Jesus Christ Is Lord

That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Posts Tagged ‘Roman Catholic’

Luke 14:23’s Compel Them To Come In Refers To Irresistible Grace

Posted by Job on March 27, 2011

Luke 14:16-24 reads

And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden , Come ; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse . The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused . And another said , I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said , I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come .So that servant came , and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said , Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded , and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in , that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

As useful as was Augustine in combating the heresy of Pelagius, we must never forget that this fellow in many other respects oft labored to promote the political interests of the Roman Empire and its state religion, including but not limited to laying the groundwork for such endtimes views as preterism, amillennialism and postmillennialism because the Roman Empire wanted Christians to see it as the fulfilment of the kingdom of God, which make Christians far less likely to oppose it. The error of Augustine’s allowing the pulpit to be used to advance a state agenda was exposed when Catholicism later cast aside Augustine’s work against Pelagius and instead adopted what is clearly semi-Pelagianism when it suited its political interests. Contemporary pastors who wish to mix the doctrines of the holy God with the ambitions of the fallen state should take note.

But far more harmful than Augustine’s endtimes doctrines in service to the Roman state was his misappropriation of Luke 14:23. His wicked, evil use of this scripture was employed to justify a state doctrine that over the centuries caused the deaths of untold people by the sword, and kept scores of others in religious darkness with the threat of force. Though there were others before him and after him, it was Augustine who most effectively made the case that it was God’s will for the state to use the threat – and reality – of force to make membership in the state church compulsory. This made the ambitions of the state and the church shared, and allowed one to not only tolerate but promote any amount of corruption and wickedness from the other so long as it advanced the interests of both.

Augustine’s malevolent butchering of Luke 14:23 occurred during the time of the Donatist rebellion. Now history records the Donatists as heretics, a vicious smear which shows just how truthful the proverb “the winners get to write the history book” is. Any idea that the Donatists were heretics motivated primarily by political, nationalistic and ethnic/racial considerations to break from the Roman church in order to pursue strange doctrines was convincingly shattered by Leonard Verduin’s “The Refomers And Their Stepchildren”, and that so many church historians have disseminated Catholic propaganda regarding this sad incident is something that will have to be answered for by them.

The truth is that the Donatists should be considered to be as among the earliest Protestants. While it is true that some of their motivations were not entirely religious, it was clearly superior to what motivated the Anglicans (Episcopalians) to separate from Rome. Also, it is ridiculous to call them heretical based on doctrine because on most points the Donatists beliefs were similar to the Roman church from which they attempted to break, and where there were divergences, the Donatist position must be preferred. So, the only reason why history denounces the Donatists is because the Catholics call them so, and as the Donatist attempt to separate failed where other separatist efforts (the Eastern Catholic churches and the Protestant Reformation) succeeded, the unjust Catholic judgment against them stands.

So, during the time of the Donatist protest, even though the entity known as “the Catholic Church” was not yet fully formed in doctrine and organization, the Roman Empire had already started appointing “priests” for political and other reasons. Cronyism, nepotism, political payoffs and other forms corruption were oft used for the basis for selecting church officers, and this resulted in vain fellows with unsavory backgrounds and behaviour and questionable training – unqualified and unsuitable on many counts – being appointed as priests by the politico-ecclesiastical hegemony all over the empire, and the region of the Donatists (north Africa) was no different. When the practice of elevating unqualified individuals to the priesthood was challenged, the Catholic Church responded that the measure of qualifications of a priest is being ordained and appointed by the church, and not the spiritual or moral state of the church itself. When the sacraments (i.e. baptisms and the rite of communion) offered by priests who were deemed by those in a position to know (the parishioners that they were presiding over) to be unbelieving were challenged, the hierarchy took the position that the legitimacy of the sacraments were not a function of the priest who gave them, but rather of the church that ordained the priest. (This remains the position of the Roman Catholic Church to this day, and is used to retain any number of priests who exhibit severely aberrant doctrines and behaviour.)

The Donatists, then, took the “radical” position that church offices should be held only by those qualified to do so, and that ensuring this required that the officers be chosen by the local churches themselves. The Donatists stated that the baptisms performed by illegitimate priests were illegitimate, and had to be performed again. (Donatists were the original Anabaptists.) Further, Donatists held that the church must be “a church of saints, not sinners.” Now of course, this is not necessarily an unqualified defense of Donatists and Donatism. For example, they were still very much “Catholic” in doctrine and practice, believing in such abominations as a human priesthood, rites of penance, and the Eucharist.

The Roman church responded predictably to the Donatist protest: with brutal military action. They did not succeed in totally eradicating the movement. (That was accomplished by the Muslims in the 7th and 8th century.) But they did persecute the Donatists mightily, and as a result kept their ideas, influence and numbers within the empire to a minimum. So, while they did not succeed in wiping out the Donatists, they did accomplish their primary goal of preventing the widespread challenge of the authority of the Roman church, and please recall that challenging the authority of said church was the same as challenging the authority of the Roman empire.

However, some men of conscience did protest violent action being inflicted on other people who professed to be Christians, and also demanded to know what in the Bible justified compulsory church membership enforced by the state, especially since those who dissented did have strong Bible-based arguments on their side. Make no mistake: the Roman empire was being challenged on one front by the Donatist defection and another by their reaction to the former, and both fronts exposed the Roman church for the spiritual fraud that it was.

