Skip to comments.Dear Christians: Do Stop Believiní
Posted on 03/15/2013 10:51:35 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
I may be a Reformed Protestant, but I still care a great deal about the new pope. He is, after all, only the world’s most prominent advocate for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and Christians everywhere should be grateful that the new pope is by all credible accounts a humble, devout man with a heart for the “least of these.” In fact, for millions of our more secular citizens, the Catholic Church is essentially a stand-in for all (orthodox) Christendom, and critiques of Catholics are often critiques of all Christianity.
I was reminded of this fact when I read Frances Kissling’s recent piece in The Nation – highlighted again today in response to the selection of the new pope. Kissling, some may recall, is the past president of a group called “Catholics for Choice.” Kissling contends that the new pope (no matter who he is) will change nothing, and nothing will ever change until, well, Catholics stop being Christian. Feast your eyes on this critique:
As long as Catholics are expected to accept rigid, sexist and blatantly illogical doctrine, there can be no real change in the church. From the Vatican down to the local parish priest, the early narratives—stories, really—that sought to explain who we are, why we are here, and the meaning of life are still taught, despite the fact that they are even less credible explanations of who we are than they ever were.
And which narratives does Kissling dislike?
The insistence that Jesus Christ was born of virgin is among the most destructive. It suggests that women—married or single—are forever tainted by sexual activity. It reflects the early Christian distaste for all sexuality. It clings to the notion that there would have been something unseemly about God coming into the world through a birth canal through which semen had passed. Holding to the virgin birth is not a benign teaching. It undermines the idea that pleasure is sacred, that sexual intercourse is normal and healthy. It certainly does nothing to undermine the idiots who think that the woman’s body will reject the sperm of a rapist.
Silly me. I thought one of the main points of the virgin birth was that Jesus was God’s son, not Joseph’s. But Kissling is just getting warmed up:
The virgin birth is only the start of it. Heaven and hell, the turning of bread and wine into the body of Christ (a core teaching that polls tell us most Catholics reject), the bodily assumption of Mary into heaven (how could her body have gone to heaven when we are now clear it is not a real physical place?), the infallibility of the pope telling these untruths and insisting that Catholics must believe them to be Catholic—this all leads directly to corrupt popes and priests who lack compassion. Lying or just fudging it demoralizes those who teach in the name of the church.
Now that is a comprehensive critique. To be clear, as a Presbyterian, I don’t believe that communion bread and wine turn into the literal body and blood of Christ, but I didn’t arrive at that belief through poll-testing (what a curious method for discerning theological truth). I am, however, very eager to hear how “we are now clear” that heaven is not a real physical place.
While not all progressive Christians scorn actual faith so openly, the column is a prime example as to why it’s so very difficult to take progressive spiritualists seriously. It’s as if the label “Catholic” or “Christian” or “Evangelical” is adopted by the progressive not as a statement of actual belief but instead as an identity marker granting standing to mock and destroy.
I know a few self-described progressive Christians who believe every word of the Bible was inspired by God, but far more common are the progressives who believe that the church would be a great force for good — if only it shed its actual religious faith. Funny how they rarely make similar arguments to Muslims.
The “pope” is not an advocate for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He advocates a self-made religion full of tradition and rituals. If the writer is “reformed”, he ought to know the distance between those who advocate the Gospel from the Scriptures and that promulgated by Rome. This “pope” is just as errant as all of the rest of them have been and implicitly teaching just as much error.
When you turn the Creation in Genesis into a “Myth” or story that is only for allegory, there is no reason that the birth narrative of Jesus to be regarded as truth.
I am not agreeing with the guy, but he is using a consistent argument. You can't say one part of the Bible is pure myth and expect to remain true to the events described in the Gospel. The Early Church knew this.
Speaking of stories, the Old Testament is filled with stories of men like Kissling, men who rejected God and advocated going their own way.
If you haven’t read the Bible, now would be a good time to do so.
What the author describes is the “progressives” i.e. Communists attempt to take over another institution in their quest to Utopia.
OK, there are doctrinal disagreements between Roman Catholics and those who support the tenets of the Reformation.
However, aren’t there causes where both Reformed protestants and Catholics can band together?
For instance, fighting the secular world on issues like — abortion, the sanctity of marriage, homosxuality, morality, etc.
