post. I have one question and you answered it obliquely: that Baptists are not “dualists, gnostics”. I will take it that you are not Manicheans nor Albigensians as well.
Good to know.
When the so-called reformers take responsibility for the so-called reformation and the countless souls that were lost to Christ because of your theological charlatanism, we can talk possibility of blemishes on the Holy Catholic Church in crushing heresies. At this point, I’d say we did not crush enough.
But I didn't say that. I said Baptists are not gnostics, dualists, or any number of other things typically associated with "Albigensianism." But how can we know whether Baptists are like Albigensians until we know, with certainty, what it meant to be an Albigensian?
Where, for example, may I find a confessional statement, crafted by a practicing Albigensian of the relevant period, that incontrovertibly proves them to be gnostic, dualist, or any other heresy tag you may wish to apply? I'm not saying there are no such evidences, only that I am fascinated at the lack of them in these discussions.
As for taking responsibility for the spiritual consequences of the Reformation, you are again front-loading your assertion with the presumption that departure from Rome was a bad thing, and that is yet another fact not in evidence.
At this point, Id say we did not crush enough.
Now how am I to understand this statement? The mode of "crushing," say, the Albigensian "aberration" would be acceptable to you? I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, only trying to understand the words you actually used. If by "crushing," you mean to imply the powers of ordinary persuasive communication, that would be understandable.
But if by crushing you mean to say that the original murderers of the Albigensians were some how lax in their murdering and didn't wipe out enough heretics, whether man, woman, or child, to suit your tastes, that would have quite a different meaning.
After all, I am to you just another irritating heretic, right? As would be my wife, my children, my young grandchild. If you held the sword of the Holy Roman Empire in your hand, and could exercise it with impunity, would you run us through with it, or would you merely try to persuade us of the error of our ways?
I don't know about a historical proof, but here is an article entitled "Cathar Beliefs" from a site dedicated to Catharism and called www.cathar.info. Albigensianism is, they claim, and Wikipedia agrees, another term for them. I excerpt relevant parts below.
On the surface, their basic beliefs seem unremarkable. Most people would have difficulty in distinguishing the principle Cathar beliefs from what are now regarded as conventional orthodox Christian beliefs.
That is most startling, had it been true, since the article goes on to explain that they are dualists, gnostics, and universalists, and also believe in reincarnation, -- three major, fundamental heresies and one silly superstition.
Like the earliest Christians, the Cathars recognised no priesthood. They did however distinguish between ordinary believers (Credentes) and a smaller, inner circle of leaders initiated in secret knowledge, known at the time as boni homines, Bonneshommes or "Goodmen" , now generally referred to as the Elect or as Parfaits . Cathars had a Church hierarchy and a number of rites and ceremonies. They believed in reincarnation, and in heaven, but not in hell as it is now normally conceived by mainstream Christians.
Priesthood, "presbytery", occurs several times in the New Testament, at times in context that indicates sacramental priesthood and not priesthood in the church domestic, nor high priesthood of Christ explained in Hebrew (1 Timothy 4:14, 5:17,19, Titus 1:5, James 5:14). So it is already quite idiotic to "recognize not priesthood"; but perhaps they could not read or did not hold the Holy Scripture all that authoritative. The rest is already arch-heretical: Catholics for sure but also, hopefully, mainstream Protestants abhor the idea of secret teaching.
The article then says that about the Cathars the Church "imagined a range abominable practices which would have been amusing except that, converted into propaganda, they led to the death of countless thousands through the Cathar Crusades and the Inquisition." Then it proceeds to say that "modern historians have shown that many Catholic claims were false, while they have vindicated many Cathar claims", and then it lays out the following:
Cathars were dualists. That is, they believed in two universal principles, a good God and a bad God, much like the Javeh and Satan of mainstream Christianity. As dualists, they belonged to a tradition that was already ancient in the days of Jesus. (The revered Magi in the nativity story were Zoroastrians - Persian Dualists). Dualism came, and still comes, in many flavours. Even the Cathar variety came in more than one flavour, but the principal one was this: The Good God was the god of all immaterial things (such as light and souls). The bad God was the god of all material things, including the world and everything in it. He had contrived to capture souls and imprison them in human bodies through the process of conception. As Cathars put it, we are all divine sparks, even angels, imprisoned in a tunic of flesh.
Cathars were also Gnostics. Gnostics believed, and still believe, that divine knowledge is granted only to an inner elite, like the "esoteric" knowledge of the Pythagoreans. The inner elite undertook a long period of training before becoming a member of the elite, and thereafter leading severely ascetic lives. Their lives of meditation, fasting, hardship, poverty and good works matched exacly the highest ideals of Catholic and Orthodox hermits, monks and friars.
They also believed in metempsychosis or the transmigration of souls, as had the Pythagoreans. In other words, both Pythagoreans and Cathars believed not only in reincarnation but in the rebirth of the soul in animals as well as humans - and both refrained from eating meat for exactly this reason.
Cathars were also universalists, which means that they believed in the ultimate salvation of all human beings.
So, it is quite possible that the Church had exaggerated or outright false regarding their doctrines and practices. It is also quite possible that many if not most of the practicing Cathars could not understand the doctrines that their Parfaits were preaching; further, that the Inquisition that was set up did not properly establish heresy by intent among those it convicted. However, so far as the beliefs that the learned authors of cathar.info state were properly Cathars' doctrines: dualism, reincarnation of souls, secret knowledge, -- what kinship do you as a Reformed Christian have with those?
Or if, despite the generally accepted identification of the Cathars as dualists and gnostics (I checked around some ordinary reference materials as well), you claim that these, too, are slander, -- on what basis do you do that? Pending your answer, I'd rather trust the people of cathar.info who are sympathetic to the Cathars as they describe them, and separate "abominable practices" from aspects "vindicated by modern historians".
Annalex: we did not crush enough.
Springfield Reformer: how am I to understand this statement?
Understand it as written. The Church throughout her glorious history had to confront and destroy a number of heresies that have lead those falling into them away from the light of Christ. In that process she wisely set up the Holy Inquisition where she strove to distinguish the innocently confused from the heretics by their free will. It is possible that in some cases, like with any system of justice, the Church failed, but as a whole, I do not see what better service to God could we have provided at the time.
Further, the Church also inspired certain wars, most notable the Holy Crusades, where just cause to take up arms was established. I am proud of that history as well.
I have a regret: I think that the Counter-Reformation that started with Trent did not quite finish the job. Perhaps it was divine providence in how the Protestant heresies were permitted to linger on and devour souls to this day; perhaps it was meant to calmly find its way to the ash-heap of history by itself. But I am a fighting Christian; I wish my beloved Church could do more, for Christ.
You will go to Heaven if Christ judges you to go to Heaven; you are a child of God regardless of where you end up. It is this inability to grasp the basic Christianity, and then angrily arguing against others, that is so repulsive in Protestantism. Read the Holy Bible once in a while, please.
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