Into this crisis stepped Augustine. Now as a north African and one who so convincingly expounded such positions as justification by faith, one could have well expected Augustine to side with the Donatists. Instead, Augustine sided with those who paid his salary and elevated him to a position of prestige and power. In addition to siding with the imperial position concerning their right to appoint unregenerate officers and the legitimacy of sacraments administered by such officers, Augustine searched the scriptures to find something that would justify using murderous force to eliminate dissenting movements and thereby make church membership universal (save whom the church excommunicates!) with the sword. (Please note: this remains the goal of the Roman Catholic Church to this day … a global institution where everyone is a member … or else. In this way, the rule of Christ over the earth is accomplished through the church, and then Jesus Christ will return for the church.) And Augustine found Luke 14:23’s “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in , that my house may be filled.” Of course, this grotesque misinterpretation and misapplication of a Biblical text was more than good enough for the Roman empire, because it suited the purposes that they already had anyway. It is similar to the true but sad tale of the woman who used Ephesians 4:22-24’s “take off the old man and put on the new man” to justify her desire to un-Biblically divorce her current husband and marry a new one without being considered an adulteress. In her rebellious heart, she had already determined that what she was doing was not only permissble, but the will of God, and merely needed a Bible text to misconstrue to justify it, and would not be deterred, even when her pastor informed her of that text’s correct meaning and application (and of the Biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage).

Augustine’s actual interpretation (eisegesis!) of Luke 14:23 is of little consequence, for it was used to arrived at an illegitimate meaning for an illegitimate intent in service to an illegitimate institution. Unless one agrees with – or is willing to in some context defend – the state using the threat of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction to compel membership in a “church” who regularly ordains and retains atheists, homosexuals, occultists and child molesters as its officers, then that could be taken for granted, and therefore there is no need to violate Proverbs 26:4 with regards to it. Instead, let us simply declare Augustine’s efforts to be thoroughly wrong and evil – with its use throughout history to justify many evils (including the magisterial church-state Reformers’ murderous actions against Anabaptists – whom the Reformers ironically politicized as Donatists! – Michael Servetus and others) as evidence of its great error – and move on to a proper interpretation.

In this parable, the “lord” is God the Father and the “servant” is “God the Holy Spirit.” It came to pass God the Father accomplished salvation (through the sending of His Son for atonement), and established the kingdom of heaven. (One does not have to reach far to arrive at this interpretation, because immediately prior to starting the parable, Jesus Christ stated “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God“.) The establishment of the kingdom of heaven is the meaning of the reference to “for all things are now ready.” Now the Bible declares that salvation is for God’s called (or elect) but first the Jew and then the Gentile. (We should also realize that Matthew 20:16 and 22:14 state that “many are called but few are chosen.” While all election of God is unconditional, not all election of God is unto salvation, but rather only the election as “chosen.”) So, the initial call goes out to the original olive tree, the natural seed of Abraham; the Jews of Israel. Due to their faithless condition (as faith comes from God) because of their not at this time being chosen for salvation (the salvation of the Jews will not occur until after the fulness of the Gentiles comes in), the original branch (save a few) demurs and defers.

So, the mission then goes to the Gentiles, who having not known the special revelation of Yahweh because of their not being in the Jewish nation and therefore not having received or lived under the Sinai covenant or benefited from instruction of the law, the writings and the prophets, are spiritually “poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.” These may have been the ones who for some reason were aware of their sinful condition and the benefits of the kingdom of heaven (i.e. they are Gentiles who have already attached themselves to Judaism to some degree – such as the God-fearers, the Ethiopian eunuch and the centurion Cornelius – but did not fully convert to Judaism, but were yet “within the city” based on their faith and partial observance) and immediately with gladness believed the gospel of Jesus Christ when they heard it. If one recalls the account of church growth in the early portions of Acts, there was indeed a pattern of angry Jewish rejection on the part of all but a few, but enthusiastic acceptance and rapid growth among the Gentiles that had already been praying to YHWH, fasting, giving alms, attending the synagogues and worshipping in the outer court of the temple.

But after adding the relatively few Jews who had been with Jesus Christ and witnessed His resurrection, the Jews who believed after Pentecost and thereafter, and the Judaism-observant Gentiles who received the gospel with very little effort because of possessing pre-existing faith (some theologians refer to those such as these who lived between the advent and passion of Jesus Christ and the destruction of the temple as “transitional period faithful” akin to Old Testament saints), there was still “room at the table.” That was when this famous case took place. The lord, again in this parable God the Father, told his servant, representing God the Holy Spirit, to go out of the city into the highways and hedges (meaning away from the confines of believing Jews and Gentiles who merely needed to transform their faith from an Old Testament one where Jesus Christ was concealed to a New Testament one where Jesus Christ was revealed) and into the realm of the faithless.

Now the faithless, due to their original sin condition (doctrine of total depravity) these folks were not going to come “to the supper”, or into the kingdom of heaven or participate in the marriage supper of the Lamb with His bride, willingly. Instead, these unwilling people first have to be given faith and converted. Who gives faith? The Holy Spirit, or the servant in this story. Make no mistake: faith does not come from or is not produced by man, but is a gift of the Holy Spirit, see 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. After the Holy Spirit gives the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is the One who regenerates the sinner, see Titus 3:4-7. Make no mistake: this does not happen because the sinner wants it to. The sinner because of his total depravity is thoroughly unwilling, and thus comes into the kingdom not by way of a free will decision, but by God’s compulsion. God’s sheep, declared so before the foundation of the world, hear the voice of Jesus Christ and come when He calls, but Luke 14:23 reveals that a great many come because the Holy Spirit is the Staff that the Great Shepherd uses to pull them in with Its crook on their necks! This is the doctrine of irresistible grace, and gives support to the theory that the rider of the white horse of Revelation is not the anti-Christ, but instead is the Holy Spirit, and the conquering that the rider on the white horse goes about doing is not the nations, but of those called and chosen by God the Father from out among the nations to be the bride for God the Son.