I puzzled for sometime as to why someone who clearly doesn’t believe in Christian tennants would even desire to be called a Christian. The idea of a “progressive” Christian is much like a Jewish Nazi. While some are simply embracing a type cognitive dissonance I came to believe as this article indicates that its not that they want to destory the church as a thing of influence, they just want to destroy its substance and like an invasion of the body snatchers replace its insides.
RE: I puzzled for sometime as to why someone who clearly doesnt believe in Christian tennants would even desire to be called a Christian.
I really like to ask people like Pelosi, Kerry and Biden in what sense they call themselves catholic while STRONGLY supporting abortion and gay marriage.
Is it because they were baptized and confirmed as children?
Genesis and John are separate books in the library of the Holy Bible.
I find it fascinating that Protestants see Genesis as indelible fact... While Jesus’ words in John, specifically chapter 6 are a metaphor.
“past president of a group called Catholics for Choice.”
This is a dishonestly named group. None of them are Catholics. None of them follow the teachings of Jesus Christ or the Catholic Church.
Their goal is to destroy the Catholic Church and all Christians.
They are not for choice. They are for a totalitarian government that imposes its will on others.
They are in favor of the murder of innocent unborn children.
Nothing they say should be taken seriously. They are evil. They are liars. They work for the “Father of Lies”.
I am a LCMS Lutheran. I believe in both.
So, are these “Catholics” for choice still allowed to receive communion?
I don't agree with this statement. Even atheists I know understand that Catholics hold different beliefs than Protestants. They may not accurately verbalize those differences but they understand that Christianity itself is deeply divided.
I assume that men like Kissling named "Frances" had undergone a successful sex change operation.
Kissling, rather self-evidently not a Christian, proposes that catholics abandon Christianity and become Kisslingians.
Its hard to take someone like this seriously. He is running from God. That has consequences.
“Genesis and John are separate books in the library of the Holy Bible.
I find it fascinating that Protestants see Genesis as indelible fact... While Jesus words in John, specifically chapter 6 are a metaphor.”
Well, actually, I believe everything Jesus said in chapter 6
Joh 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
Joh 6:61-63 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? (62) What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? (63) It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
The problem is in you, who thinks that eating a wafer will give eternal life, even though “it is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing:”. It is the spiritual regeneration of the soul, wrought by the Holy Spirit, which changes a man. And it is he who believes on Jesus Christ and embraces His doctrine who eats Him and Drinks Him to life eternal.
It takes a certain amount of discernment to, well, discern allegory from history.
I admit it is much easier to simply read the entire Bible as history, but was it written to be such?
There are NO “separate books” in the Holy Bible. ALL 66 are part of an intergrated message system sent from outside time and space. For You I suggest:
There is history in the BIble and then there is poetic language, allegory,etc. The key is to figure out context...the you can figure out which is which.
you are taking that out of context, It is OUR flesh that profits us nothing.
It is NOT the flesh of Jesus that profits nothing, especially since Jesus also tells us in verses 49 to 58:
49 Your fathers ate manna in the desert and they are dead;
50 but this is the bread which comes down from heaven, so that a person may eat it and not die.
51 I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.
52 Then the Jews started arguing among themselves, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
53 Jesus replied to them: In all truth I tell you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
54 Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise that person up on the last day.
55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.
56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in that person.
57 As the living Father sent me and I draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will also draw life from me.
58 This is the bread which has come down from heaven; it is not like the bread our ancestors ate: they are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.
The flesh and blood of Jesus is eternal life, and the profit of THAT is incalculably important, and he knew it.
Jesus also allowed his disciples to walk away, to LEAVE THEIR SALVATION without argument from Him:
If you attack both religions equally, Christians are more likely to pray for you whereas Muslims are more likely to prey on you.
Christianity is a much safer target. - Tom
However, arent there causes where both Reformed protestants and Catholics can band together?
For instance, fighting the secular world on issues like abortion, the sanctity of marriage, homosxuality, morality, etc."
Your logic leads one to ask, "Then why would Paul not band together with the Pharisees? After all, they too respected Yahweh, saw Rome as evil, hated homosexuality, promoted marriage between one man and one woman, etc." The tragic fact is, when a group misses the Gospel, they miss the most important life/death matter in reality. And, Rome (and Francis) has missed by a country mile. Yet, the ecumenistic trend wants to sweep this away.
“you are taking that out of context, It is OUR flesh that profits us nothing.”
It says “the” flesh, not OUR flesh. The immediate reference is to those who were offended at the concept of literally eating and drinking His blood.
