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Dear Christians: Do Stop Believiní
National Review ^ | 03/15/2013 | David French

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.



TOPICS: Current Events; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: christianity; culture; davidfrench; french; morality
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1 posted on 03/15/2013 10:51:35 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


2 posted on 03/15/2013 10:55:46 AM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: SeekAndFind
Honestly, this is to be expected.

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.

3 posted on 03/15/2013 10:57:28 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


4 posted on 03/15/2013 10:57:30 AM PDT by mbarker12474 (If thine enemy offend thee, give his childe a drum.)
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To: SeekAndFind

What the author describes is the “progressives” i.e. Communists attempt to take over another institution in their quest to Utopia.


5 posted on 03/15/2013 10:59:48 AM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: Dutchboy88

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.


6 posted on 03/15/2013 10:59:58 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


7 posted on 03/15/2013 11:02:16 AM PDT by Maelstorm (This country wasn't founded with the battle cry "Give me liberty or give me a govt check!")
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To: Maelstorm

RE: I puzzled for sometime as to why someone who clearly doesn’t 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?


8 posted on 03/15/2013 11:05:09 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: redgolum

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.


9 posted on 03/15/2013 11:08:30 AM PDT by rwilson99 (Please tell me how the words "shall not perish and have everlasting life" would NOT apply to Mary.)
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To: SeekAndFind

“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”.


10 posted on 03/15/2013 11:13:07 AM PDT by detective
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To: rwilson99
So you reject Genesis as a metaphor, and are surprised when someone rejects John? By throwing out the former, you dump a good portion of what traditional Catholic theology says is the prophecy for Jesus’s birth, and our salvation.

I am a LCMS Lutheran. I believe in both.

11 posted on 03/15/2013 11:14:05 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: detective

So, are these “Catholics” for choice still allowed to receive communion?


12 posted on 03/15/2013 11:14:56 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
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 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.

13 posted on 03/15/2013 11:20:32 AM PDT by PeevedPatriot
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To: mbarker12474
men like Kissling

I assume that men like Kissling named "Frances" had undergone a successful sex change operation.

14 posted on 03/15/2013 11:20:34 AM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


15 posted on 03/15/2013 11:21:58 AM PDT by marron
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To: rwilson99

“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.


16 posted on 03/15/2013 11:27:38 AM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: redgolum

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?


17 posted on 03/15/2013 11:36:29 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: rwilson99

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:
http://www.amazon.com/James-Study-Bible-Thomas-Nelson/dp/0785209301/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363372556&sr=1-1&keywords=holy+bible+king+james+version and:

http://www.amazon.com/Strongs-Expanded-Exhaustive-Concordance-Bible/dp/1418541680/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363372588&sr=1-1&keywords=strongs+concordance


18 posted on 03/15/2013 11:39:39 AM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: rwilson99

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.


19 posted on 03/15/2013 11:43:18 AM PDT by what's up
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

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:


20 posted on 03/15/2013 11:44:51 AM PDT by raygunfan
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