So, in this parable you see 3 of the “5 points of Calvinism” (total depravity, unconditional election, irresistible grace) explicitly or nearly explicitly at work. Also, perseverance of the saints is implied, as those brought in by the Holy Spirit remain to fill the house and eat of the marriage supper of the Lamb; they do not fall away. Only limited atonement is missing, and this is only because this parable is not expressly Christological, but instead deals primarily with the decree and election of the God the Father and the work of drawing in  and regenerating of the Holy Spirit. So, in telling this parable, there was the Second Person of the Holy Trinity describing the role of the First and the Third Persons of the Holy Trinity in salvation, to the point that though the Third Person of the Trinity is the servant of the First, the Third Person is still sovereign in salvation because men do not have the option of saying no to the Holy Spirit! Those that the Holy Spirit compels must come, because the Holy Spirit is God, and God is Sovereign! Soli Deo Gloria!

Now the compulsion of the Holy Spirit is by no means limited to Gentiles. Instead, Romans 11 is clear that sometime after the Gentile mission is complete, all Israel will be saved. The Jews are currently “not in the house” or “even in the city” but like the Gentiles are faithless, but at the return of Jesus Christ will be drawn and regenerated by the Holy Spirit according to the election and decree of God the Father, and at that time the olive tree will be complete, with the original branches together with the grafted in formerly wild branches.

So, the compulsion of Luke 14:23 is not the servants of the state forcing church membership with the threat of the sword. Instead, it is the Servant of God conquering those captive to original sin and therefore because of their fallen natures and corrupt wills are unable to come to God, and for that matter do not even have a true desire to. (At the very most, they may have a desire for morals, ethics, religion, cultural conformity, tradition, pleasing the expectations of others, to assuage their guilty consciences, to avoid the lake of fire, or to receive the benefits of heaven. It is those things that man can come to and decide for himself of, and not truly of God, and indeed lest we forget a multitude of false religions offers all those things also.) Jesus Christ has bound the strong man and led his captivity captive, so now the Holy Spirit is free to go and spoil his goods. So against the false teachings and applications of Augustine, this is the true meaning and intent of the passage and in its correct context.

Thus, please know that membership in any church cannot save you (even if it is a legitimate New Testament local congregation headed by Jesus Christ) and neither can being the beneficiary of any sacrament, ordinance or ritual. Instead, only membership in the true church will save you, and membership in that church is only granted to those who are saved by the Holy Spirit by faith in Jesus Christ that is granted by that same Holy Spirit. If this does not describe you, then you are currently separated from God, at enmity with God, and the Bible states that all those who are found in that status on judgment day will receive an eternal punishment in the lake of fire. Do not let the doctrines of election, predestination and irresistible grace cause unnecessary confusion. Just as God’s sovereignty in salvation is a truth clearly set forth in the Bible, so is the responsibility of man to believe the gospel and submit Himself to Jesus Christ as his Lord. They are two truths that are not in conflict with each other, but are both true in their own right and work together in ways that are beyond our understanding to give God the glory. God is glorified both by being sovereign over salvation and by seeing those formerly trapped in original sin do what was impossible for them prior become possible with God (see Matthew 19:25-26’s “When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed , saying , Who then can be saved ? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”, and over against not only their own sinful natures but also the desires and machinations of Satan.

So make no mistake, those chosen by God have as their duty to make their calling and election sure. If you have not done so, I entreat and implore you to do it, do it quickly, indeed do it today, and moreover right now!

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan!

Advertisements

Posted in Bible, Calvinism, Christianity, false doctrine, false teaching, Jesus Christ, Reformed | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Should Christians Practice Lent?

Posted by Job on March 15, 2011

This is in response to a question received in the comments area.

It appears that as the ecumenical tendencies of evangelical churches increase, they are adopting more practices associated with Catholicism. While that is a worrisome trend in general, with regards to Lent in particular I cannot find anything with this tradition that transgresses New Testament teaching. It is also true that some Protestant groups have long had this ritual in their backgrounds. Anglicans, for instance, have traditionally celebrated Lent, as have Methodists and Lutherans. Presbyterians, by contrast, generally did not until recently precisely because of its Catholic origins. Other groups and traditions (i.e. Baptists) haven’t, but more so because they aren’t liturgical than because of its origins.

The question is whether the practice of Lent can be separated from the Roman Catholic doctrine of Lent. That is the same question being asked about whether a Christian should practice yoga or other traditions that come from other religions. Apart from the Catholic doctrines, Lent is simply fasting, and moreover fasting in honor of the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Certainly, there can be no law against such a thing! I have practiced fasting myself in the past, and will start back in the future, sometime later this year

However, my issue is this: if you want to fast, just fast. (And fast the way that Jesus Christ instructed us to in the gospels!) And if it is to be a corporate fast initiated by the pastor of a local congregation, and the members of that congregation touch and agree on it, even better still. Or if a group of Christians from one congregation or several congregations decide that they want to come together and devote themselves to a time of fasting and prayer without being led to do so by their pastor, again, against such thing there is no law. Indeed, such good works are praiseworthy. And we certainly should not avoid fasting during this time of year just because the Catholics are fasting.

