randy carson– catholic answers forum -Lol Randy, love to twist words. Why do you accuse me of intentionally twisting your words? Do you think that I’m actually sitting at my keyboard trying to figure out how to misrepresent your views?

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  #136
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Default Re: Orthodox View of the Immaculate Conception

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Originally Posted by Randy Carson View Post
Nektarios Lady has been arguing strenuously in favor of the Orthodox position that Mary did not inherit the fallen nature. If I understand her position correctly, no one did.

How would you respond to her?

Lol Randy, love to twist words. I don’t know how to report your outright lie about me, so I’ll will block you so at least I don’t have to be troubled by reading your lies.

I’ve repeatedly said that Mary had the same conception as everyone else and that No One is personally responsible for another’s sin. We are Not born guilty of Adam & Eve’s sin, but we are all born with the consequences of that sin.

If you’re not going to read what someone actually writes and you’re just going to falsely accuse people then you should probably so something else with your time.

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  #137
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Default Re: Orthodox View of the Immaculate Conception

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WhoaHoho! Is this your personal opinion or Catholic Church teaching that any person or place or state, once created, can continue to exist withOUT God’s Grace to sustain him/her/it?

When people commit mortal sin, they are no longer in a state of grace. Do they suddenly cease to exist? No. God does hold all things together by His power, but not everyone is in His Grace at all times.

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The longer I’ve been in this forum, the more & more I come to realize Catholic Christianity has less & less & less in common with Orthodox Christianity than I’d imagined. With this comment, I’m even wondering if it’s even in the religion category. God’s grace isn’t necessary to sustain creation – the very idea is Semi-Atheistic!!!

Could it be that you don’t actually understand much of what is being discussed?

If you really desire to help Catholics see the error of their ways, maybe you should read a few Catholic books in order to understand what we believe better. That way, you’ll be well positioned to explain why what we actually believe is wrong instead of arguing against what you only think we believe.

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  #138
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Default Re: Orthodox View of the Immaculate Conception

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Originally Posted by Nektarios Lady View Post
Lol Randy, love to twist words.

Why do you accuse me of intentionally twisting your words? Do you think that I’m actually sitting at my keyboard trying to figure out how to misrepresent your views? Aren’t you now bearing false witness against me?

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I’ve repeatedly said that Mary had the same conception as everyone else and that No One is personally responsible for another’s sin. We are Not born guilty of Adam & Eve’s sin, but we are all born with the consequences of that sin.

Which, I believe, is EXACTLY what I said. You believe that there are consequences of the fall, but if I understand past posts, you do not believe that we actually have a fallen nature.

Is this incorrect? If so, please clarify the distinctions you make between having a fallen nature and living with the consequences of Adam’s fall.

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If you’re not going to read what someone actually writes and you’re just going to falsely accuse people then you should probably so something else with your time.

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  #139
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Default Re: Orthodox View of the Immaculate Conception

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When people commit mortal sin, they are no longer in a state of grace. Do they suddenly cease to exist? No. God does hold all things together by His power, but not everyone is in His Grace at all times.

You’re putting a spin on what your fellow Catholic posted.

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Could it be that you don’t actually understand much of what is being discussed?

Before I had the chance to block you, you decide to further sin against me. In addition to lying about me earlier, now you’ve chosen to question my ability to understand – my intelligence. You’re on a role today for destroying positive Orthodox/Catholic relations on an individual level. Great job, Randy. Give yourself a pat on the back, your really good at it!

Your blocked, but you should be reported.

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  #140
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Default Re: Orthodox View of the Immaculate Conception

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WhoaHoho! Is this your personal opinion or Catholic Church teaching that any person or place or state, once created, can continue to exist withOUT God’s Grace to sustain him/her/it?

The longer I’ve been in this forum, the more & more I come to realize Catholic Christianity has less & less & less in common with Orthodox Christianity than I’d imagined. With this comment, I’m even wondering if it’s even in the religion category. God’s grace isn’t necessary to sustain creation – the very idea is Semi-Atheistic!!!

God is still keeping the person in existence but I don’t think grace is the right word because we lose sanctifying grace through mortal sin and people in mortal sin and hell still exist.

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  #141
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Default Re: Orthodox View of the Immaculate Conception

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Originally Posted by Nektarios Lady View Post
You’re putting a spin on what your fellow Catholic posted.

Before I had the chance to block you, you decide to further sin against me. In addition to lying about me earlier, now you’ve chosen to question my ability to understand – my intelligence. You’re on a role today for destroying positive Orthodox/Catholic relations on an individual level. Great job, Randy. Give yourself a pat on the back, your really good at it!

Your blocked, but you should be reported.

We are not lying. I don’t know what the Orthodox understanding of grace is, but it is a supernatural thing, you won’t cease to exist without it
http://www.catholic.com/tracts/grace…d-what-it-does

Edit: I’m not saying you are stupid, but I think you either don’t understand exactly what grace is or the Orthodox have a very different definition of what they think grace is

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working4christtwo — Born again ?? — how about mark 16;15- 20 these signs will follow

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  #31
Old Dec 20, ’14, 8:26 pm
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Default Re: Need interpretation

so, you don’t know if you’re born again?
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  #32
Old Dec 21, ’14, 6:07 am
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I didn’t even ask the Holy Spirit to ‘indwell’ me. It was a gift from God. His own doing. John 6:37, John 15:16, John 17:2,6,9, Galatians 1:15, Acts 13:48, Ephesians 1:4,11, Romans 8:33, 1 Corinthians 1:27,29,31,

Those who are ‘born again’ do not become ‘unborn again’. Those who backslide were never born again to begin with. Those who are born again WILL run the race till the end because the Holy Spirit causes them to persevere.

1 John 2:19, 1 Corinthians 1:8, 1 Thesselonians 5:24, Phillippians 1:6, 1 Peter 1:5
http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/…e-book-of-life

Nicodemus thought Jesus was being literal…like going back inside of his mother’s womb. I am not making that mistake. When I say ‘born again’ I understand it as being born of the Spirit rather than born of the flesh.

Let’s just say I agree with this guy, http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/w…he-holy-spirit

You don’t even get to say ‘hey, Holy Spirit’, because you are dead and you hate God. Ephesians 2:1-10, and because God either created you as a vessel of mercy or a vessel of wrath, you didn’t get to pick which one, Romans 9.

I think this one proves my point more than yours…these two were both baptized (probably) and part of the Christian community…but NOWHERE does it say they were indwelled by the Holy Spirit or that they were born again….and so we can clearly see that being baptized and part of the church does not mean you are regenerate.

1 John 2:19, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.”

I notice you did not address my post, where Jesus and Hebrews contradicts what you say. Two questions for you.

1.) A person has a born again experience, makes an altar call, he prays fevently for the Jesus to enter him, and believes he is saved. He KNOWS in his heart that he has the Spirit. In the course of his life, let’s just say, as you put it, he backslides . You would say that he never had the Spirit, correct?

2.) Why did Lucifer turn from God, when he was in God’s presence?

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  #33
Old Dec 21, ’14, 6:42 am
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Default Re: Need interpretation

False Assurance, Charles Templeton*was a prominent televangelist in the mid-twentieth century, the host of a weekly religious show, and a close friend of Billy Graham’s. If you were to ask him if he was saved, he would have undoubtedly said yes. So would those around him. But in 1957, he announced that he had become an agnostic. He went on to write a book called*Farewell to God, and apparently died an agnostic (or an atheist). What good is assurance of salvation if we can’t tell whose assurance is real, and whose is false? That’s not much ground for certainty.*

The above is from this website. [u]http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/…rance.html?m=1[/b]

What about all those people who were watching him and trying to grow in their spirituality? Some must feel sorry for them, because they were listening to someone who never had the Spirit!

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  #34
Old Dec 22, ’14, 7:45 am
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Default Re: Need interpretation

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Originally Posted by Seth View Post
I didn’t even ask the Holy Spirit to ‘indwell’ me. It was a gift from God. His own doing. John 6:37, John 15:16, John 17:2,6,9, Galatians 1:15, Acts 13:48, Ephesians 1:4,11, Romans 8:33, 1 Corinthians 1:27,29,31,

Agreed. The grace of baptism is purely gratuitous, a gift from God. You seem to have a problem with ‘asking’ for this gift, through the baptism which Christ himself instituted as a means of ‘discipling’ the world (Mt 28:20).

Quote:
Those who are ‘born again’ do not become ‘unborn again’.

I’m not asserting this. I’m just asserting that it continues to be a possibility that they turn from Christ.

Quote:
Those who backslide were never born again to begin with.

The man whom Paul rails against in 1 Corinthians — was he ‘born again’? Having an incestuous relationship certainly qualifies as ‘backsliding’, doesn’t it?

Quote:
Those who are born again WILL run the race till the end because the Holy Spirit causes them to persevere.

1 John 2:19

Your interpretation doesn’t hold up, here. If those who are born again must necessarily persevere, then why does John tell those who are ‘born again’ “my children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one” (1 Jn 2:1)? Why does he constantly warn the ‘born again’ to “remain” in Christ and “not be deceived” over and again in 1 Jn 2? If the born again ‘automatically’ remained in Christ, then 1 Jn 2 would be the rantings of a madman! It would be like me exhorting you, “breathe! never stop remembering to breathe!”

Quote:
You don’t even get to say ‘hey, Holy Spirit’, because you are dead and you hate God. Ephesians 2:1-10

That doesn’t make sense: in Eph 2:8, we see that “by grace you have been saved through faith.” The important words here are “through faith.” If the believer is ‘dead’, such that he cannot reach out to God in faith, then I guess that none of us are saved, since we don’t have the faith that’s a prerequisite for receiving God’s grace?

Quote:
and so we can clearly see that being baptized and part of the church does not mean you are regenerate.

Or, perhaps, that the regenerate, too, can backslide. Your ‘proof’ doesn’t exclude that possibility…

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  #35
Old Dec 22, ’14, 9:32 am
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Originally Posted by bisco1 View Post
so, you don’t know if you’re born again?

I’d like Seth to reply to this.

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  #36
Old Dec 22, ’14, 9:47 am
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Originally Posted by Seth View Post
I didn’t even ask the Holy Spirit to ‘indwell’ me. It was a gift from God. His own doing. John 6:37, John 15:16, John 17:2,6,9, Galatians 1:15, Acts 13:48, Ephesians 1:4,11, Romans 8:33, 1 Corinthians 1:27,29,31,

Are you saying we can’t pray for this gift to increase in us?

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Originally Posted by Seth View Post
You don’t even get to say ‘hey, Holy Spirit’, because you are dead and you hate God. Ephesians 2:1-10, and because God either created you as a vessel of mercy or a vessel of wrath, you didn’t get to pick which one, Romans 9.