“It is NOT the flesh of Jesus that profits nothing, especially since Jesus also tells us in verses 49 to 58:”
The flesh He is offering goes to the cross, takes on the sin of the world, dies and rises again. But, in response to people getting offended at the literal idea of eating and drinking blood, Christ says His words are spiritual, and the flesh profiteth nothing. IOW, eating and drinking Christ’s physical body would have no effect, as the real effect required is a spiritual effect, that occurs in the heart for all those who believe.
It is NOT like the manna that came down in the wilderness, that men did literally eat.
Joh 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
It is a spiritual bread, attained through Faith:
Joh 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
thats right, those who left realized he was talking about his literal flesh, and Christ did not correct them.....as they knew and HE knew what he was talking about.
“thats right, those who left realized he was talking about his literal flesh, and Christ did not correct them.....as they knew and HE knew what he was talking about.”
Actually, they walked away for the exact opposite reason. They were carnally minded, and could not understand Him. Because, as Christ said, only those given to Christ could understand, for God gives them hearing and heals their blind eyes.
Joh 6:43-44 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. (44) No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Salvation is essentially a work of God, from beginning to end. No man comes to the Father, except God draws Him first.
Joh 6:64-65 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. (65) And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
no, Christ always explained himself, if they truly misunderstood he was only using an analogy, he would not have let them walk away.
“no, Christ always explained himself, if they truly misunderstood he was only using an analogy, he would not have let them walk away.”
He let them walk away because He already knew who would believe on Him and who would betray.
Joh 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
It says it very specifically in the scripture I cited, when the Jews murmured against Christ’s words, Jesus immediately explains that only those given to Him by the Father can come to Him. Indeed, no one not of God can even see God.
Joh 6:46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.
The Pharisees of that time, and any unbeliever actually, are blind and cannot see. It is the Spirit which must quicken a man, so that He may see with spiritual eyes and confess Christ.
1Co_12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
Christ’s discourse is spiritual, and so must be understood spiritually.
that simply isnt true, you are reading into this what you want. the text doesnt suggest anything of the sort.
in fact, the only apostle who fell away was judas, just at this point where Christ says his flesh is REAL food, the phrasing used doesnt even come close to any analogy, or symbolism....
folks dont walk away from a symbol....
other occasions when there was confusion, Christ explained just what he meant (cf. Matt. 16:512). Here, where any misunderstanding would be fatal, there was no effort by Jesus to correct. Instead, he repeated himself for greater emphasis.
Twelve times he said he was the bread that came down from heaven; four times he said they would have “to eat my flesh and drink my blood.” John 6 was an extended promise of what would be instituted at the Last Supperand it was a promise that could not be more explicit.
You dont repeat a symbol 12 times, if you mean something is real, you dont toss out an analogy and say four times EAT MY FLESH AND DRINK MY BLOOD, if its not REAL.
last word to you sir.
But the danger is that when you say (as some on this board have said) that all or most of the Old Testament is metaphor, you run the risk of having the same metric applied to the New.
A good example is the case of Onan being used as a proof text against contraception. Was that allegory?
Look at what happened to the ELCA. They started down the path of historical criticism and allegory, and ended up with sodomy and apostasy.
“that simply isnt true, you are reading into this what you want. the text doesnt suggest anything of the sort.”
I pretty much just repeated what it said.
“folks dont walk away from a symbol....
other occasions when there was confusion, Christ explained just what he meant (cf. Matt. 16:512). Here, where any misunderstanding would be fatal, there was no effort by Jesus to correct. Instead, he repeated himself for greater emphasis.”
Jesus explained it to His apostles. He simply did not explain it to EVERYONE, since it was not given for EVERYONE to understand and be saved.
Joh 12:38-40 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? (39) Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, (40) He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
Jesus does not say that they should start munching down on Jesus right then and there. He said, my words are “spirit,” and it is the spirit that quickeneth.
This "pope" is not "an advocate of the Gospel, or the person of Christ whatsoever. According to official Vatican sources:
His very first act as "pope" was to go to slip out of the Vatican, drive across Rome to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the largest basilica in the world DEDICATED TO Mary, the so-called "Mother of God". He then proceeded to pray in front of an ancient ICON, called the Salus Populi Romani, or the Protectress of the Roman People (preposterously held by Roman Catholic tradition to have been painted by St. Luke himself). He also brought flowers and laid them beneath the idolic ICON IN HONOR OF MARY!