However, in addition to avoiding Catholic doctrines regarding this ritual of theirs, what is the purpose of calling it “Lent”? Why not just call it a fast? If the reason is merely to emulate or show some sort of solidarity with Catholicism, then in my opinion, that is extremely problematic. The Bible verse that I would use is this: 2 Corinthians 6:14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” Now that verse is often improperly applied to marriage (when the opposite is true; instead the Bible states that a believing spouse can often be used by God to convert an unbelieving one, see 1 Corinthians 7:10-16). Instead, this scripture and its context obviously refers to not being in religious communion or fellowship with non-Christians. That means that we cannot and should not emulate their beliefs, ways, traditions and rituals. Of course, in this age of ecumenism, pluralism, diversity, tolerance and other forms of ecclesiastical indulgence and compromise, it is no wonder that this 2 Corinthians 6:14 is applied to an area where it was never intended (ironically, consider the evangelical Christian dating site equallyyoked.com!) and neglected where it actually applies, which is to not keep church company with false religions, apostates, heretics, cultists, and anyone else who is operating beyond the bounds of New Testament Christianity, which most certainly includes Catholics, who do not even use our same canon of scripture.

Along with the National Association of Evangelical’s outreach to Mormons, it is a sign of the times. But make no mistake, it is a time that people serious about 2 Corinthians 6:14 and scripture in general should not join! Again, if your Protestant denomination has a legitimate longstanding Lent tradition of its own apart from Roman Catholicism, that is probably legitimate. But if it is some new thing, some fad that people are joining themselves to, it is perfectly appropriate to ask “why” and turn away!

Posted in Bible, catholic, Christianity, false religion, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 32 Comments »

Is Your Eschatology Political Or Biblical?