Ephesians 2:1-10

Quote:
1
a You were dead in your transgressions and sins*
2
in which you once lived following the age of this world,* following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the disobedient.b
3
[B]All of us once lived among them in the desires of our flesh, following the wishes of the flesh and the impulses, and we were by nature children of wrath, [/b]like the rest.c
4
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us,
5
d even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ* (by grace you have been saved),
6
raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus,e
7
that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.f
8
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God;g
9
it is not from works, so no one may boast.h
10
For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.i

Nowhere in that verse does God tell us we are created EITHER as vessels of mercy or of wrath. Rather, he tells us All have fallen, and by God’s mercy we are saved. God did not create people to go to Hell.

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  #37
Old Dec 22, ’14, 10:56 am
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Default Re: Need interpretation

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=Silvana1961;12566795]”Jesus answered and said unto him, John 3: 3: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Can someone please explain what Jesus meant here?

SURE

The reference here is a SPIRITUAL rebirth.

Because humanity is “born in sin” [Original sin]

Our Catechism: 407 The doctrine of original sin, closely connected with that of redemption by Christ, provides lucid discernment of man’s situation and activity in the world. By our first parents’ sin, the devil has acquired a certain domination over man, even though man remains free. Original sin entails “captivity under the power of him who thenceforth had the power of death, that is, the devil”.Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action and morals”.

1263 By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin. In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam’s sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of which is separation from God

God being “Just and Merciful” imposes the penalty AND provides the antidote. Christian Baptism.

Baptism IS the REBIRTH Christ speaks of as necessary for salvation. Baptism makes anew, man’s soul. Man is like God at that point perfected until he sins again. The reference is to spiritual death, not a physical death, and a spiritual rebirth NOT a physical one.

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  #38
Old Dec 22, ’14, 12:16 pm
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Originally Posted by qui est ce View Post
Are you saying we can’t pray for this gift to increase in us?
Ephesians 2:1-10Nowhere in that verse does God tell us we are created EITHER as vessels of mercy or of wrath.

The ‘vessels of wrath’ language is found in Romans 9…

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  #39
Old Dec 22, ’14, 1:24 pm
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The ‘vessels of wrath’ language is found in Romans 9…

Well, of course Paul was talking about the Mosaic law there.

Funny how James never gets quoted.

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  #40
Old Dec 22, ’14, 1:54 pm
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doesn’t suit the protestors purpose.
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  #41
Old Dec 22, ’14, 3:36 pm
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”What shall we say then? Is there injustice with God? God forbid.

15 For he saith to Moses: I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy; and I will shew mercy to whom I will shew mercy.

16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

17 For the scripture saith to Pharao: To this purpose have I raised thee, that I may shew my power in thee, and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.

18 Therefore he hath mercy on whom he will; and whom he will, he hardeneth.

19 Thou wilt say therefore to me: Why doth he then find fault? for who resisteth his will?

20 O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it: Why hast thou made me thus?

21 Or hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump, to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath, fitted for destruction,

23 That he might shew the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he hath prepared unto glory?

Essentially God is saying that ALL things occur by His hand. He hardens whom He hardens and showers mercy upon whom He wills. And are we the created to ask: Why? Why am I a seeming vessel of wrath? Or why am I a seeming vessel of mercy? No. But we must trust that even if I am ”cursed” and all adversity and evil befalls me that it is for God’s will and purposes that we can not understand entirely that those have come upon us. So that when He showers the vessels of mercy with the riches of His own glory His glory is manifested but also ours as well. And all while remembering that it is ordained outside of our will. It is God’s will that effects salvation.

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  #42
Old Dec 22, ’14, 4:59 pm
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Default Re: Need interpretation

this is not catholic doctrine.
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  #43
Old Dec 22, ’14, 6:09 pm
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Originally Posted by bisco View Post
this is not catholic doctrine.

What isn’t? What makes it Catholic doctrine? How does what I presented disagree with points in Catholic theology?

Also is it Christian doctrine?

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  #44
Old Dec 22, ’14, 11:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Seth View Post
John 3:3 does not refer to baptism. If it did, how could Jesus say to Nicodemus, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?” How could Jesus expect Nicodemus to know about baptism?
Rather, Jesus was referring to scripture…which he would definitely expect a teacher of Israel to know. He was referring to Ezekiel 36: 25 – 27, ” I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules”
This is the promise of the New Covenant, which is given to those with faith in Christ. The Spirit is not received through baptism. If it was, then that would contradict what Jesus says in John 3:7-8, “You must be born again.’ The wind[ blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” No one can control the wind…not even the Catholic Church.
Also, if it meant baptism, that would contradict what Jesus says in John 3:14-15, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” and John 3:16, “For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” and John 3:18, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
If being born again means baptism, then everything Jesus says in His conversation with Nicodemus would be a contradiction.
By the time the subject of baptism comes up, it is after travelling, and is a change of subject, not a continuation of the same topic.

“No one can enter the kingdom of heaven unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
John 3:3-5

The Gospel is clear.

“Whereunto baptism being of the like form, now saveth you also: not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the examination of a good conscience towards God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
1 Pet. 3:21

The Epistle is clear.

As St Paul says: Baptism is the new Circumcision. Therefore you must be baptized into the New Covenant. In Lev 12:3, the circumcision of eight-day old babies was the way of entering into the Old Covenant. In Col. 2:11-12, baptism is the new “circumcision” for entering into the New Covenant.

The reason Nicodemus should have known this as a teacher of Israel was because of the Flood. When people were baptized, they were dunked under water. They were symbolically drowned. This is because water represents the abyss. It symbolizes death. In order to be reborn, you have to die first. This is why in ancient christian iconography, baptism shows the water for baptism as this dark cavernous lake or abyss that looks like it is going to swallow the person. It is why Peter compares it to the Flood where Noah was saved through it (1 Pet. 3:20).

This is why Paul says:

Buried with him in baptism, in whom also you are risen again by the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him up from the dead.”
Col 2:12

“For we are buried together with him by baptism into death; that as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life.”
Rom 6:4

“Know you not that all we, who are baptized in Christ Jesus, are baptized in his death?”
Rom 6:3

“And now why tarriest thou? Rise up, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, invoking his name”.
Acts 22:16

If you don’t die, you cant be reborn in Christ. Baptism is essential.

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  #45
Old Dec 23, ’14, 7:50 am
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Originally Posted by God_I_Love View Post
What isn’t? What makes it Catholic doctrine? How does what I presented disagree with points in Catholic theology?

Also is it Christian doctrine?

the magisterium makes catholic doctrine. there is no such thing as christian doctrine outside of the church, because, then it would just be whatever anybody wanted it to be.

working4christtwo– Here is the bible affirmation of the Seven Sacraments ALL Instituted By the catholic church:

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Old Dec 22, ’14, 11:53 am
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Default Sacraments and the bible

Dear friends in Christ,

I was responding to another thread and now can’t locate it.

Here is the bible affirmation of the Seven Sacraments ALL Instituted Bythe catholic church

Quote:
=SJacob7;12592991]I realize that at some point the sacraments and real presence was taught. But the statement was made that the apostles taught them and I was wondering where that information came from?

REPLY:
My friend, Christ Himself instituted ALL Seven of the Sacraments.

Having done this I thought someone might like to have the information

Baptism: John 3: 5 “Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”

Penance: John 20::19-23 “Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. [And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side.. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost [Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained
Confirmation: John 20:22 “When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost.”

Eucharist: All of John 6: Here are vrs 51-56 ” I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. [53] The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day
For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. [57] He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me”

Marriage: [implied as a Sacrament] Mt. 5: 31-32 “And it hath been said, whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce. But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting for the cause of fornication, maketh her to commit adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.”

Holy Orders:[implied] Acts 6: 3-6 “And the saying was liked by all the multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles; and they praying, imposed hands upon them.”

Acts 13: 2-3 “And as they were ministering to the Lord, and fasting, the Holy Ghost said to them: Separate me Saul and Barnabas, for the work whereunto I have taken them. Then they, fasting and praying, and imposing their hands upon them, sent them away.”

The Last Rites / the Final Anointing of the sick [implied] James 5: 14-15 “Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man: and the Lord shall raise him up: and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him“

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A.B. Fulton Sheen: “The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it, and a lie is still a lie, even if everybody believes it.”

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Old Dec 22, ’14, 3:06 pm
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Default Re: Sacraments and the bible

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Originally Posted by PJM View Post
Dear friends in Christ,

I was responding to another thread and now can’t locate it.

Here is the bible affirmation of the Seven Sacraments ALL Instituted By Christ:

REPLY:
My friend, Christ Himself instituted ALL Seven of the Sacraments.

Having done this I thought someone might like to have the information

Baptism: John 3: 5 “Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”

Penance: John 20::19-23 “Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. [And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side.. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost [Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained
Confirmation: John 20:22 “When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost.”

Eucharist: All of John 6: Here are vrs 51-56 ” I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. [53] The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day
For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. [57] He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me”

Marriage: [implied as a Sacrament] Mt. 5: 31-32 “And it hath been said, whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce. But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting for the cause of fornication, maketh her to commit adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.”

Holy Orders:[implied] Acts 6: 3-6 “And the saying was liked by all the multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles; and they praying, imposed hands upon them.”

Acts 13: 2-3 “And as they were ministering to the Lord, and fasting, the Holy Ghost said to them: Separate me Saul and Barnabas, for the work whereunto I have taken them. Then they, fasting and praying, and imposing their hands upon them, sent them away.”

The Last Rites / the Final Anointing of the sick [implied] James 5: 14-15 “Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man: and the Lord shall raise him up: and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him“

Thank you for your reply. Yes, these are all events that took place. No doubt! My question was regarding the apostles teaching these things as sacraments. I mean no disrespect, but I don’t believe there is any account of them doing so. At least not in the NT.

I would like to say a few things about the verses you make reference to above. Please don’t take it wrong, I mean no disrespect but feel the need to point out a few things.

In John 20 there were more than just the apostles in the room at the time Jesus spoke those words. Ref: Luke 24

Confirmation: The apostles received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, which was later.

Holy Orders: Acts 6:3-6 The men chosen were to serve the widows. The apostles didn’t want to give up preaching the Word of God. Not sure where you make the stretch of them receiving Holy Orders here.
Acts 6:2-4 (RSVCE)
And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

Acts 13:2-3. Not sure what you are wanting to show with those verses. But it would have been nice if you would have added the first verse which shows who the people were that put there hands on Barnabas and Saul before they were sent out. It wasn’t the apostles.

Acts 13:1-3 (RSVCE)

Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyre′ne, Man′a-en a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

I do thank you for your reply, I’m just trying to find where the apostles taught the sacraments….

Thanks.

stupid is forever in the church

Today, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by Jubilarian View Post
You are toying with words . You know what I mean when I write ‘truth”. If the Holy Spirit is telling Lutherans one thing and Methodists another, where is the ONE truth? Protestantism offers multiple truths from Gods word. The bible is the word of God. Jesus is THE truth. If one church does not shepherd his word, then you get the ‘factions” that you speak of, which dissolve the concept of one truth.