So, the very first act of this new "pontificate" was to pray before the idol of the Virgin Mary which he chose to do of his own free will! So much for being an "advocate for the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
As an evangelical professor of Biblical and Theological Studies I concur with the genuine spiritual assessment of the situation proclaimed by the spiritually discerning individual below:
"The pope is not an advocate for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He advocates a self-made religion full of tradition and rituals. If the writer is reformed, he ought to know the distance between those who advocate the Gospel from the Scriptures and that promulgated by Rome. This pope is just as errant as all of the rest of them have been and implicitly teaching just as much error."
Here is precisely where the error begins with Rome. The screaming message of rescue from the Apostles that men now have direct access to God through the ONE MEDIATOR the Man-Messiah (God incarnate) Jesus has escaped the notice of Rome. They will not attend to the Book they claim to have given the world. Instead, they crave a Vicar of Christ, the substitute for Jesus, on earth.
Rome needs sacerdotalism to provide absolution, to transubstantiate regular bread and wine into "the real body & blood", to grant indulgences, to pronounce the other six required sacraments, to inflict purgatory, to promote mariolatry, and a hundred other unbiblical/ungodly doctrines. They need to control their sheeple.
But you, my FRiend, have hit the thumb on the nail. We don't need all of this baggage. And, its promotion is not just innocuous blather (it certainly is blather), but it is a blasphemous degradation of the pure, holy sacrifice provided once for all to those called out.
So, the very first act of this new "pontificate" was to pray before the idol of the Virgin Mary which he chose to do of his own free will! So much for being an "advocate for the Gospel of Jesus Christ!Please learn about Mary (before spouting off): http://www.catholicscomehome.org/mary-the-saints/
RE: This “pope” is not “an advocate of the Gospel, or the person of Christ whatsoever.
OK, let’s agree on this for the meantime.
My question was not about doctrine however, my question is about the fight to maintain our liberty to worship without government interference.
Is it not possible to disagree doctrinaly YET UNITED on MORAL ISSUES we agree with?
For instance, when Obama forces religious institutions ( which will include non-Catholic Christian institutions ) to pay for abortificents, when the municipalities force Christians to pay for gay “spouses” and force boys scouts to accept gay scout leaders, CAN’T WE AS NON-CATHOLICS WORK TOGETHER WITH CATHOLICS TO FIGHT AGAINST THIS INFRINGEMENT ON OUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS?
It's not Jesus' flesh that gives life, but the Holy Spirit. The blood is for the atonement.
His flesh and blood do not have magical powers.
As far as *the Spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing* that is another misinterpretation by the Catholics. He isn't talking about the Holy spirit in the first part of the sentence and OUR flesh in the second.
Christ forced Himself on no one.
Then Jesus was made out of bread dough, not muscle and bone.
After all, we must take the words of Jesus literally, mustn't we?
Genesis is an allegory... A remarkably accurate allegory considering the state of science 5000 years ago... But never presented to generations of Jews as historical fact.
The gospels are different... They are eye witness accounts of the Son of God. No eye witnesses for Genesis.
And you keep sawing on the branch you are standing on.
I love FReepers and there’s only one thing I dislike about it & that’s the Catholic-haters; I’ve been called non-Christian Romish Mary-worshipper so many times over the years by Bible thumpers that it’s truly pathetic.
Don’t like Catholic ritual? Then go to a brush arbor and handle serpents by torchlight.
Long live Pope Francis I!
The pope is not an advocate for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He advocates a self-made religion full of tradition and rituals. If the writer is reformed, he ought to know the distance between those who advocate the Gospel from the Scriptures and that promulgated by Rome. This pope is just as errant as all of the rest of them have been and implicitly teaching just as much error.
Very naughty and very funny!
A false statement not based on fact at all! I am a former Catholic who became a Bible-based born again Christian by the will of God and not man. There is a profound difference between religion and true spirituality. The Word of God is “inspired”, meaning ‘God breathed’ or ‘exhaled’: Genesis 2:7; Psalm 33:6; Hebrews 4:12;2Tim.3:16; 2Peter 1:20-21. A true seeker of Truth would start in Genesis and read through Revelations to find Jesus, The Word of God, John 1:1 to become transformed. ats
And yet you believe much of Genesis is a metaphor but pick a couple of verses out of the book of John and will bet your life that those couple of verses are literal...So why are you fascinated???