Posted by Job on March 12, 2011

Sorry for the disproportionate emphasis on the endtimes lately. Rest assured, I am not reverting back to my “Heal The Land With Spiritual Warfare” angry Pentecostal days when I was given to much speculation concerning anti-Christ new world order conspiracies. It is merely that I have finally gotten around to reading an excellent book recommended by the Irish Anglican, which is “Interpreting Revelation: A Reasonable Guide to Understanding the Last Book in the Bible” by the late Merrill Tenney, an evangelical theologian who at one point was under the employ of Wheaton College. Now this Tenney was not nearly objective; rather it was quite easy from reading the book to discern that his beliefs tended towards premillennial dispensationalism/pre-tribulation rapture. Fortunately (for me anyways) Tenney pays little attention to his rapture beliefs beyond “gently” mentioning it as a possibility now and then, and instead deals with other issues using my own preferred methodology, which is literal-historical-redemptive interpretation of Bible texts (a hermeneutic that relies mostly on literal interpretation but allows for symbolic and figurative interpretation where appropriate) supported by responsible prooftexting (interpreting scripture with scripture without using verses out of context in order to support some agenda or bias) and appeals to church history. This makes it possible for me to (mostly) agree with Tenney’s scholarship in “Interpreting Revelation” in spite of my disagreement with his belief in (and in this book advocacy of, however mildly) a pretribulation rapture.
Of particular interest are chapters 8 and 9 of his text, which are “The Chronological Approach” and “The Eschatological Method.” In those, Tenney makes the case – though oddly enough this case was not his intention to make – that premillennialism was the eschatological view adopted based on the Biblical (and extrabiblical) text, and that other systems, particularly preterism, amillennialism, and postmillennialism, were developed for political reasons. (Regrettably, Tenney fails to distinguish between his own modern premillennialism – which includes dispensationalism – and historic premillennialism, or chiliasm. His case would have been much stronger, and dare I say more honest, had he done so. That, and his shocking failure to deal with the objections to premillennialism – his own view – as thoroughly as he did with the systems with which he disagrees actually constitute a greater shortcoming than his occasional stumping for the pretribulation rapture.)
First, preterism. Tenney convincingly credits its development with Alcazar, a Roman Catholic Jesuit friar. This Alcazar was a counter-Reformer, which was a duty of The Society of Jesus in general. He developed preterism in order to refute Protestant attacks on the legitimacy of the Roman Catholic Church, as the Reformers polemically used Revelation to refer to this church and its pope as “Babylon” and “anti-Christ.” His method: claiming that Revelation was written in reference to the early church’s struggle with the Jews (chapters 1-12) and paganism (13-19) and had no contemporary or future application whatsoever. Thus, Alcazar followed after a long line that began at the very latest with Eusebius in marginalizing Revelation for political purposes. What is amazing is that Protestant theologians soon began to adopt for themselves a Roman Catholic system created for the very purpose of opposing – and attempting to destroy – the Protestant Reformation, and many have used it ever since despite knowing its original origin and purpose! Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.
Next, Tenney deals with the political origins of postmillennialism: Augustine’s need to defend the declining Roman Empire (and the ecclesiastical arm of the church-state) along with it. The idea at the time – first proposed by Eusebius in his “official theology” created to support the political aims of Constantine, to whom Eusebius served as an “advisor” – was essentially that the Roman Empire through its making Christianity the state religion, was the earthly fulfilment of the kingdom of God, and that the empire and its church would grow (whether by conversion or coercion) to fill the earth and thereby fulfil the prophecies concerning the global reign of Jesus Christ. Of course, this doctrine JUST HAPPENED to provide a religious justification for the need/desire of the Roman Empire to wage war, conquer territory and subdue/repress people. When the Roman Empire began to crumble, Augustine had to rework his doctrines somewhat in order to arrive at the position that even though the present political order – the Roman Empire – might collapse, the visible church destined to gain global dominion (and domination) would continue by attaching itself to whatever political, social and economic order that existed (whether the Roman Empire of Constantine’s time, the feudalism of the Dark and Middle Ages, or our current political hegemony) and adapting to fit it.
To pull this off, Augustine had to use an allegorical/spiritual method of interpreting Revelation (and other texts) that allowed him to strip the text of its intended meaning and assign the meaning that suited his purposes, which of course were the purposes of the empire and its state church. In that regards, we can consider Augustine to be a postmodern reader-response deconstructionist sort whom the Marxist scholar Jacques Derrida merely followed after 1500 years later! One of the things that Augustine had to do was deny a literal first resurrection, that of the martyrs spoken of in Revelation 20:4-6, by making the amazing claim that this passage referred to Christian regeneration! Now while Augustine was technically not Roman Catholic (but rather “proto-Catholic”) it is still amazing that so many Protestants followed his eschatological groundwork when it so blatantly involved willfully denying the meaning of scripture in order to contrive an interpretation that suited his political needs. Now, the Reformers were motivated to remain basically loyal to Augustine’s eschatology because of their commitment to his soteriology. The problem is that where Augustine’s soteriology is easily confirmed by a plain reading of the Bible, one has to reject that plain reading in order to adopt his eschatology. The Reformers erred in not being consistent in their hermeneutics, and with regard to the magisterial Reformers in general, were not free of their own political needs in maintaining their own church-states.
Amillennialism, at least according to Tenney, is little more than an improved or more sophisticated and “realistic” postmillennialism. Thus, it follows the same Eusebius-Augustine theological lineage, and ultimately comes to the same conclusions, even if – again according to Tenney – it makes better use of scripture in arriving at them. For instance, amillennialism also generally denies a literal first resurrection. Which is understandable: if the church and the political/economic/military/religious/cultural systems (the world) are one and the same, then who is martyring the Christians that will be resurrected? However, it should be pointed out that amillennialists do generally acknowledge that evil will increase before the return of Jesus Christ, and that Jesus Christ does return to overthrow and judge a wicked worldly system, a wicked ungodly antiChrist system (as opposed to a personal antiChrist). At best, this system is an attempt to reconcile political eschatology with what the Bible actually says. As stated earlier, this was likely done because these doctrines came as part of a larger packaged doctrinal system (i.e. covenant theology).
Then, there is premillennialism. Tenney does acknowledge that premillennialism was not the consensus view of the early church, though he does regretfully understate this fact. However, Tenney does effectively make the case that premillennialism was a doctrine of many Christians from the earliest times in recorded church history, and naming such people as Papias and Justin Martyr (who wrote mere decades after the canon was completed, as early as 115 AD) as well as Irenaeus. Tenney uses the uncanny similarity between the millenarian teachings in Revelation and those in such apocryphal books as Baruch and Esdras IV as evidence of the existence of chiliast beliefs in the first century church. Of course, many throughout church history have used this fact against premillennialism, claiming that it is Jewish propaganda and misinterpretations of prophecy, but that principle is not used against apocryphal and extrabiblical references that appear in other Bible books (i.e. the book of Jasher and the book of the wars of the Lord in the Old Testament; the book of Enoch and the Assumption of Moses in Jude).
Of course, embrace of premillennialism was far from universal in the early church. However, some of that can be attributed to anti-Jewish bias among Gentile Christians (which scripture tells us was developing as far back as when Paul composed the epistle to the Romans), and more still to a lack of a normative canon, and in particular the fact that Revelation appears to have been among the last books to gain widespread circulation and acceptance. However, it is known that vigorous opposition to chiliasm – and in many cases to Revelation itself, including many who wanted to either explain away its meaning and application or keep it out of the canon altogether – did not arise until Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire, and that this opposition was motivated by the need to depict the Roman Empire as the fulfilment of God’s kingdom. Tenney’s assertion of this point is by no means unique, but is repeated in any number of books on church history, and in particular those that deal with the debate over Revelation’s inclusion in the canon.
A final positive contribution by Tenney is his debunking the common claim that premillennialism received its modern revival thanks to the works of such spurious characters as Cyrus Scofield. The effects of this contribution is somewhat diminished by Tenney’s failure to acknowledge that at least some of the Christians who began investigating premillennialism had social and political motivations. This was true of certain radical Anabaptists in their violent upheavals in the 16th and 17th centuries, and also of Christians operating in the political, economic and social upheavals in the United States and England in the 19th century. Still, Tenney does identify a list of more reputable scholars who contributed to the revival of premillennialism (including historic premillennialism, which again Tenney regrettably does not distinguish) including Johann Albrecht Bengel, Hermann Olshausen, Heny Alford (definitely a chiliast), Johann Peter Lange (somewhat questionable because of his tendencies towards neo-orthodoxy), Andrew Fausset (another chiliast), Joseph Seiss, Franz Delitzsch and Charles Ellicott. Unfortunately, Tenney does the credibility of his effort in compiling that list great harm by including Plymouth Brethren hyperdispensationalist (a position that challenges the unity of the New Testament by setting Paul’s teachings over against those of the gospels and Acts) John Nelson Darby on his list of “reputable scholars”! (Why Darby and not Scofield, who in some respects is actually LESS problematic?)
So, Tenney’s book, despite its problems, helps one arrive at the conclusion is that premillennialism is the eschatological position that, despite is shortcomings, reflects the Biblical text according to a consistent hermeneutic and early church doctrines, and not the political need to assert that a church-state serves as the kingdom of heaven until the return of Jesus Christ. The former view integrates Revelation into a consistent schema of Old and New Testament thought – and not merely thought related to the apocalyptic/eschatological/prophetic – while the latter makes one wonder why Revelation is in the canon in the first place, and especially its application to contemporary Christians.

Posted in anti - Christ, anti - Semitism, antichrist, beast, Bible, catholic, Christianity, church state, church worldliness, covenant theology, endtimes, eschatology, evangelism, false doctrine, false teaching, Israel, Jesus Christ, man of sin, mark of the beast, postmillennialism, prophecy, religion, religious right, replacement theology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Christians Considering No Longer Saying Yahweh Or Jehovah

Posted by Job on October 6, 2008

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

All Roads Leading To The Apostasy of The Great Harlot Rome!