Yes, not the full truth (Vatican 2). I haven’t said that that no truth exists in Protestant faiths as you seem to imply. The issue is consistency. Protestants as a whole can not agree upon essential issues . You are content with this?

Your way of looking at things only works if you presuppose that Catholicism (your group) has the truth and is on one side and is opposed to a multiplicity of Protestant denominations with different views on the other side. But a Lutheran, for example, could say the same thing. They could say that they have the truth and all other denominations of which Catholicism is one along with Methodists, Baptists, etc. have a multiplicity of other views. Every group thinks they have the full truth and all the others don’t or at best only have a partial truth.

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Your way of looking at things only works if you presuppose that Catholicism (your group) has the truth and is on one side and is opposed to a multiplicity of Protestant denominations with different views on the other side. But a Lutheran, for example, could say the same thing. They could say that they have the truth and all other denominations of which Catholicism is one along with Methodists, Baptists, etc. have a multiplicity of other views. Every group thinks threy have the full truth and all the others don’t or at best only have a partial truth.

We want to know is if Catholicism is the “one truth”. Before the Reformation, tell me with your next response if you believe that Gods word was in error for thousands of years.

You use the word “views” in relation to other denominations. These views are truths from scripture, correct?


Last edited by Jubilarian; Today at 10:40 am.

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Default Re: Which Church??

Quote:
=Jubilarian;12597822]We want to know is if Catholicism is the “one truth”. Before the Reformation, tell me with your next response if you believe that Gods word was in error for thousands of years.

You use the word “views” in relation to other denominations. These views are truths from scripture, correct?

The SHORT way [biblically] tp prove
One God
who can and does have just One set of Faith beliefs
& Founded just One Church {“MY Church”} Mt. 16:18

Mat 16: with the Keys and the founding of “My Church”

Mt.10:1-8 where Christ names the Apostles by name and gives the SOME of His Godly Powers

John 17:111-26 a POWERFUL testimony to Just “One”

Mt 28:16-20 where Christ Himself commands Succession [Mt. 10: commanded teach the Jews Only; Mt 28 has Christ changing His min and now commands them to “TEACH THE ENTIRE WORLD” a mandate to the Apostles and their successors only and directly.

Then there is the historical evidence of ONLY the Catholic Church’s existence for about the first THOUSAND YEARS.

The Reformation did not take place until the 15th Century, and God would have HAD TO wait that long to share His truths [singular]; which is an impossibility.

With thousands to choose from; which competing faith is then God’s ONE True Faith?

Eph. 4:1-7 “I therefore, a prisoner in the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called, With all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity. Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. One body [means One Church] and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling. [5] One Lord, one faith, one baptism.One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all. But to every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the giving of Christ” {Requires acceptance of God’s Grace to understand and comprehend]

Prayer for them is the answer

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http://working4christtwo.wordpress.com

A.B. Fulton Sheen: “The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it, and a lie is still a lie, even if everybody believes it.”

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Today, 7:27 am
Jubilarian Jubilarian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benhur View Post

Just Protestantism ? Not Catholicism ? It took Vat 2 to finally admit God’s truth lives in “other churches” also, though not as fully.

Yes and it is also Absolute. Wisdom however takes other things into account, even relative to things at hand. So any church worth it’s weight discerns truth, line by line, and not just in totality (or by faction).

To be catholic /universal, it must be agreed upon by all. That ceased long ago for “some” of our lines/doctrines. Fact is most churches today are still “catholic”, at least by 4th century norms ( the apostles creed).

Beyond that factions are inevitable but wisdom would say be careful when you start saying “others” are not true church.

Paul warned against factionalizing to show , “we are the true church”.

With his admonition we should say to anyone who says that , “really ?”

You are toying with words . You know what I mean when I write ‘truth”. If the Holy Spirit is telling Lutherans one thing and Methodists another, where is the ONE truth? Protestantism offers multiple truths from Gods word.

The bible is the word of God. Jesus is THE truth.

If one church does not shepherd his word, then you get the ‘factions” that you speak of, which dissolve the concept of one truth.

Yes, not the full truth (Vatican 2).

I haven’t said that that no truth exists in Protestant faiths as you seem to imply. The issue is consistency.

Pope Leo X

“The Church needs a reformation. And this cannot be the work either of a single man, as the pope – but it must be that of the whole world” (Martin Luther)

Pope Leo X was born Giovanni de Medici in 1475 and raised in Italy’s most culturally sophisticated city, Florence, as part of the prestigious de’ Medici family, renowned patrons of the arts, benefactors of scholarship, and masters of political intrigue.

He became one of the most extravagant of all Popes, more a patron of the arts as his parents were than a significant ecclesiastical figure. He was a skilful administrator, and became Pope at the age of 37 in 1513.

Immediately Leo demonstrated his appreciation of art by initiating a massive building project to beautify the Vatican. The pomp and extravagance of his court was an indirect cause of the Reformation because to acquire the enormous sums of money for renovation, he encouraged the sale of “Indulgences,” which was a promise of relief from eternal penalties.

In Germany this practice aroused the ire of Martin Luther, a humble monk, who issued ninety- five arguments for church reform.

Luther wrote in his 95 Theses, his criticism of the Church – “why doesn’t the Pope build the basilica of St Peter’s out of his own money?”.

German nobles saw an opportunity to cut off currency flowing to Rome that was very much needed at home, so they backed Luther’s cause. In 1520, Leo issued the papal bull Exsurge Domine demanding Luther retract 41 of his 95 theses, and after Luther’s refusal, excommunicated him.

Some historians believe that Leo never really took Luther’s movement or his followers seriously, even until the time of his death in 1521. They also contend that if he had been more interested in religion than artwork, the Reformation may never have happened.

Pope Leo X was also the Patron of the artist Raphael and granted King Henry VIII of England the title ‘Defender of the Faith’. He was the last pope to look at the papacy as a temporal monarchy.

Protestants as a whole can not agree upon essential issues .

You are content with this?

you could just look at what Saint Paul said– in Romans 8– if you don’t have the “down load ” of the Holy Spirit — than you are not part of the “body of Christ”

and Saint Paul “always taught that the People were the church and the “Body of Christ”

and as in Mark 16 — says — and these signs shall follow them__

in my name they will– etc–etc– heal deliver- prophecy

working4christtwo– which Church hold the truth ? and has the Holy Spirit

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  #346
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Originally Posted by PRmerger View Post
Sure.

Not sure what your point is? That someone can do research and because they did their choice is correct?

Atheists also do research and conclude that God doesn’t exist.

Your point about them would be….?

My point is that you’re no different than anyone else in choosing a Church that “makes sense” to them.

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  #347
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Originally Posted by benhur View Post
Just Protestantism ? Not Catholicism ? It took Vat 2 to finally admit God’s truth lives in “other churches” also, though not as fully. Yes and it is also Absolute.Wisdom however takes other things into account, even relative to things at hand. So any church worth it’s weight discerns truth, line by line, and not just in totality (or by faction). To be catholic /universal, it must be agreed upon by all. That ceased long ago for “some” of our lines/doctrines. Fact is most churches today are still “catholic”, at least by 4th century norms ( the apostles creed). Beyond that factions are inevitable but wisdom would say be careful when you start saying “others” are not true church. Paul warned against factionalizing to show , “we are the true church”. With his admonition we should say to anyone who says that , “really ?”

You are toying with words . You know what I mean when I write ‘truth”. If the Holy Spirit is telling Lutherans one thing and Methodists another, where is the ONE truth? Protestantism offers multiple truths from Gods word. The bible is the word of God. Jesus is THE truth. If one church does not shepherd his word, then you get the ‘factions” that you speak of, which dissolve the concept of one truth.

Yes, not the full truth (Vatican 2). I haven’t said that that no truth exists in Protestant faiths as you seem to imply. The issue is consistency. Protestants as a whole can not agree upon essential issues . You are content with this?

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  #348
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Originally Posted by Jubilarian View Post
You are toying with words . You know what I mean when I write ‘truth”. If the Holy Spirit is telling Lutherans one thing and Methodists another, where is the ONE truth? Protestantism offers multiple truths from Gods word. The bible is the word of God. Jesus is THE truth. If one church does not shepherd his word, then you get the ‘factions” that you speak of, which dissolve the concept of one truth.

Yes, not the full truth (Vatican 2). I haven’t said that that no truth exists in Protestant faiths as you seem to imply. The issue is consistency. Protestants as a whole can not agree upon essential issues . You are content with this?

Your way of looking at things only works if you presuppose that Catholicism (your group) has the truth and is on one side and is opposed to a multiplicity of Protestant denominations with different views on the other side. But a Lutheran, for example, could say the same thing. They could say that they have the truth and all other denominations of which Catholicism is one along with Methodists, Baptists, etc. have a multiplicity of other views. Every group thinks they have the full truth and all the others don’t or at best only have a partial truth.

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  #349
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Originally Posted by Thorolfr View Post
Your way of looking at things only works if you presuppose that Catholicism (your group) has the truth and is on one side and is opposed to a multiplicity of Protestant denominations with different views on the other side. But a Lutheran, for example, could say the same thing. They could say that they have the truth and all other denominations of which Catholicism is one along with Methodists, Baptists, etc. have a multiplicity of other views. Every group thinks threy have the full truth and all the others don’t or at best only have a partial truth.

We want to know is if Catholicism is the “one truth”. Before the Reformation, tell me with your next response if you believe that Gods word was in error for thousands of years.

You use the word “views” in relation to other denominations. These views are truths from scripture, correct?


Last edited by Jubilarian; Today at 11:40 am.

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  #350
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Default Re: Which Church??

Quote:
=Jubilarian;12597822]We want to know is if Catholicism is the “one truth”. Before the Reformation, tell me with your next response if you believe that Gods word was in error for thousands of years.

You use the word “views” in relation to other denominations. These views are truths from scripture, correct?

The SHORT way [biblically] tp prove
One God
who can and does have just One set of Faith beliefs
& Founded just One Church {“MY Church”} Mt. 16:18

Mat 16: with the Keys and the founding of “My Church”

Mt.10:1-8 where Christ names the Apostles by name and gives the SOME of His Godly Powers

John 17:111-26 a POWERFUL testimony to Just “One”

Mt 28:16-20 where Christ Himself commands Succession [Mt. 10: commanded teach the Jews Only; Mt 28 has Christ changing His min and now commands them to “TEACH THE ENTIRE WORLD” a mandate to the Apostles and their successors only and directly.

Then there is the historical evidence of ONLY the Catholic Church’s existence for about the first THOUSAND YEARS.

The Reformation did not take place until the 15th Century, and God would have HAD TO wait that long to share His truths [singular]; which is an impossibility.