Posted by Job on September 5, 2008

From A Daughter’s Thoughts:

To Kowtow to Rome = Apostasy

 

Watch the video and note the names and denominations that are in simply in awe at meeting pope Benedict. One world religion here we come!

It is really sickening how the pope is referred to as “your holiness”.

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Are Word Of Faith Heretics Just Roman Catholic Jesuit Puppets?

Posted by Job on June 23, 2008

There are also allegations that the Jesuit order studied the Jewish mystic book the Kabbalah, which contained a ton of Babylonian paganism. From Youtube user JesuitInfiltrator:

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Roman Catholic Church Says That It Is OK To Believe In Aliens

Posted by Job on May 14, 2008

It fits, as belief in aliens is vital to some strands of New Age. New Age and Roman Catholic mysticism are vital components to the global religion of the anti – Christ. That is a topic that Justthebook.Wordpress.com investigates deeply.

http://www.worthynews.com/news/newsmax-com-newsfront-vatican_aliens-2008-05-13-95644-html/

Posted in abomination, antichrist, apostasy, blasphemy, Christianity, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, great tribulation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments »

The No Irish Need Apply Thing Was A Myth Concocted To Organize Catholics Against Protestants

Posted by Job on May 6, 2008

http://tigger.uic.edu/~rjensen/no-irish.htm

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

(Illegal) Immigrants Keeping Roman Catholic Church From Losing Its American “Market Share”

Posted by Job on April 11, 2008

Save the ILLEGAL portion of the title, it was Reuters’ words, not mine … “and immigration is keeping the church from losing its “market share” in the highly competitive field of faith in America.”  I have to tell you … Ronald Reagan in the 1980s did two things for the Vatican (among many others) that would have been impossible for a liberal Democrat to do. He established official diplomatic relations with the Vatican, and approved a “guest worker program” for illegal Hispanic immigrants. Were it not for illegal immigration, the religious landscape of America would look quite different from how it does now! I honestly do recall that conservatives attempted to justify Reagan’s blind eye to illegal immigration by claiming that Hispanics, being hard working family oriented Roman Catholics and all, would “naturally” align with Republicans, who would then use them to offset the Democratic Party’s advantage with blacks. When you look at how formerly solid Republican states like Arizona, California, Illinois, and New Jersey have gone Democratic since thanks to the huge influx of Hispanic voters, and more areas that were at least swing states are now even more solidly Democratic for the same cause … well there is a reason why Reagan has to serve as a mythic legend in right wing circles instead of an actual human being, because regarding him as a mere mortal would mean at some point being forced to examine his actual record, and not just on immigration but also judicial appointments, abortion and other religious right issues, terrorism and the Middle East, taxes and spending, etc. The amazing thing is that even a lot of theologically conservative pastors that were driven from the Republican Party and the religious right by George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, and similar still keep the Reagan myth going, claiming that “the party has lost its way and betrayed ‘the Reagan revolution.'” I guess a lot of us still need on our myths! Well let me tell those people something:

1. Reagan put two pro – abortion judges on the Supreme Court, and at least one of those (O’Connor) when he had a solid pro – life majority in the Senate. Reagan got away with this by claiming that he just had to have the first female justice on the Supreme Court, as if feminism and civil rights were oh so important to the fellow that gave a bunch of racists like Ed Meese and Pat Buchanan prominent posts in his administration. Oh yes, in addition to abortion, O’Connor went on to make a ton of other decisions to further the globalist agenda.

2. “Reaganomics”, the ridiculous idea that it was OK to run huge deficits so long as the economy was growing, and that indeed deficit spending would stimulate economic growth, greatly accelerated our already developing economic problems as well as helped create a culture of irresponsibility and criminality in government and Wall Street, setting the stage for the destruction of our economy so that we would need to turn to the global political and financial interests – including China – to stay afloat. Reagan did trim the fat around the edges of some social welfare spending, but accomplished absolutely no real or lasting victory for smaller government or lower spending.

3. Ever hear of our “enemies” Usama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein? Under the Reagan administration, both were our allies that we supplied with plenty of training and weapons. We should have taken care of both fellows after the Soviets were driven back from Afghanistan (assuming that keeping the Soviets out of Afghanistan was ever a prevailing interest in the first place, but then again Reagan did inherit that strategy from JIMMY CARTER), but we didn’t. The great “friend of Israel and terrorism fighter” Reagan left a huge mess in the Middle East. All of his strategies and policies failed or backfired, and he lost virtually every military confrontation in the region, unless you are willing to settle for killing the infant child of the ruler of Libya in an airstrike as a victory (it was illegal to kill Qaddafi himself, so since we knew from intelligence which side of the house Qaddafi slept on and his child slept on, and about the time that Qaddafi tended to go to bed, we bombed the bedroom of an infant child because THAT was “legal”).

4. And yes, conservatives, Ronald Reagan would have supported the “comprehensive illegal immigration reform bill with amnesty/path to citizenship” also. And yes, Reagan would have refused to build the border fence just as George W. Bush CRIMINALLY has.

But go on below to read the article below, which contains just a little of the true legacy of “the gipper”, the fellow whom the right would have you believe teamed up with Margaret Thatcher and POPE JOHN PAUL to defeat the awesome power of the Soviet Union’s command economy.

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24064883

Posted in Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Roman Catholic Leaders Complicit In Rwanda Massacre? Why Weren’t We Told This Before?

Posted by Job on March 15, 2008

ARUSHA, Tanzania – A Rwandan priest has been jailed for life after a U.N. tribunal extended his sentence for ordering militiamen to burn and bulldoze a church with 1,500 people inside. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda’s ruling came after Roman
Catholic priest Athanase Seromba appealed his 2006 conviction, a statement posted on the body’s Web site late Wednesday said. He was originally sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The tribunal is trying the alleged masterminds of the 1994 Rwandan genocide in which more than 500,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by Hutu extremists over a 100-day period. The tribunal said it convicted Seromba for “his role in the destruction of the church in Nyange Parish, and the consequent death of approximately 1,500 Tutsi refugees sheltering inside.”

Seromba was convicted of leading a militia that attacked the people and poured fuel through the roof of the church, while police threw grenades inside. After failing to kill everybody inside the church, Seromba ordered it to be demolished, the tribunal found.

Thousands of Rwandans have turned away from Catholicism, angered and saddened by the complicity of church officials in the genocide. Priests, nuns and followers were implicated in the killings and some churches were sites of notorious massacres.

The Rwanda war crimes tribunal has delivered 32 judgments, including five acquittals, since the U.N. Security Council established it in November 1994. There are 27 trials under way.

Posted in bigotry, catholic, Christian Persecution, Christianity, Jesus Christ, racism | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

Vatican, Muslims, to establish permanent dialogue !

Posted by Job on March 7, 2008

Vatican, Muslims, to establish permanent dialogue

The Vatican and Muslim leaders agreed on Wednesday to establish a permanent official dialogue to improve often difficult relations and heal wounds still open from a controversial papal speech in 2006.A joint statement said the first meeting of “The Catholic-Muslim Forum” will take place on November 4-6 in Rome with 24 religious leaders and scholars from each side.

Pope Benedict will address the group, the statement said.

The announcement came after a two-day meeting at the Vatican with five representatives of Muslims who had signed an unprecedented appeal to the Pope to begin a dialogue.

“We emerged with a permanent structure that will ensure that the Catholic-Muslim engagement and dialogue continues into the future,” said Professor Aref Ali Nayed, director of the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in Amman, Jordan.

He told a news conference the forum would be able “to work out issues and an exchange of opinions about important matters”.

Catholic-Muslim relations nosedived in 2006 after Pope Benedict delivered a lecture in Regensburg, Germany, that was taken by Muslims to imply that Islam was violent and irrational.

Muslims around the world protested and the Pope sought to make amends when he visited Turkey’s Blue Mosque and prayed towards Mecca with its Imam.

“For some Muslims the wounds of the (Pope’s) German lecture are not completely healed and there are some Muslims who are boycotting the Vatican … and still feel offended by that quite deeply,” Nayed said in answer to a question.

PAPAL SPEECH STILL HURTS

“Just because we are part of this initiative does not mean that we are not hurt by this, however we must not only dwell on the negative but also dwell on the positive. There have been some recent positive moves by the Vatican,” he said.

After the fallout from the Regensburg speech, 138 Muslim scholars and leaders wrote to the German-born Pope and other Christian leaders last year, saying “the very survival of the world itself” may depend on dialogue between the two faiths.

“Muslims and Christians make up about 55 per cent of the world and there will be no peace in the world unless there is peace between these two communities,” Ibrahim Kalin of the Seta Foundation in Turkey told the news conference.

The signatories of the Muslim appeal for dialogue, called the “Common Word”, has grown to nearly 240 since.

“This whole initiative is about healing, it is about healing the wounds of a very pained and in many ways destroyed world. We have cruelty all over the place, we have wars, we have famines we have massacres, we have terrorist acts, we have torture, we have people who are kidnapped,” Nayed said.

Although Pope Benedict repeatedly expressed regret for the reaction to his speech in Regensburg, he stopped short of a clear apology sought by Muslims.

The Muslim delegation said the forum would meet every two years and alternate between Rome and a Muslim country but would establish structures for regular contacts and links to deal with one member called “an emergency situation”.

Posted in anti - Christ, catholic, endtimes, eschatology, false prophet, Islam, Jesus Christ, Muslim, prophecy, the beast, the false prophet | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

On The Potential Reunification Of The Russian Orthodox Church And The Roman Catholic Church

Posted by Job on February 19, 2008

The leader of Russia’s powerful Orthodox Church played down hopes of an imminent reconciliation with Rome in an interview on Monday, saying Catholic missionary activity in Russia prevented the churches from restoring ties.Speculation has flourished about a possible historic meeting between Russia’s Patriarch Alexiy II and Pope Benedict XVI after both sides indicated they were open in principle to healing a centuries-old rift between Western and Russian Christianity.

Russia is by far the biggest Orthodox Christian church and has undergone a big religious revival since the demise of the atheist Soviet Union. President Vladimir Putin, once a KGB spy, is now open about his Orthodox faith.

“Stopping us from restoring relations are some unsolved issues between our churches,” Alexiy told the Polish daily Dziennik in an interview published on Monday. “We have many questions about the missionary and charitable activities of Catholic monks and clergy in Russia and CIS (former Soviet) countries.”

The Russian Orthodox Church, by far the dominant religion in Russia, has sharply criticised the Vatican for creating new dioceses on its turf and has accused Catholic priests of attempting to poach Orthodox believers as converts to Rome. Alexiy said some Catholic clerics “started to see the ex-Soviet Union as a spiritual desert to be dealt with”.

The Catholic Church says it is only doing what is necessary to attend to the needs of Russia’s estimated one million Catholics, mostly of East European or German origin, who were neglected during decades of religious persecution in the Soviet Union. “We have always said that a Russian visit of (former) Pope John Paul was possible only when all the problems between our churches were resolved. Unfortunately, it has not happened until now,” Alexiy said.