With thousands to choose from; which competing faith is then God’s ONE True Faith?

Eph. 4:1-7 “I therefore, a prisoner in the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called, With all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity. Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. One body [means One Church] and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling. [5] One Lord, one faith, one baptism.One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all. But to every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the giving of Christ” {Requires acceptance of God’s Grace to understand and comprehend]

Prayer for them is the answer

__________________
Irish2: PJM

http://working4christtwo.wordpress.com

A.B. Fulton Sheen: “The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it, and a lie is still a lie, even if everybody believes it.”

Mythicism: Two Theories–“Jesus never really existed as a historical person. He originated as a mythical character

Mythicism: Two Theories

OHJ

“Jesus never really existed as a historical person. He originated as a mythical character in tales symbolically narrating the salvific acts of a divine being who never walked the earth. Later this myth was mistaken for history, or deliberately repackaged that way, and then embellished over time… The odds Jesus existed are less than 1 in 12,000 [.008%]. Which to a historian is for all practical purposes a probability of zero. Even when I entertain the most generous estimates possible, I find I cannot by any stretch of the imagination believe the probability Jesus existed is better than 1 in 3 [32%].” (Richard Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason to Doubt, pp xi, 600)

Mexist

“As a prophet of the Arabs who taught a vaguely defined monotheism, Muhammad may have existed. But beyond that, his life story is lost in the mists of legend, like those of Robin Hood and Macbeth. As the prophet of Islam, who received (or even claimed to receive) the Qur’an, Muhammad almost certainly did not exist… Muhammad the messenger of Allah came into existence only after the Arab Empire was firmly entrenched and casting about for a political theology to anchor and unify it. Muhammad and the Qur’an cemented the power of the Umayyad Caliphate and then that of the Abbasid Caliphate. That is the most persuasive explanation for why they were created at all.” (Robert Spencer, Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry into Islam’s Obscure Origins, pp 214-215)

I used to dismiss mythicists as agenda-driven cranks, and frankly many of them still are. The two authors under review are different, however, and seem to have been leery about mythicism before becoming advocates for it. In his decades-long study of the Qur’an and hadiths, Robert Spencer was aware of how unreliable the sources are; yet he concluded that Muhammad probably existed (Did Muhammad Exist?, pp 6-7). Richard Carrier associated Christ-myth theorists with crackpots until finally examining the issue (On the Historicity of Jesus, pp 1-3). A mythicist camp isn’t exactly something you have a burning desire to join if you care about your credibility.

Both Spencer and Carrier are credible advocates, and I should address certain objections that have been, and might still be, raised against them before examining what they have to say about Muhammad and Jesus, respectively.

1. Neither Spencer nor Carrier have degrees in Qur’an or Biblical Studies. Spencer has an MA in religious studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Carrier holds a PhD in ancient history from Columbia University. But the claims of Spencer and Carrier stand or fall like any claims: on their merits, not on the kind of degrees that back them up. Amateurs can be right and experts can be wrong (Secret Mark a case in point, exposed as a hoax by two non-specialists independently of each other); being tied to a guild can bring its own baggage. Credentials obviously matter in plenty of ways (if you want a teaching position at a respectable institution you’d better have the right kind), but in general, “pulling rank” on someone by appealing to a superior degree is no argument at all. It’s a sign of insecurity, in some cases even incompetence.

2. Spencer and Carrier are controversial figures. Spencer is a political conservative who runs the Jihad Watch blog, and is viewed by some as an Islamophobe. Claiming that Islam is inherently militant — that jihadists aren’t perverting the Qur’an but rather understanding it too well — doesn’t invite a warm reception these days. But Spencer gets way more flak than he deserves. I’ve explained how political correctness impedes our understanding of religions, and Spencer is to be commended in this regard. Carrier is an atheist crusader for “sense and goodness without God”, urging that the religion of Christianity is a delusion. But he displays enough competence in the field of early Christianity. Yes, heblunders from time to time, but he also gets plenty right where it counts.

3. Spencer and Carrier can be off-putting. They generally avoid ad hominem attacks (unlike some of their critics, BTW), though not always. Ridiculing one’s sexuality or looks (Spencer: “the metrosexual Reza Aslan has no good arguments”) is poor form, as is calling the mental state of other scholars into question (Carrier: “I suspect Maurice Casey is insane”). It’s no surprise that people find Spencer and Carrier to be unrewarding conversation partners.

These elements are irrelevant and ignored in what follows. Did Muhammad Exist? and On the Historicity of Jesus are not only well researched and fairly argued, they show that mythicist positions are defensible in the right hands. I haven’t been moved to either conclusion, but I’ve been moved to greater doubt, and to revise some of my historicist judgments.

Muhammad

I’ll start with Spencer’s book, since it’s the more straightforward. Simply put, we don’t have any early sources, let alone multiple or independent ones, to build a case for Muhammad’s existence. There’s no mention of Muhammad or the Qur’an by the Arabs who were supposed to have been inspired by them in the first six decades. That’s sixty years of complete silence — a long time. In the eighth and ninth centuries we get stories of Muhammad in sudden immense detail, but in the early expansion following the 630s, the prophet and holy book are completely unheard of. They’re absent from surviving Arab communications, absent from the writings of those they conquered, absent period. These Arabs are said to have come and laid waste, but they are not called Muslims, just Hagarenes, Ishmaelites, and Saracens.

On coins from this period, we do find the word “Muhammad” inscribed, but the inscription comes under kingly figures bearing a cross, which is obviously a symbol of Christianity (Did Muhammad Exist?, pp 43-4). “Muhammad” can mean “the chosen/praised one,” and so the coins could be conveying the idea that the ruler is praised or chosen in God’s name (p 45). Alternatively, they could be referring to Jesus — at a time when the religion of the Arab conquerors was still a vague monotheism — or a proto-Muhammad figure unlike the latter-day messenger of Allah. Even the inscriptions on the Dome of the Rock (completed in 691 AD and often thought to be the first elaborations on traditional Islamic theology) could be referring to Jesus, explaining how he, “Muhammad”, is a mere messenger and not divine as orthodox Christianity held (pp 56-7).

The reconstruction is simple: The earliest Arab rulers were Hagarenes, monotheists whose chief heroes were Abraham and Ishmael, and they were Christian-friendly enough that they minted coins with crosses on them. It was in 691+ that Islam as we know it began to emerge in defiance of this Hagarene faith and Christianity, amongst the Umayyads (who ruled from 661-750). The Dome of the Rock’s inscription referring to the “praised one” could no longer refer to Jesus, but a new militant prophet. The Umayyads were supplanted by the Abbasids in 750, who regarded their predecessors as irreligious, and who began massively rewriting the past with the Qur’an and hadiths, and filling in historical gaps, demonizing the Umayyads, who in turn created their own hadiths blaming the Abbasids.

Given the 60-year deafening silence and lack of early sources, the only defense for Muhammad’s existence can come by using the criterion of embarrassment in the late sources. Spencer finds this problematic, and I will return to the issue at the end. Richard Carrier finds the criterion equally useless in assessing the figure of Jesus, and in this they both agree with an increasing number of experts.

Jesus

In the case of Jesus, we don’t have a 60-year stretch of silence. Nor even 40 years (when the gospels start appearing). The letters of Paul give us a 20-year window, and so the question hinges on what Paul tells us. Carrier argues that Paul and other apostles worshiped a purely mythical figure into which the gospels later pumped historical life.

In other words, there was never a man named Jesus who acquired followers in his life, and who was executed, or believed/claimed to be executed, which in turn led to his status as a divine Christ (On the Historicity of Jesus, pp 33-34). That’s how Carrier defines the minimal historicist position.

Instead, Jesus was originally thought to be a celestial deity, who communicated with his subjects through dreams and visions. Like other celestial deities, he was at first claimed to have gone through an ordeal of incarnation, death, burial and resurrection in the supernatural realm. Also like other celestial deities, he was later placed on earth, in history, as a divine man, with an earthly family, friends, and enemies, complete with deeds and sayings (p 53). That’s how Carrier defines the minimal mythicist position. (The Ascension of Isaiah paints a picture like this: a preexistent divine Jesus descending below the moon to be killed by sky demons in outer space.)

As a result, there’s a constant dialectic running through Carrier’s work, as he examines evidence to see whether it lends credence to the minimal historicist position or the minimal mythicist position. He assesses gospels and epistles alike, but the real weight hinges on Paul:

“When we approach the Epistles of Paul we must look at each passage with the assumption that mythicism is true and then estimate how likely it would be that the passage would look like that. And then look at that same passage with the assumption that historicity is true and do the same. The latter probability may even be high. But is it as high as the probability on mythicism? (Or higher?) That’s the only question that logically matters?” (p 514)

This brings us to Carriers methodology. By use of Bayes’ Theorem, Carrier estimates the odds Jesus existed less than 1 in 12,000 (.008%). That’s what he genuinely believes the odds are. Playing devil’s advocate — that is, being as generous as possible to the historicist camp — he estimates a 1 in 3 (32%) likelihood. This is all based on his own series of judgments made throughout the course of his book, and as he noted in his prior volume, Proving History, the formula is only as good as what you put into it. Needless to say, the reliability of his .008% – 32% spectrum depends on how one accepts his judgments.

For the most part he doesn’t become victim of his aggressive claims. So for instance, in his assessment of the gospels, he finds nothing at all which can verify Jesus’ existence, but also nothing which proves mythicism. “As evidence, the gospels simply make no difference to the equation.” (p 509) That might be objectionable, but he’s not stacking the deck in his favor as I expected.

He grounds the Christian movement in the phenomenon of cargo cults (pp 159-163) against the backdrop of Roman occupation (pp 153-159), which itself I take to be accurate. If the Jewish people couldn’t retake control of their temple by armed revolt, some sectarians could conceive a replacement of it altogether, which Carrier sees as effected by Christ’s atoning death:

“The centrality of the temple was a continual problem for the Jews. A physical location requiring political control entailed military domination. So long as the Romans had the latter, the Jews would never have the former. The Zealots took the logical option of attempting to remove the Romans and restore Jewish control. The Christians took the only other available option: removing the temple from their entire soteriological scheme. Christians could then just await God’s wrath to come from heaven, while in the meantime, God’s promise could be delivered unto the kingdom they had spiritually created, first in an anticipatory way, and then in the most final way (the apocalypse).” (pp 158-159)

Carrier notes that many cargo cults worship saviors or follow messiahs that never existed, which is true, though the opposite is also true. Historicists like Dale Allison have also framed Christian origins as a cargo cult response to the socio-political realities of ancient Palestine (see Millenarian Prophet, pp 78-94).

But back to Paul, who gets the key penultimate chapter. It’s well presented, and many of Carrier’s arguments give you pause if you forget you know anything about the New Testament outside Paul’s authentic letters; but he’s not always convincing.

For instance, he rightly dismisses the historicist evasion that Paul doesn’t mention Jesus’ earthly life because he didn’t care about it (pp 517-518). That doesn’t necessarily count as a strike against the historicist position, however. Paul did care about the historical Jesus, but that figure was no help to him, sometimes against him, and so he had to avoid mentioning him. Carrier says that “letters about persons almost always contain historical references to them” (p 523) — but not if those references are a problem. Not if that historical person was wrong about the issue at hand. The reason what Jesus said and did in life isn’t relevant in Gal 1-2 (as Carrier objects, p 526) is that Jesus never spoke against circumcision, as Peter and James would have obviously known and already thrown in his face. Paul needed an anti-circumcision gospel (on the basis of a continually delayed parousia), which only the (convenient) heavenly Christ could provide. All of this explains why Paul shuns the term “disciple”, which Carrier makes much of (p 524). There is nothing improbable about an apostle who never knew Jesus, and was at loggerheads with those who did, and who wanted to avoid any reference to his earthly business.

With regards to the eucharist, Carrier finds that Paul’s use of the Lord’s Supper is “too easily explained on minimal mythicism and too unusual and sparsely detailed on minimal historicity, producing at best a 50/50 fit either way. It thus argues for neither historicity nor mythicism.” (pp 562-563) That conclusion is fair enough, but more needs saying about the way Paul understood Jesus’ death.

When you weigh all of Paul’s Jesus-death metaphors, the scales tip in favor of minimal historicity. Carrier says (pp 143-145) that early Christians saw Jesus’ death has having replaced the sacrifices of both Passover and the Day of Atonement (passover is implied by the eucharist account, and Yom Kippur by Rom 3:24-26), which I take as correct, but they also saw him as a martyr. Some of the texts Carrier cites (like I Cor 15:3) evoke martyrdom more than passover/atonement. The catalog of texts include I Cor 8:11, I Cor 15:3, II Cor 5:15 (x2), Rom 5:6-8 (x2), Rom 14:9, Gal 2:20-21, I Thess 5:9-10. “Christ dying for our sins” parrots the “X dying for Y” standard (see Jeffrey Gibson’s “Paul’s Dying Formula”), signalling real flesh-and-blood mortals who died so that others could follow their example. Jews believed that copying a martyr gained victory over a tyrant (IV Macc 1:11; 18:4), and pagans thought copying a philosopher gained victory over fortune (Seneca, Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales 24:4); likewise, Paul thought copying Christ gained victory over sin and death (Rom 6:1-11; 8:10).

If martyrdom isn’t the most important death metaphor for Paul, it is the one he most frequently invokes. Jesus is martyr (I Cor 8:11, I Cor 15:3, II Cor 5:15 (x2), Rom 5:6-8 (x2), Rom 14:9, Gal 2:20-21, I Thess 5:9-10), paschal lamb (I Cor 5:7, I Cor 11:25), mercy seat of faith (Rom 3:25), sin-bearer/scapegoat (Gal 3:13, II Cor 5:21, Rom 6:6, Rom 7:4, Rom 8:3), and redeemer (I Cor 6:20, 7:23) all in one, and those metaphors are conceptually at odds with one another. It’s easy to understand a cargo cult leader who martyred himself and then later became deified on the cultic level, based on the weight of these death metaphors. That’s what happened elsewhere (on which see David Seeley’s The Noble Death): The Maccabeans were exemplary, but their blood also served as “an atoning sacrifice” (IV Macc. 17:21-22); the blood of Thrasea’s model suicide was sprinkled on the ground as a libation to the gods (Tacitus, Annals 16:35).

Carrier covers the noble death theme on pp 209-211, and gives it good treatment (especially noting how the concept wasn’t embarrassing: “the more awful and shameful the manner death, the more heroic and powerful it was”), but he doesn’t register the full implications. It’s at least as likely (and I think slightly more so, again based on the distribution of death metaphors in the Pauline corpus) that Jesus’ historical martyrdom took on a heavenly atoning function, than that the starting point was a celestial atoning Christ.

Finally, a word about Gal 1:19, which in Carrier’s view is “the only real evidence” historicists have from Paul’s letters. He argues that James “the brother of the Lord” is fictive kinship language rather than biological, as Paul wants to distinguish Christians generally from apostles specifically (p 590), which means of course that he’s not referring to James the pillar. It’s not a convincing argument. Paul would have little reason to bring up a lesser non-apostolic James in the context Gal 1-2, as such a figure would be beneath mentioning. Paul is referring to the apostle James who in fact is the biological brother of Jesus, and who has to be acknowledged, because he’s a thorn in Paul’s side being a rival authority in the Antioch incident as it now bears on the Galatian situation.

This was a point made by Zeba Crook in his recent debate with Carrier, to which Carrier laterresponded online:

“Crook claimed Paul ‘wished’ James wasn’t the brother of Jesus (because that made James a greater authority than Paul). There is no indication of that anywhere in the Epistles, at all (this is the same error I caught Mark Goodacre in). That is a Christian faith doctrine, that Crook has sublimated from having been taught ‘mainstream assumptions’ in his field inherited by its progenitors, who were not analyzing the evidence objectively in the first place.”

Carrier is being a bit obtuse here. No one, least of all Crook and Goodacre, is leaning on Christian faith doctrine; this is a scholarly construct based on objective assessments of Paul’s relationship to James and the other pillars. Even if you know nothing of Acts 15, it’s not hard to see the power struggles implied in Gal 1-2. (As an aside, I even suggest that James used his authority treacherously.) This is a feeble swipe on Carrier’s part and one of his least persuasive arguments.

But even though Carrier thinks the kinship language of Gal 1:19 (and I Cor 9:5) is twice as likely on the mythicist assumption, he allows that it also might be twice as likely on the historicist assumption (p 592). So again, fair ball.

Embarrassing Criteria

The criterion of embarrassment has undergone something of a reassessment in the past decade. Other criteria (like dissimilarity) have been long acknowledged to be flawed in premise, leaving embarrassment as the trump card. If you have no early sources to work with (in the case of Muhammad), or if your early sources are stingy and oblique (in the case of Jesus), then the way to salvage late narratives is with the luring promise of scandal: that which mocks your beliefs, or undermines your credibility, or somehow makes you look bad, can’t have been invented by you, because you don’t cut your throat. You don’t embarrass yourself unless you are forced to acknowledge, perhaps even defend, something that really happened. Thus Muhammad falling under the power of black magic; thus Jesus baptized by the inferior John, implying he had sins that needed washing away.

The principle is fair, the application problematic. Mainstream scholars like Dale Allison and Mark Goodacre would both agree with Spencer and Carrier that (1) what appears to be embarrassing to us often wasn’t (Spencer, Did Muhammad Exist?, pp 111-117; Carrier, Proving History, pp 129-134); (2) even material that was embarrassing may not have been so at an earlier stage, when it could have been invented (Carrier, pp 126-128); (3) by virtue of the fact that it’s there at all, how embarrassing could the material really have been? the ancient authors had creative license to omit whatever bothered them (Carrier, pp 134-137).

The first two points are valid, the third is somewhat lame. The gospel/hadith writers had creative license, but they didn’t write in a vacuum, and could be kept in check by entrenched traditions. Beliefs remain cherished despite nervousness owing to other evolving beliefs, and there are cases where the apologetic process is obvious. Even Spencer concedes the Satanic verses were embarrassing (that Muhammad received revelations from the devil), and a genuine case from the gospels would be Jesus’ mistaken prophecy about the apocalypse.

The problem involves point (2). Embarrassment at a late stage doesn’t imply the same for an earlier one. Jesus’ promise that some disciples standing next to him wouldn’t die before the apocalypse could have been created in a first-generation church that was getting impatient for his return (as its members were starting to die off). Mk 9:1 would have then served as an “assurance” text (somewhat like I Thess 4:13-18 or I Cor 15:51-53), the message being, “Don’t worry, Jesus is coming again and some of you will still be alive when it happens.” Only at the point when all first followers died off would the saying become embarrassing.

For detailed examples of where the criterion succeeds and fails in the hadiths and gospels, I refer the reader to my post, The Embarrassing Existence of Muhammad and Jesus, but the upshot is that I agree it has very limited value. There aren’t many examples where embarrassment is obvious; in cases where it is, it implies the material probably originated earlier, but where on the 40-60 year spectrum is hard to estimate. On whole, I take it that scholars like Allison and Goodacre, and now Spencer and Carrier, have struck a significant blow against the criterion’s utility. In the few cases where it applies, it could have some impact on Carrier’s Bayesian probabilities pertaining to the gospel narratives; not much, granted, but some.

Verdict

Did Muhammad Exist? and On the Historicity of Jesus represent levelheaded arguments for mythicism. Their authors may have controversial personas, but that shouldn’t be confused with whacky theorizing.

It isn’t far-fetched to suppose that Muhammad never existed from a 60-year stretch of silence. If not for a couple of sticking points, I could be moved to Spencer’s conclusion.

Nor is it a crackpot theory that Jesus began as an apostolic fantasy until historicized 40 years later. Especially if you deny the existence of Q, as I dislike admitting that I do, and allow that the meager amount of early evidence — Paul’s eight letters, possibly Hebrews — evince high Christology and do little to hint at an historical Jesus. I believe Paul does this more than Carrier grants, but not so as to leave me supremely confident.

Scholars haven’t taken mythicism seriously enough to respond to it appropriately, and frankly you can’t blame them. But I think it’s time to recognize mythicism as a viable alternative. Bart Ehrman’s Did Jesus Exist? has some good points, but on whole it’s a rather superficial rebuttal to mythicism; Maurice Casey’s Jesus: Evidence and Argument Or Mythicist Myths? is dire. (The scholarship of Ehrman and Casey are usually impressive.) Critiques of Spencer’s case against Muhammad have been worse.

I enjoy seeing Bayes’ Theorem in action; it’s a wonderful integration of math and the social sciences. The ’90s showed that any Jesus theory can fit the evidence, and Carrier’s Bayesian strategy starts by asking how likely mythicism is to start with; then asking how probable all the evidence is on its minimal version; then also how probable it is on historicism’s minimal version. Some of Carrier’s judgments are objectionable, but not greasy; I never felt he was abusing our trust. He grounds early Christianity in the proper framework of cargo cults. He dismisses testimony that was never strong to begin with, like Josephus. He pegs the likelihood Jesus existed at a putrid .008%, but also concedes as high as 32% to his opponents. I’m not sure what my spectrum would end up looking like (it would be higher), but it would be an interesting project to work on at some point.

For anyone who teaches courses on the historical Jesus, I stand by my previous list of recommendations, though I have added Carrier’s work to it (I’d already included Arnal’s The Symbolic Jesus, which is a hop away from mythicism). If I were an instructor, I might use Allison’s trilogy and Carrier’s duology, to provide students with the best of what historicism and mythicism have to offer.

UPDATE: Richard Carrier replies.

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37 THOUGHTS ON “MYTHICISM: TWO THEORIES”

  1. “”The ’90s showed that any Jesus theory can fit the evidence””

    Yes, that’s fundamentally the issue: it’s a clash of competing interpretive frameworks. One has powerful social and political support. The other is right.

    Excellent review.

    Michael

  2. Gosh! I never thought I was going to disagree wholeheartedly with Loren on almost any matter but but now it has happened at last. It’s all about Robert Spencer’s book on Muhammad. I read it more than a year ago and I have been mulling about it ever since then. The book left me a bitter aftertaste and it still does. It is those kind of books where the author is out to prove a thing at almost any price and by whatever methods. Spencer’s distaste for Islam and its founder is wellknown and here I got the clear impression that Spencer behaves much the way Jesus mythers do; falsify a religion in the most effective way by “showing” that the founder never existed. Personally I think Spencer hasn’t even come close to doing that. And definitely not in “Did Muhammad exist?”. It is a book full of sloppy thinking and sloppy scholarship. I don´t want to make any second guesses about why my normally clearheaded friend Loren has swallowed Spencer’s assertion that we have a “60-year stretch of silence” before Mohammad shows up in our earliest sources. Despite Spencer’s efforts to cast doubt on early sources like the Syriac gospel fragment (dated to the 630ies) I think his nitpicking is unpersuasive. Equally unpersuasive is Spencer’s way of mostly relaying on fringe theories and fringe scholars like John Wansbrough and Christoph Luxenburg (Princeton islam scholar Patricia Crone with a slightly hidden disdain calls him an amateur). And I hardly think it is a coincidence that Spencer leaves the recently found Sanaa fragments of the Quran from Yemen (dated to the end of the 7th century) out of the discussion. These fragments show conclusively that something very close to the modern Quranic version already existed 40-70 years after Mohammad’s death. Which make it very difficult to believe that the Quran was a later invention by the Ummayads and the Abbasids. It is also hardly a coincidence that Spencer almost totally leaves out a discussion about the internal “evidence” of the Quran itself. I suppose one reason is that Spencer doesn’t know classical arabic himself. How is he to get into things like the peculiar style of the suras? A thing that on its own make most islam scholars who know arabic pretty certain that most of the suras go back to Muhammad himself and not to some later inventive muslims in Abbasid times. I don´t know one iota of arabic myself but even reading the Quran in a translation makes me wonder why later muslims living in Ummayad and Abbasid times would make up the chronologically and thematically disjointed suras that are part of the Quaran. The hodgepodge of the Quran makes a lot more sense if the traditions about it being the utterances of Mohammad being true. Just as it makes a lot more sense if the verses were later collected at the time of Uthman (were the traditional story fits pretty well with the timing of the Saana fragments).
    What makes me weary about Robert Spencer is that I am 100 % sure that he would never use the same sloppy methods to dissect the traditions about Jesus. I am sure that he would deem even the Gospel of John about 99 % historically reliable.
    Personally I have come to the conclusion that Mohammad is unique in being a founder of a religious movement from Antiquity where we have we have the majority of his teachings as coming to us as almost out of his mouth. We really get into his mind in a way we can never do with Jesus or Buddha.

    • I ordinarily wouldn’t reply to such a piece, but Loren wrote and alerted me to what Antonio Jerez had written, and I thought it might be an interesting exercise.

      “The book left me a bitter aftertaste and it still does. It is those kind of books where the author is out to prove a thing at almost any price and by whatever methods.”

      In reality, when I started researching the book, I thought I would find that Muhammad certainly existed but that some of the material in the hadith about him that was generally considered to be authentic was actually inauthentic. The more I researched, however, the less I found — that is, the less I found that supported the canonical picture of Muhammad.

      “Spencer’s distaste for Islam and its founder is wellknown and here I got the clear impression that Spencer behaves much the way Jesus mythers do; falsify a religion in the most effective way by ‘showing’ that the founder never existed.”

      I am not in the least interested in falsifying Islam. My interest in Islam is focused on Sharia threats to human rights and the jihad threat to free societies. People who believe in Islam but leave infidels alone are fine by me and I have no interest in disturbing their myth. My interest in the question of Muhammad’s existence is historical.

      “Despite Spencer’s efforts to cast doubt on early sources like the Syriac gospel fragment (dated to the 630ies) I think his nitpicking is unpersuasive.”

      Why? Antonio Jerez does not explain why. In any case, I discuss the fragment and note that it provides us no details that authenticate the voluminous hadith literature about Muhammad. I stand by that.

      “Equally unpersuasive is Spencer’s way of mostly relaying on fringe theories and fringe scholars like John Wansbrough and Christoph Luxenburg (Princeton islam scholar Patricia Crone with a slightly hidden disdain calls him an amateur).”

      Jerez doesn’t mention my strong reliance on the presumably “professional” Crone; nor does he note that Crone was a protege of Wansbrough. Anyway, calling someone “fringe” is not a refutation of his work; it is just a pejorative term meaning that the views espoused by this person are currently unpopular and not in favor. The real question is whether or not what they say is true. Galileo was “fringe” in his day.

      “And I hardly think it is a coincidence that Spencer leaves the recently found Sanaa fragments of the Quran from Yemen (dated to the end of the 7th century) out of the discussion. These fragments show conclusively that something very close to the modern Quranic version already existed 40-70 years after Mohammad’s death. Which make it very difficult to believe that the Quran was a later invention by the Ummayads and the Abbasids.”

      In reality, I state in the book that the Qur’an and Islam started to take shape during the end of the 7th century, so these fragments do not refute my thesis in the slightest. However, these fragments do not in themselves “show conclusively that something very close to the modern Quranic version already existed 40-70 years after Mohammad’s death.” Luxenberg and Lueling argue in different ways that the Qur’an was constructed from already existing material. The fragments could be fragments of that earlier material, and not of the Qur’an at all.

      “It is also hardly a coincidence that Spencer almost totally leaves out a discussion about the internal ‘evidence’ of the Quran itself. I suppose one reason is that Spencer doesn’t know classical arabic himself. How is he to get into things like the peculiar style of the suras?”

      This is an odd quibble, since in the book I do actually discuss the Qur’an’s style, nonce words, words of unknown meaning, obvious textual interpolations, and more. These discussions are in chapter six. Did Jerez throw the book down in disgust before finishing it?

      “A thing that on its own make most islam scholars who know arabic pretty certain that most of the suras go back to Muhammad himself and not to some later inventive muslims in Abbasid times.”

      I don’t argue that the Qur’an is a product of Abbasid times, but of the Umayyads.

      “I don´t know one iota of arabic myself but even reading the Quran in a translation makes me wonder why later muslims living in Ummayad and Abbasid times would make up the chronologically and thematically disjointed suras that are part of the Quaran. The hodgepodge of the Quran makes a lot more sense if the traditions about it being the utterances of Mohammad being true. Just as it makes a lot more sense if the verses were later collected at the time of Uthman (were the traditional story fits pretty well with the timing of the Saana fragments).”

      This argument cuts both ways. If the standard story of how the Qur’an was put together is true, why couldn’t those who collected it together in Uthman’s day put it in some coherent order? Why couldn’t Muhammad have done so before that? To claim that a committee (as per the stories in early Islamic sources about the Qur’an’s collection) in the 650’s couldn’t have organized the Qur’an more coherently but a committee in the 690’s would necessarily have done so is, well, ridiculous.

      “What makes me weary about Robert Spencer is that I am 100 % sure that he would never use the same sloppy methods to dissect the traditions about Jesus. I am sure that he would deem even the Gospel of John about 99 % historically reliable.”

      I haven’t studied the Gospel of John on that basis, so I couldn’t say. In any case, I’m not for “sloppy methods” being used anywhere, but as I state in “Did Muhammad Exist?,” I am all for historical criticism of the Bible. I merely suggest it should also be allowed to be done on the Qur’an.

      “Personally I have come to the conclusion that Mohammad is unique in being a founder of a religious movement from Antiquity where we have we have the majority of his teachings as coming to us as almost out of his mouth. We really get into his mind in a way we can never do with Jesus or Buddha.”

      Funny how these teachings come almost out of his mouth and then Muslims clammed up about them and never mentioned that either he or these teachings existed for six decades, and for much of what came out of his mouth, even substantially longer.

      • That was quite a surprise. Thanks to Loren I got a response from Mr Spencer himself. That’s is certainly appreciated:

        Robert wrote:
        “I am not in the least interested in falsifying Islam. My interest in Islam is focused on Sharia threats to human rights and the jihad threat to free societies. People who believe in Islam but leave infidels alone are fine by me and I have no interest in disturbing their myth. My interest in the question of Muhammad’s existence is historical.”

        Well, I will have to trust you on that one. At least until I see a book by Robert Spencer on the historical Jesus and see if he is prepared to use the same methods he applied on Muhammad to Jesus.

        Antonio wrote
        “Equally unpersuasive is Spencer’s way of mostly relaying on fringe theories and fringe scholars like John Wansbrough and Christoph Luxenburg (Princeton islam scholar Patricia Crone with a slightly hidden disdain calls him an amateur).”

        Robert Spencer replied
        “Jerez doesn’t mention my strong reliance on the presumably “professional” Crone; nor does he note that Crone was a protege of Wansbrough. Anyway, calling someone “fringe” is not a refutation of his work; it is just a pejorative term meaning that the views espoused by this person are currently unpopular and not in favor. The real question is whether or not what they say is true. Galileo was “fringe” in his day.”

        True. I didn’t mention your reliance on Patricia Crone. Neither that she was a pupil of John Wansbrough (I knew that). Once in a time Patricia Crone could have been called a “fringe” scholar. Today she probably belongs to the mainstream. The problem is that you rely exclusively on her early works like “Hagarism”. Works that Patricia Crone herself has long since repudiated. Today I think she would say that those theories were mostly due to the influence of her iconoclastic teacher Wansbrough. Thankfully Crone has come to her senses and become a much better scholar. I certainly don’t think the reason for Crone nowadays thinking that the evidence for Mohammad’s existence is “irrefutable” is because Princeton has been pressured by the prospect of losing donations from the Saudis. That is at least the reason one of your fans on Jihad Watch gave me.
        And I don´t think it is true Crone has “not offered no new findings or evidence” to explain why she doesn´t stand for what she wrote in “Hagarism” any more. She has published many new articles since then and agree that many of the mainstream arguments for the existence of Muhammad still stand up very well. A good summary of her current position can be found in a recent article for the general public – “What do we know about Muhammad?”.

        Antonio wrote:
        “And I hardly think it is a coincidence that Spencer leaves the recently found Sanaa fragments of the Quran from Yemen (dated to the end of the 7th century) out of the discussion. These fragments show conclusively that something very close to the modern Quranic version already existed 40-70 years after Mohammad’s death. Which make it very difficult to believe that the Quran was a later invention by the Umayyads and the Abbasids.”

        Robert Spencer replied:
        “In reality, I state in the book that the Qur’an and Islam started to take shape during the end of the 7th century, so these fragments do not refute my thesis in the slightest.”

        If I have understood you right you state that the Quran started taking shape during the reign of the Caliph Abd –Al-Malik (685-705). Which logically means that If we have found page after page of a book that looks very much like our modern Quran (The Sanaa fragments) that can be dated by the radiocarbon method to between 645-670 then it becomes very hard indeed to to argue that Abd Al-Malik who started reigning later made up the Quran. I don´t think you have to be a mainstream islam scholar to agree about that.

        Robert Spencer wrote:
        “However, these fragments do not in themselves “show conclusively that something very close to the modern Quranic version already existed 40-70 years after Mohammad’s death.” Luxenberg and Lueling argue in different ways that the Qur’an was constructed from already existing material. The fragments could be fragments of that earlier material, and not of the Qur’an at all.”
        I don´t think it will come as a surprise that I don’t give much for Luxenberg’s arguments. Neither do most secular or non-secular islam scholars. Patricia Crone speaks for most scholars when she calls him an amateur. By Luxenburg’s (and Spencers) logic one could as well argue that the Ryland Papyrus P52 fragment from the Gospel of John (dated to between 117-138 AD) is not actually a later copy of the original Gospel of John even though the words very much resemble the Gospel of John. It could after all be a copy of an unknown source that the original author of the Gospel of John used for his gospel.

        Antonio Jerez wrote:
        “It is also hardly a coincidence that Spencer almost totally leaves out a discussion about the internal ‘evidence’ of the Quran itself. I suppose one reason is that Spencer doesn’t know classical arabic himself. How is he to get into things like the peculiar style of the suras?”

        Robert Spencer wrote:
        “This is an odd quibble, since in the book I do actually discuss the Qur’an’s style, nonce words, words of unknown meaning, obvious textual interpolations, and more. These discussions are in chapter six. Did Jerez throw the book down in disgust before finishing it?”

        You are probably right. Either I threw away the book in disgust before finishing it or I have totally forgotten the content of chapter 6-9. On rereading I see that you actually have a discussion about that. But most of the points you make about syriac loanwords, interpolations and the haphazard quality of many parts of the Quran do seem to be more directed against muslims who believe that the Quran is the perfect word of God written in perfect Arabic. I am no believing muslim so I don´t have any problem with that. I agree that there are syriac loanwords, interpolations and a haphazard quality to the Quran. Which is what one could expect given that Mohammad lived and travelled around in the Arabian peninsula where he must have met and talked to quite a lot of Christians. He seems to have been one of those men whose brain soak up quite a lot of things during their lifetime – only for those things to unconsciously pop up in all kind of combinations when he got into his mood of revelations.
        The real problems start when you rely on Luxenburg’s ideas that the Quran was not originally written in Arabic but a translation of Syriac or other non-arabic works. I definitely don´t know classical Arabic but I think I trust mainstream scholars like Jan Hjärpe a lot more than Luxenburg when they tell me that a very special style runs through all of the suras – a style that seem to go back to ONE man who had Arabic as his language. The wordplays and rhymes that run through the suras are almost impossible to explain if they were not originally in Arabic.

        Antonio wrote:
        “I don´t know one iota of arabic myself but even reading the Quran in a translation makes me wonder why later muslims living in Umayyad and Abbasid times would make up the chronologically and thematically disjointed suras that are part of the Quaran. The hodgepodge of the Quran makes a lot more sense if the traditions about it being the utterances of Mohammad being true. Just as it makes a lot more sense if the verses were later collected at the time of Uthman (were the traditional story fits pretty well with the timing of the Saana fragments).”

        Robert Spencer wrote:
        “This argument cuts both ways. If the standard story of how the Qur’an was put together is true, why couldn’t those who collected it together in Uthman’s day put it in some coherent order? Why couldn’t Muhammad have done so before that? To claim that a committee (as per the stories in early Islamic sources about the Qur’an’s collection) in the 650′s couldn’t have organized the Qur’an more coherently but a committee in the 690′s would necessarily have done so is, well, ridiculous.”

        I don´t think the order of the suras is the greatest obstacle to your thesis. The big problem is the content of the suras. Why would the Caliph Abd Al-Malik make up sometimes unintelligible suras that have very little relevance for the multiethnic empire building that he and the Umayyads were doing? If Abd Al-Malik really made up suras to “unify and strengthen his empire” then why didn´t he order his scribes to make up some sayings from the prophet/Allah that could be a weapon against the partisans of Ali and his descendants who claimed that the Ummayads were false usurpers? And isn’t it a bit strange that the Shias never made up a Quran of their own if they had had the slightest inkling that the Quran was a creation of their enemies the Ummayads. I think the answer why this never happened is pretty obvious; the Shias had traditions that clearly anchored the Quran with Muhammad and his family. No matter how much you hated the Umayyads or the Abbasids it was forbidden to tamper with the Quran. If you wanted to get at the Umayyads or the Abbasids you had to do it through the Hadiths.

        Robert wrote:
        “Macbeth “smells like reality,” too. Hamlet is an awfully realistic guy. Neither are real.”

        I don´t think we have any detailed genealogies for Hamlet or Macbeth. Neither for Robin Hood or Ivanhoe. And if the genealogies of Mohammed were in invented I find it strange that none of the major Islamic sects have questioned their veracity. And why all the Umayyad scare and fuzz about Hassan and Hussain if the Umayyads had not been as sure as the Shias that they were grandchildren of a very real Prophet?

        The best critique I have read so far of Robert Spencer’s book is by a guy named Yassin on Amazon. Don´t know if Robert has posted a rebuttal of it somewhere. If so I would be interested in reading it.

      • A little clarification
        Robert Spencer wrote:
        “However, these fragments do not in themselves “show conclusively that something very close to the modern Quranic version already existed 40-70 years after Mohammad’s death.” Luxenberg and Lueling argue in different ways that the Qur’an was constructed from already existing material. The fragments could be fragments of that earlier material, and not of the Qur’an at all.”

        Antonio
        I don´t think it will come as a surprise that I don’t give much for Luxenberg’s arguments. Neither do most secular or non-secular islam scholars. Patricia Crone speaks for most scholars when she calls him an amateur. By Luxenburg’s (and Spencers) logic one could as well argue that the Ryland Papyrus P52 fragment from the Gospel of John (dated to between 117-138 AD) is not actually a later copy of the original Gospel of John even though the words very much resemble the Gospel of John. It could after all be a copy of an unknown source that the original author of the Gospel of John used for his gospel.

    • For me it’s the other way round. Disagreeing with Loren on almost every point regarding Secret Mark, I never thought I was going to agree so wholeheartedly with him on the issue of methods and so on when it comes to the historicity of Jesus, on Carrier’s approach and Ehrman’s and Casey’s previous attempts. A fair and balanced summary AFAICT.

  3. Another reason why I think it is much more easy to make sense of Mohammed as a real historical person than Jesus. There may be tens of thousands of Hadiths (traditions) about Mohammed, most of them probably false, but many of them and much of the information in the Siras (the biographies about Muhammad) smell like reality. Information about the kind of food he liked, a whole chain of information about his family, ancestórs, companions and enemies down to the smallest details etc etc.

      • Macbeth smells like reality because, umm, he was a real King of Scots. He reigned from 1042-1057. He overthrew and murdered King Duncan and was deposed by Duncan’s son Malcolm, who was backed by Edward the Confessor.

        Of course, his actual reign bore no comparison to Shakespeare’s play on the subject. But it wasn’t intended to, being instead about power politics and the coming of the Stewart dynasty to rule England. Such traits are common in Shakespeare. Richard III also little resembled his dramatic counterpart. Or for that matter, Hotspur or Glendower in Henry IV. They were loosely based on historic events but placed in a different order or exaggerated to improve the drama a la Philippa Gregory or recent films on the subject of the Ninth Legion.

        So you didn’t pick the best example. Moreover, it doesn’t say an awful lot for your care and/or thoroughness that you didn’t check before posting – even off-the-cuff in a blog discussion.

  4. Antonio,

    We were bound to disagree on something sooner or later! Needless to say, I don’t think Spencer’s book is so dire. You’re right that he’s well-known for his distaste of Islam, but having listened carefully to his lectures, I’m confident that he’s way over-maligned on this point. Part of the problem is that he’s a crusader, and crusaders always seem biased — because they’re always fighting. He does have a fan-base (frequent commenters) at Jihad Watch, many of whom are no doubt Islamaphobes.

    But you’re probably right that Spencer wouldn’t be as critical with Jesus and the NT. In fact I called attention to this at the bottom of my post on the figure of Abraham, noting his correct view of the Qur’an’s supremacist Abraham, while he soft-peddles the supremacism of Abraham in the Jewish and Christian understandings.

    Nice to see you breathing fire again. Hope things are well in Sweden.

  5. Loren,
    I was dumb enough to question the quality of Spencer’s book on Jihad Watch some months ago. The trolls in his fan club immediately jumped on me and doubted my sanity. The problem with Spencer and his trolls is that they have rarely or never met normal muslims in their own countries. The difference is that I have. I have been to Saudia-Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Malaysia and many other muslim countries and talked to hundreds of muslims. I am no big friend of Islam, but I do know from personal experience that most muslims don´t go around dreaming about Jihad against us westerners allmost all the time. Which is the impression you get when you read Spencer’s site. I also live in a swedish suburb where I am surrounded by thousands of muslims from Somalia, Irak, Syria and many other countries. I am not always happy about that. I usually call my neighbourhood the Parrott Farm. Too many people repeating fairy tales that they have heard in the mosques without showing any sign of critical thinking. The curse of the muslim world is that most people are still living in the age of religious fairy tales. Question the fairy tales and you either get thrown into jail or get your head shopped off,

    • “The problem with Spencer and his trolls is that they have rarely or never met normal muslims in their own countries.”

      I don’t have “trolls,” and Antonio Jerez doesn’t have the slightest idea whom I have met.

  6. Well, I’m not surprised you were smacked around at Jihad Watch! Easy to get in a brawl over there. But when you say that you are “no big friend of Islam, but do know from personal experience that most muslims don´t go around dreaming about Jihad against us westerners allmost all the time”, Spencer has repeatedly agreed with this very statement. Listen to his lectures, they’re all over the place. He agrees that most (millions) of Muslims are peaceful human beings who want to co-exist amicably in the world just like anyone else. What he does emphasize is that there is a significant faction, the jihadists, who remain so viable and threatening because the Qur’an and all four schools of Islamic jurisprudence enshrine militant supremacism. It’s no accident that for every one Timothy McVeigh there are thousands of jihadists; one reason is because the jihad has not been officially repudiated, even if ignored by the peaceful millions.

working4christ2 catholic answers forum — Is discernment supposed to hurt? I realize it’s somewhat of a vague question but I don’t know that I can add much more to it right now.

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Default Discernment

Is discernment supposed to hurt? I realize it’s somewhat of a vague question but I don’t know that I can add much more to it right now.
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Default Re: Discernment

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Is discernment supposed to hurt? I realize it’s somewhat of a vague question but I don’t know that I can add much more to it right now.

I would imagine a range of emotions come with discerning, but it depends on the person.

Questions about discernment are best answered by a spiritual director.

Sinners prayer in catholic life

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Default Sinners prayer in catholic life

Hi, I was wondering is their anything similar to the “sinners prayer” in the catholic life and teachings?

something along the lines of putting faith in Jesus as lord and savior and asking him/god to forgive your sins by his death on the cross and most important, come into your heart as lord.

thanks

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Default Re: Sinners prayer in catholic life

Psalm 51 comes to mind. The Jesus prayer is ancient and to the point…

Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of the Living God
Have mercy on me
A sinner.

I’m sure there are hundreds of examples but Catholics are likely to have a fuller Eucharistic expression of Jesus coming into our hearts. There really isn’t anything theologically wrong with most versions of the sinner’s prayer I have heard.

-Tim-

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Default Re: Sinners prayer in catholic life

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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Psalm 51 comes to mind. The Jesus prayer is ancient and to the point…

Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of the Living God
Have mercy on me
A sinner.

I’m sure there are hundreds of examples but Catholics are likely to have a fuller Eucharistic expression of Jesus coming into our hearts. There really isn’t anything theologically wrong with most versions of the sinner’s prayer I have heard.

-Tim-

Thanks for response love the psalm. Question, what was meant when you said

“Catholics are likely to have a fuller Eucharistic expression of Jesus coming into our hearts”

thanks.

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Default Re: Sinners prayer in catholic life

At every Mass the congregation makes this ancient prayer (canned the Confiteor)

Quote:
I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;
therefore I ask blessed Mary, ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God

Because we recite this at every Mass, many Catholics will know it by heart. The Confiteor is a plea for prayer.

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Default Re: Feeling the Holy Spirit at Non-denominational church

The Holy Spirit is a Person, not an emotion. The Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, too. He is not a drug which we take to feel more in-tune with God. He is not an aphrodisiac to get us high on feelings. To “feel” the Holy Spirit anywhere is either a heart-attack coming on, or the temptations of the demons. No one can feel a spirit, nor touch God. Feelings are in the nerves and emotions are in the heart.

What is God, for the jumping and falling non-denominational charismatics and Christian-Rockers? Is God even a “who” anymore, for them? The criteria of “feeling” the Holy Spirit, and not being “bored” – like at a Catholic Church – are not valid criteria for discerning the Truth. The Holy Spirit surely moves in all places, for He whispers where He wills… but to think that some non-denominational rock-band-worship Protestants are containing the fullness of the Holy Spirit because of a mere feeling? No!

Your brother-in-law doesn’t realize that we know we have the Holy Spirit when we have joy: simple joy that leads to self-sacrifice, giving up of the Self to others, and service of the Church. The feeling that banishes “boredom” and leads to having more “fun” at a worship service does not lead to real Christian ministry, discipline, or asceticism.

The most profound work in all history wasn’t fun; it was certainly long, laborious, “boring”, and had only a feeling of agony. I am, of course, referring to the saving crucifixion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Where was His “feeling” of the Spirit? He asked God why He had abandoned Him. Now there’s real sacrifice!

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Cool Re: Feeling the Holy Spirit at Non-denominational church

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So…what is it that you are trying to do?
Are you wanting to convince him that how he feels is “wrong” or “bad”?.

I don’t think so at all, but I do think it’s important to point out to people that emotionalism is not the same as religion and is not the reason that we participate in our religion.

Good and bad feelings are a very changeable by product of events in our lives.

If we are feeling low one day does that mean that the Holy Spirit is absent in our life? I have always thought that the early church during that first 3 centuries of persecution must have had a much better grasp on this.

If we are getting persecuted and murdered for our faith, does that mean that we are worse sinners or that God doesn’t love us and has abandoned us? Again, I think that the early church had this down better than we do today and it’s something that we need to work to recapture….especially since our society if rapidly heading back into the same sort of irreligious neo-pagan thinking and morality which is directly at odds with our Catholic faith.

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Default Re: Feeling the Holy Spirit at Non-denominational church

God can, and does bring us joy through our worship of Him. Why wouldn’t it be a joyful, happy, pleasant thing to Worship our God?

I also understand the more somber approach Catholics have (sorry if that’s not the right word). They are quieter and contemplate on God as they take the Eucharist or sit and pray. The music is good for some, but not for all.

The issue is that Catholics look at Evangelical ‘rock’ music backwards. Some Catholics think that Evangelicals go to Church to feel good. No. We go to Church to Worship God, and that makes us feel good; how could it not? We don’t hear an inspirational speaker to be inspired by his words, but rather the truth of God being spoken brings us joy.

If I go to an Aerosmith concert then it’s to enjoy the music. If I go to Church it’s to enjoy God’s presence through music. God brings us joy, our praise of Him makes us want to sing and be joyful. And God LOVES a new song sung towards Him, by many different means.

Psalm 150:1 Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens!

2 Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!

3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!

4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!

5 Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!

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Default Re: Feeling the Holy Spirit at Non-denominational church

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Originally Posted by Praedicare View Post
The Holy Spirit is a Person, not an emotion. The Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, too. He is not a drug which we take to feel more in-tune with God. He is not an aphrodisiac to get us high on feelings. To “feel” the Holy Spirit anywhere is either a heart-attack coming on, or the temptations of the demons. No one can feel a spirit, nor touch God. Feelings are in the nerves and emotions are in the heart.

What is God, for the jumping and falling non-denominational charismatics and Christian-Rockers? Is God even a “who” anymore, for them? The criteria of “feeling” the Holy Spirit, and not being “bored” – like at a Catholic Church – are not valid criteria for discerning the Truth. The Holy Spirit surely moves in all places, for He whispers where He wills… but to think that some non-denominational rock-band-worship Protestants are containing the fullness of the Holy Spirit because of a mere feeling? No!

Your brother-in-law doesn’t realize that we know we have the Holy Spirit when we have joy: simple joy that leads to self-sacrifice, giving up of the Self to others, and service of the Church. The feeling that banishes “boredom” and leads to having more “fun” at a worship service does not lead to real Christian ministry, discipline, or asceticism.

The most profound work in all history wasn’t fun; it was certainly long, laborious, “boring”, and had only a feeling of agony. I am, of course, referring to the saving crucifixion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Where was His “feeling” of the Spirit? He asked God why He had abandoned Him. Now there’s real sacrifice!

I could only humbly suggest I think your were doing well but appears to devolve into feelings, be it they are truth. So just for example, and we could all agree or not, that we are responsible for our feelings and how quick we are to judge them and determine truth?
for example……….

Quote:
What is God, for the jumping and falling non-denominational charismatics and Christian-Rockers? Is God even a “who” anymore, for them? The criteria of “feeling” the Holy Spirit, and not being “bored” – like at a Catholic Church – are not valid criteria for discerning the Truth. The Holy Spirit surely moves in all places, for He whispers where He wills… but to think that some non-denominational rock-band-worship Protestants are containing the fullness of the Holy Spirit because of a mere feeling? No!

OK, but with this in mind, which is consistent in all the posts and I agree….

Quote:
The Holy Spirit surely moves in all places,

So as the Pope states, we can’t tame the Holy Spirit, to paraphrase, but by the same token no one else can either.

OK, so this………….

Quote:
What is God, for the jumping and falling non-denominational charismatics and Christian-Rockers? Is God even a “who” anymore, for them? The criteria of “feeling” the Holy Spirit, and not being “bored” – like at a Catholic Church – are not valid criteria for discerning the Truth. The Holy Spirit surely moves in all places, for He whispers where He wills… but to think that some non-denominational rock-band-worship Protestants are containing the fullness of the Holy Spirit because of a mere feeling? No!

But, the Holy Spirit can convict whom He wills.

So what can we summarize if this is the truth? Or if we are to say we have the fullness of truth in the Church, then that doesn’t mean there isn’t truth elsewhere, it means the fullness of truth is in the Catholic Catholic. The fullness of Truth is always in the Holy Spirit.

At the moment this is what I’m reading.

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Default Re: Feeling the Holy Spirit at Non-denominational church

As one poster (or several) pointed out, praising God is a great thing, and that is what I have see at these non-denominational Churches. I do not want to hinder that in anyone.

What concerns me is, if we can use the metaphor of a tree, the roots of these churches are very shallow. They seem to be rooted in the Spirit, but man is fickle and if up rooting is easy then man is likely to do so.

Man and his “feelings” are fickle, but the Spirit is not. The Trinity is constant in its love for us, and I think that God deserves a consistency that we are unable to give Him. But the Catholic Church represents and provides an avenue for that consistency.

I am just looking for a way to talk to a man who is rooted in the Bible and basing his relationship with God purely on feelings about everything the Catholic Church has to offer.

There have been some really good angles mentioned. I appreciate the brainstorm.

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I am just looking for a way to talk to a man who is rooted in the Bible and basing his relationship with God purely on feelings about everything the Catholic Church has to offer.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=…-iTe6oHBBL2-YQ

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As one poster (or several) pointed out, praising God is a great thing, and that is what I have see at these non-denominational Churches.

What concerns me is, if we can use the metaphor of a tree, the roots of these churches are very shallow. They seem to be rooted in the Spirit, but man is fickle and if up rooting is easy then man is likely to do so.

Man and his “feelings” are fickle, but the Spirit is not.

I am just looking for a way to talk to a man who is rooted in the Bible and basing his relationship with God purely on feelings about everything the Catholic Church has to offer.
.

probably the better description is — recognizing the spiritual “anointing” that is present- in non catholic – assembly’s

(and no it is not a “feeling” ) it is just the natural mind — recognizing — a spiritual presence

and when anointed people hang out with other anointed people — then everyone is blessed with the spiritual presence-

Being filled with the Holy Spirit, however, is not a once-for-all experience. … characterizes the life of the Christian who is “being filled” constantly and continually?

1 Samuel 19:20-24English Standard Version (ESV)

20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David, and

when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as head over them,

1.. the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. 21 When it was told Saul,

2.. he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied.

3..And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also prophesied.

22 Then he himself went to Ramah and came to the great well that is in Secu.

And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”

And one said, “Behold, they are at Naioth in Ramah.”

23 And he went there to Naioth in Ramah.

4..And the Spirit of God came upon him also, and as he went he prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah.

24 And he too stripped off his clothes,

5..and he too prophesied before Samuel and lay naked all that day and all that night. Thus it is said, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”