“In Russia and Ukraine, Catholics always treated the Orthodox believers more as enemies than as brothers in faith … the activities of Catholics in Russia have created many challenges for the dialogue of our churches.” “These matters need to be resolved”.

In particular, Alexiy criticised Catholic shelters which he said brought up orphans from Orthodox families in the Catholic tradition, saying this “is hurting us exceptionally”. (Please realizethat Roman Catholics wish to do the same to American Protestant children using school vouchers and charter schools in the education system with your tax dollars. It is almost as if the public education system has been turned undesirable in some areas on purpose, and please recall that both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush support charter schools, and more than a few Democrats even support vouchers.)

Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz said last October at a farewell news conference after 16 years heading the Catholic Church in Russia that the Orthodox “could have been better to us”, adding he never sought to convert Orthodox Christians.

Christianity split into two branches in the Great Schism of 1054, when the Orthodox Church broke away from the Roman church in a row over papal authority and the insertion of a disputed clause into the Creed, the central statement of Christian faith.

Ultimately, both these bodies will recognize their mutual enemy, evangelical Christianity, and join forces. The Russian Orthodox church, with the help of the Putin state, has worked mightily to repress Southern Baptist and Pentecostal evangelistic efforts in the nation. For all of Putin’s professions of faith, he is primarily a nationalist, and knows that a major reason for the failure of the Soviet regime was its persecution of religious people. Putin now knows – obviously from studying history – that the state can become much more powerful and nationalistic by co – opting a spiritually empty version of state religion. Let us see … you had Constantinism, the Holy Roman Empire, feudalism, Nazi Germany (not to mention religio – fascist Italy and Japan), the various Islamic states, and oh yes how could I forget “Christian values” America (whether those values be liberal or conservative, they still seem to wind up with our bombing indigent brown – skinned people in places where there tend to be large oil reserves like the Kennedy – LBJ adventure in Viet Nam and the Iraq/Afghanistan nightmare that Bush, Clinton, and then Bush have truthfully had us in since the early 1990s, and that was after our arming Saddam to fight Iran in the 1980s). But the upshot here is that if the Russian Orthodox Church reopens official ties with the Roman Catholic Church, it will be because tsar Vladimir Putin decides that it is in the best interests of mother Russia and on mother Russia’s terms.

So why would Rome be amenable to tsar Putin’s terms? Simple: demographics. The Roman Catholic Church has been virtually bankrupted of numbers and influence in Europe, and is facing a huge challenge from Islam (and also from evangelical Protestant Christianity, though to a much lesser extent). By contrast, the third world portion of the church is exploding in numbers. Not only is this severely hurting Rome in terms of financing and administration, as they are used to transferring wealth from the west to the third world but also largely governing the third world churches from the west, but creates huge challenges for the church doctrinally. The Roman Catholic Church already had to beat back a huge liberation theology challenge coming from Latin America and Africa in the 1980s (the current pope being the one tasked with crushing it with an iron fist), and while liberation theology is now no longer a great threat (ironically because of the collapse of Soviet communism, but also because now that it has largely been accepted within liberal and moderate Christianity and hence no longer has its radical subversive appeal) there are other ways the third world segment of Roman Catholicism is going to assert itself, including demanding official recognition for their local syncretized flavors of Catholicism (first off it isn’t as if the Roman Catholic Church didn’t spend centuries doing this in Europe, and also John Paul got the ball rolling by beatifying plenty of third world shamans, mystics, witch doctors, etc. as “saints.” As a matter of fact, some Roman Catholic observers claim that unless things change, Ratzinger may well be the last European pope for awhile.

And that is why change is precisely what Ratzinger has in mind. Ratzinger said on the day that he was chosen as pope that his primary concern would be rebuilding the European church, and that he chose his papal name precisely for that reason. Doing business with tsar Putin would rapidly increase the number of white Europeans in the Roman Catholic Church, and just as important enrich the Vatican with enough oil wealth to transfer it to the third world churches and keep the third world Vatican loyalists in firm power. The even better part is that as the Russian Orthodox Church is the largest and most influential of the eastern orthodox churches, once they realign with Rome, the other orthodox churches in Greece, Turkey, etc. will have little choice but to fall in line.

So what is in it for tsar Putin? Simple: the Vatican wields considerable political and cultural influence in the nations of a lot of his enemies. Case in point: the United States and its five Roman Catholics on the Supreme Court. Remember the huge backlash when George W. Bush attempted to place an evangelical Christian on the court … Harriet Miers was sacked and replaced with the majority vote Samuel Alito. And YOU, evangelical Christian Republicans, thought that it was about Roe. v. Wade, didn’t you? Or didn’t you figure that the Vatican would be willing to abide abortion for a generation or three if it meant positioning themselves politically for the long haul?

Tsar Putin knows that thanks to the Christian right, influence with the Vatican means influence over America. And the Vatican is more than willing to let Tsar Putin have what he wants, because, well, the Vatican knows that 100 years from now Putin will be off the scene and they will still be around. So long as they will have Russia then they are willing to mollify Putin now.

Posted in catholic, Christianity, endtimes, eschatology, fascism, Jesus Christ, Orthodox Church, prophecy, Russia | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Map Of TheUnited States By Christian Denomination

Posted by Job on February 4, 2008

churchmapusa2000.gifFrom Reformation Nation by way of Slice of Laodicea: Where do you fit in? By the way: yet another concern that calls Mormonism a Christian denomination.

Posted in catholic, Christianity, Mormon, mormonism | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: